Monday, March 7, 2011

Should Republicans Support a RINO For Re-Election, i.e. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard?

I've heard the argument that we Republicans should overlook Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's liberal big taxing, big spending policies, and support him for re-election because, quite frankly, he's an incumbent and he's on our team.  In other words, by putting on the red jersey emblazoned with a big "R" on the chest, Ballard is deserving of our support, regardless of the broken campaign promises and the way he's acted in office.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Announces for Re-Election
Believe it or not, it's not an argument I discard lightly. I am a big fan of loyalty and there is something to be said about sticking by the people who are on your team.

But on the other hand, simply slipping on the red "R" jersey should not give a Republican a license to betray the fiscally conservative principles he stood for in the campaign as well as the people who supported him.  "Betrayal" - it may seem a harsh characterization, but for most of those who stood with Ballard during the 2007 campaign, that pejorative term is what is most frequently used to describe how former supporters now feel toward the Mayor.

Since I have become active in local Republican politics in 1986, Ballard is the most liberal Marion County Republican elected official, with the possible exception of State Senator Virginia Blankenbaker.  It was never clear why Virginia Blankenbaker, who was both a fiscal and social liberal., chose to be a Republican, with except that her northside district would never elect someone with a "D" by his or her name.  Blankenbaker was a Republican In Name Only, aka a RINO.

Ballard has never met a tax or fee he wouldn't raise, spends taxpayer money recklessly, chiefly through handouts to politically-connected companies who donate money to his campaign, and has mortgaged the future for short term benefits. He has also handed the keys to his administration to profiteers.  There is nothing about Mayor Ballard's resume that even remotely speaks of fiscal responsibility.  When given the chance to at least be a conservative on non-fiscal issues, Ballard always opts for the liberal position.  A classic example is Mayor Ballard's continued hostility to gun rights.

Should Republicans vote for a RINO like Ballard?  The question is if you do, and Ballard succeeds, what have you won in the end?   You end up with a person who claims to be on your side while selling out your values.  There are some things worse than losing the 2011 election.  One of those things would be winning with a RINO like Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, I think he is devoid of any political philosophy. He will do or say whatever he thinks will help him politically at the time. The irony is that when he ran for mayor 4 years ago he was real proud of a life-size, cut-out image of Ronald Reagan. I've yet to see any of Reagan's philosophy of governing reflected in how Ballard governs. His tax and spend policies are not in the least bit Reaganesque. He really hasn't even kept his law and order promise to hire more police officers, and he relied on federal stimulus dollars to fund the positions he did add. His populist views morphed into an unusually heavy emphasis on pandering to minority contractors and promoting professional sports and downtown businesses to the exclusion of other businesses. He specifically criticized Peterson for that very position. When I interviewed him 4 years ago, he actually said he opposed creating more charter schools. Instead, he said he wanted to work to improve the public schools. He completely reversed that position after his election and has done everything he can to add new charter schools and nothing for the public schools. To some, that's a better approach on education, but it just showed me he was just saying whatever he thought people wanted to hear him say when he ran 4 years ago. The man lacks any core views. He doesn't even govern according to those stupid Ballard Rules he talked about in the last campaign.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Do you thnk he didn't know that charter schools are public schools?

I think what you're saying is correct - the man was an empty slate and his philosophy was filled in by insiders whose interest is in keeping the raping of the taxpayers going.

Unknown said...


Did you actually help the Mayor WIN four years ago? Or, is it possible that you stood on the sidelines and wrote him off as another GOP sacrificial lamb? The reason I am asking is, because I did help the Mayor and I did not see you at any events, phone banks, or walks. So tell us what exactly did you do?

If you didn't do anything that is fine, but I find it odd that you act like the Mayor turned his back on your personally. So, to have you explain how you personally were betrayed would help us understand your emotional vitriol.

I understand that you think very highly of your opinion, which I think you often confuse your opinion with fact, but that is a topic for another time.

You seem to be emotionally distressed that the Mayor did not seek your council immediately upon his election. The truth is he actually sought the council of people who actually helped him WIN. He also sought the council of people who have actually run a city before. Last I checked you have not run a city. Am I wrong about that? I really want to make sure I get all of my facts right. As much as you like to slander anyone who works at Barnes and Thornburg many of those people have actual experience in running a city government.

So, tell us Paul, inquiring minds want to know.

M Theory said...


I did help the mayor win his election. I led the tea party movement, that he hijacked to get supporters. We believed he was the real deal and worked very hard for him.

I lowered myself to go to GOP HQ to make calls for Ballard even though I am not a Republican. Tom John walks into the place like a damned peacock, acting better than everyone else, and neglected to offer any thanks at all to the if they were mere slaves.

If you are backing Ballard, you should at least admit that you caved on Republican idealism to the point where you will back a RINO who gives preferential treatment to big campaign donors.

The mayor never once sought my council after the election and my work was critical to his win.

After the election most of the activists were not allowed easy access to our new mayor. Brizzi and his people blocked us and the mayor was immediately given a new cell phone. No one could reach him. He did not reach out to us either. At least we tried to contact him.

After the election I pitched a fit because Ballard never reached out to us. Finally we got a little reception for the activists at the fire station on Mass Ave. And that was all we got. Only one activist got a post in City Hall and that was Greg Wilson.

As for me, I never wanted a government job, I just wanted to volunteer my time for the city. As it is, I cannot even get any meaningful VOLUNTEER work off the ground, although I've offered more than once. The red tape is excruciating unless you are an insider.

(see article in Indianapolis Monthly 2/2008 to know just how much I was there on the inside during the campaign)

What Paul says is spot on.

Unknown said...


I didn't ask about you. I don't know you. The tea party did not exist in 2007. There were a group of people who threw tea in the canal, and they were upset about Mayor Peterson's lack of transparency, keeping people out of city hall, raising taxes etc... If you want to try and take credit for a group of angry people that threw tea in a polluted canal - go for it.

Mayor Ballard has worked to find creative ways to keep taxes lower and keep the city running. I realize that you don't like many of those creative efforts, public private partnerships, etc...

Also I don't make my voting decisions on who is going to follow my ideological utopia 100% of the time. I know that I won't agree with my elected officials 100% of the time, so I decide who is going to be with me more often than not. I would rather have someone who is with me a majority of the time than someone who I will never agree with.

But, I digress, again the question is to Paul. What did you do?

Gary R. Welsh said...

No, He hunderstood what charter schools were; he just thought we had too much invested in our existing public schools to exacerbate their problems by siphoning off students and dollars from them, making it more difficult for them to improve.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Greg Wilson was not an activist, Melyssa. He and David Sherman both worked in the Goldsmith administration and cashed out with jobs at United Water after Goldsmith entered into the privatization agreement for the wastewater treatment facility. They both came back for the sole purpose of cashing out more. Greg Wilson has been at the forefront in the kickbacks for minority contractors who didn't play any part in Ballard's election. Ballard won because white working class people voted overwhelmingly for him over Peterson. Ballard ran no better among blacks or Hispanics than an R ever runs among minority voters in this county. I don't know how many people told me who worked on his transition team and got jobs in his administration or appointments to boards that they never supported him. Some of them didn't even vote for him.

M Theory said...


The Indiana tea party did indeed exist in 2007! That's where we first met Ballard. It was the movement started by Libertarians and hijacked by Republicans in February 2009.

We were all over the local news and in the papers in summer 2007. Obviously you were not paying attention. Maybe this will refresh your memory.

Ballard had no name recognition or money. We did PR in the streets for him to get him in the papers and build a following for him. He didn't have big moneyed interests behind him. He had GRASS ROOTS. And we were it.

I also led the protests at City Hall against Peterson's tax increase that Ballard promised to repeal.

Do you want pictures of the mob that I harnessed? Cause I've got them.

Keep voting for RINOs and we will continue to get government that is run by special interests who are getting rich off the taxpayers who continue to pay more and get less for our money.

Anonymous said...

RINO is a misnomer. It presumes that there is a set of core values that make Republicans substantively different than Democrats, but history shows otherwise. Politicians act in their self-interest, and they gain and retain power by aggrandizing themselves with select interest groups: often the same interest groups. Most of the time the major interest group contributors play both sides of the fence. So, both farm state Republicans and Democrats support agriwelfare; both support military expenditures if they have contractors or bases in their districts. Both Democrats and Republicans, from the cities to D.C. have grown government, taxes, and regulations. The leading Republican presidential candidate for president now is Romney, who beat Obama to the centralized healthcare punch; an achievement for which no other Republican candidate but Ron Paul criticized him last time he ran. The most recent Republican president vastly expanded existing government healthcare, and almost doubled the national debt.

Republicans incessantly criticize "unnecessary and wasteful" regulations in Washington, but they seem unable to terminate those regulations when they rule. Similarly, it is almost impossible to think of local regulations, including oppressive zoning laws, that Republicans ever repeal. They are the flip side of the status quo coin. Democrats and Republicans play essential foils for each other; directing the attention of credulous voters to trivia and nonsense to obscure their important similarities.

Ballad is A RIP: a Republican In Practice.

Brizzonator said...

One word describes Mayor Marine, "POSER". said...

And the alternative to Ballard would be???

Paul K. Ogden said...


I worked at the polls for Ballard as a PC handing out literature. I never claimed anything else. As far as this comment:

"The truth is he actually sought the council of people who actually helped him WIN."

Haven't you been paying attention. That's exactly what Ballard's 2007 supporters have complainedd about - that Ballard immediately turned his back on those who helped him get elected.

As far as B&T knowing how to run a city, which people at B&T are you referring to? Do you think the Mayor is better off because of what Joe Loftus and Bob Grand have done? If by "running the city" you're referring to being able to use the tools of govenrment to make themselves and their clients wealthy at the expense of taxpayers, I would agree with that.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Steve said:

"Mayor Ballard has worked to find creative ways to keep taxes lower and keep the city running. I realize that you don't like many of those creative efforts, public private partnerships, etc... "

Worked to keep taxes low? He's raised taxes and fees more than 100 times and advocated raising scores of other taxes.

"Creative publc private partnerships?" Are you talking about the ACS deal which will result in over a billion dollars being funnelled to a private company whose lobbyist is the Mayor's advisor? Or No-So, a development which will put the voters on the hook for $100 million. Or the Pacer deal that will cost taxpayers $33.5 million. Or the East Market Street deal insider deal which will again cost taxpayers millions?

Please tell me what was "creative" about these deals, except for the creative way they put taxpayer money in the pockets of companies and people who also happen to support the Mayor.

Paul K. Ogden said...


There is nothing worse than a RINO who undermines Republican values in office. If you're going to have a liberal, big spender, big taxer in office it is better off that person be a Democrat. A RINO like Ballard does far more to undermine Republican values than does a Democrat.


I disagree...there is nothing remotely Republican about how Ballard has conducted himself in office. said...

This is why God made Libertarians.

M Theory said...

Daily Kenn, while God may have made Libertarians, he didn't make voters with the good sense to elect them when a good one comes available.

Hopefully, we'll have a strong Libertarian candidate, so we don't have the throw our vote away this year.