Thursday, December 21, 2017

Indy GOP Sees Crime Wave as Political Opportunity

Senator Jim Merritt
In the past few days, the Indy GOP has stepped up its attacks on Mayor Joe Hogsett over the crime that continues to plague Indianapolis.

It's the one weakness the Republicans can definitely exploit against Hogsett, an otherwise popular Mayor on both sides of the political aisle, as the 2019 municipal elections grow closer.

Let's be honest though, this is not the same situation as Democrats faced when Greg Ballard was Mayor. Ballard largely ignored the crime issue blaming things many times on bad guys killing other bad guys and failing to stem a rising tide of homicides that continue through this year's record 151st murder.

Hogsett isn't doing that. In fact, he's taken responsibility for the issue saying, in a press conference a few days back, that the continued homicides are unacceptable and pledging to do what's necessary to stem the tide.

The latest tactic by the GOP is to essentially troll the Mayor's Twitter account and try to portray him as a Mayor absent from the problem. Just today, Indy GOP Chair Jim Merritt used a tweet describing Mayor Hogsett's visit to the Broad Ripple Sertoma Club as a platform to try to nail him on crime.

Listen, I get it. Hogsett ran on the law and order ticket and was a fomer United States Attorney. I'm sure that he's as disgusted by what's happening in our streets as anyone. I've also had the privilege to talk to him, and I know the job wears on him even though he doesn't show it. To portray Joe Hogsett as someone who is absent from this issue is just not correct.

I might also point out that Merritt had an opportunity to run for Mayor of Indianapolis in 2015. He did the math and realized that he couldn't beat Hogsett, so he didn't run, according to my sources. 

That's not the point, though. We do have a major problem in this city, and it must be addressed. If Merritt wanted to help solve the problem, he'd be more like his Senate self. That has done great work at the state level to help numerous individuals across Indiana deal with addiction and a number of other issues. Instead, he's trying to attack Hogsett without providing much of an alternative plan. It's the same thing the out-of-power party does time and time again.

Our city is far from perfect, and we have very big problems to solve with the violence that's happening on a daily basis everywhere in Indy. There's no person more acutely aware of that than Joe Hogsett. There's also no politician in or out of power better to deal with it than Joe Hogsett.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

If Moore Wins in Alabama, America Loses

Judge Roy Moore
It's transparent what some Republicans are trying to do in Alabama right now, but no one is talking about it. They are using Judge Roy Moore.

He may get the last laugh.

Yeah, Roy Moore is back in the good graces of the Republican National Committee. After withdrawing from the campaign a few months ago, the RNC has jumped back in and is putting money behind a man who may be a serial child molester if the accusations made against him are true. President Donald Trump even joined the fight on Friday endorsing Moore.

That should surprise no one. Moore is as morally bankrupt as Trump. They are two peas in the same pod. Moore, however, is maybe even more sinister than the President. As is well-documented, Moore is a one man hate group. 

I believe Republicans at the RNC level see Moore for what he is, but they are just running behind him to keep the seat of Jeff Sessions in the red. If Doug Jones wins the seat on Tuesday, that means that the Democrats are one seat closer to taking back the Senate. That would be a disaster for the GOP agenda.

I honestly believe many Republicans have no intention of allowing Moore to take Sessions' seat. I think they wish to send him back to Alabama before he can do much in the Senate and replace him with another Republican that would be appointed by the Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey.  Again, as has been well-documented, this is something that is rarely done or rarely accomplished in the Senate. A Senator has not been expelled since the Civil War.

It's just sad that the Republican Party is even backing Moore again. It's going to come back and bite them where it hurts someday. The far right is a much smaller political coalition in numbers than the center right and the left. For Trump, backing Moore is a ready-made political ad. 

If Roy Moore wins on Tuesday, the United States of America loses. He will likely be a U.S. Senator, and his hateful views and opinions will serve with him. It's imperative that Doug Jones wins.