Saturday, November 12, 2011

Republicans Blame Everyone But Themselves for Council Losses

Last Tuesday, the citizens of Indianapolis-Marion County elected divided government. Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, won his bid for re-election. At the same time, the At-Large seats on the City-County Council went from two Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian to all four being held by Democratic representatives. The only other switches were in two district races, where a Republican gained a seat held by a Democrat, and a Democrat gained a seat held by a Republican. That gives Democrats a three vote edge.

Recently, Republicans across social media and blogs have decided to simultaneously dismiss the Libertarian party as useless and also call them "spoilers." Jon Elrod, a former representative in the Indiana state legislature, pens a post over at Capitol & Washington on the race between Republican Jack Sandlin and Libertarian Ed Coleman in council district 24. You can read it for yourself, but it essentially boils down to "Haha! Looooosssseeerrrrrrs!" This isn't Elrod's only rant against Libertarians. His Facebook page is literally filled with them.

But then I started seeing some other people on social media and in the blogs (particularly Paul Wheeler, better known as Patriot Paul) saying the Libertarian At-Large candidates were "spoilers" for the Republican At-Large candidates. While not outright stating this, the logic is that if Libertarians didn't run people in a certain race (in this case, the At-Large City-County Council race), then enough of the votes would've gone to the Republicans so they'd win. That essentially these votes "belong" to the Republican party.

Let's just assume that the notion that all the votes that went to the Libertarian candidates (especially Bill Levin's, who ran a bit above the other Libertarians in that race) would've otherwise gone to other candidates.

Why else would the Republicans lose the At-Large council seats?

I think one reason might be because there was a lot of new blood among the At-Large Republican council candidates, which is odd considering they won three of the four seats in 2007.

Over the years, their incumbents went from three to one. Only Barbara Malone ran At-Large in the previous municipal cycle. The other three, while they all have a history of working within the Republican party, hadn't done much in terms of running for political office. I've also heard from several sources that Malone had been dodging attending community events that she previously either committed to attending or had a history of attending.

I also think the Republicans faced stiff competition from the Democrats. The Democrat At-Large candidates essentially ran as a team, and it showed. Leroy Robinson, Pamela Hickman, Zach Adamson, and John Barth were often seen together at candidate forums and community events. All too often, only 1-2 (if any) Republican At-Large candidates showed up, even in areas and groups that tend to trend Republican.

Anyone else see the irony of the party that supposedly stands for personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is trying to blame everyone but themselves for their political losses?

1 comment:

  1. It's a Democratic County and the at-large races are baseline races. The Marion County GOP leadership has done nothing to expand the base of the party. It's not surprising the Republicans lost the at-large races and it certainly wasn't because of the Libertarians. Staight up - head to head - those at-large Republicans lose anyway. The Libertarians did not draw that many votes in those at-large races and cetainly drew from both sides. It just doesn't make any sense to say they cost the election.

    But let's assume the premise that they did. Isn't one fo the problem is that we have Republicans not upholding fiscally conservative and libertarian values. Barb Malone and Angel Rivera voted for the Pacer $33.5 million gift, the CIB tax increases, the 50 year parking meter deal, etc. Is that really what Republicans are supposed to be doing


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