Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Ballard Running For Re-Election?

Despite the fact that I have seen Mayor Ballard campaign material out there, I have now had more than one REPUBLICAN leader tell me that believe he MAY NOT run for re-election. In addition, one well-known Republican who will remain anonymous told me that he doesn't believe Ballard can win.

It certainly seems that, daily, Mayor Ballard is giving the four Democrats running for Mayor more campaign fodder to use against him in 2011. In fact, it seems like the to-hell-with-your-experience and keep-your-damn-hands-off-my-money Republican that asked, "Had Enough" four years ago has turned into someone he would have campaigned against then.

While some conservative bloggers rumor that unidentified polls have Ballard enjoying a high approval rating, I hear from staunch conservatives that they will have a hard time backing Ballard in 2011. They tell me that they feel he has deserted them on the side of the road and instead has gotten sucked up the elevator shaft to the 25th Floor at the City-County Building.

There are tales out there of Ballard snubbings of GOP elected officials who disagree with him. There are tales of a man who just doesn't seem to understand the job he was elected to and the weight it carries. For example, Greg Ballard could do a tremendous service to this city by coming out and making his position known on the Carl Brizzi matter. Instead, Ballard has danced around the issue and Brizzi continues to enjoy at least the cover of knowing his Mayor has not yet turned away. This as Republicans line up against the man the elected to the Prosecutor's Office in 2002. Ballard, as the biggest fish in the county, has let things go. The vacuum of leadership is becoming audible.

It's not just on this matter. Ballard's seeming lack of political savvy has really become sorely noticeable in public meetings. When he's challenged, Ballard almost always gets defensive. At Mayor's Night Out functions, Ballard has demonstrated a lack of knowledge of local issues to communities and neighborhoods that has never been portrayed by the five previous administrations.

He has not lived up to his campaign promises, and, in some cases, it seems like he hasn't tried. Ballard ran on a public safety and lower taxes platform. He was going to get control of the police department and put himself in charge. He was going to bring down crime, and he wasn't going to ask for any more of our money. Now, on pace to break a record for homicides, Indianapolis bleeds nightly. It's good for the news business, but it's not good for a city. While fees, taxes, and now utility rates continue to go up, Ballard continues to use voodoo magic to claim he honestly balanced the budget as revenues go down and unemployment goes up.

Let's face it. Even the Republicans have to see that Ballard does not have much of a record to run on, but he does have money. Ballard already had a million dollars cash on hand at the end of last year. He can do a lot of poop shining with that kind of dough. We've already seen what a slick video production budget can do. It produced this video below which clearly puts lipstick on the pig for Ballard's first three years in office. Look carefully. It makes Ballard look really good by highlighting a number of the accomplishments of previous administrations.

Let's write this down. Mayor Greg Ballard will, in my opinion, seek a second term. Ballard will be a very tough opponent because he will start from the advantageous position of being in the lead by raising campaign cash. With over a million for a re-election campaign in the bank, I just can't imagine the Lt. Colonel hanging it up and calling it quits.

I think a really good question is, "Will Ballard have a primary opponent?" He certainly has ticked off enough people in his own party that someone might take a run at him. I doubt it, though. Usually incumbent Mayors are spared the tough primary fights. We shall see what happens soon enough because 2011 will be here before you know it.

1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gee, I'm not sure what in this post I disagree with. Not much.

I don't agree that Ballard will be difficult for the Democrats to beat. He has permanently tarnished his image and given the D's endless campaign fodder with the policies he's pursued and his reneging on campauign promises. No amount of money can change that. Absent a felony committed on the campaign trail, any Democrat is going to beat Ballard in 2011.

I think you would more likely see a credible Ballard primary opponent if the primary winner was a sure general election winner. The problem is that a primary opponent, even if successful against Ballard, goes to the general election carry the Ballard baggage. It's the same reason why it will be difficult for Mark Massa to win. He has the Brizzi baggage to carry.

Ballard's refusal to ask for Brizzi's resignation is puzzling. There's nothing to be gained politically from not making the call. I wonder if it's because Brizzi and Ballard share the same political adviser - Jennifer Hallowell?

Imagine at the same time that libraries and parks are being cut and teachers are being laid off, the City/CIB decides to give $15 million more to the Pacers. That's what will almost certainly be what Ballard proposes. I know how hard it is for the D's to publicly criticize the Simons (they are the No. #1 donor to D's) but taking on this issue is a slam dunk.