Friday, September 03, 2010

Tully On Melina Kennedy's Mayoral Bid

Star political columnist has a sit down with Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy and comes to this conclusion: "The 2011 mayoral race, which most likely will be between Kennedy and incumbent Mayor Greg Ballard, will be a good one. And by good, I mean Indianapolis voters will have two high-quality candidates on the ballot." I agree with Tully that Ballard versus Kennedy is the likely match-up between the two major party candidates. I don't agree with him, however, that the match-up makes it a good race unless you're interested in whether the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg or Baker & Daniels is going to be running the city for the next four years.

I frankly don't understand who the hell Tully talks to when he writes these columns besides the candidates and the two party's chairmen, but he clearly isn't talking to people on the streets. He says Ballard has "grown nicely into the job" with a "few stumbles" but remains "popular." This is the same guy who wrote column after column telling us why Ballard didn't have a prayer of winning the 2007 mayoral election because Peterson had done such a bang up job so take it for what it's worth.

But back to Kennedy, Tully says she has "met almost daily with voters and constituent groups, and that's clearly helped her develop a message and vision for her campaign." Translated that means she's been meeting with Bart Peterson's campaign contributors. "I'm trying to focus on what energizes me," Kennedy told Tully. "The issues, the people and just the future of the city." Tully's reply, "That's what elections should be about, of course. And one of the strengths of municipal elections in Indiana is that they're held in odd-numbered years, when candidates for higher offices aren't on the ballot." This means the race will turn on local issues and not "the drama, rhetoric and exaggerations that dominate this year's congressional elections." I guess that's Tully's way of saying he doesn't like the way the issues are breaking heavily against his favorite president because those despicable Tea Party activists are giving fits to the establishment incumbents who got us into the mess our nation faces just like they did to Bart Peterson during the 2007 election. Yes, that Tea Party movement started right here in Indianapolis, the movement that elected Ballard and the one he conveniently kicked to the curb no sooner than he uttered the words, "This is the end of country club politics in Indianapolis." Have you thought about writing a column on that, Matt?

The people Kennedy is talking to in the coffee shop and the grocery store tell her that crime tops the list of most important issues on their mind. At least that's what her pollster is telling her. She says Ballard has been an "inconsisent leader" on issues involving police. You'll get no argument from me on that point, but when Kennedy was serving as deputy mayor under Mayor Bart Peterson, she worked to help pass off control of the police department to Sheriff Frank Anderson so the mayor wouldn't be bothered with those pesky problems with the police that have plagued Indianapolis mayors since Richard Lugar. Kennedy says she will rethink whether the city needs a public safety director. That's probably not a bad idea since her former boss' public safety director got busted for frequenting the services of a prostitute on the city's southside.

There's absolutely no discussion in Tully's column on Kennedy's view of the biggest deal during the Ballard administration, the transfer of the city-owned utilities to Citizens Energy financed on the back of Indianapolis ratepayers to fund a half-billion dollar public works spending program. That's because Kennedy's law firm is making a few million dollars representing the city on that transaction and her professional responsibility duties prevent her from speaking a word about that issue. Yeah, this is going to be a great race. Now let's start talking about a third-party candidate who offers a choice, not an echo.

Here's some constructive advice for Matt. I realize you really don't want to be a political columnist but that's the job you're employer has stuck you with for now. Take a week-long trip up to Chicago and shadow Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass and learn how a good political columnist does his job. I realize learning the tricks of the trade will mean you can no longer be best friends with the people you cover, but a good reporter typically isn't good friends with his or her subjects. It will also require you to talk to people at which you currently look your nose down and spend more than twenty minutes to spit out a column, but it will make you a helluva lot more popular with your readers and you'll figure out you might just occasionally make a difference in how people think. After all, isn't it the job of a newspaper to challenge their readers' thinking and give them a reason to read their publication?

6 comments:

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Tully = "tool".

I don't think real people take him all that seriously.

Remember how he knew about Julia Carson's mental decline, but didn't tell his readers, as if they didn't have the right to know that their Congresswoman could barely get a vote for herself cast on polling day?

That's when I knew what kind of person Matt Tully is for sure.

Jeff said...

"...whether the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg or Bakes & Daniels is going to be running the city for the next four years."

Sadly, Gary, I think that about sums it up.

dcrutch said...

As said before, it's not that Mr. Tully can't write well. His pieces on the Phoenix apartments and Manual High School were comprehensive works that benefited the entire community.

Unfortunately, there are more demographics in the community than "the needy" and the "power elite" that need even-handed investigative journalism. For example, there's a cross-demographic uprising of citizens who are tired of majority opinions being ignored on health care "reform", illegal immigration, and the size and corruption of government.

Mainstream media's catering to political correctness and sneering against citizen opposition flaunts this angry majority. A majority that believe they're supposed to try to be productive in working and raising children, that government is suppossed to help by staying out of the way, and that productive citizens are due the same respect as the poor, politicians, law firms, and sports team owners.

Ballard and Kennedy are just different snapshots of the same cancerous tumor of corruption that rules the city. If it's so damned essential to pretend our medium market is "big" with our sports teams, why can't Indianapolis have the "big" political reporting to go with it?

Marycatherine Barton said...

Yes, a tool, a consummate deliberating LIAR, that is Matt Tully. Two thumbs down to his column.

guy77money said...

I remember a friend of mine who met Ballard back when he first started his campaign stating that "Ballard is a nice guy but not the sharpest tool in the shed". Boy Bonnie was right on the money! I am not a big Melina fan but maybe a woman will turn out (of course I won't bet on it ;) ) to have bigger balls then the mayor. I can dream can't I!

artfuggins said...

I don't know about Melina's "balls" but she certainly has a much better mind and ideas than Ballard.