According to this Independent Jackie Green displeased with lack of mayoral debate invitations courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal Jackie Green is not happy. Who could blame him right? A candidate for the City's top job and no one will give him a voice? Fair or unfair?
For myself I brought into question candidate Green's complaint last week because he was not an official candidate at the time of the Home Builder's Association forum. Until you are official you cannot expect to be invited. If you are not an official candidate you are someone with an opinion nothing more nothing less and it is a waste of time for any forum. We all have opinions but not all of us get heard.
That changed last week when Jackie Green finally filed his official candidate paperwork.
Now that Jackie Green is an official candidate he is still being ignored and that for me is a problem.
I ran as an independent candidate for Mayor in 2006. I know firsthand the exclusionary practices of many groups to discount and not allow ALL voices to be heard. What do they have to fear?
According to the CJ Green didn't receive invitations to participate in either of the first two mayoral forums since Republican Hal Heiner and Democrat Greg Fischer won their primary elections in May.
In my opinion he had no right to be included then since he had not filed the candidate paperwork to officially be on the ballot. So where are we now?
Let's look at the HBA. Charles Kavanaugh, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association, said Green's platform of preserving farms and fields while funneling development to already built-up areas doesn't fit with his organization.
"From our standpoint, we went with the two mainstream candidates in what we view as a transformational election," Kavanaugh said.
So the object is to just allow mainstream candidates to debate? Doesn't sound reasonable to most. In fact when speaking with some members of the HBA, anonymously of course, they had no problem allowing Green a voice. Once I pointed out that Green was not technically a candidate at that time they assumed that was why the HBA didn't include him. Kavanaugh didn't even tell them the truth.
Now that Green is officially on the ballot that would change right? Wrong.
Green will be included in a debate Wednesday at Bellarmine University, but a luncheon next month sponsored by the Greater Louisville Hotel and Lodging Association features only Heiner and Fischer. Michael Howerton, president of the association, said his group has scheduled Green separately in October after The Courier-Journal asked about Green's exclusion.
But Green called his stand-alone invitation "unacceptable."
"The audience needs to see all three side by side to compare," he said.
I agree and speaking from experience just how much attention will the stand alone invite get in October just before the election when the major candidates won't even be there? Absolutely none.
You would think that the Greater Louisville Hotel and Lodging Association surely would want to hear from all candidates would you not? Again nope.
Here is what Hal Heiner had to say: "If there is a candidate and they are pursuing the office by trying to put forward ideas and meeting people in the community ... I just think voters have a right to hear" their vision."
Heiner gets it. Fischer? Nope not at all he is still dancing.
"We don't really insert ourselves into what their forum is," Fischer said. "I'm more than happy to participate with Jackie when he is at an event."
Greg it's hard to be at events when people like you don't mind when event staff excludes a candidate.
In 2006 I experienced first hand the exclusionary tactics and was only allowed to participate in two debates myself. The first at Meyzeek Middle School sponsored by the NAACP and mediated by Raoul Cunningham.
The second was the WLKY televised debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters and moderated by John Boel.
Interesting enough according to news reports at the time I won the debates and kicked Abramson's butt. You would think that would have sent a sign that independents are not all crackpots, and those outside the two party system should at least be able to hear all candidates and ideas. I mean hell it's not like we are hijacking them and keeping them from voting for their candidate of choice. So what is to fear?
Everything if you are a party machine candidate. Someone might actually be able to stand up and call you a liar and back it with proof like I did with Abramson in 2006. Jerry is a machine and Fischer wants to be Abramson.
Abramson had the power to overcome his fallacies being brought to light by an unknown like me. Fischer does not. I have to admit I loved seeing Jerry get red faced when he couldn't refute my claims but I digress.
The local NAACP and the League of Women Voters have proven to be the only ones with the fortitude to allow equal access to all in favor of the public getting as much info as they can from their candidates. Props to both of them for being progressive and forward thinking in this regard.
Jackie Green was heard in quite a few forums during the primary which made no sense to me at all, so what gives now that he is officially on the ballot?
It is time to quit shoving independent candidates to the rear and allow equality. Ask Senator Jimmy Higdon if independents are important. They elected him to the Senate earlier this year though he was outspent by the party machine.
Will Jackie Green win? I don't think he has a chance in hell myself.
BUT he does deserve the opportunity to prove me wrong. We deserve to hear from all candidates who put it on the line. See you in studio on Thursday Mr. Green.
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