Jon Easter has commented that Indianapolis faux Mayor Greg Ballard is "open to" running for a third term. Jon also notes our City’s voters have frowned on third terms for mayors, since William Hudnut ran for, and won, his third term in 1987, a third term as Indianapolis Mayor—to use Jon’s technical political science term (and I was a political science major and should know)—is a "no-no." Perhaps, more than anything, it is considered bad taste. If George Washington only served two terms as President of the United States, who is so great as leader of an executive branch as to have the ego to believe himself (or herself, but this seems to be a testosterone-driven exercise) worthy of three terms?
Here are my reasons why Greg Ballard should not seek, and the voters of Indianapolis should not allow him to accept, a third term as Mayor of Indianapolis:
1) It is in bad taste to seek a third term. If anyone from the 25th floor of City-County Building has read this blog, you may stop now. (Besides, those people probably spend hours, fascinated, by reading reports of the Bales/Spencer trial in The Indianapolis Star.) I rely on tradition and taste for my opposition.
2) Has Greg Ballard been the mayor the last year? I thought he worked up frequent-flyer miles as an occupation. At least he does not use a corporate jet. Don Marsh might be able to give him tips in that area.
3) According to informal polling, faux Mayor Ballard ranks as the worst mayor in our city’s history. Indianapolis has become home of the "insider deal." We never will know the real numbers on the final balance sheet for The Super Bowl®, for example. A lot of people made money on the venture. They just were not average people from Indianapolis. Construction projects spring up, but in such a manner, as the Broad Ripple Parking Garage, that we pay for the projects but see no income from them. There are sports considerations that take priority over everything else. Therefore "your" Indiana Pacers receive a building, money to operate, and other perquisites (the word for which "perks" commonly is used) and the taxpayers receive the privilege of bestowing those things on the Pacers. (You may note a "ditto" as to the Colts.) We have lost police officers. Our schools have crumbled. Our streets are pitted. Our bus system ranks about 146th in the country, and yet Indianapolis considers itself a "world-class" city.
The Democrats had a chance to win the office of mayor in 2011. Melina Kennedy, from all accounts, is a decent and honest person. Whoever advised her in her campaign seemed not to want to step on toes. She would have had a chance at victory had she attacked Ballard for the sweetheart deals that lay in the wake of his first four years. Apparently her advisers said she should go "light"—or, perhaps more accurately in common slang, "lite"—on those matters. The "players" in Indianapolis truly are bipartisan. The people "behind" the people—the people who pay to play—truly do not care about the party affiliation of a politician. The people who pay to play care only about two things: price and delivery. How much will this cost? Will the person in question stay "on course" with what was promised? (Wow. And you probably thought I would write: "How much does it take to buy him and will he stay bought?" I am not that crass.)
And I want to address one point: corruption is not simply accepting money outright. Mayor Richard Daley (the First) in Chicago demonstrated that corruption can consist of other things. His goal was power. He allowed others to pay sums for various things. As long as he received legal campaign contributions and the votes, he was fine. He was honest, but fostered corruption.
If anyone is serious about replacing the current occupant of the Office of the Mayor, the money people have to be overcome. Otherwise, Ballard will run for and win a third term, and Ryan Vaughn will continue to serve the functions of the Office of Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.