|Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard|
Having said that, the notion that 10% of city jobs should be set aside for those convicted of a crime is insane. While we shouldn't rule out people convicted from working for the city, it certainly shouldn't be a positive chip on the side of the applicant. That's exactly what it is when you set aside jobs for those who have been convicted of committing crimes. Plus you are discriminating against those who have not committed crimes.
Besides bad policy, it is disastrous politics. Ballard is trying to run as being tough on crime. How long will it be before some enterprising reporter gets a list of people hired under the 10% set aside program, and the particular crimes those folks committed, and makes that information public? Are Ballard's political people so completely clueless that they do not see that coming? The political hit on the Ballard campaign will be enormous. It would be an issue that hits doubly hard as it cuts from Ballard's core constituency, the law and order types conservative Republicans who would almost certainly cast a vote for Ballard and who now may vote for his opponent.