According to Ryckaert:
"Coleman said he faced criticism from fellow Republicans when he opposed the 'secretive and expensive affairs of the Capital Improvement Board.'"Coleman had previously spoken out for accountability and that the secretive CIB open its books and tell council members and taxpayers what is going on. This begs the question, why aren't ALL of our Republican and Democrat council members demanding the same?
I've been involved in Marion County GOP politics since 1986. I know how a handful of people run things and put corporate interests ahead of taxpayers. Anyone who dares speak out is subject to intimidation and retaliation. I've witnessed it first hand. As Ed Coleman says "The two old parties want obedient followers, not leaders." Absolutely. When I ran for Clerk in 2002, I was told by that party leaders at that time that the triumvirate of Keeler/Cottey/Schneider, who ran things at the time, would not support me because I "could not be controlled." If anyone believes Coleman hasn't been retaliated against by CIB President Bob Grand, Joe Loftus, and those of their ilk, for speaking out about the need for the CIB to be open and accountable, I have some swampland in Florida I'd like to sell.
I know many of the Republican council members. Most are thoughtful and dedicated councilors. Yet, when push comes to shove, they're not about going to climb out of the foxhole and lead the charge against the enemy. They are followers. And that's what those running the show want. They don't want people on the council who will dare challenge what they're doing.
Republicans cannot continue to allow the elitist, country-club wing of the Republican party dominate and use government to make themselves and their wealthy patrons richer at taxpayer expense. Republicans have no chance to win elections in Marion County without a more populist approach. Don't think for a second that Bob Grand and Joe Loftus don't know that. They don't expect Ballard to win re-election or for the Republicans to have a majority on the council after 2011. Rather than encourage the Ballard and council Republicans to pursue a more populist approach which might actually give Ballard and the majority Republicans on the council some chance at winning in 2011, they are using their positions to cash in now, selling out the future of the Republican Party.
I believe their days are numbered, however. While populists won the 2007 election, the elitist wing of the Republican won the transition, pushing a naive, politically-inexperienced mayor to reject the taxpayer-loving friends who helped him get elected in favor of the party's insiders and high-rollers. Populists won't make the same mistake next time. After the upcoming 2011 election debacle, heads need to roll. The people responsible for selling out the Marion County GOP for personal profit (e.g. Grand and Loftus), and those who aided them in that cause (e.g. Marion County Chairman Tom John and Councilor Ryan Vaughn), need to be held accountable on November 9, 2011 for what they have done. Their days of influence peddling and/or political careers need to be over.