Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meet The New Mayor Of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard (And Some Of The Challenges He May Face)

Almost one month ago, the Indy Star published an article that gave its readers a short biography of the man that just this week defeated the two-term incumbent, Bart Peterson. Because he had very little money to get his message out, this is the only real review of who this man was/is.

Today, in the same newspaper, we can learn more about this man that beat the odds, so heavily stacked against him. Here is an interview he gave after his upset victory.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this election was a tough road for the new mayor. In fact, just a couple of months ago, it was considered next to impossible. At the very least, most political aficionados thought he would score a "moral" victory by just making the race close. By doing this, many had hoped that it would merely send a message to those in power that they had better get their acts together, or the next time they would be out of power. But apparently, the voters thought four more years (for a spend-aholic government) was too long of a period to waste, hoping that the elected officials would get the message. So, they left nothing to chance.

The news of Ballard's victory may have been shocking to many people, but those of us who can gauge discontent in the electorate, it is not. One other person that gets around town is a man that knows the pulse of the city's political climate, very well. He is a fine American that just happens to be a black, a conservative, and a Muslim. His leanings are mostly Libertarian and believe me when I tell you, if he were to run for an office that I could vote in, I'd give him a good look.

Abdul Hakim Shabazz is not someone that you will hear the ideology of Louis Farrakhan expressed in any other terms, than divisive and dangerous. He has his own morning radio talk show on WXNT AM 1430 and covers many stories here in central Indiana, at the city, state, and national levels. I listen to him on my way to work and I have to say, he accurately predicted that Ballard had a real chance of winning this election. He sums his afterthoughts up well:

I took a few hours off this morning to recuperate from the Election. As I said before, the victory of Greg Ballard over incumbent Bart Peterson was no big shocker. Anyone who paid attention to the rather angry electorate saw this coming. However this is not about past election results, but the new world we enter into today.

But before we look to the future and some real possibilities that a new administration and council may have to offer the people of Indianapolis, let's look at some of the other things that Mr. Shabazz has noted.

First, here's a stunt that is rumored to be in the works from outgoing Democrats:

If Mayor-elect Greg Ballard wants to cut city spending he may find that problem more difficult than he thinks. Sources tell me the Peterson administration is in the process of entering into contracts with vendors that will last well into the Ballard Administration.

This is one problem I have with outgoing governments, they often try to sabotage the incoming crew by creating scenarios that make it difficult for the new group to implement their policies. This is why I think, barring emergency and other serious pressing matters, the old government should not have the authority to enter into situations that will affect the new government. And if they do, the new government should be able to repeal those acts and rescind any contracts that are deemed to not be necessary, once in office.

Then, there is a coming racial component within the local Democratic Party, with the old guard still wanting to cling to what little bit of power, they can. Here is Mr. Shabazz's take on this situation that may be brewing.

Finally, when doing the post-election analysis, there are a lot of things to consider. Again Mr. Shabazz has an excellent take on things. Here is his view and this is one area I would highlight in his analysis:

Since Tuesday I've discovered that a number of Black pastors told their flocks to stay home on Election Day. This would explain why in many areas of town where Democrats were counting on heavier voter turnout, it never materialized. Even the polls showed a significant number of Black voters still undecided about whom to vote for.

So instead of voting for Greg Ballard, they stayed home. I am not surprised at this.

One lady, I know and work with, did not stay home. She is a lifelong Democrat and pretty much votes a straight ticket, every election. She told me after the election, she had never in her life voted for a Libertarian, but voted for every single one in which there was one running in her district. And that included mayor.

Normally a vote for a Libertarian, means one less vote for a Republican and gives some advantage to the Democratic candidate. But in this case, it didn't. Although she couldn't bring herself to vote for a Republican, she also couldn't bring herself to compromise her conscious and vote for the Dems.

So, there you have it. It's more complicated than this in many respects, but this is it in a nutshell. As I have said before, the election (as tough as it was for Ballard to win) is over. Now the real task is to govern and govern well. Ballard will not make everyone happy, it's not possible in politics; there will always be a long supply of critics, no matter what happens. But since he had no support from his party, he will not owe any favors to anyone. He is free to govern according to his conscious and according to the will of the people that gave him this opportunity.

I truly hope he does this, or we will back to square one, in four short years.


Obob said...

Thanks for the visit. The aftershocks of this election could reverberate throughout the state and into the rest of the country. It wouldn't surprise me if Bart lays some turds for Ballards, even though he said we should give full support to Ballard in his concession speech. And I beleive that like Monroe Gray should remain on the city council.
After Abdul, I listen to him every morning on the drive to work. He seems to know just where to be to get the information and how to distribute it.
I'll be back

LASunsett said...


//I'll be back//

Good. Feel free to come back anytime. And thank you for visiting PYY.