|Senator Jim Merritt|
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.
We live in Two Cities. One is a happy, growing place the NCAA loves, the NBA loves and where the Mayor dances in the street and hopes no one looks behind the curtain. The other is an increasingly dangerous place about which we ALL should be concerned. https://t.co/cFNuFiWLrp— Citizens4Merritt (@Jim_Merritt) December 21, 2017
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.