Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Republican Insiders Propose Ballard, Version 2.0, for Marion County Sheriff

The Republican insiders got together and decided that Bart McAtee was an unacceptable candidate for Marion County Sheriff. Instead they are pushing forward Dennis Fishburn, the father of Jason Fishburn who suffered a near fatal gunshot wound in 2008.

The Fishburns were front and center during the 2009 Wishard referendum where they pushed for passage of the proposal.

The Indianapolis Star reports:
Fishburn said he decided to run after another Republican candidate, Tim Motsinger, dropped out of the race unexpectedly last month.

In the 2010 primary, Fishburn would face Bart McAtee, the only remaining declared Republican candidate. Several Democrats also are circling.

"I felt I needed to step forward and give at least some sort of variety to voters," Fishburn said. "I've never really been worried about a battle, a battle that's worth fighting. . . . I want to give the voters of Marion County a good, bona fide candidate to vote for."

Fishburn has served as a spokesman of sorts for his son and his family since the July 2008 shooting of Jason Fishburn, now 30, during a foot chase on Indianapolis' Eastside.

In November, his shooter, Brian Reese, was convicted of attempted murder and other charges by a jury in Northwest Indiana's Porter County. A Marion County judge who presided over the case sentenced Reese to a maximum 59-year prison term a few weeks ago.

Dennis Fishburn said he didn't consider seeking political office until after the case had ended. "When one door closes, another opens," he said, adding that he had discussed the move with Jason and received his full blessing.
Political office is the only job I know where applicants tout their lack of experience as a selling point for the position. I remember the argument in 2007 that candidate Greg Ballard was a "breath of fresh air" because he did not have political experience. After he was elected in an upset, people salivated at the prospect of a mayor who didn't owe hardly anyone for his election.

Exactly how has that worked out? Mayor Ballard's lack of political experience led to his trusting people he shouldn't have trusted, people who did not have his best interests at heart and were more interested in cashing in on the Mayor's success. (There is a saying that if a politician wants a friend, he should get a dog. Translation, an elected official needs to understand that the people who surround him after the election are often there not out of friendship, but because they want something.) Likewise, although Mayor Ballard owed few people, if anyone, for his election win, that has not stopped the Mayor from hanging the "For Sale" sign on the City. In fact, this administration is the worst of any administration I've known in terms of catering to big developers, government contractors, big law firms, political contributors and other insiders.

Although the jury is still out on his candidacy, Fishburn certainly seems naive about why he was recruited as a Sheriff's candidate by Republican insiders not happy with the prospect of a new generation McAtee on the ballot. I can tell you for certain that those insiders would not have recruited Fishburn if they thought he could not be "controlled." The Marion County GOP leadership would rather lose with a candidate who can be "controlled" than win with an independent-leaning candidate who has a chance of winning the general election. Fishburn will likely be, like Ballard became, a puppet for the Republican, country-club establishment that is leading the local GOP off a cliff.

While I'll try to keep an open mind by Fishburn and the political company he is keeping (his supporters are, after all, the same ones who backed Jack Cottey and Tom Schneider), Fishburn's greatest political accomplishment to date has been crawling in bed with the organizers of the Wishard referendum, organizers who didn't blink at using lies and deceit to advance their cause, including the misleading referendum question. I don't recall Fishburn, a law enforcement official, criticizing anything that Wishard organizers did to advance their cause, regardless of how underhanded and dishonest the tactic. A law enforcement official with integrity, someone who wants to be Sheriff, should have done that. The fact Fishburn chose not to speaks volumes about his not having what it takes to be Sheiff.

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

It will be interesting to see if Fishburn accumulates campaign funds directly from the known Wishard supporters and/or lump-sum payments through a 'blind' PAC where we cannot identify the individual contributors.