Council president says Allen endorsed Heiner for ‘significant input’

Calling Republican Hal Heiner a “hypocrite” for his recent ad, Metro Council President Tom Owen, D-8, says that former mayoral candidate Tyler Allen was promised significant input in a potential Heiner administration in exchange for his endorsement of the GOP nominee.

In a press release sent out by Democrat Greg Fischer’s campaign, Owen said he met with Allen in September just before the co-founder of 8664 announced he was endorsing Heiner.

“Tyler clearly stated to me that he was promised by the Heiner campaign to have input into transportation issues, if he endorsed Heiner and if Heiner won,” Owen said in the news release. “Mr. Heiner, whom I respect, is being a hypocrite. I call on Hal to come clean with the public and with the voters.”

On Sept 8, LEO Weekly reported that Owen had reached out to Allen and arranged a meeting because he heard that the popular transportation advocate was leaning towards the East End Republican. When asked about the details of the conversation last month, the council president never mentioned Allen being promised a role or input in the Mayor’s Office if Heiner were elected.

From Jerry’s kids:

The concern about Fischer’s bridges position was one of the reasons Owen recently reached out to former mayoral candidate Tyler Allen, a popular Democrat and co-founder of 8664, who is rumored to be leaning toward endorsing Heiner. The two met to discuss whom Allen will support; neither would confirm details of that conversation.

The Heiner campaign says no conversation ever took place between their candidate and Allen, and that the Fischer campaign is trying to distract voters from what they call the Democratic candidate’s “back-room deal” to get the endorsement of former mayoral candidate Jackie Green, an independent who withdrew from the race last week after being promised “significant input” in selecting a cabinet-level office.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Jack Conway, Republican Party of Kentucky chairman Steve Robertson has called for an investigation into the Fischer-Green agreement, citing LEO Weekly’s story that broke the story of Green saying Fischer’s campaign was the first to raise the proposition of him being a part of the Democratic candidate’s administration, should Fischer be elected.

“Hal never promised Tyler anything,” says Joe Burgan, Heiner’s campaign manager. “This is an out and out lie. When you can’t answer a question like we’ve asked Greg Fischer about him doing backdoor deals, you respond by calling your opponent a liar and accusing them of the same thing. Greg got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and has absolutely zero evidence.”

When asked if they would release any correspondence with Allen, the Heiner campaign tells LEO it will provide all e-mail messages between the 8664 co-founder and Heiner campaign staff later today.

Allen was unavailable for comment.


The Heiner campaign has provided two e-mails between their staff and Allen leading up to his announcement. The first dated Sept. 8 outlines a press release with the Democrat endorsing Heiner. The following message is sent by Heiner’s campaign manager asking Allen what if he agrees with a statement describing why he supports the city lawmaker’s candidacy.

In a telephone interview, Burgan tells LEO that these are the only e-mail exchanges that took place and that Allen called to confirm the quote. The Heiner campaign has never had any conversation with Allen about trading his endorsement for any input or role in Metro government, says Burgan.

“It’s not true. I was not promised anything for my endorsement. I knew who I wanted to support in this mayor’s race and I wanted to do it publicly,” says Allen. “That why I showed my support because I appreciate Hal’s leadership, experience and openness to challenging the status quo.”

When asked why he didn’t make reference to Allen making any sort of deal with Heiner in our previous interview, Owen told LEO that it was because the Fischer-Green issue hadn’t emerged as an issue in the campaign at the time. The council president stands by his statement and says he doesn’t see any distinction between Allen being assured input in a Heiner administration and Green being assured a role in shaping policy in a Fischer administration.

“Should either campaign be investigated? Absolutely not. The very nature of running a mayor’s race is to take as many diverse elements and pieces to put them together in a winning puzzle,” he says. “Now if an office or job had been offered, I didn’t see that in any of the e-mails I’ve seen so far on the Jackie Green thing, then that’s another issue.”

However, when confronted with the other set of e-mails reported in LEO earlier this week, Owen admitted he had not read the e-mails between Green and his staff, which shows the independent cycling advocate telling his team that the Fischer campaign playing a role in Metro government while negotiating his departure from the race.

“The (Fischer campaign) also raised the issue of our team playing a role inside gov. — should Greg get lucky. ;) ,” Green wrote his staff in an Oct. 13 e-mail message.

After LEO’s story broke, WHAS-11 reported that Green confirmed he sent the e-mail to his staff, but said his own account was questionable because he has a “poor memory” and doesn’t remember his own wife or daughter’s birthday. Both Green and the Fischer campaign have denied any job was offered in exchange for an endorsement.

“I have not read or heard the language in that form and obviously haven’t read every single e-mail,” says Owen. “I have not read LEO this week either. It’s my understanding a job has not been offered to Jackie Green.”


  1. Steve Magruder
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I guess Owen is hooked on the C-J stenography that ignored the e-mails released from subsequent reporting.

    The Fischer-Green deal appears to be about more than mere “input”. Shame on President Owen for putting out such an uninformed/misinformed position.

  2. Jaison Gardner
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice job, LEO. Only a fool would believe that this type of ish wasn’t happening left and write regarding several local mayor endorsements. Allen endorses Heiner bc they really share common values, beliefs and ideas? Ha!

  3. Steve Magruder
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Again, it’s apples vs. oranges.

    Not. even. close.

    And I’m horrified as I behold Fischer supporters spinning so violently.

  4. Tyler Hess
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Steve, it’s not that simple. This happens all the time in politics; on top of that – this law is SO vague. I mean damn it, what does this say:

    No such candidate shall promise, agree or make a contract with any person to vote for or support any particular individual, thing or measure, in consideration for the vote or the financial or moral support of that person in any election, primary or nominating convention, and no person shall require that any candidate make such a promise, agreement or contract.

    –almost NOTHING. Still, I don’t understand how all of this happened so quick. I am still very upset that Jackie dropped out though. Fighting to get into debates, passing out meager resources, and paying for all of my own gas to and from the events/meetings this summer – gave me what? Fischer’s camp saying that Jackie and “his team” will only have a basic, casual role that any other citizen would have!!! That’s what Green settled for?
    Why not fight two more weeks and see the want the Louisville residents say? What happened to this being a referendum for true change. Fischer still supports greenfield development, 1950s unsustainable infrastructure poured on OUR riverfront UNECESSARILY just for profiting developers and his downtown profit opportunities. (
    Granted, so does Hal on that last one.

    But no changes Jackie in Greg’s platform? Just open-ended rhetoric! No social or environmental priorities that don’t conflict. Solving the energy crisis, food shortages, increasing water complications, land destruction, air contamination, concentrated vehicular emissions, concrete slathering of farms for just more “development.” Oh heaven help me. This election just left me with two options that I am never going to be satified with. If those damn LASIBA people tell me to pay tolls in December, you’ll only see my bike wheels speeding as I pedal out of this establishment run city. Things must change, it is inevitable. Maybe Jackie was too stressed; I’ve still got a (tiny, tiny) bit of hope in true progressiveness. Maybe – just maybe it’ll happen.

  5. Curtis Morrison
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Jaison: Apples and oranges dude. Tyler’s passionate about transparency and honest government and so is Hal. And so am I.
    Also, um, there was a cover up operation. You really wanna go on record defending this stuff?

  6. Curtis Morrison
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Okay, this using headlines for the “name” field has to stop. Dude, if you work for Jerry or Greg, it’s ok. Just create an alias to use. Something like…G. Gordon Liddy would work.

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  1. [...] “100 percent false,” and he will say more after today’s Rotary Club debate. He tells LEO he will release all e-mails between the Heiner campaign and Allen later today. Allen [...]

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    [...] with the attorney general’s office against Heiner, citing Metro Council President Tom Owen, D-8, who came forward to say that the GOP nominee made a similar of promise of “significant input” with former Democratic mayoral candidate Tyler Allen before his [...]