Thursday, January 18, 2007

Star: Don't Let Peterson Off Easy

When I moved to Indianapolis nearly 17 years ago, the Marion County Republican Party was touted as the best GOP county organization in the country. Save for Center Township, the party controlled every office from top to bottom and could be counted on to deliver significant winning margins for statewide candidates. A crack first appeared when Jeff Modisett won the prosecutor's office that year, and it's been pretty much downhill for the party since then. First, they lost the mayor's race. Then they started losing a few township races here and there. Then they lost some long-held county offices. Then they lost the council. And this past year, they lost all but the prosecutor's office and most of the suburban township offices.

So suffice it to say, I never thought 17 years ago when I arrived here I would be reading an editorial in the Star urging the Republican Party not to roll over on the re-election of a Democratic mayor. The newspaper finds the lack of a GOP candidate for mayor more than just a "partisan concern." "Residents deserve a full-blown debate on the many issues confronting the city, especially public safety," the paper writes. "But the mayor's race is shaping up to be an easy stroll for Peterson when it should be a tough slog." "Peterson might well win in the end even if he had to face a hard-charging competitor like Brizzi." "But the competition would do the city, and ultimately the mayor himself, good." "Republicans still have time to recruit a credible challenger, but it appears few good options remain." "For the sake of the community's future, the party needs to pull together and secure a truly competitive candidate."

How times have changed.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The rag in town, we call the Star, is full of crap. THEY have themselves to blame too because they do NO hard-hitting reporting! THEY let the mayor and all the democrats off scott-free because they are in bed together. All the Star does is trash the GOP and all they are looking for is fodder. They care about the GOP as much as Bart and his buddies care about this city.

Anonymous said...

Ya right - "Residents deserve a full-blown debate on the many issues " where was this request last year for the congressional race ?

Anonymous said...

The GOP will have a compotent candidate for Mayor. Stay tune!

Anonymous said...

Mike Murphy ain't a "compotent candidate"

But, I'll "stay tune"

Anonymous said...

A lot of this is due to pure demographic change. In the last 20 years the collar counties have exploded in population as the former republican suburbanites of the outer townships moved to Hamilton and Hendricks County.

Anonymous said...

Demographics, shememographics...give some credit to campaign platforms, and the Republican Party self-destructing by moving so far right they turn off more and more folks. Hateful wagon-circling does take a toll.

Just like you can't believe your eyes, AI, I can't believe the local rag EVER gives a favorable slant to a Democrat. Prior to the Gannett purchase, it was open warfare on most Dems. Walk a mile or two in our historical shoes. It was brutal.

We have a host of problems in this city, several of them due to Republican delays and campaign tactics for 40 years. When you ignore federal court orders for expensive things like Combined Sewer Overflow or Jail Overcrowding, the ultimate fix is two or three times more expensive.

What we have now, in the Mayor's office, is a CEO who won't ignore those problems.

Not unlike, frankly, the Governor.

You can love or loathe either one of them. But neither is walking away from tough issues just because the political landscape is tough. Each is willing to engage in difficult dicussions and propose radical changes to solve some of these problems.

That's leadership. And leaders, by definition, sometimes fail and sometimes succeed.

The trouble is, we demand 1.000 batting averages. Which is not realistic, in business or in politics.

myherowilson said...

Wow I see that Wilson is posting anonymously now. 11:21 and he are one in the same, no doubt. But, a good move on his part.....all the crap without the accountability, just like being an elected official in Marion County

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but Peterson is not addressing tough issues. What is he doing about the crime rate? He's saying to call up the Sheriff because the Sheriff runs the police now. Is there any other big city mayor in the US who actively wants to get rid of control over the police? That right there tells you everything you need to know about Peterson's "leadership". Or take a look at the horrible deal the city is cutting on the "Hotel Mundane".

I certainly don't think the republicans were golden boys by any means. The antics going on in Wayne Township are a disgrace, for example. But if you don't believe there's flight from Marion County, you're ignoring statistical reality. There is continuous outmigration. I think a lot of it, quite frankly, is driven by schools. I was shocked when the recent stats came out at how poor the graduation rates were for the township school districts. Compare to Carmel or HSE and you can see why people would not want to send their kids there.

Wilson46201 said...

FWIW, I never post anonymously or pseudonymously unlike certain impecunious and losing office-seekers...

The haters always hurl lies and slanders safely behind the white hood of TCP/IP

Anonymous said...

There has been a demographic shift. Many more families in Indainapolis live in poverty than ever before. Apartments that were filled with retirees looking to downsize 20-25 years ago, now house families living on the financial edge. There is very little affordable housing in Carmel/Fishers but as Brainard says "we need somewhere for the people who clean our houses and mow our lawns to live." Well, they live in older aprtments in northern Marion County.

That said, the Marion County GOP has problems way beyond a change in demographics. As precinct committee men and women have literally died off, they did a terrible job of recrutiting replacements. The swing to the far right didn't help either. Anti-gay rhetoric and intolerance do not play well to educated folks in urban areas. There are many former Republicans living in Marion County. Of course, the precinct committee people are so clueless, they do not even have good lists from recent primarys to know that former R's are now voting in the D's primary elections. In fact, they do not even know which of the people on their own block have passed away or switched parties. They do not know the young people who have moved into their neighborhoods. They are out of touch.

Advance Indiana said...

The party has no doubt been impacted by changing demographics. Yes, young couples with children are moving to the burbs. At the same time, there is a rebirth of old neighborhoods in the center city with highly-educated, high- income earners and empty-nesters. Economically, many of these people are closer to the GOP, but they are more socially liberal than the people moving to the burbs. GOP candidates like Scott Keller and Jon Elrod appeal to these new-comers, while the traditionalists are still clinging to the past.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Mayor Peterson twice. My problem with Bart is that when the chips are down - or not - he goes for rediculous political posturing to try to look like a "morals" politician. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH HAVING ADULT VENDORS CLOSED AFTER MIDNIGHT AND ON SUNDAYS? Is this something that one would expect a big city Democrat mayor to champion. And then there were the violent video games; another ($700,000 in lost court fees disaster). All of this while our metro area lags in any serious progress toward mass transit (an issue that one would expect an urban Democrat to pursue).I hope that the Marion County Democratic Party can find someone to run in place of Mr. Peterson. I'm tired of voting for a Democrat and getting a closet Republican instead.

Patrick ONeill said...

This isn't your fathers Republican party.

(Can you imagine the front runners in your fathers time begging for James Dobson's blessing ? )

Be Smart said...

Be smart for your city...plan to vote for someone who has better leadership qualities..."Leadership is accomplishing something through other people that wouldn't have happend if you weren't there. And in today's world, that's less and less through command and control, and more and more through changing people's mindsets and hence altering the way they behave. Today, leadership is being able to mobilize ideas and values that energize other people"(N.M. Tichy)

How would you characterize Bart Peterson and his leadership qualities??