For this week’s edition of State of the News we’re going to start with a look at our enivorment (chemicals in the water, anyone?). Next, with less than a month left until JCPS starts back to school, we’ll get an update on reivews, raises and lawsuits. Finally, it’s politicking time again and we’ll hear what happened at the debates this week for the Mayor and Senate races. Join us Friday for this week’s State of the News.
Three candidates for Louisville mayor quizzed and criticized each other Wednesday evening during a debate at Bellarmine University.
For the first time, Democrat Greg Fischer, Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green were allowed to ask each other questions on stage.
Heiner asked Fischer about his 2008 bid for the Senate, and whether the mayor’s office is his second choice. Fischer said both show his desire for public service.
“When you take a look at where the real benefit, the leveraged benefit can take place, it is through government service, through public service,” said Fischer. “Whether it be in the United States Senate or as mayor. Running for the U.S. Senate taught me that I enjoyed this. I like people. I like solving problems.”
Fischer mentioned Heiner’s appearance at a Tea Party rally in April, and asked if he was politically close to Republican candidates for other offices. Heiner responded that such comparisons were irrelevant to Louisville issues.
“I am not running for anybody else’s campaign, on anybody else’s platform or what they stand for or don’t stand for, and, quite frankly, an analysis of various candidates at any level or any party on their positives or negatives of their backgrounds, quite frankly, is inappropriate in a mayor’s race,” said Heiner.
Independent Jackie Green asked Heiner and Fischer to explain how their policies were different from each other’s, and in his closing statement, presented himself as the alternative.
“In November, voters will choose either the old business as usual, energy-greedy, energy-dependent local economy, or voters will chose a new energy-lean, energy-independent local economy that can meet the challenges of the future,” he said.
Three candidates for mayor of Louisville will debate Wednesday at Bellarmine University.
University spokesperson Carla Carlton says the event will be a mixed-format debate. In the first segment, the candidates will face questions from a panel.
“There’s David Hawpe, formerly of the Courier-Journal, and John David Dyche and then the third seat will be rotated among a group of the Governor’s Scholars,” she says.
The candidates will ask each other questions in the second segment, and make closing statements in the third. The event begins and 7 and is open the public. Carlton says Bellarmine is expecting about 600 people to attend.
This is the third debate of the general election campaign, but only the second to feature three candidates—Democrat Greg Fischer, Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green. It will be the first time the three will ask questions of each other.
Green has been a near-constant presence in the mayor’s race since he declared his intent to run last year. He has now filed with the County Clerk to appear on the ballot in November, alongside Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner.
Green says he won’t raise as much money as Fischer or Heiner, but he plans to use other campaign tactics to stay competitive.
“Next for us is talking to the public, going to public events, talking to Joe Lunchbox, riding the bus, talking to bus riders,” he says. “This is a grassroots campaign.”
Green has largely focused on transportation issues on the campaign trail so far.
“One of the encouraging aspects of this campaign has been to hear citizens and elected officials coming up to our campaign saying, ‘Thank you. Thank you for bringing these issues to the table. If you were not doing this, we would not be having this discussion,'” he says.
At least one other independent candidate, Nimbus Couzin, is seeking the mayor’s office, but he has not run an active campaign. Independents have until next month to enter the race.
It looks like the political season is getting into full swing again. This week we saw debates between the Louisville mayoral candidates on Wednesday and the US Senate candidates on Thursday. In between, we got some news about museum plaza, and unemployment benefits, to name a few things. After we talk about Metro news, we’ll move out into the state and hear about a fraud investigation in Lexington and that darn leaking mustard gas. Join us Friday for State of the News on State of Affairs.
by Gabe Bullard
Three candidates for Louisville mayor debated for the first time since the May primary Wednesday, at the Venture Club’s monthly luncheon.
The theme for the forum was supporting startup businesses. Democrat Greg Fischer, Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green all have experience running businesses, and they were asked about their strategies for fostering entrepeneurship in Louisville.
Among other ideas, Heiner suggested Louisville work with other cities to lobby Frankfort to invest more tax dollars in cities.
“I know northern Kentucky’s hungry for it. We’ll build an urban coalition with other cities to address urban problems. They have the same problems we have with job growth, they have the same problems we have with older industrial areas and declining neighborhood,” said Heiner.
Fischer told the crowd of about 200 that he would work to change the culture in Louisville to be friendlier to small businesses.
“Change culture is difficult, I realize that, but it is any opportunity the mayor has by establishing the values of the administration around things like entrepreneurship and risk-taking,” said Fischer.
Green focused mainly on improving transportation, which is his signature issue.
“That is a job creator,” he said. “You can make jobs building public transit systems just as well as you can make jobs pouring concrete across the river.”
The question and answer section of the debate is below:
by Gabe Bullard
Three candidates for mayor of Louisville will debate Wednesday at the Venture Club’s monthly luncheon.
Program Chair Lynn Allen says Democrat Greg Fischer, Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green will discuss their plans for managing Louisville’s entrepreneurial economy.
“We want to see the next mayor have a policy and a plan to encourage the growth of young companies in Louisville because this is where we believe most of the jobs will come from in the future,” she says.
This is the first debate with the three candidates since the May primary. Green was not invited to a forum last month, and was added to the Venture Club program Tuesday. Allen says Green’s omission was an oversight.
At least one other independent candidate, Nimbus Couzin, is running for mayor, but he has not actively campaigned.
by Gabe Bullard
Former Democratic mayoral candidate Tyler Allen says he will continue to push his signature issue in the general election, even though he’s no longer in the running.
Allen finished fourth in last week’s Democratic primary. He ran a grassroots campaign focused on opposition to the Ohio River Bridges Project, and the possibility of tolls on new bridges.
Both major party candidates have expressed support for the bridges project, but Allen says growing public sentiment against tolls may force them to alter their positions.
“They’ll start to hear from voters and hopefully the press will keep that important issue out there,” he says. “If they never have to answer to it, maybe they won’t hear about it, but if they actually have to answer about the issue and how they think you can actually pay for a project on this scale.”
Democratic nominee Greg Fischer has said he will support tolls as necessary to pay for the bridges project. Republican nominee Hal Heiner says at least one bridge should be toll-free.
Among the independent candidates is transportation activist Jackie Green, who opposes the bridges project.
by Gabe Bullard
Even though they won the major party primaries, Republican Hal Heiner and Democrat Greg Fischer aren’t the only candidates for mayor. Independent Jackie Green says he hopes to make that clear as the general election nears.
Green says his campaign is more appealing now than ever before, because he doesn’t see much difference between Fischer and Heiner.
“Both of those gentlemen are the two heads of the same dragon,” he says. “It’s a two-headed dragon. They are going to be splitting that neighborhood vote.”
Green says he’s heard from voters who cast ballots for the other major party candidates, but are now supporting him. Independent candidates have until August to enter the race, and so far three independents, including Green, have filed to run.
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)