Monday, June 23, 2008

Not Again!?!? Please, God, Not Again!!!! City-County Councilor Doris Minton-McNeil Arrested

Remember when this blog started, and I said one of my goals was to drive my party to do a better job recruiting candidates? I urged the party to preserve its credibility by pulling the plug on Democrats, even those IN office, when they embarrass us. I talked about how humiliating it is having to constantly apologize for your own people. Remember?

So I'm perusing the headlines on-line this morning, and I see "councilmember arrested in police scuffle." I can't lie. Without seeing a name, party affiliation, or picture, I swear I honestly thought, "It's a Democrat." I click the story and guess what? It is.

Doris Minton-McNeil, the woman who JUST took over Andre Carson's city-county council seat in April after a caucus, was arrested for allegedly running into a female police officer and injuring her wrist. (I promise you some Carson haters will unfairly try to tag the Congressman with this simply because Minton-McNeil lived in the same district and filled his seat).

Among the allegations are that Ms. Minton-McNeil told police she could not be arrested because she was a councilor, and she tried to give police her business card and repeatedly told them to call city officials.

Marion County Republican Party Chairman, Tom John, called for Minton-McNeil's resignation, noting that nobody is above the law. If the councilor is convicted or pleads guilty of this charge, I'm praying my party will take up John on the offer. It's getting to the point where I can't tell whether I'm a member of a political party or the Indiana Pacers.

Let's be frank. Many of us have probably been at home watching a football game or at a party (bachelor or otherwise) with a designated driver and had a bit too much to drink. We're not worried about drinking and driving, so maybe we overdo it. I get that. But that is in the festive context of social interaction.

In contrast, according to several reports, despite saying she had only had two margaritas, the councilor could not control her bodily functions in the squad car on the way downtown, and she was with only her father, who apparently wasn't drinking. Who gets that hammered at 5:30 p.m. on a Sunday by themselves? I assure you that were she not a councilor, she'd face disciplinary action at IPS. I bet, by virtue of her power, IPS is now too afraid to even issue a reprimand.

This incident serves as a valuable opportunity to revisit my "brand" speech. The Democratic Party is a brand, and all of the candidates and elected officials are the product lines. If one product (or series of products) disappoints consumers (voters) it can demolish trust in the entire brand, in particular if those who put the product out don't take appropriate corrective action. That's where we are in Marion County. We put people in positions of authority that shouldn't be there in the first place to satisfy a demographic need or to placate somebody's nepotism goal or patronage demand. Then when they use bad judgment, we reflexively defend them (and ourselves) and attack their accusers, instead of cleaning house.

Think about what happened after Tylenol was contaminated. The company not only took every single bottle off the shelf, but also, it put a tamper proof cap on the product, at great cost, to ensure that people could trust the specific product AND the brand name. Imagine if Tylenol had instead just left it at, "The company did not contaminate the product. An individual who obviously had a bias against us did this, so we can't be held responsible."

They'd be out of business.

There's a LOT that's not known, so let's not rush to judgment yet. But if this thing culminates in a conviction, I'll be calling on the Marion County Democratic Party to wake up...and stop my nightmares.


No comments: