Mule trader Trump Sunday, May 22 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG   You’re at the bargaining table. The lead management negotiator slides over a piece of paper. “You’re going to love what I’m proposing,” the guy says. “Honest. It’s so good you don’t even have to check it … Continue reading →

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The NRA’s Economic Impact In Louisville Is Expected To Be Huge Friday, May 20 2016 

Neal Robertson sits in The New T&B Classic Cuts Barbershop on 18th and Muhammad Ali in Louisville. He’s in a exuberant mood — singing and joking with passersby, customers and the barbers there.

But his mood quickly shifts when he starts talking about the National Rifle Association.

Robertson, 53, is president of the West Louisville Urban Coalition, a group of organizations working to improve the neighborhoods west of Ninth Street. He says he’s concerned about the NRA’s annual meeting in Louisville.

“My thoughts on the NRA coming to town — who has a problem with gun violence — is it’s very bad for our community,” he says, referring to a historic spike in homicides and shootings in Louisville this year.

In the first quarter of 2016, homicides are up 44 percent over the same period last year, according to data from Louisville Metro Police. Shootings are up 39 percent over last year.

The West Louisville barbershop is about six miles from the Kentucky Exposition Center, where the NRA convention is being held. And that proximity is important for economic reasons, too.

The NRA is controversial, but along with controversy comes money — big money.  And their stop in Louisville is no exception. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend this weekend’s convention.

According to the Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the estimated economic impact of the NRA conference is $53 million. Cleo Battle, executive vice president of the CVB, says economic impact is a major factor in considering what events they try to lure to Louisville. 

Economic impact includes the direct spending visitors make when they’re here. That might include hotels, taxis and souvenirs. Impact also includes business-to-business goods and services, such as more labor or merchandise for a major event like the NRA. And it includes workers who will see a boost in wages from working during the event, who then might turn around and spend that money locally.

But even an educated estimate is hard to pin down, according to Janet Kelly, executive director of the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville. Still, Kelly says, economic boosts can apply to the city at-large — across classes and businesses.

“I know that it’s awfully hard to judge economic impact,” Kelly says. “And there’s a tendency to overstate them because many times we count all economic transactions as having an economic impact.”

Robertson, the West Louisville resident, doesn’t buy that the wealth will spread, so to speak, from the NRA conference citywide.

“Ma’am, I’m guaranteeing you that not one red cent will make it to West Louisville,” he says.

I’m for Bernie Sanders and closed primaries Thursday, May 19 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG AFT Local 1360 I Felt the Bern Tuesday, but I don’t share my candidate’s disdain for closed primaries. Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to a Washington Post story, said Hillary Clinton won in Kentucky because it’s one of … Continue reading →

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Hillary Clinton And Jim Gray Win In Kentucky Wednesday, May 18 2016 

Kentucky Democratic senatorial candidate Jim Gray wins big and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton squeaks by Bernie Sanders, in Kentucky’s Democratic primary. So what can Kentuckians expect from the Democratic victors? Will Jim Gray deny that he voted for Barack … Continue reading →

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Western Kentucky union members who Feel the Bern: stay home on Nov. 8 and the country gets Trump Tuesday, May 17 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG Some people who Feel the Bern swear they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Western Kentucky union members, current and past, I spoke with at the Bernie Sanders rally Sunday in Paducah said … Continue reading →

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Trumka: ‘What’s getting less attention is how Trump really feels about the working class…’ Thursday, May 12 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG AFT Local 1360 Donald Trump is again twisting the truth about Hillary Clinton and coal. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee claimed that his all-but-certain Democratic foe declared, “we’re going to put the miners out of business and … Continue reading →

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‘Looking for love in all the wrong places’ Sunday, May 8 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG AFT Local 1360 Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, bragged about his “tremendous support within unions.” “The workers love me,” he claimed. The Donald likely would be looking for love in all the wrong places if … Continue reading →

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Pack a union card? Beware the Trump con job Wednesday, May 4 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG AFT Local 1360 1. Who of the following presidential candidates supports “right to work?” A. presidential candidate Donald Trump B. newly ex-presidential candidate Ted Cruz C. both 2. Who said, We hear terrible things about outsourcing jobs—how … Continue reading →

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Matt Bevin might be the Democrats’ best fund-raiser Wednesday, May 4 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s family bell manufacturing business is in Connecticut, home state of Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth. Delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia, Sherman and Ellsworth are famous for proposing the “Great Compromise.” … Continue reading →

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Matt Bevin might be the Democrats’ best fund-raiser Wednesday, May 4 2016 

By BERRY CRAIG Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s family bell manufacturing business is in Connecticut, home state of Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth. Delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia, Sherman and Ellsworth are famous for proposing the “Great Compromise.” … Continue reading →

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