That was but one of the responses our Mayor had for Jefferson County GOP chairman Brad Cummings, the latter of whom had delivered earlier today a factual, coherent and scathing indictment of the Abramson administration’s (largely) post-merger shenanigans at the party’s headquarters on Muhammad Ali Boulevard. A somewhat nervous — though no less self-assured — Cummings spoke before a podium and a slew of reporters to deliver the first comprehensive attack on the record of Louisville’s “Mayor for Life.”
Cummings’ points include, but are not limited to:
- An assessment by U of L economic guru Dr. Paul Coomes that, among other things, depicted a River City economy lagging far behind its peers: Between 1975 and 2005, population growth was well below the national average, putting us 14th out of a total of 15 comparable cities. And our wages remained below the nation-at-large by nearly $3,000.
- “We also take home less from our paychecks. A family of three with a $75,000 income was hit with the 3rd highest tax rate among the list of 15. And among all cities in the US, we are the 5th most burdensome to families making $25,000 or less. That means our poorest citizens are more taxed than major metropolitan areas like Washington DC, New York City and Atlanta GA.”
- The mayor’s questionable hiring practices, be they John “Convicted of felony check fraud viz. taxpayer moneys” Flood, Dr. Gilles “Metro Animal Services overseer who thinks that poor people shouldn’t own dogs even though he most likely fed a puppy drugs once” Meloche, or Kimberly “Metro Housing and Family Services’ bizarro-Robin Hood” Bunton.
- Cordish, Cordish, Cordish: “We gave this out-of-town company a $1.8 million forgivable loan, originally intended for the Starks Building to expand 4th Street Live. When Cordish stopped paying their lease payment on that location, the money was allowed to be used towards what is now The Sports & Social Club and as long as Cordish operates a business in that space for 5 of the next 10 years, they never have to pay back that loan.“
Later that afternoon the Mayor, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-3rd) and a handful of judges and non-profit-types gathered before the home of Jack Wheaton for a testimonial/press conference on the efficiency of a new foreclosure prevention initiative (protectmyoldkyhome.org), which saved the elderly Wheaton from being kicked to the curb. Unfortunately, the reason most of the media types were there wasn’t really to hear his story, but how would Jerry rebut?
“[Cummings' announcement] doesn’t affect my decision at all,” a smiling Abramson told reporters after the official press conference was over. “It’s silly season again.”
He responded to Cummings’ charges by playing the “I think the record speaks for itself,” card, highlighting the popularity of Fourth Street live, Waterfront Park, and the expansion of the GE Appliance Park as well as touting Louisville’s, uh, lowest infant mortality rates in the region.
When pressed about the negative job growth figures featured in Cummings’ indictment, the Mayor responded with “I heard a lot of the same misinformation that my opponent [Metro Councilman Kelly Downard] used, and I won by a big margin.”
Abramson also evaded the obvious questions of whether he is planning to seek a third term as Metro Mayor (“My wife and I are talking about it a lot.”) or to accept a position as lieutenant governor (“I talk to Gov. Beshear every time I need money.”), but said that he would come to a decision within the next 4-5 weeks.
“If I do decide to run, my family and I will commit to a vigorous campaign for a sixth term of the Abramson administration.”
Happy happy, joy joy.