Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Democrats Take Aim At Ballard

Like a pod of sharks circling their prey, Democrats on the Indianapolis City-County Council can taste the blood seeping from the Ballard administration and are going in for the kill. Minority Leader Joanne Sanders and Brian Mahern are introducing a resolution calling for the establishment of an independent legislative investigative committee armed with subpoena powers to investigate IMPD's handling of the investigation of Officer David Bisard's fatal DUI crash that killed motorcyclist Eric Wells and left two other motorcyclists seriously injured. The committee would be comprised of six members, with three from each political party, and be chaired by a councilor appointed by CCC President Ryan Vaughn. Fox59 News' Russ McQuaid reports:

City-County Council Democrats are calling for a City-County Council investigation of the IMPD Officer Bisard Investigation. They want to know what the commanders at the scene knew and when they knew it.

They also want to know what Chief Paul Ciesielski and Public Safety Director Frank Straub were doing August 6th, instead of going to the scene of the fatal crash involving Officer Bisard.
Sanders and Mahern told reporters today they hope to have bipartisan support for the council-led investigation. The Ballard administration will likely oppose the move, and the Republican-led council has pretty much been a rubber stamp council for Ballard with no independent voices in the caucus. Democrats are probably hoping Republicans will fall into line and vote against the investigation on party lines. It should be another feather in their cap in their effort to regain control of the council in next year's municipal election. Ballard insisted on having control of the police department when he ran for mayor, and the council granted him his wish. IMPD has been plagued with problems since he took the reins in 2007.

UPDATE: CCC President Ryan Vaughn tells the Star he opposes the legislative investigative committee proposed by the Democratic councilors. "It's overreaching, and it's micromanaging," Vaughn said. "Facts (about) how the investigation was conducted are all relevant and will be part of any criminal prosecution. We don't want to interfere in a pending case."


Indy4U2C said...

Oh, Great...a committee. Yippee.

That's what we need...(not)

-In the likes of Frank Straub, too! They'll annex a floor of office space in the City County Building, spend about a hundred thousand making suites of committee offices, have to hire a race-based patronage committee staff, buy phone lines, computers, stationery....maybe Frank Straub will let them use his Public Relations staff, since they are a Public Safety committee. On the other hand, they may want to hire their own Public Relations staff to be sure to get their message accurately to the media and to show that they are impartial.

As a public committee adhering to Indiana's Open Door Act, they'll need to schedule and publish their meeting dates...but first, have some executive sessions to appoint a chairman, sergeant-at-arms, secretary, committee treasurer, etc.

Oh, a committee is a fine way to TAX & SPEND!

(In other words, forming a committee is an outrageous and stupid idea!)

Unknown said...


There are times when a healthy dose of skepticism is useful, but the knee-jerk "government is all bad" and "Straub is a New-York Liberal" shtick doesn't exactly build your cred.

Look, Ballard was right to want someone from the outside to be Safety Director. However, I'm becoming a convert to the idea that Straub was the wrong person/received the wrong direction.

Such a Committee isn't the monstrosity that you portray.

That said, if Ballard embraced this Committee he could potentially stop the bleeding at Straub or even his position. If he tries to stonewall, it will cost the Mayor's office and Council seats.

If I were him, I push for it to be reasonably fast - get it done, get it out and get on with it.
I would also get out front of the most damaging information.

What would be the worst thing politically is to try to put a lid on it. I can see a situation where a confidential settlement is offered to the victims in a civil suit and we never find out what really happened.

Paul K. Ogden said...

A political masterstroke would be for Ballard to shock the Democrats and agree to the committee. Ballard's people aren't that politically savvy though...or they don't care.

Indy4U2C said...

John, perhaps some clarification is in order. First, you said "government is all bad" not I. I never implied nor carried such a message.

Second, Fact: Frank Straub is a New York Liberal.

*Pic of him with Slick Willie had been in the background of several media shots.

*TAX & SPEND Straub ordered/spent considerable funds remodeling his personal suite of offices, enlarged the staff, adding deputy director position & public relations team.

*Ordered the Police Chief to race-based hire employees, specifically to put a black minister on the payroll as "chaplain."

*Ordered the Police Chief to make a certain race-based appointment to his executive staff. (Who is downtown commander?)

*Ordered race-based removal of a white male from the police public affairs staff and replaced with a black officer.

*Further examples of New York Liberal behavior can be found in previous AI posts.

-Just wanted you to know the facts, John.

Marycatherine Barton said...

"Like a pod of sharks circling their prey, Democrats .... are going in for the kill." Who can deny that that is an sxcellent opening sentence for this nightmarish scenario we are observing.