Sherron, Monroe, Brendan, etc., and even the lucky sperm club

Dateline: Mon 29 Oct 2007

Better late than never in praising Indianapolis City-County Council member Sherron Franklin, a Democrat, for bolding going where no Dem publicly has gone before: she has successfully led the charge calling for an investigation into Council President Monroe Gray's alleged ethical violations. Praise is also due for Star reporter Brendan O'Shaughnessy, whose excellent reporting uncovered Gray's troubling conflicts of interest -- that Gray owns a concrete company that was doing work for the city (the company is also being sued for alleged shoddy work), and that Gray collects $83,000 salary from the fire department, apparently for doing nothing. Well, he did pass out smoke detectors in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood....

Indyundercover, Advance Indiana, Digital Farmer and other blogs have also kept on Gray's case in another example of job well done. OK, GOP councilman Phil Borst started the process, but he couldn't get a successful vote. I also believe the YouTube videos promoted on Indyundercover have contributed to Gray going down the tubes; he really looks bad in those -- indecisive, incompetent, asleep at the switch.

The official catalogue of his alleged problems can be found on this Republican website, put up by GOP Marion County chair Tom John:

One interesting TalkBack commentator in the Star -- Over It from Chicago -- connected the dots between some of the players. The parentheses are my comments:

"have you really taken a hard look at the democrats? Let's lay it out. First, let's look at Aaron Haith (Monroe Gray's personal attorney as well as the council attorney). His law partner is bell choate, who is the significant other (wife) to Sarge Fisher, who is the right hand person to Julia Carson. judy hawley conley of the metropolitan board is the wife of king ro conley, who is one the the commissioners (city county council members) in this great town. can we all be so blind into thinking these great democrats have our best interest at heart or just have their own personal agenda at heart to benefit their big fat payrolls? I, for one, am tired of the nepotism in this city."

Some conventional wisdom has held that Mayor Bart Peterson would dump Gray after the election; the presumption is that Gray would win his seat again. As Dem powerhouse Ann DeLaney commented on Indiana Week in Review recently, Gray's District 8 is 72 percent Democratic. She expressed confidence that GOP candidate Kurt Webber, an attorney, could not prevail. However, Gray's considerable troubles may sink his ship much sooner, and he may lose.

While everyone is busy dumping on Gray and the Dems, let's keep in mind that for decades, the city was a GOP stronghold, with enough nepotism and dirty deals to choke a king. I loved the phrase used by Clarian CEO Dan Evans recently: that he was one of the last members of the lucky sperm club. So whether it is lucky sperm clubs, ghetto mafia, whatever you want to call it: the point is we need people of integrity in office, not people interested in being in a little clique so they can pass out favors to their buds.

Sherron Franklin -- a cop and a Dem who voted AGAINST the police merger, risking the ire of the mayor -- has shown that she holds herself to a higher standard.

How hard can that be? Obviously, it wonder young people don't want to vote.


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