Much manipulation went for naught as a proposed new library tax went down, leading some observers to conclude that they had outsmarted themselves. The margin of defeat exposed them as rank amateurs who believed the public could be steered like sheep to vote yes at the polls.

  • Anyone close to being a celebrity in Louisville was carted out for the campaign. TV spots from coaches and athletes. Letters to the Editor from business leaders and educators. You know, the kind of people you would never bump into at the local library branch. Maybe some actual library users would have been effective.
  • The three-part question on the actual ballot was obviously intended to delude individuals. The organizers clearly underestimated the intelligence of local voters.
  • For some strange reason, library supporters refused to appear on local talk shows to discuss the proposed funding. They didn’t want to appear giving the opponents any credibility? They lost some by refusing any debate.

Kept expecting the Courier-Journal to issue the results of a Bluegrass Poll with preliminary indications on how voters were leaning. The story never came, making one suspect that the editors and library supporters knew the proposal was in deep trouble from the beginning.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.