Category Archives: Greg Ballard

John Layton for Sheriff’s Tough New Ad

Colonel John Layton comes out with a powerful new ad today. It is interesting in its focus on one of the key functions of the Sheriff’s department after Mayor Ballard’s de-unification of the IMPD/Sheriff’s Department: tracking sex offenders. Something in which his opponent, like most functions of the Sheriff’s department, has no background or understanding.


David Dawson: Mayor Ballard learns to love CYA politics

Have to share this piece by friend of the blog and public relations guru David Dawson. He hits it just right in his Facebook post today regarding Mayor Ballard’s punting of the Indianapolis Water Company to Citizen’s Energy:

“Utilities were created for a reason – a lot of that is to take politics out of decisions,” (Indianapolis Mayor) Ballard said Wednesday, quoted in the Indianapolis Star. “When it comes to an election, (politicians) say, ‘I’m going to stand up and protect ratepayers,’ when infrastructure is decaying underneath.”

That perspective may look correct enough to an officeholder facing re-election for him to turn his back on the populism that put him in office. That’s exactly what he’s doing in proposing to sell the Indianapolis water and sewer systems to Citizens Energy, an independent public trust.

Historically, Ballard’s view is myopic. Privately owned utilities developed because they could raise capital, build systems and operate them at a time when governments did not have resources to do the job. Many were regulated locally until their operations spanned municipal boundaries, leading to control over rates and investments by appointed commissioners at the state level. The Mayor is correct in that having regulation vested in a state commission allows politicians to rail against utility rates without accountability for the amount and quality of planned investments.

While that situation is convenient for the office-holder, it may not be preferred by the voters. If you asked a water and sewer customer in Marion County about whether he or she would like a voice in when and how Indianapolis spends $4 billion for infrastructure improvements, I’d bet most would opt for accountability.

ALO’s Kitchen Table Chat with Indy Mayoral Candidate Brian Williams: Parts 3 & 4

With apologies to Brian Williams and all of you who have e-mailed that you wanted to see the rest of the interview, we are now posting parts three and four with hopes of a fifth part to be loaded by end of the week. Our shortcomings with the youtube people as well as computer troubles here at ALO Central Command seem to have been worked out and now we can move forward.

Part three discusses the shortfalls surrounding the Capital Improvement Board and the stadium and convention center construction and expansion while part four discusses the water company and Mayor Ballard’s plans to sell it.

ALO’s Kitchen Table Chat with Indy Mayoral Candidate Brian Williams: Part 2

Okay, lets try this again. Posted this once but ran into some YouTube troubles. Here is Brian Williams discussing education at the ALO kitchen table.

ALO’s Kitchen Table Chat with Indy Mayoral Candidate Brian Williams: Part 1

This past Saturday morning with hot tea in hand, Brian S. Williams, Indianapolis business man and Democratic candidate for Indianapolis Mayor, came to the house and sat down with ALO and, over the course of an hour, shared his thoughts on the city, the direction he feels it needs to go and why he thinks he can get it there.

It was a pleasant conversation that was recorded to video with his permission. It covered a lot of ground. In particular were his thoughts on how critical it is to improve education in Indianapolis, how we should address the financial crises facing the city and how and why he can win.

Among the better bits in this first part is when he sums up the financial difficulties city government has been placed under by Governor Mitch Daniels’ property tax machinations. In a smoothly understated manner that actually helps deliver the impact of his point, Williams reminds us that the Daniels’ cuts will, in a best case scenario, put the city of Indianapolis in the red by an additional $30 million dollars, “that is a meaningful amount of money.

Yes sir it is.

Here we are posting part 1 of at least 3, if not 4, parts of that conversation. Virtually the only stuff edited out is the inane chattering of the interviewer, otherwise you get a pretty unfiltered view of Mr. Williams that morning.

As he left, we had to admit we were very impressed. We think you will be too.

As a matter of fact and as a disclaimer, we must point out that A Loyal Opposition is not endorsing any candidate in this race at this time and we have made the same offer to and look forward to interviewing the other Democrat presently in the race, Melina Kennedy, for a similar interview. We have been assured we will be able to interview her, but as yet we haven’t been able to schedule it. To be fair, it was kind of difficult to get schedules worked out with Mr. Williams too.

ALO is a resource for Democratic candidates and we will do our best to be responsive to those that wish to go on the record with us. Additionally, if you have a question you would like to have us ask these candidates please feel free to submit it as a comment to these posts or e-mail it to us. Mr. Williams has assured us he’d be willing to take follow-up questions and we know Ms. Kennedy will want to do likewise.

Part 2 of the interview has now been posted here.

Colonel Mayor Names Three New Department Heads

"And our city's new catch phrase will be: Indy: Hot and Delicious!"

A few weeks back we advertised for a political cartoonist. Well last Friday Shane asked us what we wanted and today, masterpiece!

Look for more of Shane in the months to come and if you have a hankering to post some political artwork or even photoshopping of your own send it along to us at

Just Sayin’s All

ALO joined the good folks at the Decatur Township Democrat Club meeting this evening. They hosted some bloggers to speak and we were very happy to be included. ALO joined Indianapolis Times, iPOPA, Blue Indiana and Had Enough Indy? to have a little discussion about blogs in general.

We’ll skip talking about the blogs to discuss a few items from the candidates that were in attendance and spoke a bit. Apologies in advance for leaving several candidates out as I only intend to cite three.

Brian Williams, wisely and notably followed the adage that brevity is the soul of wit and in the briefest manner possible telling those in attendance  that he is seeking the office of Indianapolis Mayor in 2011, but he reminded everyone that it is most important to work on the campaigns before us in 2010.

“I intend to work really hard,” he continued, “to help elect 2010’s Democrats and hope that in 2011 some folks will keep an open mind as I try to win back the 25th floor of the City-County Building.”

Tom McKenna who is seeking to be the next Secretary of State and pointed out that his chief reason for seeking the office, as he made clear that “I don’t want to be Governor. I’m just running for Secretary of State” was to protect the right to the ballot box which is being eroded by several forces including Secretary of State Todd Rokita and Governor Mitch Daniels.

“When I hear of the eighty-year-old nun from South Bend who hadn’t moved but was denied the right to cast her ballot because she hadn’t brought a photo id, I get a little upset.”

He also made a very clear point of talking about the importance of the 2010 races, obviously his is one, “It is very important that people work hard to keep the house and win our Congressional seats and do our best to win all sorts of races in 2010.”

Certainly he was seeking to remind folks of the value of SOS returns in elections. A county’s ballot order is determined by which party won the SOS race in that county. If you are a candidate or would-be-candidate in 2010 then the office is very important to you because there is a statistically proven relationship to ballot order and election totals for down-ballot races and the first name seen.

But he was also making the case for staying focused on the year in front of us.

Colonel John Layton is looking to be the next Sheriff of Marion County and he made the case that he “bleeds brown” as a 30-year member of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “I’ve worn that brown uniform for 30 plus years… and have been proud to learn so much more about the duties and responsibilities of administration by standing right next to Sheriff Frank Anderson.”

It was a clear swipe at his primary opponent Mark Brown who has served his career in the Indianapolis Police Department. Layton made clear that the very important duties left to the Sheriff’s office after restructuring, which have never been the duties of the IPD or IMPD, like being responsible for securing the inmates of the Marion County Jail, identifying sexual child abuse offenders and recollecting fugitives that have broken their bail and court orders, should not be left to someone who hasn’t done those things. He also made a clear case for why Democrats should not be so focused on 2011 and 2012 races to take their eye off of 2010.

It is a case heard more and more and a criticism that is being at those candidates for 2010 and those beginning to dither with 2012 that they are sucking interest and resources, notably fund-raising during a bad economy away from 2010 candidates.

It is a criticism that ALO rejects. Those candidates have to do what is most important for them to be competitive down the road. That includes getting an early start in raising money.

It is up to 2010 candidates their caucuses and their party leadership to make the bast cases they can for themselves. It is also up to some of those candidates heading into 2010 primary races to consider whether they are truly about to put time and effort and work into something that has a likelihood of winning and then winning in November or if by spinning wheels and burning their own and their fellow Democrats’ resources they are tanking the party’s November chances.

As for those 2011 and 2012 candidates who some feel are draining 201o resources, would it hurt you to host a fundraiser for a caucus or a 2010 candidate? It could at least help strike the first chords of Kumbaya for those disgruntled who see you as hurting more than helping.

Just sayin’s all.