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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.

<>

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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Republican Party of Kentucky chair Steve Robertson has sent a letter to Attorney General Jack Conway’s office calling for an investigation into the Greg Fischer/Jackie Green endorsement.

Excerpts:

As I am sure you are aware, some very disturbing allegations have surfaced in the Louisville Mayoral race involving Democrat candidate Greg Fischer and a quid-pro-quo deal he cut with Independent candidate Jackie Green. According to today’s article in the Leo Weekly, it appears that Fischer’s campaign may have agreed to appoint Green to a high-paying government job if Green would drop out of the race and endorse Fischer’s candidacy. The Leo even included alarming email excerpts between the campaigns evidencing such an agreement. Shortly after this alleged deal was cut, Green did, in fact, drop out of the race and endorse Fischer.

The allegations against Greg Fischer are serious and potentially criminal in nature. As Attorney General, you have an obligation to investigate and prosecute election fraud and public corruption. However, according to the Registry of Election Finance, you have contributed $1000 to Greg Fischer’s campaign. Your financial relationship with Mr. Fischer’s campaign renders you incapable of providing objective leadership on any investigation of these allegations. Therefore, I call on you to recuse yourself from this matter entirely and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate this potentially criminal activity.

Green’s campaign manager Tyler Hess has made a few statements to the media.

Jackie was doing this to move issues forward. Greg wanted political capital because he saw Jackie as a threat and our momentum. Jackie had a baby on the way and was going to constant events on his bike and TARC – amazing man…Greg wanted Jackie out of the way and Jackie was an Office of Sustainability. Plain and simple. No two party bashing needed.

And in regard to the controversy over the endorsement, Hess says:

It’s not as much of a “story” as everyone is making it. This must be clarified.

The public is being damaged by this fire storm and are confused (and disgusted).””We must re-focus on the issues.”

The issues must continue to be known, analyzed and changed. Floyds Fork, public transit, etc

LEO Weekly is taking the Courier-Journal to task on how this issue was covered. LEO (and WHAS-TV) published more information than the C-J, and the two papers had differing accounts of how the endorsement was made. LEO published an e-mail wherein Green says there may be room for him and his team in a Fischer administration, exposing a quid pro quo situation.

From LEO:

Questions abound as to why the C-J didn’t include/know about the other emails. At best, it’s perhaps a consequence of “access journalism,” whereby reporters take the information espoused by high-level, hard-to-get-to sources as gospel simply for the sake of possessing that information; and at worst it smacks of the C-J’s editorial board seeking to protect its investment of a likely endorsement of Greg Fischer. When a politician like Green suffers from a sudden bout of Nixonian amnesia — going so far as to tell WHAS11′s Joe Arnold that he can’t even remember his wife’s fucking birthday —  questions of impropriety take center stage in the rational voter’s mind.

UPDATE:

Here is a statement from Chris Poynter with the Fischer campaign:

Nothing was promised to Jackie Green — and Hal Heiner and the Republican Party know that. This is a ploy to divert the public’s attention because Heiner is down in the polls and losing the race.

Recently-released e-mails shed light on negotiations between independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green and Democratic candidate Greg Fischer‘s staff.

Green dropped out of the mayor’s race last week to endorse Fischer. Republican candidate Hal Heiner has criticized the endorsement as the result of a “backroom deal” that would give Green power in Metro Government. The Fischer campaign says it did nothing wrong.

The endorsement talks centered on Fischer’s proposed cabinet-level office of sustainability. Green told WFPL last week he would endorse Fischer if the office would have significant power in Metro Government, and if Green and his campaign staff could have a role in deciding that office’s leader.

E-mails released Tuesday (more) show the Fischer campaign was willing to adopt some of Green’s positions, and that Green believed he and his team could have a role in a Fischer administration. Green told LEO Weekly that his name was on the short list to lead the office of sustainability.

The Fischer campaign says Green was not offered a job, though the independent will have input on creating the office of sustainability, if Fischer wins the election.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail Green sent to his staff:

The Gt also raised the issue of our team playing a role inside gov. – should Greg get lucky ; ) .

Green told WHAS he may have mis-remembered what happened.

State law prohibits candidates from exchanging a “thing of value” for votes. Republican Hal Heiner’s campaign contends that Fischer did just that, and has criticized Fischer for being secretive about negotiations with Green. The Fischer campaign says an offer for an advisory role does not violate the law. No formal complaints have been filed.

Independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green has dropped out of the mayor’s race and has endorsed Democrat Greg Fischer. We reported on the talks between the two candidates earlier today.

From the Fischer campaign:

Saying that Greg Fischer is the best candidate to lead Louisville into the future, leading Independent candidate Jackie Green announced today that he’s withdrawing from the mayor’s race and endorsing Fischer.

“Fischer’s vision for a sustainable Louisville represents our community’s best chance to improve our environment, support renewable energy and improve public transportation,” Green said.

Fischer welcomes Green’s endorsement, saying he brought important issues to light in the mayor’s race.

“Jackie represents an important and growing voice in our community. I appreciate his support, and I look forward to his continued input,” Fischer said. “I want to establish Louisville as one of America’s greenest cities and Jackie Green – and his many passionate supporters — can help with that vision.”

Fischer has announced plans to create the Office of Sustainability, a Cabinet-level department that reports directly to the mayor and works to make Louisville a greener city. Fischer said he will consult with Green to provide significant input to help structure that office.

“Green can bring a very valuable perspective to the office,” Fischer said.

From Joe Burgan with the Heiner campaign:

If Greg Fischer has such poor judgment that he believes it’s acceptable to sell a city department of government in exchange for a political endorsement he is clearly unfit to be mayor.

As LEO reports, some of Green’s supporters are not pleased:

The announcement has upset a handful of Green’s supporters, including his campaign staff who weren’t aware of the decision and believe their message was resonating with voters.

“I’m a little upset because I wasn’t prefaced to this conversation at all,” says Tyler Hess, Green’s campaign manager. “The Fischer campaign came to us a week ago with this. We got calls from Chris Poynter pressuring us to get out, so the Courier-Journal reporting we came to them had it all backwards. They were salivating at our growing momentum because the voters appreciated his extra voice. Now Greg is changing his platform and it’s unbelievable that this conversation has changed this quickly.”

“I’m disappointed in Jackie, really. I thought he saw through it all and that Fischer wasn’t authentic,” says Curt Morrison, a former Green campaign volunteer. “I think his supporters will split. Some will follow Jackie based on their faith in him. I know Fischer has offered him the world, and others will recognized Heiner is more qualified to be mayor. I’m definitely with Heiner.”

The volunteer who operates Green’s Twitter account wasn’t pleased either.

Here is the former candidate endorsement tally:

  • Fischer: Jackie Green, David Tandy and Jim King
  • Heiner: Tyler Allen, Shannon White and Lisa Moxley

In his latest ad, Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner says he applauds Greg Fischer for “adding jobs to his family business,” then proceeds to say how he has and would continue outdo his Democratic rival in terms of job creation.

You can watch the ad here.

Also in the mayor’s race: CFAIR, the Fairness Campaign’s political branch, has endorsed Fischer. The group says it’s making the endorsement “with fervor.”

Heiner’s position on Fairness has been a target for his opponents and critics. They often cite Heiner’s 2004 donation of $20,000 to the Vote Yes For Marriage Committee, which was lobbying for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Jake at the Ville Voice has more on the politics of the endorsement.

Four Democratic Metro Council members have endorsed write-in candidate Ken Herndon in the race for the 6th District seat. The seat was previously held by George Unseld. Independent Deonte Hollowell was appointed after Unseld’s death in June.

Herndon was nearly appointed before Hollowell. The county Democratic Party also considered nominating Herndon to run for the seat, but chose former Fraternal Order of Police president David James instead. The GOP nominated Candace Jaworski.

Council President Tom Owen and council members Jon Ackerson, Rick Blackwell and Tina Ward-Pugh have all endorsed Herndon.

From WFPL:

Former Louisville mayoral candidates David Tandy and Jim King formally endorsed Greg Fischer Friday.

Fischer defeated the two Metro Councilmen in the Democratic Primary in May. Fischer finished with 45 percent of the vote, behind him were Tandy and King, each with about 20%.

Shannon White, who won about 2% of the Democratic Primary vote, endorsed Republican candidate Hal Heiner last week.

A spokesperson for the Heiner campaign criticized Fischer for welcoming endorsements from two Metro Council members after calling Heiner, also a councilman, an insider.

The four other Democrats who ran in the primary have not offered public endorsements of either candidate.

In addition to Fischer and Heiner, independents Jackie Green, Nimbus Couzin and Jonathan Mills will also appear on the November ballot.

Here is the Fischer campaign statement:

Saying that Louisville needs a mayor who can unite the city, create jobs and put people back to work, Metro Councilmembers David Tandy and Jim King today endorsed Greg Fischer for Mayor.

“Greg is the leader our city desperately needs,” said King, a Democrat who represents the 10th district. “He is the true job creator in the race – and he has the business experience to immediately step into the mayor’s office and lead our city towards growth and prosperity.”

“Greg will be a mayor for all of Louisville, from downtown to the suburbs, from the east to the west and the south,” said Tandy, who represents the 4th district. “He will put our neighborhoods first and will build a efficient government that is open, honest and accountable to the people.”

Tandy and King were primary opponents of Fischer – and, among the three, they garnered 85 percent of the votes.  Tandy and King said they, along with other Democrats, are united in their support for Fischer’s fresh vision and leadership for Louisville.

Fischer said he was honored to have their endorsement.

“David, Jim and I share a common belief that Louisville can be a better place – a place where our children and grandchildren can find good-paying jobs and raise their families,” Fischer said.

And the response from Heiner’s campaign spokesperson, Joe Burgan:

While spending the summer bashing Hal for  serving on the Metro Council, Greg Fischer runs to the arms of two democratic council members who have served the city just like Hal.  I guess this proves that Greg believes experience like Hal’s matters when running for mayor.


Former Democratic mayoral candidate Shannon White has endorsed Republican Hal Heiner in the Louisville mayor’s race.

In a statement, White said “We are at a critical juncture as a city, and because of that, I have given careful consideration to this endorsement. After meeting with both Greg and Hal, I have decided to choose an energizing leader, regardless of party affiliation, that I believe is the best choice as the next Mayor of Louisville.”

Heiner campaign spokesperson Joe Burgan says the campaign has met with several of the former Democratic candidates (Jim King has said he supports Greg Fischer) about endorsements.

In the May primary, White won about 2% of the vote. Burgan says White’s support is welcome, but the endorsement is also a large symbolic victory for the Heiner campaign, which has received support from Democratic voters in recent polls.

Heiner trails in female support in polls. While White will campaign for Heiner, Burgan says the White endorsement is not necessarily a play for the demographic.

“I don’t think we did this in hope that somehow this will give us an advantage in the female vote,” he says.

Three of the most notable Republicans elected in county-wide elections are County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, former Congresswoman Anne Northup and former County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson.

The Courier-Journal is endorsing Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner in their respective primaries in the mayor’s race.

From the Fischer endorsement:

Mr. Fischer, a successful businessman, makes a credible case that he is the candidate best suited to deal with the tight budgets and the need to stress job creation in the coming years.

[edit]

Moreover, after some initial confusion about his position, Mr. Fischer has unequivocally endorsed the record of decision on the Ohio River Bridges Project, which calls for simultaneously proceeding on construction of two bridges — one in the eastern part of the county, one downtown — and on a reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction.

[edit]

Ideally, Mr. Fischer would have experience in elective office or public administration. He has neither. But his skill in organizing a campaign, financing it, gaining support from a wide range of individuals and organizations, and drawing up a comprehensive platform reflects qualities that would be well-suited to the top job in City Hall.

[edit]

Mr. Fischer’s principal opponents appear to be Metro Council members David Tandy and Jim King.

Mr. Tandy, like Mr. Fischer, has provided voters with a detailed and progressive platform, and his personal style is open and engaging. His campaign, however, has been disappointing. Visibility has been low, and he has not raised money to have a presence on television. It’s unfortunate that such issues become important, but a political reality is that there is often a genuine relationship between ability to run an effective campaign and readiness to perform in high office.

[edit]

Mr. King, a successful banker and accountant, has praiseworthy organizational skills, grasp of issues and knowledge of city government. In most circumstances, we would expect him to be a top candidate for mayor. Unfortunately, however, he is burdened with a heavy load of personal and ethical baggage that, in our view, disqualifies him — at least this time around.

From the Heiner endorsement:

His experience in the private and public sectors, as well as his clarity of vision and expression, position him as the best candidate, and he should be the GOP voters’ choice on May 18. Mr. Robertson simply does not have the profile needed to be Mayor, and Mr. Thieneman simply does not possess the gravitas or the communication skills the office demands. Mr. Heiner more than makes up for their lacks in those important areas.

He promises to do the job with a “100 percent” commitment to open and transparent government. He also promises to make job creation his main focus, if elected.

He backs up his talking points with an array of specific suggestions and strategies too numerous to mention here.

[edit]

On other issues, Mr. Heiner opposed the library referendum but he says he is not happy with the progress that has occurred in the absence of the tax. He said he will move to implement a master plan, and voters should hold him to that promise if he is elected.

Voters should also know that he says he supports the record of decision in the Ohio River Bridges Project and supports the building of both bridges now.

[edit]

He says he is committed to a vibrant core city, not just the suburbs as some voters fear, because a strong core is necessary for attracting new business and jobs.

The Heiner endorsement has fewer digs at the other candidates, though that’s expected with such a crowded Democratic primary. The “This time around” comment about Jim King is worth noting, as are the references to the bridges project in both pieces. The ORBP never became a full-fledged campaign issue for all of the candidates, though with Tyler Allen set to air TV ads about it, it could bubble up again in the next week. Yesterday, in a piece on Tyler Allen, Bridges Coalition chair David Nicklies was quoted saying the next mayor “has to be with” the current bridges plan.

In the Fischer endorsement, the CJ notes his lack of political experience, though credits his campaign and business history as evidence of leadership abilities. The last two mayors of Louisville (Abramson, Armstrong) held previous government offices, and if one of the nominees for either party is not a Metro Councilman, then Louisville could have its first politically new (relatively) mayor in years. We’ve seen a few notable businessmen politicians on the national scene (BloombergRomney) and Louisville certainly has a history of electing mayors who haven’t been in politics for very long, but it will be interesting to see what credentials voters favor in the primaries and general election. It’s also possible that experience won’t have anything to do with it and voters will go for the person and the plan, not the party or history.

Democratic mayoral candidate Jim King discussed his Fraternal Order of Police endorsement at last week’s Louisville Forum. Today, even though it was expected, the FOP made their Republican Primary endorsement, giving the nod to Hal Heiner.

The FOP and the Abramson administration have clashed over a few issues, including officers’ take-home city cars. (Heiner drafted a resolution in the council asking the administration to stop the legal battle over the cars) These endorsements (obviously) boost the candidates’ public safety credentials, and they also give Heiner and King–both Metro Council members–an extra degree of separation from the current administration’s sometimes contentious relationship with the police union.

From the Heiner campaign:

…the state’s largest Fraternal Order of Police, River City Lodge 614, voted to endorse Councilman Hal Heiner in the Louisville Republican Primary for Mayor.  The River City FOP represents over 2,000 sworn and retired officers.  “I am humbled and honored to receive what I view as the most important endorsement in this mayoral race,” stated Councilman Heiner.  “These officers operate on the front lines and put their lives in danger to keep us all safe, for that I am grateful.  I look forward to working alongside Metro Police to pursue even higher goals for safety in our community within a close relationship of respect between the Mayor’s office and our officers.”

FOP President Sgt. Dave Mutchler issued the following statement in support of Heiner. “Councilman Heiner is a veteran public servant with the experience and qualifications necessary to effectively lead and manage our city. He is dedicated to addressing the issues facing our community and those issues important to the members of the River City FOP, who are charged with protecting our great citizens.”

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