Friday, December 11, 2009

The Star's "Gadfly" Attorney Crack

As readers of Gary Welsh's Advance Indiana blog will know, yesterday in an editorial on the traffic court, the Star labeled me as a "gadfly" attorney who brought the lawsuit to stop the court from imposing hefty fines on people for requesting a trial on their tickets. However, in its editorial the Star endorsed the idea that these fines need to be stopped.

I think Gary's right that there was vindictiveness in the adjective. I have been extremely critical of the Star's editors' selective support of good government and fair elections. For example, the Star steadfastly ignored facts opponents of the Wishard referendum continued to raise and would not even stand up for the principle that voters are entitled to honest information about the project before the election. The Star had an agenda and the notion of fundamental fairness was put on hold while the newspaper blasted support for the referendum on its news and editorial pages.

Now the Star is regularly criticizing the legislative revolving door. Yet the Star has said not one one word criticizing the revolving door in the Mayor's Office where Chief of Staff Paul Okeson left the administration to take a job with Keystone Construction, a major contributor to Mayor Ballard ($25,000 donation given in 2008) and a bidder on lucrative city projects, including the Wishard construction. It's mystifying why the Star's editors insist on being inconsistent in their treatment on the issue of the revolving door. If anything, the executive revolving door is much worse of a problem. Yet the Star simply ignores it.

I was told that over on Facebook, political commentator Abdul was criticizing the traffic court lawsuit. He did so too on his blog. I commented to that post, but frankly I stop reviewing and responding to comments after awhile. It's just too time consuming. People are going to say what they want to say. One thing I think is great about the lawsuit, is that we're having a much needed public debate about how the traffic court is being operated.

I just wanted to give thanks to all my friends who have come to my defense against the criticisms and the shots taken at me. I would assure my friends though that the attacks by critics and efforts to undermine me are worn by me as a badge of honor. One thing I have learned in politics is that when you are attacked by your critics, that is a good sign - it means you are taken seriously and are making a difference. It's when they ignore you that you have a problem.

So now I've been called a "wingnut" by the Indianapolis Times, a "gadfly" by the Star, and a conspiracist by Abdul. I'm sure I'll be called worse down the road. But I'm not about to stop fighting for good government and the end the the corruption of Indianapolis politics. And I'm not going to stop fighting for people who don't have much power - like those poor folks, ordinary working men and women, who find themselves on the end of an additional $400 fine because they dared to go before a judge in Traffic Court. They deserved better.


Big Willy said...

Thanks you for doing what needed to be done.


Thanks Paul. I admire how you stand up for the ordinary people. I'm also grateful you use your law degree for the betterment of our society and to work on behalf of the people.

Indy Student said...

Hey Paul, you got a mention on Jonathan Turley's blog:

Nobody said...

Continue the real fight for the people because the real ones are on your side. Do not worry about Abdul, the Indy Star, or others for they serve the wrong side of the equation and will pay the price of their transgressions in the end. God is with us always.

The Urbanophile said...

Dude, you are taking this way too personally.

No less a personage than Socrates referred to himself as a gadfly at his trial (probably the origination of the term). See Plato's "Apology".

The dictionary defines a gadlfy as "a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism". Don't you think you fit the bill?

From what I've seen, most gadflies relish the term, and criticism only makes them feel good. (For example, Wendell Cox referred to being named in some "sprawlwatch" study as a "badge of honor"). I certainly have no problem for being known for my own contrarian views.

There's no shame in being called a gadfly, and in your case it is clearly true.

patriot paul said...

Word is spreading:

Hoosier in the Heartland said...


Cato said...

Go, Paul, go.

You got a Turley nod, dude. You've made it. You're now that rarest of person - a pro-Liberty Republican. Expect the banishment that the neocons gave Ron Paul.

Abdul is no friend to Liberty. Remember that when you're Mayor.