Saturday, December 15, 2007

Randolph Pushes His Way To Front Of Ballard Administration

Before the true-blue Ballard supporters had finished celebrating his upset victory over Mayor Bart Peterson on election night, City-County Councilor Ike Randolph began announcing himself as the person who was in charge of assembling Mayor-elect Ballard's transition team. To this writer, who has been a frequent critic of Randolph, it immediately told me two things. Personally, it meant people like me would have no place in the Ballard administration. But more importantly, it sent a chilling message about the people Ballard entrusted as a close personal advisor.

Since Ballard's election, it has been hard not to see Ballard on local television news cameras without Ike Randolph standing within camera range. Today, Star conservative columnist Russ Pulliam as much as announced Randolph's high-profile standing in the new administration through the re-emergence of the Front Porch Alliance from the former Goldsmith administration. Randolph, a full-time firefighter, worked on the Front Porch Alliance during the Goldsmith administration while continuing on as a full-time firefighter. That dual role brought criticism that he was double-dipper, a status he has maintained throughout much of his public career. "Randolph, an Indianapolis firefighter, is winding up a term on the City-County Council and could be a candidate for a top spot in the Ballard administration," Pulliam writes. Quoting Randolph discussing his role, Pulliam writes:

He sees a renewed Front Porch Alliance as part of the new mayor's attempt to reduce crime. He also expects that the administration will closely coordinate its new organization with the Peterson administration's Greater Indianapolis Neighborhood Initiative. "We're not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater," Randolph said. "It's not about politics. We don't want to unravel things just because it wasn't our idea."

Like Goldsmith, Ballard and his transition team contend that government can't be as effective in fixing serious social issues as churches and other non-profit groups. Wheeler Mission, for example, is much more effective in helping the homeless than some sort of government program.

"It's a change in attitude," Randolph said. "It's government admitting it can't solve all the problems. We are good at fixing streets and addressing abandoned homes. But the infrastructure of the family is a matter of addressing the hearts and souls. That is best left to churches and other value-shaping institutions, and then you get behind them."

When it comes to self-promotion, Randolph will never be outdone. He became the darling of the Indiana Republican Party when he sought election to the city-county council four years ago. Party leaders from the state down to the local level helped him raise a record-setting $80,000 for his successful bid in District 1 in Pike Township. During that campaign, Randolph reached out to a diverse group of supporters. He signed a questionnaire with the Greater Indianapolis Fairness Alliance promising to support a human rights ordinance which prohibited discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. With the support of Indianapolis' GLBT community, Randolph won his race by a very narrow margin. When the measure came up for a vote before the council, however, Randolph turned on supporters without warning and voted against it. In the ensuing months, Randolph ignored phone calls and e-mails from supporters of the HRO demanding an explanation, including my own.

After the HRO eventually passed without his support on a second attempt and Randolph was preparing to run for mayor last year, he met with me and tried to explain his HRO vote. First, he blamed HRO supporters for his refusal to discuss the matter at the time. He explained that their e-mails to him were hate-filled, and that one high-profile HRO supporter, Bil Browning, had made racially-insensitve remarks on a local blog. Browning, in fact, publicly apologized for the remarks he had made, which were directed at City-County Council President Steve Talley and not Randolph. Talley personally accepted Browning's apology. Secondly, Randolph explained that he had attempted to get co-authors Jackie Nytes and Scott Keller to consider an amendment to the HRO pertaining to nonprofit organizations, and that they had ignored his request. Having attended numerous meetings throughout the HRO deliberations with Nytes and Keller, I can assure you no mention of Randolph requesting this amendment ever came up, and the record shows he didn't offer the amendment when the HRO was debated before the council. Both explanations to me simply rang hollow.

Another very telling moment in Randolph's public career came when State Sen. Murray Clark decided to step down from his seat to become a partner at Bakers & Daniels. At first, Clark said he supported Randolph as his replacement, but he quickly withdrew his endorsement, causing Randolph's support among precinct committeeepersons to erode to the point Randolph was forced to bow out of the race. As political commentator Ed Feigenbaum noted at the time, party leaders were still miffed at Randolph for failing to return any assistance to the party after it raised a record amount of money for his campaign. And Star political columnist Matt Tully raised questions about Randolph's shameless self-promoting. "Some, for instance, ask whether the 42-year-old Pike Township resident works as hard at policy and politicking as publicity."

It also shouldn't be overlooked that Randolph's name surfaced during the investigation of Heather Bolejack amid allegations she was trying to divert grant money to a friend of her's from New Orleans. That involved a $417,000 grant for the Saving Kids of Incarcerated Program (SKIP) being offered by a newly-formed business of Michael McKenna. During the investigation, it turned out that Randolph had hoped to partner with McKenna on the SKIP program. Randolph, who used to be the executive director of the Ten Points Coalition, had shared that organization's program with McKenna. As Randolph explained to the Star:

Randolph said he met with McKenna at the request of Bolejack, offered to work with McKenna to develop a similar program and e-mailed him details about Ten Point's SKIP program.

Randolph said he never heard from McKenna again, despite repeated calls.

He assumed McKenna dropped the idea -- until he learned from inspector general investigators that McKenna's SKIP program was to receive an original award of $417,000.

It came as quite a surprise to the Ten Points Coalition that McKenna was using their program for the grant. "That's our program," said the Rev. Charles Harrison, president of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition and a senior pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church. "He said investigators from the inspector general's office, which is examining the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and its top officials, interviewed Ten Point Coalition members about their ongoing Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents program."

Despite his dissipating support within his political party, Randolph had the audacity to put himself forward as a mayoral candidate last year. His candidacy sparked little interest, and he eventually dropped out of the race, citing family and personal reasons. The truth was he had burned his bridges within the party so badly he didn't even dare an attempt at running for re-election to his own seat. That district switched to Democratic hands this past election. Most observers recall very little effort that Randolph put forward openly to support Ballard's election this past year. Many found it hypocritical when Randolph tried to grandstand his vote on Mayor Peterson's 65% increase on the county option income tax. Instead of voting no, Randolph for the first time in his council career decided he had a conflict of interest in voting on public safety matters coming before the council because he was a firefighter.

Even more serious questions about Randolph's veracity have been recently raised concerning his role in anonymously co-authoring the now-defunct IndyUndercover blog site with radio talk show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. In light of Randolph's recent interview with Ruth Holladay and my own past discussions with Randolph about his alleged involvement with the blog, I have concluded at least one point. When it comes to telling the truth, Randolph has a very difficult time.

If Mayor-elect Greg Ballard intends to place Randolph in a high position in his administration, he better understand that Randolph's appointment will send a very negative message about the kind of people he is entrusting with the management of our city over the next four years. I, for one, will never believe another word that comes out of Randolph's mouth. He's in it for himself, and he never lets the truth get in his way.

By way of disclosure, on the night of the Ballard's election, Randolph personally approached me and asked me if I was interested in serving on Ballard's transition team. Of course, I was, I told him as I handed him my business card. It struck me as very odd that he even asked me given my frequent criticism of him in the past. Not surprisingly, Randolph was not in the least bit sincere in his outreach to me. Randolph, in fact, endeavored to deny me any role in the transition team. As Joe Loftus later told me, my name was never brought up in any of the discussions in which he was involved. Randolph may be fooling the Mayor-elect for the moment, but he will learn soon enough who the real Ike Randolph is. Hopefully, that moment will come before he is allowed to do any significant damage to his new administration.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Randolph's failure to recuse himself from voting on a zoning variance before the council after he accepted a $5,000 contribution from the developer. Ike is for sale to the highest bidder. He sold out the GLBT on the HRO because he got a better offer from the religious right. Ask Sue Swayze.

Anonymous said...


One quick correction and a clarification, if you please.

My posting referenced Steve Talley and not Sherron Franklin. Steve called me up and asked about the post (written back before I was lobbying for the HRO when it failed the first time). I didn't think it was racially insensitive at the time I wrote it, but after listening to Steve's concerns, I could see how it could be taken as such and promptly removed it. It wasn't a big deal then with Steve. As he said, "I'm learning what's important to your community and you're learning about mine." It was one of the most honest discussions I've ever had about race and sexuality.

Also, when Ike was guest hosting Greg Garrison's radio show, they invited me on as a guest. While I got bumped halfway for Gonzales' resignation as Attorney General, I did manage to corner him on the GIFA questionnaire and his flip-flop. No mention was made of the post and Ike complimented me actually on my decorum during the time period. Instead, he blamed his vote on one e-mail that said something along the lines of "I hope your kids grow up gay so you can see what it's like." He took that as a "threat" against his children.

I personally tried to contact Ike almost every day about the issue. He didn't return one phone call or e-mail. He refused to talk to me during Council meetings or before or after. At the time, there was no mention of any blog posting or amendment or anything - just dead silence. I told him on air that he had taken the coward's way out by refusing to speak to any pro-HRO citizen.

As a side note, I still talk to Steve. The friendship we established during the HRO has continued to this day. I'm rather proud of that. Not only did I help to get an HRO passed, I also made a friend from an unexpected place. Karma.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Bil, Thanks for the clarification, but I was referring to your parody of how Franklin spoke. Not surprisingly, IndyUndercover spoke out in favor of Franklin's re-election. You have to wonder how that makes Mike McQuillen feel knowing that people within his own party may have been assisting in Franklin's re-election campaign. There have even been rumors Frankln will be offered the Lawrence police chief job by Mayor-elect Ricketts.

Anonymous said...

I hope the new mayor is aware of the private and personal shortcoming of Ike...if he is named Deputy Mayor then they will become public....We do not need another Danny Burton.

Anonymous said...

Forget Sherron Franklin as Lawrence Police Chief. It will be Paul Whitehead soon to be Ex-city councilman.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about a post about Sherron Franklin. I didn't really say much about her since she was a lost cause to start with.

This is the post I was referring to. Steve didn't bring up anything about a post about Franklin.

Also, we met with the African-American councilors after the HRO (minus Ike and Franklin, of course!) and nothing was ever said about a post concerning Franklin. The post about Steve was brought up though.

Anonymous said...

Government being good at addressing
the issue of (how to handle) abandoned homes? Yeah...sure...
whatever. Is he really that naive about that issue?

Anonymous said...

The Front Porch Alliance was and is a good idea--properly run.

Ike fleeced many with that program, and he's not done fleecing.

Ask Kite Development and the remonstratators against the Whole Foods development. He should've recused, but he did not. Now at least we know the price of whoring yourself out for developers, as far as Ike is concerned: $5,000 in campaign contributions. It's nice to have that defined so clearly.

That's really all anyone needs to know about Ike. Shameful public service is worse than no public service.

As for Sherron: she is thick in the running for Lawrence police chief, to hear her talk. What a disaster that would be. I don't think even Paul Ricketts is that stupid. Close, but not quite.

(Sherron, honey--some of the folks with whom you talk so openly, are truly'd best watch to whom you speak)

And can this be the last time that loser Franklin's name is mentioned? Good riddance!

Anonymous said...

How soon before the drumbeat of "Ike Lies" begins?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Greg Garrison thinks about Ike working with Abdul behind his back?

Anonymous said...

Abdul just said on a special show on Carson's death this afternoon that Ike Randolph was going to be taking a position in the Ballard administration.

Anonymous said...

If Ballard is unable to discern what a snake in the grass Randolph is, he's going to be making a lot of bad decisions as mayor.

Anonymous said...

Abdul is still drunk from last night. Offensive comments are rolling off his tongue in his special broadcast this afternoon. He said the race to succeed Julia would be worse than Somalia. He also made an offensive comment about what gays were going to do without Carson in Congress.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 3:01, I caught part of his broadcast. Not much somber reflection going on there. More like a little boy at the circus.

Anonymous said...

Abdul is a disgrace....he belongs with Ike .........

Anonymous said...

No one should be surprised to learn that Ike Randolph will do whatever is necessary to further his own interests.

For example, Randolph went to IFD Chief Greeson and told Chief Greeson that Mayor Ballard wanted Randolph detailed to the transition team. Chief Greeson did as he thought the new mayor was requesting.

When Chief Greeson next ran into Mayor Ballard, Greeson told Ballard that IFD was pleased to be able to help the new Mayor by by detailing Randolph to the transition team.

As it turns out, Mayor Ballard had no idea what Greeson was talking about.

Now that is pure Ike Randolph - willing to misrepresent himself and those supporting him to get what he thinks will best further his own interests.

Mayor Ballard - beware!

Anonymous said...

I don't even personally know the guy, but I had enough of Ike Randolph while attending a Republican party fundraiser at the Speedway a few years ago. Randolph was asked to give the invocation and while giving his prayer, he used it to say that Democrats do not enjoy the same status with God as Republicans do. He invoked the name of God to ask that Democrats not be elected. It was appalling and several people told me he had abused his privilege of being part of the official program. It's so ironic that on this day of Julia Carson's death - a person who fought so hard to advance social and economic justice for African Americans in Indianapolis - that you have a guy like Ike Randolph shilling for the same people who use to say (or maybe they still do in private) that the Bible requires one race to be dominant over the other.

Anonymous said...

Where's Ballard going to get his money for this Front Porch Alliance?
Remember, Ballard was going to trim $70 million. Where from?
And Ike's always been delusional and will remain so.
Good luck Mayor Ballard cutting $70 million, funding your Christian values based FPA and dealing with 12,000 abandoned houses in this cityplus a crumbling infrastructure.
Did I meantion crime?
Nice to know people like Ike will help run the show. Indy never changes, same game different names.

Anonymous said...

Yep, anon 5:22, that's the Ike I know. The son of a preacher man wearing his religion on his sleeve while ignoring true Christian values in practice.

Anonymous said...

If Ike is so Christian, what about the 10 commandents...he has broken many of those lately.....lying and adultery being two of them

Anonymous said...

Actually, regarding Ike Randolph and his sidekick Abdul Akim Shabazz I would describe them of being guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins.
They're probably guilty of six or seven more but it's a start anyway.

Wilson46201 said...

Let me say in Ike's defense that he's not known for kicking puppies!

Anonymous said...

Forget Sherron Franklin as Lawrence Police Chief. It will be Paul Whitehead soon to be Ex-city councilman.

I think it will be Steve Davis, Paul Ricketts long-time friend.

No one should be surprised to learn that Ike Randolph will do whatever is necessary --->>>supporting him to get what he thinks will best further his own interests.
Mayor Ballard - beware!

You have proof of this? Or is it just "blogger rumor"
I agree. With Randolph on the team, Ballard has already failed as Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, I think you should interview some puppies first to see if this statement is true. Personally I think Ike is a puppy kicker.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how Ike always seem to appear around GRANT MONEY. This commission is through the ICJI.

He was just appointed. The ICJI!!!?

Ike was involved in the Heather Bolejack fiasco and some would like to know what was Ike's consulting fee he receive for the business plan and advise on how to steal funds from our children. We need to follow the paper trail on this one, because funds were dispersed and I'm sure he got his cut.

What a rat, giving away a local ministers business plan to a Louisiana lawyer seeking Indiana grant money intended to help our children is unconscionable.
Ike Randolph is not to be trusted and few will want to be part of this administration if this is the discretion that's given to leadership and black leadership.

Furthermore, he doesn't even like his own people.

Anonymous said...

You all need a life. Get one. Stop judging others. ..And keep the doors locked to your own closets.