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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.

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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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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

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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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

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.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Resident Who Filed Ethics Complaint Against Green to Seek District 1 Seat

Retired police officer Ray Barker, Sr., will seek the seat vacated by Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, who resigned last week days before her expulsion trial.

Earlier this year, Barker filed the first ethics complaint against the embattled city lawmaker. The case alleged Green used a city-funded summer jobs program to benefit members of her family, but Green and her attorneys argued Barker was only seeking to unseat her for political reasons.

The ethics commission hit Green with its harshest penalty and recommended her removal from office, which led to her being impeached by five council members who filed misconduct charges against her.

Barker says residents in District 1 are the ones tired of the political games and that they want to get back to important issues, such as crime and unemployment.

“I’m not a politician. In my world one plus one equals two. I mean one minute (she’s) resigning, the next minute (she’s) not. I don’t play games,” he says. “There’s too many people in my district who are suffering. We can’t afford to play games with people’s lives. And that’s why I’m stepping forth,” he says.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Fischer Hopes Ethics Charges “Work Out” for Green

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer hopes everything will “work out” for embattled Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, who is awaiting the verdicts in two separate charges that are before the city’s ethics commission.

Green is accused of using a city-funded program to benefit members of her family and re-routing funds through a non-profit group to other organizations. Fischer said he is following the case, but not beyond the “headline level” in media reports.

“I’ve known her for several years and she’s a nice person and tries to do the best job everyday,” he said. “And let’s hope this works out okay for her.”

State finance records show the mayor’s father, George, and sister, Lynne, who worked on his campaign, both contributed to Green’s re-election bid against Ray Barker, Sr., who filed the first complaint against the councilwoman.

Fischer said that doesn’t influence his views on the case and did not defend Green, but said the councilwoman is trying to serve her constituents.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Green Could Face Accuser at Public Forum Tonight

A west Louisville group has invited Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, to a public forum tonight to discuss the two ethics charges filed against her, but it’s unclear if the embattled city lawmaker will show up.

American Slaves, Inc. has invited Green and retired police officer Ray Barker, Sr., to tell their side of the story in a debate. A flier promoting the event says the public discussion is to help residents understand the controversy better and provide the community direction to “brace for her predicted dismissal” from the council.

“Our concern isn’t necessarily who is right and who is wrong. Our concern is what was working—is that going to be affected—or can we also be more progressive with this delicate matter and keep the people in concern,” says moderator Dereck Barber.

Earlier this year, Barker, who ran against Green in last year’s Democratic primary, alleged Green used a city-funded summer jobs program to benefit members of her family. The councilwoman’s defense has argued Barker is seeking to unseat Green in a future campaign.

In previous interviews, Barker has said he would seek an appointment from the council if Green were removed from office.

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Local News Politics

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Green

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green is the target of an ethics complaint.

Retired police officer Ray Barker Sr.—who challenged Green in the Democratic primary for her seat last year—filed the complaint with the Metro Ethics Commission. He’s seeking Green’s resignation over her involvement in a summer jobs program that, according to auditors, benefited some of her relatives.

LEO Weekly reports that the Ethics Commission will meet on the 24th and decide whether to hold a hearing or dismiss the charges. The commission could also choose to launch its own investigation.

The complaints cite an internal audit of a $55,000 grant Green appropriated to the nonprofit LIFE Institute to fund “Green Clean Team,” a summer program for at-risk youth in her district. It criticizes the city lawmaker for hiring her husband, James Green, as the program manager, along with other relatives.

Green has declined to comment on the matter, but says she has no interest in resigning.