Sunday, July 01, 2001

Political pearls


Vote Cool Ghoul for governor

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        Cincinnati has not one but two former television personalities running for mayor, Charlie Luken and Courtis Fuller.

        So let me begin the campaign to draft Dick Von Hoene, the friendly and gracious host of ICN6's Northern Kentucky Magazine who sometimes reprises his earlier TV gig as The Cool Ghoul, into the 2003 governor's race.

        “He's cool. He's a ghoul. He's slick. Vote for Dick.”

        I like it.

Jail woes

        There's no doubt there will be heavy political fallout from the issue of where to build a new jail in Kenton County. It could be one of the dominant issues in next year's county fiscal court races.

        The greatest mileage Democrats can expect to churn from the issue will fall into two basic categories:

        • Indecision. The Dems will be able to take some shots at the Republican Fiscal Court — Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd and commissioners Barb Black, Adam Koenig and Dan Humpert — for not settling on a site and sticking with it.

        • NIMBY. No matter where it goes, somebody is going to be ticked about a jail being built in their neighborhood — something I don't quite understand given that the Boone County jail is practically next door to an elementary school and the Campbell County jail is in the middle of a Newport neighborhood.

        Let's take a closer look at both of these issues.

        Voters know the county needs a jail, but as long as all the bad guys and girls are locked up most people probably couldn't care less about where the darn thing is built.

        Mr. Murgatroyd said it is important that elected officials take their time before deciding on a final jail location. That, of course, somewhat fuels the indecision debate. But the Republicans will also be able to use that to show they aren't trying to push the facility down anybody's throat.

        On the NIMBY side there is no doubt that wherever the jail ends up going the neighbors and businesses near it aren't going to like it.

        But how about where it doesn't go? Remember, this is a jail that has been proposed, at one time or another, for downtown Covington, south Covington near Edgewood, Peaselburg, Elsmere, Erlanger and Independence.

        The court, if it handles this correctly, could come off as heroes to the places where the jail won't be built.

        The jail is going to be an issue in the 2002 election. But just how big of an issue is still a big question.

Remember this guy?

        A Covington resident named John Snow shipped me an e-mail last week with a name from Northern Kentucky's political past, former Covington mayor and commission member Tom Beehan.

        Mr. Beehan was elected June 5 to the Oak Ridge, Tenn., city council, finishing as the top vote getter in a field of seven.

        Mr. Beehan moved to Tennessee 14 years ago after serving as mayor of Covington from 1983 to 1987 and as a member of the city commission from 1979 to 1983.

        According to coverage in The Oakridger, which endorsed him, Mr. Beehan still works in the insurance business and has been involved in housing and planning and zoning issues in the city.

        If you're interested in more news, check out his Web site, www.tombeehan.com.

       Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for the Enquirer. Call him at 578-5581; e-mail: pcrowley9@home.com.

       



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