Monday, January 28, 2013

Council Complications

Much has been written about the newest member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, Jefferson Shreve. Shreve has had his residency question, won a GOP caucus vote to fill in for the remainder of Jeff Cardwell's term. Cardwell has stepped down from the council to serve in Governor Mike Pence's administration.

Much has been written about Shreve, and the political establishment in this town has lined up defending Shreve. Their defense is that Jeff Cardwell is an honorable man, and by proxy, Shreve is honorable as well and how dare you even question what happened.

I call bullpucky.

I don't know Cardwell personally, but I have no doubt to believe that he isn't a decent, honorable man. I'm sure he'll be a great asset in Governor Pence's administration.

But that doesn't mean that one can't criticize the wheeling and dealing politics that go on in these precinct committee caucus meetings. Just because Cardwell is an honorable, decent man doesn't mean everyone surrounding him is.

And finally, I'd like to write about the man Shreve beat in the GOP caucus, Michael Kalscheur.

Kalscheur is a long-time south side GOP activist. He ran as one of four At-Large council candidates in the 2011 municipal election.

During that election, I sat down with him and had lunch. Though we were candidates running under different parties and had disagreed on some issues, we had a frank discussion about the state of politics in this city. He expressed deep reservation about some of the taxes that had been passed under Mayor Ballard's first term, and said told me he'd be against any tax increases that came before the council.

Throughout the campaign, we kept in touch via e-mail and social media. I found him to be a decent and honorable man and thought he'd be an asset to the Republican caucus.

My final thoughts on this matter are I can only hope that Councilor Shreve will be as effective, independent, and hard-working as a councilor that I believe Michael would've been.

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