Republicans on the Indianapolis City-County Council will shuffle their lineup soon, rewarding those who play nice and punishing others who are out of step with the party line.
Councilman Ryan Vaughn is expected to take over the vice president spot currently held by Kent Smith. Vaughn, a Barnes & Thornburg attorney, will remain chairman of the important Public Safety Committee.
Smith will swap his seat as chairman of the Community Affairs Committee with Lincoln Plowman, who currently chairs the Metropolitan Development Committee.
Michael McQuillen will move into Vaughn's current leadership position as the new GOP whip. Ed Coleman, who recently questioned the role of powerful lobbyists in Mayor Greg Ballard's administration, was sent a clear message. He was removed from all three committees he was on this year and given two different committee assignments.
Message received: Coleman didn't want to comment on the record about his status as party outcast.
Here's a message for the council Republicans. You had better figure out a way to get back in touch with the people who elected you. If you think a handful of leaders for the Republican Party, the minority party in Marion County regardless of what you hear otherwise, have the ability to keep you in power, you had better think again. Those of us who made the difference in your narrow victory last year have been taken for granted and tossed aside like yesterday's garbage by these people. Continue to carry on in this fashion and just see how well you do in 2011.
On a final note, there is a bit of irony in the council Republicans singling out Ed Coleman for retribution. In last year's election, the powers-that-be in the party were telling us to only support Kent Smith in the at-large council races. Indeed, the lawn at the county party headquarters displayed only a campaign sign for Smith among the four at-large Republican candidates. Coleman and Barb Malone won their council seats in spite of the party, not because of it. Michael Hegg narrowly lost his at-large seat because of a lack of party support. Joanne Sanders can thank those Republican leaders for her re-election.