In the end, economics is driving Fleischaker's decision in this year's mayoral race. "Do we feel the party of Greg Ballard will do us any better as gay and lesbian citizens?" he asks. "The record has shown probably not. But we at The Word feel the need to get our towns finances back in order, our streets safer (for all residents--gay and straight) and our city back on track far, far outweigh any feel-good laws which are (let's face it) basically cosmetic." On that latter note, I would add that the city has not documented a single case of discrimination since the passage of the HRO. Put it simply, his office never enforced the human rights ordinance on the books prior to the passage of the gay rights ordinance and nothing has changed since its passage.
Fleischaker should be applauded for setting aside political correctness and peer pressure to jump in lockstep with so much of the gay community which blindly backs Democratic candidates year in and year out. It is worth noting that Fleischaker was the first person to publicly call for Rep. Julia Carson (D) to retire during last year's congressional election. He backed Kris Kiser, the first openly gay candidate in Indiana history, over Carson in the Democratic primary. Fleischaker was excoriated by many in the GLBT community for the move, but he admittedly proved himself prophetic. At least Kiser would have been able to show up and vote.
Political columnist Rick Sutton, who managed Kiser's unsuccessful congressional campaign, criticizes Carson and her staff in the November edition of The Word for its recent handling of her work absence because of her ongoing health problems. Sutton writes:
At this writing, U.S. Rep. Julia Carson is recuperating in a rest home from illness which began over three weeks ago. By any measure, that's not a good report. Her office has been brief, incomplete and tardy in its public updates on her condition.
Indianapolis voters deserve to know how well she is (or isn't). She retroactively requested one medical leave from the office of the Clerk of the House. Such requests are routinely granted. She renewed and extended that request and there is no official return-to-work timeframe from her office.
Like Fleischaker, Sutton knows all too well the political retribution this crowd heaps on you when you cross them. Sutton's candidate saw scandalous and defamatory stories posted about him on gay blog sites. Both Sutton's and Kiser's cars were vandalized during the campaign. How often has someone cut the brake lines on your car? Not your typical Halloween pranksters. Months after that primary campaign, Kiser told me his reputation had been damaged so badly by the primary race against Carson he was finding it extremely difficult to find employment.