Matt Tully has a great piece today in the Indianapolis Star on how Mayor Greg Ballard leaned on Republican city-county councilors in a secret cloakroom meeting to ensure that no smoking ban ordinance would ever reach his desk. He did this because he didn't want to have to veto the measure.
Many Republican bloggers contend Mayor Ballard had no ultimate hand in the measure not passing, as he didn't influence any votes.
That's really your defense?!?! That, yes, the mayor did put a dagger in the back of public health advocates by pressuring counselors to vote against the ban that he publicly supported during his campaign, but it's okay because he's so ineffectual as a leader that he couldn't persuade a single member of his own party to do an about-face?!?!
If I were City-County Councilor Ben Hunter (R), I'd be irate. Nothing is worse in politics than getting beaten up for a tough stand when you don't get the positive result. Had Hunter known the Mayor would veto the measure, does anybody think he would have been carrying the water for so long and taking arrows from every bar owner in Indy? Way to leave your guy hanging, Mayor!
At least now we know the Mayor's position on a full ban. There was some ambiguity before Tully's investigation. On WTHR-13, the news reporter actually said the following:
"The Mayor had previously stated that he was not sure if he was ready to sign such a bill (a full ban) into law. He said tonight that his position on the measure has not changed."
I laughed out loud. He actually told a member of the media that his position, which was to not have a position, remained the same. Way to remain fully committed....to your own ambivalence.
Mayor, let me introduce you to a well-known phrase from Congressman Andre Carson: bold leadership. Try it sometime. If you had done so, you wouldn't have public health advocates and Ben Hunter at your throat now, and Luke Kenley wouldn't be sore at you for disappearing into the rabit hole while he was taking political shrapnel for you with a CIB bailout proposal.