I don't know what the cheat sheet says, but it doesn't make any sense for Mahern to become a Republican. His family would likely disown him. Mahern will likely become an independent and that would cause council chaos of its own.
Let's look at the facts. The Council is, for all intents and purposes, 14-14-1 right now. There are 14 Republicans, 14 Democrats, and one Brian Mahern. I think that's what will happen if Mahern decides to bolt the party and become his own voice on the Council.
At this point, things are irreconcilable with Mahern. Even if he stays a Democrat, he's not going anywhere but off the Council. He's played his last card.
Some of my friends and readers of the blog have rushed to defend Mahern for speaking out against some of the practices of the current Council leadership. I would say that his action last Monday would have been a lot more heroic and believable if he didn't spend most of the Council meetings on his microphone. Mahern has been running his own agenda for a long time...even dating back to when he was Vice President of the Council.
Even if you don't believe that, Mahern's alleged actions in recent weeks would seem to signal that he was ready to help Republicans try to topple the Council's power structure. In response to Mahern's recent appearance on the Afternoons with Amos Show, City-County Councillor Pam Hickman leveled new allegations on her Facebook page that Mahern went to Republican Minority Leader Michael McQuillen "a couple meetings ago" and said he was ready to help the R's take out Council President Maggie Lewis loudly enough so he could be heard. Of course, he tried on Monday, but he didn't have the votes thanks to four Republicans that refused to take part in the revolution.
As far as sharing his beefs with the Democratic leadership, Hickman said that Mahern has not attended caucus meetings in months. In short, if you believe Hickman, it sounds like Mahern went rogue long ago.
By doing that, Mahern pretty much declared his independence. He can put any letter next to his name that he wants, but he's screwed the Democrats and has empowered the Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard. If that's what he wanted to accomplish in this little tiff, then he has done it. If he wanted to destroy the power base of Democrats in the City of Indianapolis, then he likely will do it.
It seems like Mahern finally holds the power, but it has come with a tremendous political cost. He has become a lonely man.
The bottom line: Democrats owe Mahern nothing. Don't expect any niceties.