Opportunistic Politics?

In light of the recent West End (in Louisville) decision to ban all alcohol sales (Hello, prohibition!), we’re republishing this piece in full from our sister site The ‘Ville Voice.

The wet-dry vote in western Louisville got plenty of media exposure for Cheri Bryant Hamilton of the Metro Council, whose district included the four affected precincts near Shawnee High School. Even before the vote was final, Mary Woolridge and Judy Green of neighboring districts were speculating about precincts upon which they could force a similar vote. It’s a pretty simple process — just get some signatures on petitions, force the vote, and shut down any business that doesn’t fly with your sense of moral values.

The logic in this case seems to be that if you can eliminate liquor sales, then crime problems will naturally go away. Both Woolridge and Green plan to have town hall meetings to discuss the issue as early as October in Districts 1 and 3. Some residents have said they’re frustrated with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control office, which too easily grants liquor licenses, in their view.

“They were waiting to see how it turned out (in Shawnee) to see if they would go forward,” said Tony Hyatt, the Metro Council spokesperson.

Don’t be surprised if this becomes a raison d’etre for some Council members. Now that the body has figured out the popularity of banning nudity, smoking, dogs and…coming soon: trans fat, it won’t be long before more sinful activities get the boot. Maybe the Council could get some mileage from opposing gambling. That one’s not working too well for Ernie Fletcher, but if you could restrict to a precinct, it only takes a few hundred votes to win.

The Metro Council’s vision of civic duty seems to be moving toward removing from your life options that could potentially harm you, and it’s playing well with voters. Stephen George, in this week’s LEO, points out the dangers in having politicians making decisions to restrict your choices.

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If you’re completely in awe of the decision to ban the sale of alcohol in just one precinct in the state’s largest city– here are the full details from the Courier-Journal.

Coming up: The Intrepid Reporter tells the voters in District 5 what they’ve done.

Wait. What?

Secret investigation? Steve Beshear’s law firm was the target of a secret investigation relating to the Kentucky Central liquidation. Maybe the longest story every written that leaves you hanging. Mark Nickolas has a few reminders for the public and they mostly point back to Fletcher. [H-L, BGR]

Suing Ernie. Attorney General Greg Stumbo’s lawsuit against Ernie Fletcher for illegally appointing more Republicans than Democrats to university boards makes the rounds every day. Every day there’s a new story. [C-J]

Party switcher. Republican Rep. Milward Dedman of Harrodsburg becomes a Democrat. Republican commenters on the C-J forum cry fowl… then cry a river of tears that their party is in shambles. [C-J]

Shock and awe. Okay, not really, everyone knew No Child Left Behind was a collasal failure. Now we hear it’s incompatible with policies that actually– get this– with policies that actually work. Search the No Child Left Behind Database to see how your child’s school holds up. [C-J]

7 new Human Rights commissioners. Fletcher has appointed newbies to the agency that investigates, well, Human Rights. An amazing thing– victory for minorities– six of the new members are African American. Though, many leaders in the black community are upset Fletcher has let so many commission members go at once. Note that Todd Hollenbach, Democratic candidate for Treasurer, was a commission member. [C-J]

Jim waters: Stomach grumbling? It’s time for a change, not a pill

Stomach grumbling? It’s time for a change, not a pill

By Jim Waters

Dissatisfaction serves as a necessary component of change. Most find change hard and dissatisfaction uncomfortable.

So procrastination usually trumps dissatisfaction. We often simply adapt to avoid the usually messy process of change.

Sometimes it’s necessary to do so – at least temporarily. We have to know for sure that we simply cannot accept the status quo. We count the cost before we pay the price of change.

Read moreJim waters: Stomach grumbling? It’s time for a change, not a pill

Mongiardo finally appears in campaign commercial!

You read it correctly: Daniel Mongiardo is actually appearing in a campaign commercial for the Beshear-Mongiardo ticket!

Nice recycling of “I’m a business man and a lawyer.”

To our disappointment: Dan didn’t get to say much. This guy is popular and keeping him out of the picture is strange. We hope he’s utilized more. And we wonder if Robbie the Tire Baron will ever appear in an ad with Ernie.

Warning: You’re the victim of Right-Wing Tripe

More on the Fletcher Ad in St. Louis

St. Louis is paying attention. The city is beginning to talk about Mark Andrews’ past as a social conservative who doesn’t let silly things like facts get in his way.

Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch chimes in on the matter and links St. Louis readers to Fletcher’s latest commercial.

Ever been to St. Louis? It’s hardly the bastion of criminality and corruption that Andrews and Fletcher try to blame on gambling. It’s always been a crime-ridden city. Casinos sure didn’t cause it– even if they’re not cleaning things up. And whose fault is that? Possibly that of legislators and government officials in Missouri and D.C. who cut law enforcement budgets left and right.

From a prominent St. Louis resident: “That building where the commercial was filmed, well, it’s about a block away from a thriving area of downtown St. Louis called Laclede’s Landing or just “The Landing.” For quite a while they’ve been expanding the restaurants, bars and stores there. It’s bustling and a far cry from the ghetto.”

In the commercial you’ll see a sign for Lewis Street. Where’s Lewis Street in proximity to the most happening part of Old St. Louis? Take a look for yourself.

Lewis Street in St. Louis

Here’s a satellite view of the riverboat and the area of The Landing nearest the river:

Literally a block away from The Landing. A block away from the ever-expanding hustle and bustle of St. Louis that’s devouring the rundown buildings in the former industrial neighborhood in order to turn them into the hottest spots of the Midwest.

Sound familiar? Much like the ongoing regeneration of downtown Louisville.

If the maps weren’t enough, let’s go a step further. We’re taking you on a video tour of the area Ernie visited. You’ll see our photographer drive from one end of Lewis Street to the other (which is just a couple blocks) and eventually get out of the vehicle to walk around. It’s a little choppy, we apologize. But it’s worth watching for proof that Ernie’s latest commercial is absolutely a joke.

Look like the ghetto to you? No? Maybe an up-and-coming vibrant area that’s alive even in the morning hours?

Welcome to the reality-based community.

Owsley Brown II to face McConnell?

David Hawpe shares this rumor with readers of the Courier-Journal today.

One scary rumor, if you’re a McConnell supporter: Soon-to-retire Brown-Forman chairman Owsley Brown II, a widely respected and very successful business leader, not to mention a zillionaire, is thinking about making the race. Some say he could be attacked as a liquor baron, but then McConnell has taken loads of contributions from the Brown family over the years.

This is certain: Brown has been making the rounds lately. He could self-finance. He’s spent lots of time working with the anti-war crowd and has been meeting with anti-McConnell big dogs pretty regularly. One such meeting took place earlier this week in Louisville.

So Crit Luallen isn’t the only one making rumblings. And for all the Luallen supporters out there calling for our heads: we merely reported the worst-kept secret in senatorial politics. If we’ve burned bridges for reporting what everyone is talking about– and in a positive light? Then color us surprised. Must’ve been one of those bridges Ernest Lee hired his brother to repair.

We think it’s time for everyone running for office next year to jump into their respective races. We’re all ready and waiting to talk about it. And we already have a taste of what’s to come.