Another Mayoral Labor Endorsement Update

Turns out Building & Trades decided not to endorse in the mayoral race.

Guess AFSCME isn’t going it alone.

I hear from Greg Fischer’s campaign staffers that everybody – stemming from Larry Clark – is furious/bewildered. Clark was rumored to be yelling at the meeting this morning because he was so upset that an entire union refused to be forced by his hand.

Metro Govt Workers Not Endorsing Mayor Yet

On Tuesday, the American Federcation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2629 – Louisville Metro Government Workers – met with mayoral candidates Greg Fischer and Jim King.

And guess what? Despite what Fischer’s folks have been telling me for weeks, the union decided to wait things out/weight all the candidates without potentially jumping the gun.

Read the full thing for yourself:

On Tuesday, January 26 the American Federation of State County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) Local 2629 held its General Membership meeting.  Appearing at this meeting were two candidates for Mayor, Greg Fischer and Jim King.  Each candidate was given fifteen or twenty minutes to speak before taking questions from the membership.  This appearance was different than most made by Mayoral candidates, because the group they were speaking to this time doesn’t just live in the jurisdiction that will be governed by the next Mayor, they will also be working for him.

Back in December, AFSCME Council 62 (which Local 2629 belongs to) held a candidates forum, attended by Fischer and King as well as David Tandy and Chris Theineman. Despite the fact that a decision was made not to make an endorsement at that time, King and Fischer both remained in contact with Metro Louisville’s AFSCME contingent. Both candidates asked for another opportunity to speak with our membership and we agreed to give them time at our regular membership meeting. Our members will be affected by the administration of the next Mayor in ways that other Metro Louisville citizens will not be. Not only will our next contracts be negotiated with the next Mayor, but some of our very jobs are dependent on his or her ability to navigate our tumultuous economy. Because the election of our next Mayor is such an important issue for our members, we have opted to leave our doors open to any candidate who wants to speak to us, at least until AFSCME officially endorses a candidate. As the president of this Local, I believe that whether or not AFSCME eventually makes an endorsement, our members deserve every possible opportunity to meet and question the people who in a few short months may be in a position to affect the livelihood of us and our families.

Despite no decision being made as to our Local’s stance in this year’s Mayoral race, the atmosphere was much different than what we experienced at the official “forum” in December.  Some of our members were moved by the candidates, and a motion was even brought to the floor to endorse one of them.  The motion was not passed, not due to apathy but because the members present wanted more involvement.  There was a profound interest in our Union becoming involved in this campaign, but not before getting more exposure from other candidates.  Our meeting was held the night of the filing deadline, and it was pointed out that several candidates had announced their candidacy after our December forum.

While we want to see what the other candidates have to offer as well, the general consensus seemed to be that our Local does not want to sit on the sidelines and watch as everyone else decides who will end up signing our checks.  So, for now we will watch and learn, and encourage our members and affiliate groups to take advantage of any opportunity to go out and see and question the candidates as they can, whether at our meetings or other forums around the County.  Then we will act, as some of our members already are, working for the candidates we believe are the best for us and our community.  Finally, whether or not AFSCME makes any official endorsement, we will decide.

Greg Frazier
President AFSCME Local 2629

Todd Eklof Releases Interesting Book

Take note, religious types (and all gays everywhere), cause Todd Ekloff has released a book that is nothing short of intriguing.

It’s called A Gospel for Liberals: Considering the historical Jesus in light of today’s most controversial social issues.

Remember Todd? He’s the heterosexual guy fired by Kentucky Farm Bureau because he didn’t hate the gays.Here’s a refresher:

You’ll want to CLICK HERE to read the rest…

Your Friday Morning Dept of Snowpocalypsing?

Maybe? Is there any snow on the ground there in Louisville this morning?

Brent Ackerson pulled his sponsorship of mayoral term limits because of concerns over possibly amendments that haven’t yet been vetted. I have reservations and concerns that we may now be rushing items that need detailed and thorough discussion.  Additionally, I am concerned that rather than addressing each item separately, there may be an effort to piggy-back changes upon my proposed resolution, which is contrary to what I and the former Chair of the Committee expressed back in the December 16, 2009 committee meeting.  I fear that the potential rush and comingling of issues will result in pushing forward an effect that I did not intend.  Because of such I have pulled my sponsorship of the resolution.” [Press Release]

Wonder what he thinks now that the other Councilcritters have passed the resolution? [C-J]

Hopefully you didn’t miss this hilarious photo of Steve Beshear being shown how to use a computer. [Page One]

Today at 9:30 Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman John Yarmuth will hold a press conference to make an Earned Income Tax Credit announcement at UofL’s College of Business. Shirley Willihnganz and Eric Seto of Louisville Asset Building Coalition will also be on-hand. [Press Release]

Yesterday Larry Hausman complained about Barack Obama’s job creation plans. Guess he wasn’t paying attention? That fancy $5,000 tax cut for businesses is exactly what he was hoping for. [Yet Another Press Release]

The Vagina Monologues will be presented as part of V-Day University of Louisville 2010, sponsored by UofL’s Prevention, Education and Advocacy on Campus and in the Community (PEACC). This year’s production will be performed by students, faculty, staff and community members. February 11-13 at 7:00 P.M. at the Playhouse. Email or call 502.852.2663 for tickets. [Press Release]

Fairdale Bigfoot is still running for mayor and he’s back again with his weekly advice column. [Consuming Louisville]

Does the arena look kinda like the Twitter fail whale? Kinda. [Broken Sidewalk]

It’s time to strengthen cockfighting laws. Yes, for serious. Go read all about it. [More Page One]

Obama’s State of the Union Last Night

Watch it? Miss it? Thoughts? (Just keep it civil – I’m traveling and don’t want to check my email filled with all kinds of ridiculous, ignorant remarks)

Rep. John Yarmuth on last night’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama:

“It has been clear to me for some time that the greatest problem faced by those who hold public office is not one of policy or message, but credibility, which the President addressed tonight. Louisvillians sent me to Congress to make the economy work for everyone, to achieve real health care reform, and to ensure their interests will never be trumped by special interests. I am encouraged the President is committed to giving the people of this country the government they deserve and pay for, and I look forward to continuing that fight.”

If you missed the live remarks from the President, you may read his prepared transcript below:

Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For two hundred and twenty years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable – that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements; our hesitations and our fears; America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, and one people.

Read the rest by CLICKING HERE

You Ready For The Next Snowpocalypse???

I’m traveling on a fancy aeroplane all morning/afternoon, so it’ll be a little slow around here for a minute. Remember, if there are any must-see/do thingies in Shreveport? Now’s your chance to give me a yell, ladies and ladydudes. Maybe I’ll bring back some cool gifts for you all.

Yesterday Rep. John Yarmuth was on The Stephanie Miller Show and he spoke extensively about the public option and the State of the Union address. [Page One]

Lame Kenny G has canceled his Valentine’s performance with the Louisville Orchestra, making him that much more lame. [Press Release]

Evolving City: West Main Street and the Louisville Hotel. An interesting trip down memory lane, complete with pictures. [Broken Sidewalk]

Jerry Abramson, Sheldon Berman, Joe Reagan and other community leaders will gather today to launch a community-wide campaign to “make sure everyone is counted during the 2010 U.S. Census this spring.” 9:30 A.M. in the Mayor’s Gallery. [Press Release]

You ready for the judicial races, Louisville? [C-J]

UofL students are preparing to rally on higher education. [UofL Today]

The Louisville ice storm of fail in 33 seconds. [Fat Lip]

First, Jack Conway started creating fancy YouTube videos. Now Lt. Dan is in on the game. [Page One & More Page One]

Kevin Harned and John Belski have created the most awful video ever. A Pants on the Ground parody. “Snow on the Ground.” OMG.  That takes some real guts. [WAVE3]

Belle of Louisville Wins Photo Award

The National Park Service today named a photo of the Belle of Louisville as winner of the National Historic Landmark photo contest:

From the press release:

The National Park Service named a photo of the Belle of Louisville as first place winner of the Tenth Annual National Historic Landmarks Photo Contest.  The photograph, which shows the Belle cruising at Tall Stacks in Cincinnati, graces the cover of the National Historic Landmarks 2010 Event Planner and is also the featured photo for June.  Photographer Philip Groshong of Cincinnati submitted the photo, which was among almost 200 entries from all over the nation.
The tenth anniversary contest was titled “Imaging Our National Heritage.”  The photo of the Belle was chosen over images of other national landmarks such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Alamo in San Antonio.  Over the ten years of the photo contest, more than 1,000 images have been submitted from almost every state in the union.  The contest is meant to “encourage people to use their cameras to capture the meaning of their National Historic Landmark in a photo.”

Finally, some positive news!