Sometimes in politics you see things so blatantly morbid and shameful that it makes you wonder why bother. Such was the case of the treatment of Councilman Doug Hawkins last week by his opponent, David Yates, at the League of Women Voters debate.
In full disclosure, I have volunteered for Councilman Hawkins for the better part of a year now, and I know the man personally. At the debate, Councilman Hawkins began with a list of his accomplishments under his leadership in District 25. Mr. Yates used his opening statement to begin attacking Mr. Hawkins. Unfortunately, it was midway through the debate before I began to wonder how many times Mr. Yates called Councilman Hawkins a “liar,” without any examples to back it up–which the Councilman repeatedly requested.
While Councilman Hawkins showed knowledge of the issues the moderator brought up, Mr. Yates’ answers were more like when a student is asked a question in class and responds with the question. For example, he was asked about how to bring more business to Southwest Louisville, and he answered that we need to bring more business to Southwest Louisville. Mr. Hawkins has a proven track record of bringing businesses to his district.
As an example, I suggest that his constituents ride down Dixie Highway, which divides Districts 25 and 14. If you head south, it is important to keep in mind that Councilman Hawkins’ district is on the left. Notice all the new development on that side of Dixie Highway. From the Valley Station Towne Center, to the renovation of Walgreen’s, to the new Waffle House, and the new Super Kroger shopping center. On the other side of the highway is Democratic Councilman Bob Henderson’s district. While there are a few new businesses, such as Mortenson Family Dental, most of what you see is abandoned gas stations, and no new development. Wick’s Pizza Parlor in the Valley Station Shopping Center will soon be moving out.
Mr. Yates and Mr. Henderson are identical in that they talk a big game, but really aren’t sure how to deliver. This was apparent in Mr. Yates’ answers to the questions he was asked at the debate. He took his last cheap shot at Councilman Hawkins in his closing statement, in which he used the word “liar,” lunging his head toward the Councilman. It was a juvenile moment if I’ve ever seen one.
Mr. Yates had compared Councilman Hawkins earlier in the debate to his four-year-old daughter. While I’m sure she is sweet, Mr. Yates, if you ever hope to attain any kind of office you shouldn’t act like your four-year-old daughter, as you did in your closing statement.
Mr. Yates’ obvious strategy was to use his time to take a quick and cheap shot at Councilman Hawkins and then go on to give vague answers to questions. Understandably, Mr. Hawkins became upset. The League of Women Voters, it should be pointed out, leans Democratic anyway. This is evidenced by their support for the so-called “fairness ordinance,” and their Obama-like statement on their website which says they believe that “every person not only has a legal right but also a human right to live in a decent, affordable home and a suitable living environment.” Needless to say, that right is expressed nowhere in our Constitution.
I remind my faithful readers that I have no job at stake here. I am only a volunteer and a writer who saw blatant unfairness and reckless behavior by someone who wants to hold the title of “Councilman.” I have been alongside Mr. Hawkins as he has worked to the point of fatigue for this community. To paraphrase an old saying, I know Doug Hawkins, Mr. Yates. And you are no Doug Hawkins.