Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott is denouncing a new mailer by challenger Jessica Green that claims the incumbent is supporting “illegal immigrants” over District 1 citizens.
The new campaign ad was released to voters this week and criticizes Scott for opposing the West End Walmart development deal.
It accuses Scott of opposing the estimated 300 jobs the project is expected to bring.
Green’s double-side mailer also alleges that Scott “boarded a plane to Arizona to support illegal immigration” with the councilwoman’s face imposed on a woman’s body riding an airplane saying “Off to Arizona!”
Scott says the Green mailer using the term “illegal immigration” has offended some in the Hispanic community in addition to it being inaccurate about her travel.
“I’ve been to Arizona maybe 20 years ago for something totally unrelated,”Scott says. “That was decades before I even began serving on Louisville Metro Council. I’m not sure where that’s coming from and it has nothing to do with the work of District 1.”
Joined by over a dozen supporters, Scott’s press conference was also attended by the council members Vicki Aubrey Welch and David James, the current and former Democratic leaders respectively.
“Desperate people do desperate things,” says Welch. “Attica is all about doing things to better her community. On the other hand her opponent is not promoting herself, she’s just being negative against the incumbent.”
Green did not respond to our request for comment.
The District 1 primary race is expected to be a close contest and Green is considered a formidable opponent. As the daughter of later Councilwoman Judy Green, she has raised nearly double the amount of money Scott has this year.
Green recently took Scott to task for supporting an art mural in the Parkland neighborhood painted over an abandoned apartment building.
“My plan to combat vacant properties is to hold absentee landlords accountable,” Green told WFPL earlier this week. “I don’t believe we should be painting the homes of these landlords or of the banks while some of them are brunching on beaches in Florida and drinking Mimosas. Why should we be using our tax dollars to paint these properties?”
Those behind the mural, however, say the project was the result of working with a family who owned the 2-story building
Chickasaw neighborhood resident Donovan Taylor is a Green supporter. He says the mailers have brought up legitimate concerns among residents about resources to address vacant properties and Scott’s opposition to the Walmart jobs.
“West Louisville and District 1 in particular is dealing with critical issues and where funding should be going is important,” he says. “You have residents who believe the use of neighborhoods funds or any resources directed towards District should go to correcting issues and not just painting over the issue.”
Green’s mailers are hard hitting of Scott’s record, especially in terms of the Walmart deal. Leading up to the city’s announcement, some observers said Scott committed “treason” against west Louisville for being critical of the plan.
But that message may have been lost in some of the ad’s more controversial accusations, which may have backfired among Green’s most ardent backers.
“Even as a supporter I was a little confused by the (Arizona) ad,” says Taylor. “It may not have been the most effective way to convey what she was trying to convey to the district. It may be a little overkill and it could have been done better.”