The absence of a declared Republican Party candidate for Indianapolis Mayor got me to ponder last night about tossing my Cubs or DePauw University baseball cap into the ring for that slot on this spring’s ballot.
First, I wish to set forth the main points of the platform on which I would run. Second, I shall address questions of logistics. Finally, I shall set forth the political philosophy I embrace and my qualifications.
1) The process by which any contracts—except contracts in real, sincere emergencies (for which the City should plan anyway)—let by the City must be competitive bid. I know John Glenn’s comment when asked about how he felt on the launch pad when he was a Mercury astronaut: he reflected on how he was sitting atop a large column of high explosives built by te lowest bidders on government contracts. John Glenn made it to space and back, and even wound up in the United States Senate. The United States made it to the Moon. The process of competitive bids has flaws, but fewer flaws than issuance of no-bid contracts to contractors that just happen to contribute sums to those politicians responsible for the contracts’ issuance.
2) I only would attend local sports events on my own dime. Of course, the price of admission (unless one hides in the trunk of a car to get into the infield for the Indianapolis 500) is far more than a dime. Elected politicians should not take such freebies. I do not think they are engaged in fact-finding missions as they sip drinks and eat nice food in luxury suites during Pacers’ and/or Colts’ games. I do not think most owners of individual franchises—or most owners of individual suites—cater to the politicians because they are such close pals. Although, upon further reflection, maybe, because they are great pals, the owners were able to get those suites. I should point out I have not attended a Pacers game in about 25 years (when the Pacers sucked) or a Colts game since Brady’s first start for New England (and left at half-time, convinced New England’s quarterback was pretty bad). For one thing, people are shoe-horned into seats (I went to Conseco for a couple of concerts) and, for another, I had to stand in line and pay outrageous prices for beer, then stand in line to recycle the beer. I would attend some Indianapolis Indians games, but, again, on my own dime (or thirteen dollars, the price of a box seat).
3) If the billionaire owner of a sports franchise wants more money in the operating budget of the franchise, she or he should whip out her or his checkbook and transfer funds from one of her or his other accounts. Tax monies should not be used to subsidize sports.
4) TIFS no longer would be allowed. Some people profess not to understand TIFs. A mechanism by which we fund government and its activities should not be so complex—to paraphrase Sheila Kennedy’s blog a few days ago—that people cannot understand it. TIFs are another form of “blue sky”, a confidence game. Most end up failing, with monies going elsewhere than where promised. Mayor Daley II of Chicago used TIFs as a giant slush fund as he nearly bankrupted that City. TIFs were developed in California in the 1950s, and now are banned there. They should be banned here.
5) I would find a position in my administration for Pat Andrews from which she could monitor revenues and expenditures.
6) I would not allow Gary Welsh in my administration. His blog is far more effective as a voice to call out political shenanigans. After all, since Indy no longer has an effective daily newspaper, the Fifth Estate has to take some form someplace.
7) I would try to coordinate with the office of Marion County Clerk to open satellite voting stations so that people more easily can exercise the franchise. After all, if I am to be a controversial mayor, I want the voters in the next election cycle to be able to cast their votes casting me from office.
8) I would ask for an audit of where the money from the early Ballard tax increases—that were supposed to go to hiring more police officers—went, somehow recapture at least part of those funds, and hire more police.
9) I would start a program by which police interact with community leaders so the people and the police were less antagonists. We are them and they are us, after all.
10) I would trade off any tanks we have acquired and trade them in for school buses.
11) I would initiate a program whereby any kid, regardless of parents’ socioeconomic status, in this City starts the school day with breakfast. An empty belly makes for less than optimal educational achievement.
12, 13 and 14) Somehow find a way to void the contract for parking meters.
15) The Criminal Justice Center is a boondoggle, but space is needed for those activities. I would seek to keep those offices downtown. We have a surplus of office space downtown now. Why build more?
16) We would not privatize anything else in this City especially matters related to the Criminal Justice System.
17) The only crickets in which the City would take an interest are those crickets that live in our neighborhoods and parks. We should listen to the crickets on warm summer evenings.
18) The New York Yankees and the New England Patriots would be declared "evil" because---well, they just are.
1) I would accept no campaign contributions from anyone.
2) Some would ask if I qualify to run in the Republican primary. (See “Philosophy,” infra) According to Indiana law, one must have voted in the most recent primary election of the party in which that person seeks office. I say “pish-posh”! That is a violation of my rights to free conscience as contained in the Indiana Constitution and my rights to free expression and free association as contained in the First Amendment, extended to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. This would make for interesting and, ultimately for my candidacy I believe successful, litigation.
MY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY AND EXPERIENCE
I first contributed to a candidate for political office in 1964. I was nine years old when I sent twenty-five cents to the campaign of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in his bid for the United States Presidency. If I gave money to Goldwater, that should put me in “Dutch” with the GOP. Speaking of “Dutch”—as in Ronald Reagan’s nickname—I believe he helped his handlers stear the Republican Party on the disastrous road it travels at present. I would reject many of his policies.
I would embrace those positions of Republicans past that were positive and progressive. The Republican Party, as conceived, born and suckled in Ripon, Wisconsin, was progressive for its day. Abraham Lincoln—while he also had policy positions, such as elimination of the writ of habeas corpus and willingness to compromise on the issue of slavery to ensure the Union remain intact, also had very progressive stands. As a result of his administration and the votes of Congress during the 1860s, people were freed. Theodore Roosevelt—while at the same time, unfortunately, a fan of gunboat diplomacy and other neo-Imperialistic things—fought monopolies, championed the inheritance tax, and busted trusts.
An administration of Indianapolis Mayor Mark Small would aim to benefit, not the rich and well-connected who have received tons of sugar during the almost-seven years’ reign of Mayor Greg I, but the average people of Indianapolis and Marion County. I graduated from DePauw University and from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. Dan Quayle also graduated from those two institutions. I am as qualified as the former Congressman, Senator and Vice-President.
The GOP once had a liberal wing. The combination of Nixon and Reagan and their minions made that wing a thing of the past. It is time for that wing to be regenerated.
I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Club. I am an idealist. The Cubs will sooner win the World Series than I would occupy “the” office on the 25th floor of the City-County Building. If no one declares her or his candidacy for this office, however, my fingers will be on the bill of my cap—Cubs or DePauw I’m not sure which—as the clock ticks toward the deadline. The current Mayor had few qualifications for the office he now occupies. At least I have the advantage of knowing what not to do—after watching seven years of this Mayor’s actions.