Category Archives: Melina Kennedy

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.

Brian Williams’ Mayoral Campaign Proud of Campaign Launch

We received the following post via the ubiquitous Facebook this morning. Brian S. Williams, Democratic candidate for Indianapolis mayor has timed this piece to accompany his campaign finance report.

While his only filed Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy has not yet done such an announcement, we expect it quickly.

January 19, 2010

In August 2009, the “Williams for Indianapolis” mayoral campaign committee was established to begin a city-wide discussion on making Indianapolis a city that works for all of us. The campaign met its launch objectives, including:

• Establishing the campaign website,
• Launching a Facebook page and connecting with over 1,000 people
• Meeting face-to-face with over 400 Indianapolis voters
• Publishing 4 letters to Indianapolis on issues of importance
• Releasing 4 videos with Brian’s views on Indianapolis
• Ending 2009 with nearly $150,000 raised and only $2,600 in cash expenses

“Our launch goal was to put in place a great team and to begin a dialogue with Indianapolis residents. We exceeded our expectations on many fronts,” stated Williams.

“The next mayor of Indianapolis must address the city’s financial challenges in a sustainable manner and articulate a vision for Indianapolis,” said Williams. “We look forward to leading that discussion.”

Of note here are a couple things:

  • While Kennedy is likely to report a more sizable funds raised number (some are estimating a 5 ti 1 lead) and sizable cash-on-hand amount, it is of note that Williams, in an effort to keep his powder dry for a race that too many people seem to forget doesn’t take place until next year, watch the burn rate, how much is being spent in proportion to what is being raised. Williams has only spent $2,600 and is running this year with no staff of which to speak. We know from speaking with the Kennedy camp that they are also trying to keep their belts tight and hope to show well in this respect too, but the burn rate has been the bane of many a campaigns existence and is a good early indicator for all campaigns.
  • Also note that, there is a slow and low rumble out there among candidates that are running in 2010 that there should be some effort made by these 2011 candidates to help make this year a good one for their party, so it is wise of Williams to boast of accomplishments beyond fundraising, not only because he is likely not going to show as much cash strength as Kennedy, but also to point out that his campaign is seeking to move forward the issues without bankrupting the party’s donor base.
  • Finally, with the statement “[w]e look forward to leading that discussion” Williams is making a clear attempt to make this campaign about comprehension, vision and ideas. In contrast, up-to-now Kennedy has done very little press work that hasn’t involved listing endorsements. Though we expect her campaign to eventually put out a “Peterson Plan”-like document summing up he positions, the Williams strategy is worth paying attention to, if only to see if such ideas are of interest to Democratic primary voters.

All this leads us at ALO to point out that we have interviewed Brian Williams and is posted here.

Ballard Piece in Indianapolis Monthly is a Must-Read

Don’t know how we missed this for so long, but if you haven’t yet read Michael Rubino’s withering piece on Mayor Ballard in the latest Indianapolis Monthly, then you should. It’s a beautiful piece of writing as well as a balanced indictment of Ballard’s approach.

It starts:

On a rain-soaked October morning at a park gymnasium in the city’s downtrodden Riverside neighborhood, no one among the working poor here seems to notice a tall, husky man shuffling along the slippery floor where two dozen folding tables are arranged end-to-end, forming makeshift aisles.

The tables hold promotional materials and swag—keychains, pencils, piggy banks, can Koozies. The occasion is the launch of an initiative to promote financial literacy, a joint effort between the city, United Way of Central Indiana, and a host of financial institutions.

The inconspicuous man makes his way to the front, stopping next to a microphone stand. He is flanked by the Indianapolis Colts mascot, Blue, who whips some excitement into the gathering crowd. They seem genuinely thrilled to see some guy sweating his tail off in a cartoon horse outfit. And then the unassuming man steps to the microphone.

“Ladies and Gentleman,” a disembodied voice intones, “please welcome Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.”

Ballard receives polite applause and speaks for a short time—a few words about the wisdom of opening a savings account and his wife’s dedication to financial literacy. He makes another pass by the tables and their tchotchkes, and vanishes. The mayor of the nation’s 14th-largest city has been upstaged by a furry blue horse with googly eyes.

The disappearing act has become all too familiar to political observers of both parties—a fade into the scenery that has emboldened Democrats (already lining up, two years before the 2011 election) and frustrated Ballard’s fellow Republicans. “This is a constant struggle, especially within the administration,” says one GOP insider. “In politics, perception often becomes reality. And the real problem is, you can’t keep doing good if you’re not going to go out there and talk about it. It’s hard to get re-elected that way. I mean, when the tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to see it or hear it, it doesn’t make a noise, right?”

The charge isn’t that he is unfit for office. It’s that the office doesn’t fit him and, in public moments, seems to swallow him whole.

In a way, Ballard has never left the cocoon of obscurity. He was a complete unknown when, after enjoying four decades of high-wattage mayors, Indianapolis chose the former Marine over a two-term incumbent in the most stunning upset in city history. Thanks to a low-key style, Ballard has only grown more opaque. Whether he lacks the wherewithal or political savvy to offer a counter-narrative, Ballard has let himself be defined by indecision and occasionally even befuddlement. With the city about to step into the national spotlight—the imminent arrival of the Final Four, the convention center expansion, and the all-important build-up to the 2012 Super Bowl—Indy doesn’t have to worry about its top politician “going rogue.” Going rube? That’s a distinct possibility.

Over the first two years of his term, the stories of his absences from the center of activity and of his occasional gaffes have not helped to dispel the notion that, just at the moment Indy seems poised to take a step up, the city has a small-town mayor on its hands.

Read the whole piece at

Peterson Endorses Melina Kennedy for Mayor

In a blast e-mail that came out today the Melina Kennedy for Mayor campaign announced what is it’s most prominent endorsement yet, That of former Mayor Barton R. (Bart) Peterson.

Mayor Bart Peterson endorses Melina Kennedy

The release reads as follows:

Indianapolis–Today, former Indianapolis mayor Bart Peterson endorsed Melina Kennedy in her campaign for mayor of Indianapolis.  Peterson, whom Kennedy served as Deputy Mayor and Economic Development Director, singled out Kennedy’s accomplishments, leadership and work ethic in supporting her candidacy.

“First, Melina is a proven and experienced job-creator.  When hundreds lost their jobs at the United Airlines airport maintenance facility, I watched Melina work incredibly hard and show remarkable creativity to bring new jobs to Indianapolis. At the end of the day, after relentless effort, we brought a new company to Indianapolis that now employs hundreds at the facility again.”

“Second, Melina is a courageous, passionate and visionary leader. As a husband and father, I know Melina will work tirelessly to build an Indianapolis where our children and grandchildren can be safe, receive high quality education, and reach their dreams. Melina knows how to reach across lines that sometimes separate people, bringing together families, neighborhoods, labor, business, and the broader community.”

“And finally, no one out-works Melina. She won’t stop until we are a leader in job creation. She won’t stop until every child gets the education they need to achieve their potential. And she won’t stop until our rivers run clean and we are a truly sustainable city.”

Kennedy thanked Peterson for his support and his leadership of Indianapolis. “I am honored to have Mayor Peterson’s support. His dedication to this city, his leadership, and his passion for new ideas made this city a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Once Possible Candidate Tew Endorses Melina Kennedy

We had heard Kip Tew already endorsed Melina Kennedy for Mayor of Indianapolis the other night at a fundraiser, but now the press release makes it official. Tew joined former Indianapolis Congressman Andy Jacobs in endorsing Melina’s campaign.

Indianapolis–Today, Kip Tew, Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Indiana campaign and former Indiana and Marion County Democratic Party Chairman, endorsed Melina Kennedy. Kennedy said Tew’s endorsement and involvement is key, coming off the heels of guiding one of the most historic presidential campaigns in Indiana history.

“I was also considering running for Mayor myself, but after months of meetings, listening to folks, and watching Melina’s work ethic and ability on the campaign trail, I decided she is the best candidate for our party at this time,” Tew said. “Melina is an experienced job-creator, she is passionate about all of our families’ futures, and her vision of an Indianapolis that reaches higher is something–as a father–I believe in.”

“I spent months working with Kip on President Obama’s campaign and watched his work produce tremendous results. His endorsement of my candidacy is a great boost to my campaign. Campaigns are tough, and Kip’s willingness to stand with me and work together means a lot,” Kennedy said.

ALO is looking to interview both Democrats with open exploratory committees seeking to challenge Mayor Greg Ballard. We’ll let you know what we hear back from Melina and her competitor Brian Williams.