|State Senator Mike Delph|
I reviewed Senator's Delph's tweets before writing this column. I think their offensive nature is grossly exaggerated. Some of the things Delph said are 100% correct, such as the fact that religious discrimination is becoming increasingly prevalent. But as to other Tweets, the Senator shouldn't have said or phrased in a less offensive manner certain things he did say. In the old days when it took time for people to write out their thoughts, an editing process would take place that tempered those thoughts. Not anymore with the new media. We see instantly what people are thinking.
As for my opinion on same sex marriage, I believe encouraging people to enter into monogamous, committed relationships is good for society, even if those relationships are same sex. If it is a sin, then that's something for a higher power to sort out. We don't ban something simply because it is a sin. There has to be some secular purpose served. The case was never convincingly made that allowing same sex couples to marry undermines the institution of marriage.
Although we disagree on HJR-3, I find the attacks on Mike Delph's tweets by the HJR-3 supporters to be extremely foolish and short-sighted. Sen. Delph is one of the most decent, honest, hard-working legislators in the General Assembly. He, unlike almost everyone else down there, is in public service to serve the public, not enrich himself or his friends. He does not put his vote up for sale and stands up for what he believes in. This includes often taking on his own Republican Party when he thinks they're doing things that hurt the public.
Sen. Delph has been behind many of the "good government" measures that have been introduced in the legislature during the last few years. This includes this session his authoring measures to end straight ticket voting in Indiana and to establish a Commission to redraw district lines instead of the political parties. (He also authored a bill to stop the downloading of cell phone information by police.) The straight ticket and redistricting measures are opposed by the GOP establishment. Delph had nothing to gain by taking on his own party by authoring those proposals. He did so because he thought they were the right thing to do.
Last night I read a tweet by a Republican who called Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard "America's Mayor" and a "Rock Star." As a conservative Republican, I found the labels offensive. I couldn't help but tweet back to the group of tweeters which, in addition to the Mayor, included GOP Marion County Chairman Kyle Walker and Ballard's very strangely overpaid political consultant Jennifer Hallowell. Mayor Ballard has no core political beliefs whatsoever and has governed as the most liberal Indianapolis mayor in my lifetime He has expanded corporate welfare beyond all previous administrations, increasing taxes on hard working men and women while shortchanging city services. Those tax dollars end up in the pockets of contractors and law firms which, not coincidentally, kick some of that money back in the form of large contributions to the Mayor's campaign, i.e. Indianapolis' infamous pay-to-play system. There is not a tax or fee that Ballard has not proposed raising in his six years in office. Now he has a new angle for corporate giveaways - borrowing from future generations to fund current giveaways. Ballard has done long term damage to this city and the fortunes of the Marion County Republican Party. It will take decades to recover. Sen. Delph, who cares about the public and future generations, would never put his office up for sale as Mayor Ballard has.
But what about Mayor Ballard being on the right side of HJR-3? In the political fox-hole that is politics, I would much rather have a Sen. Delph by my side than a Mayor Ballard. We may not always agree on some issues, but at the end of the day I know Sen. Delph is a man of integrity, someone I can trust is doing what he is doing not because of selfish motives, but because he thinks it is right. That is something to be valued in today's politics and why the HJR-3 supporters need to cut Sen. Delph some slack.