So I decided to do something and actually look at the direct mail pieces and watch the television ads. The second of two direct mailers can be seen here, though I can't find the first one online. The videos can be seen here.
I obtained both of the direct mailers myself. The first mailer is basically her first campaign commercial, except in written form. It focuses on education, and I don't recall Ballard's name being on it at all. On the second mailer, Ballard's name is on it a total of twice, both within the same bullet point of information. Nothing negative about it.
Kennedy's second television ad talks about the supposed lack of focus on education the Ballard administration has had. While that point is debatable, I don't know if it's negative. It's an issue. Candidates challenging incumbents often compare their views with the incumbent so voters might see a difference.
All I gotta say is if these are "negative" ads, then the Marion County GOP and Ballard's backers need to put on some big boy pants and grow some alligator skin. I typically see "negative" ads as when it's a personal attack on a candidate, like, oh say, this one. Didn't see Ballard's wife or children mentioned in Kennedy's, and nothing is mentioned as a personal insult to Ballard.
And while some Ballard's Backers are crying over the tough, mean negative ads from that monster Melina Kennedy, one GOP ward chairman from Warren Township is spreading rumors about why Kennedy left her previous jobs as deputy mayor under Mayor Bart Peterson and as a lawyer with the law firm Baker & Daniels, suggesting she couldn't "handle" the pressure of the city job and that she was caught in ethical troubles at B&D. If this local politico bothered to check his history, Kennedy left the Peterson administration to run for Marion County Prosecutor in 2006, and left B&D in 2011 to commit to running for Mayor full time. He's also slammed her for working as a waitress while growing up. Man, politicians trying to relate to common people by showing they've worked the same dead end jobs others have. What is up with that, right?
If you ask me, this representative of the county GOP is going much more personal than the Kennedy campaign. Ballard's backers need to grow some thicker skin.