For the third time debate organizers have chosen to block independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green from a forum in the race for mayor of Louisville. The discussion hosted by the Louisville Forum will feature Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner, and is scheduled for this Wednesday at Noon. The decision to not invite Green, a bicycle advocate and small business owner, was made by the organization’s board.
The group’s president, Dot Ridings, told WFPL their policy is to not invite candidates who poll at under 15 percent to a general election debate. In the recent Courier-Journal/WHAS11 poll, Green came in with 2 percent of the vote among likely voters.
The Green campaign is renewing a previous call it made to other debate organizers and the major party candidates, demanding they support an open debate of the issues.
“The democratic process and candidate willingness to participate in closed and exclusive events is becoming an issue in this election,” Green said in a news release. “We need to discuss our energy dependencies, our local economy, the demise of neighborhoods, the destruction of local farms, the public transit and Ohio River Bridges Project debate, neighborhood schools and much more. It is lamentable that these important discussions should be shut out of the conversation.”
It is the third time over the course of the general election that Green has been barred from attending a campaign forum. Earlier this year, the Home Builders Associatio barred Green from the discussion and initially had Metro Police stop him from entering the building. Later, the Louisville Association of Realtors denied Green’s request to participate in their event.
In August, the Greater Louisville Hotel and Lodging Association did not invite Green to their downtown debate, but after petitioning lodging professionals, the group’s board acquiesced and allowed Green to participate.
The Louisville Forum is a public issues group, which promotes itself as an independent and non-partisan organization that “provides an arena for the presentation and analysis of vital issues affecting Metro Louisville.”