Saturday, July 17, 2010

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's Character Flaw


Over the past year, I have had a chance to talk, off the record, to Ballard administration staffers about things going on in the Mayor's Office. After asking that I promise to keep their names a secret, which of course I will do, they proceed to give me extraordinary insight into the Mayor and why he is making the decisions that often are contrary to positions he had as a candidate.

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.

4 comments:

Bill said...

Is that a real picture? The mayor looks like a clown with that tie. I suppose that's not a bad analogy.

I know said...

Paul what about all of this surprises you. The elite in control on both sides of the R and D aisles act like Ballard. I totally mean the "elite". Maybe it should be the entitled, greedy and illegal friends and family.

It learned it well from the flock!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Bill, it's a real picture.

indyernie said...

Paul you shouldn't repeat what you hear from disgruntled city employees. Without naming the source it’s nothing more than gossip.
And without naming the source why should we to accept your rants as creditable?