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My Old Kentucky Poll

Poll predicted incumbent's loss in Bardstown mayor's race

Nov. 16, 2006


Sometimes even unscientific polls like this one get lucky.

Imagine my surprise to find that the actual vote tallies in the race for Bardstown mayor would confirm the results of my poll?

Dick Heaton was the top vote-getter, followed closely by the popular John Royalty. The incumbent mayor, Dixie Hibbs, was a distant third in a field of seven candidates.

Jack Hurst, owner of the Shirt Shop in Bardstown, did not receive any votes.

Mayor-elect Heaton, the next in a long line of auto dealership-owner-turned-Bardstown-mayor, handily defeated incumbent Mayor Dixie Hibbs in the General Election.

Hibbs had created considerable controversy early in her term as mayor with the passing of an occupational tax and subsequent annexations that were largely driven by the need to raise revenue by adding taxpayers to pay the tax. But since that time Hibbs had accumulated a lengthy list of accomplishments and "good works" that solidly defined her as a competent mayor who carefully managed the city as if it were her own.

Heaton overcame a couple of obstacles in his win. The first was that Hibbs campaigned on the fact she was a full-time mayor -- something that Heaton had to confess he did not plan to be. He used his business as an example of how he planned to run the city -- let the department heads do their jobs and avoid micromanaging what's working well.

Heaton did not have a great deal of ammunition to use against the incumbent, either. He voted in favor of most (but not all) of the recent tax hikes. He was one of the first to question the wisdom of rapid expansion by the city without first knowing if the services could be provided -- most notably fire and police protection.

I suspect Dixie Hibbs will be running for a council seat in two years -- and perhaps another term as mayor in four.

Heaton has only hinted at some changes he would like to implement. He wants to improve customer service and I suspect he'll be looking to make some of the city ordinances -- particularly the sign ordinance and historic zoning -- a little more business friendly.

Poll: Gov. Ernie Fletcher's re-election bid a tough sell

May 8, 2006


Gov. Ernie Fletcher's bid for re-election next year may run into a snag -- his lack of popularity.

More than half of the 464 votes cast in the MOKH.com poll were cast against re-elected Fletcher next year.

Support for the governor was tepid,with barely one-fourth of those who participated casting votes to send Fletcher back for a second term.

This was a long-running poll (several months), so it could be more of a barometer of Fletcher's unpopularity several months ago when the merit hiring scandal was unfolding (and Gov. Fletcher was having blanket pardon parties).

But Fletcher has apparently gained some popularity since this poll question was posted, if only with the liberal press, due to his handling of some of the issues during the recent session of the General Assembly. Education -- a key point in his campaign -- was well-funded in his budget and in the final one he approved. Fletcher failed to cut enough pork to suit most pundits, and I suspect that was a nod to his goal of making a little political hay for his re-election bid next year.

Is it enough to improve his still-low popularity? In politics, a year is a lot of time to improve his image -- or to have it further eroded -- neither of which is totally in his control.

Poll: Hospital annexation votes polarized

Sept. 19, 2005


The participants in a poll related to the City of Bardstown's annexation of portions of KY 245 where the new Flaget Memorial Hospital was built were fairly evenly split between those for and those against.

More than 40 percent agreed the hospital should be annexed since it uses city services -- and without the sewer line that is served by the city, there would be no hospital there.

But 45 percent of those voting disagreed with the annexation; nearly 30 percent of those voters agreed with Magistrate Tim Hutchins' arguments against the annexation, while the rest just flat disagreed. Ten percent opted to vote for the fourth option, stating that slower growth would better serve the city.

Nelson County Fiscal Court has sued the city over the annexation. Both governments are working to protect income -- the city was after occupational tax revenue, and the county was out to protect its garbage collection franchise. The jury is still out on this one (pun intended).

Poll: Catholics divided on impact of election of new pope

June 25, 2005


In a statistical dead-heat (statistical for my kind of poll), the majority of Catholics were evenly divided on the impact of the change in leadership of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected successor to Pope John Paul II following much hand wringing and complaining by liberal Catholics who sought to move the church to the political left.

When asked "What impact will the new pope have on U.S. Catholics?" more than a fourth agreed with me -- its' just too early to tell.

Another fourth felt Pope Benedict XVI would lead in a manner consistent with that of Pope John Paul II -- a logical conclusion since Ratzinger spent many years working closely with the pope.

And another fourth of respondents said liberal Catholics will whine regardless of who was elected pope -- another truthful observation.

The poll question was inspired by the media pundits who gathered around the Vatican, covering the election of the pope in the same vein as they would a political race. And the media jumped on and highlighted the many conflicts within the Church, both real and imagined -- the 'split' between the U.S. Catholic Church vs. the Vatican, for example. I think CNN must have interviewed every left-wing extremist in the network's Religious Fanatics rolodex during their papal election coverage.

This writer was taken to task by a fellow Roman Catholic who felt the poll was biased against liberal Catholics. OK, guilty as charged. My tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek poll was intentionally biased against the media-grabbing liberals who complained so loudly before and after Cardinal Ratzinger's election that the Church needed to become "more modern" -- which is Catholic Liberal-Speak for "I want the Church to validate my less-than-Catholic belief system." While I believe everyone struggles with some part of the tenets of their chosen faith, I have little tolerance for pick-and-choose Catholics. Sorry Mac, you're not in the Asian Garden buffet line. If you want General Tso's Chicken, that's fine -- just don't expect everyone in the place to eat it as their main entree, OK?

Interestingly the mantra/prophesy many liberal Catholics spouted before and after Pope Benedict's election -- that another conservative pope would send the church back to the Middle Ages -- has yet to be fulfilled. Only 7 percent of people who bothered to vote on the poll believed Pope Benedict would move the Church back to moral absolutes.

Maybe next time.

Poll: Bush Social Security plan not seen as the answer

April 19, 2005


The poll here at My Old Kentucky Home.com isn't scientific by any stretch of the imagination. But due to the fact that visitors can't vote more than once from the same computer, it becomes an interesting snapshot of what's going through the minds of this site's visitors.

In response to the question "Do you believe Social Security is facing a crisis?", roughly one-third (34.44 percent) of the 90 respondents believed President Bush's ideas to revamp Social Security by creating private investment acccounts was "on target."

Twenty-one percent agreed with the idea that Social Security needed fixing, but did not agree that the president's plan was the way to do accomplish this goal.

More than one-third of respondents disagreed with the notion that Social Security is "broken," by responding to one of the five negative choices. Twenty-three percent chose answers that zinged politicians: "The only crisis are these lousy meddling politicians!" (5.56 percent); "No, it's just more damnable GOP lies" (12.22 percent) and "The definition of 'crisis' is a moving target lately" (5.56 percent

On average, it appears that the President's plan isn't seen as the answer, though part of that may be due to the fact the Social Security seldom is the target of major revisions -- it's an issue that can have serious impact on a political career.

The conclusion hasn't been reached on this effort, so stay tuned.

Poll: Kerry helped in his election defeat

February 8, 2005


The most recent results in My Old Kentucky Poll indicate that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry probably didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of defeating incumbent Pres. George Bush last November.

Nearly 30 percent of respondents agreed that "Bush ran a smarter campaign," while an equal number attributed Kerry's loss to his liberal voting record.

Of the remaining voters, nearly 30 percent chose responses that were in line with the political left: "Right-wing voters are idiots" (14.88 percent), "All those damnable lies by the GOP" (12.4 percent) and "It was a vast right-wing conspiracy" (7.44 percent).

While the MOK Poll is anything but scientific, it does allow for the accumulation of comments on local issues, and unlike the pre-election polls that were in place at YurViews.com, only allows one vote per IP address.

Poll was right -- Bush carries Nelson County

November 6, 2004


While there's not a dad-blamed thing scientific about it, the poll which asked "Which candidate do you plan to vote for on Nov. 2" was a good predictor of the final result.

More than 63 percent said they would vote to re-elect President George W. Bush. Statewide, Bush received 60 percent of the vote.

What was perhaps much more significant than Bush's win was that of Republican David Floyd, who won the 50th District state house seat, the first Republican to ever hold that seat.

WBRT's Ed Carty said during his first post-election radio show that Nelson County isn't as Democratic as it used to be. He's come to the same conclusion I have -- that we have a much more diverse community than we once did. No longer is Nelson County largely Catholic and pro-liquor and tobacco (though I happen to be in that camp myself).

Event signs: Use 'em right or not at all

October 9, 2004


The majority of participants in the online poll about the City of Bardstown's Event signs were split evenly between voters who thought the signs were "a good idea gone bad" and those who wanted to see more of the signs around the area.

Taken as a group, the second and third-place votes provide a bit of insight that voters agree that the signs should be used for their intended purpose -- promoting events in the community.

The signs -- originally restricted to use by tourism-related events and to those of a non-profit nature -- have become cluttered with everything from school enrollments to weekly fish fry announcements to fundraisers for accused felons.

The top votes for phrases completing the statement "The city's event signs should be --" were "Done away with as a good idea gone bad," and "Located in more places in the county." Both statements received nine votes.

The second and third-place winning phrases (six votes and five votes respectively) both agreed that the signs' use should be used per guidelines with statements that the signs should be "Used per established guidelines" and "Restricted to avoid promoting fundraisers for accused felons."

Thirty-two votes total were cast in the poll.

Mattingly given benefit of doubt despite indictment for murder

April 29, 2004


Visitors to this site who voted in a poll about former Bardstown Police officer McKenzie "Mad Dog" Mattingly apparently put great stock in his statements denying wrongdoing in the shooting death of 19-year-old Michael Newby.

More than one-third (35.71 percent) of those who voted said Mattingly "will be a scapegoat to placate activist groups" followed closely by those who agreed with the statement that Mattingly "Is innocent until proven guilty" (32.14 percent).

Mattingly, who was fired earlier this month by Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White, was indicted and charged with murder and wanton endangerment.

In comments the day Mattingly was indicted, Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel indicated it was clear early in the investigation that this was what he called "a bad shooting."

"This one we felt strongly about," Stengel said. "Nobody is above the law. ... It's a very difficult situation; (police) have to make split-second judgments, but at the same time, just because you have a badge on your chest does not give you the right to just shoot anybody at will."

Interestingly, only one vote was cast that predicted Mattingly will be convicted in the shooting death. Legal experts say the odds are against a murder conviction, however, Mattingly may well wind up convicted of a lesser felony for the shooting.

Voters agree: City's annexation was 'land grab'

March 19, 2004


The city's now completed annexation of more than 400 acres the northeastern of the city limits didn't appear to be a politically pleasant move for Bardstown Mayor Dixie Hibbs or the Bardstown City Council.

According to my survey that's been on the MOKH.com Web site, the annexation was classified as "A land grab by a megalomaniac" by 40 percent of participants. Thirty percent said it was "something voters won't forget in the election cycle."

Of course, there's lots of political water to go under the bridge between now and this year's election cycle for council members. Depending on the annexation protester's fortitude (and money), the issue may be dead and gone by November. And thanks to changes the council approved a couple years ago, there will be no primary for the council seats, no matter how many file for office. Of course, it's not like there's a crowd of people trying to run for election as it is. Will the occupation tax and annexation change that? I'll know more about that in about 11 months..

Voters give occupational tax the thumbs-down in recent online poll

July 11, 2003


The occupational tax proposed by Mayor Dixie Hibbs and recently approved by the Bardstown City Council did not score well in the inaugeral My Old Kentucky Poll.

The slightly-less-than-scientific poll recorded a majority of negative votes when asked the question, "Should the Bardstown City Council enact an occupational tax?"

More than 81 percent of voters cast votes against the tax, with more than 40 percent voting the emphatic but simple response "Hell No!"

Some respondents also took time to e-mail opinions regarding the tax. More than one said they believed Mayor Hibbs had something up her sleeve; a pet project or plan to make use of this revenue that regular tax money would not cover. Conspiracy theory or psychic prediction? We'll have to wait and see.

Comments and questions may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com.

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