Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Conservatives Need Another Republican Candidate For Mayor of Indianapolis


Of course now that Mayor Greg Ballard has announced he's running for re-election, attention turns to whether other Republicans will announce. With the Ballard campaign actively shaking down government contractors for contributions, any primary opponent will have little chance of being able to compete against the war chest Ballard will have assembled. Still, just a name on the ballot, any name, would get as much as 30% of the vote in a primary against the Mayor.

Conservatives and good government reformers have a lot to be unhappy with Mayor Ballard about. Here's just a partial list:
  • TAX INCREASES: Mayor Ballard has proposed raising taxes and fees over a hundred times since he was elected. He's supported an increase in the food and beverage tax, the alcohol tax, the car rental tax, the hotel tax and he wants a regional sales tax enacted. He has supported an increases in scores and scores of business fees. That COIT increase he promised to repeal...well that's another broken promise.
  • BROKEN PLEDGE TO CUT GOVERNMENT: Ballard pledged to cut the City's budget by 10% or he wouldn't run for re-election. Well, he's not even come close to doing that yet he's running re-election.
  • SWEETHEART DEALS: People are furious over the sweetheart deals that players in the city have gotten over the years. Ballard pledged to stop "country club politics." In fact he's taken country club politics to a new level, giving $33.5 million in tax dollars, pledging nearly $100 million in tax dollars for a politically-connected developer who couldn't get a loan because his project was deemed too risky, and the 50 year parking deal with ACS, a company for whom the Mayor's counsel Joe Loftus lobbies.
  • MISPLACED PRIORITIES: While libraries are cutting hours and the parks budget is cut, Mayor Ballard is giving millions of our tax dollars to the Pacers and politically-connected companies.
  • MORTGAGING THE FUTURE: Both the ACS 50 year parking deal and the phony "sale" of the utilities to Citizens Energy where aimed at mortgaging the future of this City so Mayor Ballard could get a pile of cash to spend before the Election.
  • ETHICAL LAPSES: This is yet another area where Ballard promised to be better than his predecessor an he's been worse...in fact much worse. Conflicts of interest, insider deals, and pay to play politics has been the hallmark of the Ballard administration. The 25th Floor is all but run by a law firm, Barnes & Thornburg. In fact, where is Ballard's campaign located? In the Barnes & Thornburg building. B&T's Joe Loftus, a paid advisor to the Mayor and lobbyist for the City, only has to ride an elevetaor to talk to Ballard campaign people.
  • HOSTILITY TO GUN RIGHTS: The Ballard administration has shown nothing but hostility to gun owner's rights. He has taken the position that the City does not have to follow the Second Amendment. Ballard has supported one of the most restrictive gun return policies in the Midwest, he has come out in favor of NYC-style gun registration, and he has threatened to veto a proposal to allow licensed gun owners to carry their guns into city parks. Those guns are allowed in state parks and President Obama signed a measure allowing guns in national parks. It is good to know that our Republican Mayor is to the left of President Obama when it comes to gun rights.
  • ABANDONED FRIENDS AND BROKEN CAMPAIGN PROMISES: There is hardly a person who supported Mayor Ballard in 2007 who supports him today. The man campaigned as a conservative populist and has governed as a liberal elitist. Ballard shoved aside his friends who supported in favor of insiders who didn't support him. He's broken virtually every campaign promise he made in 2007. The man who has no loyalty to his friends and apparently feels no moral obligation to keep promises he made to voters.

There is no reason why a conservative should support Mayor Ballard for re-election. Hopefully there will be other Republican alternatives come May.

5 comments:

Indy Student said...

I really don't see a primary challenger getting more than 15%, and that's IF they're able to get a huge turnout. Primaries are usually pretty low turnout, and the people who do show up are either party workers or (and let's be honest here), people who don't know much about the issues.

Ballard has a huge advantage in having a last name that begins with "B". If primary challengers could find someone whose last name begins with "A", then there might be a chance to get to 15% with that and HIGH voter turnout.

Even with a primary challenge, I've seen bitterly fought primaries in the last 2 or 3 elections in the 5th Congressional District with an overwhelming vote of no confidence of incumbent Dan Burton. He often just squeaks by.

But come November, the people who voted in the primary have forgiven Burton. The same, I think, would be true in this case.

County GOP in this city are going to sink or swim with this council and this mayor. There's no other way around it. Probably sink, but it'll be a good show.

Bill said...

Dave Brooks will pull a McAtee on anyone who dares run against the Mayor. Their lives will be over.

Paul K. Ogden said...

IS,

Mayor is such a high profile race and given that the Mayor is running for re-election, ballot placement wouldn't matter. Ballot placement is important in races where the voters don't know the candidates. Virtually everyone going in will at least know Mayor Ballard and be voting for or against him.

The primary and the general election will be a straight referendum on Ballard. A Ballard opponent in the primary would easily get 25% maybe as high as 30%That's the typical anti-incumbent vote you see in a primary where the incumbent has ticked off a significant portion of his/her base.

If the opponent had some money and could advertise the anti-conservative positions Ballard has repeatedly taken, the 25-30% protest vote goes up another 5 to 10 points.

The problem is getting to 50% is virtually impossible given the money disparity. And even if the Ballard primary opponent got to 50%, he or she would go to the general election carrying the Ballard baggage. Much like the Brizzi baggage was to Massa, that would be fatal.

I've been a candidate before and I know the danger of alienating your base. For eample, I've seen the power of gun rights supporters and the incredible way they network. (Fortunately they supported me.) Ballard would lose most of those votes in a primary as well as a lot of the fiscal conservatives (the ones who are fully informed of the Mayor's lousy record) in the party.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Bill,

You're too dramatic. That David Brooks and his ilk are going to be running this party into perputity is highly unlikely.

dcrutch said...

I don't care if he does win re-election. We're supposed to elect people that are going to run a square deal for the taxpayers and do what's best for them. Period. I think the mayor and city-council may have started with the best of intentions and perhaps still have them. But, it's incredibly difficult to believe that when some of the choices are typified by libraries having reduced hours, yet the Pacers have a new $1.5 million dollar scoreboard. Parking management is supposed to be given to a vendor of poor repute? For 50 years? By a 15-14 vote? With a 15th vote from a counselor employed by the firm doing work on behalf of the vendor?

Leveraged greed, graft, and opportunism seem to have no boundries by party, age, gender, profession, or anything else. However, instead of voting for one law firm versus the other for mayor in the next election, I'm looking for the third candidate.

We talk to our children about the consequences of being unfair. If we really believe that, aren't we to practice it in the voting booth?