Hoosier Daddy?


The Republican takeover of Indianapolis—America's 13th largest city, right between Jacksonville and San Francisco—has gotten next to no national attention. That's probably because Republicans have always been unusually strong here. Like Oklahoma City and San Diego it lacks a truly massive urban black population and it's zoned to include some conservative suburbs. It elects Republican mayors from time to time, like the legendary Steve Goldsmith. But everyone bet on Democrat Bart Peterson surviving into a third term, and he out-fundraised first-time candidate Greg Ballard by $3 million to $300,000. That makes the Indianapolis Star optimistic:

Greg Ballard will owe few political debts when he assumes office as mayor. Political powerbrokers didn't line up behind him during the campaign. Donations were scarce. Republican insiders for the most part stayed away… Ballard should search carefully through the ranks of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and independents in filling posts within his administration.

That'd be nice. Click through the Star's pages and you'll see that the Republicans won on property tax anger and fear about crime while Virginia Republicans were running on immigration and losing. Columnist Matthew Tully got a revealing interview with local GOP chairman Tom John.

The Republicans haven't had the best relationship with the local business community of late. After Tuesday's results came in, John turned to a chamber lobbyist at an event and shared a message: "You've got a lot of making up to do."

I don't want lobbyists to have doors slammed in their faces, but there's something too… Willie Stark about rushing to bring them back to the team so fast. Still, you've got to like Ballard for this:

If I feel that I'm not fulfilling my goals for the city, then I will not run for re-election. Specifically, I have committed to not running for re-election if I can't cut the non-public safety budget by 10%; and I mean it. There are other measures that I will be addressing as Mayor (crime, accountability, etc.) where, if I feel that I'm not holding to my own standards, I will pass on a re-election bid.

Let's see if he sticks to that.

NEXT: The Cabal Reveals Itself

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  1. I’m sure the lobbyists will make up with the Republicans soon enough.

  2. Let’s see if he sticks to that.

    If he does, make him President in 2012.

  3. Let’s see if he sticks to that.

    He will, because politicians always do what they say they will do…

  4. Hey, didn’t the Star just fire RiShawn Biddle?

  5. Oh yeah, RiShawn called some bureaucrat a Zip Coon. In print. And Kerry was poopin’ nickels over a Halloween costume. 🙂

  6. Let’s see if he sticks to that.

    Uh-huh…just like the term self imposed limits of the Republican Revolution Congress.

  7. Compare New Orleans Armageddon to San Diego’s interesting vacation.

    Hmm hard choice to pick between Republicans or Democrats to run a city.

  8. I’m trying to envision what would happen if the Republicans actually did “take over” a major city.

    Sure, they’d impose apartheid and a strict dress code. But more unbearable than that, I think, would be the constant blaring of the Leave It to Beaver theme over loudspeakers in every public place. Gaaah! The whistling! The whistling!

  9. For those of you geographically challenged, SW Indiana is a suburb of Sinincincinnati. So we are aware that “over there” is John Birch country. (My neighbors down here in the ‘hood very rarely venture west. Why is that?) Didn’t John Birch have some connection with the Indianapolis Star, not to mention, with Dan Quayle and his daddy?

    Just to show how near we are, I used to attend meetings of the local libertarians in Cincy, and we happened to have the same date, time and place as the Bircher group. I’m relieved to report we usually had a bigger attendance. (We had limited cross-pollination… cordial but limited.)
    Actually I have noticed more cross-pollination over the years betwixt libertarians and the local atheist group. (Atheists are overwhelmingly bleeding-heart socialists.)

  10. SE Indiana I meant to say.
    I’m not geographically challenged.

  11. Hoosier Daddy?

    Geez! Only upon a 2nd gander did I get that.

    Click through the Star’s pages and you’ll see that the Republicans won on property tax anger and fear about crime…

    Protecting property from criminal and criminal like organizations (government) is often a winner. Just as support for the Iraq war is a decided loser. The only way for Republicans to win meaningful numbers of votes, and to be worth voting for, is to embrace and enact smaller government.

  12. Stick to what? He’ll not run for re-election if he “feels” he didn’t meet up to his *own* standards? What kind of yardstick is that?

    “Let’s see if he sticks to that.” Let’s see how he weasels out of it, is more like it.

  13. while Virginia Republicans were running on immigration and losing.

    Losing because Virginia Democrats were also running on immigration (against it).

    If I remember correctly, Weigel, you live in the DC/NoVA area… surely you saw the same ads on TV I did. Why are you (falsely) implying that VAGOP lost because of the immigration issue?

  14. What the hell is a “Zip Coon”?

  15. In the 19th century, there were two caricatures of black people as ignorant bumkins:

    Jim Crow was a country bumpkin,

    Zip Coon was a city bumpkin.

    There’s even a song called “Zip Coon” set to the melody of Turkey in the Straw.

  16. Wow, I just learned a racial epithet that even I didn’t know. Reason wins again!

  17. ChicagoTom

    Uh-huh…just like the term self imposed limits of the Republican Revolution Congress.

    From wikipedia:

    In 2000, each member that promised to serve only three terms in 1994 was due to retire. In addition, several members elected in 1992 had pledged to serve only four terms and were also due to leave office. In all, ten Republicans and one Democrat were due to step-down following the 106th Congress (1999-2001). Ultimately, eight of the eleven kept their pledge.

    BTW, the GOP was 8 for 10, the Dems 0 for 1.

    Considering normal lying rates for congress, that seems pretty good.

  18. ChicagoTom

    Its amazing how different the truth is from perception of the truth. I was expecting a much lower number when I looked it up. I was just going to throw one name at you, even. 🙂

  19. Another similar story completely missed by the national media:

    In the Detroit suburb of Livonia Republican Jack Kirskey beat an inbument Democrat tax raiser for the Mayor’s seat. With Kirskey, 4 other GOPers were swept into office.

    This despite the fact that Dem Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s backers dumped in tons of money to help the incumbent keep her seat. Major rebuke for Granholm and her tax-raising comrades.

  20. Imagine that, the national media not covering local elections.

  21. “Like Oklahoma City and San Diego it lacks a truly massive urban black population”

    So tell us, David, why do you think blacks vote for Democrats?

  22. I find it illuminating when Reason calls the political situation in Indianapolis a “Republican takeover”, and says nothing of the utter strangle hold the Democrats have in the large majority of American cities.

    Like Episiarch, I learned a new racial epithet: “zip coon”. I was expecting it to mean something like, “a zip code with a large African American population…”

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