Don Pratt

The Don Pratt Revolution

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November 3, 2010
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WLEX had these results up on TV and the internet tubes for at least a half hour last night, completely freaking out the bourgeoisie:

Alas.

I figured this had to be wrong, since the revolution will not be televised…

I was rooting for Pratt to beat out George Brown, but he fell just a few hundred votes short, unfortunately. He’ll definitely be back, though, as Don Pratt isn’t going anywhere.

Don Pratt Endorses Himself in the Herald-Leader

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October 27, 2010
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When the Herald-Leader endorses one candidate over others, the un-endorsed candidates are given space to respond. In the LFUCG Council-at-Large race, they endorsed Steve Kay and Linda Gorton and now Don Pratt has struck back!

On what he stands for:

For more business as usual, vote for any of four candidates: they are interchangeable. If you want change, vote for me and Linda Gorton.

While Lexington is broke, other candidates talk about pet projects, ways to spend more money that Lexington doesn’t have. I advocate ideas that might actually bring in tax revenue, such as legalization of medical marijuana and allowing farmers to grow hemp. Others are silent.

On what he represents:

The Herald-Leader endorses people who play its game, who, for show, join neighborhood associations, attend committee meetings, and bow down to the institutional liberalism that has dominated local government for three decades. I will make changes, unlike those who sat idly by while Kentucky American unfairly raised our water rates.

I don’t conform. I live frugally. I fill my living room with luggage for foster and adoptive kids.

The Herald-Leader will never endorse this non-conformity, which amounts to political independence, an attribute lacking in the other candidates.

Can Don Pratt squeeze out a victory on Tuesday? It’ll be fun to watch… and in the meantime, keep in mind that you will be voting for THREE CANDIDATES in the race, so… choose wisely.

The Don Pratt Conundrum

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October 3, 2010
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Danny Meyer at North of Center this week published a stirring defense of and argument for LFUCG Council-at-Large candidate Don Pratt.

The Pratt biography: active citizenship

As a teenager growing up in Lexington during the mid-1960s, Pratt was one of the few white citizens in the region to see the city’s so-called “polite racism” for what it was—racism—and to act on his convictions. As a public school student, he participated in several unpopular and mostly ignored protests outside UK’s Memorial Coliseum designed to pressure his future alma mater into integrating its all-white sports teams. He would continue his direct action for civil rights by traveling throughout the South to participate in other agitations, demanding equality for all of our nation’s citizens.

While a college student at UK, Pratt would draw upon his civil rights activism in joining Lexington’s burgeoning movement against the Vietnam War. Far from the hippie stereotype we hold today of anti-war protesters, Pratt was no long-hair. An ROTC student at UK, his opposition to the war like his call for civil rights grew out of his entwined moral and religious convictions.

The piece not only details Pratt’s long history of social activism but also ponders the liberal and progressive community that continually shuns him and the local paper which, though standing on Pratt’s side of what’s right and wrong, refuses to endorse him:

Ignoring Don Pratt

Just don’t tell the Herald-Leader all this, or Lexington’s so-called liberal and progressive citizens. Despite a clear 50-year record advocating for just about everything that the Leader now advocates for on its editorial page, the city’s paper of record has inexplicably failed to endorse Pratt in every single election he has run.

In the most recent dismissal of his candidacy, last May’s primaries when nine at-large candidates for the city council would be pared down to six, Pratt lost out to nobody, literally. Though it could endorse up to six at-large candidates in the primary race, the Leader only saw fit to endorse five in its May 18 “election day” editorial.

And a little later, Meyer delves into this very site’s own complicated relationship with Don.

The whole thing is worth reading, so I won’t ruin it and though I won’t (and don’t) speak for Joe, I’ll agree with much of Meyer’s central thesis and most of his arguments and, personally, with his conclusion… which is that Don Pratt deserves our vote.

And I, for one, will be giving him just that on Election Day.

Go, Don, go.

And, you, go read North of Center.

Gray Stands Up to Water Corporation; Newberry was for it before he was against it (but he’s still kinda for it) *UPDATED*

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July 29, 2010
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Last night, the Public Service Commission heard public comments on the American Water Works corporation’s effort to squeeze higher profits out of the people of Lexington with a 37% rate hike.

American Water claims the 37% rate hike (on top of a 18% hike last year) is needed to pay for a water plant and pipeline they built.

They built the water line and plant at exorbitant cost with Mayor Jim Newberry’s explicit and active support.

In a display of either unfettered incompetence or disingenuous shock, Mayor Newberry is now surprised that the full cost of this plant must be borne by the people whose vote he so desperately needs.

Newberry said there was no inconsistency in supporting the project and opposing the rate increase.

The mayor said Kentucky American is entitled “to a reasonable return on their investment…”

No inconsistency at all!

It’s really quite clear, in fact. You see, Mayor Newberry was for it before he was against it but he’s still kind of for it. A surprising stance from a man who’s taken over $20,000 from the Water Company.

Vice Mayor Jim Gray also spoke. And what sort of muddled-mixed-up message did he espouse?

Vice Mayor Jim Gray says Lexington doesn’t need the plant and is being asked to bail out the utility’s bad business decision.
“I question whether these massive costs should have been incurred at all,” he said.

Oh my! Well that’s not mixed up at all. That’s a clear stance solidly in line with the interests of the citizens of Fayette County… not a wishy-washy bunch of BS to protect a multinational conglomerate.

Mayor Newberry didn’t like the sound of all that, of course, and said that Gray’s attempt to save taxpayers money demonstrated “a woeful misunderstanding of a really critical issue.”

Here’s some more crazy, woefully misinformed talk from this wacky Jim Gray character:

Gray, in his comments to the commissioners, said Lexington officials had been sold on the project on the basis of it being a regional treatment plant, with towns around Lexington sharing the costs.

“The burden of this rate increase will not be shared by others but will be directly on the backs of Lexington citizens,” he said.

There were just a handful of other people at the hearing, including a representative of the AARP who read a letter signed by a couple dozen senior citizens claiming that increased water rates make it difficult for seniors to stay in their homes.

We’ve heard a rumor that the Newberry campaign was quick to note the signatories may or may not be suffering from dementia or at least a woeful lack of understanding about a critical issue facing this community.

Also, our dear reader Juvenal reports that there were no Tea Party activists or anti-government Randians, presumably because taxation is all fine and dandy when it’s in the name of private business. They’d support a 2,000% rate increase.

***UPDATE***
As Juvenal additionally points out in the comments here, Jim Gray and Jim Newberry were not the only politicos in attendance.

Though not one of the city’s other elected officials chose to attend (Diane Lawless excluded as she’s recuperating from a brief illness), Lexington legend and COUNCIL AT LARGE uber-candidate Don Pratt did show up.

You can read Don’s own take on the event here in the comments, and in November, you can remember this when you step into the voting booth: When the water corporation came for your money, Don Pratt was there.

Steve Kay’s first ad

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May 3, 2010
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I’m not sure if it’s actually on the air yet or just on the web, but here is LFUCG at-Large candidate Steve Kay‘s first ad.

I’m imagining a cup of coffee, so I can make it through watching that ad again without getting the sleepies.

In all seriousness, at the moment Kay is the only one I’m surely voting for at-Large, with Linda Gorton my current second place (voters get to choose three in the primary). Don Pratt is my tentative third, but only because Christopher Hignite was totally bluffing us on having the Ellinger dirt. What a tease…

Here’s another Kay video, with some unexpected psychedelic video effects to keep you on your toes.

LFUCG At-Large debate

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April 22, 2010
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Eight of the candidates participated in the Fayette Alliance forum last night at the Central Library. Below are the links to the final statements of a few of the candidates (crank up the volume, audio is very weak).

Steve Kay

Don Pratt

Ruschell (the only candidate so far that I know you shouldn’t vote for)

Christopher Hignite (calls Ellinger a “former client” of his escort service)

The moderator did an effective job of reining in Hignite for most of the forum, but he grabbed the microphone after the forum ended so he could chastise those who don’t want to hear about his persecution by the police and city hall for the dangerous secret murders he knows about. I caught this about 20 seconds into it, until the angry moderator ripped the microphone out of his hand.

Roundup of Last Night’s Lexington OFA Rally

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September 4, 2009
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Last night in Phoenix Park in downtown Lexington, Organizing for America hosted a pro-health insurance reform rally. It was well attended, with approximately 100 people present at the peak. Better yet (or not, if you’re looking for great entertainment), there were no tea-baggers present that I or any of my cohorts saw. We got some good video of some of the speakers and the demonstration itself, including a personal declaration of support for health reform from Lexington’s wonderful State Senator, Kathy Stein. Response from passing drivers was almost universally supportive, as you’ll hear in the videos below. Enjoy and keep fightin’ the good fight for health insurance reform!

This first video is Kathy Stein proudly speaking out in favor of reform:

This is a shot of the whole group with the sounds of well-wishers honking at us:

This video is Kathy Stein standing on the corner of Limestone and Main with Don Pratt:

And finally, part 1 of Kathy Stein’s kick-ass speech:

And part 2:

Enjoy the videos and be sure to check out OFA’s website for more info on how to get involved right here in Kentucky.

A public plea to LFUCG employees

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November 18, 2008
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Please please please, somebody find the old video of Don Pratt presenting his dirty underwear into evidence at one of the LFUCG meetings from a few years ago. And Teresa Isaacs shrugging her shoulders and granting his wish. And a surprised Don Pratt reluctantly handing them over to some poor soul.

This great moment in Lexington history needs to be on YouTube for everyone to share and take pride in…

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