I hope you will join me in supporting Tom John's re-election as Chairman. Tom has a plan moving forward to continue our party's success. He will work to grow our party's ability to communicate by engaging the newest, most innovative ways to communicate with voters and volunteers, ranging from e-mail and social networking websites to internet video and text messaging. We must stay the course and work toward the goals we set during the 2007 campaign. Simply put, I need a partner to continue my fight for the taxpayers of Marion County. Tom has shown himself to be a worthy partner and stalwart supporter in these efforts.
The reality is that John has been an unmitigated disaster as county chairman. Republicans won the 2007 mayoral and council races because of a groundswell of grassroots supporters fed up with higher taxes and mounting ethical problems of the ruling Democrats, not because of anything Tom John did as county chairman. You have to understand that John as an Ice Miller partner would be working against his own self-interest to work towards keeping Republicans in charge of the City of Indianapolis. Ice Miller made off like bandits under the administration of Bart Peterson, particularly Lacy Johnson, who headed up the airport authority. Johnson is effectively John's superior in the firm's government relations practice. His influence over John was quite apparent in last year's special election race to fill the 7th District congressional seat. John worked behind the scenes to derail Jon Elrod's successful slating. After Elrod won slating, John made no effort to help Elrod raise money or otherwise assist his campaign. Andre Carson is Johnson's golden boy. Johnson is also kingpin of the Center Township Democratic machine and was very close to the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, who gave Johnson entree into the Congressional Black Caucus.
John also helped facilitate Andre Carson's election as a City-County Councilor, paving the way for his election to Congress. John knew that Patrice Abduallah did not live in his district and that I would expose this, forcing him from the ballot. John refused to name a Republican candidate to the ballot before the deadline as I had suggested, and then allowed Democrats to ignore state election laws by letting them caucus and name Carson as the Democrat's unopposed candidate for the seat after the legal deadline. If John had challenged Carson's placement on the ballot and the spot remained open as it should have, the new Republican-controlled council would have gotten to choose a council member to fill Abduallah's old seat. Ice Miller hired John to work for the firm following the 2007 municipal election.
John made a complete fool of himself in last year's May primary when he filed to run for precinct committeeman in the wrong precinct. John lost that race to a person who actually lived in the precinct. He then tried to blame Marion County Clerk Beth White for his stupid mistake and was forced to issue a public apology to her after the local news media confirmed he filed to run in the wrong precinct. John simply appointed himself as a committeeperson so he could continue serving as the county chairman. John then failed miserably in aiding the party's candidates last year for county coroner, surveyor and treasurer. Despite having one of the nation's top forensic pathologists as a candidate for coroner, John mustered no support for John Pless, who, along with the rest of the county ticket, got trounced at the polls. During last year's GOP convention, John twisted the arms of the county's delegates at the state convention to oppose a fellow Marion Co. Republican, Greg Zoeller, for Attorney General in favor of a good ole boy from northwestern Indiana, steeped in the region's political cronyism.
To give you some perspective on John's law firm, Ice Miller, it's instructive to understand where the firm's support has lied in recent mayoral elections. The firm went all out for the election of Democrat Louis Mahern when he ran for mayor against Stephen Goldsmith. Goldsmith, in turn, shut out the firm during most of his eight years as mayor. He softened towards the firm a little during his second term as he began running for governor and needed the help of the firm's fundraising prowess for his campaign. Ice Miller got behind Democrat Bart Peterson to replace Goldsmith, who defeated Republican Sue Anne Gilroy. That relationship paid off big for the firm during Peterson's eight years. The firm gave big backing to Peterson in his second and third election races. After Ballard's upset win over Peterson, Barnes & Thornburg displaced Ice Miller and Baker & Daniels as the City's two go-to firms. A critical strategy for the firm will be to oust Ballard in 2011 by backing the Democratic mayoral candidate, thereby displacing the total power Barnes & Thornburg exercises over Ballard. Some of you may recall that it was disclosed during John Keeler's tenure as Marion Co. GOP Chairman during the Peterson years that he signed an agreement with his firm, Baker & Daniels, and Peterson's administration agreeing to a gag rule that barred him from speaking out against Peterson as county chairman as a condition for the firm's legal work with the City.
In addition to supporting John, Ballard is also endorsing Jennifer Ping for Vice Chairman, Lisa Dietrick for Treasurer and Avachino Reeves for Secretary. After Ballard's election, Ping engineered the appointment of herself to the Alcoholic Beverage Board and got her husband appointed to the Metropolitan Development Commission. She then went to work for Tabbert Hahn as a lobbyist. This is the same firm which won significant legal work from the Democrats for the library board, including millions in legal fees as a result of the construction debacle at the new central library. Dietrick also works for Ice Miller as a lobbyist. Note also that the 7th District state central committeeperson is another Ice Miller lobbyist, John Hammond. Hammond is a very nice man with whom I had the pleasure of once working, but he has shown very little interest in electing a Republican to Congress from this district. And why should he? Again, Lacy Johnson greatly benefits from Carsons being elected to Congress.
As an elected Marion Co. GOP committeeperson, I have absolutely no confidence in the future of the Marion County Republican Party. It is completely devoid of any principled leadership. It's everyone for themselves. People like myself who are involved in the party because of the principles for which we believe the party should stand are not welcome. Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, the out-of-town radio talk show host and drinking buddy of John's, announced on his radio program to his listeners after I was elected as a committeeperson that I was persona non grata at the Republican headquarters. And why shouldn't I be? Unlike John, I actually worked for the election of Greg Ballard. I suppose this is the team that Mayor Ballard deserves. He ditched the people who elected him and completely betrayed the principles upon which he ran in 2007 so it is probably only fitting that he have a team of betrayers running the party to ensure its total defeat in 2011. Again, hats off to Ed Treacy and the Marion County Democrats. The Republicans have just sealed your party's fate as the dominant party in this county for many years to come.