We take pride in following up on major stories with an insider’s perspective around here.
Why? Because the “hit and run” is easy. The follow-up is where the real news lies, and is always worth the effort.
The tabloid nature of today’s media gets on my nerves. I don’t care who won “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” and if you are reading this, chances are you don’t care either.
Here is a short list of critical updates to stories that have appeared here at Insider Louisville.
Stephen Huffman: Back in December, we first brought you the story of Huffman, a registered lobbyist that was appointed to the state board of elections in what seemed to be a violation of ethics rules. In May, the state Ethics Commission investigated the matter and stated there may be a problem, but since there was no formal complaint filed, commission members have dropped the matter entirely and will take no action.
Thunder Over Louisville attendance: The 2011 edition of the annual fireworks show was, according to several insiders, the most poorly attended opening to Derby festivities in history. That didn’t stop the promoters at KDF Inc. from breathlessly exclaiming attendance to be 250,000 on the waterfront. Aerial photos showing the actual crowd size and a revised attendance estimate still have yet to be released as of this writing – eight weeks since the show.
Carbide Industries: The explosion in March 2011 that killed two workers is still under investigation by state and federal inspectors. The company is also conducting its own look into what caused the workers’ deaths. Documents obtained by Insider Louisville show an almost non-existent state workplace safety agency in one of the Commonweath’s most hazardous workplaces. Interesting tidbit: The price of a bottle of acetylene gas (141 CU. FT.) was $26.19 before the disaster at Carbide. The new price is $71.00 due to the plant being offline.
Larry Clark aims high in complaint against paid electioneering: Photos and video taken on Election Day 2010 are part of an official complaint by Rep. Larry Clark alleging special interest groups violated KREF laws and accuses said groups of coordinating campaign activities for his opponent Brian Simpson during Clark’s House District 46 re-election campaign.
“I do not believe that the majority of teachers in Jefferson County want to see their hard-earned dollars being used for negative smear campaigns that do not result in improvements for their schools,” said Clark.
Photos obtained by Insider Louisville show public school teachers stationed at polling places in the district holding signs for Simpson. The signs were paid for by Better Schools Kentucky PAC and the teachers were paid between $50 and $300 to work the polls for Simpson.
Simpson denies coordinating activities with any group and has already launched his 2012 bid for the seat.