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.


True Republican said...

Merritt is a useless hack who needs to retire. We can’t entirely let Hogsett off the hook as US Attorney he did less than nothing to crackdown on the Indiana Pay-To-Play crowd.

Christine Scales said...

Republican Mayor Ballard refused to honor his 2007 campaign promise to immediately hire 300 new police officers upon his election. Instead, he continued to fight efforts to fund the hiring of new police officers, even when it was shown that it might take 10-15 years to recruit and train the number of officers needed to replace rapidly retiring ones.
We lost years that could have been devoted to effective crime fighting strategies due to Ballard's insistence on hiring Frank Straub as Public Safety Director. Straub's focus was more on humiliating and demoralizing IMPD which he believed would somehow bring about total allegiance to his dictatorial leadership. Top level, highly accomplished IMPD officers started leaving the department in droves under Straub. Those who wouldn't follow his orders to undertake unethical or illegal actions were forced out. The drain of experienced officers able to patrol streets, reach out to community leaders and solve crimes is being felt today, and will be for years to come.
I can't imagine Mayor Hogsett opting out of attending the burial services of a slain officer as Ballard did. From day one until now, Mayor Hogsett has demonstrated a willingness to provide police officers needed resources to perform their jobs safely and more productively. He accepts suggestions for new public safety initiatives and will at least give creative ideas a try.
Merritt and the Republicans should tread carefully in attempting to make Public Safety a major issue to use against the Hogsett Administration. There is a long list of examples of how the Ballard Administration worked to undermine efforts to make this city safe and set us up to experience longterm public safety challenges. There is an endless list of potential hard hitting campaign mailers that could be crafted using facts not fictional, negative slurs tracing today's crime problems to Republican leadership in municipal and state governments. One mailer could remind voters of Republican Minority Leader Mike McQuillen's lone vote cast among Councillors against the overriding of Mayor Ballard's veto of a Council proposal providing funding for new police officers.
Christine Scales, City County Councillor, District 3
Christine Scales

Anonymous said...

True Republican, you hit the jackpot, you know of which you speak. Merritt is just another political male prostitute in a conga line of DB/BG tools used like the low-rent pawns they are on the crony corrupt Hoosier GOP political chess board. I know trades persons who dropped out of high school with more intellect and personal ethics than just about any attorney.

Attorney is the key word. Could any profession more prostitute and abuse the Law to serve themselves and their cronies than attorneys who took oaths to uphold it?

Many Marion County voters lost complete political respect and confidence with the now-turned-Democrat Ms. Scales. Pardon my skepticism but anyone with a working brain cell might believe Scales switched political parties for the demographics of her little northeast side fiefdom- demographics which portend a loss to anyone bearing the "Republican" brand.. a brand Scales defended for years and years but now, well, you know....

Scales never comprehended whining and public huffing-and-puffing without an iota of demonsgtrated talent to successfully coalesce other Councilors to stop the illegal abuses of her mayor Greg Ballad does not equate to leadership. I have not the slightest clue how Scales has teflonned her lack of meaningful quantifiable accomplishments during all the time she warmed a Council seat to an image of a conscientious public servant. It's just so damn comical to read Scales lambast that sniveling petulant girly-Marine Greg Ballard when the facts clearly indicate she did not do a damn effective thing to stop his illegal acts.