There is a common theme in what those insiders told me about the mayor. One described it as "character flaw." According to the insiders, Mayor Ballard doesn't have the ability to listen to an assortment of views and then make a decision. Rather whoever gets to Mayor Ballard first, locks in the Mayor's views on that issue, and the Mayor from that point blocks out any information that contradicts his position on that issue. In short, Ballard has tunnel vision. It doesn't matter if 80% of the public are screaming for the Mayor's head on an issue like the Pacer bailout, the Mayor is not hearing those folks.
Many of us thought Mayor Ballard was an anti-tax populist who was turned into a supporting of the establishment by being surrounded by the city's elite once elected. The latter might well be right. But it could be that Mayor Ballard was never an anti-tax populist at all, that he was merely a political chameleon who mere blended into whatever group surrounded him at a particular time. When Candidate Ballard was around tax activists, he spoke against country club politics and corporate welfare schemes. When he was elected and became surrounded by the downtown elite, Mayor Ballard became an elitist politician with a fondness for corporate welfare.
The political future of Mayor Ballard is not bright. Astonishingly he has apparently penned a letter to the editor to appear in Sunday's Star in which he expresses support for the Pacers $33.5 million deal. It is obvious that the Mayor and those surrounding him have not a clue when it comes to political strategy. When 80% of the public is screaming about this boneheaded and unneeded Pacer bailout scheme, for the Mayor to appear publicly in the Star supporting it just further ties him to the unpopular deal. Sometimes I wonder if Ballard's political people are deliberately trying to sink the Mayor's political career. At this point, I can't complain. I just want the long nightmare of his administration to end.