Green drops out, endorses Fischer

After being called a potential spoiler, independent Jackie Green has withdrawn from the race for mayor of Louisville to endorse Democrat Greg Fischer, who has promised that the bicycle advocate will have “significant input” in selecting a cabinet-level office in his administration.

“Jackie represents an important and growing voice in our community. I appreciate his support, and I look forward to his continued input,” Fischer said in a press release, adding that Green brought important issues to light in the mayor’s race. “I want to establish Louisville as one of America’s greenest cities and Jackie Green — and his many passionate supporters — can help with that vision.”

Earlier today, LEO reported that members of Fischer’s campaign were trying to persuade Green to get out of the race before Election Day. At the time the small business owner told LEO he wasn’t withdrawing, however, he acknowledged there were ongoing discussions with Fischer about adopting parts of his platform if he’ll step down.

In the general election, Fischer has announced plans to create an Office of Sustainability, a department that reports directly to the mayor that would work to make Louisville a greener city. Fischer said he will consult with Green to provide significant input to help structure that office.

The announcement has upset a handful of Green’s supporters, including his campaign staff who weren’t aware of the decision up until it was released to the press.

“I’m a little upset because I wasn’t prefaced to this conversation at all,” says Tyler Hess, Green’s campaign manager. “The Fischer campaign came to us a week ago with this. We got calls from Chris Poynter pressuring us to get out, so the Courier-Journal reporting we came to them had it all backwards. They were salivating at our growing momentum because the voters appreciated his extra voice. Now Greg is changing his platform and it’s unbelievable that this conversation has changed this quickly.”

“I’m disappointed in Jackie, really. I thought he saw through it all and that Fischer wasn’t authentic,” says Curt Morrison, a former Green campaign volunteer. “I think his supporters will split. Some will follow Jackie based on their faith in him. I know Fischer has offered him the world, and others will recognized Heiner is more qualified to be mayor. I’m definitely with Heiner.”

The Fischer campaign says no job was offered to the bicycle advocate directly. In a telephone interview earlier today, however, Green told LEO that he told Fischer’s campaign that he didn’t trust them to appoint someone from their team to the office, and that he or  someone should either run or select who operates it.

From WFPL’s The Edit:

“Put real power in that office and let us elect the leadership of that office,” (Green) says. “Us being the Jackie Green for mayor team.”

Before dropping out, LEO received an e-mail from Green that outlined the discussions with Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner, saying that he was seeking to exact commitments from both before ever considering dropping out of the race and endorsing a former rival.

The e-mail goes on to say that the Heiner wanted Green to stay in the race while the Fischer team was “drafting a document that will accomplish this.”

The Heiner campaign says that this development shows desperation on Fischer’s part in the last weeks of a tight mayoral campaign.

“If Greg Fischer has such poor judgment that he believes it’s acceptable to sell a city department of government in exchange for a political endorsement he is clearly unfit to be mayor,” says Joe Burgan, Heiner’s campaign manager.

6 Comments

  1. Steve Magruder
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    A few thoughts:

    1) Green’s supporters are very thoughtful people, and I suspect that they will very carefully consider who to support, outside of their candidate’s endorsement.

    2) Fischer is not quite the green candidate that Green is suggesting, with Fischer’s support for the un-green two-bridges boondoggle, not to mention that he’s even more greenfield-developer-friendly than Heiner.

    3) I would really like to know how Fischer is able to gain people’s allegiance — It has to be more than his ideas, much of which are copied from Heiner. I want to suggest what it is, but I don’t like to come off as crass. Heh.

  2. Dan Klepal
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Just an FYI. Hess says that Poynter incorrectly told the C-J that Green appraoched their campaign. According to Hess, Fischer approached Green. But that’s not what Jackie Green says. Green told me today that he first approached Fischer about the possibility of endorsing him on Sunday, at the Yearlings forum.

    Dan Klepal
    Metro government reporter
    Courier-Journal

  3. Puhn Tang
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    See, even a greenie can be a ho. Get on your bike and ride, Jackie.

  4. Jackie Green
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know why this story keeps getting spread around.
    I’m still on the ballot and would appreciate your vote come November 2, 2010!

  5. Tyler Hess
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about that Dan. From what the email conversations and what I was told, Fischer’s team had approached us in soliciting ways for us to work together. Regardless – I would never ever ever had supposed that Jackie would approach the Fischer camp in desiring to assist them nor endorse them. If you got this directly form Jackie – then I guess that’s what it is..
    I’m still very disappointed in this whole situation at the moment.

  6. stu noland
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    If Jackie Green endorses a winning pro entire ORBP candidate then most of his platform goals will be unattainable. If Louisville allocates all of its federal and state transportation dollars on a terribly designed highway that will define the city’s image for the next 1oo years the city will be unable to attract and retain the type of people who would support Mr. Greens platform. As young profesionals locate elsewhere, the city’s cultural offerings will erode along with the tax base that supports many of the issues that Mr. Green cares about. It is time for those with influence in this city to speak up about the catastrophic consequences of Louisville making the biggest urban planning mistake of the 21st century.

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  1. [...] As LEO reports, some of Green’s supporters are not pleased: The announcement has upset a handful of Green’s supporters, including his campaign staff who weren’t aware of the decision and believe their message was resonating with voters. [...]

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