Friday, January 21, 2011

Marion Co. Republican Chairman Kyle Walker Turns Back on GOP Party Workers, Appoints Hamilton Co. Resident David Brooks to Chair Center Township

The biggest mistake Tom John made as Marion County Chairman was to strip party workers of their power in favor of an autocratic structure in which decisions are handed down by the county chairman. That doesn't work in a volunteer organization, such as a political party. As one high-ranking Republican told me, if the county chairman doesn't give the party workers authority in the process of selecting candidates, the whole organization is weakened.

New Marion County GOP Chairman Kyle Walker had a golden opportunity to give back some power to the party workers and re-energize the party faithful. Instead Walker turned his back on the party workers to continue with the Tom John autocratic model of party leadership which has failed so miserably in terms of rebuilding the local GOP. Exhibit A is Walker's decision to appoint Hamilton County resident and hatchet man David Brooks to continue in a leadership role in the Marion County GOP organization, this time as Center Township Chairman.

Center Township, believe it or not, is the most important township in terms of control of the GOP organization. The township doesn't produce a lot of Republican votes in elections, but it has something more important to autocrats like Tom John and Kyle Walker. It has numerous precinct committeemen slots most of which remain vacant until filled by the county chairman.

These positions are critical in county slating contests and the county convention. When the county chairman wants to outvote elected, working PCs, the people who do the grunt work in the party, he simply appoints scores of "mummy dummy" PCs to slots in Center Township and other townships. Often these people don't live in the township and some may not live in the county or even the state. Certainly they don't do any work in the party. The job of a "mummy dummy" PC is simply to attend slating and vote the way the county chairman wants, offsetting the votes of those real PCs who do the work.

No one is better at finding and filling PC slots with warm bodies who will vote the way the chairman wants them to than David Brooks. Brooks also excels at making threats to existing party workers who won't agree to support the chairman's favored candidate. Brooks, who has previously worked as a township chairman in Pike and Center, has never shown the slightest interest in rebuilding the party. His sole focus has been on ensuring that party leaders get their way, even if that means stepping all over party workers.

Since Walker's decision, some Center Township Republicans have contacted me outraged not just that Walker is going outside of Center for leadership of the township, but that he went outside the county. They are none too pleased to have to serve under David Brooks.

Walker has been in office only a month yet he has demonstrated that he couldn't care less about bringing reforms to the party that will make the Marion County GOP organization stronger by strengthening the grass roots. Hopefully his term of office will end with Mayor Ballard's inevitable crushing defeat in November of 2011. The Marion County Republican Party deserves better than a younger version of Tom John. We need a house-cleaning of people like Kyle Walker, Tom John, Carl Brizzi, Joe Loftus, and Robert Grand, and that housecleaning needs to start after the next election. They need to be held responsible for what they've done to our party.

Note: Pictured are Kyle Walker and David Brooks.


Pete Boggs said...

Back to the drawing... bored.

dcrutch said...

It's beyond hackneyed. But, I can't think of better words than, "These guys don't get it, do they?""

It was demographically dicey to get Mayor Ballard elected in the first place. It was a convergence of events. Now, when it's even tougher, they're going to win by basically buying enough votes on behalf of the law firm(s), sports teams, corporations, and other cronies that stand the most to lose if the mayor's not re-elected? They have enough collective money and influence to fill all the PCs, staff the polls, work the phones, put in the yard signs, etc.?

There's a reason there's an influx of energy from young voters into both Libertarian and Democratic parties over the last two elections. It is not, "Making Sure the Rich Get Richer". The selling points for support of the local GOP will not include even token "open tent" debate over party ideology on important taxpayer issues? Instead, conservatives are to swoon to the checkbook cheerleading of "GO Barnes and Thornburg! FIGHT you Pacers! WIN for ACS!"?

Good luck (the Pacers are probably staying clear of fights).

How far would this tactic take national Republicans in the 2012 elections (remembering the national media is in the pocket of the OTHER guy)? Then, why do we tolerate it in supposedly less-corrupted Naptown?

Nicolas Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolas Martin said...

Speaking of Republican hypocrisy...

A state House committee has approved HB 1018, which would ban smoking in all public workplaces, save casinos, horse racing facilities, and tobacco stores. Four of the committee Republicans, including the chairman, voted for the bill, while only three opposed. At crunch time most Republican officials do what politicians always do: exercise power and favor those who fund them. There is a name for the Republican stalwart who lives in perpetual hope that the party will support small government and personal liberty: dupe.

The roll call vote:

Pete Boggs said...

Let's see, we've got to protect all manner of pretense or government in business, but actual, private sector business, doesn't count.

Rules are for everyone but government?

Paul K. Ogden said...

dcrutch, excellent post. You hit the nail on the head. You think State GOP chairman Eric Holcomb is listening? He was left with a GOP in good shape here in Indiana, but one thing he could do is intervene in Marion County and end the Old Guard's selfish and continued destruction of the party's grass roots.

Paul K. Ogden said...

dcrutch, excellent post. You hit the nail on the head. You think State GOP chairman Eric Holcomb is listening? He was left with a GOP in good shape here in Indiana, but one thing he could do is intervene in Marion County and end the Old Guard's selfish and continued destruction of the party's grass roots.

Wilson46201 said...

I've been the Democratic precinct committeeperson since 1986 in ward 2, precinct 1 on the Near-Eastside of Indianapolis (just north of Woodruff Place). The Staffords used to be my GOP counterparts but they're aged & retired. They worked the precinct hard and election days were competitive and fun.

We haven't had a Republican PC for years now and the party doesn't even bother to send poll workers anymore.

The precinct votes about 2 to 1 Democratic but those GOP votes are still in the neighborhood.

Pete Boggs said...

Unless it's a "practical" joke, two well placed / known R's, Market St, g-hires, said they want "out" based on what the local party did this week.

I'm not sold on that idea as a solution, but it seems these two capable people, have had "enough." If either or both of these folks bolted, it wouldn't be good for the grass roots concept of smaller government in this city, IMHO.

Ideally, the party's reforming itself with the people it has, to be grass roots viable, but it seems folks are concerned with good reason.