Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pay To Play

Mayor Greg Ballard called a black tie, high-priced gala at the Indiana Roof ballroom last night a "celebration for the City of Indianapolis." Former state GOP Chairman Mike McDaniel described it as "amnesty" for all the lobbyists and fatcats who contributed to Bart Peterson and dismissed Ballard's candidacy last year. Describe it how you like, the $500 a pop event was not about the grassroots campaign which elected Ballard. The message is loud and clear. You have to pay to play to be a part of the Ballard administration. Why else would a candidate elected to his first political office ask people to contribute to his campaign less than 30 days into his new administration and nearly four years away from the next election? More business as usual. The Star has a video clip of last night's affair, which you can view by clicking here. Hat tip to Accidental Mayor.


Anonymous said...

While holding his feet to the fire is fine, have you read some of the comments on that anonymous blog?

Please tell me the difference between that blog and IndyU. They are different in that one was mostly of a Republican bent and this one is a Democrat bent.

Other then that, the comments are of the same ilk.

I hope you don't condone all they say over there.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Are you going to judge a blog by the content of its posts or the content of the comments in response to the blogger's posts?

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that the banner headline above the Star's photo says "49 cents a day" - a good comment on the value of the Ballard administration to date.

Anonymous said...

Your not saying we should ignore all the comments in relation to the original posts , are you?

There should be some responsibility .

Anonymous said...

Are you going to judge a blog by the content of its posts or the content of the comments in response to the blogger's posts?

No, but I will judge a mayor by his actions! Ballards actions are "Peterson with a new face"
Get the money, hold a grudge, and whoever kisses up the most, gets the position.
Sond familiar?

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, Indianapolis elected a real populist Mayor. His name was Samuel Lewis Shank.
Had it not been for the wealthy Indianapolis elite casting their lot with the Ku Klux Klan and the criminal Ed Jackson the anti-Klan Lew Shank would have been elected Governor.
Greg Ballard's elitism harkens back to the days when the elite of Indianapolis hijacked the city never to again allow it to fall into the hands of a man they could not control.
Greg Ballard is no Ed Shank.

Anonymous said...

Totally ridiculous post, AI. It's sad to see your often-excellent blog devolve to an extended rant over your disappointment at not receiving an appointment in the new administration. Seeing you work through your feelings of being left out (which is something we homos have felt all our lives)in this venue is sad. I empathize, but you need to be a bit more realistic and a lot less narcissistic.

Anonymous said...

Someone once remarked that "Politics was the gentle art of soliciting money from the rich and getting votes from the poor by promising to protect each from the other".
Mayor Ballard appears to be a quick learner but it will buy him narry a better political tombstone than that of his predecessor in four years.

Anonymous said...

Accidental Mayor is not anonymous. I thought I'd posted a bio page a couple days ago, but I just noticed that I hadn't made it active on the site.

TypePad confounds me sometimes.

Anonymous said...

"Totally ridiculous post, AI. It's sad to see your often-excellent blog devolve to an extended rant over your disappointment at not receiving an appointment in the new administration"

Totally ridiculous offering of YOURS, Sir. When a person who runs on an Everyman schtick, and who boasts of prior military service, who "pledges to fight against those who cannot keep you safe and wanna reach into your pockets, etc"...when he/Ballard does this and then, upon being elected basically tells SEVERAL people who supported him (when not one of these people he is currently cozying up to gave him the time of day during his campaign, and mocked his efforts) to piss off, then HE DESERVES EVERY GODDAMN BIT OF EARNED CRITICISM FOR HIS HYPOCRISY.

Sorry, I feel a little better. The truth of the above may not make you feel better, Mr. Jefferson, but that does not make it any less valid. I think Gary is going after these evident truths of hypocrisy and DISHONOR by Ballard, much as he did with Peterson. And although Jen's AM site is IndyU in reverse, as far as the commentary by that peanut gallery, her site in and of itself is actual, factual and pertinent and probably will have daily updates.

I'm just disappointed in Ballard and myself. Disappointed because he does bring shame to the Marine values of Honor, Commitment, Loyalty, and Consistency, and I am disappointed in myself because I'm usually a prety good judge of character, but wow..I was way off.

-Former Hospital Corpsman/Navy and Ballard Supporter, 30 year Republican and Ward Chair

Anonymous said...

I have posted here often that as a Democrat, I was ready to give this new mayor a lot of leeway. It is early, but...

Some of his appointments have been lacking.

And an inaugural ball, well...he's certainly entitled. And, not to be too caddy, but I'm glad some of the Meridian Hills GOP women got hold of Winnie--she looks stunning in the photograph. Quite unlike the sleeveless red cocktail dress she wore to the swearing-in.

I even turned my head when the Ballard kids popped off about using dad's Conseco suite tickets. Which I bet they never do again.

If he wants to hold an inaugural ball, so be it. There ought to be a ticket pricing structure for all who want to be able to attend.

At $500 a pop, if the money went anywhere other than charity, he's going to live to regret it. A real bonehead move.

Populists don't do $500 balls. Ever--unless the money goes to charity.

Anonymous said...

You raise a very valid point, Gary. Ballard just got elected. It's a long way off to the next election. By asking people to make political contributions to you at the beginning of your administration it creates an appearance you may be getting something in return. I think about all of them do it. I wish there would at least be a ban on accepting contributions from people and businesses with city contracts.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:04

Thank you for your service to our country.

Perhaps you're correct. Perhaps hizzoner is lacking in honor and loyalty. I've never met the man so I don't know.

What I do know is that those of you who are have already made these judgements about him are thinking about yourselves and your own needs and not about the bests interests of the city. This is very personal with you.

Here's my point: This isn't about you and your personal bitches and disappointments because you didn't get a job or your name in lights. A few dozen discontented office-seekers and supporters don't represent the needs and wishes of a city with almost one million residents.

So Ballard didn't thank you or reward you in the manner you hoped. I'm sorry for you, but get over it and look beyond your own petty interests.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. jefferson for your courteous reply. I will strive to be of the same vein.

This is not, for me, about being shafted in any way. I never asked for a thing other than for Ballard to do what he campaigned upon, the themes I mentioned. His actions while attempting to obtain the goals is so far laughable at best, extrememly discouraging at least.

You say you have not met the man. Fine. How about cutting me some slack, as I have known him before he was officially slated?

If you (rhetorical you) act and present yourself one way and then do exactly the opposite of your persona, can you imagine how sick I and several others are?

I repeat my earlier comments about his total hypocrisy and current toadying of those who laughed at him a few months earlier. While you and others may think that the decisions he made are in the best interests of the community as a whole, I do not. He was surrounded by several people at a grass roots level of quality, who he has totally disowned.

Before you can govern any entity, you have to be able to be of strong moral character, or should be ideally. For a guy like Ballard who posited himself as such, only to be "just another politician" is very sad, indeed. Therefore, yep, he serves all these earned criticisms.

Anonymous said...

Accidental Mayor is just another Indy Undercover. Instead of slamming Democrats, AM slams Republicans. Both blogs are OK with government corruption and cronyism, as long as their party is the one in power and benefiting.

Also remember that the author of AM was heavily involved in the Peterson campaign as it is said she is employed by the state Democrat party. I am sure being part of the FIRST EVER election team to lose the Indy mayoral seat as an incumbent can't make one feel too good. It has to suck even more losing to a political nothing.

Eclecticvibe said...

Anyone else ready for public financing of campaigns?

Anonymous said...

Well 3:04,

I hate to disabuse you of your clever detective work, but...

While Accidental Mayor does work for the Indiana Democratic Party, she (and her employer) had nothing to do with the Peterson debacle.

For that, you would have to look to the Marion County Democratic Party and to the former Mayor's closest aides.

And, it would be them you'd have to ask as to whether or not they even recognize how much they screwed up. But, I wouldn't hold my breath expecting them to admit to any errors in tactics or judgement.

Anonymous said...

2:42. You are spot on. The unfortunate thing is that people like us who believed that a grass roots, man of the people, effort would begin to change some things have now been made clearly aware that.....don't bother. It will always remain the same. Power corrupts. It hurts.

Anonymous said...

What did Melyssa wear to the Ballard Ball?
Were Tim Dugan and Ernie Shearer paying customers or just hangin' out? What! No Indy Chicken to announce the homicide tally?
And let us not forget Joe Friday, Mr.Shabazz himself. Was Abdul a paying guest or was he there running the elevator for the white folks of the Downtown K?

Anonymous said...

Anons. 2:42 and 3:35, and AI:

I was at the 1980 GOP convention in Detroit as a "Reagan Youth Delegate" (for what it's worth, I am no longer a Republican). I was on the floor when Reagan came out and announced that GHW Bush would be his running mate.

Delegates and activitists were screaming in anger. Reagan had "sold them out", "destroyed the revolution", etc. by choosing someone then considered to be a liberal. Then he appointed George Schultz as Secr. of State, an "establishment insider." (You might recall how much conservatives hated the State Department at that time). Reagan, yes Reagan, was a traitor to the movement, according to these ideologues.

They were making sweeping judgements about the man and his entire term of governance, whatever that would turn out to be, based on these early and politically necessary choices. Reagan knew, as I assume Ballard does, that he went from a movement leader to a govern-er once he was elected.

Is it possible that you are judging too quickly and on too narrow a set of criteria? Might you just not yet know how he is going to fulfill his campaign pledges or not? It seems you are all caught up in style and symbolism over substance.

I think it's quite telling that you are joining forces, overtly or covertly, with the Democrat attack machine. That should give you pause if nothing else does.

One of the foundations of conservative thought and action, if you read Burke or Kirk or Buckley, is prudence. You are not displaying prudential thinking about this. In fact, you all are sounding a lot like Wilson. Sorry. That was a low blow.

Gary R. Welsh said...

tjefferson, I would like to know who you really are. I was a Youth for Reagan delegate at the convention in Detroit and was on the floor when the horrible news came down that he had chosen George H.W. Bush as his running mate. I will contend to this day that it was the worst decision Reagan ever made. If you look at the Iran-Contra debacle, you will trace it all back to the Bushies. I've never been able to put out of my mind the fact that John Hinckley's family had such close personal and financial ties to the Bushes in Texas. Both Bush presidencies confirm my belief that anyone who has been a CIA operative should be outlawed from serving in any elected office in this country, particularly the office of president.

Anonymous said...

Just an opinion but the insights and commentary on several of these blogs is so much superior to ANYTHING written in our newspaper that I have confidence things will improve. The communication of real thought can only be a plus for the community.

Anonymous said...

3:04: if you think the writing and posts on IndyU, are similar to the ones posted now on Accidental Mayor, you need your head examined. AM is more intellegent asleep than IU was awake. What a complete waste of cyberspace was IndyU.

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at jefferson. Given history's perfunctory reviews, I wouldn't be bragging about being pro-Reagan on anything. A (cut) tax and (big time) spend budget buster who napped two hours a day. We'd have been better off if he'd napped for 8 years. Unless your name is Oliver North. Don't get me people avoided jail on that one is a huge mystery.

Gary, you surprise me: GHWB and interesting thought, tho. He gets regular weekend furloughs now, and my sister, who lives in suburban Maryland near Ft. Meade, has seen him out and about with escorts. She thinks they're US Marshalls.

Scary, huh?

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 7:17, Hinckley has been treated like no other would-be presidential assassin. Special treatment afforded a man from a family with very high-ranking government connections. Reagan surprised the "illegal government" folks by surviving. If it would have been almost any other man, he would have died from that gunshot wound.

Anonymous said...

The Associated Press
Domestic News
March 31, 1981, Tuesday, PM cycle
The family of the man charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan is acquainted with the family of Vice President George Bush and had made large contributions to his political campaign, the Houston Post reported today.

Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.

The newspaper said in a copyright story, Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.

The newspaper said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice president of his father's Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corp., for comment. Neil Bush lives in Denver, where he works for Standard Oil Co. of Indiana.

In 1978, Neil served as campaign manager for his brother, George W. Bush, the vice president's oldest son, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Neil lived in Lubbock throughout much of 1978, where John Hinckley lived from 1974 through 1980.

On Monday, Neil Bush said he did not know if he had ever met 25-year-old John Hinckley.

From what I know and I've heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign."

"I have no idea," he said. "I don't recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him.

Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as a date of a girl friend of hers.

"I don't even know the brother. From what I know and I've heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful," she said.

The dinner was canceled, she added.

George W. Bush said he was unsure whether he had met John W. Hinckley.

Anonymous said...

Either you lack of understanding of how politics works, or your bitterness of supposedly being snubbed by Ballard is blinding your good judgement.
If your Ballard, why wouldn't you take this opportunity to build your war chest so you aren't in the same position? Every politician HAS to do these sorts of things. Unfortunately, money makes the political world go around. Why not make these people poney up with a little chapstick... You don't HAVE to listen to them, but they have to feel like a part of the process. Power players help you get things done.

You do a great job reporting. But that you can't detach your emotions from some of these situations makes your analysis suspect.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Chris Spangle said, "Every politician HAS to do these sorts of things. Unfortunately, money makes the political world go around. Why not make these people poney up with a little chapstick... You don't HAVE to listen to them, but they have to feel like a part of the process. Power players help you get things done."

Chris, you've been breathing in too much of Abdul's cigar smoke. Step outside for some fresh air.

Anonymous said...

Well, Chris Spangle, I believe that it was the infamous Hamilton Jordan who once stated "getting involved in politics was a lot like getting involved in cocaine. One tends to run into a lot of unsavory characters".
Ballard's taking their money just like a crack whore takes another rock.

Anonymous said...

This is probably the saddest example of the tragedy that is Greg Ballard, and I understand why his former supporters who he has ignored are so upset. This guy was elected against all odds, and had a chance to transform the political landscape as to how to campaign and win versus the old BS money/favoritisn =corruption.

He stated on Nov 6th, that "money cannot buy an election", yet..instead of taking that golden chance of further changing history by not owing anyone and Continuing down that road he owes a lot of people, and probably will in the future. What a shame, and a wasted opportunity to continue to be his own person/leader.

Chris Spangle, does that make sense to you? As to a reason for a lot of upset former Ballard supporters?