“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Commissioner Candidate Takes on Hamilton County's Pay-to-Play Political Establishment
Below are two press releases by Bill Smythe, candidate for Hamilton County Commissioner:
April 11, 2016Contact: Bill Smythe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SMYTHE ASKS HAMILTON COUNTY VOTERS TO CONSIDER CANDIDATES' MOTIVATIONS FOR RUNNING FOR OFFICE
FISHERS, Indiana - Fishers businessman Bill Smythe today asked Hamilton County voters to take a good look at their options in the County Commissioner's race and consider why each candidate is running for office. Smythe, owner and operator of a local restaurant and bar for over two decades,
believes the motivations are obvious, and that the answer will swing the election his way.
Smythe offered, "I got in this race because I was tired of, and concerned by, the network of cronies and insiders that have come to dominate Hamilton County politics”.
Smythe adds, “Without transparency, too many of our tax dollars are obligated to projects that are decided before the public really gets a chance to understand or voice an opinion on the project.”
The contrast is stark. Smythe's opponent, also standing for election for the first time, has spent the past three years raising over $170,000 from vendors who do business or want to do business with Hamilton County, and works as a salesman for a company that bids on multi-million dollar projects with county governments throughout the state. This opponent has recently been implicated in a so-called "pay-to-play" scandal. South Bend media initially reported that Smythe's opponent, salesman Mark Heirbrandt, emailed a county official from whom his company is seeking a multi-million dollar contract and volunteered to help her raise $100,000-$120,000 for her campaign saying he "can provide some assistance" and that he "spoke to several vendors that feel they can help you."
While some media outlets have questioned whether the county prosecutor should look into the matter, Smythe noted, "Legality is an awfully low bar to set for our public officials. Hamilton County voters should expect more. At a minimum, they should expect a commissioner who puts taxpayers first, and who is not in the business of soliciting fat contracts from county governments while also soliciting hundreds of thousand dollars from other contractors."
Smythe filed to run in February, rolling out the slogan "Voters of Vendors." Now Hamilton County voters can see clearly what he meant.
April 7, 2016
Hamilton County Commissioner Candidate Bill Smythe has been Campaigning Against Pay-to-Play Schemes Like the South Bend Scandal Involving Commissioner Heirbrandt
FISHERS, Indiana - Amid reports out of South Bend that have hit central Indiana media outlets questioning whether Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt was leveraging campaign contributions to a St. Joseph County Commissioner in return for a contract for Heirbrandt's employer, Fishers businessman Bill Smythe again is asking, "How much money is enough?" Smythe added, "This scandal demonstrates precisely why I got into this race in the first place."
Smythe, who has owned and operated Claude & Annie's at 141st Street and State Route 37 since the early 2000s, has promised to place "voters over vendors" in his campaign against Heirbrandt, who is also running for the first time after being elected to fill a vacancy at a caucus run by former Hamilton County chairman Pete Emigh.
Smythe has an uphill battle. Heirbrandt's most recent campaign report showed over $170,000.00 raised primarily from construction companies and other companies doing business with the county, money already being used to run television ads on Indianapolis outlets in his campaign for a local county office.
"I have confidence in the voters of Hamilton County," commented Smythe. "I believe on May 3, Hamilton County Republicans will reject crony capitalism in favor of a businessman who will listen to voters, and who will consider the benefits the people will receive from County contractors, as opposed to the benefits the contractors will receive from the people."
Bill Smythe is a long time Fishers resident and businessman with a history of standing up to government overreach and successfully fighting tax increases. He got into this race promising clear lines of communication as projects are planned, not just when they are announced, transparency in county spending, fighting the heroin epidemic in Hamilton County, and placing voters over vendors.