As reported by fellow blogger Jon Easter, Adamson reached out to Mayor Ballard on an issue where the two share common ground, their opposition to HJR-6, the proposed state constitutional amendment that precludes legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other benefits of any sort, during last Thursday's Hob Knob event sponsored by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Instead of acknowledging the thank you Councilor Adamson attempted to extend to him, Ballard used the opportunity to unleash a verbal assault on him for joining other council members in voting down his latest borrow and spend infrastructure plan. As Easter explains, the confrontation became so elevated that a Republican councilor had to intervene out of concern:
When Adamson shared his concerns at the Hob Knob event with Ballard after the Mayor began his tirade, the source tells me Ballard told Adamson, "That's Bull! You just don't want me to get re-elected. that's it. We're going to murder you guys on this. "
The source tells me that Ballard told Adamson again, "We're going to murder you guys on this. You're dead," allegedly saying those words more than once while pointing his finger at Adamson and at times shaking his hands and gesturing wildly. Ballard, of course, is a former Marine as he likes to tell everyone. It's safe to say he got the full Marine training. That might make him a pretty intimidating person to deal with.
Adamson told Ballard that he simply came over to thank him for his support of nixing HJR-6 and not to get into a "political fist fight." My source says Ballard told Adamson, "Then do the right thing and pass this."
The source says that several people at the Hob Nob including members of the City-County Council witnessed the pretty-much one sided verbal joust in utter shock. Several others standing around were beginning to stare when a Republican City-County Councillor swooped in and came between Adamson and Ballard before walking away with a stunned Adamson.Adamson confirmed to me that the verbal altercation described in Easter's blog post occurred. Despite the Mayor's threatening words like "murder" meant to intimidate him, Adamson said he did not take the threats literally. "He wasn't speaking about physically harming anyone," Adamson said. "It was clear he meant politically." Adamson added that he found it odd that Ballard repeated the words to him so many times during the verbal assault. "It seemed an odd thing to say, especially so loudly and so repeatedly." Indeed, if a private citizen had gone up to Ballard and uttered similar words to him, he or she would most certainly be placed under arrest and charged with a crime. Plenty of people have found that out the hard way by simply publishing similar words on the Internet in social media about public figures.
Mayor Ballard's behavior towards Adamson is inexcusable. For too long reporters in this town have overlooked Ballard's indiscretions. This isn't the accidental mayor who stumbled into office in 2007 based on a few serious missteps made by his predecessor who deserves being given the benefit of the doubt. We're talking about a two-term mayor who should know better by this point. It's time he was called out for his bad behavior and given the criticism he deserves. Mayor or not, his behavior is unacceptable.