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Democratic candidate for mayor Greg Fischer has a new TV ad. It’s called “Customer Service.”
Fischer will appear with at least five other Democratic candidates today at the Louisville Forum. We’ll broadcast it tonight at 8:00 on WFPL.
If this Forum meeting follows the template set last month when the Republican candidates squared off, then candidates will be allowed to ask one rival one question. It will be interesting to see who asks what of whom. Fischer leads in the polls, and he may aim his question at the candidate he thinks is his greatest challenger. Jim King‘s internal polls put him in second place, so he will likely try to put Fischer on the spot. David Tandy is in second place according to the C-J/WHAS11 Bluegrass Polls, so he may also try to put Fischer on the spot. But if Tandy’s opportunity to ask comes after King’s, and King asks Fischer, then Tandy may want to try to widen the gap between 2nd and 3rd and ask King something.
It’s a bit tangled, but the biggest blows of the forum can be dealt with these candidate-asked questions. Candidates polling below the top three likely have their own strategies, and I predict most of the questions will go to Fischer and King.
Cross-post with WFPL News
Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner have pulled ahead in their respective primaries in the Louisville mayor’s race, according to a new poll.
The latest Bluegrass Poll commissioned by the Courier-Journal and WHAS-11 puts Fischer ahead of the seven other Democrats in the race with 31 percent of the vote. Behind him are Metro Councilman David Tandy with 16 percent and Councilman Jim King with 13 percent.
A poll last month put Fischer at 20 percent, ahead of Tandy, who had 17, and King, who had 12.
Councilman Hal Heiner leads opponent Chris Thieneman 42 to 25 percent in the Republican primary. That’s a reversal from last month’s poll. It put Thieneman ahead of Heiner by 4 points.
The poll, conducted by Survey USA, also found that one in four voters is undecided. A total of eight Democrats, three Republicans and at least three independent candidates are running for mayor.
- Fischer – 31%
- Tandy – 16%
- King – 13%
- Allen – 7%
- White – 4%
- Farnsley – 2%
- Marshall – 2%
- Moxley – 2%
- Undecided – 23%
- Heiner – 42%
- Thieneman – 25%
- Robertson – 9%
- Undecided 24%
CFAIR, the Fairness Campaign’s political action committee, has made its endorsements for the May primary:
- Councilman David Tandy – Mayor of Louisville, Democratic Primary
- Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh – Metro Council District 9, Democratic Primary
- William Cohen – Metro Council District 17, Democratic Primary
- Mike Slaton – Kentucky House of Representatives District 41, Democratic Primary
- Mike O’Connell – Jefferson County Attorney
- Stephanie Pearce Burke – District Court Judge Division 14
- Mark Abrams – County Judge Executive, Republican Primary
- Curt Morrison – County Judge Executive, Democratic Primary
Mayoral candidate David Tandy has received a few new labor endorsements. His campaign today announced support from…
…International Brotherhood of Teamsters Locals 783 and 89, Teamsters Joint Council 94 and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 227. Together these locals represent more than 50,000 working families in Louisville Metro, including employees of Kroger, JBS Swift, UPS, Metro Louisville and Brown and Foreman.
Democratic mayoral candidate Shannon White sent this e-mail blast today:
Yesterday, on April Fools Day, the Metropolitan Louisville Women’s Political Caucus (MLWPC), that works to increase women’s participation in the political process and to identify, recruit, train and support women for elective and appointive public offices, endorsed Greg Fischer.
But, this isn’t a joke, and I am disgusted.
I have spent my entire life empowering women in this community and represent a female voice greatly underrepresented in politics,
- I started Dress for Success Louisville to empower women to achieve self-sufficiency.
- I helped develop a mentoring and coaching program at Women 4 Women.
- I worked as a consultant to raise critical funds for both The Center for Women and Families and NAWBO, The National Association of Women Business Owners.
- And, I was a monthly columnist for Today’s Woman Magazine for over five years.
Shame on MLWPC, who instead of choosing a champion for women in Louisville, they choose a businessman who is popular in the polls and a long time member of the deeply entrenched old boys network.
White previously hit fellow Democratic candidate David Tandy on his work with Cordish.
Democratic candidate for Mayor David Tandy has released his plan for building a “Green Louisville.”
I envision a Louisville that is at the center of the Green Economy – providing good-paying jobsand reinforcing our high quality of life. As mayor, I will stimulate the development of green industries in Louisville by:
- Providing incentives for green buildings.
- Generating local demand for green products and services.
- Supporting green research and development.
- Boosting entrepreneurship.
Metro government can start stimulating the green industries sector by leading by example. Starting with City Hall, I will conduct energy audits of all city facilities and set goals for energy reduction. I will pursue ENERGY STAR or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certification for city-owned buildings. The investments made in energy efficiency will pay for themselves over time, and they will support the growth of green businesses. Through these strategies, I will leverage city buildings and facilities to encourage the development of green industries in Louisville and set an example for the private sector on conservation.
I will also invest in a Green Schools Initiative. A green school, also known as a high performance school, is a community facility that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner.
“As many in this community are aware, I’ve long had concerns over the level of transparency at City Hall. While I’m pleased that the mayor is focusing on our accounting system, I’m still convinced the only way to hold government truly accountable and for the people of this community to trust its government is to open the city’s books to the light of day. As a Metro Councilman, I have worked to improve the levels of transparency by creating the city’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee and authoring the city’s Transparency Ordinance. I am the only practicing CPA on the Metro Council and in the race for mayor and if elected, on day one I will implement a system of internal accountable controls that will eliminate the material weaknesses and significant control deficiencies that currently exist in Metro Government’s accounting system.”
Metro Council leaders Madonna Flood, Hal Heiner and Ken Fleming have weighed in on the audit. Heiner is also a Republican candidate for mayor. His campaign has this statement:
“Unfortunately this could just be the tip of the iceberg, which is why Councilman Heiner has laid out a plan in his transparency policy that calls for a full scale audit of every department and agency in Metro Government. Ultimately it is the mayor’s responsibility to have a financial management system in place that can be relied upon, and what has developed over the past 20 years is a culture of complacency in managing taxpayer dollars. A fiscally sound city is paramount for Louisville to win new jobs, and a Heiner Administration will work to that end.”
Democrat Greg Fischer‘s campaign sent this:
“As an outsider to the Mayor’s Office and Metro Council, the findings from the state auditors report are troubling. I am aware of the findings and don’t like them at all. I haven’t run my businesses this way and I won’t let something like this happen on my watch as Mayor.”
And Metro Councilman and Democratic candidate David Tandy‘s campaign spokesperson says he…
…is reviewing the audit and will incorporate the findings into his plan to make metro government transparent and accountable when he is mayor.
Louisville Metro Councilman and Democratic Candidate for Mayor David Tandy released his crime prevention plan today.
Here are the key points:
Maximizing citation authority among all city employees for quality of life crimes and violations.
- * Having zero tolerance for and rapidly responding to problem properties.
- * Working with landlords to improve the safety of rental housing—and to hold those entities accountable when rental housing locations are not safe or are blighting a neighborhood.
- * Strategically taking back major streets and business districts from blight and disorder.
- * Tackling graffiti, litter, and illegal dumping through enforcement and prevention.
- * Repairing broken street lights and potholes, towing abandoned vehicles, and providing other City-administered services in a rapid and responsive manner.
- * Implementing strategies like the Methamphetamine Awareness Program that target the production, sale and abuse of drugs
Metro Councilman Kelly Downard says there’s not enough time to fix the weaknesses highlighted in the audit, instead, he says it will be up to the next mayor.
Jim King and Tyler Allen have spoken out already, and more candidates will likely weigh in soon. This will become a campaign issue. The audit could play to King and Hal Heiner, who have worked on transparency legislation in the council. It could also boost candidates who have built reputations as activists, if they handle it right.
David Tandy may take more heat now for his visit he paid to Cordish headquarters last year. The loan given to Cordish is mentioned in the audit, and Tandy has been criticized for not doing enough to get details on how the money was spent in 4th Street Live. Tandy, however, was president of the council last year when transparency legislation passed.
What the audit may do, though, is take some heat off of the next mayor, whoever that is. Here’s an excerpt from a recent WFPL story:
…most know Abramson best as the affable cheerleader for the city. The mayor who has held hundreds of ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. Owen says he hasn’t seen any of the candidates demonstrate Abramson’s ability to generate enthusiasm in the face of good and bad times, and that talent shouldn’t be overlooked.
“I worry sometimes that the candidates don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, if they’re going to be daily compared, in the first months of their term, to Jerry Abramson,” says Owen. “I’d say for the first year there’s always going to be “Where’s Jerry?””
A new leader can use changes in Metro Government employees and practices to signal a fresh start, and that could stave off comparisons, be they to positive or negative events of the last 7 years.
Many of the weaknesses highlighted in the audit–those tied to poor management–seem like symptoms of an administration that has been in power for a long time. In the WFPL story on the audit, Kelly Downard says he doesn’t think there’s actual malice behind the problems. But with the same leadership in place for years, underqualified employees move up over time and if they aren’t trained properly, then problems like this arise. If the audit doesn’t turn into major campaign fodder, it may serve as a lesson in leadership for the next mayor.