Saturday, February 04, 2006

Weather and Politics

Well, winter is upon us again, and no doubt the executives down at LG$E are dancing in the halls. Despite our recent wave of above average (in some cases, way above average) temperatures throughout January and February, LG$E still managed to raise our heating bills an average of 40%. Now, that’s on top of the 60% increase in December, which was also a bit above average in temperature. What I find most interesting, is the LG$E has started a new series of propaganda…er…I mean commercials telling us about how much they care about “our” community, and how they’re just as affected by the high costs of energy too. Why, they’re just downright heart broken over how much they have to gouge us. Poor babies. And yet, we’re the ones paying the costs of their greed. Given the public’s outcry, I guess they couldn’t stand the heat (pardon the pun). I read in the Saturday’s (February 4, 2006) Courier Journal where ACORN, a well respected national community activist and justice organization, staged a protest outside of the LG$E Building. Well good for them! I think we need to have more protests and hopefully, more people can join in now that we know about it. You can reach ACORN at (502) 568-1918 for more information. They’re located at 756 South 1st Street in downtown Louisville.

Now for a little politics. As some of you know, the residents of the 37th House and Senate are having a special election. This is result of the Kentucky Supreme Court upholding the lower court’s decision that Dana Seum Stephenson (the daughter of 38th State Senator, Dan Seum) was not qualified due to her residency to hold the office. Dana was an Indiana resident at the time of her filing and the election (more on that in a moment). So now, Perry Clark, the Democratic 37th State Representative is running against Debbie Peden, wife of the Metro Councilman, who himself is up for election in a contested race. Perry is a Democrat in name only (a “DINO” as they say). He’s about as right wing as they come. A self-confessed libertarian. But, that aside, he’s has all the connections his former office has to offer. He’s got all the endorsements he’ll need, and more than enough money. Peden brings little to the race. Few connections of note. No name recognition. And no time to prepare. I predict Perry Clark will win on February 14 by 65% over Peden.

Fairdale’s Metro Council Representative for the 13th District, Ron Weston, is running for Perry’s vacated House seat against unknown Republican, Carolee Allen. Fairdale has done well by Weston, while the rest (and majority) of the district has suffered badly. Fairdale has all new streetlights, new sidewalks, newly repaved streets (in some case, repaved twice), drainage and a host of other new amenities, paid for out of his discretionary funds, while the rest of the district is having troubles just getting streetlights and sidewalks! Weston just recently got burned by the Metro Council trying to dump some $40,000.00 from his discretionary funds into is ole high school (where he also serves on the board of the Alumni Association), effectively denying his successor of any money for other projects in the district (the Metro Council will appoint someone to fill Weston’s term pending the November election). The Fairdale High School Alumni Association is of course up in arms, having apparently started spending the unapproved funds based on Weston’s word. Naturally, most of those on the association’s board are active Weston campaign supporters, including his son. No conflict of interest there eh! Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In fact, it’s quite characteristic from what I’ve seen and heard. But the truly sad part is that his opponent for the 37th House race is a complete unknown to the residents of the 13th District. She has little money, little connections, and like Peden, little time to mount a successful campaign. Even the local GOP Executive Board admitted they knew little about her. Heck, what few signs I’ve seen of hers are in the 38th House District! To bad. The residents of the 37th Senate complained (and rightly so) they had no representative last year as a result of Dana Seum Stephenson’s election being thrown out. Now, the residents outside of Fairdale in the 37th House District won’t have any representation either should Weston win. You know, considering there is a House and Senate seat at stake, you'd expect the Republicans to have put more effort in finding stronger candidates. Nevertheless, look for Weston to beat Peden with 60% of the vote on February 14th.

Now, you would think Dana Seum Stephenson would be the last person you’d see on the ballot after a year long battle in the courts over her residency and her election being kicked out, and thus causing all this mess. The Courier Journal went after her with a vengeance. Folks in the 37th Senate District are planning on suing Dana (and those who sign her filing papers) over her knowingly denying them representation (or words to that effect). Most neighborhood associations cringe at the mention of her name. But do you think that’ll stop Dana? Nope. She’s filled to run for the 38th House (the seat I ran in and almost won back in 04). She’ll face the winner in the Democratic Primary between former local Democratic Party Chairman, Tim Firkins, and former Alderwoman, Bebe Melton. My guess is that Tim will be beat Bebe (you may recall that several years ago, Bebe was forced to drop out of her race for Jefferson County Clerk. She got caught in a well publicized lie about her education). Age and health will also pay a factor in this race too. Tim is in generally good health and around 60 years old while Bebe is in her 70s and has had cancer (though now in remission I hear). Tim has a pretty good reputation too. Dana's pop, Senator Dan Seum has a contested race, so don't expect too much help from him to help Dana out. We’ll need to keep a close eye on this race, but don’t be surprised to see Tim Ferkins to win in a tough and dirty primary race, and then go on to beat Dana, whose reputation is somewhere close to Saddam’s at this point.

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