Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Defeat of Marion County Prosecutor Candidate Mark Massa

Those of us Republicans who wanted political corruption in Indianapolis and state government finally investigated and prosecuted had high hopes when Mark Massa was recruited to run for Marion County Prosecutor.

Then the contributions started coming in and those hopes were dashed.

Most of Massa's opponent Terry Curry's contributions were from contributions from attorneys who understandably had an interest in how the office operated. Unlike contributions, however, that incumbent Carl Brizzi attracted, donations to Curry's campaign were relatively small and unlikely to buy any sort of outcome in a a particular case.

Probably 90% of Massa's contributions (not counting those from the state party) though came from company executives, many of them government contractors who might be involved in a pay to play investigation. While Massa pledged to limit contributions from attorneys whose donations might be made to curry interest for present and future clients, he apparently had no ethical problems taking large amounts of money from government contractors who probably should be investigated by his office. Then we have, by my count, $72,709 that the Indiana State Republican Party pumped in to win a local race. The only reason for the State GOP to do this was of concern that Terry Curry might start flipping over Republican rocks, looking for corruption that might be underneath.

Hopefully though Curry won't just flip over Republican rocks. Those of us who want clean government want a prosecutor who will go after wrongdoing in both parties. Marion County Prosecutor Brizzi's approach was evenhanded - he simply looked the other way at corruption, regardless of party. While that might be "fair" to the politicians, it's not fair to the public who deserve an honest government where the players play by the rules and conflicts of interest are avoided rather than embraced.

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