Monday, March 7, 2011

Charlie White Fallout May Further Taint Ballard Reelection Hopes

It's still early, but Mayor Greg Ballard has to have a healthy concern for keeping his job at this point when it comes to November's election for Mayor of Indianapolis. With all the political craziness right now, the voters first opportunity to toss an incumbent will be November 2011. That's not good news for a Republican Mayor of Indianapolis.

For the past few weeks, Democrats, mostly, have piled in on a daily basis to the Statehouse to protest the actions of a power-drunk Republican majority. Democrats have also now been proven correct on the issues raised about Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White prior to the election after he was indicted on seven felony counts including voter fraud, Thursday.

And, as Terry Burns recounted over at the Indianapolis Times, Ballard was a co-host of a major fundraiser for White AFTER THE CONCERNS ABOUT HIS CANDIDACY WERE RAISED! Paul Ogden is also on the story from a more political wonk angle, as well.

With major Republicans that were backers of Ballard privately telling me that if Melina Kennedy keeps the ball in the fairway that she should be fine, you would think that news headlines that we see coming from the Statehouse would concern the Mayor.

Another concern has to be that Ballard's early adopters seem to be deserting him as well. Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana wrote a scathing piece that I think includes many of the concerns that the anti-establishment supporters of Ballard in 2007 now feel about him. Welsh makes sense about once or twice a month, so this was his day.

Ogden, who makes much more sense than Welsh most days, also had a similar experience as Welsh with the Ballard re-election bid. I haven't gotten my "statement" yet...wonder why? OH YEAH! I voted for Bart.

Ballard backers are out touting Brian Howey's early rating of the race as Leans Ballard. That's probably what you would expect at this point in the game. Ballard has been more visible (after all, he's the Mayor) and his name recognition has to be higher. Kennedy will work very hard, and, with the push of the Marion County Democratic Party, Congressman Andre Carson, and others, I think she will begin to turn the race her way this summer after the primary. After all, in 2007, no one knew what Republican would be running at this point against strong, rich incumbent Bart Peterson. While Kennedy has two primary challengers, they cannot match her bank account or her support from Democrats.

Ballard needs this story to go away before it can be used against him in the General Election. As it looks right now, Charlie White's going to stay in office, and that will only increase the likelihood of this becoming a media circus. Even the nationals have picked up on the story.

Any connection to Charlie White hurts Greg Ballard at this point. He needs to come out and explain why he hosted that fundraiser for the embattled SOS.

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