The not-so-great mayoral debate

In the race for mayor of Louisville, both Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner have put transparency and openness at the forefront of their campaigns. Therefore, the major party candidates must have an opinion on Independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green being barred from the first debate of the general election by event organizers.

Initially, Metro Police stop the bicycle advocate from even entering the building. And what’s more troubling is why Green was not invited to participate.

From Jerry’s kids:

“We know where Mr. Green stands on development, and it is strictly focused on the urban area and redevelopment,” says Tara Brinkmoeller, a spokeswoman for Home Builders (Association of Louisville, which hosted the debate). “We know that he doesn’t believe new development should occur. And knowing that he speaks directly against what we stand for, we didn’t feel it was a forum that would’ve been appropriate.”

Hoping to get the major party candidates position on this situation, LEO Weekly has sent the following questions to the Fischer and Heiner campaigns:

What is the Fischer/Heiner campaign’s reaction to the revelation that Independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green was not allowed to participate and initially barred from the building by Metro Police?

Was Mr.Fischer/Councilman Heiner aware that Mr. Green was not allowed to participate of before agreeing to attend?

Mr. Green has called the debate a “closed and exclusive process.” Does Mr. Fischer/Councilman Heiner agree? If no, why?

Lastly, will the Fischer/Heiner campaign participate in future debates that do not invite all the candidates?

We’ll update once we receive their responses.


The east Louisville Republican is the first to respond to our questions about the controversy at last week’s mayoral debate.

“When the Heiner Campaign accepted the Home Builders invitation we were unaware Mr. Green would be excluded from the forum,” says Joe Burgan, Heiner’s campaign manager. “Moving forward this campaign will urge those planning debates and forums to be as inclusive as possible. Louisvillians deserve an open and honest debate on the issues and that debate should include all candidates.”

Still no word from the Fischer campaign.

One Comment

  1. Tyler Hess
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I respect that Heiner will request for debates to be more open in the future. However, at the debate Heiner did not acknowledge whatsoever that Green was obviously not present. Green was even standing in the back of the room once negotiating with the officers blocking his entrance. If Heiner truly wanted open government, he would not have participated in the closed debate once showing up or at the very least acknowledge the exclusiveness of it at the event. Shameful on both accounts. But still, at least he has responded to the LEO’s inquiries thus far.