Fishburn said he decided to run after former Republican candidate Tim Motsinger dropped out of the race because of his ties with embattled businessman Tim Durham.If I'm being honest about Fishburn, his desire to capitalize on the tragic shooting of his son, also an IMPD officer, while in the line of duty is a bit unsettling to me. He could hardly contain his enthusiasm for standing in front of the TV cameras. Also, the guy has a been a police officer for 26 years (with the sheriff's department) and has only rose to the rank of sergeant. That should tell you something about his leadership skills.
"At that point, I just felt like my calling was there and I should come forward," Fishburn said. "I know it's late in the game, but … I like being the underdog, because it just makes you work extremely hard."
Fishburn spent a lot of time fighting for justice for his son, Officer Jason Fishburn, who was severely wounded by Brian Reese in a July 2008 shooting.
Some of the Republican Party leadership have a beef with McAtee because his family backed Sheriff Frank Anderson, a Democrat, after his father lost a primary race with Lawrence Mayor Tom Schneider. Then-Sheriff Jack Cottey backed Schneider in that race. Cottey ordered an employee of the sheriff's office to manipulate the crime statistics to make it appear that crime had gotten worse when Joe McAtee had served as sheriff. Schneider's campaign used those manipulated statistics to smear McAtee in the primary. Sheriff Cottey lost a whistleblower lawsuit in federal court brought by an employee who Cottey fired that wound up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. That incident, along with Schneider's corrupt Lawrence water utility deal that enriched his political pals at the public's expense, led many Republicans to back Anderson in that race.
If the Republican leadership is going to try to force Fishburn down the throats of precinct committeepersons during next year's slating just to deliver a middle finger to the McAtees, then they had better find something in Fishburn's career that distinguishes him besides the fact that he likes standing in front of a TV camera talking about how his son got shot. Some of us tend to think a little more deeply about who our candidates should be than others. And while we're on the subject, if the Republican leadership in this county gave a damn about its credibility, it would have asked Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi to step down so that someone else can be appointed to his office to clean up the mess he's created for himself and his office rather than looking for an opponent to run against McAtee. Do they not comprehend what a drag on the Republican ticket Brizzi will be next year if he is still in office?
UPDATE: Has anyone else noticed the Marion County GOP's website is still dark? The lights went out on it about the same time as most of the staff walked out the door and rumors swirled around about an embezzlement of funds and bounced checks. Does anyone care that the county party is sinking under the leadership of Ice Miller lobbyist Tom John?