Former Democratic mayoral candidate Tyler Allen says he was not promised any input in the next mayoral administration in exchange for his endorsement.

Earlier today, Metro Council President Tom Owen said he had talked with Allen in September, and Allen said he had been promised “significant input” in a potential Hal Heiner administration, should he endorse the Republican in the general election.

“I don’t know how Tom interpreted that,” says Allen.

Allen says he had already decided to support Heiner, but decided to take his endorsement to the campaign and the public because he “thought [Heiner] would challenge the status quo.” Allen met with both Heiner and Democratic candidate Greg Fischer before publicly endorsing Heiner, but he says he was not promised any input on transportation issues, or any other topic.

The Kentucky Democratic Party has asked the Attorney General’s office to investigate the issue.

The accusation that Allen’s endorsement was traded for influence comes after the Heiner campaign accused Democratic candidate Greg Fischer of offering power to independent Jackie Green in exchange for support. Green dropped out of the race last week and endorsed Fischer. E-mails reveal that Green thought he and his team may have a role inside of Metro Government, but it’s not clear what that role would be. The Fischer campaign says nothing was promised to Green–he was simply told that if Fischer won the election, Green would be asked to advise the mayor on the creation of an office of sustainability in Metro Government.

The Republican Party of Kentucky asked the Attorney General’s office to investigate the issue earlier this week.

Allen says he doesn’t have any e-mails that discuss his endorsement. Joe Burgan with the Heiner campaign released the following messages:

From: Joe Burgan [mailtoxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:03 AM
To: [tyler allen]
Subject: Press Release

Here’s where we are.

______________________________________
Democratic Mayoral Candidate Tyler Allen Endorses Hal Heiner for Mayor

LOUISVILLE, KY – Citing Hal’s ability to lead Louisville from day one and provide a fresh start for Metro government, former Democratic mayoral candidate Tyler Allen today endorsed Hal Heiner for Mayor.

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Hal enthusiastically welcomed Tyler into the campaign.

“Tyler represents the next generation of leadership in Louisville and I’m honored to have his endorsement,” stated Mr. Heiner. “His energy and commitment to Louisville was unmatched in the Democratic primary and I look forward to working closely with him as we move forward in the final weeks of this campaign.”

Mr. Allen is the second Democratic mayoral candidate to endorse the Heiner for Mayor Campaign, joining former Democratic mayoral candidate Shannon White.
And…

From: Joe Burgan [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:52 AM
To: [Tyler Allen]
Cc: ‘Riggs Lewis’
Subject: Statement with a few tweaks

What do you think?

“This election is about the serious business of building Louisville’s future and I believe Hal Heiner is the only candidate with the passion and experience to lead this city from day one,” stated Mr. Allen. “While we may not agree on everything, I firmly believe Hal is a leader we can trust to move this city forward and fulfill the promises of merger. His openness to innovative ideas and willingness to bring new people into the process will make Louisville an even better place to live in the years to come.”

So to review…

The Heiner campaign (and the Republican Party of Kentucky, which has asked the Attorney General’s office to investigate the Fischer/Green endorsement) says Jackie Green was promised power over a (currently nonexistent) Metro Government office if he would drop out of the race and endorse Fischer. Green told LEO he was on the short list to run the department, but later said the e-mail which reveals that he was anticipating a role inside Metro Government could be incorrect, since he may not accurately remember what he discussed with the Fischer campaign.  The Fischer campaign says Green will be like many other advisers Fischer has throughout the community, and calls Heiner’s accusations of wrongdoing “sour grapes.”

The Fischer campaign and Metro Council President Tom Owen say Tyler Allen was promised similar influence over transportation issues. The Heiner campaign denies this. Currently, the only documents available show Heiner campaign manager Joe Burgan (Burgan worked for Allen at 8664, which Allen co-founded) sending drafts of a press release to Allen. Allen says he was planning to endorse Heiner since shortly after losing the May primary.

It is against state law to offer “things of value” in exchange for votes.

This issue came up Thursday in a mayoral debate at the Louisville Rotary Club.

Here is full audio of the debate.

Here is Greg Fischer afterward.

Here is Hal Heiner afterward.

Here is Tyler Allen afterward.

What are your thoughts on this whole ordeal? Does it sound like it isn’t anything new? Does it matter that Green made his endorsement while he was still an active candidate, while Allen did not?

Or is all of this, as Green’s former campaign manager Tyler Hess says, distracting from the more important issues in the race, such as the ones that Green and Allen championed in their campaigns?

Thanks to Sheila Ash for the audio.

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