Thursday, November 25, 2010
With that being said I have a question. Why do so many look to this one day of the year to give thanks for their blessings?
With this in mind I decided to do a quick check on what Thanksgiving meant from Wikipedia. Though there are many variations on when Thanksgiving began I prefer the typical historical one concerning Plymouth Rock.
While not the first thanksgiving of any sort on the continent, the traditional origin of modern Thanksgiving in the United States is generally regarded to be the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, in 1621. The Wampanoag Native Americans helped the pilgrims who arrived in Massachusetts cultivate the land and fish, saving them from starvation. This harvest celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original Thirteen Colonies that later were to become the United States. This Thanksgiving was modeled after harvest festivals that were commonplace in Europe at the time.
This particular passage was a reminder once again of all the sacrifices made from our forefathers that have made us who we are. It also is a reminder of how people who have nothing in common can work together in the interest of mankind.
The pilgrims in all their infinite knowledge would have starved to death had it not been the Wampanoag Indians who helped them learn to farm and fish. What would have happened if they had not intervened? Which brings me to this next question.
Why do we allow so many Americans to be in the position of facing this reality today?
Rampant unemployment, kids starving, communities in peril, and subtle indifference among many.
The Native Americans saved us and yet in many ways we do not work just as hard in saving our fellow man. We have corrupt politicians who benefit quite nicely from their separatists policies and an American citizenry that in many cases have grown indifferent to the challenges we face together. We have homeless on the streets, and many who are on the verge of becoming so, as well as starving children. I worry about those kids whose only meal in many cases is the one they receive at school.
What do they eat when school is out for the holiday?
So many questions need to be answered but believe it or not I am thankful even for that. Why you may ask?
Because today there is a movement afoot by many throughout the communities asking the question, why?
Why do we have starving children in the richest Country on earth. Why do we sacrifice our soldiers across the globe to help others face these problems at a time when we are ignoring our own here at home? Why do we as a citizenry not stand up and force accountability? Why do we continue to be divided against each other when we all share the same basic principles: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Each year I am reminded once again on this day of just how fortunate I have been. Yes there have been bad times, and there will be again I am sure, but in the end it is those challenges that we meet head on and face together that make us better persons, better neighbors, and better friends.
Today I am thankful for my wonderful family. My wife, my kids, and everyone else. Without each of them I would be nothing. I am very thankful as well for the wonderful meal that I will enjoy later today. I remember on more than one occasion a time in my life when I wasn't sure that a meal would be available.
I remember the sacrifices I had to make while serving my Country and those that my family was forced to make because of my decision to do so.
I also remember each face I have seen through the years when delivering food baskets to the needy, or working with those less fortunate. I remember every tear shed when they realized that they would not starve this day. I remember the children looking at me like I was Santa Claus at Thanksgiving knowing they had a bountiful meal awaiting them.
I am thankful for many things including you the reader who have allowed me a voice to challenge the problems we face together in the hopes of uniting us in a single purpose: making this world a better place for us all.
I may have had struggles myself in my life but God has always seen me through and blessed me in so many ways I could never imagine. My prayer is that He will bless us all though I know He already does.
So for today I ask of you one thing.
While remembering your blessings and being thankful for them also remember that there are others out there who are worse off than you or me. Count them in your prayers and make a commitment today to help make this world a better place. Get involved, adopt a family for the holidays, listen to a child that is hurting.
When that happens I will have one more thing to be thankful for but more importantly. So will you.
Happy Thanksgiving one and all and God Bless.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Take a look back at this article I did earlier this year Louisville News and Politics: WEDNESDAY UPDATES.
Long before the audit came out by Crit Luallen we were already asking questions about what was going on. As Chair of the Kentucky Senate's health care committee Senator Julie Denton, who directly oversees the Passport Health Plan, gave HER employer, MCNA Dental, a $20 million contract. That was very disturbing and an immediate red flag into political patronage.
Read more about that here: Dental Damned: Lauderdale Health Care Group Puts a Senator on Its Payroll - Broward Palm Beach News - The Juice
It seems Jack Conway just loves campaigning and why not? I guess it beats good honest hard work for the privileged few. Conway has announced that he is seeking reelection as Attorney General next year. His presumed main opponent will be Republican Trey Grayson.
Jack a word to the wise. Get out of politics now. Seriously. You just got your butt handed to you on a silver platter. There will be a helluva lot ore coming out about your involvement in brother Matt's alleged drug case, and quite frankly sending out a recent email to everyone begging for money to retire your debt AFTER you have reportedly paid back hundreds of thousands of dollars to yourself from the campaign.
It's not like you are a pauper or have to worry about money. I would help anyone who actually needed it that I believed in but Jack you fall short in both categories. Maybe you should have rethought that idiotic aqua buddha ad and saved the bucks you are begging for now.
Take a few years off and regroup and be the man you you used to be. The Jack Conway of today is an embarrassment and needs to disappear.
Funnily enough and I do find it hilarious, the Democratic party continues to send me email from just about anyone who is a candidate, past candidate, or elected official though I have not committed to democrats in some time. I suggest you guys get updated mailing lists or something. lol. Meanwhile here is a copy of Conway's email blast for your amusement:
Our Senate campaign may have come to an end, but our work has only now begun. I want to thank our supporters for joining me in standing up for Social Security last week after the Debt Commission appointed by President Obama made a recommendation to raise the retirement age on Social Security to sixty-nine.
I need your help once again before we all turn our attention away from politics for a while and toward the holiday season where time with friends and family becomes our focus. Over the last frenetic week of our campaign, we were forced to spend a little more money than we raised. As a result, we owe debt to some of the folks who truly helped us, like the people that cut our radio ads and printed fliers for our Get Out The Vote efforts.
Will you help me today and give $10 towards our debt retirement?
Your contribution will help us turn the page on 2010 so we can keep fighting for the principles of our Democratic party in 2011. With so many serious issues still facing the Commonwealth and our nation, I plan to continue to fight for accountability and common sense government.
Send me your thoughts on what you think Democrats should fight for in 2011 and help me retire our debt from 2010 with a small donation.
Thank you for everything you have done, and best wishes for a great Thanksgiving.
Finally, I have been trying to find time to do a story on the case of 3 year old Grayson Vaughn's adoption. You may recall mainstream has been following the adoption case of Grayson Vaughn who was ordered turned over to his biological father in Ohio a couple of weeks ago.
I will be doing a more in depth story on this situation soon but I have to tell you little Grayson is in a bad situation. With an out of control bio-father i really am concerned for this child. I also have to disclose that his Grandfather Ed Vaughn is a personal friend but that really is not the issue.
Coupled with the fact that this asinine Judge in Ohio made a faulty ruling, and yes I believe it was a poor judgement that she should be disbarred for, one has to wonder why Grayson was allowed to be in this position. Many records that were given to the court were not allowed by this biased Judge so some things were not even considered in her ruling, such as the biological father's background check that would have revealed over 40 encounters he has had with law enforcement as an adult, not including juvenile records. Encounters that include road rage, menacing, harassment, drugs, disorderly conduct, and assault.
Is this someone you would want with any child?
It is my opinion that this Judge ruled out of fear of repercussions, from either the bio-dad, or the people he surounds himself with like David Floyd Houston. Either way this Judge has now earned a complete investigation by yours truly and I will use every contact I have in Ohio to keep this Judge off the bench in the future.
This case isn't really about Grayson from the bio fathers point of view it is about money. The biological father and his attorneys are suing the Vaughn's for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine that.
Couple that with the fact that the biological father surrounds himself with folks like felon David Floyd Houston. Houston is a persistent first degree felony offender who claims to be giving his experience as a paralegal to help the bio-father free of charge. Houston has had up-close-and-personal experience as a paralegal over the years, on our tax dollar no doubt, of his state pen incarceration.
While I am a strong supporter of Father's rights there is a difference between being a father and being a sperm donor. A sperm donor does not a father make and in this case the latter is very apparent.
We cannot have our children harmed by being used as pawns in a game for a sperm donor to manipulate the system for their own greed.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We named him Zeus for a reason and we are confident he will be fine.
Between overtime at the night job, caring for my wife, and our new addition, I had to give up some writing time.
Don't worry all should be good by early next week (hopefully) and I will be right back on track. Trust me you will love what's coming.
In the meantime just a couple of things:
Newly elected District 6 Councilman David James was sworn in last night and will take office immediately. District 6 should be proud. James has a clear track record over the years in public service with LMPD, as well as across the Commonwealth with the KBI, and will bring a fresh approach to the problems plaguing not only District 6 but all of Louisville as well.
Good luck David and congratulations.
Many have been wondering why the lawsuit against Mayor elect Greg Fischer has not been filed yet. A fair question to say the least.
Unfortunately, I just have not had time to finish it yet with everything going on. Most of you know I always follow through, as I have a record of such, and I will in this case too. Hopefully, if things clear up with my family by early next week I can get back to finishing it and filing it right after Thanksgiving.
Sunday night the U of L Yearling series post election analysis was held at the Yearling's Club and as you know I was a guest analyst. I have to say I had a blast. It was a packed house and representative Reggie Meeks did a wonderful job presenting the panel. Of course it got heated once or twice, sorry Reggie, but the crowd was awesome and very informed.
It was an honor to be asked to do the event and I hope the audience got some great feedback.
There was one interesting question raised to the panel that asked if we should extend the Bush tax cuts. I was quite surprised to hear Democratic Chairman Tim Longmeyer say he agreed they should. Democrats typically have supported letting the cuts expire. Longmeyer did specify it was his personal opinion but it was an interesting one.
Republican Vice Chair Cordell Lawrence did spend some time talking about working together basically in a bi partisan way to address the problems we all face and honestly that was refreshing in itself. So many times we get lost in the partisan politics during elections that to hear one side actually speak candidly about bi partisanship and giving examples of how we could get there was a good thing.
Kudos to Cordell.
Finally, what can be said about LEO's Phillip Bailey? Phillip was part of the panel as well and I have to admit he made me more of a fan than I already am. Though we disagree on many things Phillip brings knowledge to the plate and a refreshing perspective when he speaks candidly. I thorougly enjoyed the discussion.
That's it for now folks.
I will be really light on here for the next several days because of my family situation but rest assured I will catch up quick :-)
Thanks for hanging in there.........
Saturday, November 13, 2010
In the words of Paul Harvey: Now for the rest of the story.
On October 19, 2010, the Department of Human Resources informed Union officials that Garrett was to return to work with all charges dropped, and with pay and benefits restored. But documents I have recently seen show that the effects of retaliation committed against him remain in the public record and the people responsible are not being held accountable.
For background purposes check out Part 1 here: Louisville News and Politics: METRO TIPLINE LEADS TO UNEMPLOYMENT WHEN USED
The Metro Council spent a couple of years finally putting together an ethics tipline for any citizen to report misconduct and/or mismanagement in our Government. It seems pretty straight forward does it not? With whistleblower laws etc there are to be no repercussions for making a call and complaint right?
Garrett filed a complaint through the Ethics Tipline and reported that Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) maintenance had been badly undermined by the combined efforts of Betty Younis and her boss Ted Pullen, an area of work in Facilities Management where Garrett was very much involved.
The TIPLINE report was made on 2/11/2010. Then the repercussions set in. Garrett was suspended indefinitely and ordered to undergo counseling and a psychiatric examination on 4/8/2010, about a week after he met with then Councilman Hall Heiner to discuss his report.
Meanwhile behind the scenes Younis, Pullen, HR, and Jennifer Maupin were busy doing such things as closing the investigation into Garrett’s report on 9/16/2010. I have a copy of the report from an open records request, including internal memos and hand-written notes that show, for instance, that the case was sent from the “investigators” in the Department of Human Resources to the Office of Internal Audit to be reviewed and dismissed on the same day that HR learned that Garrett’s request for a court order restraining HR’s demand for a psychiatric exam was denied.
Judge Shake ruled that the Government has the right to demand that Garrett (or any employee/citizen) submit to a psychiatric examination without cause, and as soon as they find out about it HR says close the investigation on HVAC maintenance in government buildings. But it really didn't matter since they had done nothing with the investigation for about 5 months anyway.
So what is the connection between a psychiatric examination and HVAC maintenance?
As I have pointed out previously, and as was testified to in court, the tag team act of Betty Younis (Facilities Administrator) and Jennifer Maupin (former Deputy Mayor Rick Johnstone's daughter and legal liaison at HR) included Maupin assigning Younis (named in the ethics report and responsible for Garrett’s punishment) as the sole source of information about Garrett for the psychiatric exam the government demanded.
As an attorney she couldn’t imagine how Younis would not be objective? Younis was the BASIS for the complaint and she is the sole person responsible for the Garrett psychiatric report.
Talk about in house shenanigans. As the assigned investigator (her own conflict of interest) into Garrett’s Ethics Tipline report against Younis and Pullen, Maupin once again astonishingly goes straight to Betty Younis and interviews her about the report Garrett made, showing her all of Garrett’s report and in clear violation of the Ordinance that established the Ethics Tipline and the policies and procedures that state Younis should in no way be any part of the “investigative process”.
Yep show the accused the report so she can decide what to do against the laws governing such actions. Typical isn't it?
That's just the beginning.
What is also clear when reading the report and the notes is that the TIPLINE is itself a tool of retaliation, and I would seriously recommend that no person should use it. The so-called “third set of eyes” in the Office of Internal Audit run by Michael Norman that is supposed to keep the TIPLINE on the up and up is a joke.
And folks wonder why the independent tipline was set up last year by the STOP I.T. group before Metro's.
Norman completely ignores the basic, clear violations of the Ordinance and declares the investigation into Garrett’s report “extensive and thorough” when no supervisor was questioned, no equipment looked at, no records examined, and not even a glance at any of the material generated by Johnson Controls, the Fortune 100 Corporation that just completed a thorough examination of the HVAC equipment in most of the major buildings referred to in Garrett’s report.
In the documents used to close the investigation, it is clear that rather than actually investigate the substance of the report, Maupin and Younis began to compile a list of shabby accusations attacking Garrett that they then used against him, which of course makes the investigation and the retaliation a joke. Michael Norman must have felt that since Garrett reported Younis, it would only be fair if Younis got a chance to report Garrett too.
Still with me? As this case unfolds, we are likely to see even more into how ETHICS (or lack thereof) has been understood by the Abramson machine.
Other, recent decisions in the Department of Human Resources by Ms. Maupin include the complete rejection of longstanding complaints by two veteran supervisors, with nearly 50 years combined experience, also against top Management in the Department of Public Works and Assets, yep I have those letters as well, the allegations are simply declared “unsubstantiated” and no real investigation is required.
Even on the theme of workplace violence, which HR and the County Attorney's office harped on when justifying the fraudulent campaign against Mr. Garrett, Metro Government has a wide variety of standards.
Timothy Robinson, a Maintenance Supervisor, reported a physical assault on 9/21/2010 by a recently appointed Manager, Dreco Adkins, that happened right in the offices of Facilities Management with numerous witnesses, including Betty Younis herself.
Robinson had to flee from the assault and went directly to HR where he reported, once again, to Jennifer Maupin. Robinson was so discouraged by Maupin’s response he made his report in writing on the same day to William Hornig, Director of Human Resources and sent copies to all members of Metro Council.
To date, Dreco Adkins, a manager appointed to his position by, yep you guessed it Betty Younis, has not been affected by Robinson’s report. In fact, the next day they put Adkins in charge of the whole department without one word from Metro Council or HR.
When a report is made against cronies in the machine and they come back unsubstantiated, we now know what that means. It means the inner circle talks amongst themselves and asks if they can ignore the report, or if they need to attack the person who made it.
It also means that some people who are sold to us as responsible, certified, and professional in the conduct of their offices, are actually just looking around at what their decisions might do for them or their allies. They could care less about the way government offices function.
Welcome to the game folks and stay tuned.
There is more to come I assure you...
Friday, November 12, 2010
Not really because as usual there is a problem.
The idea was mine and working with others such as Republican Paul Hosse, a Southwest community activist and conservative strategist it is amazing that they would choose to have a "closed" secret meeting without including those like Hosse and myself who raised the issue and worked to help them in this year's elections. I told them my idea last March. They were shocked that no one had attempted anything like that yet. So what do they do?
After working to help them gain credibility after they were ousted from the County GOP they decide to hijack someone else's idea and try to make it their own. AFTER they also had the benefit of being a couple of people my group, that includes Republicans Paul Hosse and Ray Pierce to name a few, helped during the recent elections. Very telling I believe.
It is hilarious to say the least.
Funnily enough from what I am told happened at their meeting no one could even come up with a plan on how to start. It turned into a money plea as usual. How can you ask for money with no structure? Yep I know what they want the money for and they won't like it when I tell the world. Wonder what the Jefferson County GOP thinks about this?
Speaking of helping people many on the inside know that this year a local Southwest group started a candidates school to aid those seeking office on how to become better and more educated candidates.
The school was a non partisan school that included many such as Renay Davis, Mike Nemes, Brian Simpson, Wade Hurt, Gail Powers, and Michael Lewis to name a few. It was offered to all conservatives, regardless of political party, at no cost this year. Though Republican candidates and independents took advantage of it Democrats did not even though it was offered to all equally.
That wasn't our fault, but recognition must be given where it is due, and apparently there is false credit going around.
From the beginning Paul Hosse, Paul Holliger, and Ray Pierce designed, developed, and ran the school, which was designed to develop individuals as candidates and familiarize them with the issues affecting residents west of I-65. I was included as a consultant. I helped not only those in the classes but many candidates around town. I will not divulge them all at this time, but I have to say I am very proud of those that won, AND those that lost.
All worked hard to better themselves and that was rewarding in itself to see people improve themselves. Hosse and Pierce also were involved helping individual candidates, while Hosse was also advising several other candidates.
What I am disappointed in is some of those we worked diligently to help such as Wade Hurt and Ellen Reitmeyer. By their recent actions they are employing the same tactics we are accustomed to from politicians and political insiders in general. They are proving that they aren't interested in bettering the political process, or the South End issues, but in helping themselves only.
That is unacceptable.
Wade won by default as his opponent was disqualified from the election. The election totals will prove that and Wade may very well be a one term Representative. We shall see in two years.
In the meantime many are stating this was Renay Davis school and that is false as well. I have to say none of this came from Renay herself. Renay is a true champion and tireless advocate for community change. Whether you like Renay's politics or not she is a class act with a pure heart and would never take credit for someone else's efforts.
Renay was gracious enough to lend us the use of her home for the school, to save money since the classes were free, and we were and are very grateful for that.
Now that the record is straight I assure you this year we made a huge impact. We had some wins, and we had some losses, but even those losses were closer than anyone could have predicted.
Just wait it gets better going forward............
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Yep business as usual. At least until the lawsuit is filed and ruled on anyway.
So who did Greg Fischer choose to head the team up? Why none other than Ron Weston whom I have reported on two occasions as being in line for the Deputy Mayor spot. Here is the latest one http://springston.blogspot.com/2010/11/mayor-elect-fischer-time-to-prove-you.html This is his way in. But I also see many other familiar names as well.
Bill Bardenwerper? Maybe you should give this a read and listen: Louisville News and Politics: REALLY GREG FISCHER? THIS IS HUGE?. Or research open meetings violations where Bill Bardenwerper was involved. Yep the machine continues.
Or maybe pay attention to these names listed in the CJ Louisville Mayor-elect Greg Fischer names transition team courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal Fischer also named three vice chairmen: Mary Gwen Wheeler, who is a senior adviser to Abramson on education; businessman Doug Cobb, past president of Greater Louisville Inc.; and Merv Aubespin, a civil-rights activist and retired Courier-Journal editor.
Good to see someone from the CJ actually getting their back scratched for the hard work they have done in favor of the Democrats for so many years. Sorry ole Merv had to be retired first so they could act like this was not political payback. In my opinion anyway lol.
The bright spot?
Apparently now that the deal between Jackie Green and Greg Fischer has come to light, and will be pursued legally I might add, Green was not appointed to the transition team. Yep he most certainly would have been had the public not been privy to the illegal deal made. I love the wording that Fischer has "indicated" he would consult with Green on setting up an environmental office.
Of course it has been publicized that Green was promised something in exchange for his vote and endorsement which is clearly in violation of KRS 121.055 and should have the election thrown out.
And of course don't forget the obvious. Metro Council approved $50,000 of our tax money for the transition team expenses. How will that be spent?
Chad Carlton, Abramson’s spokesman, said the Metro Council has approved $50,000 in funding for the transition. Poynter said that money will be used, starting Monday, to pay him and four other people who served on Fischer’s mayoral campaign staff and will become his paid transition staff and work with the transition team.
Greasing the wheel. Abramson's favorite spin machine doctor Chris Poynter of course gets paid as well as 4 people who worked on the Fischer Mayoral campaign staff?
We are already paying Fischer for his campaign spending eh?
And of course the obligatory political patronage payback: Fischer said Leadership Louisville and the Bingham Fellows, a group of community leaders who study local issues, will help identify people who might serve in his administration.
I will just list these from the CJ for easier reference but notice it includes union paybacks to the UAW, Bardenwerper as referenced above, Middletown Mayor, Shively Mayor, and TARC President.
In addition to Weston, Aubespin, Wheeler and Cobb, transition team members include:
Gabriela Alcalde, public health consultant; Bill Altman, Kindred Healthcare executive; Muhammad Babar, physician; Bill Bardenwerper, zoning attorney; Erica Kellem-Beasley, bank vice president; Nicole Candler, owner, public relations firm; Byron Chapman, Middletown mayor; Tommy Clark, city disabilities program coordinator; Ann Coffey, president Women 4 Women; Sherry Conner, Shively mayor; Jose Neil Donis, publisher and leader in local Latino community; Jonathan Dooley, TARC transit union president; and SteVon Edwards, obesity prevention specialist.
Also, Bill Finn, electrical worker union leader; Jon Goldberg, attorney and arts activist; Eric Gunderson, communications company executive; G.J. Hart, president, Texas Roadhouse; Margaret Handmaker, retired human resources executive; Gill Holland, developer/film producer; Nikki Jackson, Kentucky Personnel Cabinet secretary; and Vince Jarboe, insurance executive.
Lee Lewis, high school computer teacher; Tomiko McDaniel, Ford truck plant assembly line worker; J.K. McKnight, founder, Forecastle Festival; Rishabh Mehrotra, president, SHPS Inc.; Lynnie Meyer, executive, Norton Healthcare; Larry Michalczyk, faculty, University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work; Charlie Moyer, dean, U of L Business School; and Yung Nguyen, president, IVS LLC.
Also, Kent Oyler, entrepreneur, investor; Djenita Pasic, owner, Brainswork USA; Ben Richmond, president, Louisville Urban League; Vidya Ravichandran, president, GlowTouch Technologies; Greg Roberts, president, Muhammad Ali Center; Ann Smith, executive director, Ministries United South Central Louisville; the Rev. Frank Smith, president, Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition; and Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, government relations specialist.
Yep sure looks like things will change huh?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
To support my case there is a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling from 1996 in Ellis v. Meeks that you can read here: ELLIS v. MEEKS
Ellis v. Meeks is a great example of voiding an election for violation of KRS 121.055. below is an excerpt from that decision.
......Kentucky's Corrupt Practices Act, as codified in KRS 121.055, requires the disqualification of a political candidate under the following circumstances:
No candidate for nomination or election to any state, county, city or district office shall expend, pay, promise, loan or become liable in any way for money or other thing of value, either directly or indirectly, to any person in consideration of the vote or financial or moral support of that person. No such candidate shall promise, agree or make a contract with any person to vote for or support any particular individual, thing or measure, in consideration for the vote or the financial or moral support of that person in any election, primary or nominating convention, and support of that person in any election, primary or nominating convention, and no person shall require that any candidate make such a promise, agreement or contract.
KRS 121.055 clearly prohibits a candidate from offering anything or promising any consideration, either directly or indirectly, in exchange for the support of a voter. The Court of Appeals' decision places great weight on the stipulation that Meeks did not verbally ask any voter to vote for him. We assert, however, that KRS 121.055 does not require a "verbal" communication. On the contrary, the statute contemplates that votes may be bought by gifts with no words spoken, and prohibits a candidate from even indirectly giving anything of value to a voter....
Of course the "value" here is Jackie Green, after being promised "significant input," withdrawing from the race and endorsing Greg Fischer. Jackie Green clearly received something in return for his vote and moral support.
Since there clearly was an advantage gained by a Fischer promise KRS 121.055 was clearly violated, and according to KRS 120.065, Fischer's candidacy should be voided and the nomination, and election, should be deemed vacant.
So what does this all mean?
Well it could mean a special election be held for Mayor. The Metro Council has the authority to appoint a Mayor to fulfill the unexpired term of the sitting Mayor in the event the seat is forfeited for any reason, however, there is no stipulation for the Council to have the power for this in the event of a Mayor elect who has not been sworn in yet.
When I file the charges according to KRS 120. 055 Fischer and crew will have seven (7) days to respond and then of course the appeals process. Given the nature of this complaint this should be decided quite quickly and prior to January 3, 2010 which will leave a vacancy in the Mayor's office through default.
In the interest of fairness to we the voter a decision should be rendered immediately nullifying this election and forcing a special election.
The Supreme Court decision in Ellis v. Meeks even includes language to protect the integrity of the electoral and judicial system itself:
Every candidate who runs for office is entitled to an even playing field, especially at a time when the electorate's confidence in the electoral process is increasingly diminished, as evidenced by the fewer number of voters who actually participate in the voting process. This Court cannot approve of or condone the conduct engaged in by Meeks at the polling stations in the 11th Ward. There was definitely not an even playing field in this case and if we were to leave this case as it currently stands, the confidence of the voters would not only diminish with respect to the electoral process, but also with the judicial process as a whole.
Consequently, based upon our decision in Adams, supra, and the law set forth in KRS 120.065, we find that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the trial court's dismissal of appellant's election contest action and, thus, reverse their decision, finding that Meeks' conduct did violate both KRS 117.235 and KRS 121.055.
We have a case here and we the voters are entitled to fairness in elections as decided by the Supreme Court itself.
Now let's see if they follow through and do their job in a timely manner..............
This story just won't go away. Read Hawpe's take here: David Hawpe Conway's Aqua Buddha ad met McConnell's standards courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal. The most interesting part of the article is how David Hawpe tries to tie Mitch McConnell into it.
Hawpe admits that as a volunteer on Conway's staff (big surprise there) he viewed the ad before it aired and actually portrays this ad as a valid ad because it raised questions about Rand Paul's religion.
It is a pathetic excuse to try and justify the actions of the Conway camp and quite frankly, in my opinion anyway, proved what we always suspected we knew about the CJ under his reign. It is indeed a Democrat at all costs newspaper as Hawpe I believe was involved in more than just this campaign when he was working for the CJ and had editorial control.
What a sad testament to a once great paper.
So much for equal fair coverage in the media.
I did however like the Al Cross piece you can read here: Al Cross GOP wave ran deep in local elections courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal. It is a testament of how the Democratic Party today just cannot take responsibility for their failures.
For example many throughout the party are blaming Jack Conway for their losses believing that his failures hurt the party candidates across the state.
I say hogwash. IF these candidates were doing their jobs and convincing voters they were the best, Conway could not stop them. Jack Conway ran his campaign and they ran theirs period. To blame one candidate for losses of another is just another example of what is wrong within the party structure itself.
For Jack Conway he hasn't manned up either opting instead to blame his loss on being outspent by, according to him, 5-1. Additionally he is trying to take credit for Greg Fischer winning the Mayoral race while denying it was his fault that anyone else across the Commonwealth lost.
Here is a lesson for you Jack. You cannot have it both ways. You didn't get Greg Fischer elected any more than you were responsible for anyone else's loss. MAN up.
Al Cross actually said it best in his article:
Conway had an authenticity problem. In debates with Paul, he often came across as tense and manufactured, spitting out sound-bite talking points while Paul was calmer, cooler and more conversational, with a clearer, simpler message.
Here is what Crit LuAllen had to say about the aqua buddha ad when asked:
“He told me he was very uncomfortable with it,” Luallen said. “My advice was to rely on his own personal instinct….. If he was uncomfortable, that should be a significant factor.”
The article goes on to state:
On the conference call that followed, Conway said his consultants told him, “If you want to win this race you have to run the ad.” He summed up his decision for me this way: “When everyone around you tells you to pull the trigger, you go ahead and do it.”
But “everyone” did not include Luallen or anyone else with her level of experience in Kentucky politics, and Conway clearly needed that. He may have “an incredible intellect,” as Luallen says, but when it comes to the gut instinct that is so important in politics, he either lacks a full measure of it, full confidence in it, or both.
Sorry Jack but you don't pull the trigger because everyone tells you to. You pull the trigger when your life is on the line or it's the right thing to do. If everyone jumped off the bridge and told you too, would you do it?
Your answer is as childish as the bridge example I just used.
No Jack you lost because you just don't have the instinct, or the backbone, or the confidence in yourself to win. You lost because you relied too heavily on failures such as Mark Riddle in your staff. You lost because you chose to attack your opponent instead of engaging them on the issues.
That fight you may have won. Why you chose to run the way you did is beyond many. This election was not run like the Conway elections of old.
And it may have just cost you a future in politics.......
With that in mind, have bloggers finally become recognizable for content versus the constant attack from mainstream trying to prove we are insignificant?
Based on the following I believe so.
It is with great honor that I inform you that I have been selected as a panel member for the U of L Yearling series post election analysis on November 14, 2010.
So far the Chairpersons for both parties have been invited (though it appears that the Republican Party chair will send someone in their place), Ryan Alessi, formerly of the Lexington Herald Leader and currently with ICN/2, Phillip Bailey of LEO, and yours truly will be part of the panel.
Barry Bernson of FOX41 will moderate the event.
So what does this all mean? I guess it means we have arrived.
From the U of L website on the series.
About the Yearlings Club Speaker Series
UofL at the Yearlings Club is a Sunday afternoon speaker series sponsored by the UofL College of Arts and Sciences and the Yearlings Club, offering serious discussion of community issues. Our goal is to find solutions.
There are many important issues addressed by this series. Talented individuals share their expertise and help us discover solutions.
Former speakers at the series have included the likes of Jack Conway, Dan Mongiardo, Sheldon Berman, and a whole host of people.
Led by Reginald Meeks, the Yearling Club series is devoted to civic responsibility, community service, leadership development and civic responsibility. Worthy goals to say the least. You should attend.
The October meeting featured then Mayoral candidates Greg Fischer, Hal Heiner, and Jackie Green and focused on West End issues.
So why invite a troublemaking blogger like myself?
Maybe because I have led the way on many stories and am not shy about telling it like it is?
Who knows but one thing is for sure. To include a blogger like myself speaks volumes about the series reaching out to alternative "experts" in the media in their quest to seek answers and solutions. To say I am humbled would be an understatement.
It is indeed an honor to be considered an "expert" and be included in an event such as this.
By the way since it is open to the public I recommend all who can attend please do so. It should be an interesting conversation.
The forum will be on Sunday November 14, 2010 from 4-6 pm at the Yearlings Club, 4309 W. Broadway, and include refreshments and networking opportunities. No reservations are required.
Make plans to attend and I will look for you there.
For more information, contact Reginald Meeks at 502-852-3042 or
Friday, November 5, 2010
The article did stimulate me to ask some questions however and take issue with some content.
For example the writer tries to act like Hal Heiner did something wrong by challenging the student assignment plan. They wrote "GOP mayoral candidate Hal Heiner played the school card in the final weeks of the campaign, after promising not to do so earlier. " Why wasn't Greg Fischer treated the same way since he ran a commercial mimicking Hal Heiner's stance a week later?
Let me say this about Hal Heiner. He ran one of the best and cleanest races we have seen in quite some time. Hal proved over and over again he was a class act and showed the leadership potential we have in this city. He was gracious thorughout the campaign and gracious in defeat. Many should follow his example.
I think the evidence is clear on that. To lose by only 7000 votes out of approximately 249,000 cast speaks volumes considering the margin that the Democrats hold against registered Republicans in Louisville.
I also wonder what would happen if we got rid of that asinine straight party ticket vote on the ballots and forced people to vote for their candidates. How many races would dramatically change?
Hal should be proud and Greg should feel lucky.
It will be interesting to see if Greg Fischer follows through on his promises to be inclusive to all of Louisville. Once again the West End gave the Democrats all they wanted with their vote which in many ways still amazes me. Many believed after receiving some robo calls that they were in effect voting for Barrack Obama again. How easily people can be swayed by something that stretches that far is beyond me.
How can the West End continue to vote with the Democratic machine when they are the ones who have refused to help the West End move forward? Democrats and the Abramson machine have had control for decades and the area continues to suffer from the same problems with no changes in sight.
There are a few people who profit from this but not the citizenry I assure you. It is past time to deliver on promises to make the West End a vibrant part of the community and be inclusive.
Will Greg Fischer follow through on his promise to be inclusive of the Southwest as well since he was beaten there handily? Time will tell but generally most expect not. After all you dance with the partner who brought you.
So far it does not look as if Mayor elect Fischer is doing much different. He has already stated he would keep Police Chief White who is in many eyes as inept as anyone we have ever seen in that position. Many in the public don't trust him and many of the officers don't either. This has been and will continue to be problematic for Louisville at large.
He has not stated how he would clean up Abramson crony run departments instead opting to have Department heads let him know if they want to keep their job. This does not equate to smaller more efficient government or ridding us of cronyism. No it is basically a public play to act like something changes. If they opt to leave then Fischer brings in more cronies and the cycle continues. He has not stated how he would streamline the Departments for more efficiency and that is problematic.
Wait for the announcement that Ron Weston, as I stated a few weeks ago, will be one of his two Deputy Mayors. Another sign that the entrenched will stay the same. I will tell you who the other is soon and maybe out exactly why Ron Weston decided not to seek reelection for State House and it concerns a certain female in his inner circle.
We shall see what a Mayor Fischer will do that will create the transparency, reign in an out of control government, and reach out to the entire community even though he has not been transparent himself.
I look for the ORBP plan to go ahead, against the wishes of the majority of us, and include tolls no one wants nor do we need. Decisions made by the River Fields crowd of which Fischer is a part of.
Never mind that the majority want an East End bridge only and now.
I look for more substandard results overall in education. Though I know the Mayor does not have control over that, the power of the office can help force changes.
Bottom line I look for Louisville to remain stagnant. After all you can't expect a different result when you continue to play the same game.
No my biggest fear is that Fischer and the Democrat majority will see this election as some sort of litmus test that they believe will justify the way things have always been and will continue to do the same old thing. They will ignore the fact that almost 49% of the people chose differently.
There was no clear majority here but a realistic sign of the division we face in Louisville. A division that must be addressed and healed if we are ever to move forward. Is Greg Fischer the man that can make that happen? Time will tell.
I am not bitter by any means but I am realistic.
More than anything though I hope I am wrong.................
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
It appears Louisville is more entrenched in the Democratic machine than many anticipated including me. I did not expect Hawkins to lose District 25 admittedly even though I said it would be closer than it should. Yates pulled off what I consider arguably to be an upset for that District.
In District 13 Renay Davis had yet another close race in which she lost. With the margin of loss I would ask for a ballot recount but I don't imagine the race would change.
In the race for Mayor first glance appears my predictions were on target but I may have underestimated the East end split. I predicted long ago that Fischer would win the West end, the east would split, and that Hal would have to win the South handily to have a shot.
It appears that the West and South did exactly what I expected but that the East may not have split evenly which was necessary for Hal. We shall see in the coming days.
In the meantime on a National level Republicans made huge gains collecting at least 60 seats in the House (with a possibility of 64 by the time all is said and done), and now have at least 41 seats in the Senate thus the Democrats no longer have the super majority they needed.
Todd Lally lost handily to John Yarmuth as he should have. Perhaps if he ever decides to run for office again he will actually bring some substance to the plate instead of opting to listen to those like campaign manager Jay Hill or Corley Everett who hurt him more than he will ever know. The negative campaign run by Lally should be a lesson on how to lose an election without really trying.
Jack Conway looked nearly in tears in his concession speech last night as he should have been crying. This was a race that defied all logic in his campaigning skills. The Jack Conway of old would never have allowed himself to fall into this negative "aqua buddha" style of politics. Then to thank his campaign staff including recycled imbecile Mark Riddle had to be hard for him to do.
Is Conway done?
Doubtful, but it will be a challenge for him to win any other race he enters into. It is doubtful the Democratic party would shun their hand picked golden child from running in the future but it will be interesting to see just how much support they will give him.
On a State Level Dan Seum was easily reelected, as he should have been, and the Repubs picked up 2 (possibly 3) seats in the Senate.
In the State House little known candidate Mike Nemes won election in his first time out and the Repubs overall gained 7 seats. Congrats Mike job well done.
In the District 46 race between entrenched Larry Clark, and newcomer Brian Simpson, Clark won by 10. Simpson did an excellent job in his first time out and had a real shot at this race. Clark won with the base period in a mostly Democratic district. Clark better not relax though and he better find a way to get labor back on his side.
By the way Larry I will see you in Frankfort again in January on behalf of charitable gaming your next Achilles heel.
Finally, it looks as though on a National level folks voted for the hope and change Obama campaigned on and many feel he has not delivered on yet. They voted against the Obama change in hopes for a better one. At State level much the same appears to be happening.
On a local level however the opposite occurred. The locals decided they liked the mediocrity we have experienced over the years and just do not seem ready to move forward. We kept Abramson in the Mayor's office, by his proxy Greg Fischer, and Democrats gained on the Council.
One seat I paid close attention to in this race was District 6. I was glad to see David James win over Ken Herndon. After all the negative crybaby, playing the victim card, and idiotic attacking garbage Ken Herndon pulled throughout this race, I hope his political career is over along with some of his insiders who will be named later. George Unseld may be able to rest comfortably now.
These type of people have no place in politics period. Perhaps the Democrats will now clean house with some of them. We shall see.
In the meantime since I focus mainly on local and State issues I have to admit this was a love hate election for me.
I love that we made some serious changes at State and National level. I hate that we did not move forward on a local level.
But one thing is for sure. After these elections I have enough fodder and people to look into for the next 4 years I won't be hurting for business.
So in that sense all is good in the world.
See you next time.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This year's election feels electric.
For better or worse it feels as though many people who normally do not get involved are involved and that is a good thing. Though there are many detractors to the way these candidates have run campaigns there are a few bright spots.
Hal Heiner is one. Heiner has ran a mainly positive campaign and has stayed true to his word that he put out long ago when he said this election would be about issues and moving forward. Heiner has done an excellent job staying on task and staying on message.
Brian Simpson in the race for House District 46 against Larry Clark is another bright spot. Brian has proven himself to be adept at running a campaign and doing it above board as well. He has been open about the issues and acquired major support for a Republican labor man.
Independent Michael Lewis who was disqualified late in his quest to unseat 35th District Representative Jim Wayne has raised many questions concerning the rights of independents in Kentucky and we can look forward to this issue becoming greater in the near future.
Some of the bad?
The personal witch hunts by those like former Democratic Chair Jennifer Moore to target select races in her quest to be relevant. I still believe she personally prepared lawsuits and then requested plaintiffs to fill them which is at the very least very unethical and we should remember this when she decides to try a run for office.
The negative campaigns run by Democrats primarily in this election were a huge disappointment as well. Jack Conway should be ashamed of his campaign and never run again. We know the "chosen one" will run again if he loses today but I certainly hope he learned something.
Another bad is the candidacy of Todd Lally for 3rd Congresisonal District. Never have I seen someone so blatantly unprepared for an office of tis magnitude and somehow some believe he is credible. The negative campaign ran by Lally is an insult to the promise people were lookig for with Republican candidates in this election. Not to mention he STILL has offered no substance on the issues.
The Tea Party in my opinion was hijacked by the far right wing of the Republican Party and it has shown in this election. What started out as a bunch of disgruntled voters from across the aisle has seemingly turned into a free for all without shame or remorse for their lack of substance and negative campaigning. WIth all the problems we as a nation face to continue using the divisie God, Gays, Guns, and abortion rhetoric and expect us to vote on these issues alone is an insult and what has led us to where we are today.
While I hope there are many changes in some races today I sincerely hope that the fringe elements of the current tea party do not gain many seats. We can ill afford to trust some of these people with power. Yep Sarah Palin I hope you are proven to be irrelevant.
Finally, many have asked who I personally endorse aside from my election predictions and I have waited until now to share this. I have not done so until today intentionally. I do not want to be accused of having any influence on the election either way. So for better or worse here are my personal endorsements for what it is worth.
US Senate: Republican Rand Paul. We need someone that will reign in spending and Jack Conway has proven to be an utter disappointment throughout this campaign.
3rd Congressional District: Libertarian Ed Martin. Though admittedly Martin is a friend of mine he is also the most intelligent. Unfortunately he cannot win but I will not ever cast a vote for Lally who would be worse than Yarmuth in many ways.
Louisville Metro Mayor: Republican Hal Heiner hands down. Fischer has lied about everything he has ever done and he still has not produced one single issue that he can claim as his own. By playing follow the leader throughout this campaign he has shown exactly why Hal Heiner is the leader we need at this time.
State Senate District 38: Republican Dan Seum. Marty Meyer has already got some questionable election expenditures that will be outed later and that raises some alarm bells. Seum has done an excellent job for Kentucky for many years and we need someone to watch out for in the dismal economic forecasts to come.
State House District 28: Democrat Charlie Miller. Though I don't always agree with Miller he is hands down better than the fool he is running against in John Brewer. Brewer represents the worst of the ultra right wingers and cannot be trusted with so much responsibility.
State House 29 District: Republican Kevin Bratcher. Bratcher has served well during his tenure in the House and many respect the work he has been doing.
State House 38 District: Republican Mike Nemes. I met Mike almost a year ago and have spoken with him several times in the interim. He truly would be a great rep with a passion to serve.
State House 43rd District: Democrat Darryl Owens has done an excellent job overall. Though I disagree with Owens on many things he is better than his opponent and we need his experience right now.
State House 46th District: Republican Brian Simpson. I have watched Brian Simpson from the beginning in his quest to unseat Larry Clark and have been very impressed with him. Not only does he have a passion to serve he actually has a brain that does not play favoritism. Hands down he has more integrity in his little finger than Larry Clark has in his whole body.
Metro Council races:
District 5: Democrat Cheri Bryant Hamilton. Ms. Hamilton overall has done an excellent job on the Council and quite simply has no competition.
District 6: Democrat David James has my endorsement. Quite frankly the negative campaign tactics and flat out lying by Ken Herndon has proven exactly why he is not worthy to fill the shoes of George Unseld. His one man divisionary tactics have created open warfare within the local Democratic party and he should be done with politics after all this is over.
District 9: Republican Patrick Duerr. It is high time the District is represented fairly beyond Frankfort Avenue and Tina Ward Pugh has seen better days.
District 13: Republican Renay Davis knows more about the District and Vicki Welch has proven she does not even know what the basics of her job entail. Not to mention using her office in an unethical way.
District 15: Democrat Marianne Butler. Quite simply she is better than her opponent.
District 17: Republican Glen Stuckel is one again who has done a good job and deserves reelection.
District 19: Republican Jerry Miller has the experience and the know how to be effective right away in District 19 and deserves election.
District 23: I like James Peden period.
District 25: I stand behind Hawkins. He has done a great job representing 25 regardless of the negative lies being perpetrated by his opponent David Yates who has never submitted any evidence of his claims.
Jefferson County Attorney: Michael R. Wilson. Michael is a knoweldgeable young guy who coincidentally just beat Mike O'Connell in teh Supreme Court. Mike O'Connell has used politics in his job as County Attorney in my opinion and this is just unacceptable.
Jefferson County Clerk: Bobbi Holsclaw no question whatsoever.
Jefferson County Sheriff: I will vote independent Don Fitzgerald. I have met with and worked with Fitzgerald on a few issues and he knows the law as good as anyone. I like his ideas about the duties of the Sheriff in regards to the illegal home foreclosures going on as well.
PVA: Corey Koellner. Koellner has the education and experience to be a major force in righting the PVA office which has typically been a stopping point for political hacks through the years and used as a personal cash cow by the Mayor.
School Board District 1: Diane Porter.
District 3 David Toborowsky
Circuit Court 6th Division Olu Stevens
11th Division John Vandertoll
District Court 3rd Division Claude Prather hands down. I cannot support McLaughlin who reportedly physically attacked a juror because she did not agree with the verdict nor can I vote for someone who uses convicted felons to campaign on her behalf for Judge.
14th Division Mason Trenaman
16th Division I can make no endorsement here either way.
17th Division Christine Ward
There you have it folks my personal endorsements and my thoughts on today. Good luck to all and more importantly please everyone GO VOTE!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Contact: Joe Burgan
Heiner for Mayor Election Eve Rallies
LOUISVILLE, KY – The Heiner for Mayor Campaign will hold election eve rallies today in Valley Station and Fern Creek. The rallies are free and open to the public, and will include music, food and family fun. For more information, contact the campaign at 895-5599.
Valley Station Rally
When: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Heiner for Mayor Southwest HQ 10648 Dixie Highway (Beside the Valley Station Post Office)
Fern Creek Rally
When: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Fern Creek Community Center - 6104 Bardstown Rd.
We shall see.
In the meantime please vote. Regardless of who your candidate is one of the most basic fundamental rights we as Americans have is the right to choose our leaders by exercising our right to vote. Too many times we sit idly by and watch as our leaders on both sides of the aisle destroy our confidence in government for their own personal well being at the expense of we the people.
Tomorrow we have a chance to send a clear message that we will allow this no more.
But I urge you to take the time to research your candidates today. Too many times the few who do vote choose to stick to strictly partisan lines, or single issue platforms. Some vote simply because they recognize a name from a sign, others because of what they heard on a commerical ad. In most cases these ads are always full of half truths or in many cases untruths.
There are so many avenues available today to research we must use them. We must empower ourselves with knowledge so we can no longer be taken for granted. We have the power and the right and it is time to act upon both.
Think about it. Based on averages we tend to have less than 50% of the people vote. That means the majority is not heard. Is this acceptable to you? Should it be?
I vote the person not the party always. I do that based on my research of each individual and then I make a well reasoned decision based on all truthful available evidence. Does this mean every candidate I vote for wins? I certainly hope not.
What I hope is that one day we have a voter turnout of 99%, after all no one is perfect, and then we can have a real disocurse of what we can do together.
Join me in voting tomorrow. It is our future at stake and one we can no longer take for granted.