Fischer’s Crew Still Don’t Get Campaign Finance

You know about the campaign finance complaint filed by Curt Morrison over Greg Fischer’s inaugural shenanigans, right?

Jon Meyer, Greg Fischer’s inaugural fund treasurer, says one thing in the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance response about Ed Hart and Bruce Lunsford (via Jennifer Moore, Fischer’s attorney):

“Mr. Morrison’s claim is not true. As treasurer for the inauguration account, I have reviewed all of the checks received for the inauguration. Mr. Hart and Mr. Lunsford never made contributions to the inauguration account, and no contribution made to the inauguration account was ever diverted or used for any other purpose. I have attached Mr. Hart’s and Mr. Lunsford’s checks…

As you can see from Mr. Hart’s checks … it is clear that Mr. Hart intended to contribute to the general and primary election accounts. Each check is made payable to “Fischer for Mayor”…

But Ed Hart and Bruce Lunsford say another (as do the series of emails Ed Hart has in his possession): that Tommy Elliott and crew pulled a bait and switch. You can read about it in Dan Klepal’s stories, if you wish.

Never mind that there are emails backing up that the Fischer crew came back to Hart after contributing to the inaugural fund asking him to change his contribution to read to “Fischer for Mayor” with no indication or explanation that their contributions would not be used for the inauguration. In fact, their names were still listed in the inaugural program as sponsors. They were consistently told their contributions, if unused to pay for the event (so up to 2,000 citizens could attend for free), would be directed to charity.

Guess it’s time for Ed Hart to release those emails and to send a supporting letter and documentation to the KREF.

And, finally, after years of us calling him out, Fischer’s folks finally admit that his companies have, indeed, made contributions to his campaigns:

I have reviewed the reports submitted to the Registry by the inaugural, general and primary campaign accounts and note that the contribution and use of the website should have been reported and attributed to the LLC’s “individual members according to their respective ownership interests,” as set forth in the Advisory Opinion. Accordingly, I will amend all appropriate reports to reflect this personal contribution by Mayor Fischer, and will communicate with your office to ensure the amended reports are comlpleted on or before February 7, 2012.

Despite the past protestations from Fischer and his campaigns that no such contributions occurred, they’re finally admitted it. We expect Fischer to amend all of his U.S. Senate and mayoral campaign finance reports.

Meyer goes on:

As treasurer, neither I nor anyone I am aware of has violated any campaign finance law, nor have we intended to do so.

Unfortunately, he and the entire crew are aware. They’ve been aware for years. Particularly about using company resources for Fischer’s campaign benefit. We’ve written about it, Fischer’s talked about it, other outlets have covered it.

It’s also really a shame Morrison decided to meddle in this. I made him aware prior to filing that plans were in the works for a complaint to be filed by a legal team with campaign finance experience and he still felt it was a good idea. While loosely well-intentioned (he’s running for political office, remember), it now makes it unlikely that any campaign finance attorneys at the disposal of Hart and Lunsford will come to his aid.

Wonder Where The Courier-Journal Got This Story?

Haha, so, funny story… we told you about Greg Fischer’s campaign finance bait-and-switch on Tuesday:

The Fischer crew pulled a huge bait-and-switch with donors. Here’s a project for you: Take a look at Fischer’s inauguration committee and inauguration sponsors/donors. Cross reference that list – the folks who were solicited for contributions by Tommy Elliot and others for Fischer’s inaugural committee – with Fischer’s actual mayoral campaign account reporting with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and look what you get.

That’s right – a bunch of people who were told they were contributing to Fischer’s Inauguration. Only to have their contribution used to pay down his campaign debt.

Yesterday, we pointed out that Greg Fischer was caught lying about the shenanigans:

He said unused funds were used for civic purposes at the Community Foundation of Louisville. And that’s what he told inauguration supporters at the time.

Unfortunately for Greg, we told you yesterday that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because prominent members of Louisville’s business community – Democrats, actually – contributed to Fischer’s inauguration fund (they weren’t campaign supporters) only to have their contributions show up as having gone to Fischer’s campaign to help retire his debt.

There’s also a paper trail backing this up.

And whattya know? Dan Klepal did a big story about it all. Click here to read it. And check the excerpts below:

Businessmen Ed Hart and Bruce Lunsford say $10,000 in contributions that they and five other people gave to sponsor a table at Mayor Greg Fischer’s Inaugural Gala was instead kept by the mayor’s election campaign to repay personal loans he made to the campaign.

Hart wrote a letter Wednesday asking that Fischer return all of the money to the donors so it can be contributed to charity — a request Fischer told a reporter he will “seriously” consider.

Told ya so.

Front page, above the fold, even:

Fischer counters that Hart and Lunsford wrote their checks to the campaign account and should have known that meant the campaign could use the money however it wanted.

“These are smart guys,” Fischer said. “They’ve been around the political world.”

Like we explained to you, it was a bait-and-switch and there’s an email trail to back it up. Greg Fischer is yet again lying.

Dan Klepal backs that up:

And e-mails obtained by The Courier-Journal clearly show that the donor solicitation was for inaugural events. In addition, an inaugural program lists all seven donors as being “Inaugural Host Sponsors,” which required $1,000 contributions.

Fischer called that acknowledgement a “discrepency.”

Elliott wrote in an email on Dec. 13 to a member of Hart’s staff handling the fundraising that the checks should be made out to “Greg Fischer Mayoral Inauguration.”

But eight days later, Elliott sent another e-mail asking that “everyone could write (checks) to Greg Fischer for Mayor.”

From Bruce Lunsford:

“It bothers me that somebody who has substantial means would … use his power and position to get money and pay back campaign debt,” said Lunsford

That’s coming from Bruce – a Fischer supporter – so you know the business community is more than outraged.

But the newspaper on Wednesday obtained an invitation to a Fischer fundraiser held in Lexington on Nov. 29 — at the home of Insight Communications lobbyist David Whitehouse.

When asked about the event, Fischer initially called the fundraiser a “reception” and said, “I did not solicit money there.” He also said that his campaign “did not send (the invitations) out.”

When it was pointed out that the invitations say “Paid for by Greg Fischer for Mayor,” Fischer responded: “I did not see that and I do not know that.”

Greg Fischer doesn’t even have the balls to take responsibility for his own campaign’s actions. Disputing, attacking, obfuscating when the facts are placed right in front of his face.

There you have it. Really – be sure to read Klepal’s piece. Let it sink in.

Note to Fischer: You’re welcome, Greg. I told you I wouldn’t let this one get swept under the rug. You knew this was a big deal when your face turned red and you stormed off.

Jackie & Greg Had Coffee Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday, October 12, Greg Fischer and Jackie Green met for coffee to discuss the first concessions to be made – Jackie drops out, Greg gives Jackie something in return when he endorses Greg. Jackie made it a point to tell several people in the coffee shop that Greg had asked him to meet regarding the mayor’s race. And during the meeting, as they discussed greenfields and anti-sprawl efforts, they must have been oblivious to the world around them. Because several people have reached out to talk about seeing them and hearing them. Guess that won’t go over so well if investigators start poking around.

The most interesting thing people tell me, though? It’s that as Greg was leaving, he stopped to speak with Bruce Lunsford, who was seated at an outside table. I can’t stop laughing about that. Because I’m sure Bruce was gritting his teeth. No love lost there.

But about the 12th. Everyone in the press started getting suspicious that day because Jackie Green was out of character and seemingly nervous. He did things that caused me to raise an eyebrow. Like sending me this email:

Subject: thanks for your tireless work, Jake
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:45:19 -0400
From: Jackie Green
To: Jake The ‘Ville Voice

you are a Louisville treasure.

Jackie Green

On its face, the email was a nice gesture and I thanked him (also told him he was crazy for thinking I’m a treasure). But that was seriously out of character for the man. Because 90% of the communication I’d had with him up until that point had been of the challenging sort where he spoke at me like I was part of the problem. Clearly something had changed. Turns out, he’d sent several members of the press and various supporters similar emails. Guess it was to butter them up for what was to come.

Just find it all rather interesting.

Greg Fischer’s Ad Guy Has A New Film Project

Remember the dishonest “Mudman” attack ad Greg Fischer ran against Bruce Lunsford in 2008, prompting a furious letter from the state’s top Democratic brass?

Here’s a refresher:

Elliot Greenebaum, the guy who created that spot and most/all of Fischer’s ads during the senate race, has a new project called Republican Sex and Marriage Advice.

He says he wants to do his part by satirizing the Republican Party and plans to release two or three videos each week.

Here’s one of the videos:

And take a look at the, ahem, interesting logo he’s created for the shorts:

Greg Fischer 2008 Versus Greg Fischer 2010

In the 2008 U.S. Senate primary, Greg Fischer attacked Democrats for crossing party lines to contribute to Republicans and invited people to check his references. So we did. The public found out that Greg Fischer and his family have contributed thousands to Republicans like George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell and Anne Northup.

Fischer also claimed his business record was clean. But reality has it that Fischer’s companies were fined by OSHA for unsafe working conditions on a number of occasions. Not to mention the sexual harassment case and settlement and the other snafus.

I thought it’d be interesting to take a trip back to 2008 to review some of the campaign ads from the senate race. The first is a spot from Bruce Lunsford, Fischer’s Democratic opponent in the race, hitting him on most of the above issues:

The ad came only after Fischer launched several nasty attack ads of his own. And those same issues are resurfacing in 2010.

Peep some of Fischer’s old attack ads and news stories about his questionable campaign activity after the jump…

Read moreGreg Fischer 2008 Versus Greg Fischer 2010

Everything Is Puppies & Rainbows In Metro Govt

Mitch McConnell’s right-hand man compared Greg Fischer to Trey Grayson. And you can expect Grayson’s camp to now go on a rampage about Social Security and entitlements. [John David Dyche]

At least when we accept advertising from a candidate it appears on our site and in plain view. [Barefoot & Progressive]

At 5:03 P.M. yesterday, Chris Thieneman’s campaign manager sent this out in a statement: Due to an unforeseen emergency, Chris Thieneman will not be holding a press conference tomorrow morning. Chris looks forward to sharing his vision for Louisville’s economic future, and will be delivering his plan at a time and date to be announced shortly. We hope all is well with Thieneman. [Media Advisory]

The Courier-Journal just got around to mentioning some endorsements Greg Fischer got a week ago. [C-J]

Last night David Tandy rejected the endorsement of bigot Frank Simon and his Freedom’s Heritage Forum: “My entire political career has been about bringing people together,” said Tandy.  “I cannot accept the endorsement of any organization that works to exclude anyone from the political process.  This entire campaign is about bringing every citizen of Louisville together to create better, more vibrant and more inclusive communities; a vision that organization does not share. My Christian values are extremely important to me,” said Tandy.  “But my Christian values teach that every individual has a voice, that every person is entitled to equal rights and opportunities and that any organization which chooses to discriminate based on race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation has no place in my campaign.” Standing up to bigots isn’t easy, so here’s hoping you tell Tandy you like what he’s done. [Press Release]

Mike O’Connell rejected Simon’s endorsement, as well: “It has come to my attention that your organization, Freedom’s Heritage Forum, has endorsed my candidacy for Jefferson County Attorney. And, I reject that endorsement and ask that you immediately remove my name from any of your materials. Along with many endorsements, I have been endorsed by CFAIR, the PAC of the Fairness Campaign. When the Fairness Ordinance was pending before the Louisville Metro Council, I testified in favor of its passage. I am a firm supporter of the Fairness Ordinance and all of the civil rights protections provided to the citizens of Louisville Metr.” [Press Release & Letter]

On May 14, 2008 in response to an ad run by Bruce Lunsford, here’s what Greg Fischer had to say: “I don’t enjoy having to point out this discrepancy. But when a candidate for public office stands before a statewide audience on live TV and says something that is blatantly false, I think you have to point that out.” I tend to agree with him, don’t you? [Flashback]

Jerry Abramson’s office is still pretending that everything is puppies and rainbows post-Metro Government audit. Unfortunately for Jerry, if changes had been made, we wouldn’t still be having problems.  And why did David Tandy look like he was falling asleep during Crit Luallen’s appearance before the council? [WFPL & Press Release]

State Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen even said the audit needed to go deeper because there are other problems. So let’s quit playing pat-a-cake and acting like nothing has gone on in Louisville. [C-J]

Put the Lunsford Rumor to Bed

Here’s the deal, folks: Joe Gerth was incorrect (he was misled?) on Comment on Kentucky. There are no indicators that Bruce Lunsford is running for mayor of Louisville.

That’s a rumor that was started by a political campaign manager-type (when he thought his candidate was a goner – even though he denies it) by calling a reporter a couple weeks ago. It then spread to the West End of Louisville and throughout gossip circles to the Fischer Camp, where a few folks got nervous and spread it even further.

So, dear journalists, can we leave the rumormongering up to ME and you kids just stick to what you know?


(I think Bruce would make a great mayor – but why the hell would he want to wade into THAT mess?)

It’s Monday! A Happy Post-Holiday Binge

It’s a shame something like this can’t happen in Louisville. Wes Finley = former WHAS11 producer. [Click the Clicky]

Kentucky’s school superintendents have free reign to sit on boards of organizations and businesses from which they directly profit. It’s illegal for every other state employee to do so. And now superintendents – primarily Sheldon Berman – wants to have his evaluation as a public employee kept private. Our tax dollars being spent on this fight. It is time for our elected officials, the press and everyday citizens to stand up for open records and transparency in government. And it is time to hold these people accountable. [Nancy Rodriguez]

It’s a shame there are still messes like this. Just takes one bad apple to ruin it for everybody. [WHAS11]

If you live in Louisville’s 41st State House District, then start paying attention to Mike Slaton. [Barefoot & Progressive]

It’s absolutely mind-blowing that a Democratic candidate for the Kentucky State House is advocating meaningful tax reform. Nobody tell the Gas Station Governor. [Mike Slaton on the Twitter]

Kentucky’s food stamp participation is on the rise. 12.3% total increase in just a year. [Page One]

Steve Kragthorpe is out at the University of Louisville. Media & UofL sources told us two weeks ago that Kragthorpe was preparing to list his Lake Forest home with a realtor but never found proof. But here it is. [Pat Forde & C-J]

Local history geek alert! The Beechmont Fire Station is set to be demolished. [Broken Sidewalk]

Hart-Lunsford’s latest hand in the film world involves Zac Efron and Orson Welles. And they’re not focusing on distribution. [C-J]

Julie & Ellen like Jim King enough to dedicate an entire column to him. [Voice-Tribune]

Comedy with Local Ties Debuts In N.Y.

It’s been a while since we heard much from Hart-Lunsford Pictures, the local movie development company headed by Ed Hart and Bruce Lunsford. Last Friday, though, it premiered its latest film, “Bart Got a Room” to an enthusiastic audience in New York.

Hart attended the premiere at Manhattan’s Loews Theatres, and said the audience got a special treat when Steven Kaplan, who plays the 18-year-old protagonist, entertained questions after the show.  The movie, set in South Florida, centers on the nerdy Kaplan’s pursuit of a prom date, his search more exacerbating since even uber-dweeb classmate Bart has rented a room. It stars William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines.

“We’ve made seven films with our producing partners, Plum Pictures of New York City, and are in pre-production on two new films, both with A-list talent attached.  It’s been a wonderful relationship, both creatively and financially,” Hart said in a news release.

While not all reviews have been kind,  the New York Daily News compares it favorably to the hit comedy “Adventureland.”

It’s not certain when, or if, the movie will screen in Louisville. Last spring, Hart-Lunsford screened its film “Diminished Capacity” at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, with proceeds going to charity.

Page One & The ‘Ville Voice On TeeVee

God Jesus we move our head and eyes around way too much on the teevee. Plus it’s way worse when we’re super-sleepy. You likey?

Like how I over-dressed?

Stephen crosses his legs just like me. Because he is as skinny as me– dangerous for him, because I’m likely to maul anyone who tries to outdo me on the fat-free front.

And Rick got a haircut!

Stephen did a good job being a dirty librul, Rick offered some fancy insights and I said positive things about Mitch McConnell… and shared the truth about Katie King and what a cluster-eff THAT mess is.


Part 1:

Part 2: