Personally, I think Mayor Ballard's re-election goose was cooked long ago. He's set the Democrats up on issue after issue so much so much so that even if Jill Long Thompsons' campaign professionals were employed to help the eventual Democratic nominee for Mayor, the Democrat would still easily defeat the Mayor.
This is what I predict will be the Democrats' campaign themes against Mayor Ballard should he be the Republican nominee in 2011:
- Taxes. Candidate Greg Ballard promised not to raise taxes and even promised to roll back the increase in the local income tax. Mayor Greg Ballard though has proposed raising numerous tax and fee increases and has not rolled back the local income tax increase as promised. (I would shoot the video of him making the promise to hold the line on taxes on the 2007 campaign trail then freeze the video with a long list of Ballard's proposed tax and fee increases scrolling across the video.)
- Junkets. Mayor Ballard promised to end country club politics and instead has taken those politics to new heights. He clearly has come to like the perks that come with being Mayor...the trips, the country club memberships, etc. (I would make this a humorous spot tying in all the places Mayor Ballard has traveled to while in office.)
- Lack of/Weak Leadership. This has the advantage that it fits into a pre-existing belief about the Mayor, namely that he is a weak and indecisive leader who is pushed in various directions by advisers. (I would use street testimonials (with real Indy voters) along with newspaper/magazine headlines and quotes that have painted a very negative view of the Mayor. This would include the Indianapolis Monthly and several Star articles.)
Now the Mayor is prepared to deal his political reputation one final fatal blow by giving away $15 million plus to a billionaire sports owner at the same time that libraries and parks are being cut?
Can an officeholder commit political suicide if his political career is already dead?