Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coleman Cites Abuse Of Power And CIB Excesses For Party Switch

City-County Council President Robert Cockrum expressed surprise at At-Large Councilor Ed Coleman's decision to switch from the Republican to the Libertarian Party according to the Star's Vic Ryckaert, but anyone who has followed council politics this past year knew that Coleman had become increasingly disturbed at how party priniciple had become confused with doing what you are ordered to do by Barnes & Thornburg's Bob Grand and Joe Loftus. Coleman complains to Ryckaert about "abuse of power" and criticism he received from opposing CIB excesses as reasons for bolting the party:

Coleman, who was elected to his first term as an at-large council member in November 2007, said he was disillusioned by what he called the GOP's abuse of power.

"During the council's previous period of Democrat control, the majority's powers were used to silence Republicans," Coleman said. "Now, under Republican control, the council majority abuses their power to weaken Democrat influence."

Coleman said he faced criticism from fellow Republicans when he opposed the "secretive and expensive affairs of the Capital Improvement Board."

"The two old parties want obedient followers, not leaders," he said.

The same party which refused to support Coleman in the general election demanded total allegiance from him as a councilor. Although Grand and Loftus had no part of the grassroots effort that turned out council Democrats and Mayor Bart Peterson, the two immediately seized control of Ballard's administration before he was sworn into office. Ryan Vaughn, who is the political equivalent of a prostitute, then sold his seat to the law firm for a job as a lobbyist working for Grand and Loftus, assuring the two of a direct line into the council. Vaughn has dutifully carried their water over the past year, even when it involved a direct conflict of interest.

Cockrum boasts to Ryckaert that he still has a majority, but it isn't one he can take to the bank. At-Large Councilor Barbara Malone won her seat on the council by beating a slated candidate in the primary and then received no support from the party for her election in the fall. She has strayed from the party on a number of votes this past year. She owes absolutely nothing to the GOP and could become a serious threat to the party's working majority until the next elections in 2011. More importantly, Republicans will need either her vote or Coleman's to pass a redistricting plan for council districts, which could determine control of the council during the next decade.

Majority Leader Lincoln Plowman defended the party's conduct to Coleman's criticisms. "Majority Leader Lincoln Plowman said debate is not curtailed and everybody has a say. GOP caucus meetings get heated at times, Plowman said, but 'we try to go out as a unified party after that,'" Ryckaert reports. Plowman is actually part of the problem. He is a city police officer who was handed a plum job in a reorganized IMPD ala Monroe Gray by Public Safety Director Scott Newman, a former Barnes & Thornburg partner, effectively putting him in the pocket of Grand and Loftus. The firm's control of the council and the Ballard administration is complete, and anyone who has a problem with that reality will be punished and pushed sway.

Personally, I'm very disappointed that Coleman chose to leave the party rather than stay and fight. I believe he could have been a more effective voice on the issues had he remained in the Republican Party. I think people need to understand that it is our own party, however, which has abandoned the principles upon which it was elected in 2007 that has led to Coleman's disillusion. As long as we have an administration and council that can't fart without getting Bob Grand's and Joe Loftus' permission, you are going to see continued and growing dissatisfaction with the party's short-term lease on controlling city government.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The other part that bothers me is that Ed was completely used. The LP is laughing at him right now. They found someone that they thought was weak and vulnerable and they preyed on him.

They destroyed the career of a good man. Perhaps a naive one, but a good one. For what purpose? He'll be bounced from office soon enough.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Let me assure you they were not planning a "primary challenge" to Coleman. The parties in Marion County don't work that way. If they want to dump an incumbent, they rig the slating process to strip him of his Republican endorsement before he even gets to the primary. That normally assures defeat in the election.

Jacob Perry said...

O.K., so poor choice of words on my part. Shoot me.

The fact is Ed and the LP "principles" involved would make really crappy secret agents. This was known nearly two weeks ago.

As a matter of fact, the week before last I had two high-ranking GOP officials call me and ask me what I knew about Ed Coleman leaving the GOP for the LP.

This is a dud. They've made the least influential member of the council completely irrelevant. Some accomplishment.

Jacob Perry said...

I can state for an absolute fact that GOP party leaders in knew Ed was leaving the weekend of the 6th.

This wasn't a secret nor a surprise (they were planning a primary challenge against him anyway).

I'm saddened that a man who I consider a friend has foolishly allowed himself to be used in such a way.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I didn't agree with him going to the Liberatarian Party either as to try to make changes within the Republican Party.

But to say what he did makes him "completely irrelevant" couldn't be further from the truth. Have you checked out the Math related to the council majority. Republicans had it 16-13 before the switch. One Repbulican, Barb Malone, is a former Democrat who often votes with the Democrats. After the switch that means on many issues the split is 14-14-1. Now last time I checked the "1" in that equation is a pretty important person. That "1" is Ed Coleman.

M Theory said...

Jacob Perry? You are mean-spirited, don't know what you are talking about, weren't there.

You were likely purposely kept out of the loop because you are mean to people without provocation.

You are critical of someone for standing up for his values?


Quite frankly, I'm giggling as I think back to just how often YOU are the subject of laughter in countless conversations I've heard at gatherings.

daltonsbriefs said...

I know a lot less than many of you do about Marion County politics, but from my long distance perspective it sounds like everyone is right:

He'll have some sway since he becomes a swing vote in the short term.

He'll never win back the seat at the next election, so one term and out.

That may be OK with him, oh well.

Gary R. Welsh said...

True on the conference committee mechanics, but if the rules are followed, I believe at least one of the chambers have some rule about it being passed by one of the bodies previously to be considered for conference committee.

Jacob Perry said...

Oh Melyssa, that puff piece on Ed that you posted this morning?

It was written by the Marion County GOP.

Who's the fool?

Paul K. Ogden said...


The rule is that a bill must pass one chamber of the General Assembly to be considered in conference committee. (Usually it's passed both...just in different forms.)

However, here is the hitch. When a bill goes to conference committee, there is nothing to prevent conferees from adding in new amendments that was not in the original bill. There have been times when the conferees have taken out the entire language of the bill and inserted something new. (That's called "stripping" a bill.)

If they put the new CIB stuff in at the conference committee then there is no chance for public comment. While conference committees are open to the public, they don't take public testimony. They come up with a report (the compromise version of the bill) and it's voted up or down in both chambers. Amendments are not allowed.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the rule, but I thought that substantive language could not be included in a conference committee report unless it had passed in some form through one of the chambers.

M Theory said...

JP...You bet it was a puff piece, written straight from my little old heart of hearts!

It gives me great joy to get to praise a politician with integrity than to constantly have to criticize the majority of them who are sociopaths and put party bosses and personal greed ahead of principle.

No wonder the Libertarians didn't put you in the loop, Josh. Look at how mean you are.

Grow up, move out of mommy and daddy's house, and get yourself a life. That's a better use of your energy than spending your time here criticizing Ed, who I can assure you, was counseled at length and attempts were made to talk him out of it. You can bet he is sure he made the right choice for himself and the people he represents.

I know, because unlike you his "good friend", I talked with him about it before I wrote that puff piece. His courage inspires me.

Nobody said...

I actually support Ed Coleman's move to the Libertarian Party and welcome more moves.

I also left the Republican Party a while ago because during the past eight years under George W Bush--six of those years with a Republican-led Congress--the size of our government doubled. The Republican Party can be thanked for allowing fascist measures such as the Patriot Act and Homeland Security / NSA Directives. We have watched the Republicans double the size of the Department of Education through the "No Child Left Behind Act." We have witnessed Senator Lugar vote for the first bailout bill--even when a vast majority of people asked him to vote against him. He's the same Senator who also believes in subsidizing farmers to grow nothing at the taxpayer's expense. We watched our Indiana Governor violate his oath of office which states that he will defend the Indiana Constitution only to compromise us further by not eliminating all property taxes. We witnessed Mayor Ballard who the people hoped would bring about positive change, but only to realize that after being elected he inserted the same old GOP insiders who are the prime reason why we are in a crisis. We even experienced how the National and the Indiana GOP alienated the most sincere statesman in Congress, Ron Paul, who represents true conservative values--just ask my three minister friends who were Republicans...until that happened (now they are Libertarians).

I know all too well what the Republican Party has done and as far as I'm concerned, they are only continuing their charade by allowing the CIB to exist.

I happen to work for a very wealthy family here in Indianapolis and if I made a mistake like those in the CIB, I would have lost my job. It's truly amazing that these people haven't been fired and since the Mayor and established leaders do not want to allow the public to view the CIB's work, I think it's time we open up an investigation into all the players and demand resignations.

As far as I am concerned, Mr. Perry, you lost all credibility and are just another hack in the GOP (if my assumptions are correct) and I can assure you that we are not going to give up until we oust our city and state of such disgusting people and restore the rule of law (Constitution) as the contract our elected leaders must follow.

indyernie said...

Ed will be a one term-er. He needed the Republican party to get re-elected.
He will be the last Libertarian on the CCC for years to come.
Ed had more power as an R then he will ever have as an L.
I'm sorry to hear that he switched , he is done in Indy politics.

artfuggins said...

I guess now the local GOP has their version of Joe Lieberman.