Thursday, September 1, 2011

Public Safety Director Frank Straub Continues to Sink Ballard Administration; Fraternal Order of Police Reverses Direction and Endorses Melina Kennedy

Public Safety Director Frank Straub
When the obituary of the administration of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is written it will be prominently noted that a major factor in its fall was the Mayor's unwavering support of Public Safety Director Frank Straub, a man reviled by virtually everyone in the police department.  Straub is most famous for expensive renovations to his office, demanding officers stand at attention when he enters the room, his insistence on being called a "Doctor," and employing expensive consultants.  It is not a stretch to say that Straub has major character flaws that have affected his work performance.

The irony is that Straub is a liberal Democrat from New York.  Many local Republicans say - half jokingly - that the Democrats planted Straub in the Ballard administration to o bring down the Mayor. 

A Mayor with strong leadership qualities would have canned Straub long ago.  Ballard didn't do that. Tonight he paid the price when the Fraternal Order of Police, which enthusiastically supported Ballard in 2007, turned sharply against him. WTHR reports:
Indianapolis - The city's police union endorsed Democrat Melinda Kennedy Thursday night in her challenge against Republican Mayor Greg Ballard.

One-hundred-twenty-five FOP members voted for Kennedy while 36 voted for Mayor Ballard after hearing from both candidates.

Earlier this year police union members said they were frustrated with Mayor Ballard's Public Safety Director Frank Straub.
The significance of this vote cannot be overlooked. Police officers are a major local voting block in local politics.  We're not only talking police officers, but their friends and family.  Plus, members of the FOP tend to be conservative in their politics.  The FOP not only endorsed Ballard in 2007, but also endorsed Republican mayoral candidates Greg Jordan in 2003 and Sue Anne Gilroy in 1999. I'm not sure the last Democratic mayoral candidate the FOP endorsed.   It's been at least since the time of the Goldsmith administrations, possibly even before that.


Jedna Vira said...

I believe the FOP may have erred in endorsing Melina. I understand why they did what they did, but they will regret their endorsement; especially if Melina wins. If Ballard wins the friction between the FOP and his administration will remain - even if Straub leaves. By the way, all indicators point toward the fact that Straub does not plan on returning even if Ballard is re-elected. Indianapolis has served it's purpose and he will "move along" to piss off a whole new set of unsuspecting citizens.

Downtown Indy said...

In anohter incredibly blunder, Ballard attributes the endorsement switch to his efforts to make changes and improvements in IMPD.

Can he get any more clueless?

Paul K. Ogden said...


Ballard has nobody to blame but himself. He's the one who put Straub in position and left him in place when it became clear that he was a problem. It is Ballard who doesn't listen to police officers about their concerns.

I agree Straube will probably leave regardless. He's already ruined public safety here. It is time for him to move on to another city.

Cato said...

"Police officers are a major local voting block in local politics."

They're just a welfare class with their hand out for more money, more benefits, more employment, more power.

I object less to an indolent welfare case, as these people take less public money and don't make their daily job to steal more of my money.

Had Enough Indy? said...

If Kennedy should win, the FOP will endorse whoever runs against her four years hence. Its what the FOP does. It is not material who is who. It just matters who is in office and who is challenging.

Ben said...

Indy, do your homework. Look at the last time that the FOB endorsed a Democrat.

Cato, Cops on welfare, really? If you hate them so much,call your buddy Wilson the next time you need a cop and see what happens

Paul K. Ogden said...

Ben is correct. The FOP almost always endorses the Republican candidate for Mayor and has for at least the last three elections. This is news.

Cato said...

Ben, what a shallow and fallacious response.