Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Scott Easily Wins District 1 Primary

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott will likely retain her District 1 seat after winning a five-way Democratic primary battle.

The council appointed Scott to the position last year to replace former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was booted from office for ethics violations. Scott beat out her four challengers with 49 percent of the vote.

Scott says focusing on environmental justice and vacant properties resonated with voters, but that public safety is a key priority in the area. A rash of shootings in west Louisville last week brought new scrutiny to crime issues in the district.

The closest challenger to Scott was former police officer Ray Barker, who garnered 24 percent of the vote and won two precincts. Barker had run for the seat twice before and had also applied for the position in 2006 and 2010. He brought the initial ethics complaint against Green that resulted in her removal.

The election is for the remainder of Green’s term until 2014. No Republican is vying for the seat.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Rash of Violence Impacts District 1 Race

A brazen shooting in the Parkland neighborhood is having an impact on the race for the Louisville Metro Council District 1 seat in the final days of the campaign.

Last week, six people were shot and three died in a spree of shootings in the west Louisville district that made national headlines.

In the wake of the violence, community and elected leaders have called for unity and cooperation from residents, but the five-way Democratic primary race is still a horse race. Observers, however, have criticized incumbent Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott and primary opponent Ray Barker Sr., who held separate press conferences last week that were minutes apart at the same location.

Scott says she didn’t know about Barker’s event and the two aren’t dueling over the tragedy, adding everyone is trying to make sense of the violence.

“I believe that what this has done is let people know that we care as elected officials. We live in the neighborhoods where this type of violence happens, it impacts us and they know that we’re humans too. And I wish that I’d known about his. I didn’t even know he was having one. I got down to our press conference and he was there. He didn’t actually have one until ours finished,” she says.

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Opponents Pummel Scott Over King Contributions (AUDIO)

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, is defending hefty contributions from individuals outside her district, but rivals in the Democratic primary are criticizing donations from Council President Jim King, D-10, and allege he’s buying influence.

Scott has raised over $20,000  in the May 22 election, which is six times more than her closet rivals.

During WFPL’s District 1 debate, opponents grilled the incumbent for taking campaign cash from people outside the district and questioned Scott’s relationship with the council president. After Scott was appointed to the council last year, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, alleged the process was rigged in Scott’s favor and was unfair to the other applicants.

“It’s not so much that Mr. King would want a favor. I think that it would be Mr. King would feel like that he’s in control of you,” says Janis Carter-Miller, one of four challengers vying for the seat. “And I am not the person that anybody is going to be in control of me—at all.”

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After Rebuke, Metro Council Candidate Accepts Anti-Gay Activist Frank Simon’s Support

Louisville Metro Council Candidate Ray Barker has received a $1,000 contribution from anti-gay activist Dr. Frank Simon despite distancing himself from the controversial religious leader months earlier.

Last year, Simon’s American Family Association sent an e-mail to followers urging them to back Barker for the appointment to the council’s District 1 seat. The organization was labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s intelligence report for its anti-gay rhetoric and campaigning.

When asked about the association with Simon, Barker told LEO Weekly he did not know the group was listed as a hate organization and that he believes in equal opportunity for all residents.

Six months later Barker’s campaign accepted the hefty contribution from Simon and in a telephone interview with WFPL, Simon told the radio station that Barker has solicited his support in the May 22 primary and the two agree on most issues.

“Our city is in big trouble because we have gotten away from God and gotten away from prayer,” he says. “I think Mr. Barker is the man that can help us with this huge crime rate, the drug problem and all these other problems that we’ve run into because we’ve turned our back on God.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Neighborhood Group Organizes District 1 Debate

A neighborhood group is hosting a debate Tuesday featuring the six candidates vying for the Louisville Metro Council District 1 seat in the upcoming primary.

Last year, the council appointed Attica Woodson Scott to the position after it removed former councilwoman Judy Green from office due to ethics violations. Now five opponents from across the district have lined up to challenge Scott in the May 22 Democratic primary.

The debate was organized by the Chickasaw Area Federation. President Donovan Taylor says residents are itching to be heard because they felt shut out during the Green ethics and removal hearings, as well as the appointment process.

“This is the first time that the residents have had an opportunity to voice their concern as far as the leadership in District 1 should go. And I think they are very anxious and I believe that they feel the previous process that they were not engaged enough when the vote was to select a candidate for District 1. And a lot of people don’t feel the vote was in their interest,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Scott Prepared to Defend District 1 Seat

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, is seeking to retain her seat, but she will face a number of former rivals in the spring primary.

The council appointed Scott to the District 1 seat after former Councilwoman Judy Green was thrown out of office for ethical violations. The community activist will face at least three opponents in the Democratic primary who previously sought the appointment.

Scott says several other potential challengers could step forward, but some residents who applied for the seat are now supporting her candidacy.

“Oh I definitely think there will be some additional folks who will file to run. It may be a bit crowded race, but I’ve also built relationship with some of the folks who filed for the vacancy as the same time as I did. And so that shows we’re trying to build relationships and really work towards building the district,” she says.

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Scott Invites Fischer to District 1 ‘Reality Ride’

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, will take Mayor Greg Fischer on a tour of neighborhoods in her district as part of a “Reality Ride” designed to show the mayor locations in the need of attention.

The district covers several neighborhoods in west and southwest Louisville such as Chickasaw, Parkland, Lake Dreamland, Cane Run Road and St. Denis, where issues such as burglaries, abandoned properties and illegal dumping are a growing problem. Scott and Fischer are scheduled to leave the Metro Police 2nd Division on Saturday morning where the two will travel through West End areas,  including the Rubbertown neighborhood,  28th & Dumesnil and the Parkland Boys & Girls Club.

Scott says she appreciates the mayor’s willingness to learn what her constituents concerns are and how Metro Government can address them collaboratively.

“I think it will encourage him to take a little bit more action because it’s different when you’re removed from the area, you don’t live in it everyday and you don’t see it everyday,” she says. “This ride is an opportunity for him to get an up close look at some of the alleys where illegal dumping is happening, streets where abandoned properties have blighted the neighborhoods and for me to have a conversation with him about ‘Look mayor, what are we going to do about this together.'”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Scott Conducts Audit of District 1 Finances

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, is withholding discretionary funds to community groups while awaiting results of a financial audit.

The 39-year-old community organizer was appointed to replace former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was expelled from office due to ethical violations in connection to discretionary spending involving outside groups.

In October, Scott asked the city auditor for a financial review of the District 1 payroll, office expenditures and discretionary funds during her predecessor’s tenure.

Scott says she wanted to come in with a clean slate and meet with neighborhood groups and other non-profit organizations before appropriating them taxpayer dollars.

“I wanted to wait until after the first of the year to begin accepting applications for funding because I felt like me coming in new I really didn’t know many of the organizations that I needed to get to know them for taking applications for funding. I wanted to build relationships instead, really look at programs and make sure they had a public purpose and benefit,” she says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Council Preparing to Interview District 1 Applicants

The Louisville Metro Council will interview 15 applicants who are vying to fill the District 1 seat on Tuesday, and lawmakers are reviewing the candidate’s resumes.

The office was vacated when former Councilwoman Judy Green was expelled for violating the ethics ordinance. The candidates are a diverse group of residents, including an attorney, business consultant, former police officer and social justice advocate. Each applicant will be given an opportunity to address the council in order to discuss their views on various issues.

Democratic Caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt says the candidates will also be questioned about their background and vision for the district.

“In the past what they’ve asked about it is if they’ve had an interest in the community as either a business person, community organizer or volunteered for various groups. The other part of their background would be, not anything along the lines of education or anything like that, as much as it is how long they’ve lived, what they see as things that need to be done in the district and what they like about the district,” he says.

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King Assures District 1 Residents That Transition Will Be Smooth

In the aftermath of Judy Green’s removal from office, Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, wants to ensure District 1 residents will continue to have local representation during the transition.

Last week, a council court found Green guilty of misconduct on two counts of mismanaging taxpayer dollars and breaking council rules. The 20-member panel voted unanimously to expel Green, which made her the first elected official to be removed in Metro Government history and the first Louisville official booted in over a century.

Residents will still be able to call the District 1 office if they need assistance or report a problem, and Green’s legislative aides will continue to operate on regular business hours.

King says he’s working with the District 1 staff to make sure any appropriations or legislation that needs to move forward will.

“I will ask the chairs of all our committees to let me know if there are any ordinances that affect District 1 that are currently under consideration. I will personally make sure the district does not suffer from a lack of representation,” he says.