Monday, May 11, 2009

More from the corners of the Big Tent of the Kentucky Democratic Party

This Wednesday afternoon is the regular monthly meeting of the Metro Democratic Club, presently presided over by James "Jimmy" Moore. This month's meeting is to be a presentation by State Senator Perry Clark and State Representative Jim Wayne. These are two men from different parts of the big-tent of the Kentucky Democratic Party. Yesterday I referenced that tent held both me - from the left, and J. R. Gray, who other than his strong labor record as a legislator - habitates the right side of the tent.

Some would argue the same could be said of Jim Wayne and Perry Clark, one from the left; the other from the right. But that is not exactly accurate. Both are from unusual (and sometimes lonely) corners of the Party but neither could be simply listed as left or right.

Representative Wayne hails from the social justice side of the Party, a remnant from what I consider the glory days personified by presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and their respective New Deal and Great Society, neither of which were great successes but both of which were initiated with the noblest of intentions. Unfortunately, like the Roman Catholic Church, our country and our Commonwealth have lost the focus of those days as Representative Wayne reminds us from time-to-time with his speeches from the lower house of Kentucky's General Assembly. Jim represents territory running north and south from the corner of Breckinridge Street and Barret Avenue in the Original Highlands neighborhood of the (old) City out to Blue Lick Road and Susan Lane, a few blocks south of T. T. Knight Middle School, almost to the Bullitt/Jefferson County line. Representative Wayne is pictured here with Ivor Chodkowski and John Brumley of the Community Farm Alliance.

Senator Clark, who was Representative Clark for many years before he became a senator following his father Paul Clark in the same office, is a well-known libertarian on many issues. He is a constitutional scholar well versed in the history and purpose of the making of our republican experiment of government. He brings to the table a clear independence from the liberal versus conservative punditry most politicians follow. In 2006, he was an integral part of the campaign of John Yarmuth in the latter's defeat of Congresswoman Anne Northup, offering a strong and effective counter to her attack on Yarmuth for his alleged unfamiliarity with Louisville's South End. And he has helped keep Yarmuth in office by his continued support in this sometimes overlooked or even forgotten sector of our community. In 2008, Clark turned back a challenge from Southwest Jefferson's Doug Hawkins, a Republican on the Metro Council. Clark represents a district which crosses over southern Jefferson County, starting in the east in Highview and generally following a mile or two north and south of the Outer Loop, through Okolona, Edgewood, South Louisville, Auburndale, the Seven Hills, and crossing Dixie Highway to include portions of Pleasure Ridge Park and Valley Station. Senator Clark is shown here with our orange-sweatered Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky's Third Congressional District.

Wayne and Clark's districts overlap in the Edgewood/Preston Park areas, south of Standiford Field, an area which is basically unpopulated due to the UPS operations clearing out of residences, guised as part of the Louisville International Airport Expansion, Louisville's largest economic undertaking during the last twenty-five years, a project which incidentally displaced approximately one-eighth of the local population, but, alas, that is an entry for another day.

The Metro Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday starts at 6:30 at the American Legion Hall on Bardstown Road, three blocks north of the Watterson and across from the home of some of Louisville's best donuts, Krispy Kreme.

1 comment:

Bruce Maples said...

Nice intro to both gentlemen, Mr. Noble. You should read this at the club meeting as the introduction before they speak.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.