Monday, February 1, 2010

Addendum to Councilors & Tickets Post

I received a thoughtful e-mail from City-County Councilor Angela Mansfield. She is not one of the councilors who received Superbowl tickets from the Colts for face value. She took great care in point out that she made no judgment about those who did take the tickets and noted her belief that each councilor had to agree to not sell the tickets for above face value. She also noted that it is disrespectful to assume a councilor would try to profit of of the tickets, regardless of contractual restrictions.

Councilor Mansfield is right, which is a recurring phenomenon for her. For me to so assume perpetuates the very cynicism I seek to eliminate. For that, all councilors have my apology.

But the councilors who took the tickets know they got something not available to the general public, and that's my point and nothing more. I never said it was unethical to take them.

Respectfully, whether something is illegal or unethical is not the ceiling I want for my party's elected officials. It's the floor. If you disagree, tell me.

But as I told a good friend of mine recently, before Andy Jacobs, Jr. retired, I went to his office in D.C., and as I walked through the halls, I saw names of representatives everywhere. Outside of Jacobs' office, though, it said only "10th District of Indiana." When I went inside, the receptionist was answering the phone the same way. I told the Congressman he was really losing out on the opportunity to make a positive name association with every call, and he responded, "I just don't want there to be any confusion on who owns this seat."

Whatever people may have thought about his politics, Andy Jacobs, Jr. lived his congressional tenure as a true servant-leader, and I see our current Congressman moving in that direction. My hope is that the Democratic Party can be imbued with that spirit, and if periodically, I have to ask them to live up to higher ideals, I won't hesitate.


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9 comments:

interestedparty said...

This was a great post and the kind you don't see every day. Instead of losing heart, I'll keep coming back here.

varangianguard said...

I would respectively suggest to Councilor Mansfield that if there is such a rush to judgement (by you, me or anybody else), then there is a perception out there which needs to be addressed to her peers, and not by chiding you about whether you are being respectful to them, or not.

And, if I need be clearer about what that "perception" might be, please Councilor, just ask.

Jaimie said...

I agree with interestedparty. This is a great post and I wish more people in politics generally would think about expectations as a floor...

Anonymous said...

Great Post. I wish Andy Jacobs, Jr. was county chairman.

Indy Student said...

iPOPA,

I've had the honor of meeting and talking to Andy Jacobs Jr. multiple times. I wasn't really following him when he was in office, but he is a good, and if I was, I'd probably disagree with many of his political policies. But that doesn't change that he is an honest man that I'd like politicians to reflect. Men like him, and Mayor Bill Hudnut.

varangianguard is dead on the money also. If the association is there, it's probably because we've all naturally assumed the worst, because too often, that's exactly what happens.

That all said, Ms. Mansfield has scored really high in my book ever since I started following the Council last year. She too is a true representative of the people.

Anonymous said...

IPOPA, I have watched Congressman Carson closely since he was first elected in the special election. I believe that Andy Jacobs has gotten his message to Andre and we can all be proud of how we are being represented in Congress.

Anonymous said...

A lot of us are watching Carson closely.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I commend Councillors Malone, Coleman, and Mansfield for not taking the ticket offer. Paul Ogden is reporting that others declined, as well. It is nice that these three are from different parties, demonstrating that no party has a lock on ethics.

But, I have to say that taking the Colts up on an offer that is not available to all of their constituents, is on a continuum of behaviors that are entirely legal, but where different people would place the 'unethical' mark. If the Councillors who chose to take the offer were such great fans, then why weren't they season ticket holders? If they could not afford that 'status', well, neither can most of their constituents.

Taking the Colts offer, in my book, is taking advantage of one's position - an advantage you would not have as a private citizen and an advantage that does not add to your capacity to do the job for which you were elected. Declining the Colts offer is to be reinforced with a modicum of praise. Any Councillor who continually chooses not to take advantage of such 'opportunities' should be applauded loudly.

Thanks for posting.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

My Congressman in the 7th doesn't represent me.

As soon as he was elected, he picked up stakes and moved to Washington.

A quick look at this campaign finance report shows that most of his funding isn't from Indy. That tells me he's not in service to me. He's in service to the elites and special interests that fund him.