Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ballard Holds Cards for 2015 Race

Mayor Greg Ballard
Will he or won’t he? That’s been the subject of political speculation at this point in Indianapolis politics over the last few months.  

The momentum picked up last Friday as the news media caught up with what those of us in the blogosphere have been discussing.  Now, the political world is waiting on Mayor Greg Ballard to make a decision about a run for a third term. It’s a complicated decision that is much more layered than anyone may think, and it’s completely within the Mayor’s rights to make it carefully.

Professionally, the Mayor has a record to run on, but he also has an ever-growing list of negatives. Personally, Ballard has always been someone that seems to genuinely love his family. When you run for office, your family runs with you. I imagine it’s very difficult for them to go through the political process with Ballard. Bloggers like me certainly don’t make it easy when we’re out here criticizing the person they call husband or father. 

Then there’s the question of a possible opponent. Whether it’s Joe Hogsett or Ed Delaney on the Democratic side, it’s going to be an ever-more-difficult proposition for a Republican to win reelection in Indianapolis. Besides the fact that Joe and Ed will work their tails off, Ballard’s seeing the city grow more and more blue. You can tell that he sees it by the political decisions he’s making. That pulls him further from his base of support and leaves him vulnerable to political attack from the left and right. Ballard is going to have to work harder than ever just to win again.

Giving more fuel to the speculation is what the Mayor is saying. In the interviews I’ve heard with local media, Ballard sounds more than a little bit weary of running again. To me, if you have to ask yourself the question at this point, it probably means that it’s time to step aside. It also appears that Ballard will have other opportunities after he leaves office. 

A few months ago, I didn’t think there was any way that the Republican Party would allow Ballard to just drop the mic and walk away. Then again, Ballard doesn’t owe the local GOP anything, really. They didn’t help him much to win the office. I remember the first time I met Ballard. He was being escorted around the Ben Davis Lions Club Pancake and Sausage Breakfast by then-Rep. Phil Hinkle. I thought he was a nice guy, but he lacked the polish I thought necessary to beat a mayor like Bart Peterson.
Boy, was I wrong.

In the end, the ultimate decision lies with one man and one man only. Greg Ballard will decide how this race plays out. Whether he tries to stay on or rides his horse into the sunset is anyone’s guess.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pence Stumping in New Hampshire Oct. 24

Former White House staffer and Indiana GOP Spokesperson, Pete Seat, pointed out the following on his Twitter page yesterday afternoon.

Don't you just wish Republicans would come right out and say it?  The truth of the matter is that Mike Pence likely could care little about the New Hampshire Governor's battle.  Pence's motives are clear.  He's considering a run for President, and his campaining for Walt Havenstein is part of that getting to know you process.  Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie, both Governors considering a run for the White House in 2016, have been in the state, too.  Incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan is forecast to win reel.

The Governor is trying hard to throw people off the scent.  Pence told WMUR that he was just focusing on Indiana right now though is "flattered" by the attention.  Yeah, I'm not buying that either.  This man is enjoying the limelight and spotlight.

I just wish he'd be honest about it.  When he on October 24, it won't be JUST to campaign for Havenstein.  There are selfish reasons, too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ping Confused on House Responsibilities?

Cat Ping seems confused.

From her Twitter account:

First of all, there is no opening on the Supreme Court.  It doesn't appear that, unless there's some unforeseen circumstance, that there will be an immediate opening on the Supreme Court.  Thus, the point the entire situation is irrelevant to reality.

Secondly, Eric Holder would be a really good Supreme Court Justice, but he would be a really stupid nominee.  He has as much of a chance of being confirmed as I do.  Unless President Barack Obama wants a fight, which at this point, he might, I don't see him nominating Eric Holder as a Supreme Court Justice.  There are much safer nominees for the President that won't spark a political tug of war.

Finally, and most importantly, Cat Ping is running against Andre Carson for a seat in the House.  The Senate confirms Supreme Court nominees through its advise and consent responsibilities laid out in the U.S. Constitution.  Thus, Ms. Ping would have nothing to say regarding Mr. Holder's long shot nomination for the Supreme Court.

Of course, she needs to get elected first, and that's the longest shot of all of this.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Leaping Black Helicopters and Tin Foil Hats...Gary Welsh: Off the Deep End

Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Photo from Facebook
Advance Indiana blogger Gary Welsh does some good work.

He can be a great watchdog, and he does excellent work investigating government.  He sometimes raises excellent questions about what's going on and exposes hypocrisy.

Today, he may have stepped off the road and into the abyss.

Welsh penned a blog post about South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.  As many of you know, Buttigieg was deployed to Afghanistan as a Naval Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.  Now, he's back safely in South Bend and back to leading his city.

On his blog, Welsh lays out a case (for the second time mind you) that Buttigieg is a high-level spy for the CIA.  He doesn't provide anything in the way of proof...only speculation.  He also insinuates that Buttigieg's service in Afghanistan might be responsible for the growing drug problems we're seeing in Indiana.

Welsh's off the wall pieces such as this one, his incessant birtherism, and claims such as that Barack Obama is a closet homosexual really undermine the real credibility he has on many local issues.  It's unfortunate.

As for South Bend, you have a great Mayor who, from all official accounts, has apparently served his country with distinction.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bucshon Makes Daily Show

You may have heard about this by now, but Congressman Larry Bucshon was featured for all the wrong reasons on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Bucshon is, for all intents and purposes, one of the least crazy of the Republican contingent from Indiana to the U.S. House, but that's not saying much.  See the video below.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pence Passes By France, UK for "Most Cherished" Ally Status

Governor Mike Pence
On both his campaign and his official Facebook page, Governor Mike Pence is touting his foreign policy credentials and is criticizing President Obama for calling out Israel in front of the United Nations on Wednesday.

I'm not going to sit here and get into that mess, but I did take notice of something else that Pence said.  He called Israel, "Our most cherished ally."  While Israel is, without question, an ally, I would argue that our most cherished ally might be one of two countries.

If you go back to the beginning of the United States, one country was instrumental in pushing the colonies over the top: France.  It was the naval power of the French along with money, ammo, and men that helped General George Washington defeat the Redcoats.  Without France, Hoosiers might be eating bangers and mash and singing God Save the Queen instead of eating tenderloins and butchering the Star Spangled Banner.

Our old nemesis, the United Kingdom, has also become a very important and cherished ally.  The United States usually has been able to count on the Brits to be with us in most campaigns...even when we've been proven to be wrong.  Since the War to End All Wars, World War I, it's hard to identify a better friend than the UK.

So, I think Mike Pence has it wrong.  If he wants to be President, he needs to learn that France and the UK are our two most consistent allies and are the countries history tells us are most likely to be there for us again in the future.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ballard Failing Pre-K, Leadership Test

Mayor Greg Ballard
Mayor Greg Ballard is failing his test.

The Mayor has failed to find common ground (so far) with the City-County Council to get what should be a slam dunk on pre-k accomplished.

It's not that he hasn't tried.  Ballard has opened up his campaign pocketbook and recorded ads on the subject trying to gain support for his plan, so why is he finding a roadblock?  I think it's mistrust.

Democrats are weary of the Mayor bearing gifts, and this is a gift for Democrats.  Pre-k has been an issue pushed mostly by liberals and Democrats for years.  It's just that many in the caucus I believe don't trust the city's chief executive.

He's spent his political and trust quotient on things like sports parks and anti-Democrat legislation at the state legislature.  Senate Enrolled Act 621 from 2012 did a lot of damage between the relationship of the Mayor and the Council.

The City-County Council Majority just simply doesn't buy the Mayor's plan to use the homestead tax credit to help fund the pre-k initiative.  Since the proposal to repeal that tax credit was tabled at a meeting last week, Republicans have been trying to tie the pre-k failure to the Democrats and the Council.

If this was something the Mayor really wanted, he should make it a can't pass up for the Dems.  Ballard's just not one to fight too hard.  He's not one to get his hands dirty.  He's content now to play the political game and to lob nastiness at the opposition.

Pre-k is important, but it's going to take a Mayor Greg Ballard that's ready to meet a Council Democratic Caucus somewhere in the middle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Facts Hurt: No Pre-K Proposal Before City-County Council

Mayor Greg Ballard
My friend Paul Ogden took Indiana GOP Chairman, Tim Berry, to the woodshed over a recent e-mail to supporters that attacked Democrats for not supporting the Mayor's Pre-K initiative on his blog, yesterday.

Problem is...most Democrats actually support that idea, and that's all it is at this point.  Don't let the Republicans change the narrative on this.

Ogden nails down the exact point that needs to be nailed down.  This is not about Pre-K.  It's about the homestead tax credit that the Ballard Administration has had dreams of getting for years.  That's the "man behind the curtain" in all of this, but Berry can't come straight out and say it.  I'm glad Ogden went after his own party's chair on this.

Here's the thing, though.  It's straight up unfair and dishonest to portray Democrats as anti-pre-k.  That's simply ludicrous, and it's hard to believe.

The real and bottom line is that for the City-County Council...Republicans or Democrats...there's no plan to vote on.  None.  Mayor Ballard doesn't have a plan to expand pre-k.  The only proposal that was on the table was one to raise the homestead tax credit with absolutely no caveats that the money would be used for pre-k or anything for that matter.

Can you honestly blame the Democrats for saying no?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Carney Lacks Plan to Be Sheriff

Emmitt Carney
Photo from Facebook
On Sunday morning, Indianapolis This Week aired on WRTV.

Emmitt Carney, the Republican candidate for Marion County Sheriff, appeared on the program with Rafael Sanchez.  The longtime reporter interviewed Carney about his run for Sheriff, and let's just say it was not much of an interview.  Sanchez at times appeared to have more of a grasp of the issues than Carney.

Carney put forth no ideas except that perhaps we should "maybe" release sick prisoners to home detention to curb health care cost.  He also was vague on details and continued his attack lines about the Sheriff releasing prisoners early by mistake and keeping within budget.

Those are most definitely big concerns, but Carney's lack of ideas and his inability to come up with a simple answer to express his opinion on whether or not the Marion County Sheriff's Office has a role to play in the public safety of our city is really scary.  Carney has demonstrated no ability to show any ideas how he's going to keep within budget while maintaining the five areas of responsibility of the office.

I might also point out that John Layton is not the first Sheriff to have accidental releases under his watch.  It's happened to almost every Marion County Sheriff...probably since the office was created.  I talked to a well-known Republican the other day who has run for elective office in Marion County, and he seemed embarrassed by the Carney effort.

Carney's most definitely a nice guy, but his background is in law enforcement and not running a jail or an office of the size and complexity of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.  Rumor has it that he is the seventh candidate that was approached by Marion County Republicans.

Here's a link to the Indianapolis This Week report.  The Carney interview is right off the top about 1:28 into the show.  Layton will appear next week.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Meet Markell

You are going through things.  We all are.  

Hopefully, Markell's story can help you.