Monday, February 16, 2009

Indianapolis Elected Official Switching Parties

The Indiana Libertarian Party and the Marion County Libertarians plan to announce tomorrow morning at the Columbia Club that an elected Indianapolis public official plans to switch parties. The announcement reads:

The Libertarian Party of Marion County and Libertarian Party of Indiana has called a press conference for 10:30 AM, Tuesday, February 17th in the Capehart Room, 4th Floor of the Columbia Club at 121 Monument Circle where an existing, elected representative will announce a change of affiliation to the Libertarian Party.

I haven't been able to confirm who the elected official is yet. Speculation centers on Ed Coleman, one of the three at-large Republican members of the City-County Council. The Republican-controlled council tossed Coleman from his committee assignments at the end of last year and re-assigned him to fewer committees after he publicly questioned the influence Mayor Greg Ballard has allowed the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg to exercise over his administration and matters before the council in an Indianapolis Star story by Brendan O'Shaughnessy.

NOTE: Republicans currently control the council 16-13. With the loss of Coleman, their majority will be reduced to 15-13-1. It's worth noting that another at-large Republican, Barbara Malone, has bucked the party this past year and voted with Democrats on several occasions. The GOP's working majority is very narrow. It would do well to start listening to its rank and file a little more closely.

UPDATE: Hoosiers For Fair Taxation confirms that it is Ed Coleman. And then later pulls down its post. Who knows. Did someone jump the gun on the announcement?

UPDATE II: Well, the original press release I now realize had an embargo disclaimer on it until tomorrow morning, which explains why HFFT announced Coleman was switching parties and then later retracted it. The cat is already out of the bag. I'm not going to spend time chasing after him.


Wilson46201 said...

I'm sure all the Libertarians will be of great assistance to Ed Coleman when he runs for re-election as a Libertarian...

Given the current partisan line-up of the City/County Council, what practical difference will Coleman's apostasy make?

Gary R. Welsh said...

"Given the current partisan line-up of the City/County Council, what practical difference will Coleman's apostasy make?"

Well, to begin with, that will leave the Rs with only a one seat majority. Barb Malone has bolted and voted with the Ds on a number of issues this past year. In a worse case scenario, it could lead to the Ds having a working majority on some issues. Don't forget this council will have to tackle redistricting.

Patriot Paul said...

I heard Ed Coleman tonight at the smokefreeindy townhall meeting. He is highly partisan in his beliefs and I certainly would not trust him with public safety issues. He said he was a male nurse and was very combative; hardly an open mind in representing his constituents. But maybe that's just a bad first impression.

Mike Kole said...

Paul, an open mind is often little more than an open pit ready for backfilling.

Coleman is highly partisan? This is shown by switching parties? I'm having a hard time following the logic there, my costume-wearing friend.

But tell me, Paul- Do you have an open mind about changing your position on smoking in the workplace? If not, might want to think twice about getting too high and mighty about 'open minds'.

There are two ways one can in good conscience serve their constituents as a representative: a) Poll them on every issue and mirror the majority, or b) Be who you are, vote your mind and soul, and let the voters decide. I'm betting Coleman goes the route of 'b'. If that's bad, is 'a' better?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, I suspect based upon the way the Republican majority has been treating Coleman, he had no chance of being re-slated in 2011 and that had probably been communicated to him in some form. He may have nothing to lose by declaring himself a Libertarian. Hell, the Rs have been appointing Libertarians to some of the boards.

M Theory said...

Coleman made history tonight. There's a little tribute to him over at HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION.

Patriot Paul said...

Advance Indiana,
Yes, you are right. Using the Republican machinery to obtain office and then switching parties may not bode well for future prospects. Libertarians get giddy at the smallest victory, so let's watch them have their day.
To Mike Koleman: I didn't know the blog entry was about ME. I'm not running for office, but apparently struck a nerve?