Ellen Call: A Happy and Fully Recovered Politician

The one question that recovering politicians always get is “do you miss it?”

Many elected officials have politics in their blood, and they go through a sort of withdrawal when they’re not in office.

Fortunately for my peace of mind, I don’t have it that bad, and I can honestly say that I don’t miss it.

My business partner in my public affairs firm, Julie Raque Adams, ran for state representative last year and won.  I love hearing her tales of all the hijinks in Frankfort, but that’s enough for me for now.

I wouldn’t change a thing about the six years I served on Louisville’s Metro Council.  I’m very proud that I had a hand in the fabulous KFC Yum! Center, the smoking ban, and the Fairness Ordinance.  I am also grateful that I had the opportunity to advocate for an expansion of our library system.

But I am so happy in the private sector that it’s hard to imagine jumping back in.  So count me in the ranks of a very content recovered politician.

Smoking Ban

Senate President and gubernatorial candidate David Williams deserves kudos for coming out in favor of a statewide smoking ban. That’s not an easy position for a candidate to take in a Republican primary, and I really appreciate it.

When I served on the Metro Council, we finally passed a comprehensive smoking ban in Louisville. One year, I served as the Chair of the committee studying the smoking ban, so I had the opportunity to meet with many bar and restaurant owners who were concerned about the economic impact of a ban.

One local restaurateur I met with told me at a high volume that his business would be doomed if we passed a smoking ban.

He got so hot with me at one point that he said, “If you were a man, I’d punch you in the face!”

I said, “Well, it’s a good thing I’m a girl!”

By the way, his restaurant business has expanded in the years since the smoking ban passed.  Good for him.

CPAC

I am so glad that Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul ignored the silly boycott of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington in February. Several conservative groups skipped the conference because a gay Republican group, GOProud, was invited to co-sponsor the event. GOProud was co-founded by my friend and former Louisvillian, Jimmy LaSalvia.

The groups that protested GOProud’s inclusion need to remember that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction.

Julie Hits Frankfort

When Senator Williams filed his papers to run for Governor, a reporter at the press conference got a good chuckle from a freshman State Representative. Right before the press conference began, the new legislator blurted out, “Oh my gosh, my dress is on backwards!” Now, in her defense, the front and the back looked exactly alike.

Of course, it was Rep. Julie Raque Adams, the only woman I know who would say that out loud instead of just thinking it.

Thanks to Courier-Journal reporter Joe Gerth for that scoop!!

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