Friday, October 12, 2007

Believe It Or Not

Mayor Bart Peterson and the Democratic City-County Council candidates have been getting a lot of help in their campaign re-election efforts from the strangest of places--the Marion County Republican Party. Despite both party and independent polls showing Greg Ballard with a realistic shot of unseating the increasingly unpopular two-term incumbent, local Republican leaders decided to buy into the Mike O'Connor spin saying the polls proved Ballard didn't have a chance of winning. Ergo, the Marion Co. GOP tells folks not to worry about the mayor's race and to focus on the council races. Recall this item on Jim Shella's blog recently:

Maybe you know that Marion County Republicans place more emphasis on winning control of the City County Council than they do on winning the Mayor's office.

But, if you have any doubt, don't take my word for it. Take it from the political director of the Marion County GOP. Robb Greene sent an e-mail this week to council candidates and others telling them how to instruct voters to scratch.

The idea is that voters can cast a ballot for the Democratic Mayor and also cast a ballot for a Republican council candidate.

Greene says too few people understand how to scratch properly.

As bad as it is to write off the top man on your ticket when voters are clearly telling pollsters they want a change in the mayor's office, now comes word that the Marion Co. GOP has also written off three of its at-large candidates. Ed Coleman, Michael Hegg and Barb Malone have been cut loose by the party. Recall Matt Tully recently saying "privately, GOP sources insist that their only realistic chance of gaining an At-Large seat rests with Kent Smith". The GOP logic goes something like this. Lonnell Conley (D) has run well behind the other at-large Democratic candidates in previous elections and so he is the only at-large Democratic candidate the GOP can realistically defeat. Apparently, they have concluded Ron Gibson is not vulnerable, if you can believe that. For reasons completely unclear to me, Kent Smith is chosen to get financial and campaign support from the county party to the exclusion of the other at-large candidates (Note, GOP headquarters displays out front a sign for Kent Smith but not the other at-large candidates). I'm sure Kent Smith is a fine man. I saw him at several of the anti-tax rallies this summer. He turned down opportunities to speak to the crowd, and unless you introduced yourself to him, he just stood there taking it all in.

The reality is whichever party wins the mayor's office also wins all four at-large council seats. It's happened in every election since UniGov's enactment back in the early 1970s. Memo to Tom John: If you want to win the at-large council seats, you have to assume you must win the mayor's race. Could this year be different? Sure it could, but there's also plenty of voter unrest to assume there could also be a strong anti-incumbent mood which could sweep Peterson and several other Democratic council members out of office.

The only reason council control is currently close is because the GOP has been able to win 56% of the 25 district council races. Demographic changes over the past four years have made several of those Republican districts, however, extremely vulnerable. Scott Keller's district is the most vulnerable. It is considered a Democratic district Republicans never expected to win four years ago. Perhaps even more vulnerable is the District 1 seat being vacated by Ike Randolph. Susie Day survived a close race four years ago, and Marilyn Pfisterer's district is trending Democratic. Republicans will also have a tough time defending the Lance Langsford seat in Warren Township. Republicans have a 50-50 chance at best of upsetting two incumbents, Angela Mansfield and Sherron Franklin.

Maybe someone can help me out with the GOP's strategy, but if I were Mike O'Connor, Mayor Peterson and the Democratic council candidates, I would be tickled to death by the strategy the GOP has chosen. All hope is not lost. The voters still have to speak, and I suspect they will throw us all a few surprises. But whatever success the GOP has this year, it will be in spite of their efforts and not because of them.


Anonymous said...

Follow the money. Tom John's job is to make sure the gravy train continues for the big money repugs that are involved in Peterson's Taj Mahal football stadium and convention center expansion. Bart hand picked Mr. John for the job!

Wilson46201 said...

If the political director of the local GOP thinks too few people know how to "scratch" (split votes) he should be fired for incompetence. According to official figures from the previous (Republican) County Clerk only about 10% of voters in either party vote a straight ticket. No wonder the GOP is tanking if the political director of that party doesn't know that basic political fact!

Anonymous said...

The big Republican movers and shakers want Bart to win. he is their Cash Cow. They get all the money they want from him at the expense of the taxpayers. They know if Greg Ballard wins there will be open honest government and the under the table deals are over.

Bart Lies said...

I suspect a lot of folks in Republican headquarters are IU grads. There are number of 'higher ups' in the city who are lawyers and many of them likely came from the IU School of Law.

The late IU Coach Hepp's philosophy was "Never Quit." Too bad that credo hasn't soaked into the county's GOP leadership.

It's a real shame the party leadership threw the towel into the ring after their candidates threw their hats in. "Winners never quit. Quitters never win" and all that rot, you know? It seems there are winners on the ballot and quitters in the home office. How did THAT happen?

Anonymous said...

If the Marion County GOP is supporting the Mayor, if only in a de-facto manner; then how can any future Republican candidates for local office be assured they will not also be treated in a backstabbing manner? Sounds to me like some local Republican "leaders" need to be voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

Collusion. I really can't think of a better word of how to describe the County GOP's relationship with the Peterson camp.
I have said this many times on on your blog and others that there is not one damn difference between the money behind Peterson and the money that was ONCE behind GOP Mayoral candidates that ran this town since Unigov.
Either a GOP candidate in this county is either a part of or can receive the endorsement of the monied Downtown Klan they are just shit-out-of-luck!
All the issues that affect the lives of each and every voter remain are in effect, completely meaningless to those that control the electioneering process in Marion County.
My God, look at the names of the oldtime GOP movers and shakers that have cranked out endless amounts of cash to Peterson since day one. The old Unigov founders are damn near all gone and Unigov itself has seen it's original purpose redefined by demographics. There is not one GOP operative, young or old, that didn't help devise a means of protecting and advancing their interests by morphing into something akin to a faux shadow GOP organizational structure operating on one side while giving money and manpower to the other.
Once every last penny has been extracted by these people from Marion County taxpayers they will simply move on and Indianapolis will rot and fall into on gigantic black hole, literally.
What a game the Downtown Klan plays in keeping a white Mayor in power and allowing a majority of black councilors of the Dem majority on the CCC. The Downtown K can keep lining their pockets and a select few of black leaders can line their pockets. Neither group gives a damn about issues. It's the money!
As far as I'm concerned both John and Murphy can stick that red hot poker where it need to be stuck.
Voters in this town as SUCKERS!

Keith Bulen, damn his soul, must be smiling down at what his Unigov GOP has morphed into. He could not have done better himself.

Anonymous said...

The Grand Old Party is now the laugh of Marion County.

I recently heard Tom Johns speak at a GOP club meeting.

It's no wonder things have changed around.

No guts, no glory.

Anonymous said...

If Greg Ballard wins, then he can cut all of those slackers loose.

And sure, but Wilson has a good point too.

Anonymous said...

this is true, I will not be here...was going to Southern California the day after..
might has well leaving on Saturday and spend 2 weeks instead of 10 days. I'm out out of here. This really sucks.

Anonymous said...

It's ALL about the money Gary. The rich get richer, the corrupt, well you know all about that already. It's not about putting people in government who truly want to help the people. It's now about putting people in government, regardless of party affiliation, who can continue the cash flow for the wealthy. Write a check, look the other way, and piss on the taxpayer....The basic form of government in Marion County today. Oh, and Wilson, the local GOP knows all about "scratch", they've been doing in to Bart's sack for the last 8 years!

Anonymous said...

These videos were produced by the Minority Media Group as a service to the community to expose corruption in government.

We aren't afraid to tell the people the TRUTH, unlike the other minority media in Marion County that annually Honor and Award incompetent black politicians like Monroe Gray. We don't fall for the "Race card" stunt when black leaders are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

So, please feel free to contact us for assistance at

We can help you get the word out and stand with you as well.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap batman!!! Wilson has a point!

Anonymous said...


The GIRFC was and remains part and parcel THE GREATER INDIANAPOLIS PROGRESS COMMITTEE founded in 1965 to lay the groundwork for UNIGOV. The name UNIGOV was coined by Beurt SerVaas.

I found it interesting that Tim Durham is head of GIRFC and host to a social for Judges. Grease the courts and receive a "get of jail free" card. How much cash has GIRFC given to local GOP candidates this election?

Would Peterson have been electable in the beginning without the support of SerVaas? No! Durham initially married into the SerVaas "business". Enough said.
Corruption is just a way of everyday business in this city.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the real problem lies in the GOP candidate recruitment!!!

they can easily beat drunken abuser Ron Gibson.........maybe he got special treatment by Brizzi's office but I dont think that the voters are as gullible.

Anonymous said...

Being involved with 3 different candidates , I know first hand that Tom Johns is NOT helping ANY candidate get elected.
This man NEEDS to be fired from that position. He is useless as a a leader.
The GOP leadership is the best advertisement for the Dems.
I hope that Ballard remembers all these butt-heads if he gets lelcted.

Anonymous said...

Gary, is it possible for the GOP precinct committee-persons and ward chairs to hold a special election to appoint a new county chair, in effect impeaching Tom John?

Clearly he does not have the welfare of the local GOP and its candidates.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to appropriately thank all the CCC members listed below who voted for the 65% tax increase:
President Monroe Gray (D)
Vice-President Joanne Sanders (D)
Patrice Abdullah (D)
Mary Moriarty Adams (D)
Paul Bateman (D)
Rozelle Boyd (D)
Vernon Brown (D)
Lonnell "King-Ro" Conley (D)
Ron Gibson (D)
Scott Keller (R)
Lance Langsford (R)
Angela Mansfield (D)
Jackie Nytes (D)
William Oliver (D)
Cherrish Pryor (D)

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Here's another take from a longtime Democratic trench worker:

Marilyn Pfisterer: needs to go. Her aw-shucks attitude, and her 1,000 resolutions honoring friends, don't cut it.

Susie Day: Brainless. Also needs to go.

Monroe Gray: Embarrassment.

King Ro: Embarrassing, but what a great voice. I might amrry him so I can get an important job with no qualifications. (And she continues to perform miserably with no qualifications--dontcha love government jobs?)

Sherron Franklin: How I wish I lived in her district. A Democrat in name only. A complete and total loon.

Angela Mansfield: Perhaps the best constituent service councilwoman. A tight race, but she should win.

After it's all said and done, I thik the council will go to 16-13 D after the election. It could've been much worse for Republicans. Sympathetic here--we've been there before.

I remember 20-9 Republican, with Rozelle Boyd as minority leader. And tottering microphone-holding Beurt SerVaas as president.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sir Hailstone said...

Angela Mansfield wanted to ban firearms within Marion County also. She is a thorough liberal. Not Communist like Comrade Nytes but she is up there.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sir Hailstone, Manfield wasn't trying to ban firearms. She was simply asking to extend the ban on discharging weapons currently in the old city limits to the rest of the city. People are shooting off guns in the air during celebrations and risking personal injury and property damage to others.

Anonymous said...

Hail, if you pull real hard, I think you can get your head out of your posterior.

AI is exactly right. The weapons ban which exists in the old city limits needed to be expanded. The NRA types flooded the Council hearings with misinformed folks who diverted the Council's attention.

There isn't a better constituent service council member than Angela Mansfield. She helped fight Savoy night clulb without even asking the neighbors' politics. Which cost her greatly among some black leaders.

She deserves to be re-elected. To the GOP's credit, her opponent may be the best candidate they've got out there this year. Bruce should've run for Mayor.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Hail, if you pull real hard, I think you can get your head out of your posterior."

Anonymous Coward if you try real hard you can get a different body part out of your posterior.

Slippery slope folks. BTW, the "discharge" ban turned into a POSSESSION ban within X feet of Indianapolis Waterworks property. Which is Geist, Eagle Creek, and Broad Ripple canal. So if you are on the Broad Ripple canal jogging you are a sure target for muggers.

We NRA members are NOT misinformed much to your socialist chagrin.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1236, Talk about pulling your head out of your posterior. There was no weapons ban but I'm sure Angie would move to that next if she ever got her way. Angie needs to go just like the rest of the Democratic filth that has ruined this city. She voted for a 65% tax hike as oppposed to demanding Bart and Co actually cut spending. She voted for police CONsolidation which has been a major flop. How many other things will she rubber stamp for Bart? Talk about a LOON who is clueless.

Anonymous said...

You people obviously have no personal knowledge of Angela Mansfield to say something like that. She is the proud mother of a son in the Marine Corps who has done tours in Iraq. She is neither anti-gun or anti-American and neither was the ordinance she proposed, which, if nothing else, raised reasonable questions about the "old city" vs. city-county nature of the current law.

Anonymous said...

Anon 642, Get over it, she is a liberal Democrat and the county is not the city. The ordinance is stupid and there's already a law on the books called Criminal Recklessness. Dems are real good at promoting Bans on things that try to curb the rights of the American citizen. Remember Barts attempt at trying to Ban violent video games, or his Ban on owning a Pit Bull? Same thing with Angie, trying to tell folks how they should live according to the typical Lib