Friday, September 23, 2011

Mayor Ballard's Campaign Foolishly Attacks Melina Kennedy on Tax Issue, Opens Mayor Up to Challenge for His 140 Tax and Fee Increases

Further confirming the suspicion that the race has tightened, the campaign of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard released a video attacking Melina Kennedy on taxes.

First, the Ballard campaign gets the facts wrong.  Kennedy was not Deputy Mayor when the county option in come tax was increased.  But besides getting the facts wrong, I have to question the boneheaded campaign strategy of Mayor Ballard attacking Kennedy on taxes when it is probably the single issue he is the most vulnerable on. During his term, Mayor Ballard has supported raising 140 taxes and fees and reneged on his campaign promise of repealing Mayor Peterson's 's county option income tax.

When the political wisdom of Ballard's tax/fee increased was questioned during his tenure, Ballard supporters assured doubters that come election voters will make distinctions between who pays certain taxes and that the fee increases were justified.  Of course campaigns, conducted in a sound bite atmosphere, do not allow time that sort of education of the voters.

Now that Ballard has set Kennedy up on the issue of taxes, expect her to spike the ball. I expect that Kennedy will release a powerful response ad blowing away Ballard on taxes.  I can imagine the ad now. The ad shows Ballard making a campaign promise to repeal the county option income tax.  The commentator notes that Ballard did not repeal the tax and instead support 140 tax/fee increases.  The ad freezes on Ballard ( an unflattering photo), while a list of the tax/fee increases scroll over Ballard's frozen face.  It would be a devastating spot.

The fiscal conservatives who worked for Candidate Ballard's election in 2007 have almost all long ago jumped off the Ballard bandwagon.  But the betrayal of fiscal conservative principles that caused those former supporters to stop supporting the Mayor is not yet well known to the average Marion County Republican voter.  Once Kennedy starts hammering on those issues near and dear to fiscal conservatives' hearts, including Ballard's tax/fee increases and endless giveaway of taxpayer dollars on corporate welfare schemes, the Mayor's support with Republicans begins to crumble.

Indeed it is with Republicans that Ballard is the most vulnerable.  The Mayor does not have a fiscally conservative record, not even close. If Kennedy makes that fact an issue in this campaign, Ballard's critical GOP base will begin to erode.  If on November 8th, 20% of the Republicans vote for Kennedy because of Ballard's liberal fiscal record, the Mayor will be seeking other employment come January 1st.


Jon said...

Not only did the mayor raise taxes and fees he has raided tif dollars for the Pacers and ICVA. He is living in a glass house and dumb enough to throw rocks.

Roberta X said...

Gah. Isn't anyone else running? Somebody's dog, maybe?

foretell said...

The continuing flaw in your logic Paul is that you assume Democrats think like Republicans. Maybe Kennedy doesn't think there is anything wrong with Ballard raising taxes.