Indianapolis City-County Councilman Ed Coleman is ditching the GOP and joining the Libertarian Party.
Coleman says the Republican Party no long represents its stated principles. He says he has become disillusioned by the GOP's abuse of power and lack of transparency in governing, particularly when it comes to the city's Capital Improvement Board, a quasi-government agency charged with dishing out corporate welfare (including the sweetheart deals worked out with the city's two professional sports franchises that I blogged about earlier today).
The Libertarian Party takes a lot of abuse, much of it deserved. But under the leadership of Mark Rutherford, the Indiana LP has made some impressive progress in recent years. Rutherford recruited a host of accomplished, serious candidates for several local, state, and federal races. As Dave Wiegel pointed out last fall, the Indianapolis Star had high praise for LP 2008 congressional candidate Eric Schansberg, calling him a "prime example of how far the Libertarian Party has advanced in Indiana."
Last November, Indiana (my home state) voted for a Democratic president for the first time since 1964. If the state's LP can consistently field reputable candidates that siphon off even a small amount of the vote, it could present some real problems for the state's Republicans.
Thanks to Joshua Claybourn for the tip.