Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Debate details being debated

Covington opponents Moorman, Callery want changes in format

        Let Al Gore tell fibs. When it comes to Kentucky politics, you couldn't make this stuff up.

        Demanding debate. Every election year, at least one politician gets into a snit over some arcane detail about a debate.

        This year it's Butch Callery, Covington candidate for mayor.

        Mr. Callery and Bernie Moorman, who is also running for mayor, are set to debate Thursday at Holmes High School. But Mr. Callery wants some changes.

        He doesn't want two of the community activists involved in organizing the debate — Chuck Eilerman and Rachel DeLugish — participating in the actual event.

        Both are “outspoken” supporters of Mr. Moorman, Mr. Callery has charged, who have “questionable” objectivity.

        Mr. Eilerman, the Friends of Covington president, moderated the primary debate and was set to do the same Thursday night.

        He admits he supports Mr. Moorman but said he did nothing in the primary debate, in which both candidates participated, to favor Mr. Moorman.

        Rather than jeopardize the debate, Mr. Eilerman has agreed to step aside. INC6 news reporter Chris Zimmerman will take his place.

        But Ms. DeLugish, who has worked for months to organize the debate, said she is completely perplexed by Mr. Callery's assertions.

        “I don't know where this is coming from,” said Ms. DeLugish of the Covington Neighborhood Collaborative. “I'm very conscious of this and have not supported or given any money to either candidate.”

        Now Mr. Moorman has come up with a couple of his own demands, such as being able to ask Mr. Callery a question, which is actually a pretty good idea. When candidates get to ask one another something at a debate, it's usually red meat city.

        There's nothing wrong with negotiating terms of a debate, but Mr. Eilerman, Ms. DeLugish, Beth Sewell at the Covington Business Council and others started planning this debate in July.

        Now is not the time to complain.

        Democrat and not proud of it. A few Kenton County Democrats are playing Halloween a little early, masking their party affiliation this campaign season.

        Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Don Buring, Kenton County Circuit Clerk Mary Ann Woltenberg and state Senate candidate Jaimie Henson all fail to mention they are Democrats on campaign materials.

        Who can blame them? George W. Bush is going to roll in Kenton County like he has wheels instead of feet.

        Speaking of Democrats who aren't exactly carrying the party banner this fall, guess who has a campaign sign in the Fort Wright yard of Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson, a Democrat (at least that's the way he's registered)?

        Steve Kramer, the Republican running against Mrs. Woltenberg.

        FDR would be so proud.

        Of course, Mr. Kramer and Sen. Jack Westwood, Mrs. Henson's opponent, have some material that does not mention they are in the GOP. Bad move.

        The truth hurts. A couple of Kenton County Republicans are mildly ticked that Independence lawyer Eric Deters is holding fund-raisers, even though he doesn't plan to run for county attorney for another two years.

        Mr. Deters is taking contributions away from other GOP candidates, and as the campaign manager for U.S. House candidate Don Bell, he should be raising money for that race, party chiefs have whined.

        You want to know why Mr. Deters is raising cash right now?

        Because he can.

        E-mail Pcrowley9@home.com.


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