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Transition Team: A Few Good Men And Women, A Few Bad Apples

Help But for the somewhat unimpressive campaign manager at its helm, Greg Ballard has picked a pretty predictable and politically impressive group of Marion County Republicans for his transition team. That is, until you get to the last few names  on the list-- and the kicker graf:

"Mayor-elect Greg Ballard this evening has announced his executive committee, which will help him form a new city government.

"Ballard said the campaign has 'assembled a team with a wealth of experience in public service. They bring a unique brand of talent and experience to this transition.' Heading the executive committee is John Cochran, who was manager of Ballard’s campaign.

"Other members are:

  • Carl Brizzi, Marion County prosecutor;
  • Susan Brooks, former U.S. attorney;
  • Bob Grand, managing partner at Barnes and Thornburg law firm;
  • Tom John, Marion County GOP chairman;
  • Fred Klipsch, chief executive officer of Klipsch Audio Technologies;
  • Lisa Kobe, government relations manager for Duke Energy;
  • Joe Loftus, a former deputy mayor under Steve Goldsmith and now a partner at Barnes and Thornburg;
  • P.E. MacAllister, chairman of the board of MacAllister Machinery;
  • State Sen. James Merritt, R-Indianapolis;
  • former State Rep. Luke Messer, now a partner at the law firm of Ice Miller;
  • Isaac 'Ike' Randolph, retiring City-County Council member;
  • Debra Taylor, owner of Creative Performance Specialists and a volunteer on Ballard’s campaign;
  • Robert Turner, a captain on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and a former public safety director under Peterson;
  • Greg Wilson, a small business owner.

"In addition, Ballard has asked Melissa Proffitt Reese, a partner at Ice Miller, to chair the personnel committee for the transition team, and asked attorney Darla Williams to serve as a liaison between the transition team and Peterson's office."

Ballard's transition effort could probably weather a political has-been who's in love with his own voice, a know-nothing communications dingbat and a disgruntled cop who once said he would "rather report to 'Saddam Hussein, (Osama) bin Laden, Adolf Hitler and Satan' than answer to the Animal Care and Control Board, a volunteer body that advises the city on its animal shelter operation."

But this guy puts a fringe blogger with no political experience in charge of his outreach to outgoing Mayor Bart Peterson's office? Wow. Perhaps some of the smarter folks on the list will help correct what's bound to be a big rookie mistake during a critical time.


I hope he is paying her...she needs the money!

We all knew that Ballard was clueless, now we get to watch him prove it!

Snide comments about her lack of qualifications aside, that "blog" is absolutely ridiculous to look at.

I saw Ruth Holloday's comment about your post and the adjective "fringe blogger," so I can't take credit for the concept, but I also like the idea that most bloggers are on the fringe.

Of course, if we saw more blogs writing in favor of Lake County's Unicratic Party for Human Development might we see a tilt back toward the middle of the road in Indiana's blogosphere. ;)

Personally, I think that Darla Williams new transition team position is simply karmic balance. I laughed when I read it.

What... nothin for blogger Welsh yet ... Yeah, I'm shocked!

People on the transition need to be respected, especially when the office is changing parties. The transition should avoid bad blood. Putting Ike Randolph, Bob Turner and Darla Williams on the team was not a bright move.

gary lost his mind and thought this was some sort of revolution...he should stop trashing the "establishment" if he wants to make any money off this admin

It'll probably take Gary another couple weeks to realize that, 12:49.

Gary doesn't want to make any money off this new administration -- he just wants those pesky kids to stay off his front lawn!

I really thought he'd come back down to this planet after the election, but he seems to have bought into the "revolution" talking points.

People voted against the incumbent.

The guy they voted for knows precious little about government. He needs help from credible professionals, and for the most part, he seems to be getting it.

I can't figure out why Gary is upset about that.

Did he really think Ballard was going to let the Indy Chicken, a few disgruntled cops and an out-of-work dominatrix run City Hall?

Ballard may have no idea what he's doing, but he doesn't seem to be a dumb guy. There's probably a part of him that's pissed off about having to be bailed out by people who never thought he could win, but hey, that's life. You either swallow your pride or you wind up with the Nutball Brigade taking over the top floor of the City-County Building.

Jen, Judge me all you want. Your character has shown through loud and clear this year, and it's not looking good. You don't need to worry about me, what I'm saying or what I think. Keep your eye on the Democrats surrounding you who have had more than their fill of you.

You are completely mischaracterizing where I stand. "Did he really think Ballard was going to let the Indy Chicken, a few disgruntled cops and an out-of-work dominatrix run City Hall?" Real cute, Jen. I once would have considered you a friend, but now I just think you're the nastiest woman in Indiana politics just like Brian Howey said.

Sorry to hear that, Gary.

I think you've lost all perspective on politics, but that's entirely your choice.

Bitter is as bitter does.

I work in politics. I'm used to being loathed.

Are you really sorry, Jen? I lost all perspective on politics. Am I not the only in this conversation who read this election correctly? Have we been living on the same planet for the last 6 months? I challenge anyone to compare my posts on this election with Jen's. Figure out for yourself who has perspective and who doesn't.

Not only am I sorry that during this election cycle, your once-insightful site became a haven for Melyssa, the IndyU nuts and Sir Failstone, but I'm sorry you're so caught up on your own ego that you can't get past the "I so totally called this" phase of the election.

You were right. Here's your gold star. Now what?

The city has to keep running, and you apparently don't think Ballard should surround himself with anyone other than those who supported him from the get-go.

That, my friend, is a complete loss of perspective.

There's life beyond blogging, you know.

kids, stop fighting. Let's focus on the real point. Ballard assembled a team with a WEALTH...let's just stop there.

It didn't take too long for the fat cats at Barnes and Thornburg to land and take complete control.

The money will always find its way to the top.

What did any of these high rolling lawfirms / individuals do for the Ballard Campaign???


I agree some professionals are needed. Good thing ballard is open to that, but you can't just throw out all the people that got you there. They should be able to help in some way.

I think there is probably enough to do that some of them could be part of the team for sure.

And here I thought this was the guy who said he would be a mayor beholden to no one! Let's hope he maintains a bit of that and surrounds himself with intelligent people that have a good handle on how the political game is played. 'Cuz this is no drill now. It's the real thing and it ain't the Marines!

Beholden to no one? Look who is at the trough! Big money, big money, big money. experience is there, yes, but where were they when he was running? check peterson campaign report for answer.

Ballard was a Lieutenant Colonel -- now he's discovering who the Three Star Generals are in this city ...

"Putting Ike Randolph, Bob Turner and Darla Williams on the team was not a bright move."

Who are you D.C Stevenson?

Touché, mon ami, touché !

"Ballard was a Lieutenant Colonel -- now he's discovering who the Three Star Generals are in this city ..."

So very true. And well put.

Folks voting for Ballard criticized Democrats for their ethical lapses (Monroe Gray, et. al.) With Darla Williams, Ballard has an ethical ticking time bomb on his hands. Legal ethics violations. Possible contract violations. Truth challenged, etc. It won't take long for the progressive blogs to point this out. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

From the limited searching I've done on Lexis and PACER, she doesn't seem to be financially stable, but that, of course, shouldn't disqualify her from public service.

Being nuttier than a Baby Ruth, however, should.

Do you understand the ranking system in the US Marine Corps? Googling doesn’t count. I didn’t think so. One has to serve to understand. Something Wilson didn’t see fit to do.
Ballard is a Colonel, one rank away from being a General.
This is something most democrats can’t understand those of us who did serve know how hard it is to achieve the rank of Colonel. Generals are far and few.
We do have a few retired Generals living in Indianapolis. The democrats have managed to disrespect those who served again.
Wilson while you stayed home hanging out at bathhouses and smoking dope. Guys like Ballard served.
The Colonel in charge will serve again. This time as Mayor of Indianapolis and we all will be better for that.
Like it or not, you malcontent mudslingers can meet at Wilson’s and cry in your beers.

Go help your guy run the city already, kiddo.

Something tells me you were a malcontent mudslinger four days ago.

A "fringe blogger"? Well maybe they were looking for someone that could communicate with the incompetence of Barts staff. Lord knows there have been not good things come out of there yet. Someone said they yelled in the Mayors office and all they got was an empty echo.

Lt. Col. - same rank as Ollie North.

Not as high, though, as Col. Sanders.

P.S. Welcome back, Ernie (8:53). Didn't feel like posting under your real name, or are you just embarrassed that you're not on the transition team?

IndyErnie seems so constantly fascinated by my alleged sexual activities -- the poor guy has such peculiar fantasies! Luckily, I never hung around bathhouses - what with AIDS, I might have been dead by now.

"Didn't feel like posting under your real name, or are you just embarrassed that you're not on the transition team?"

I was on the anti crime and anti dishonest government team Jen.
Seems like I chose the right team. Too bad Peterson couldn't read the contempt that was brewing throughout the city. But then you couldn't see it either, rather odd for someone so much in the know.
Don’t worry, in eight to twelve years your team may have another chance to screw up again. Until then sleep safe.
With Ballard in office things have to be better for all.

Just wait, Ernie, just wait. You can start calling him "One Term Greg".

On a civil note Jen. (Yea Wilson I can be)
How's the belly bouncer doing?
I'm going to be a grandpa again soon.
I know your folks must be pleased.

kids, kids, please. The election is over. Can you kiss and make up already? Iread both your blogs and considering I am able to agree with both of you most of the time, there has to be some common ground.

Even now, see, you both really agree on the subject of this post... same ol same ol moneyed politicos in the door, and Darla is a huge mistake.

See, make us happy. It's not going to ruin the show like Sam and Diane if ya'll can cross that thin line...

8:53pm or Ernie. For someone who says they have respect for our military. You don't understand rank. The Mayor-elect was a Lt. Colonel. Not full Colonel, which as you correctly put it is an extremely difficult rank to attain, given that it is the final steeping stone before becoming a general officer. I had an uncle in the Military (mid-50's through Vietnam). He made it to Lt. Colonel and was frustrated that he couldn't make it to the prestige of full Colonel. Mr. Ballard's military service should, of course be honored. But 8:53 or Ernie, when you incorrectly say that Ballard was one rank away from General, your misstatements give away your lack of truthiness.

Howey is dead on about Jen. She should learn that you get more flies with sugar, "honey".

I can't wait til they toss Jen..which should not be long.

What does she call right anyway? And her hanger-on Wilson certainly does not bring up the status of her blog. Who's "fringe" Jen?

Too bad we can't find an articulate, bi-partisan blog owner in Indy with some integrity. As to the partisan blogs - as a Democrat, I can't even rely on Jen for that view. She cuts backdoor deals for herself with the 'enemy' (Republicans). If I were her boss I'd toss her for that reason, if none other.

And now back to the thread:

Here's a few words of advice to the mayor-elect:

Wake up every morning and remember that 49% of us didn't vote for you. We think you're unqualified and inadequately prepared to be mayor. We will be watching you constantly and comparing you with the highly educated and successful previous mayors (yes Goldsmith, Hudnut and Lugar, as well as Peterson). You are a fluke who rode in on voter discontent. We will be there to say I told you so to all the people who think you're going to fix the unfixable. And those people who think you walk on water today, will be the first to turn on you when you can't.

"Ballard is a Colonel, one rank away from being a General."

Meaning no disrespect to colonel Ballard, but he was a Light (Lieutenant) Colonel, two steps from becoming a General.

Field grade lifers often retire with a bump in rank, so Mayor-elect Ballard's actual time in rank might have been mostly as a Major. Still nothing to be dismissed, and he would have commanded hundreds of Marines in this capacity.

And while some folks are still snorting over Ballard's "lack of experience," this begs the question of exactly what Mr. Peterson's experience was when he was first elected...and how it ultimately was beneficial to Indianapolis.

Onlooker - if you have to ask that question, you clearly haven't been to Indianapolis lately. Take a look around at Fall Creek Place, the Arts District, the Greenways, Charter Schools, conventions and tourism, arenas and stadiums, museums, the condo and business developments both now and for the future. Ballard has inherited a monument to the rebirth of a city. Let's hope he's both appreciative and doesn't screw it up!

"But for the somewhat unimpressive campaign manager at its helm"

The same Campaign Manager who routed you and pulled off the biggest upset in Indy political history?

The same Campaign Manager who's now sought after all over the country, while you'll be binned, as you got a two-term incumbent tossed out on his ear?

The Democratic Party is looking for a reason for their trouncing, and you're the most obvious.

Do the Democrats want to be dragged down by you to become the Nastiest Party in Indiana Politics? That strategy lost big. Don't be shocked when you get pushed aside.

You may even need to sharpen those interviewing skills when you try to get hired as a paperwork clerk at the City. That "unimpressive campaign manager" may interview you personally.

"Onlooker - if you have to ask that question, you clearly haven't been to Indianapolis lately. Take a look around at Fall Creek Place, the Arts District, the Greenways, Charter Schools, conventions and tourism, arenas and stadiums, museums, the condo and business developments both now and for the future"

Then look around the near Eastside and near Westside. After that drive eastbound on Washington Street. Count the hookers on the street corners that are outside of the vacant commercial buildings. Check out the graffiti (intercity ART) attached to these buildings.
When you are tried of driving, stop at a restaurant and try to order a meal in English. After you have ordered # dos from the menu sit next to the cop having his lunch and ask his opinion of Mayor Peterson. Take an alternate route back to where you started and pray that your car is still in one piece after its drive over all of the potholes that have gone without repair on the eastside.
If you can after returning back Downtown drive around the Warehouse district and count all the business there, they all have tax abatements.
If you aren't satisfied then a trip west, south, of north on most main roads should convince you.
Was Peterson a good mayor? Depends on where you live, work or your influence on local government.

I know it's hard for you to understand, but I don't work at the local level.

By the way, Brian Howey endorsed Mayor Peterson, too. Oops.

So, 9:38, you want to go back to the way it was when it was ALL a vast wasteland? That's progress! Sorry but your story doesn't wash. I've lived here all my life, the fourth generation in my family. My grandmother went to City High School, my mom to Shortridge. My grandfather's business was at 43 South Delaware. That's enough years to know when center township was part of a vibrant city with wonderful neighborhoods. When everyone shopped at L.S. Ayres, Block's and Wasson's; when eating out was something you did for a treat and it was at the King Cole or Keywest Shrimphouse, Italian Village or St. Elmo.

Then I watched as people moved to the suburbs with its huge shopping malls while our downtown become a vast wasteland. You didn't go downtown for anything. You went to Eastgate, Lafayette Square or Glendale. Have you ever seen the Goldsmith picture of him standing in the middle of an empty Market Street?

And now, we have museums, trails, shopping, downtown living, it's a magnificent tribute to Mayor Peterson and his predecessors. Mayor Peterson has addressed some difficult problems for which the solutions are just beginning: take drainage, infrastructure, consolidation of services, etc. Are there still things to be done. Absolutely! But no matter how progressive we are, unless you're planning to relocate the poor and uneducated or the immigrant population to another planet, there will still be pockets of poverty and places where crime is a daily challenge.

And by the way, I find it refreshing that we're a city that still believes in those words on the side of the Statue of Liberty- "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" They are the future of our country. God Bless ALL of America!

P.S. I don't cut deals with Republicans. Much though you trolls like to think of me as Satan incarnate, I'm just a political hack, and I get along with other political hacks.

Also, I'm not mad at Gary Welsh at all; I just think he's gone a little off the deep end with respect to this race and his involvement in it. I'll eventually put Advance Indiana back on the blogroll.

Mom TDW hits another home run.

mom TDW rocks. Myself I love being a Democratic political hack. Look at the alternative. Gary's little fit may only be the beginning of discontent from the Ballard camp. Time will tell. And it won't be long.


While I don't expect you will be applying for city jobs anytime soon, there is something to the fact that your very public comments here will have some effect on your family's future here in the city... for better or for worse.

New technology like blogs allows what used to be water cooler conversation or strategy meeting discussions to be distributed to everyone... and that makes hacking/bashing in public a tricky thing where words stay around much longer than they would otherwise... and where attitudes can be amplified and come back to haunt you.

For example, part of the lesson of Peterson's loss should be the old adage that pride often goes before a fall... and there were lots of indications of that along the way. A few include:

- dismissing the tax protestors as nutterballs... while there were reasons the tax bills increased, that it happened so quickly and so much was a disaster that should have outraged the mayor as well as the citizens.

- adding insult to injury was the passage of the increase in income tax, again it had valid reasons, yet the timing and way in which it was handled smacked of "we know better than you" and we've taken all the seats so wait outside...

- the crime issue was another key mistake. Instead of making relations with the police a key issue, the mayor thumbed his nose at them. He should have put politics aside and led a fight against crime. Where was the outrage when that woman got killed in Broad Ripple or any of the other 100 murders?

- on top of all that, there were the ethics problems on the council that the mayor ignored.

- while greenways and parks and art are all good things, they were not to top priority to the people who were hurting. Peterson is lucky nobody used that silly idea of building a 20-story wheel downtown as a monument in this campaign!

- the fake ads of smiling people did nothing to address these concerns. "Bart's great and we are happy" was not the correct answer to the question.

- and then, as discussed on this blog, the whole idea of attacking Ballard in the closing days was just nuts. While the Bart Lies crowd certainly attacked Peterson, people had never seen Ballard doing that. Instead he came across as a decent guy and a Marine who was willing to take on the long-shot race with little support. When Peterson went on the air with typcial slash-and-burn negative spots, it drove many Republicans who would have voted for Peterson to swing to Ballard. You guys said negative ads move voters and I said they moved Republicans to Ballard... I think the results support that.

- the final act of misguided hubris was those stupid cars with the loudspeakers blaring GET OUT AND VOTE NOW on Election Day... when I saw those in Washington Township, I knew the race was over.

Bottom line, you have to understand your audience and communicate effectively to them... and Peterson failed to do that all year. He echoed your common refrain of "if you don't like what I have to say, go elsewhere..." and many people did.

She's a wise one, that Mom TDW.

It's going to be an interesting four years.

My audience, 11:35, is a bunch of political insiders and hacks, not average voters.

And I'm fully aware of the implications of being a partisan jackass with a blog. Believe it or not, there's more to my life than this little site.

But thanks for caring.

You can't be a jackass, you're a jenny :-)

Many times political success depends on being in the right place at the right time. That fact cuts both ways and benefits both parties. Greg Ballard was in the right place at the right time. No one should begrudge Ballard's political luck as a Democratic candidate will have that luck again some day, prehaps in '08 if the property tax crisis isn't handled effectively next session. I don't see anything wrong with the Ballard transition team. A majority are well known and experienced. A minority are unknown newcomers who have an opportunity to shine or fade. I think a majority of both parties support the concept of new people being given an opportunity to work on government alongside the old hands. Tragically many on both sides want the other party to fail from the outset. This reflects poorly on the participants. The opposition has a real role, that of highlighting shortcomings of the other side. When you are being petty and bitter, you aren't living up to your potential.

"And by the way, I find it refreshing that we're a city that still believes in those words on the side of the Statue of Liberty- "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" They are the future of our country. God Bless ALL of America!"

Mom you are right. Those words have a true meaning but swimming a river under the cover of darkness was never an option.

Mom you aren't the only one who remembers the electric trolleys.
I come from a pre-statehood family with roots longer than most.
I also appreciate the trails, museums, theaters etc. Do we sacrifice one part of town with a rich history for another? I don't think so.
I love Indy my Great Grandfather helped build the War Memorial and Old Court house. When I walk those halls I see the woodwork that he finished with his hands.

I have a great respect for our history. I also appreciate the fact that in other cities three and four generation have occupied the same home. In Indy we board them up and move to the counties to evade the crime. Peterson has contributed to that mind set my ignoring the Near East and Westside, example the abandoned homes have increased during his watch.
Has be been a complete failure? No. Could he have done more? Hell yes. But first he would have needed to care.

Speaking of transitions...Lawrence immediately comes to mind. The haters of "all things Cantwell" are still doing their "happy dances". I'd like to share a thought with them...As I said previously, snuggle up to your illusions and see how little anything changes other than the faces of the players. If Ricketts had not been pulling the strings of his cronies on the council these past several years, we might have seen the water rates paid by the taxpayers decreased by having the Citizen's Gas and Trust Not for Profit take over last year.

By the way, all this crap about losing Lawrence to Indy...what? The topless bars, Walmart or the car lots?

I asked a council member right before the election what he thought of Broad Ripple. He said it was pretty nice. They have the Monon Trail, Broad Ripple Park, A Library, Art Festivals, great restaurants, good places for music and entertainment...neat shops...there own persona!!

I then asked what the councilman thought of Broad Ripple's fire department. He thought for a moment, then responded by saying "I don't think they have one". I agreed. I then asked what he thought about their police department. Again, he responded with a similar reply.

We've got both here in Lawrence. Oh yeh,and car lots, Walmart and T&A Clubs. How many back room deals have been made while slipping ones in the g-strings. Whoooyooo.

That's why so many really neat businesses want to come to Lawrence...NOT. We once served the military boys but that's history now. We don't need to have a "boy's night out" image anymore.

Cantwell had an eye for the future. She had flaws but her vision was clear.

BTW, she was not the one that wanted to see the police and the fire department merge with Indy. That would be me and no one ever asked me anyway. I just thought it might be a good idea to use our dollars to improve the overall image of this fair community that is the butt of so many jokes outside our make believe borders. I can't say how much we appreciated the letter two days prior to the election from Mitch letting us know what a swell guy his buddy, Rickett is.
I'm sure he had on his plaid shirt and overalls on so that he could just fit the part that appealed to the Rickett buddies.

You guys have just got to get over your smalltown, backroom, Mayberry mental picture of "Good ol' Boyville" and join the 21st Century where the word "culture" doesn't send you all into a frenzy.

Good grief people...try a little progress on and see how it fits for a change.

Does anybody take Darla Williams seriously? What a joke. Will Jocelyn Tandy be joining the team next? This would be laughable if it wasn't serious...

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