Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marion Co. GOP Imports Bloomington Resident To Fill Cardwell's Council Seat

UPDATED: Shreve Became Registered Voter in district less than two years ago!
Marion Co. GOP leaders imported a long-time Bloomington resident and businessman to fill the seat vacated by Councilor Jeff Cardwell (District #23), the southside businessman who recently resigned his council seat to join the administration of Gov. Mike Pence. Jefferson Shreve defeated Michael Kalscheur, a financial advisor and Perry Township Board member who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large council seat in 2011, at a GOP caucus held today to replace Cardwell.

According to easily obtained public records, Shreve has identified himself as a Bloomington resident for nearly the past 20 years. Shreve, who has contributed generously to Republican and Democratic candidates alike, always listed a Bloomington address until he started making very generous campaign contributions this past campaign cycle to the Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee ("GIRFCO), the fundraising arm of the Marion Co. GOP.

Shreve is the owner of Storage Express, a self-storage business based in Bloomington that operates 65 self-storage properties in five states. According to campaign finance reports, Shreve always provided a Bloomington address until the 2012 campaign election cycle when he started listing a southside residential address as his residence. The Bloomington Hospital website where Shreve's biography is listed as a member of the hospital's board of directors identifies him as "living in Bloomington for the past 19 years." When he joined the IU Alumni Association Board of Managers in Aug. 2011, he claimed to reside in both Bloomington and Indianapolis. A Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile similarly identifies him as a Bloomington resident for the past 19 years.

The Indiana Election Division's website identifies campaign contributions Shreve has made to state and local candidates as far back as 2001. In the 2001-02 period, Shreve contributed $3,100 to the campaign of Democratic Mayor John Fernandez as a Bloomington resident. The only other candidate of either political party that he contributed more money to was Gov. Mitch Daniels, to whom he gave close to $3,500. Although most of the contributions Shreve has made have been to Republican candidates, he has not shied away from supporting Democrats. In 2009, he contributed $1,000 to Evan Bayh. He gave $250 to Democrat Linda Pence's losing 2008 campaign for Attorney General, a contribution he matched for Republican Greg Zoeller in 2012. This past year, Shreve donated $2,700 to GIRFCO and $2,500 to Richard Lugar's losing re-election bid. He also contributed $3,750 to the Indiana Republican State Committee this past year.

Interestingly, included in the power grab bill that State Sen. Mike Young filed in SB 621 at the request of Mayor Greg Ballard this session is a provision that would reduce the residency requirement for council candidates from two years to one year. It also reduces the residency requirement for mayoral candidates from 5 years to 2 years. Some observers say the politically ambitious Shreve may be eying a run for Indianapolis mayor in 2015. According to the Marion Co. Assessor's records, Shreve owns three very modest residents in the same neighborhood on the City's southside, including 725 E. Markwood, 731 E. Markwood and 734 Lawrence Avenue. Obviously, the Marion Co. GOP could give a damn less about a person's legitimate residency in this county to hold an elected position. Shreve is a resident of that southside council district in name only. Everyone in Bloomington knows that's where he truly resides. According to Jefferson S. Shreve's voting registration (DOB 9/24/1965), he did not become a registered voter at 725 E. Markwood Avenue in Perry Township Precinct #3 until October 17, 2011, shortly before the 2011 municipal election but less than two years prior to his appointment to the council seat. In other words, Shreve was ineligible to become a candidate at Saturday's GOP caucus unless he can prove he became a resident of District #23 at least 9 months before the date of his voter registration.

Search Results
Status: Registered Township: PERRY
Date Of Status: 10/17/2011 Precinct: PER 003
Additional Documentation Required: No Residential Address:
725 E Markwood Ave

Indianapolis IN

UPDATE: I've learned a little more about Shreve's stealth candidacy. Perry Township GOP leaders had no idea who he was until he started showing up for meetings a couple of months ago. Michael Kalscheur had been the odds on favorite to win. He is after all a member of the Perry Township Advisory Board and long-time Perry Township resident who ran unsuccessfully for one of the four at-large seats in the 2011 municipal election. Shreve's candidacy emerged out of the shadows just weeks ago, pushed by the Marion Co. GOP leadership and Mayor Ballard. After arms were twisted, promises made, etc., the previously unknown Shreve easily emerged as the winner in the vote of 20 precinct committeepersons in attendance and eligible to vote. Jeff Cardwell, one of those who voted at today's caucus, backed Shreve. So much for loyalty to Perry Township folks on Cardwell's part. Apparently Shreve was concerned enough about his residency in the district, or lack thereof, that he attempted to address having residences in both Bloomington and Perry Township.

UPDATE II: Here's something more interesting. The 7th District state convention caucus nominated Shreve to serve as one of its alternatve delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last year. I was present at the caucus meeting. I had no idea who he was when they read off his name, but based on the comment made by an African-American delegate seated next to me I was under the assumption that he was a token minority choice since none of the other delegates or alternates were black. The delegates were Greg Ballard, Jennifer Ping and Jeff Cardwell. The alternates were Winnie Ballard, Robert Vane and Shreve. Only Shreve's name failed to identify his city or county of residence. It looks like Cardwell was in on the deal to weasel Shreve into a council seat long before he announced he was stepping down to join the Pence administration. Cardwell really stabbed Kalscheur in the back big time. I"m not surprised. Guys who wear their religion on their sleeve are the ones you have to watch the most closely.

I'm also learning more about what he communicated to PCs during his bid. According to a resume he distributed, he identifies himself as being appointed a PC in Perry #13 in 2012, which is outside the 23rd District. He is registered to vote in Perry #3. His resume claims he was elected as a delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention when he actually was elected as an alternate delegate. He also stated in a communication to PCs that he did not choose to "base my life out of Indy rather than Bloomington" until "a couple of years ago." The house he claims for voter registration purposes is a home previously owned by his grandparents where they raised their children. The 47-year old says he's engaged to be married to Mary Kelley, an Indianapolis resident who was widowed several years ago. Neither of them have any children. Shreve's marriage to Kelley would be his first.

UPDATE III: Is Shreve delinquent in the payment of property taxes on the three residences he owns in Perry Township? It would appear so if the Marion Co. Treasurer's online property tax payment database is up-to-date:

To view additional information on a property, please select the property from the list and click the "CONTINUE" button below. To perform another search, click the "SEARCH AGAIN" button below. To cancel searching, click the "CANCEL" button below.

SelectNameParcelTownshipLocationCurrent Amount Due


I know said...

Didn't Charlie White get in trouble for stuff like this?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Those rules only apply to Charlie White if you haven't figured that out yet. Everyone else does what they damn well please. Just think, this guy from Bloomington gets to decide whether to raise two taxes at his first council meeting Monday night. You can bet his vote will be in support of both taxes. The downtown mafia sold this seat on the council to him so he'll vote the way they expect him to vote.

Paul K. Ogden said...

He actually claimed to have two residences at slating? That's hard to believe he would make that kind of mistake. You have one residence. I thought everyone knew that by now.

Other questions? 1) Where is he claiming a homestead tax credit; 2) How long has he been registered in Marion County; 3) Did his membership on various boards in Monroe County require residence in that county?

Indy Rob said...

The difference is that charlie white's Indiana residency was never an issue., it was at most a question of whether or not he was living and voting in the correct district.
Given the Charlie White ruling, I wonder if you could get a judge to grant an emergency stay to Sheve's (Shreve's) city council appointment.

I know said...

Indy Rob,
Exactly my point.

Where did he last vote and the question and where is he registered will pop out AGAIN! Just like Charlie

Gary R. Welsh said...

The guy purhcased a seat on our council. That's all you need to know. Nothing is done above board in this city anymore. It is the most corrupt city in America. It's easy to get by with this kind of crap when you have a media that's either asleep at the switch or in bed with the people who are perpetrating public corruption at our expense.

Jon Easter said...

Bravo on this reporting, Gary.

Greg Bowes said...

Score another blow to access to public information. Just about two years ago, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance maintained a tool on its web site allowing anyone to check the status of property tax homestead exemptions. If you go to now, you will see it is restricted to county officials only. Someone must have put in the fix to keep the database from the public after the recent issues surrounding Senator Lugar and Secretary of State Charlie White. I wish our elected officials remembered that they work for us. The information is publicly available by going to the county Auditor’s Office. Why shouldn’t our government make what is already in an internet-based and searchable database available to the public?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Agreed, Greg. As soon as that info. was made available online, people would check what home's elected officials were claiming a homestead exemption on to see if it matched the residence they were using for voting purposes. After more than a few got called out for claiming more than one homestead exemption, they restrict access to it.