I have been contacted by angry Republicans in Senate District 30 who inform me that a Ryan Vaughn endorsement mail piece from Mayor Ballard may be today hitting the mailboxes of precinct committeemen who will be attending a special caucus next Tuesday to fill the vacancy created by the departure of State Senator Teresa Lubbers.
This blog and Advance Indiana have long pointed out that Councilor Ryan Vaughn is nothing more than a willing stooge on the council, working on behalf of his employer, Barnes & Thornburg, whose two partners, Joe Loftus and Bob Grand, are close advisers of the Mayor. Now he wants to move his act to the Statehouse.
For Mayor Ballard to get involved in this contentious contest reveals once again his extremely poor judgment and the fact that he's easily manipulated by close advisers who don't have his best interest at heart. The other three candidates, Scott Schneider and John Ruckleshaus and Chris Douglas all have fervent supporters who won't appreciate Mayor Ballard's needless entry into the race. At least two candidates, Schneider and Ruckleshaus, are much more experienced and qualified than Councilor Vaughn. All three would show a lot more independence than the bought-and-paid- for Vaughn would ever demonstrate in the State Senate.
One wonders whether the endorsement is a good move. That senate district, probably more than any other, has a history of endorsing and electing candidates who are not supported by the party elites who are much more successful controlling outcomes in other parts of the county. We are also talking about a Mayor who is highly unpopular among rank-and-file Republicans.
I hate to bring it up again, but that Ballard would agree to such a request – getting into a vacancy caucus fight at the eleventh hour – again raises troubling questions about the Mayor and his staff’s political and overall judgment and competence. Renominating this man in 2011 would be a disaster for the Republican Party.
Paul, I received the same tip. I tried on two different occasions yesterday to get Robert Vane to confirm and he passed on a response. I'm awaiting the receipt of the actual letter he allegedly sent, which should arrive in mailboxes starting today if it was indeed sent.
Gary, I may have jumped the gun on reporting it, although I did label it as a rumor. I probably wouldn't have written about it except for the fact it is exactly the M.O. I've seen from those jokers for 23 years. People like Tom John, Joe Loftus, Bob Grand and David Brooks don't care one whit about the future of the Marion County GOP. (Heck, Brooks and Loftus don't even live in Marion County.) They care more about having their guy in, someone they can control and who will do whatever they want. That is what it is all about.
OF course this begs the question, 'Who would they put in Ryan's council seat?'
And today we should learn Doris Minton McNeil's trial verdict at long last. Will she be convicted and have to resign?
I have never been that concerned about DM"s case. I am far, far more worried about our officials involved in public corruption and screwing over taxpayers than I am in whether one of them shoved a police officer.
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