"The issues facing Indianapolis- seniors losing their homes to pay rising taxes, out of control crime, uncontrolled government spending- all require the attention of a full-time mayor," said Ballard. "I pledge that I will not neglect Indianapolis for political gain and will refrain from seeking another office as mayor and will definitely serve a full term. I ask Bart Peterson make the same commitment to Indianapolis and the citizens because they deserve nothing less."
"If Mayor Peterson won't commit to fulfilling four full years of his third term, voters need to know now because that would mean that the next mayor of Indianapolis would be hand picked by Democratic Party officials, not voters," said Ballard.
The pledge question is based on speculation Peterson really wants to move on to something bigger in D.C. or elsewhere, particularly if his former boss, Evan Bayh, manages to make it on to the national Democratic ticket next year and gets himself elected Vice President. Even if Peterson pledges to serve a full, four-year term, it will be an empty promise. Bill Clinton made a similar pledge to Arkansas voters the last time he was re-elected as governor and then conveniently disgarded it to run for president. Guys like Clinton and Peterson always put their personal, self-interest above the public interest. If Peterson were to get re-elected and then resign the mayor's office, you can expect Democrats to hand the office to Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell.
UPDATE: Peterson is now saying he will serve a full term if re-elected. "I'm enthusiastically and unequivocally pledging I will serve a full four-year term if I m elected Nov. 6," Peterson told the Star. Of course, he also told us he wouldn't raise taxes to solve the city's budget problems when he first ran for mayor but we now know he didn't keep that promise.