Friday, April 17, 2009

Tully: Ballard Roughed Up By CIB Bailout Issue

Star political columnist Matt Tully takes a look today at the political fallout for Mayor Greg Ballard from his inept handling of the CIB bailout issue:

The big question is whether Ballard is emerging as a political winner or loser on this issue. The answer? It's still too early to tell. But it doesn't look good. We're in the third quarter and he's down by 15 points. It's going to take a strong fourth quarter to come out of this with a political win, because the first three quarters have put him in quite a hole.

They have, for instance, raised doubts about the leadership abilities of a mayor who frequently boasts about those very abilities. When your own party's governor has to publicly nudge you into taking a position, well, that's a bad thing. When the city goes weeks without knowing where you stand on an issue such as this, that's damaging.

Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy effectively pounced on this issue, mocking the mayor as missing in action recently while holding up a copy of his self-published leadership book, "The Ballard Rules." But it's not just Democrats. Privately, many Statehouse Republicans say Ballard has delivered a muddled message and wonder why he waited so long to offer a CIB plan. There are questions about whether the math behind his recently unveiled bailout plan adds up. Many are wincing at Ballard's lack of political instincts, noting he has done little to reach out to a House Democratic majority that will ultimately play a lead role in crafting a plan.

Tully correctly cites the erosion of Ballard's grassroots support, quoting me and fellow blogger Paul Ogden:

Meanwhile, Ballard has lost many of the grass-roots activists who so heartily cheered him and his anti-tax outsider message during his long-shot 2007 campaign. Local bloggers who made so much noise in Ballard's favor two years ago are now just as loudly jeering him over the CIB bailout, and for refusing to stand up to the Colts and the Pacers.

"If Ballard's plan is adopted, it will ensure his status as a one-term mayor," local lawyer Gary Welsh, a one-time Ballard champion, wrote on his Advance Indiana blog. Another blogger, Paul Ogden of Ogden on Politics, has been similarly critical. "We finally got leadership from the mayor," he wrote this week. "It's leadership that is taking the Marion County Republican Party to the edge of a cliff."


Anonymous said...

Funny how media now relies on Blogs for their news, isn't it? Good job, folks.

Maybe some of the old gaurd in traditional media are waking up to realize that people are tired of smoke and mirrors. We want real, hard hitting news that promotes sound, citizen controlled government. Until recently, the blogs have been the only ones providing that.

FYI - North America's largest supplier of paper for print media filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Some blame it on the internet for replacing traditional print media. I blame it on the internet for "exposing" traditional print media.

M Theory said...

I thought no one read the blogs. Matt Tully of the Indy Star reads the blogs.

I know said...

Gary, Ed and Paul,

Bless you for standing tall and being the leaders Indianapolis needs right now!

Keep pouring the salt in the open wounds. Someone will rat their buddies out and the Federal Law Enforcement fellas will come unannounced!

For that will be a sight to see!

I know said...

If the current administration in Indianapolis and the State level were high level military officers in Iraq and the Generals were ordering an offensive that was known to be a failure from the start and if carried out would slaughters thousands of americans in one battle would the Marine and the First Officer of Indianapolis speak up or allow the thousands to suffer the consequences?

Indiana has a First Officer in its Governor. Indianapolis has a Marine as its Mayor. The citizens are getting slaughtered by the taxes.

Will someone please remind themselves of the meeting last evening when the public including hotel, car rental and beverage groups clearly stated the devastation would occur if this kept up.

How many more lost businesses, how many more foreclosures and unemployment at 10% will it take before Indiana cannot keep doing business as usual for the "good old boys"?

The battlefield is there and needs the First Officer and the Marine to step up and save the thousands!

Downtown Indy said...

Just wanted to say I 'don't read' your blog every day, Gary.