Sunday, January 21, 2001

N.Ky. GOP, Dems busy plotting

        Let's jump off the Villa Hills merry-go-round, at least for a while, and check on other happenings in Northern Kentucky politics.

        Fishing expedition. Independence Republican Eric Deters, who has already announced his campaign for Kenton County attorney in 2002, has hit the office of incumbent Garry Edmondson with a boatload of requests for records.

        Mr. Deters has already made it clear he plans to run an aggressive campaign. Now he wants information about spending, lawsuits filed against the county, studies on building a new county jail — including proposed locations — and other items.

        So is Mr. Deters trying to dig up some dirt on Mr. Edmondson, or at the very least trying to apply a little political pressure?

        “That's not meant to do this at all,” Mr. Deters said. “The purpose of this is to make sure I get all the facts on the situations that involve the county attorney's office, so then I can make educated choices about the issues that may or may not be involved in my campaign.”

        Though he won't admit it, Mr. Deters' move also looks like he is trying to keep Mr. Edmondson looking over his shoulder.

        “I'm sure he'll think that, but I'm not doing this to exert any kind of pressure,” Mr. Deters said.

        Mr. Edmondson's office will comply with the requests for information. It has to under the state's open records law.

        But Brandon Voelker, an attorney in Mr. Edmondson's office, said some of the records belong to the Kenton County Fiscal Court and not the county attorney's office.

        Mr. Edmondson said he has nothing to hide.

        “All my financial records are audited every year by an outside auditor, and I send out newsletters on my office's activities,” Mr. Edmondson said. “He or anybody else can look at what they want. Everything is

        Why does Mr. Edmondson think Mr. Deters wants the information?

        “He's probably trying to learn how this office works,” Mr. Edmondson said.

        Watch your back. Looks like Kenton County Commissioner Adam Koenig could have some competition in the 2002 election. But the real surprise is that it could come from his own party.

        Some unnamed Republicans recently approached Fort Wright Councilman Dave Hatter to run against Mr. Koenig in the GOP primary.

        Mr. Hatter declined, but that won't be the last time he's recruited to run for higher office.

        A passionate Republican and a hard campaigner, Mr. Hatter has earned a lot of support for his campaign work on behalf of other Republican candidates. A computer expert, he has contributed lots of excellent technical services — including Web site design — to GOP candidates and officials.

        Gearing up. Another Republican getting ready for the 2002 re-election is Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl.

        Mr. Carl was spotted at the Greyhound Grill in Fort Mitchell Thursday night, chatting strategy with a campaign team that included Hayes Robertson, who works for Mr. Carl and will likely run the campaign; attorney Paul Alley, who will be treasurer; and Donny Richardson, a lawyer in Mr. Deters' firm.

        No Democratic candidate has emerged. But with the Kenton County party trying to re-energize — a new chairman will be selected next week — it's a good bet one will.



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