Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Curious Case of Brian Mahern

Brian Mahern
Brian Mahern’s once bright political light didn't just dim...it short circuited on Monday night.

Mahern tried to unseat Maggie Lewis as President of the City-County Council at Monday's Council meeting.  He failed.  Spectacularly.  Didn't he count votes or something?

Mahern fell short of the necessary votes to toss out Lewis.  Four Republicans (Jose Evans, Christine Scales, Will Gooden, and Jeff Miller) joined with the 13 Democrats present to punt Mahern's poorly conceived proposal out of consideration, 17-11.  

While Mahern was the turncoat Democrat, the 10 Republicans that supported his ploy should be ashamed of themselves as well.  It does underline the fact that if Mike McQuillen was any kind of minority leader, he would have ousted Lewis by using Mahern.  Who was using who?

I am not privy to all the inside baseball that went into this, but I am pretty certain that things aren't going to get pretty for Mahern from here on out.

It's been a topsy-turvy year for him.  At the end of the last Council year, Mahern stepped down from his position as Vice President of the Council, and it was widely rumored to be over two reasons.  First of all, some sources said he had disagreements with the direction of the Council Leadership, and secondly, it seemed he was going to run for Mayor of Indianapolis.  

Today, I think Benedict Arnold might win an election over Mahern.

What surprises me is that Mahern's plot to overthrow his own Council leader was so poorly conceived.  One thing a Mahern, of all people, should know is when you're trying to take out the City-County Council President that you should make sure you have the votes.  Now, he's finished.  His ability to push any agenda is through.  Now, he is a party of one.  Where he goes from here is anyone's guess.

While I have disagreed with the Democratic caucus and President Lewis at times, I have always found her to be a competent leader who does a fine job running a Council meeting.  It's not the easiest thing to do, by the way.  Lewis did not deserve to be ousted, and I'm glad she wasn't.

As for Brian Mahern, it will be a lonely two years on the Council.  What a sharp contrast to the way he was trending.  


jamel95 said...

Jon, a well described and apt report of the evenings event. I go back to your initial comment though. What was he trying to do, embarrass the R's? Confuse the D's (which I am sure it did) or just plain show true colors. I am reminded of the old comment - you can keep your mouth closed and have people wonder or you can open it and let them know for sure. Whatever, Brian should have taken off his shoes and socks when he was counting his votes. I am waiting for this one to play out.

William said...

This is likely to lead to a primary challenge in 2015 if he doesn't run for mayor and runs for council again. He may even have a difficult time getting slated over this.

I certainly I have lost a great deal of respect for Councilor Mahern over this.

lakelady said...

And while Mahern was playing mob boss, a GOP councillor was promising Christine Scales they would put back the ladder at 21st and Keystone. Since when is a CCC councillor making IFD decisions. And if the 25th floor gave him permission, I now do not believe why they closed it- financial cutbacks.

Anonymous said...

Mahern has done a great deal for the city and it is easy to have a blog and talk crap another thing to be a leader and do what is good for the city... people are learning that it is not about the party it is about the people... and the dems have been doing dirty and bad things and wrong things for sometime now.... it all comes back and there are a lot of key dems who have convinced themselves that they are are the end all be all... not at all so and is it not a moot point in 2015... the time stheya re a changing... and it will all come out in the wash and only time will tell... the dems have many dirty and bad things to good people and there will be questions that will be answered... and dirty deeds that will surface and be delt with...you sir an an idiot blogger... nothing more than a tool to and for the party you rank just above a cockroach... and there are many dems who my say dem but are very republican behind closed doors and sell outs and stab not only their own party..worse they go against the working class they claim to protect and profess to be heroes for... the democrat party has been going to hell for sometime now... and all the sell outs and crooks seem to be in hiding for good reason.. there are brave men and women who are good dems and understand the needs of the people and are not afraid to challange the party for the greater good of the people......

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon - while I agree that many of the Dems have been working for powerbrokers, not the people - and I agree that Mahern has done a great deal for this City (and the powerbrokers wanted him shut down for it) - Jon Easter is a fine blogger/journalist. He is also quite a fine person and deserves more respect than you showed him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:07 sounds like Brian Mahern himself.

Anonymous said...

Anyone paying close attention to Mahern''s behavior and votes during his first term should have seen the Mahern implosion coming. He was the only dem who voted for Ballard's budget. He would not meet with his caucus. He's incapable of working with others. Acts like a dictator. Too busy yelling at people while poking his finger in their faces.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Mahern's real sin was reminding the public what good government looked like. The contrast with the status quo was stark.

jamel95 said...

Pat, maybe that is true about calling out the bad folks and perhaps in the end we will all see how smart and right Brian is but.... not sure he has the ability to wake us up in order to lead us from the darkness. We are all confused over what the leader is telling us.. i am not smart enough to see the strategy.

Jon Easter said...

Anonymous 12:07...thanks for reading the blog. You're clearly a first time reader, so please stick around.

Pat, thanks for your comments.

I would find Brian's stances on the Council much more believable if he did not spend the majority of the meetings with his microphone open grandstanding on an issue. He's not alone in that regard, but his attempted coup was, in my opinion, completely about Brian Mahern and had little to do with good government.

Jon Easter said...

I have been vocal in disagreement with how the majority has handled the committee issues.

I just don't think an attempted coup was necessary.