Thursday, April 7, 2011
No Amnesty for Ballard on Gun Turn-in
Local bloggers and the mainstream media have picked up on the various issues surrounding the cancellation of a gun amnesty event IMPD had scheduled, and it just doesn’t look good for Mayor Ballard.
My friend, Terry Burns, over at the Indianapolis Times offers up this blow-by-blow insider account of what happened. Burns’ post is particularly scathing because it points out some of the more seedy aspects of the whole event and its cancellation. It’s worth the read.
The RTV-6 Watchdogs also have picked up on the story. Once the Watchdogs get on something, there’s no chance of it dying a quick death as a story. Jack Rinehart filed this story on how local ministers felt betrayed by the sudden cancellation of the event with little or no explanation.
I think both accounts leave one major question. Who is running the show for the Ballard campaign? From Burns’ post, it seems like the Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s campaign may be a little bit too cozy. The gun amnesty turn-in event sounded to Burns to be a direct response to Melina Kennedy’s crime reduction plan released a few days before the IMPD event was announced citing some of the language in Kennedy’s plan. It’s clear that no one spoke with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office who, according to Burns, voiced immediate concerns over the “no questions asked” gun amnesty turn-in event.
Even though the spin right now is to blame this on IMPD and the Public Safety Department, it’s not clear within those entities who talked to who there, either. Regardless, wasn’t it Mayor Ballard that wanted control of IMPD and public safety back under the Mayor’s Office during the campaign in 2007? If something this big happened, then you would think the Mayor should have known about it or signed off on it. It's not hard to see how the politics of the campaign are sneaking into something that could have a major impact on the city and how it fights crime.
Finally, I think this also shows how not in campaign trim that the Ballard camp is. These are juvenile mistakes that just can’t be made by the sitting Mayor, especially in a city and county that has trended strongly Democratic lately. Melina Kennedy’s a great candidate, and her campaign is professionally-run. In a referendum on the incumbent, these are some of the thousand small holes that can sink a ship.
Then again, this is more than a small hole. All the more reason why Mayor Ballard deserves to be the first one term Mayor since the passage of Unigov.