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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Moxley Endorses Heiner At Education Press Conference

Republican candidate for mayor Hal Heiner Thursday discussed his plans for improving Jefferson County Public Schools, and announced his latest endorsement.

Heiner recently called for an end to the current student assignment plan in a television ad. The spot drew criticism from Democratic candidate Greg Fischer, among others. Heiner says he still supports diversity, but the assignment plan has not improved schools. He said scrapping the plan is only part of his education platform, which calls for more magnet schools and incentives for teachers at underperforming schools.

“What we need is a comprehensive re-look at how we go about education in this community, determine what resources are necessary to get there, then get about the business of improving these schools. We really have no time to waste in that regard,” he said.

The mayor has no direct power over JCPS, but Heiner said he would convene civic and business leaders to help bring about the proposed changes.

“Ultimately, JCPS will write the plan, but from a leadership standpoint to get this process started and get the community behind it in a leadership mode, we know we can do better in Louisville, and the time to start it is now,” he said.

After announcing her endorsement, Moxley said she doesn’t think it’s out of line for candidates to discuss education.

“I think it’s absolutely appropriate for the mayor to take a leadership role for issues that impact the city and this is an issue that impacts the city,” she said. “It impacts the families and the communities and the people who live here.”

Fischer has proposed using public-private partnerships and after-school programs to improve education.

Moxley is the third former Democratic candidate to endorse Heiner, following Shannon White and Tyler Allen. Metro Councilmen and former candidates David Tandy and Jim King have endorsed Fischer.

For full audio and Fischer’s response, visit The Edit.

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Local News Next Louisville

Tandy, King Endorse Fischer

Former Louisville mayoral candidates David Tandy and Jim King formally endorsed Greg Fischer Friday.

Fischer defeated the two Metro Councilmen in the Democratic Primary in May. Fischer finished with 45 percent of the vote, behind him were Tandy and King, each with about 20%.

Shannon White, who won about 2% of the Democratic Primary vote, endorsed Republican candidate Hal Heiner last week.

A spokesperson for the Heiner campaign criticized Fischer for welcoming endorsements from two Metro Council members after calling Heiner–also a councilman–an insider.

The four other Democrats who ran in the primary have not offered public endorsements of either candidate.

In addition to Fischer and Heiner, independents Jackie Green, Nimbus Couzin and Jonathan Mills will also appear on the November ballot.

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Local News Next Louisville WFPL News Department Podcast

Next Louisville: The Democratic Primary Part Two

by Gabe Bullard

The bi-state authority that will oversee the Ohio River Bridges Project met last week. Tyler Allen was in the audience. He usually is. In 2005, after years of involvement in community and government activities, Allen co-founded the group 8664 to oppose the plan to build two bridges over the Ohio River and rework Spaghetti Junction. He supports an East End Bridge, but wants to reconfigure Interstate 64, turning its waterfront lanes into a parkway.

In the primary, he’s sometimes criticized for being a single issue candidate. Allen rejects that claim, but says the bridges project is a critical issue that will affect the city for decades.

“I’m speaking in lost opportunity for this city,” says Allen. “I’m speaking of a backward vision that will impede development for years to come in our community. It is not a future-facing vision for the city at all.”

Allen recently unveiled his first television ad, which mentions the possibility of tolls on bridges and positions him to benefit from anti-toll sentiment. A recent Bluegrass Poll put Allen in 4th place in the primary, but he says he’d have stronger support if there was more focus on platforms instead of politics.

“I’m just simply saying as a citizen, we need a whole lot more coverage of the issues themselves—not the dynamics of the race,” he says. “We’re talking here about the dynamics of the race. That loses sight of the issues that are at stake.”

“I do think there is something to that,” says Lisa Moxley. “Part of that may be because there are so many people running. That is a story in and of itself….we need to be talking about Louisville.”

Moxley is an entertainment lawyer who has focused her campaign on rehabilitating neighborhoods, building new businesses and nurturing the arts. She says she isn’t discouraged by low polling numbers, and is planning a final push for votes this week. With about a fourth of voters undecided, Moxley says a strong enough public appeal could tilt support significantly away from the frontrunners.

“That’s what I’m hoping the news outlets will do to make sure people have access to all the candidates,” she says. “The public deserves that. We are at a critical time. Let the public decide who they want to lead them next.”

In St. Matthews, Shannon White sits surrounded by the yard signs she’s been distributing for the last few weeks. White, too, trails in the polls, which she attributes in part to her late entrance in the race.

“There is a concentrated group of people in the community that give money to political candidates and because I got in three or four months later than other ones, a lot of that money was already spoken for,” says White.

White has been critical of the more well-funded candidates. She’s sent e-mail blasts criticizing them as out of touch political insiders. She sees the high number of undecided voters as an encouraging sign that the frontrunners aren’t connecting with Louisvillians.

“What are people waiting for? What do they need to hear?” she says. “I didn’t enter this race just to be quiet and look nice. I entered the race to really take a hard look at who we’re going to elect as our next mayor and I am being critical because I think we need to ask hard questions about where we are headed as a community.”

There are two other Democrats on the ballot— activist Connie Marshall did not respond to an interview request. Burrell Farnsley has not run an active campaign.

Given the crowded field, it’s possible that a candidate could win the primary with 25 to 30 percent of the vote…and Moxley says the nominee will need to address the other candidates’ concerns before winning their endorsements.

“Those of us who have been outspoken about issues, we’re not going to stop speaking out about them because that’s what the people care about,” she says.

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Local News Next Louisville

White Releases Economic Plan

by Gabe Bullard

Democratic mayoral candidate Shannon White has released a three-point plan for improving Louisville’s economy.

White’s plan calls for more investment in small businesses, more public-private partnership and a new focus helping Louisvillians get GEDs and college degrees.

White has polled around 4% in the Democratic primary, but she says she hopes to win over undecided voters with a new focus on policy.

“I wanted to roll out this plan and plan to, for the next five weeks, roll out a different plan each week—quality of life, the bridges project—how I stand on some of these issues, as people continue to get more involved with our campaign and looking at candidates and who they want to vote for,” she says.

About one in four likely Democratic voters is undecided according to the latest Courier-Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll.

White is one of eight Democrats seeking the mayor’s office. Three Republicans and at least three independent candidates are also running.

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Local News Next Louisville

Candidates Meet At Manual High School

by Gabe Bullard

Transportation and education were among the main topics of discussion Thursday as nine candidates for Louisville mayor took part in a forum at DuPont Manual High School.

For about two hours, the candidates fielded questions from students on the bridges project, fairness law, the 2003 merger and the school district’s assignment plan.

Manual senior Carmen Mitchell says no single candidate came out ahead in the forum, but each excelled at different times. She says the responses that resonated most with the audience dealt with how the candidates would make the city better for today’s high school students.

“I think that is a number one concern for all of us, especially in the unstable economic times that we have right now, we want to know, Is this a place we can consider for our futures?” she says.

Democrats Lisa Moxley, Tyler Allen, Shannon White, Greg Fischer and David Tandy all participated in the forum. Republicans Hal Heiner, Chris Thieneman and Jonathan Robertson also took part, as did independent candidate Jackie Green.

Download mp3 audio of the forum. (Due to technical difficulties, there is a slight gap in between the end of Shannon White’s opening statement and the beginning of Tyler Allen’s opening statement)