Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Is Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy Not Funding Democratic Challengers In Winnable Races?

Len Farber
On Saturday, I predicted on the show Civil Discourse Now that the election would result in Democratic control of the council 18-11, down one from my prediction earlier this year of 19-10.The numbers just do not work out for a Republican majority.  Republicans are fighting to save incumbents all over the county, while virtually every Democratic incumbent is in a safe seat.
Council President
Ryan Vaughn
But while the Democrats are blessed with targets, oddly Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy has apparently chosen to not fund some Democratic challengers running against vulnerable Republican incumbents.

Council District 3 goes from Broad Ripple to 96th Street, taking in very economically diverse neighborhoods along the way, including Ravenswood and Williams Creek. While Council President Ryan Vaughn won the district easily in 2007 with 64% of the vote, the Republican baseline has taken a nose dive since then. In 2010, a good Republican year, the GOP baseline in that district was 52%. The Democrats could easily make a run at the district, attacking Vaughn on such issues as the 50 year parking meter contract, the Pacers' $33.5 million giveaway and the David Brooks redistricting contract. Yet Treacy has not yet put money into the campaign of Len Farber who is challenging Vaughn. 
Councilor Susie Day

Frank Mascari
By all measures, Susie Day, should be a vulnerable in District 20.  In 2007, she won by just 650 votes.  She's up against a big name, Frank Mascari, a well-known, long time businessman who was narrowly defeated for Beech Grove Mayor in 2007.  The 2010 baseline shows the district is only 55% Republican.  Yet Treacy has not put a dime into the district. Mascari's only money in the race has been the $700 he donated.

Council District 21 is an eastside district which includes Irvington.  In 2007, Democrat Ben Hunter won grown increasingly Democratic.  The district in 2010 had a Republican baseline of just over 55%.  Challenger Todd Woodmansee would seem to be a candidate who could take the fight to Hunter, if his campaign were properly funded.  Yet the Democratic Party thus far has chosen not to help out Woodmansee with money.

Councilor Ben Hunter
Todd Woodmansee
Why not fund these Democratic challengers?  Well the fact is, it doesn't appear that Treacy needs Farber, Mascari or Woodmansee to win in order to have a solidly Democratic majority on the council.  You would think Treacy would want an even bigger Democratic majority than voters will hand him on November 8th.  It would appear though, that for whatever reason, Treacy doesn't want a super large majority that might include Democrats who won't 100% of the time do what he wants.  It's the same reason Treacy failed to support local activist Pat Andrews, a local Democratic activist who is brilliant on budgetary matters but who would not be a rubber-stamp for whatever Treacy or a Democratic Mayor wished to do.

What is astounding about Indianapolis politics is that party leaders of both parties often prefer someone of the other party to be in office rather than someone of their own party who will show independence.


Nicolas Martin said...

Vaughn might be vulnerable? Hallelujah, a reason to vote.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Thanks for your all too generous comments, Paul.

However, the main reason I was never going to get Treacy's backing is that I lobbied Mayor Peterson, publicly on WCTY and privately, to remove Treacy from the MDC - a position to which no party chairman should ever be appointed and from which Treacy was up to no good.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HEI, I agree totally a party chairman should never be on the MDC.

M Theory said...

YOU WROTE: "What is astounding about Indianapolis politics is that party leaders of both parties often prefer someone of the other party to be in office rather than someone of their own party who will show independence."

Paul, this is more evidence that the "combine" is indeed alive and well and that these parties are not principled. said...

A narrow majority is easier to control in some senses and certainly easier for lobbyists to influence. A large majority might get a sense of politics as policy-making and charge off in an uncontrollable direction. Besides calling the Democrats a political party is a bit of a misapplication of the term. The following are political parties in Indianapolis if judged by party discipline and a vision of what public policy should be interms of what the law is and where the public's money goes: the police; the firefighters; the Libertarians; the Republicans; the African-American caucus of the Democratic "party" it is a bit more accurate, in my opinion to call it a "Democratic tendency" as it tends to go in certain directions. After these groups come the lobbyists who care only about who can be bought err I mean "lobbied" and the large law firms [which are trough feeders]. Nuff said.

Hoosierdaddy said...


You’re dead on about Treacy in this post. In regards Farber, he was one of the most active and hardest working volunteers for the Obama campaign in 2008 in the city; that campaign brought in a lot of new people into politics in this city that could have been used to really grow the Marion County Democratic Party. The paranoia runs ramped in Treacy who is full of fear for anything he perceives as a threat to his power; I’d say a group of people with a large segment being political rookies turning a solid red state blue would count at a threat. But if you ask Ed, he actually believes he single handily won the state for Obama. Ed must of got his ego bruised pretty badly the time he showed up for an Obama event with Jane Pauley as the guest, he just kind of stood in the corner and stewed because all eyes were on Pauley and most of the Obama Volunteers didn’t have a clue who he was or how important he is in the city.