Saturday, November 5, 2011

Municipal Hodgepodge

I'm taking a break from my pseudo-election guide (IE I have barely written any of them), but I've got a few tidbits kicking around here and there.


I've got to hand it to two candidates for City-County Council for the worst yard signs. They go to candidates Len Farber (D-District 3) and Jackie Cissell (R-At Large).

I've only been seeing Farber's yard signs recently, even though he had a primary challenger and the baseline Democratic vote in district 3 makes it a competitive district. This might indicate the lack of support his campaign has gotten from the Democratic party and Democratic donors. Onto his sign, a good chunk of it is white. Yes, white. It has a blue streak that leads to his name.

I found the white background made it hard to quickly read anything on the yard sign and I'm fairly certain I missed several of them on Kessler before finally seeing one.

Cissell's sign is this type of bright orange, similar to what a road construction sign might look like. It isn't as bad as Farber's, but it's not so easily readable like Ballard's or Kennedy's are.

In another part of the Yard Sign wars, I'm just not seeing a lot of Barbara Malone yard signs. Malone is the only incumbent Republican At-Large councilor running for re-election that was elected in 2007. I've heard from several traditional and new media outlets that she is dodging media requests or refusing interviews. She has the power of incumbency, but can she pull off re-election?


If you're an average voter who only kind of pays attention to politics, you'd probably have no idea that two Republican At-Large councilors aren't running for re-election. Kent Smith resigned when his National Guard unit was called up for active duty, while Edward Coleman party switched and is running as a Libertarian in district 24 on the south side of Indianapolis.

So how would you find out about the new At-Large GOP candidates?

I don't know if you would.

I recently received three very large direct mail pieces from the Indiana Republican Party that attacked Kennedy and connecting her to the former administration of Bart Peterson. On that same day, I also received a smaller direct mail piece from the Marion County Democrats that included photographs of Kennedy, the four At-Large Democrat council candidates, and the district candidate. On the back was a sample ballot encouraging me to vote straight Democrat.

I know the At-Large races are typically low priority, but it seems like the council GOP candidates (and a few on the Democratic side as well) are not receiving a lot of support from their party, even when they're in politically viable areas. And that's a damn shame.


District 24 is unique in the council elections this year. Both candidates can claim incumbency , kind of. Coleman was elected At-Large as a Republican and is running for re-election in his home district. Jack Sandlin, the current district councilor, was appointed to the position after Mike Speedy won a state house election in 2010. Unlike every other district, there is no Democratic challenger.

My sources are telling me that Ed Treacy, chairman of the Marion County Democratic Party, is asking Democrats in district 24 to vote for Coleman. And it isn't so much asking as it is ordering. I think Treacy is preparing for a thin margin of error on the council, and a Coleman win could eliminate an otherwise reliably Republican district.


I'd like to publicly thank both the Ballard and Kennedy camps for responding in a timely manner to my requests for a guest post on this blog to advocate for their candidates. And I'd also like to thank my GOP and Democratic friends for getting me in touch with the right people. I know how crazy competitive campaigns can get in the final days before the election so it means a lot that these busy political people responded positively to my request.

But I think it also speaks a lot about how valuable new media can be in politics, especially in these smaller elections where votes can be decided within a couple thousand, a few hundred or even a few dozen votes! Especially in the case of the blogosphere, it allows candidates to directly connect with politically aware citizens.

I'm going to publish both posts at 8am Monday morning, and each will have their own post with it's own title and comments section.

I'll be writing up my candidate profiles throughout the day tomorrow. I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with incumbent councilor Benjamin Hunter (R-District 21), candidate Vop Osili (D-District 15) and candidate Michael Kalscheur (R-At Large). I originally intended to do candidate profile questionnaires via e-mail, but I felt I was asking similar questions to other voter guides out there, so I opted not to do it.

Busy few days up ahead, and I'm sure there's more to come!

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