It wasn't the snow....

Dateline: Thu 01 Sep 2011

Thanks to Star reporters Bill McCleery, Dan McFeely and others on Facebook who shared this link within the past 50 minutes or so re: the life and times of former Indy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, most recently a deupty mayor in the Big Apple:

Leave it to the New York Post to come up with the lead: "The blizzard didn't bury him...roughing up his wife did." And then the screamer front page headline: 'DEPUTY DOG!"

The story is really very sad, in the same way that the Phil Hinkle story is sad. Briefly, in Goldsmith's case, the couple had an "ugly" fight the night of July 30, about 11:30 p.m. Margaret Goldsmith, 59, who is part of the Pulliam newspaper clan, allegedly told her husband, 64, "I should have put a bullet through you years ago!"

Here's the rest, from the Post:

"Stephen Goldsmith then 'shoved [Margaret into] the kitchen counter,' according to the report.

"'You're not going to do this to me again, I'm calling the police,' Margaret responded, the report said.

"Goldsmith 'then grabbed the phone from her hands and threw it onto the ground, breaking the phone. He then grabbed [Margaret] and refused to let her go.'

"'She kept screaming, 'Let me go, let me go,' " as Stephen refused to let her out of his grasp, according to the report.

"'She dug her nails into [Stephen's] forearms,' causing him to release Margaret, who then 'ran to the other room to call police.'"

Goldsmith was arrested for "simple assault domestic violence" and spent two days in jail. Goldsmith then tendered his resignation as deputy mayor of NYC. ("Deputy Dog" screams the headline from the NY Post).

What is not surprising but typical in domestic cases is that Margaret Goldsmith, 59, now says it was all a big mistake and that she never wanted her husband arrested. Under oath, she has "affirmed the absence of violence," the story says.

Enter Hinkle.

When the inside -- the person's interior life -- and the outside, the external life, no longer match, the human being is in trouble. Hinkle said in his interview with Matt Tully that he is messed up in his head, and trying to figure himself out with the aid of therapy. But saying all this on the front page of the newspaper shows a lack of understanding and remorse, as well as a complete absence of humlity.

Stephen and Margaret Goldsmith have the same problem: their exterior lives do not line up with the interior. This is always big trouble.

This concept is courtest of Diana Trilling, who wrote an essay on the lives and deaths of Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe. Both died, she said, because the persona they showed the world did not line up with what they felt inside. The essay used to be required reading for English classes at many liberal-arts colleges; that's how I discovered it, and it remains brilliant.

If only Hinkle/Goldsmiths/et al would take the message to heart....maybe we'd endure fewer sensational headlines and reap the benefits of worthy work being done....



B2 [unverified] said:

Before we rush to judgement -- oops, too late -- Goldsmith and the Mrs. have issued statements denying physical abuse and saying the incident has been taken out of context.
As far as we know, they were the only ones there. We assume they are just covering their, uh, reputations. But what if they are telling the truth? Just asking.

2011-09-01 10:29:45

ComputerWheels [Member] said:

Well, I always wondered why they put Goldsmith in charge of snow removal when we could never get to the office without sliding through slushy streets. Wondered then why he was even Indy mayor.

But wait, he's deputy NY mayor and they live in DC and he was arrested there? Does that even make sense?

2011-09-01 10:53:01

ruthholl [Member] said:

Well, the statements printed in the NY Post are from the police report, which of course was written that night or early the next morning.
It's very common, as I am sure you know, for people, especially women, to back away from claims of domestic abuse once they've calmed down. Hence the number of couples who show up at domestic court, and she has suddenly clammed up -- nor will she press charges.
Margaret and Steve undeniably have tensions: her illness among them. Both are strong personalities. But when she said, "I should have put a bullet thru you" etc., that indicates some long-standing problems.
Maybe alcohol was involved; maybe they are not normally so volatile. Maybe it was just a fluke. You're right -- none of us were there...
I guess the future holds the answer.
I will say this: Neil Steinberg is a brilliant, thoughtful columnist/essayist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is also a husband and father. A few years ago, he got into his cups and had an argument with his wife, an attorney; she called the cops and he was arrested and he also spent a couple days in jail. The upshot was he went for alcohol counseling,he apologized to his wife and he wrote about it -- after he had cleaned up his house. Maybe if SG had issued a statement after the incident, explaining his resignation, I'd have more faith in his honesty. That would have been the time to simply say: "Police were called to our home during an argument. Margaret and I agree the situation was exaggerated and taken out of context. Nonetheless, I was arrested, spent two days in jail and I am resigning. Our marriage is intact." Instead, they holed up, hid the truth -- which of course the press was going to uncover, duh.
I don't know.
So what makes you say, "what if"? What are you seeing, besides the benefit of the doubt?
My sh-- detector tells me it happened. That's all I can say. Regrets, yes. Perhaps no divorce. But something happened domestically, and it was not good....

2011-09-01 11:00:03

ruthholl [Member] said:

ComputerWheels, I wondered about that residence, too. I suppose he has a NYC pad, and that he commuted; their primary home is in DC, very likely.
BTW, on the Steinberg thing: it was not just an argument. He too got physical with his wife.
I thought Goldsmith was a decent mayor. The odd thing is, his rep was always that he was a wonk, cold, lofty. Then, this sort of alleged explosion. Again, my argument about the exterior life and the inner life not meeting up.

2011-09-01 11:04:18

B2 [unverified] said:

Ruthie, I'm aware of the tendency for women to later back off charges of spousal/partner abuse. That could very well be the case here.
And this does go to the limit of the smell test.
I've never laid a hand on my bride but we've had some arguments (like the majority of married couples) I'm not proud of ... and she isn't either. Fortunately, those were long ago. Hell, at our age, we're usually too tired to argue.
I guess I believe that everyone -- including the media types who seize upon these stories with such zeal -- has an "inner" life that, if laid open to the world, could be made into something that it is ... or it isn't. I've become less judgemental as the years pass. Need to worry most about my own. If the Goldsmiths have issues, I pray for them and hope they can be resolved. If that occurs, I doubt if the NY Post will bother to make a clever headline of it.

2011-09-01 12:09:38

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Mrs G was known to be "different" when she was Madame Mayor. She insisted on riding her horse in the 500 Festival Parade at the head of the Sheriff's Patrol. She was known to be tempermental and liked the perks of power.

Goldy destroyed the best grass roots political organization in the Midwest when he broke up the Marion County GOP and then ran Hudnut out of town. His answer to everything was "privatize." His wonkishness didn't pan out, and he didn't have enough charisma to offset that deficit.

2011-09-01 12:33:55

hendy [Member] said:

Goldsmith is a snake. Ask his first wife. I'm sad for both of them; domestic abuse is awful and the path they chose to cover it up is clearly the work of lawyers, not those in domestic abuse therapeutic healing. My cousin Bobby's rolling in his grave.

2011-09-01 13:30:58

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Ah, but Mrs. G called the cops!

The "oops, nothing happened here, folks" explanation does not explain that she called the cops, they came, made a report AND jailed Mr. G.

2011-09-01 13:41:17

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

First hope: that there were no minors around during this escapade. That kind of shouting and throwing of objects, leaves a stern impression on younger minds.

Second hope: they both heal from this nonsense.

Now, from hope to reality:

He was and always will be a classic a**hole. While Indy Mayor, he had deputies cleaning up his messes all over the place. He was so high-and-mighty that he took offense at Bill Hudnut's, uh, '"infidenlity," and made sure Bill had to move away to get a job in this city. As if Goldsmith were the arbiter of all things pristine. Pitiful. Petty.

He's resided in DC since he left Indy. Bloomberg was dumb to ever appoint him. Maybe it was Harvard-envy, if a billionaire egomanical mayor can have envy of any kind.

Favorite Goldsmith-era misdeed: the Marsh at 82nd & Allisonville. He greased that center's approval, which was too tight for the site. Traffic studies were required. They showed immense congerstion at the state's worst-accident corner, if a new center that large were to be built.

Goldsmith "allegedly" ordered his minions to fan out and make the center happen. It did. The professional planners did it in such a way that they left their imprint on the site: they endorsed the developer's traffic study. Which was fiction, and everyone knew it. Their reworked "conclusion": a new center at that corner would have "no discernable impact' on traffic.

A Trojan horse of the first order.

It was minor compared to the near-decade we spent further ignoring rigid infrastructure maladies: a federal court-ordered jail fix, and Combined Sewer Overflow. All sacrifieced at the Rpeublican "No New Taxes" Altar. When a fellow Republican, the wonderful CCC Beulah Coughenour, tried to push for a bigger CSO fix, he banished her. She ended up not running for another term and moved to Fla., where her husband just died. I learned this, watching city govt. up-close during Goldy's tenture:

Dont cross him. And problems delayed ar eproblems amplified--evidently that's true of personal relationships as well as expensive infrastructure fizxes.

2011-09-01 14:55:10

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Karma's a bitch.

2011-09-01 17:30:28

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

In the police report, Mrs. G said she called the cops because it wasn't the first time Mr. G had assaulted her.

You can read it all here:

2011-09-01 19:41:39

varangianguard [unverified] said:

I agree with TTT that Goldsmith commuted to his job in DC. He never did find "digs" in NYC, even after the snow debacle when he stayed down in DC, rather than try to get up to work.
I also agree with his assessment of not crossing the former mayor.

A likely difference between your example from Chicago and people like the former mayor? Narcisscism. Goldsmith, like way too many political types have it bad. They can't/won't/don't see their behavior as "bad".

2011-09-02 04:53:28

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Thanks, Ms. Cynical.

Poor Margaret. Well, not "poor" in the fiscal sense, but in the battered wife sense.

2011-09-02 07:27:56

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Relationships...who can understand them?

2011-09-02 08:31:58

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Sorry, George, but a relationship based on physical abuse is all too easy to understand.

2011-09-02 15:22:58

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The Goldsmith marriage train wreck isn't a happy thing to watch. Even to those of us who despised him while he was mayor.

But it is telling.

There are scores of Goldy stories all over town, from former employees, to Law Enforcement officers, to prosecutorial buds.

He's just a bad apple. It's that simple. He fooled Marion County voters four times. The fifth time--when he ran for governor--we were not fooled.

Former City-County Council Minority Leader Susan Williams once called Goldy: "Ambition in a suit."

Susan's usually right about character judgment.

And so it goes.

Get out, Margaret, while you can. A two week Normandy cruise in August doesn't substitute for a loving relationship.

And the weather sucks. You should've gone for Greece or Italy. Or sought out Kobe Bryant's wife for proper Kiss-Makeup Gifts.

2011-09-03 06:46:50

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Ms. Cynical,

I totally agree with you. I was just making a sweeping comment about relationships.

I can't say I ever liked Goldsmith, but I thought he was a fascinating public personality. I never agreed with his politics, nor his policies. Yet, I did find his approach to infrastructure funding and maintenance to be interesting in an era where tax increases are impossible.

In the early days of Bush, I always wondered why he didn't take (probably was never offered) the position of faith-based initiatives. I remember hanging out with him during the inauguration hoopla and Goldsmith was in charge of that area, which Bush had made a big deal of.

As it turned out, much of that effort went to another Hoosier, Tim Goeglein.

Oh well, around and around...

The Goldsmiths live just a few blocks from where I go to church.

What's interesting is so people I go to church with gossip all the time about the Bayhs, and the comings and goings of their children who attend the same hoity-toity private school (St. Albans)

Would somebody tell me why I am still living in DC?

Anyone in Indy have a job they want to offer to a hard-working hack like me?

2011-09-03 08:44:44

Jason [unverified] said:

Most agencies have adopted a policy where in any instance of physical abuse, an arrest is made regardless of outstanding circumstances. It's very common for cooler heads to prevail after the fact and charges are dismissed.

Typically, not always, but typically, there's a lot more truth that comes out in the police report than in any kind of statement or press release after the fact.

Didn't really care to know the fellow, and it surprises me after his tenure we've somehow managed to scrounge up even more city assets to sell off at a loss. You'd think somebody would have learned from his mistakes.

2011-09-04 11:41:54

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2011-09-06 07:44:50

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