Friday, May 22, 2009

Republican Chairman Uses Hamilton County Resident to Strong Arm Marion County GOP Precinct Committeemen

With nearly a million residents in Marion County, many of whom are Republican, one would think Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John would not go outside the county to find an Area Chairman for the county organization.

Think again.

Long time Marion County Republican activist and former Pike Township resident David Brooks has admitted to people in the organization that he moved to Hamilton County some time ago. Did that end his role in Marion County GOP politics? Nope. Chairman John has continued to keep Brooks on as Center Area Chairman, leaving him in control of key precincts in southern Washington and Center Townships.

I know David Brooks very well from Pike Township politics, including time I spent as a Ward Chairman when he was a Township Chairman. On a social level, Brooks is a very likable guy, the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. As a political operative though, Brooks is little more than a political hitman for whoever is in power, dutifully carrying out orders no matter the ethos of those orders. Brooks will not hesitate to twist the arms, threaten, cajole or replace precinct committeemen who do not carry out the wishes of the GOP leadership employing his services. In the past, Brooks, an attorney, has been handsomely awarded with city legal business for his political efforts.

Complaints are rolling in from State Senate District 30, which falls partly into the Center Township Area managed by Brooks, that the Hamilton County resident is busy twisting arms and filling positions in an effort to rig the upcoming vacancy caucus election in favor or Councillor Ryan Vaughn. As far as the candidate field goes, Scott Schneider has a conservative independent political mind. Chris Douglas I'm sure is considered a maverick. John Ruckleshaus is experienced and has been in the legislature before. But Ryan Vaughn? His youth and inexperience make him the perfect candidate for manipulation by party leaders, someone they can control and who will do the party bosses' bidding upon request.

I do not see why a Hamilton County resident should be be part of the Marion County GOP organization, much less in a leadership role. For John to allow Brooks, someone who lives in Hamilton County, to supervise the work of locally elected precinct committeemen who represent their Republican Party in Marion County neighborhoods is bad enough. But to allow Brooks to be involved in twisting the arms of local precinct committeemen to try to get them to elect the party bosses' favorite is unconscionable.

I have a couple really simple questions for GOP Chairman Tom John. Why is a Hamilton County resident acting as a Marion County Area Chairman? And, second, when is David Brooks going to be removed from his position within the Marion County organization since he no longer lives in Marion County?


Chris Spangle said...

Does this actually violate any of their bylaws? Or is just shady?

Brooks is a good guy, but it boggles my mind that John would leave himself open to this.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Oh, I like Brooks as a person. But don't for a second think he's not capable of being cutthroat when it comes to his political work.

I don't know if it violates a party rule to have an area chairman from a different county. There's always been a bigger legal question whether precinct committeemen can be elected or appointed to represent a precinct when they don't live in the precinct. (PC is technically an elected position with certain legal responsiblities, while ward chairman and area chairman are strictly political party positions.)

In 2002, there were precinct committeemen who voted in the Marion County GOP slating who lived outside of Marion County, even outside of the State of Indiana. (A Star reporter followed one of those PCs with an Ohio license plate to the indiana-Ohio border after slating.)Those out of county, out of state people were "mummy dummies" appointed to simply vote the "right way.


Why Paul, you are a well educated, a loyal republican with a lot of political experience who happens to live in Marion County.

I just cant believe that Tom John would not ask you to fill that role.

Nice column. You helped us see once more that Tom John does nothing more than run a country club GOP in Marion County.