Given Greg Fischer’s slippery position on the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, the project’s opponents have heaped criticism on the Democratic nominee for mayor.
That’s exactly why we were so perplexed to see prominent anti-tolling organizer Shawn Reilly apparently supporting the Louisville businessman.
At a recent Democratic rally, Reilly, co-founder of the “Say NO to Bridge Tolls” group, was seen sporting a Fischer sticker while gathering signatures for a petition against tolls, which Reilly insists isn’t sending a mixed message.
“People are coming up to you and asking you to put stickers on. And so, I’m a Democrat, and I put the Democratic stickers on. As you see, there are three candidates I’m wearing. It’s not significant in any way in regards to my anti-tolling work,” he says. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
When asked if he’s supporting Fischer as the sticker would indicate, Reilly said he’s still undecided about the mayor’s race, adding that his group is lobbying Fischer in an effort to convince him that the behemoth public works project does not need tolls.
At the very least, it appears to be an instance of “doublethink” on the anti-tolling activist’s part, considering 1) Fischer’s position on the bridges project, and 2) Reilly’s past comments.
From Jerry’s kids:
Under the radar of most political observers, Republican mayoral candidate and Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, R-19, flirted with the anti-tolling sentiment among residents in a discussion about the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.
That position differentiates Heiner from his opponent, Democrat Greg Fischer, among anti-tolling organizers, who may swell in numbers once the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority releases its study on how to pay for both bridges.
“At least Councilman Heiner is willing to draw a line in the sand on this. If the authority gets the tolls they want, it will be the largest tax in Louisville’s history,” says Shawn Reilly, co-founder the Facebook group “Say NO to Bridge Tolls.” “The people who would not normally support a Republican may support one in this race because of this issue. In our view, this is not about Republican or Democrat. It’s about doing what’s right for this city and not going down the path of this $4 billion boondoggle.”