Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mitch Harper Pledges To End Crony Capitalism In Fort Wayne


The Republican candidate for mayor in Fort Wayne this year is singing a much different tune than we hear from candidates of either political parties these days in Indiana. Mitch Harper is a former state lawmaker and current city council member who is seeking the Republican nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Mayor Tom Henry, who is seeking re-election to his third term this year. Henry runs Fort Wayne pretty much the same way Greg Ballard and his predecessors have run the City of Indianapolis for decades. TIFs and the crony capitalism they feed is the name of the game so it caught my eye when Harper sent out an e-mail today soliciting financial support for his campaign in which he pledged to end "business as usual."
As our next mayor, I will get to work immediately on changing business as usual at city hall. We must stop the practice of taxpayer dollars being used to pick winners and losers in our business community in the name of economic development. In short-- I’m going to stop the crony capitalism. We must ensure that decisions are made for the benefit of all of Fort Wayne and not for the favored few. The city also spends too much money on paid lobbyists at the statehouse. As a former member of the Indiana legislature, I will apply my real world experience and knowledge to work with our Statehouse delegation as a thoughtful and consistent advocate for Fort Wayne; we can get better results without the added expense to taxpayers. However, to make meaningful changes, we must first rise to the challenge of this campaign; it’s time for Fort Wayne to run, not walk.
Harper is a very bright man and talented lawyer who strikes me as one who marches to the beat of his own drum often to the chagrin of the powers that be. What he says in his e-mail to supporters won't sit well with the big law firms, developers, consultants and engineers and lobbyists who thrive off the crony capitalism that drives government decision-making in the Hoosier state from the State House to every city hall and county government center across this state regardless of size. In a manner of speaking, them's fightin words. I applaud him for staking out a position he knows will rile the people to whom most candidates for public office in this state turn to finance their campaigns. I wish him well and hope he has the chance to become Fort Wayne's next mayor and make the kind of changes that are badly needed in the way the business of government is conducted in a city he has served well for many years.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish Mr. Harper well, too.

Does his record in state government support these claims of anti-crony capitalism?

Where is he planning to get the cash to fund his campaign? Henry will be well funded for sure, and unfortunately that does matter. I hope Harper has some talented folks in his corner.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think it does. The first time I recall hearing about Mitch was at least 20 years ago. He had come down to the State House to lobby on an issue based on a local concern. Whatever position he was taking, it rankled a lobbyist for a powerful corporate interest. The lobbyist said something to the effect that he wished Mitch would just butt out and go back home. Another veteran lobbyist recalled when he was a state lawmaker in that same conversation that he was one of the most difficult legislators to get an arm around. From my perspective, that was a compliment to Harper--even if the lobbyist didn't intend it that way.

Anonymous said...

Can we clone Harper in time for the primary in Indianapolis?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:37- you already have a crony-buster running for Mayor of Indianapolis- Jocelyn-Tandy Adande- who was often the dirty tricks target of MCRCC Executive Directors, their overpaid wives-political consultants, or former Center Township Chairs who now still run Center and the City from DC... Jocelyn-Tandy Adande is one who dares to challenge the back-room MCRCC deals - a female with the spine and the cojones to stand up to the infamous long-time GOP hatchet an David Brooks- husband of 5th Congress Rep Susan Brooks. Jocelyn-Tandy Adande will clean local GOP house when she is victorious.. THAT is what the entrenched GOP fear.. and the local Democrat Party shakes in its boots to run against a strong, accomplished life-long civil rights activist Indy resident who just happens to be a Black female...

As a former "R" straight ticket voter... this commenter gives her my vote.

Flogger said...

Paraphrase the words of Neil Armstrong that one small step for man one giant leap in Indiana Politics. I cannot conjure up in my wildest dreams either major party candidate in Indianapolis running for Mayor, even admitting Crony-Capitalism exists let alone campaigning against it.

Anonymous said...

Would you be willing to do that for us here in Indy?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Mitch obviously has the benefit of having the support of a local Republican Party that is well aware of his beliefs and is willing to lend their support to him. Anyone who espouses those kind of views in either of the political parties in Marion County is persona non grata, and the party leaders will do everything they can to block such persons from ever getting elected to office here. It's a kamikaze mission here.

Anonymous said...

Gary, you are correct that the mission will be tough. I am thankful, however, that we have a pilot in the name of Jocelyn-Tandy Adande strong and willing to be that kamikaze for those of us against the corrupt Democrat and Republican party members that award our tax dollars to their cronies.

I've known Jocelyn for a good number of years and I've watched her stand up and fight the corruption and hatefulness and vindictiveness of establishment types like Tom John, David Brooks, Kyle Walker, Bryce Carpenter, Samantha DeWester, and even State GOP who dismiss her for her good intentions. Mike Pence treated her like dirt and for that I will never forgive him.

I pray that Jocelyn is the watershed that gives other PC's and grassroots Republicans sick to their teeth with the corruption we've seen under David Brooks and his insiders. IT IS TIME FOR THEM ALL TO GO. All you PC who didn't even both to attend the last Call To Convention because it was so cut and dried... this is your opportunity for change.

Grassroots! Wake Up! Drop the negativity that "we can't" and begin to believe that we can restore the GOP to its true heritage.

bryan brown said...

I have known Mitch since he was a responsible young man helping his father in the family business. His reputation in his home town is sterling. More recently, I taught with Mitch at the University of Saint Francis (we were both adjuncts). He taught business courses, and was very well received. The man is the real deal. Can anything good come out of Fort Wayne you might ask ... I understand. Mitch is from New Haven! LOL