Thursday, January 11, 2018

Council Committee Chairs Show Politics of Clay Coup

The coup continues.

It’s been three days since shock and awe struck the City-County Council as Stephen Clay upset Maggie Lewis to become President of the legislative body.

Today, the Republican Party, the Council's minority party, received chair roles in three powerful City-County Council committees. Democrats LaKeisha Jackson, Joe Simpson, and Duke Oliver all received chair roles as well. They are three of the four Democrats (plus Clay) that joined Republicans to oust Lewis.

Monroe Gray, a former Council President and the Council's current Majority Leader, was that fourth Democrat to jump ship in support of Clay over Lewis. He suddenly gained a conscience today and voted against the President Clay's plan to give Republicans unprecedented power from the political minority. He was outvoted. 

Not surprisingly, he didn't get a committee chairmanship.

The Indianapolis Star published two great articles today about the ramifications of the move by Clay to join with disgruntled Democrats and ambitious Republicans to unseat the capable Lewis. In brief, the short term gain is palpable, but the long term cost may be expensive politically. Read them here and here. Kudos to James Briggs and Abdul-Hakim Shabazz for the excellent coverage.

Citizens of Indianapolis lose in this whole mess. Instead of a tuned-in Council that’s ready to deal with the problems and issues of a city, we’re now bogged down in internal caucus politics and Republican-Democrat struggles with a Council leader who apparently has many questions surrounding his past behavior. Mayor Joe Hogsett deserves a better Council structure to deal with as the city tries to make key decisions about its future.

At least it makes good blog copy.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION:
My good friend and Council Vice President, Zach Adamson, reminded me that Gray was already a committee chair and retains his chairmanship of the Municipal Corporations Committee.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank Heavens Maggie Lewis is history. Regardless of the media puffery propping her up she was probably one of the worst Council "leaders" in a very long time. The word "disastrous" comes to mind. The Council finally had enough up to there with her imperious and non-inclusive style.

As for Abdul Hokey Shabazz, I thought he was dead. Or maybe at the least, his brain cells...

The Amazing Abdul said...

We are alive and well. Life could not be better.