Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Examination of Paul Ogden on Barnes and Thornburg

Recall the scene from the comedy film: PCU. Fraternity member "Pigman" is writing his senior thesis on the "Caine-Hackman Theory," his theory that at any given time, one can find on television a movie starring Michael Caine or Gene Hackman. He finds his closing argument when he stumbles across a film starring both Caine and Hackman together.

Now, it is no secret that blogger Paul Ogden holds the local Republican Party in low regard. So when Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John was tangentially mentioned in a post on the Indiana Barrister blog, Paul Ogden saw fit to write a blog post lambasting John, Mayor Ballard, and the local GOP. And with Mayor Ballard guessed it. Ogden found opportunity to discuss Barnes and Thronburg.

Now Barnes and Thornburg, a Republican law firm, was featured in an Indianapolis Star story in December on how several of its lawyers were given ppointments by the Ballard Administration. One of those appointments, Bob Grand, is Chairman of the body which oversees Indianapolis's sports arenas, whose operating deficits garnered a recent front page story. Two big stories in two months, publicity that can be considered negative, or at best mixed.

But while the main stream media has seen one hard news story and one feature story in the past few months, Paul Ogden has given a more frequent focus on the firm, for reasons we have discussed when this blog debuted. How frequent? Below is a breakdown and percentage of how many of Ogden's blog posts each month is devoted to Barnes and Thornburg, its lawyers and alumni, or how Mayor Ballard is "getting bad advice from his advisors" or should fire them:

August: 3 out 17 posts (18%)
September: 5 out of 36 posts (14%)
October: 4 out of 45 posts (9%)
November: 5 out of 46 posts (11%)
December: 13 out of 44 posts (30%)
January: 16 out of 48 posts (33%)

So in the past two months, Paul Ogden has devoted roughly a third of his blog to his distrust of Barnes and Thornburg, more than twice as much as November and before. What happened since November to cause the increase? The two news stories referenced did occur in that time, but Ogden devoted just two posts to each occurrence. More notably, up until November there were local, state, and federal elections taking place. It seems in the political news vacuum since those elections ended, Paul Ogden has chosen to devote his spare writings against Greg Ballard and the law firm of Barnes and Thornburg

Opinion is a key part to the blogosphere: putting out facts and helping your readers draw conclusions. But there is adifference between helping your readers draw conclusions from facts and drawing the same conclusion every time. And devoting a third of your blog posts to such a boutique political issue may be a psychologically unhealthy obsession, just as the Pigman's obsession was unhealthy in PCU.

Why does Paul Ogden want to frequently bemoan Barnes and Thornburg? Why does Paul Ogden want a public divorce of Mayor Ballard and Barnes & Thornburg? Why does Paul Ogden insist he is doing this to benefit the GOP? The answers are not as benign as Ogden says. Since Ogden's readers are convinced that Ogden is a taxpayer advocate who can save the GOP, these are questions that must be answered. These are questions that we will spend the coming days letting you know what our examination reveals.


  1. Difference between this blog and Paul Ogden's is that he signs his name to his opinions.

    I'm gonna trust the source that puts their name on the line.

    Not an anonymous smear campaign on the internet.

    I am going to link you from our blog though and give you some traffic. This should succeed in pointing out how desperate you all are getting.

  2. Hoosiers
    This blog doesn't get much traffic from the looks of it. What will happen is more people are going to be looking over Ogden's blog. There they will see opinions supported by hard evidence and fact. The fact I am most curious about and none from the mayor’s office is forthcoming with answers is who got the quarter of a million dollars? You would think Mary Jo would want to discredit Ogden by coming up with proof that the money did go to the criminal corporation and the city paid it because they owed it according to the contract. That’s cold hard facts to go with the cold hard cash that went by the wayside and ignoring that fact won’t make it disappear. Paul Ogden has more personal and professional ethics than the whole B&T Firm put together. And that my friend is what has them all wound up!

    Leslie Sourwine calling it like she sees it.

  3. Why does Paul Ogden have such a strong vendetta against B&T?

  4. Just about every time Ogden goes up against B & T he loses, the rare exceptions are when they settle, like his current discrimination case, but that's only because it's more hassle to forward with the litigation than settle. Right, Paul?