Wednesday, April 22, 2015

McQuillen Takes One for Mayor Ballard in Council Vote

Monday night, the City-County Council voted 28-1 to override Mayor Greg Ballard’s veto of a
Councillor Mike McQuillen
public safety proposal to spend $4.7 million on upgrades for IMPD equipment and upgrades and repairs at the aging police academy. It seems to have been an historic evening for the Council and an infamous one for Mayor Ballard.

Longtime Council observers can’t seem to remember the last time a Mayor’s veto was overturned, so there’s really no script for this sort of thing.

The margin was extra shocking.

The original proposal had passed the Council by a vote of 24-4, and many thought that if the Mayor’s veto were to be overturned it would be along those lines or even closer to the 20-vote margin necessary to overturn the Ballard action. I don’t think anyone, including Council Minority Leader Mike McQuillen could have thought it would be 28-1.

Suddenly, he was all alone, and McQuillen’s vote certainly stood out like a clichéd sore thumb. It was, however, almost a vote he had to make. As the leader of the Republicans on the Council, it is kind of his job to carry the water for the Ballard Administration along with balancing the concerns and needs of his constituents. Seeing as this vote was likely headed for an override anyway, his vote was less important and he could vote to support the Mayor’s position without putting the passage of the bill in danger.

It’s something that happens in Congress all the time. Sometimes the party’s leadership votes against their own proposals for procedural or other reasons. As a party leader, McQuillen was doing the loyal thing for his party’s Mayor and likely thought he wouldn’t be alone. When some of his caucus changed their votes…suddenly it was just him and the Mayor.

Long term, this could, of course, hurt McQuillen. While he has no opponent in the upcoming primary, he most definitely has an opponent in Ray Biederman in the general election in November. I’m sure IMPD officers and the FOP will take note of McQuillen’s vote. 

I’m not making excuses. The vote stands for what it was.

It’s a difficult road being in party leadership sometimes, but it is one that is chosen. During the victory lap, it’s great. When you’re on the other end of things, well, it’s Hell.


Paul K. Ogden said...
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Paul K. Ogden said...

I don't agree that it's the job of the leader in a legislative body to carry water for an executive of his or her own party. They are co-equal branches. Not a great analogy, but you'd never see Republican leadership in the Indiana General Assembly simply signing onto proposals that originate from the Governor's Office. Bosma and Long always make it very clear, even to popular Republican Governors, that they are in charge of what goes on at the legislature, not the Governor.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line...a true leader would do the right thing for the right reason. McQuillen is the biggest of cowards, with no leadership skills whatsoever, based on the simple "do the right thing" fact. Boot licking lackey seems to come to mind. IMPD and the FOP (who helped Ballard get elected much to their chagrin) can set em up and knock em down. Politicians better remember that. See Goldsmith, et al

johnnystir said...

Good point, Paul.

Michael Dunn said...

Yeah, because those who would say no to the police and the FOP are the boot lickers. All the 28-1 vote shows is that it's expecially hard to say no to the police and the FOP.