Saturday, October 20, 2007

Schneider Calls Out GOP Brass

The Star's Mary Beth Schneider doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to calling out the leadership of the Republican Party for its miserable failure to support Greg Ballard's mayoral campaign. She writes in a front page story today:

GOP mayoral candidate Greg Ballard’s latest campaign finance report is remarkable for what doesn’t show up in its relatively slim 38-pages: the names of many prominent Republicans.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Marion County resident, gave nothing to Ballard from personal or campaign funds. Murray Clark, the state Republican Party chairman and a Marion County resident, also gave nothing; neither did the state party. The name of state Rep. Mike Murphy, a former Marion County GOP chairman, also was absent.

“It makes you wonder,” said Bill Blomquist, political science professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “Where are the Marion County Republicans?”

State GOP Chairman Murray Clark's response to Schneider when she asked why he hadn't contributed to Ballard provides all the more reason for demanding his resignation as party chairman. Clark's law firm, Baker & Daniels, has given tens of thousands to Peterson's campaign. Clark, asked why he hadn’t given Ballard any money, replied:

“I don’t know why. I don’t think he’s asked me for any, come to think about it.”

Clark, who said the state GOP has given nonfinancial help to Ballard’s campaign, said it’s difficult to raise money against an incumbent who seemed to be cruising to re-election earlier this year.

“The irony for (Ballard) now is he has a chance to win,” Clark said. “He’s doing better in debates and on the stump.”

Tom John's response to Schneider likewise doesn't cut it. "Marion County Republican Chairman Tom John noted that one reason Ballard has struggled was that so many people assumed Peterson would win," Schneider writes. “Conventional wisdom for a long time said this wouldn’t be a race because Peterson had $3.million,” he said. "He said the county party has done what it can to help." The party has done what is can to help? If this is as good as the party can do, then there is no hope for a two-party system in this county.

If you look at where Peterson's support is coming from among businesses and individuals, you will find it is largely comprised of businesses and people who do business with the city. It's a who's who of construction companies, developers, architects/engineers, road contractors, public finance/bond firms, city/county employees and attorneys. You can also match up many of the contributors to Peterson to list of firms receiving tax abatements, government subsidies and other special considerations from the Peterson administration in recent years. And who is Hoosier Trust Company? It has given more than $66,000 to Peterson. It is, to put it bluntly, government for sale. You can view Ballard's campaign finance report by clicking here.


Doug said...

My (mostly unfounded) suspicion is that Peterson and Daniels have cut a deal of some sort. I suspect we'll find Democratic opposition to Gov. Daniels in 2008 to be underwhelming.

Just a guess.

Gary R. Welsh said...

It's hard not to think that way, Doug. I saw so many names on Peterson's contributor list who used to be regular contributors to the GOP and many still are contributing to Daniels. Once upon a time, you gave to a R or D, but not both. This blurring of the lines by the elites is destroying the benefit of having a two-party system.

Anonymous said...

It is truly regretable to see the electoral process completely and unashamedly rigged.

Anonymous said...

The GOP big wigs are mostly lawyers and real estate developers who have benefitted greatly from the Peterson economic plan. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Anonymous said...

Murray is a good guy, usually smart, but he's off base on thisn one..Ballard does not now have, and never did have, a chance to win.

He's loaded, if he hasn't contributed even $100 to the Ballard campaign, well...shame on him.

Sir Hailstone said...

And the real shame is the fact it's really not illegal to rig an election like this.

The people must step up and give the big middle finger to both sides and elect Greg Ballard anyway.

I personally think the Dems were trying to pull a fast one by putting up Jim Schellinger, giving him loads of cash plus whatever else he self-finances to take on Gov. Daniels - problem is it appears so far he's coming across as stiff and unappealing to the Dem faithful.

Anonymous said...

My guess is Murry Clark is telling big contributors to send money directly to the party and not Greg Ballard.
Every big shot in town including the republicans are in Barts pocket for more easy money.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, county Repubs gave Ballard over $70k, but the state party gave him nothing? That's bull&*($.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to Hoosier Trust company

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ballard should dump the R's like a bad boyfriend. Has any mayor ever dumped his party after an election?

Anonymous said...

Gary, what is very interesting is all the out of Indy contributors. Like this one found on page 4 of individual contributions.

His name is Amar Rajpurkar, lives in Illinois??