While most of my Republican friends have expressed appreciation for my candor in speaking out about problems on the 25th Floor, I do have critics in the GOP who believe that publicly pointing out problems a Republican Mayor is having is tantamount to treason. Now is as good time as any to review why we should not be silent and should demand that our Republican Mayor do better.
In 2007, Marion County Republicans had an unknown candidate go up against a popular two-term Democrat mayor. Then the Republicans were given a gift. Mayor Peterson, who had become arrogant and unwilling to listen to concerns of the public, decided to commit political suicide by sharply raising local income taxes right after a public outcry over soaring property taxes. Then we had a Democrat-controlled council led by an ethically-challenged council president who, like the Mayor, thumbed his nose at public opinion. As a result, Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, the aforementioned unknown, won the election.
For Republicans faced with a substantial partisan deficit in the county, it was the opportunity of a generation. Elected with virtually no strings, Mayor Ballard had a chance to show the voters a new kind of Republican, one who did not practice business as usual, who pursued an ethics agenda, who fought for taxpayers and against the big law firms and business interests whose power had continued to increase during the last several Republican and Democrat administrations. If he was successful, Mayor Ballard could have cemented a new Republican majority in the county, and been the most transformational Indianapolis Republican politician since Richard Lugar won the Mayor's office in the late 1960s, before Unigov.
While some people saw the promise of the Ballard administration and the opportunity to forge a new Republican-majority coalition in the county, others saw the inexperience, naivety of the Mayor as an opportunity to be exploited. Shortly after the election, a couple partners of a downtown law firm, swooped down on the Mayor and convinced him the Mayor needed them to run things. Reportedly, they even conned the Mayor into signing a "transition contract" that gave exclusive authority to their law firm, Barnes & Thornburg, to run the transition and set up the Mayor's Office. When complaints came to the Mayor-elect about what they were doing during the transition, Ballard's response was that there was nothing he could do as he had signed away the right to decide how the Mayor's Office would be set up.
Since taking office the Barnes & Thornburg influence has continued, to the point where B&T partners Joe Loftus and Bob Grand, who are not part of the administration, regularly sit in on key meetings the Mayor has with staff. It is no surprise that many of those mayoral decisions regarding contracts like the bone-headed Venture Real Estate deal have been to the benefit of Barnes & Thornburg clients. When it came to the RCA Dome auction and Pan Am deals, both schemes hatched by Democrats during the latter days of the Peterson's administration, Ballard's B&T advisers had him fall on the sword for Peterson (and most likely on behalf of their clients) rather than take a very popular stand for taxpayers.
Some suggest that the right thing to do is to look the other way while some Republicans use their influence with the Mayor to line their pockets and the pockets of their clients. Some suggest that the right thing to do is to look the other way while the Mayor Ballard throws away the ethics and transparent government agenda he ran on. Some suggest that the right thing to do is to not speak out because this is the way Republicans and Democrats have always ran the city, a way that puts taxpayers interests secondary to the interest of corporations and big law firms.
Why speak out? Mayor Ballard's administration has dropped the ball and is in the process of doing serious damage to any chance the Republicans will have of regaining a majority in Marion County for years to come. Worse yet, the chance of building a winning Republican coalition in the county is being overtaken by an even more serious concern that unchecked conflicts of interest in the Mayor Ballard's administration is heading inevitably toward the land of scandal and corruption. Pay to play politics on the 25th floor is already rearing its ugly head. Any perception of scandal or corruption on the part of the Mayor's administration will permanently stain the reputation of every Marion County Republican for years to come.
In short, Republicans can clean up their act now or suffer the consequences at the polls in 2011 and for years to come. The only way to address the problems now is to be honest about those problems, not sweep them under the rug hoping the Democrats won't find them. They most certainly will.
Paul, don't you know better than to mess with the illuminati?
Lite Colonel Ballard committed treason when he left his soldiers on the battlefield while he went on the victory; with the enemies WE fought.
I don't think what you are doing will help Ballard or the GOP. What is likely to happen:
-By all accounts, Ballard implicitly trusts B&T principals Bob' Grand and Joe Loftus because of Loftus knowledge of and experience in City gov't and Grand's status as one of the few establishment types to support Ballard prior to his election.
-Ballard would not put up with overt ethical breaches or ethics laws violations.
-If Barnes & Thornburg are breaking any ethics laws, they are not overt, and unlikely to surface either on OgdenOnPolitics.com or anywhere else.
-Thus, only perceived appearances of impropriety might exist, and the degree of offense is related to one's bias against republicans, republican law firms, and/or Barnes and Thornburg.
-This blog's efforts to divorce Ballard from Barnes and thornburg having failed for lack of concrete evidence of any actual wrongdoing worthy of such a divorce, and while the Mayor does a good job in office with the Budget, Crime, and other campaign platforms that would rally his base together, OgdenOnPolitics serves as a sounding board for conservatives to gather ideas that, instead of rally support for Ballard, rather irritate consrevatives against Ballard based on the false "Barnes and Thornburg" issue and other said grievances where Ballard did not go far enough to end perceived "business as usual."
-As would be expected irrespective of all this, the Libertarians of Marion County name a Libertarian candidate for Mayor.
-OgdenOnPolitics, shortsighted by the Barnes and Thornburg issue, organizes conservatives against Ballard despite his great conservative record and towards the Libertarian.
-The Democrat candidate for Mayor wins in 2011, but with less than 50% of the vote, with the third party candidate siphoning enough votes away from Ballard to give the Democrat a Plurality of votes.
-Indianapolis under Democrat rule engages in
"Barnes and Thornburg type stuff" that annoys Paul Ogden, except with Baker and Danielsbeing the chosen firm.
-Making Matters worse, since Democrats are in charge and not Ballard, the budget reforms instituted by Ballard ae scrapped, and the Tax and Spend government voted out in 2007 returns.
-Making matters even worse than that, since OgdenOnPolitics.com spent so much time writing about Ballard and Barnes and Thornburg, the blogging community misses and opportunity to truly investigate candidates running in 2010, leading to Democrats to continue exclusive contracts with Baker and Daniels and Locke Reynolds in the Clerks' and Sheriff's office, leading some to wonder why a Conservative like Paul Ogden spent so much time bashing a fellow conservative like Ballard and not Democrats who behave far, far worse than Bob Grand.
Simply put: Paul Ogden is not doing this because it is good for Indianapolis, or because it is good for the Republican Party, or because it is good for Greg Ballard. He is doing this because he hates Barnes and Thornburg and has a personal grievance against Barnes and Thornburg, and because bashing Barnes and Thornburg is good for Attorney Paul Ogden.
Out of curiosity do you know the legal aspects of doing a “recall” on the mayor in Marion County? In most cities citizens produce an affidavit listing the problems with the mayor. The affidavit is filed with the city to begin the recall proceedings. After the city receives the affidavit, the dissatisfied citizens have 30 days to collect 20% of the voters who voted in the last election for the mayor. If 20% of the voters sign the petition the city has to have an election and the mayor is replaced.
Sometimes taxpayers put up with government that governs in the interest of big money rather than for the taxpayer. That is just silly when there are solutions available to handle any one of our elected officials who turn out not to have the best interest of the taxpayers at heart.
The present mayor having failed to answer questions concerning large amounts of taxpayer money the city is giving out to private corporations as well as other businesses or organizations maybe a recall is the only course of action left for citizens to take?
Leslie Sourwine, thinks city government should be open to all the people not just a select few
Response to Burlington
Give me a break! Where were the recall petitiions on Mayor Peterson and the democrat controlled council when they passed budgets with several blank pages, locked citizens out a public meeting, ethics violations, and increased the number of deputy mayors on the 25th floor at the public expense.
Greg Ballard will be reelected in 2011 beacuse he is accessable to the little guy whether or not you agree.
How is your law practice doing these days?
I’d like answers to your same questions. Why do corrupt politicians remain in office a full term and manage to get elected to a second term. Everything I’ve heard about Peterson and his administration clearly screams indictments. Where’s the grand jury when you need them??? At any rate other than the name change for the city mayor it appears as though Peterson’s policies are still in effect. A quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer’s money paid out to a private jail and prison corporation who wasn’t owed the money and nobody in your city government is answering the question “why”. Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t’ matter. When politicians play with skunks they all smell the same. As for Ballard being accessible to the little guy, actions speak louder than words. Most of the taxpayers in Indianapolis are the little guys who are the backbone of that city. When millions of dollars in their hard earned money is squandered away that’s not being accessible, that’s abusing your power as an elected official. I still vote for the recall, let the little guys speak their approval or non-approval of their elected officials. American citizens spoke loud and clear when they elected Obama as president. I have no doubt that come 2011 we are going again hear a great deal of speaking. If Marion County citizens are smart they will stay clear of anyone who smells like a skunk.
Leslie Sourwine, says a skunk is a skunk regardless of what political hat you wear
The party is over, time for the truth! All that glitters is not gold! Where is the vaulted copy of Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, II’s birth certificate? Who altered his birth certificate, original passport and draft records? Why is his college records at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard sealed? Howard Dean, the Democrat National Committee, Mainstream Media and ACORN successfully scammed America.
Three people with standing Biden, Clinton, and Richardson. Each lost to Obama in Democrat Primaries. However, Richardson was being investigated and had to fall by the wayside. Could it be that he refused to go along with the program?
Joe Biden, vice president, Biden's son, AG of Delaware arrested Larry Sinclair during his press conference in D.C., jailed him until after the National Convention and released him with no charges filed. Hillary Clinton at the State Department can complete the cover up since she raised Obama’s birth certificate issue first during the Primary, but later dropped it. Behind the scenes, did she bump off Caroline Kennedy for the senate seat since she supported Obama? Gov. Blago and Rezko of Chicago corrupt political circles will expose the real Obama. This scandal will be bigger than Watergate!
Oh, I see Barnes & Thornburg are attempting to do damage control under as an "anonymous" poster, and once again they use worn-out tactics. They don't like Paul's truthful messages, so they're attempting to smear him with innuendos and other mistruths. It's no wonder the Republican party is in trouble. When goons like this get a little power, it goes to their heads and good government gets trampled on.
Here's a little advice from Winston Churchill, Paul. It worked for me. I put this little principle into action, and as a result, the AEPA/Tremco no-bid scheme was deemed illegal by the Attorney General recently despite the best efforts of Barnes & Thornburg attorneys. Now, they're trying their best to avoid disclosing public records in the matter, but I'm using Churchill's advice yet again and will continue to do so until every last detail of the illegal bidding scheme is exposed!
"Never give in-never, never, never, never, in matters great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." --Winston Churchill
Paul, always remember that you're an American first, a Republican second. Thanks for having honor and integrity. You're exactly what the Republican party needs more of. I'm ashamed of the other brand of Republican and I know Ronald Reagan would be too.
Let's be honest, so many of the current Republican leadership are not conservatives; they're corporatists and law-and-order statists.
These ideologies need to collapse so that a proper alternative to the Democrats can gain currency.
After surviving 8 years of the Bush dictatorship I would have voted for Satan if he had been running. This past election unfortunately there wasn’t much variety to choose from when it came time to vote for President of the United States. Regardless of the propaganda written in your post I still believe I voted for the lesser of two evils. I stand by my statement that the American people spoke loudly when Obama won the election. When it comes time for the people of Indianapolis to vote for mayor in 2011 I predict they too will speak loudly. Peterson started the corruption and abuse while he was in office for two terms. Ballard flows with the waves and no matter how much you sputter and attempt to distract attention from Ballard you can’t cover that fact up and distract the little people who have suffered and will continue to suffer at the hands of their elected officials. A skunk still smells like a skunk regardless of which political hat it wears.
Ballard still has not responded to the question of why the city gave a private corporation a quarter of a million dollars the city didn’t owe to the corporation. Nor has Ballard ever responded to the certified letters of complaint he received shortly have he took office. It appears as though there are other serious questions of how the city is handing over the tax dollars collected from hard working citizens. It seems those unanswered questions will continue to hang over his head until he provides answers and doing so would be in his best interest and that of his political party.
One last question, did you by chance assist the gun dealers in your city in selling their complete stock of guns by rushing out to buy a hand gun after Obama took office? Propaganda serves many purposes and one of them is to help businesses become richer and more powerful.
Leslie Sourwine, quoting Margaret Mead "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
I echo the words of 7:33:
"Oh, I see Barnes & Thornburg are attempting to do damage control under as an "anonymous" poster, and once again they use worn-out tactics. They don't like Paul's truthful messages, so they're attempting to smear him with innuendos and other mistruths. It's no wonder the Republican party is in trouble. When goons like this get a little power, it goes to their heads and good government gets trampled on."
Paul...you're getting to them. Although they are too cowardly to sign their names! Don't let up!
I don't think Indiana has recall for elected officials like some states. I am not 100% correct.
My practice would be doing better if I spent less time blogging about what is going on. But someone has to speak the truth.
Regarding what you said:
"Let's be honest, so many of the current Republican leadership are not conservatives; they're corporatists and law-and-order statists."
Bingo. You have a group of people in power, regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats actually control the Mayor's office, who want to continue having their hand in the public till. They couldn't care less about the taxpayers or political ideology. Their only interest is green and how much they can profit.
That's why many Republicans are so unhappy with Ballard. He had a chance to go down a different road and chose not to. Republicans can no longer win in Marion County being a party that sucks up to business interests and ignores the taxpayers. You would have thought Republicans learned that in 2007 with Peterson's failures. I think most did. The people Ballard has surrounded himself with don't really care whether he's re-elected in 2011. They care about how much money they can make these next three years.
As of 2007 Indiana does not have a recall law. I did a little research. The only way to get a recall law is to change the Indiana Constitution. If enough people in the state are fed up with their city governments wasting away their tax dollars it would be beneficial to go through the process of trying to change your constitution. Otherwise citizens of Indianapolis have 3 years to find another mayor. I pray the rumors I’ve been hearing that Anderson is going to run for mayor are not true. In my opinion he can’t run the sheriff’s office properly let alone a city and he’s the elected official that requested a quarter of million dollars for the private corporation he’s supposed to supervise.
Leslie Sourwine, again quoting Margaret Mead "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Public servants are elected and paid by the taxpayer. Public servants are elected to protect the interests of the taxpayers. Public servants are elected to protect the taxpayer from bad businesses. Because there is so much corruption in big corporations who are willing to spend billions of dollars to elect candidates of their choice every state should have a recall amendment included in their constitution.
Public servants who squander tax dollars collected from their constituents should be held accountable for the monetary rape they commit when they take office and ignore the wishes of their employers. Every state constitution begins with “We the People” not “We the Big Corporations”. It is past time for taxpayers to stand up for their rights to expect their elected officials to represent them and to ward off all attempts by big corporations to slip their hands filled with money into the pocket of our public servants in attempts to corrupt our elected officials.
A recall is merely a provision for citizens to retain control over elected officials who are not representing the best interests of their constituents, or who are unresponsive or incompetent. This provision maintains that an elected representative is an agent, a servant and not a master.
Leslie Sourwine says if you don’t defend yourselves you allow your government to be weak and open to corruption.
"That's why many Republicans are so unhappy with Ballard."
Well, because so many of us are unhappy with what you write about our mayor, we now have this:
A suggestion to the anti-Ballard Group - why don't you run for office on your platform and we will see how many voters in the city agree with your ideas. It is easy to criticize until you are in the office.
The city has tolerated cronyism and corruption from democrats for years and nothing was ever done. The select group of people who have benefited financially remain in office. Where are the complaints?
Center Township is the most corrupt and I don't hear you complaining about the wasteful spending in the trustee's office on three properties and huge patronage for what this office does.
To be fair, if the real concern here is about how our tax dollars are being spent, lets examine each officeholder's track record democrats and republicans. Most have held office a lot longer than Mayor Ballard. Include your legislators, especially the ones who have been bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists.
Amen, all government should be held accountable. I keep seeing democrat this and that. I repeat myself once again, a skunk smells like a skunk regardless of the political hat it wears. All state constitutions should be amended to allow for city government recall.
Paul, I say it once again, Indianapolis needs a mayor who will operate with the doors open, answer to the people and keep big corporations out of the closet and in the open where the people can keep an eye on them!
I still want to know why the city gave a big corporation a quarter of a million dollars when it not only did not have it coming but it also continuously violates the contract with the city. It doesn’t matter if the mayor is a republican or a democrat it is a question that needs to be answered. It is this mayor in office at this time that is ignoring the questions of the very people who assisted his climb to office. It is his silence that is drawing all the criticism. It will be his silence that will defeat him at election time.
Leslie Sourwine once again quoting Margaret Mead "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
I have an answer to your question on http://ogdentruthsquad.blogspot.com/
Mary Jo, I left you a post. Just in case you didn't see it here it is again. Tell me are you by chance the Anon that skirts around the important issues and tries to distract readers from the real issues? One of the real issues, in case you missed it, is how the mayor and the city council vote on spending taxpayer money. The biggest question, at the risk of repeating myself yet again is why did the city squander away a quarter of a million dollars to a corporation whom the city didn't owe that amount of money to.
My response to your post:
Mary Jo, Mary Jo your latest post reminds me of the presidential race where McCain and Palen kept throwing banana peelings out to try and slip up the Obama campaign. Had they thrown the whole banana they might have not kept slipping on their own banana peels and maybe, just maybe had a better chance at winning the election. Your post on Odgen’s remarks is like the McCain and Palen banana peels. You didn't include his whole remark only that portion you think provides facts to your statement. Let me help you out a bit.
What Ogden actually said on his first post was this, "The purchase price of the Toyota Camrys was fine and I agree that they'll probably save money over the long run. The problem was the political price tag that was on those vehicles. It will be the Mayor and not the taxpayers paying the political price of the decision.
In Odgen’s second post you left out a whole paragraph that pointed out that a member of the city council was also questioning how the bidding process was done since the owner of the Camry Dealer is possible client of B&T’s, a client who may be represented by B&T and who the mayor is buying the cars from. I’ll help you out here as well and include the rest of Ogden’s statement.
Odgen continued to say, “Joanne Sanders, minority leader on the council, has asked questions about how the bidding process was done. They are legitimate questions. Bob Grand, Joe Loftus and the Mayor's Office need to disclose whether Andy Mohr is indeed a client of Barnes & Thornburg. There should be zero tolerance for secrecy in such matters. Questions regarding whether Andy Mohr is a client of Barnes & Thornburg, and the influence of that fact on the decision-making process, need to be answered, and answered honestly.
As for other facts posted on Odgen’s blog I am most curious about the quarter of a million dollars paid to Marion County Jail II owners, CCA who are also clients of B&T. Odgen posted the contract the city signed with this corporation on his blog and nowhere does it show where the city owed them a quarter of a million dollars. Go to this link http://www.inmateabuse.tv/ to read of copy of the operating contract and then come back and point out to me where the city owed the money it paid to CCA at the request of another elected official, Sheriff Anderson. Yet without city council members reading the operating agreement, and in spite of the many contract violations that occur at this private facility the city council and the mayor provided them with a huge reward from taxpayer’s money no questions asked.
The last part of my post to Mary Jo:
Leslie Sourwine says just because a snake sheds his skin he’s still a snake in fact, crawling on his belly through the grass. It’s time for the mayor to stand up and answer the people who are asking questions.
You know I keep harping on the quarter of a million dollar question. An interesting story I have been following which involves the same corporation the mayor and city council members gave a gift of taxpayer's money. People are learning and are fighting back. People in Indianapolis will fight back as well and when the stampede starts it will be the mayor and city council members who will be trampled.
Story located here: http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2009/Jan-23-Fri-2009/news/26457741.html
Leslie Sourwine repeats the quote from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Mary Jo and the truth squad website is abdul...he'll fink you out if you post on it...Just like he did with Indyundercover and he's doing with Indiana Barrister.
If it is Abdul and if he does have a link to the inside activities at the mayor's office and B&T maybe he might be able to tell me where the quarter of a million dollars went to that Sheriff Anderson requested for Marion County Jail II. If not then he's no more than hot air blowing on a blog that will end up showing Paul's credibility rather than discrediting what Paul is saying. Fink, I know lots of finks and you can find them in those little holes in the ground. Dig around grab a few and go fishing.
Leslie Sourwine says if you hang around skunks sooner or later you will begin to smell just like them
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