Saturday, December 3, 2011

More on Redistricting: Don't Trust David Brooks

I've previously talked about the details of the actual effort of redistricting in terms of the actual process. Now I want to tell you why David Brooks, the man charged with proposing maps for precincts and Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council districts, is not trustworthy.

David Brooks was contracted by outgoing Council President Ryan Vaughn (R-District 3) to make maps for new precincts and new council districts to the tune of $225,000. This contract was not open for bid and was not approved by the full council or any other body. To the best of my knowledge, no one else was even consulted about the contract, including the rest of the Republican caucus and Mayor Greg Ballard (R).

According to the Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney is essentially an advocate for their client. They are supposed to represent their client's best interest. They aren't allowed to do anything illegal, but they are under no obligation to have your best interests at heart unless you're cutting the check.

Even if you're a member of the council, the body that has the authority to redistrict, he is under no obligation to give you good advice. He is only there to represent the interests of his client, Council President Vaughn.

I'd highly encourage members of the council, advocacy groups, and citizens to to take Brooks' opinions on redistricting with a grain of salt. He is hired to serve his client's interest, not yours.


  1. to play the Devil's Advocate here, didn't Ryan Vaughn sign the contract as an _agent_ for the Council, not personally?

  2. Best of my knowledge, the contract isn't on any of the city's databases.

    To be clear, I don't think Vaughn signed a personal contract. He signed a contract between himself, as Council President, and Brooks. So Brooks isn't representing Vaughn personally, just the office of the council president. Of course, that office's soul occupant is....Vaughn.

  3. Doesn't the money come from the Council office? So the client is the Council, not Vaughn.

  4. I can't possibly see how Brooks could serve the entire council if his contract was never put up for a vote or even mentioned to anybody else. By Indiana Code, the council body is supposed to redistrict. That authority does not exclusively lie with the president of the council.

    I realize it's a fine distinction, and I realize I could be wrong. But my initial instinct tells me this: Brooks is not to be trusted because the only person on the council he owes anything to is Vaughn.

  5. Wasn't the contract approved in the budget?


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