Monday, May 12, 2014
Republican Council Members Refuse To Let Christine Scales Be Seated With Their Caucus
Once again proving that there is no bottom to how far the Republican leadership of the City-County Council can sink, Democratic members of the council offered a seat on their side of the aisle after Republican caucus members decided to go a step further than simply barring Scales from their caucus meetings; they're now barring her from sitting on the same side of the aisle with them. It seems that some Republican council members blame her rather than corrupt behavior on the fact that some of their own are under investigation by federal law enforcement officials. Scales expressed her gratitude to Democratic members for offering her a seat on their side of the aisle, while making it clear that she is the same conservative, principled, integrity-possessing Republican she has always been in sharp contrast to many of her fellow Republican council members who openly flaunt their addiction to political cronyism.
A special thanks is also owed to Councilor Mary Moriarty-Adams and her fellow Democratic colleagues who joined her in sending the re-appointment of Jennifer Lukemeyer to the Marion County Public Defender Board back to the Public Safety Committee for further consideration. This blog criticized the committee members for recommending her re-appointment despite her well-publicized role in facilitating the payment of a bribe to former Chief Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser by her client's father in order to obtain her early release from prison for her role in hiring a hit man to murder her husband. E-mails exchanged between Wyser and Lukemeyer made public following Wyser's indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office revealed the disturbing extent to which justice is for sale in Marion County and the ease at which Lukemeyer discussed political contributions in the same conversation as a special agreement to release her client from prison long before the end of her original sentence. All Republicans, except Councilor Scales, voted against Councilor Adams' motion to send Lukemeyer's re-appointment back to committee, while all Democrats, except Councilor Brian Mahern, voted in support of Adams' motion. Lukemeyer is a Republican. As the saying goes, politics sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.
In other action, the council voted overwhelmingly to approve spending $8 million for street repairs to fix potholes caused by the harsh winter and to pay for unfunded snow removal costs. The council also voted overwhelmingly to require all homeowners and apartment owners to install smoke detectors containing a non-removable, non-replaceable 10-year battery. Councilor Scales argued that the ordinance pushed by Councilors Adams and Ben Hunter at the behest of lobbyists for Kidde, a major smoke detector manufacturer, creates a false sense of security because the new mandate allows the use of smoke detectors using either ionization or photoelectric sensors. Experts say that ionized sensors cause many fire-related fatalities because they fail to activate until it's too late in fires that smolder and create toxic fumes a long time before flaming. Residents often succumb from smoke inhalation before the alarm activates. Over-sensitive ionized sensors often frustrate homeowners, who have a tendency to remove the battery or the detector to put an end to false alarms.