Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bash Brizzi Bandwagon Grows; Brizzi Refuses to Budge

Yesterday, Terry Burns wrote on his blog that rumor had it that a top dog Republican would call for Carl Brizzi to resign. Little did we know that the first to break the silence on the issue would be the guy trying to replace him from HIS OWN PARTY, Mark Massa.

Massa, who worked for Brizzi's predecessor, Scott Newman, called for Brizzi to step down. It's widely expected that Massa would be appointed to succeed Brizzi, so the call rings political, and Carl Brizzi said as much to the Indianapolis Star, calling the ploy out as a "political stunt."

The Indianapolis Star reports that Tom John, GOP Party Chair, has also joined in on Massa's call for Brizzi to resign.

Brizzi's office released this statement, again, not too complimentary of Massa (or John):

I am shocked and surprised by today's event, which appears to be politically motivated.

I learned of the news conference by the Republican candidate for Marion County Prosecutor via the Internet and e-mails. Currently, I am on vacation in California and have not spoken to the candidate or any representative of the Republican Party in Indiana about this matter. I am disappointed that he would conduct a political campaign stunt like this.

I am the first to admit I have made some mistakes in my personal life, none of which adversely affect the Office of the Marion County Prosecutor. Our conviction rates are among the highest in the country, and we have increased the collection of child support for Marion County children by almost 50 percent (more than $104 million) since I took office. I have faithfully executed the duties of Marion County Prosecutor and have no intention of resigning. In fact, I have further intensified my focus on protecting our citizens from violent criminals and those who would prey on the most vulnerable members of our society during the months remaining in my term.

In my seven years as prosecutor, I have dealt effectively with real crimes, real victims and real personal threats and remain steadfast in denying the spate of irresponsible and malicious accusations directed at me and the Office of Marion County Prosecutor.

Instead of adding to rumor mongering of politics or allowing innuendo to substitute for fact, I believe it is in the best interest of our community to focus on real-world issues, such as the safety of our residents and the effective prosecution of criminals.

You see, if Massa were to be named Marion County Prosecutor to serve out Brizzi's last eight months on the job, he could run against the Democratic candidate as an incumbent. The benefits of incumbency are many.

Republican Paul Ogden called me out and said I was wrong when I suggested the Marion County Prosecutor vacancy would be filled by a Precinct Committeeperson vote. He said the Governor would make the appointment, and, Massa was Mitch Daniels' lawyer! Hmmm...who would that guy appoint...hmmm...

This was another botched move by the GOP. John or even Daniels should have stepped out first and called for the resignation of Brizzi. Instead, it was the guy who has most to gain from a Brizzi resignation that did the deed. While I bet Massa would have run from Brizzi's Administration like the plague, you would like some sort of support from least you would think. Now, there's a fracture in that relationship and perhaps a fracture in the Marion County Republican Party, too.

Turns out that a Republican caucus of PCs will actually replace the Brizz man if he resigns his term. I was right in my previous post.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Jon, that's a little strong - "I called you out." I didn't mean it negatively. I just think the appointment for a vacant prosecutor psotion is through the governor and not a vacancy election. I could be totally wrong though.

erin said...

Jon, I have to strongly disagree with you on this. Massa was one hundred percent correct in what he did today. It doesn't matter what his motivation is or if he benefits from Brizzi's resignation. The people of this county aren't political analysts, but they do want an honest and non corrupt Prosecutor. That is really all that matters to the majority of people- and all that should.

Any comments about Massa doing it for political reasons make Democrats look like hypocrites. I mean, come on, why have no Democrats been demanding he resign? Could it be because of political calculus that it would be better to have Brizzi around? To not give Massa an "edge"?

The right thing to do was to demand that Brizzi resign immediately before he damages the public's faith in the judicial system and Prosecutor's Office specifically anymore than he has. That is absolutely the only right thing to do. Massa is the first to do it and people will respect him for it. Any other reading of this is way off base in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I had to look this one up. If Brizzi resigns, the party will caucus to fill the vacancy. Indiana Code 3-13-6-2.

Jon is right that Massa stands to benefit most if Brizzi resigns.

Check out Terry Curry's response at Indianapolis Times. Terry's
right on the money that Massa's proposed ethics reform is already a given. Terry then points out that Massa left out a few key points in his ethics plan. Wonder if that was intentional?

Massa's attempt to distance himself from Brizzi is too little too late. I think we'll see evidence of Massa and Brizzi being pretty closely aligned in the coming days.

guy77money said...

To be honest I think Brizzi needs to go from the Prosecutor's office to a nice little jail cell. What a sleazeball!

Marycatherine Barton said...

Definitely, Massa was 100% correct in calling for Brizzi's resignation. Thanks for erin's comment.