But we hear Courier-Journal reporter Dan Klepal will leave coal in the Fischer Administration Christmas stockings tomorrow morning in the form of an investigative story on banker Tommy Elliott.
Elliott, senior vice president at Old National Bank, seems to be cashing in on his campaign fundraising prowess by essentially taking over the job of making top Fischer administration appointments even though he has no official job at City Hall.
The story is set to run in the Sunday Print Exclusive section that we in the digital world won’t be able to access till it runs Monday on the CJ website:
IN NEWS: Mayor Greg Fischer’s campaign fundraiser is now helping him pick dozens of appointees to board and commissions
It will be interesting to see how Klepal plays Elliott’s connections through Old National’s Community Advisory Board to major Louisville power brokers such as George Stinson, who owns The Connection Complex, Creative Alliance founder Debbie Scoppechio, businessman Wade Houston, contractor Joe Kelley, former Texas Roadhouse CEO C.J. Hart and commercial real estate developer John Hollenbach. (See accompanying photo.)
Per usual these days, the CJ is following behind, beat this time by WFPL’s Philip Bailey and Jake Payne at PageOne.
On December 15, Bailey had a pay-for-play story on Elliott:
“Council Members Question Whether Donor Pulls Strings in Fischer Administration”
by Phillip M. Bailey on December 15, 2011
The caucus leaders of the Louisville Metro Council have asked Mayor Greg Fischer to clarify the role of high-profile contributor Tommy Elliott in making mayoral appointments. And some city lawmakers could also request Elliott testify before the government accountability committee next year.
Elliott donated $2,000 to Fischer’s election campaign last year and also served as co-chair of his inauguration committee. And though the Old National Bank Senior Vice President and Kentucky Retirement Systems board member is not part of the Fischer administration, a Metro employee or a city consultant, the mayor calls Elliott an adviser on matters such as re-opening the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park.
Jake was on it December 7, but with a different angle. Payne wanted to know why Gov. Steve Beshear had allegedly instructed three of his trustees at the Kentucky Retirement Systems not to post their qualifications on the KRS website:
It’s interesting that Tommy Elliott, a Greg Fischer confidant, doesn’t have anything posted. We’re unsure how he qualifies as an investment expert, as his background is in lending and management at Old National Bank.
For us, the CJ’s story on Elliott marks another interesting departure from the newspaper’s 20-year cozy relationship with city government, from whom reporters and editors had received special considerations for all big news releases in return for not being too awfully interested in what Jerry Abramson, and now Greg Fischer, was up to. (Or, as an Army brigadier general once said to us, “We’ll tell you what the news is.”)
Not by coincidence is it that during the past few years, top city government media people have been former newspaper reporters: Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter worked at the CJ, and Jerry Abramson’s top guy Chad Carlton at the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Insiders are telling Insider Louisville there’s a lot more interesting exposé brewing on a long-time state senator and his links to the Metropolitan Sewer District debacle, assuring MSD stays in the headlines.
With so many New Media reporters (or whatever we are) chasing scoops, we predict hardly anyone will notice when the Old Media fades away.
The interesting dynamic is – with the CJ now an unreliable media partner – who’ll get the Fischer Administration scoops? Business First, with its very small circulation, or WHAS TV?
So many scandals, so little time!