On Diane Lawless, Stephanie Spires and LFUCG District 3

I’ve been busy and remain busy so don’t have a lot of time for this. Let me be brief.

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First of all, there’s not a whole lot more that needs to be added since we visited this race last May (see here and here). At that time ahead of the primary, we explored the candidates’ positions and their reasons for running. Ms. Spires, in particular, put forth what I and many others found to be an offensive underpinning to her campaign — that Ms. Lawless was unfit for office due to some undisclosed crippling health problem. A whisper campaign in place of a platform isn’t that productive, as it turns out. Ms. Spires barely got through the Primary, just edging out Rock Daniels and coming in a distant second to Ms. Lawless.

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The Primary had a very low turnout, of course. The vote Tuesday, with the Presidential race at the top of the ticket, will be much higher. How will that affect the race? I have no idea. Like I said, I’ve been busy.

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What I do know is that the majority of people in the 3rd District who are intimately involved in their neighborhoods who I know continue to support Diane Lawless.

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The LFUCG 3rd District is the heart of Lexington’s Fighting 75th State House District and the Immovable 13th State Senate District, home to Our Lady of Perpetual Awesomenss, Kathy Stein! In other words… this is Progressive Lexington.

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For her work in representing the 3rd District, the Herald-Leader last week endorsed Diane Lawless for re-election to the City Council:

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Lawless has tenaciously pursued solutions to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods around UK. She’s gotten into the nitty gritty of zoning and code enforcement to limit the impact of student housing on established neighborhoods. Initiatives she championed included a temporary ban on vinyl box additions, limits on the number of unrelated people who can live in a rental property, and higher fines for violations of city codes.

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She has been diligent in finding solutions for flooding, dangerous intersections and other problems arising from the district’s decaying infrastructure. She has also successfully pushed to extend bike lanes in her district.

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In another term, we urge Lawless to take a more aggressive role in championing an affordable housing trust fund for Lexington and to take on the unaccountably complex issue of authorizing food trucks to operate downtown and elsewhere in the community.

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The newspaper isn’t alone. Here are some other endorsers of the Lawless candidacy:

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Her support isn’t unanimous. That’d be weird if it was. And any candidate can do more, any official has work to do. There are some who are mounting an attack on Ms. Lawless on behalf of Ms. Spires. Or on behalf of themselves. It’s unclear. Their complaints range from meaningful to misguided. The best one is that Ms. Lawless could communicate better — although as we’ve pointed out here before, she actually does respond to calls and emails and maybe the best we can say of this complaint is that she could use facebook better… but who couldn’t? The same critique could be levied at some of her detractors.

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Then there are the misguided. Her detractors continue to erroneously claim that Ms. Lawless did not support the bike lane on Maxwell. This is untrue and it’s been pointed out to these detractors directly, yet they persist.

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I’m not going to go into a point by point here because a) busy; b) it’s a city council race and the the two candidates are pretty similar and by all information we have, it’s not like Spires is some total goon of the Newberry squad or something (I mean, it’s possible… but we don’t have anything to whisper about). In fact, as we said last May and as we continue to believe, Spires is an impressive candidate and it would be good to see her continue her work in the future should she lose on Tuesday. And for the moment, she might in fact lose because the fact is Diane Lawless, to all who know her, remains a hard working councilmember, an unrelenting supporter of women and of minorities and of the LGBT community, and so forth.

Which is why, so far, the whispers haven’t broken through.

On one final note, those opposed to Ms. Lawless’ re-election are largely very good people and I like most of them a lot (most particularly Bob at BlueBluegrass). They mean well but for various reasons I think they may be misreading this particular race at this particular moment. The same goes for Spires herself. We wouldn’t necessarily be disserved by her represenation, we just don’t currently appear to need it.

Because Diane Lawless is already doing it pretty right.

As Joe already made clear on the facebook page, Barefoot & Progressive endorses Diane Lawless in the 3rd District.

Oh — and while we’re at it and because time is brief, we also endorse Shevawn Akers in the 2nd District.

Okay. Time is short. Get out your vote!

2 comments for “On Diane Lawless, Stephanie Spires and LFUCG District 3

  1. Karla
    November 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    The fact that Newberry is bashing Diane Lawless on his public figure Facebook page today (https://www.facebook.com/jhnewberry?ref=ts&fref=ts) suggests that Spires just might be “some total goon of the Newberry squad or something.”

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  2. November 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Please get out and vote for Diane Lawless.

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