Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Ackerson Squares Off Against Tea Party Challenger in District 18

In the Louisville Metro Council District 18 race, Republican voters will choose between incumbent Jon Ackerson and Tea Party activist Marilyn Parker in Tuesday’s primary.

The race has caught local attention after the majority of GOP council members endorsed Parker over Ackerson. Council Republicans have said Ackerson has sided with council Democrats too often on several issues and have criticized their colleague as self-serving and untrustworthy in the past.

Ackerson says he is a conservative Republican, adding he will let voters decide if his bipartisan work on the council deserves re-election.

“I don’t know what the vote is going to be on Tuesday, but I’m confident in the sense that I have done the kind of job that was expected of me by the constituents that I represent,” he says. “All 16 of the suburban cities that I represent every mayor has publicly endorsed me for election because of the work that I’ve done on behalf of Metro Government.”

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Landmarks Debate Continues, Council Hears Alternative Proposal

The debate continues over who should have the power to designate landmarks in the city.

Louisville Metro’s Planning and Zoning Committee heard a new proposal Tuesday that could act as a substitute to the current proposed changes that would require over half of the 200 petition signatures necessary to request a landmarks hearing to come from residents living within one mile of the site under consideration. It also would give the council final say over what becomes a landmark.

Councilman Tom Owen discussed a new idea in committee that would have at least 50 of those signatures coming from residents in the two nearest council districts.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Ackerson Rips Council GOP for ‘Litmus Tests’

Calling them “juvenile” and “petty”, Louisville Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson, R-18, is lashing out at his Republican colleagues for endorsing a Tea Party challenger in the upcoming GOP primary.

Six of the eight remaining Republican councilmen publicly support Marilyn Parker over Ackerson and have alleged he sided with Democrats on several issues after receiving preferential treatment during redistricting. Both Ackerson and Democratic leaders deny the allegation, but Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Fleming, R-7 told WFPL Ackerson can’t be trusted with fulfilling the party’s agenda.

Ackerson says he has been a lifelong Republican, but the partisanship that has created gridlock in Washington and Frankfort is now in the council.

“Ken Fleming, our leader here in Jefferson County wants a radical right Tea Party person to serve rather than someone that’s willing to work with not only Republicans but with Democrats on issues of common concern,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Council GOP Divided Over Parker Endorsement

Louisville Metro Council members’ endorsement of candidate Marilyn Parker over incumbent Jon Ackerson, R-18, in this year’s primary has created a rift in the caucus, but GOP staffers are downplaying the division.

Six of the eight remaining Republican members have publicly supported Parker, a former congressional candidate and Tea Party activist who has flirted with controversial issues in the past.

Several GOP members have alleged Ackerson has undermined their agenda over the past four years. Only councilmen James Peden, R-23, and Stuart Benson, R-20, are not backing Parker.

Minority Caucus Director Stephen Haag says council Republicans will remain professional and focused on serving their constituents, despite the endorsement.

“The Metro Council is used to having people on both political sides and divisions and discussions with people who have differences in opinion on political issues. I’m hopeful that we will not have any problems within the caucus or on the council related to the upcoming election, whether it’s primary or general,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Council Candidates Feature Notable Activists

Candidates for the Louisville Metro Council in next year’s election include a Tea Party activist, real estate agent and unemployed trucker driver.

In Metro Government history, voters have unseated only three incumbents. In 2006, Judy Green beat Leonard Watkins in District 1 in the Democratic primary. Last year, Democrat David Yates beat Republican Doug Hawkins in a close race and Democratic David James unseated independent Deonte Hollowell.

Community activist Curtis Morrison is running against incumbent Councilman Tom Owen, D-8, in the 2012 Democratic primary. He says challengers need to highlight their vision and the council backing down to the mayor’s office.

“We need a Metro Council with some courage that will stand up to and be a check and balance on the mayor and not just go along with whatever he wants. And I’ve seen vote after vote where they just go along with the mayor no matter who the mayor is. Seems like they just go along and I don’t think that’s the way this is supposed to work,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Beshear Rolls Out GOP Endorsements

Calling them prominent Republicans from across the commonwealth, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear released a list of 70 GOP supporters who are endorsing his re-election campaign.

Notable names include Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw, former Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence and Louisville Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson, R-18,  who is a former chair the Jefferson County Republican Party.

“As a proud Republican, I believe in fiscal responsibility and individual rights. As a Republican elected official, I understand we are responsible to the community we represent—not our party. For the past three years, Governor Steve Beshear has risen above partisan politics to do what’s right for the people of Kentucky,” Ackerson said in a news release. “He’s led by example in the area of fiscal responsibility, by balancing the budget nine times without raising broad-based taxes, and he’s overseeing the smallest state government in a generation. I am proud to be one of many Kentucky Republicans that are supporting Steve Beshear.”

The Beshear campaign says this is the first of several GOP endorsements it plans to roll out in the gubernatorial race.

In the press release, the Beshear campaign makes a noticeable pitch to conservatives voters, touting the governor’s “stand against broad-based taxes and record of fiscal conservatism” since taking office.

Beshear faces state Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, in the general election.