Thursday, May 26, 2011

686. Guest Commentary - Nicole Candler

Nicole Candler is a Democratic Party activist from southwestern Jefferson County. She presently serves on the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. She owns a public relations firm - the webiste is Below is her commentary on changes - very recent ones - in the Jefferson County Democratic Party.


While most of Louisville braced for forecasted tornados and storms last evening, a wind of change swept through our local Party.

First, the Executive Committee accepted the resignation of one of its longest-running Chairs, Tim Longmeyer. After nearly 10 years in the post, it’s certainly understandable that he’d like to focus more of his attention on his career and the additional roles that come with that. And, I’m personally glad to hear that he seeks to spend more time with his family and children, ages 10 years to 22 months. We often overlook the sacrifice that his wife, Lynn Longmeyer, has made to our organization so that Tim can be involved.

I’m certain that I won’t be the only one who insists that he remain an active leader given his historical perspective and he certainly knows more about campaign and Party financing and rules than anyone else that I know. Plus, I’ve always admired his smoke and mirrors routine, where he can out talk even the most aggressive contender out of their argument. However, the greatest lesson that I’ve learned from Tim is that a true leader protects those that they lead. I’ve seen him go to bat for volunteers and has made it clear to only a few that they will NEVER be harshly critical of the work and NEVER call a volunteer on their failures because they are just that…valuable volunteers.

Last evening’s shock quickly turned to sadness when I joined the Shively Democratic Club for its final meeting. I’ve been a member of the 50 year old Club for only four years and joking that I’m certain I’m the only person in the world that holds both a Shively Democratic Club and a Madonna Icon Club membership. So, it was quite fitting that last evening speaker what Aaron Yarmuth, a young democrat for which many of us have hopeful expectations. However, hopeful expectations can’t maintain a social Club with a treasured, but aging membership.

It is of great concern to me that the Club members may look at the Club’s resolution as a fault of their own and I feel it is important to offer a small tribute to the impact they have had on this emerging Democrat.

My involvement with the local party was paved by a high school friend, Jack Walker who was President of the Club, and yielded his 44th Member at Large seat to me in 2006. He also nominated me as Secretary of the Club even before I had paid my membership dues. Without missing a step, I was quickly put to work by the incoming President and my LD Steve Fein, someone who asks a lot of their volunteers but also has a good perspective and appreciation for the change in demands on my family life. His wife, Deanna Fein would greet members at the door with our traditional booze and split the pot raffle tickets. When I was Secretary, I sat beside Shively Council member Patsy Mayes and one of the Club’s founding members Martha Schmuckie two women who helped keep Fein on track as we scribbled notes to him on Claude Prather’s campaign notepads.

Although their absence has been missing at recent meetings, the tables at our old location at the Legion Hall would be filled early with long-time volunteers Dottie Pruitt, Rose Renn, Betty Ryan (and her husband Gil Ryan), Irene Pitcock (who still paid her dues even after she became shut in), Bill and Helen Thompson, the Homericks and Steve Gahafer. And, comical relief was always provided by Jude Willis who’s sometimes inappropriate jokes with John Yarmuth were omitted from the minutes. Other familiar faces include Greg Dearing, a great friend who holds marathon strategy sessions in the kitchen at Joni Jenkin’s breakfasts during which we solve all political and Party problems. Plus, the room would filled with local electeds and a multitude of candidates including David Yates (and his grandfather Jim Yates), Dennis Horlander, Rick Blackwell, Mary Wooldridge, Vicki and Matthew Welch, Bryan Mathews, David Nicholson and Tony Lindauer. Plus, a Shively Club can hardly be called to order without the presence of at least one Jenkins. Although I wasn’t a member at the time, I understand that Drew Jenkins followed his grandfather Jim Jenkin’s footsteps by serving as Club President. And the meeting would rarely close without final comments from Joni Jenkin’s offering her traditional wisdom that should be sure to flip you ballot over and that come Wednesday (after a primary) we’re all Democrats and need to work together. The meeting is always followed by a pot luck dinner with a tasty contribution from Alice Jenkins who refers to me as Nicole Kidman and I appreciate the compliment.

Now-and-then, we were visited by Jerry Bronger, who used to live across the street from me, but our yard signs in the primaries never seemed to match. After this year’s Ford Dinner I had the opportunity to connect with Club member Al Bennett, and in true South End style learned that our degrees of separation are much smaller since he used to go fishing with my Aunt’s Uncle.

Then there is Nancy and Nadine Etter whom I often see at the local grocery store or at the gas pump. Nancy graciously stepped up as Club Secretary when I vacated that role and Dave Clark was encouraged to take on the Vice President role in the same way that I became Secretary.

When thinking back on the Club, I remember the support I received from Ken Koch and Tom Houchins when I made a last push for contributions for my very first political fundraiser. Their contributions put me over my goal amount. I also remember taking my Grandmother to vote in what would be her last primary election (after having experienced the installation of women’s right to vote and getting the chance to choose Hillary Clinton in a Presidential election) and handing over her ballot to Charlie Effinger who has been a Club member for as long has he has been a poll worker.

My time with the Club has been short compared to its duration and I know that I haven’t remembered to include all of those who gave of their time and effort to make it successful.

I regret that my emotions overcame me and I was unable to voice my appreciation to the group. Their contribution and the legacy they have offered is noted and they have had a great impact on emerging Democrats to come. In fact, their memberships will be honored by the nearby Grassroots Democratic Club who’s President Michael Bowman just received the Joni Jenkin’s Young Democrat of the Year award.

The winds of change that swept through our Party last night leaves me with a few questions.

What role will our young leadership do to fill these roles and carry forth a viable Party, especially with a critical Governor’s race in a just a few months, one of their own on the verge of becoming Secretary of State? Along with the release of the KDP’s delegate selection plan which leads up to a Presidential election, local Party elections and a national convention next year, what positions will our young leaders hold? Will they be permitted and supported to step up into new leadership and will they embrace that responsibility? Will our more seasoned volunteers trust their ideas to reformat our Party structure and welcome opportunities to connect with volunteers in new ways so that we grow a new generation of Democrats? Will this be an opportunity for the change we’ve all been talking about?

Hidden Location #18 - Choice of two - WITH HINTS #1 and #2

The two streets in the three pictures below are related in an unusual way. I can't tell you how they are related because that would be too big of a clue. The first two pictures are the same street, with pictures of the left and right sides of the street. The third picture is a different street. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is three-fold. Identify either the first or second street (or both), and/or tell me how they are related.

As a bonus and a clue, the second street technically doesn't exactly qualify for the relationship, but because of its accessibility was chosen over the actual street which does. I have some hints if this one takes a while. I suspect people will identify the second street before the first one.

Good luck.

Here are the pics:

HINT #1 - First, I still think in terms of the "City" and "County" - I'm still a pre-Metro sort of guy. To that end, these are superlatives - the first street is one of three in both the old City and the county. The second one, because of the house that is out of view on the right, a yellow brick edifice, what some might call a mansion, is only a superlative in the old City.

HINT #2 - I've mentioned these streets are "superlative" in some way. Here is some help. The first street we're looking for in one of three which are superlative in both the old City and the County. The second street we are looking for is superlative only in the old City. Its counterpart in the county is Port Road. The "opposite" superlative to the first street is, in the old City Greenfield Avenue. In the county it is Kulmer Beach Road. The "opposite" of the second street - which really isn't a superlative but qualifies as it is the only access to a property which causes it to be a superlative - the yellow brick mansion I've previously mentioned - in the old City is Christian Court. In the county, it is Sycamore Ridge Drive.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

685. 2012 Democratic National Convention - Kentucky Delegate Selection Plan

The Kentucky Democratic Party has posted its 2012 Delegate Selection Plan on its website. I tried to copy it below but could not get it to format correctly. Visit the site at

Questions on the plan should be submitted to If you are interested, please read through the entire plan. There are only so many slots. It would be nice if they were filled by people who are truly interested in advancing the purposes of the Democratic Party in Kentucky as opposed to simply folks affiliated with a presidential campaign who want to go to the convention, never to be heard from again, which is usually the case, and was the last time in many instances.

Enjoy. If you wish to leave comments for me, do so below. If you wish to submit official comments, again email the KDP at


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hidden Location #17

Ok, this one might be considered "inside knowledge." And it is. Below are two pictures of a location of what was considered in an October 1869 deed and subdivision dedication to be a "common" alley. Usually the word "common" in a deed relates a legal status as "of being for the public use." For many years, this alley appeared on some maps of Louisville based on that 1869 usage. However, in doing some research in 2008 on properties adjoining this "common alley" I found that the word "common" as used in the deed referred only to the adjoining properties and not to the public as a whole. The alley has been removed from most maps as a public right-of-way since the late 1950s.

Your task is to identify either the location, which should be simple for some of you; or, a more difficult challenge, to name the alley. Yes, it has a name, spelled two different ways, but a name nonetheless. Locating it should be easy. Naming it shouldn't.

684. News from my neighborhood - the Phoenix Hill Farmers' Market - and a contest

I've copied below a press release I received concerning the farmers' market in my neighborhood. They're open on Tuesdays in the parking lot of The Bodega, 829 E. Market Street, near the corner with S. Campbell Street, just east of downtown Louisville.



AT 829 E. MARKET ST (in the parking lot of The Bodega and JRA Architects)

The Spring Festival will also be the kick-off for the Phoenix Hill Farmers' Market LOGO CONTEST. (See Attachment or below for details)

Come enjoy the wonderful spring produce, FRESH-PICKED STRAWBERRIES, meat, eggs, bread, jams/jellies, pickles/relishes, FRESH-PICKED STRAWBERRIES, granola, bedding/hanging plants, beautiful children's books, and (did I mention?) FRESH-PICKED STRAWBERRIES.

Kentucky Proud - Nothing Else is Close!

Children's Activities, including movement, music, yoga and/or hooping with the great folks from SHINE!

Music by Dick Branson, loved by adults and children alike

Refreshments! Customer Appreciation Gifts! (Out)Door Prize Drawing!

Outdoor Grilling by Chef Bob Joles of The Bodega!

Plenty of FREE parking available in the parking lot at 829 E. Market, and on Market and Campbell Streets (and nice indoor restrooms!)

EBT payments accepted by most farmers.

While you're at the Market, check out The Bodega for groceries, deli products, wine and beer.

For more information, contact Cindy at 583-7133 or


What is the Phoenix Hill Farmers’ Market (PHFM)? The PHFM is an urban neighborhood market located in the Phoenix Hill neighborhood, and in close proximity to Butchertown, Irish Hill, and Downtown Louisville. This is the 5th year of the market. The PHFM is operated by the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Association, a non-profit organization.

What is the Steering Committee looking for in a logo? Something that is simple yet eye-catching, that translates well from color to black-and-white, that is easily reproducible, that represents the urban neighborhood market that we are, and that includes the name “Phoenix Hill Farmers’ Market”. (The Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Association logo is in the above right-hand corner.)

Where will the design be used? The logo will be used on postcards, posters, banners, lawn signs, the website, t-shirts, etc. Design rights for the grand prize winner will belong to the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Association.

What do I win? The Grand Prize Winner will win a $75.00 gift certificate to the Farmers’ Market, and a $75.00 neighborhood restaurant gift card package.

How do I win? Five finalists will be selected by the Phoenix Hill Farmers’ Market Steering Committee from June 21—June 27. The five finalists will be displayed on the PHNA web-site, and the Grand Prize Winner will be selected by the public through an online vote at and votes at the PHFM (Tuesdays from 3:00—6:30 p.m. @ 829 E. Market St.) between June 28 and July 18. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced at the Farmers’ Market Week Festival on Tuesday, July 19.

How do I submit my design? All logo designs submitted for contest must be submitted electronically as a JPEG, PNG or PDF (72 dpi RGB, no larger than 250K) in order to be displayed on the web-site. The Grand Prize Winner design will then need to be submitted as an Adobe Illustrator file and/or a high resolution (300 dpi or higher) file. When you submit your logo design, please include your name, best phone number, email address, and mailing address in the email. Submit to

Can I submit more than one entry? Yes.

LOGO DESIGNS ARE DUE BY: Monday, June 20, 2011

For more information about the PHOENIX HILL FARMERS’ MARKET visit , or visit the Market on Tuesdays, from 3:00—6:30 p.m. at 829 E. Market Street. Questions can be sent to

May 24—June 21 Submissions taken
June 22—June 28 PHFM Steering Committee will select the 5 Finalists
June 29—July 11 Voting on-line and at the Market for the Grand Prize Winner
July 19 Grand Prize Winner announced at the Farmers’ Market Week Festival

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

683. Day after the election.

I'm posting from the home of Charlotte and Jerry Lundergan on Lexington's north side. Last night their daughter was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State in this fall's election. Alison Grimes defeated the appointed incumbent by a 10% margin. Other winners last night were incumbent Todd Hollenbach IV as State Treasurer and Louisville businessman Bob Farmer - yes, Farmer - for Agriculture Commissioner. My friend Adam Edelen was unopposed for nomination as the Auditor of Public Accounts. On to November.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

682. A wedding, a dinner, and a possible presidential contender. Young and old Democrats celebrated yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon and evening provided, for me, opportunities to see Democratic political friends both old and young at two unrelated events. The fact that they were both scheduled around 6 o'clock on the same day left a few folks perturbed, others wondering how they would manage to make both events, and, I suppose, others still who saw no conflict.

The earlier of the two - or rather the more important of the two in my book - was the marriage of my friend Will Carle to his now bride Julie Wahl. While I only met Julie not very long ago, I have known Will for many years and have a great deal of affection for him. His parents, Ed and Dottie Carle, were friends with my uncle and aunt, Don (who died in 2005) and Judy Noble. Will's godparents are Danny and Patty Meyer, people I've known since I was a teenager. I sat with the Meyer's during the ceremony and at some point Patty mentioned having been in this same church for Will's baptism.

Will is exactly twenty years younger than me. He has worked in campaigns since he was a very young man. In recent years he has worked in the governor's office in Frankfort, as well as the campaigns of the current mayor, Greg Fischer, and presently as the campaign manager for Adam Edelen, a candidate for Auditor of Public Accounts, a statewide office which will appear on this November's ballot. Mr. Edelen was one of the groomsmen in the wedding.

Will and Julie were married in the Calvary Episcopal Church, a staid building of limestone and bedford stone on 4th Street just south of Broadway in downtown Louisville. Calvary, founded in 1860, was built in two phases, at its present location, between 1872 and 1889.

In addition to the usual framework of the families and friends of the bride and groom in attendance were a handful of young, active Democrats (and at least one young, active Republican). In addition to Mr. Edelen, there were at least two other political activists serving as groomsman, one, Aaron Horner, who is partially responsible for me holding my seat on the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. There were also a group of younger Democrats in the congregation gathered for the ceremony.

As someone now past the half-century mark, I am hopeful these young folks stick together in guiding Kentucky and its Democrats well into the 21st century.

Leaving the wedding, I made my way over to the Galt House East where, in the Grand Ballroom, the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party was having its annual dinner and celebration. In most places these dinners are called Jefferson-Jackson Dinners, after the early founders of the Democratic Party. It is my belief, however, that if we study the politics and policies of presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, we may have second thoughts about celebrating in their honor. Many years ago, I think 1985, the Democrats of Jefferson County decided to rename their "J-J" Dinner the Wendell H. Ford Appreciation Dinner, later shortened to the Wendell Ford Dinner, and often called simply the Ford Dinner.

Wendell Hampton Ford, of Owensboro, served in Kentucky's legislature, then as lieutenant governor, governor, and ultimately United States Senator. He is now 86 years old and, if the speech he gave last night is any indication, still in pretty good shape. His message was brief and to the point. We are at war with a political ideology whose purpose is to serve the rich and the corporate at the expense of the average American. And we must continue to battle against this intrusion on the American way of life.

There was at least one other octogenarian in attendance, former State Representative Al Bennett, about the same age as Ford, who once represented parts of southwest Jefferson County. At the end of the program, for a few brief moments, Mr. Bennett and I were joined in conversation by Michael Bowman, also a southwest Jefferson resident and young man on the move. I do not know how old Michael is - my presumption is he is about 25. He currently serves as president of the Grassroots Democratic Club, a long-time southwest Jefferson Democratic association, one which my grandmother belonged to when I was a little kid. While it may have been lost on Al and Michael, I was mentally engaged in the idea of past and future leaders speaking here with me in these two. Michael has already ran (and lost) a race for the Metro Council. There are strong indications he will run again for something at some point. He has not said what. Last night he was awarded the Joni Jenkins Young Democrat of the Year award for his involvement in the Party. He has a cadre of followers and I am sure is someone we will be hearing from in the future.

At the other end of the age spectrum, I was seated at a table with Clarence Yancey, the 75 or so year old self-proclaimed godfather of Louisville's West End, who has been a Legislative District Chair for about twenty years now, since first being appointed by then-County Chair Bill Ryan, who was also at my table. On my right was Christa Robinson and to my left were Cathy Yarmuth, followed by her husband the congressman, and their son Aaron - beocming an active leader in his own right, and a young woman I presumed to be Aaron's date. Clarence won the Johnny Crimmins Lifetime Achievement Award and it was well-deserving. I am just old enough to remember Mr. Crimmins, who was the Party secretary or chair for many years in the mid 20th century. Mr. Crimmins died in April, 1999.

The event was a mixture of old and young. There is always some talk that there are too many old folks on the County Executive Committee and not enough attention paid to those younger Democrats in our midst. Without question, the latter statement is true. Sooner or later, there will come a time for the Jefferson County Party to pass the torch to this new generation of young leadership. Their presence at last night's dinner was quite obvious. I'm of the opinion that time may be sooner rather than later. Still, though, the 35 and older crowd predominated the room. Until that is not the case, it is likely there will not be a change in the power structure.

Before I leave the dinner, and before I leave the discussion of a power change, let me mention the guest speaker, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. Governor O'Malley is the head of the Democratic Governors Association, a group which is slated to spend some dollars and hours in Kentucky this helping to re-elect Kentucky's incumbent Democratic governor. The Maryland governor cited a number of reasons that Kentucky needed to re-elect its governor, not the least of which is the chaos which would ensue if his expected (by most, but not all) opponent is elected. In this regard, I strongly agree with the Governor O'Malley.

The rest of his speech was a combination of cliches, rounded out with solid facts, a little bit of old-fashioned preaching, and a sparkling look and personality. It occurred to me that there is some presidential potential in Governor O'Malley and I am sure I am not the only person who saw that. But, it was just a glimpse, a spark, but not the whole fire. Nonetheless, he has a history. As a young man, he was involved in the 1984 campaign of Gary Hart. He would have been 21 at the time. He spoke at the 2004 national convention in Boston in support of John Kerry.

Few of us have had the opportunity to see a person in those formative years who later became president. After all, there have only been 44 presidencies. I am fortunate that circumstance placed me in a position in 2006 to meet up close and personal the man who became the 44th American president, Barack Obama. Many of us recognised at the time that it was very likely this tall mixed-race, Hawaiian born senator from Illinois would one day very soon become America's Commander-In-Chief. I know I left that September 2006 event at Slugger Field with that notion, although at the time I was supporting Chris Dodd for president.

While I didn't get that overwhelming feeling from Governor O'Malley last night, I sense that it may there, which is to say I got a little of it. And that is pretty cool as far as I am concerned. I had a few brief words with the governor, sporting my "I am an Obama Precinct Captain" button, which caught his eye and sparked the conversation. And I like him for other reasons. He, like me, is a history buff; he has appeared on The History Channel describing the British Invasion of 1812, something he spoke of last night - the invasion itself, not his appearnce on TV, tying its hero to Kentucky. And he is from my generation. Just as President Obama is just a bit younger than me, Governor O'Malley is just a bit younger than the president. It is time we started electing folks to higher and the highest offices who were born in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. I'm going to keep my eye on this man.

Briefly, though, back to the old and the new.

As I have done every four since 1980, next year, 2012, I will be participating in the National Democratic Party's reorganization process, a process which includes the Kentucky Democratic Party reorganization, and starts with the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party Reorganization. I was first elected to the Jefferson County Party's Executive Committee in 1980 at the age of 19. I know of only two people who have served as Chair or Vice Chair who were of that age - Rushi Sheth in 2000 as Vice Chair of the 48th LD (at 18) and Preston Bates in 2008 as Chair of the 48th LD (at 19).

While there may not be a lot of teenagers running for these partisan positions, there should be a lot of 20, 30 and 40 years olds running, and not just for the "youth" positions. I'll be writing more about this in the future. I just wanted to get this first plug in tonight. This reorganization process will take place throughout the Republic beginning in April of next year and culminating in the National Democratic Convention in Charlotte next summer. It is never too early to plan.


[The blog was updated 02/13/2012 to correct the name of Rushi Sheth, previously misrecorded as Rushi Sushil Apologies to Mr. Sheth for the error and thanks to Michael Garton for pointing it out. JN]

Friday, May 13, 2011

681. Brief Thoughts - The Modern Day Confederacy

The Confederacy is alive and well in Kentucky and many other states which have a powerful-enough Tea Party influence in their state's Republican Party, as we do in Kentucky.

I have members of the Confederate Army in my family's lineage and have visited their graves, not because I revere them for their politics, but because they are flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. I do not know if they were racist in their time or if they were simply young men in need of a paycheck and their destiny threw them in with the CSA.

I do know that the modern day Tea Party and Republican Party is full of people with beliefs I find abhorrent and un-Christlike, beliefs which are antithetic to many of my friends who are either non-white, non-Christian, non-American, or any of the many of other non's that most of us have come to accept as simply friends.

The American dream was built upon a melting pot of cultures and creeds. Those who would deny those same opportunities to the next generation of newcomers are simply un-American. America, the USA, defeated and put an end to the CSA in 1865. Long live America. Don't let these modern day Confederists, people President Lincoln called "elements in rebellion," destroy what is left of the good and great America.

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.