Initially, Kyle Walker, Marion County Republican Party Chair, issued a declaration that Mayor Ballard was up "double digits" in their polling. If there's nothing to be concerned about, then why did the Mayor's campaign release a misleading and, what some would call, negative, retort.
Melina Kennedy weighs in in this e-mail to supporters.
I am pleased to share some exciting news about the campaign. Yesterday evening, a poll conducted by Riggs Research Services showed that among likely voters in Marion County, our campaign is leading Mayor Ballard by two points, 40-38.
This is very exciting and encouraging news. Your support has helped move us into this position. The poll results show that our message about stronger schools, improving public safety, and creating jobs is resonating with voters.
Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after the poll was released, the Mayor began unleashing a personal and misleading attack ad. In the ad, the Mayor claims that I supported an income tax increase while I was Deputy Mayor. I had no role in this. And, if he is referring to the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) increase in 2007, this occurred two years after I left my position with the City.
And more disappointing is that Mayor Ballard made a campaign pledge in 2008 to FULLY repeal the LOIT. Not only has he broken this promise, but since taking office he has raised taxes, rates and fees more than 140 times – 143 to be precise. These tax hikes imposed by the Mayor have stifled job creation throughout our city. And, the Mayor's tax increases have made it more difficult for entrepreneurs, small businesses and working families to survive and succeed in our city.
I am open to discussing our records and discussing the issues, but to attack me personally and attempt to mislead the public with distorted facts is the worst type of politics. The Mayor has claimed to not be political, but his attack ads are nothing more than a vastly political move to try and keep his job.
We can do better.
That’s why I continue to be committed to improving educational outcomes, creating jobs, spurring economic development, and fighting crime by putting more than 100 officers back on the street and restoring crime prevention grants.
We have critical issues to address in order to move our city forward and that’s exactly what I’m focused on doing.
Thanks for your continued support.
Now, you might say that what's good for the goose is good for the gander and that Melina went negative first. I would dispute how negative she has gone. She really has not been all that negative. I'd say she's been more comparative, but that's neither here nor there. The Mayor is clearly feeling heat. The kid gloves are coming off, and it's probably only going to get worse. The campaign appears to be "game on" now, and the momentum is in Kennedy's court.
The bigger question in this poll is how can 21 percent of the electorate still be undecided about an incumbent Mayor. Furthermore, how is he polling 12 points below 50 percent. Mayor Bart Peterson's numbers didn't deflate until, essentially, the last two weeks of the campaign.
Things are getting purty interestin' around these here parts.