Yesterday we connected the dots. I did the writing while the Green Mouse sat nearby, drunk-tweeting in a self-confessional sort of way.
ON THE AVENUES: Super Tuesday shrapnel – or, tiptoeing through the tulips with Dan Coffey, now THE face of historic preservation in New Albany.
This week on Super Tuesday, (Mayor Deaf) Gahan stayed safe in the bunker, impassively tending to the consumption of a Chick fil-A sandwich as his minions announced one of the most efficient vote-buying hauls in the city’s long and dubious history.
It's painfully obvious to anyone with more than a passing interest in local affairs that ever since Dan Coffey announced his departure from the Democratic Party, every single day has been like Halloween for the Wizard of Westside.
No little kid in a second-hand Batman costume ever had so much crisply enveloped "candy" pressed into his grasping, grubby paw than our gay-baiting, venom-spewing man Dan.
January 10, 2016: Boilerplate aplenty as Coffey's defection arouses heroic words of meaninglessness from Democratic officials.
Coffey says he hasn't left the Democratic Party -- you see, it left him. Coffey now will team up with Scott "Banker" Blair to form an "independent" duo on the council, which means we're a city with Moe and Larry, desperately in search of Curly. Not to worry. There's a Curly on every street corner in New Albany.
On his Super Tuesday vote-buying shopping spree earlier this week, Gahan reached the mythic heights of Mt. Dull-ympus with his rehab trick and treat handout to Coffey.
Translation: … since Coffey is a tremendous backer of the K of C, he’s neutralized and back on the mayor's payroll, at least for the moment.
Meanwhile: Deaf Gahan is Catholic … and the Democratic Party has been holding gatherings in Catholic-affiliated venues since the long ago days when bona fide Democrats like FDR walked the earth ... and that pesky priest at St. Mary’s keeps breathing down Team Gahan’s tight collars about the original sin of the two-way streets conversion … so POOF; all dissonance disappears, just like that, and to such a pervasive extent that we now see Coffey taking pride of place in the mayor’s MTV video touting Super Cash Stuffed Envelope Tuesday.
Straight up: A coherent case can be made for both the Louis Hartman house and the Reisz Furniture Building as appropriate targets for Redevelopment Commission "historic preservation" expenditures, although as a local contractor told me, "I'd love it if someone gave me $750,000 to rehab a building."
(As a side note, remember those downtown "above and beyond" facade grants funded from Horseshoe Foundation monies? Applicants are asked to affirm that local contractors and labor will be used for these jobs, whereas there is no such stipulation in this latest "Scribner Fund" round of largess.)
The case for the Knights of Columbus benefiting from Deaf's eagerness to appease a dissolute grifter like Coffey is considerably shakier.
First, Elizabeth Beilman explains the proposed one-of-a-kind facade grant.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
New Albany will fund $26,000 to restore the facade of the fraternal organization located in New Albany's Mansion Row Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city's money will complement about $100,000 in interior renovations the Knights of Columbus is fronting.
According to Barksdale, the same builder built the Knights of Columbus hall and the Louis Hartman House.
In essence, Redevelopment is paying Coffey to reward the Knights of Columbus for pursuing a political and social agenda that warms the cockles of the Wizard's shriveled heart. There'll be gratis microwaved toadstool sandwiches forever for the councilman whose shoulders Deaf just can't stop massaging.
The Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Politics of The Knights of Columbus, by Bill Berkowitz (Truth-Out)
... Unbeknownst to many cookie or pancake enthusiasts, however, is the reality that a portion of the money – read that, millions of dollars -- raised by the Knights is being poured into anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage campaigns.
That is a side of the Knight of Columbus that is rarely reported on. According to a new report by Catholics for Choice, "The order has pushed a conservative agenda ranging from the highly specific—a complaint against highschoolers reading Catcher in the Rye—to systemic opposition to reproductive choice and marriage equality through sizable donations to programs run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other conservative organizations."
If Team Gahan and Indiana Landmarks have any decency remaining in their institutional vaults after this week's mutual back-scratching marathon, the Knights of Columbus facade component will be removed from the Super Tuesday vote-buying bundle.
And by the way, the church's electronic sign is illegal.
GREEN MOUSE SAYS: This new electronic sign at St. Mary's did not receive a COA from the New Albany Historic Preservation Commission (hint: it's illegal).