Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ballard To Peterson: Get Your Priorities Straight

Indianapolis GOP mayoral hopeful Greg Ballard thinks Mayor Bart Peterson (D) should devote his time and attention to the city's spiraling crime problem before devoting attention to another Super Bowl bid. Ballard takes aim at the recent revelation about the high number of vacancies existing in the ranks of the city's police officers. That story was broken last week by WXNT radio talk show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz and picked up on by the Star this week. Ballard says in a press release:

“Mayor Peterson should drop his plans to seek a Super Bowl until he has solved the dangerous shortage of police officers in the new Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).”

Ballard also renewed his call for Mayor Peterson, Sheriff Anderson and Monroe Gray, President of the City-Council, to reopen and adequately staff the police substation at 42nd and College Avenue, citing recent violent assaults against the elderly in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. Ballard added "This is just one tragic example of Mayor Peterson's shortcomings in fighting crime."

Local news media cited a department report that says the new IMPD is short 120 sworn officers and 57 civilian employees. Ballard said, “Eight years ago Bart Peterson ran on a pledge promising 200 new police officers. Here we are eight years later and we are 177 officers short—120 of these are sworn officers who should be on patrol in our neighborhoods.”

“Mayor Peterson knows this is a problem. That’s why he is already running campaign ads making even more political promises about his plans to address crime. But the citizens of Indianapolis aren’t going to be fooled by slick campaign ads. We don’t have enough police on the streets—that’s a fact. And so far, we don’t see any aggressive action by the mayor to solve this problem,” stated Ballard.

“Everyone likes the Super Bowl, but it makes no sense for the mayor to spend money, time, energy or political resources on a do-over on a failed Super Bowl bid when we have a serious police shortage and rising violent crime,” said Ballard. If anyone is still wondering why criminals are growing more brazen, I think today's Indianapolis Star article about police shortages should answer his or her questions.

Ballard makes a good point. It's sort of like making plans for the purchase of a new car when you're three months behind on the mortgage payment. Ballard also earns some media attention today from Star columnist Matt Tully in his pursuit of making crime the number one issue in this year's mayoral election. Tully introduces Star readers to the unknown Ballard:

Let's pause here to introduce Ballard. He's a Cathedral High graduate who returned to the city a few years ago after 23 years in the Marines. These days, he teaches a course at Indiana Business College and conducts leadership seminars. He looks and sounds more like a CEO than a Marine.

"I have the ability to look at things and say, 'Why aren't we doing it this way?' " the father of two said. "I've done that all the way through my career."

Ballard talked about his campaign as we walked through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum on Carb Day. He talked a bit about the cars but mostly about crime and Peterson's record.

"I find it a bit insulting that his first commercial is about crime," he said.

"This man has had eight years, and this city is heading in the wrong direction."

What would a Mayor Ballard do? First, he said, he would ask the legislature to put the mayor back in charge of police. That, he said, is leadership.

Ballard doesn't want to sound like a one-issue candidate, but, he said, "crime is the issue of the day," and it is tied to other core issues such as schools and economic development. Before Election Day, he hopes to introduce himself with TV ads. For now, I asked him what he wanted voters to know.

"I want people to know there is someone capable out here," he said. "Someone who can make a difference, someone who can do it and do it better."

Ballard has five months to sell himself. Whatever the outcome, five months of talking about issues will be good for all of us.

Tully is skeptical Ballard will be able to raise the money needed to become a viable candidate. "At this point, the 52-year-old Pike Township resident doesn't have enough campaign cash to rebut commercials being aired by his opponent, Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat," Tully opines. "The reality is Ballard might not ever have enough money to do so." But he qualifies that with the following: "The beauty of U.S. politics is politicians have to face voters every so often. Many deserve re-election -- and that might be the case with Peterson -- but if the press and public do their jobs, elections can put a spotlight on politicians' records and important issues, such as crime." I'm pleased to see Tully concede the press has a responsibility to put a spotlight on Peterson's record. Let's see how well they do their job in the coming months.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ask Senator Greg Walker how much money it takes to win an election. Not a whole lot apparently. What it did take was a constituency who was ready for a change. Albeit this is a totally different set of circumstances but it is time for Marion County voters to get a clue. It is also time for Marion County Republicans (especially those higher up in the ranks) to show some solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Blogs have gone a long way to mitigate massive cash advances. It's still a huge obstacle - but not quite as huge as it was say, 10, even 5 years ago.

They have the ability to propel candidates into more media coverage than they would have gotten otherwise.

You're doing good work, Gary. Keep it up.

David said...

I shouldn't be surprised, but it really makes me mad hearing Bart Peterson go in front of the news cameras and say IMPD is only down 9 officers. He knows that isn't true. It's not even a half-truth, it is an outright lie. Abdul's blog has a full breakdown of the numbers straight from the department's own documents. The administration is probably angry that the story got out before they could alter the manning tables to make it appear that the department is fully staffed.

The Scribe said...

Surely this isn't the same Matt Tully who was courageous enough to suggest Carson should lose her seat, the day AFTER the election. He then went on to suggest that he waited until after the election so that his column wouldn't effect the vote.

As if the residents of Crown Hill Cemetery and Wheeler Mission, two dependable constituencies of Carson's, even read the Indianapolis Today (as if anyone else does, for that matter).

Anonymous said...

The real question is not the total manpower shortage - wetherit is 9 or120 or somewhere in between. The real question is how many police BEATS are not being filled during a 24 hour period.

The mayor can say the probationary and academy cadets count toward the total manpower but the cadets are not out there patrolling a beat on a daily basis and when the reach probationary status when they are out on a patrol they have another patrol officer with them.

So as an example - if an area has 10 patrol beats they have to cover and they have 10 patrol officersthey can say they are all being covered. But if 2 of them are probationary officers then really they are covering 8 beats - or those 8 are covering more area to cover those 2 other beats.

That is what needs to be asked of the Mayor and or IMPD chiefs.

Anonymous said...

Gary, you're not paying attention again. Ballard sent out a release about water...stuff. So much for message control.

Mayor Peterson's a good man. He's done a good job in the face of reactionary "leadership" in the state house when he proposes innovative, smaller, more efficient government reform. He not only will get the third term, but he deserves it and Indianapolis will be all the better for it.

Anonymous said...

"Mayor Peterson's a good man. He's done a good job in the face of reactionary "leadership" in the state house when he proposes innovative, smaller, more efficient government reform. He not only will get the third term, but he deserves it and Indianapolis will be all the better for it."

Mrs. Peterson your baby boy isn't as good a Mayor as you think. Sorry if this burst your bubble.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see all these "Bart sucks/lies/is an idiot" people in the anonymous world of the internet, but when there is a real opportunity, no credible candidate would come forward.

Oh, Bob "I'm running because the Jews control this country" Parker.

And Greg "I wrote a pamphlet on leadership once" Ballard.

Peterson wins in a walk.

Anonymous said...

The 42nd and College building is used now for the Police Athletic League, or PAl Club.

At least that's what I've been told. My phone calls to them and emails sent to them 2 weeks ago have yet to be responded to, wonder why?

I think I'll be giving up on Marion County and moving to a more focused community

Anonymous said...

To come clean: I have voted for, and will again vote for, Mayor Peterson. I think his leadership is spot-on, especially on government efficiency. And evidently the local and state Republican establishment do, too, or they wouldn't have thrown huge roadblocks up against his consolidation proposals in the legislature. Especially when the concepts mirror their own Unigov so closely.

But Ballard has a bully pulpit here, and he should carry on. Focusing on priorities, is what this city needs, and the mayor's folks know it's his Achilles heel. Big time.

Ballard's campaign, though it will lose big time, can play a serious role in helping the city refocus its priorities. Elections are all about emssage, and his, on this issue, is solid.

Carry on, Mr. Ballard.

Oh yeah--don't depend on Tully to do it for you. Not if it involves actually researching or working on something. That's not in his job description or within his ability.

Prediction, if we're lucky: Bart by ten or more, City Council 19-12 Democratic. And I'm praying for a new president.

Anonymous said...

The Democrat/Republican Coalition will determine the next Mayor. They always have and they always will. It does not matter whom the average citizen wants in the office. The money will hit the streets the week before the election to insure the outcome of the election. Say it isnt' so!

Anonymous said...

It isn't so.

The Scribe said...

I think his leadership is spot-on, especially on government efficiency.

Hey Anon 9:33, have you seen the city budget lately?

Nice to know the Simon's earned a new corporate HQ for their contributions, and Jim Irsay got himself a nice new stadium for his, yet what have the kids stuck in IPS gotten lately?

But keep voting Defeatocrat, they're doing so much for us already.

Anonymous said...

THE GOVERNOR RAISED TAXES TO BUILD A STADIUM.

MAYOR HAD PLAN TO BUILD WITHOUT A TAX INCREASE.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has no control over IPS, but he has offered students a choice through Charter Schools. And by the way, IPS has issued some pretty large bonds to pay for school improvements...around $850 Million worth.

The Scribe said...

MAYOR HAD PLAN TO BUILD WITHOUT A TAX INCREASE.

Must have gotten mixed in with his plan to put 200 cops on the street.

The Mayor has no control over IPS, but he has offered students a choice through Charter Schools.

Right, what can he add, like one a year? After a convoluted review and approval process? How many total have been added? Like three?

I'm sure the thousands of IPS students doomed to a life of drug dealing and gang banging are as impressed as I am.

Again, this guy is so big on efficient government, the city is broke with a lowered credit rating. All because of his enlightened leadership, I suppose.

BTW, anyone get mugged today?

Anonymous said...

5:03, try to stay on topic. And don't get confused when facts confound your "logic."

And Scribe...the Mayor has no--ZERO--control over the IPS budget. They have a relatively new superintendent who is swimming upstream to try and reform a bloated system. We should all hope he succeeds.

Yeah, I've seen the budget. KInda up-close, and I understand it. It's full of payments for projects ignored by Republican mayors for over 20 years. As said many times before, problems delayed are problems amplified.

But hey, that CSO problem, now costing almost a billion to fix, would've only cost about $90-110 million when first identified, and avoided, by Republican Councilwoman Beulah Coughenour in 1990. Ignored, because the mayors didn't want to raise taxes. Beulah saw the problem, warned against it, and finally gave up.

Ditto the jail, ruled unconstitutionally overcrowded by none other than one of the most conservative Republican federal judges in the country--in 1992. That fix was ignored for over a decade. Costly.

And a buttload of TIFs and tax abatements to Republican-favored businesses over the last 30 years. Do you need a list of those?

All the birds have come home to roost, and finally, we have a mayor who won't run from the problems.

Scribe, learn form history, lest you be doomed to repeat it. Despise the Mayor all you want. He angers me from time to time, too...but he does not bury his head in the sand.

How else do you explain his standing in front of three successive Republican legislatures to ask for consolidation authority?

Gutsy.

The Scribe said...

Consolidation...except for the most corrupt office in the city (at least the one not headed by Bart), the Center Township Trustee. But keep believing that line.

I love how Kool-Aid drinking Defeatocrats automatically assume that anyone who opposes them must be some die-hard Republican.

BTW, what has bart or his buddy Frankie done about the jail situation in the past 8 years?

Where are our 200 cops?

Anyone get mugged today?

Anonymous said...

"BTW, what has bart or his buddy Frankie done about the jail situation in the past 8 years?"

Funny how Republicans get bashed for not hiking taxes for sewer and other issues, but Peterson gets a pass!!

Instead, Peterson hikes taxes for a stadium and convention center. Then he blames Republicans when he has to hike additional taxes to fix other things. Not only that, why has he waited EIGHT YEARS to do this? Based on the fact that Bart did not have an IPD recruit class for around 2-3 years shows they knew money was an issue at least four years ago. Maybe food and beverage taxes, hotel taxes, etc. should have been raised back then?

Sorry, but Peterson treated the state police like crap for years. That fine agency went from have thousands (7,000) applicants back in the day to maybe getting 700 to show up on test day. Republicans treated them with respect and now the lateral transfers are lining up to get a spot. Now Bart is treating IPD/IMPD like he did ISP, basically "I own you."

Pea Shake said...

Indiana plays host today to the National Association of Attorneys General Racketeering and Influenced Corrupt Organization's (RICO) Act Seminar.

Maybe we will get some action on the illegal Pea Shake network.

Melyssa Donaghy said...

So the "Bart Lies" people are anonymous Internet dwellers? I'm not.

"BART LIES"! And I personally know Bart Lies first hand.

Wilson46201 said...

Since no Republican filed to run against Monroe Gray (and he wins by default), perhaps the County GOP Chair could appoint Melyssa Donaghy to be appointed sacrificial lamb candidate against him? Wouldn't that be a hoot? Melyssa is better known as "Miss Ann", a professional dominatrix. Her GOP candidacy would prove that the Republicans are not in bondage to the Eric Miller wingnuts!

Melyssa said...

Look Wilson...I'm not a republican. And I've thought of running for council and more than one person has pleaded with me to do it. I've also had money offered to me to run.

If I can make men pay me money to jerk a knot in their tale, be one of the top sales people wherever I work, I think I could raise money too run for office as a Libertarian. By the way, Libertarians don't waste taxpayer money running primary elections to slate their candidates.

I'm honest and not afraid to step up and speak the truth.

One of the reasons I'm not running is I don't want to spend the entire campaign talking about my former career, which I promise, is far different than you imagine.

In my former career I often worked with pathetic porn addicted men, forced them to take a look at themselves, how they treat women, what they think of women. Then I would put them in chastity and force them to pay me to learn to SERVE women. Sometimes that meant mowing my neighbor's yard or taking care of an older person. Sometimes it meant doing something just to make me laugh.

I TAUGHT them how to be noble, the value of honor, and service to women. I also taught them the path to their own self-actualization.

And if they didn't like it...if they insisted upon remaining pathetic sex seekers...they knew where the door was.

The Mayor told major lies about me and invited the press to a press conference to tell them so. When I tried to ask a question, he would not let me citing I'm not a member of the press. In spite of the fact that I publish four websites and have a huge on line group.

So in Bart's town, he can slander you in the media, and then refuse to let you confront your accuser.

Peterson picked on the wrong bitch, Wilson. I am not going away. And don't you dare think for one minute my neighbors don't know and like me and I know half this town.

This is MY city and I'm not going to stand by quietly while it goes to hell in a handbasket. I hope I made myself clear you little twit.

And by the way...with as much time as you spend on the Internet. I bet you are a little porn addicted wanker yourself, Wilson. Would not surprise me a bit.

Wilson46201 said...

I've been messing around with computer stuff since the late 50s - I'm retired now and have plenty of time to do whatever amuses me: battling the reactionaries, sexists and racists that swarm on the Internet I find fun!

This year all the local crazies are jumping on the Crime-Gone-Wild GOP election-year bandwagon. Last year with incumbent Prosecutor Carl Brizzi up for re-election, they had to keep quiet since the Amazing Carl had solved all the county's woes. Now it's nothing but attack, attack, attack!

The Scribe said...

Nothing much is funnier than Wilson attacking someone on the basis of morals.

Where can we catch your show, Wilson?

P.S. All these Anon's are confusing. Can't you at least label yourself Defeatocrat Drone A, Defeatocrat Drone B, etc?