Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I've Been Endorsed by the FOP

Headlines were made when the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #86 overwhelmingly endorsed Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy over incumbent Republican Mayor Greg Ballard. It's often been a topic of this blog what Ballard's public safety director, Doctor Director Frank Straub, has done to de-moralize the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. And it's suspected that the endorsement of Kennedy has less to do with her public safety platform and more to do with a repudiation of Ballard's/Straub's.

Some of Ballard's last backers are pushing the conspiracy theory that Sheriff John Layton (D) gave money to 50 deputies to register with the FOP so they could vote for Kennedy. Let's see, the voting total was 125-36 in favor of Kennedy. And 125-50 is...oh, 75. So according to the conspiracy theory, Ballard still loses out on the endorsement! Also throwing off that conspiracy theory, being pushed by Marion County GOP Chairman Kyle Walker, is that 19 GOP City-County Council candidates were endorsed, including several incumbents.

The FOP also released their endorsements for the City-County Council races as well. Paul Ogden has a breakdown of the list here. His list includes party affiliation.

Apparently, the FOP isn't guaranteed to endorse you if you were a former IPD/IMPD/Sheriff. Councilor Benjamin Hunter (R), an IPD officer until 2008, was passed over in favor of his challenger Todd Woodmansee (D) in District 21 Contrast that with Jack Sandlin (R). Sandlin, a former IMPD officer, won the endorsement over sitting At-Large Councilor Ed Coleman (LP) for the District 24 race. Coleman was one of the earliest critics of Frank Straub and the only vote against him in his initial confirmation. Two Democrats and three Republicans (including two of their incumbents) were endorsed for the At-Large races.

And finally, yours truly was endorsed over Sahara Williams (R) and Maggie Lewis (D-incumbent) for the District 7 race.

I'll say both I'm completely surprised and completely honored. Despite the kind words that the head interviewer said to me as I walked out of the FOP building, I felt I had completely botched the interview. Seven officers sat at the other end of the table and asked me seven questions from the survey they had sent me. I answered with seven answers which I had sent them earlier in the day. There was no follow up or anything like that.

So I thought that was weird.

Then I started talking to other council candidates.

They all reported the exact same experience.

One of them took the straight forward interview style with a bit of humor. John Barth, a Democrat At-Large council candidate, told me he answered the questions in quick succession because he knew which question would be next. Apparently, the FOP has a sense of humor because they ended up endorsing him.

(And apologies to my Facebook and Twitter followers, since I'm basically rehashing this subject in the form of a blog post)


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