(Submitted press release)
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has ordered members of policy-making boards such as the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority to reveal any potential conflicts of interest on an official disclosure statement. Say NO to Bridge Tolls is calling for all “Tolling” Authority members (including those appointed by Indiana) to comply with Beshear’s ethics order before the December 16th vote approving tolls.
The Courier-Journal reported a week ago that five members of the Tolling Authority a 14 member group named by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, have ties to The Build the Bridges Coalition through organizations that serve on the coalition’s board.
For example, Greater Louisville Inc., One Southern Indiana and the Louisville Urban League are all part of the coalition. Tolling Authority members, include chairman Charles Buddeke, who also is on the GLI board; Joe Reagan, GLI’s CEO; co-chairman Kerry Stemler and member Pat Byrne, who are affiliated with One Southern Indiana; and Ben Richmond, CEO of the Louisville Urban League may all have conflicts of interest. Additionally member Sandra Frazier may also have conflicts of interest. Her firm Tandem Public Relations built the website for The Build the Bridges Coalition and worked with the coalition on an aggressive media relations outreach program (according to their website).
Shawn Reilly of Say NO to Bridge Tolls said “We have asked that all members of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority comply with Governor Beshear’s order before voting on the bridges financing plan at their December 16, 2010 meeting.”
Reilly also said “The public needs to know if Tolling Authority members or their families have ties to Wall Street banks or construction companies that stand to profit from potentially lucrative construction, consulting, or finance contracts.”
Say NO to Bridge Tolls has submitted a request to the Bridges Authority requesting copies of all the official disclosure statements and conflict of interest statements before the December 16th deadline. If the deadline is not met formal ethics complaints may be filled.
Say NO to Bridge Tolls is a broad-based community group representing tens of thousands of people across Indiana and Kentucky that are opposed to any tolls being placed on existing bridges or Spaghetti Junction, to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
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