Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Evans Decision Still Perplexes

Councillor Jose Evans
Yesterday, Jose Evans, however you slice it, turned his back on the Democratic Party that slated him twice for City-County Council and helped him win election and became a Republican.  Reaction continues to blossom.

A deeper look at Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Joel Miller's statement on Evans departure from the party seems to indicate that he believes that Evans and the Democrats will meet up again in some capacity.  Miller's statement said:

"This morning, I learned from news reports that Jose Evans, councillor for the 1st district will be changing political parties. While I wish Councillor Evans well in his future endeavors, as with any Republican, I certainly look forward to spirited political campaigns against him in the coming years."
The first part of the statement expresses subtle surprise.  Evans apparently told no one.  Not Council President Maggie Lewis.  Not Democratic Leader Vernon Brown.  Not the Marion County Democratic Party.  No phone call.  No e-mail.  No fax.  No carrier pigeon.  Miller concludes the statement by wishing Evans well and sending a nice parting shot his way addressing any future campaigns he might have.

There will be future campaigns for Evans, too.  As I mentioned yesterday, and as many of you are aware, Evans ran for Mayor of Indianapolis in 2011.  Under the current adopted City-County Council districts that were rushed through at the end of 2011, Evans and District 2 Councillor Angela Mansfield currently are in the same district.

Mansfield and Evans would certainly be a battle of the titans if that were to ever occur, but I think Mansfield's long record of delivering results for her constituents might be a little tough to beat for Evans.  If he thinks he has a chance now in Pike Township and Washington Township, which are turning more and more blue by the year, he would seem to me to be mistaken.  There is, of course, the possibility of Evans running for Mayor of Indianapolis in the future as he did in 2011.

Evans' record doesn't seem to match the most liberal Republican's agenda on the Council.  He is calling for a moratorium on charter schools.  Mayor Ballard wants to expand them.  Also, on Amos Brown's program on WTLC-AM, Evans apparently danced around the question of whether he would support Republican efforts to curtail City-County Council power.

I can't figure this one out.  Evans told Amos that he would never support someone like Mitt Romney or Richard Mourdock and said to callers that he was pro-labor. He seemed hopeful that he now can maybe do some things because he "has a seat at the table."  He said it again and again.  He told Amos that he had a meeting with Reince Priebus.  It's clear he's getting some attention now.  Evans himself said that the Marion County GOP told him not to change anything but to help them reach out to the African-American and Hispanic communities.  Sounds like the Republicans don't want Jose's views as much as they want Jose.  If Evans wanted respect and attention, he could have gotten it without leaving his old party.

As for Evans, he did a lot of dancing on Amos' direct questions.  He wouldn't tell Amos what specifically his problem was with the Democrats.  It was a great interview because you could clearly see that he did not want to answer these questions.

I'll reach out to Councillor Evans and give him an opportunity to appear on the JohnnyStir Show on IndianaTalks.com.  Hopefully, he will take up my invitation.

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