Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ballard Loses Cover with SB621 Passage

Ballard might laugh now,
but will he cry later?
When Ed Delaney said he was thinking about running for Mayor of Indianapolis on the House floor last Thursday, he mentioned something that I had not thought about before.

Once Senate Bill 621 passes through conference committee, it will create, as Delaney put it during second reading, “the second-most powerful” politician in Indiana, and it will give the Mayor of Indianapolis unchecked power over the state’s most-populous city as well as a key component of its economic engine. That is a pretty big responsibility now.  It's a lot of power.

Democrats have a good number of candidates already clamoring to run for Mayor. Delaney, Joe Hogsett, and Brian Mahern have already been mentioned as candidates. New powers granted under SB621 makes it much more interesting perhaps for a politician like AndrĂ© Carson to run for Mayor of Indy. Perhaps there’s allure for John Layton or Terry Curry or any of the other countywide officials. Maybe Kathy Davis thinks that her amazing bio and unmatched experience in the public and private sectors would be a perfect fit. Will any or all of those names above run?  I don't know, but it's certainly a powerful office.

For Republicans, it’s a different deal altogether. Right now, Greg Ballard represents the GOP’s best chance to win the office because he’s the incumbent. After him, there are a number of talented potential candidates, but no one will be able to raise money or name recognition like Emperor Ballard. Anyone other than Ballard that would have that ability would need to be moved in.

When this was just proposed legislation, it was more on Senator Young.  Now, it’s all on the Mayor. After all, this is his bill.  Mayor Ballard worked hand-in-hand with Senator Young to write this bill and any attempts to deny that are pretty laughable. Ballard may not have agreed with every plank, but his fingerprints are all over the pieces of wood.

Representative Delaney is right.  This bill does create a superpolitican.  An office that now has no excuse for anything.  At the third reading yesterday evening, Delaney predicted that this would be the worst thing that's happened to this Mayor.  I agree.  When this bill leaves conference committee, is passed again by both Houses of the General Assembly, and is signed by Mike Pence, Mayor Greg Ballard's cover disappears.  If the results of his policies fail in Indianapolis, he can't blame anyone but the man in the mirror.

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