You know I amaze even myself sometimes. I told everyone that the Fischer folks would go negative quickly probably by late August or early September Louisville News and Politics: MAYORAL RACE A TIGHT ONE! Looks like it may have started sooner. This attack being hidden behind Fairness Campaign.
Phillip Bailey over at LEO penned this article in this week's edition Jerry's kids Louisville's Alt-Weekly LEO Weekly and voila! What was the subject?
None other than one of the divisive issues that keep us from being focused on our problems and our future. Phillip is an excellent journalist I have much respect for but this article did not do justice to this race. This type of article leads us away from the most pressing issues we face such as job creation, transportation, public safety, well you get the gist.
The article focuses on Hal Heiner and implies he is a homophobe because of his stance in regards to the Fairness ordinance in Louisville. Heiner fought against it. In fact, he is elected to represent his District and his District overall was against the ordinance. So Hal did his job representing his District and raised a legitimate question by stating this:
“There’s one case of discrimination per year; is that enough to (merit) this ordinance? That’s the central question,” Heiner said in 2004. “… We’re trying to penalize here based on thought and behavior.”
According to Phillip when Heiner was asked why he opposed the legislation six years ago, Heiner echoed his previous talking points, cloaking his comments in a “small government” argument.
“I’m against discrimination in any form, both in my private life, with businesses in this community, and in government,” Heiner says. “But based on my research, federal law already covered that protection under sex, (which) covers us all equally regardless of orientation. I felt it was covered by federal law, and I’m a less government, less regulation person.”
Hal didn't duck or dodge he answered what he felt. Considering the topic and how many politicians hide when confronted with tough questions I find that refreshing.
Yet there is another quote from the LEO article this time by Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign, Chris Hartmann. For the record, I consider Chris a friend and respect his dedication to what he does, but vehemently disagree with his statements here:
“Councilman Heiner stated that current federal protections apply in the case of sexual orientation and gender identity, which is an irresponsible lie,” Hartman says. “And the fact that someone seeking our highest civic office would perpetuate that sort of lie should preclude him from ever serving in any role of authority in our city.”
Chris went on further to state:
“The city cannot possibly choose someone to lead us in the 21st century who has no clue how to protect its citizens,” Hartman says. “Councilman Heiner has taken a bold stance against Fairness, and I think he’s going to have a tough road to overcome that.”
Quite frankly, and no offense against my friend here, but this City has had a problem protecting its citizens for years. Part of that problem in recent years is a Police Chief by the name of Robert White that Fischer wants to keep on the payroll if he is elected.
Our Democratic leadership has dropped the ball on public protection for longer than many of us want to think about and if Fischer is elected this will get worse with White on board. He has already basically said he will keep him.
This issue of protecting citizens is not a gay or hetero sexual thing. It applies equally to all citizens and that is why Heiner is a better choice.
Heiner has unequivocally stated he would not seek to repeal the law and would enforce the ordinance as mayor. As in all things when an issue is before the Council some win some lose. That does not mean the laws are ignored and Heiner is no exception to that.
In this race we face several long term problems. Economic growth, transportation issues, public safety, and the list goes on and on. While the Fairness campaign is a worthy organization, and Chris Hartmann a worthy leader of it, we must get beyond this socially divisive mindset for the betterment of our City.
While Fairness has endorsed Fischer because of this single issue I believe the majority of voters will not be fooled again over the divisive issues and focus more on the greater good we need right now. Let's not lose sight of where we need to go by retreading a decided divisive issue that will not further us to getting there.
Looks like the same old tired game is just beginning and a bit sooner than I thought.
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