Tuesday, February 23, 2010

At-Large Race Heating Up

No fewer than eleven candidates are vying to replace At-Large City-County Councilor Kent Smith, who resigned due to his military service. One of the candidates hit a bit of a roadblock tonight when he was forced to admit that he had voted in the Democratic primary in 2008. I'm told jaws dropped to the floor tonight when Aaron Williams, son of Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, told GOP ward chairs that he voted in the 2008 Democratic Primary for Hillary Clinton in furtherance of Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos. Williams is a GOP ward chair and precinct committeeman. Party leaders sacked ward chairs in Washington Township for supporting Scott Schneider over Ryan Vaughn after last year's caucus to replace Sen. Teresa Lubbers. How could Williams remain a ward chair and PC after voting in the Democratic primary? You just can't make this stuff up. And for the record, Williams says he won't give up his "community liaison" job with IMPD if he's appointed to the council.

Here's the full list of candidates who will compete in next Monday's caucus vote:

Aaron Williams
Dorothy Henry
Michael Jezierski
Bruce Schumacher
Eric Smith
Michael Kalscheur
Jackie Cissell
Angel Rivera
Avachino Reeves
Kevin Green
Gary Conner


Wilson46201 said...

I'd believe that story about voting in the 2008 Democratic Primary as part of "Operation Chaos" from Mike Jezierski but who knew Aaron Williams was such a rabid dittohead?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think reasonable folks would conclude that Williams crossed over to vote for Barack Obama and Andre Carson. That's just his cover story.

indyernie said...

It’s obvious that Wilson knows nothing about Mike Jezierski.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Well, AI, his father Olgen Williams did work for Mayor Peterson's re-election in 2007 and was rewarded, by Mayor Ballard, with an appointement as Vice Mayor. Remarkable things do happen.

Unknown said...

Aaron Williams was the clear front-runner last night and definitely was one of the best if not the best (in several people’s opinion) candidate. I had never heard him speak before but I will say that everyone that I talked to was thoroughly impressed with him and his responses. He showed a level on enthusiasm and energy that no one else showed. When he spoke he spoke with conviction and sincerity and captured to attention of everyone in the room. There is no doubt that he will e the best asset to help the party out

No jaws “dropped to the floor” when Aaron Williams explained a valid reason of why he voted Democratic in May 2008. People were actually in agreement and proud of what Aaron did and the confidence he displays when talking about it. Ed Holloran (who some in the room said has been invisible and his wife works for the county GOP headquarters) tried unsuccessfully to “trip up” Aaron Williams when he asked the following question to him. “Aaron, you say you’ve been loyal and involved in the party- please explain what you have done for candidates and also how you voted in May 2008.” A shortened version of Aaron Williams response is, “He had read what Barak Obama’s agenda was and did not believe in it and that he participated in Operation Chaos and that it was successful in Indiana and that if we unified as a party it could’ve worked all over the country. He also explained that at every election he has had a diverse group of people work at the polls to expose them to the GOP, and got the candidates in Wayne Township where he is a ward chairman in front of large groups of traditional democrats at his former job at the Christamore House. “I spoke with area chair Andy Harris this morning who Williams mentioned as giving him an opportunity to start working for the party and he confirmed that Aaron Williams has been very successful in getting workers out to the polls especially minorities and young people (which is something the party needs) and that he was worked as an inspector and clerk before when he first got started. I will say that it was pretty obvious that Ed Holloran was a clear supporter of Angel Rivera who did well also, but is no match for Aaron Williams. A few of us felt that Holloran and some others in the room feel that Williams is a major threat to the party and will not be a foot soldier to them so they don’t want him to be seated.
Williams NEVER said that he was not going to leave his IMPD job. He said that he wasn’t going to resign the next day of he won (which makes sense). His comment was, “I have to take care of my family first and that’s what’s most important. If I can find a job that is equal in compensation as well as what I am doing now I have talked to my family and we will consider me taking another job.” After he answered the question Mr. Huntsinger who was sitting next to Mr. Brooks and asked the original question pushed him again to try and answer “yes or no” as to whether he would resign and he gave them same answer. Once again he answered the same thing and it was obvious that they were trying to “trap” him with that question.
We did not leave the Columbia Club until 12:00pm and the decision was split on who we would support so we decided not to support anyone (not even our own Angel Rivera). It was obvious that Brooks, Holloran, DeWester, Huntsinger, Wolfe, and others did not want Aaron Williams to be the candidate that Center Township supported because they all want Angel Rivera who is an insider with them, and a Ward Chair in Center. Their own candidate was outshined by someone who they do not want in the seat who will help the party more. HOWEVER, a majority of the rest of the participants in the room felt that Aaron Williams was the best qualified candidate to fill the seat and will help the party the most. He was very well spoken, passionate in his responses, is very in touch with the city, and convinced many that he could help get others involved in the party. It will be very interesting to see what Brooks and the rest of the group do between now and Monday.

artfuggins said...

So the Christamore House is the operating center of the GOP recruiting drive....interesting??

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jason, Your representation of what happened are completely at odds with what my sources tell me. Nobody was gunning for Aaron. Candidates were given a fair and equal opportunity to present themselves and answer questions. Aaron wasn't the only candidate to face tough questioning, which you should already know if you were present for the meeting. There are many good candidates in this race. You shouldn't mistake efforts at due diligence for some hidden agenda.

indyernie said...

Gary I was glad to see you speak out.
I attended last nights meeting and I left with the candidates. The meeting was well ran and the questions were at times right to the point. During the time I was there and by watching reactions on the faces in the room I can say that I didn't see a clear winner in the room.
About 25% were received better than the rest but overall no one could be declared a front runner.

Paul K. Ogden said...

As I mentioned on my blog, after her perfornamance on the CIB last year, there is no way I would support Dorothy Henry for the Council. She was nothing more than a rubber stamp for Bob Grand. We don't need that on the council.