So as we began our examination of whether Paul Ogden has an unhealthy obsession with Barnes and Thornburg, resulting in biased and unfair coverage of Mayor Greg Ballard and local Republicans, we began to see evidence that when it comes to unsavory politicians in Marion County, Paul Ogden wants you to pay attention to his Barnes and Thornburg expose and ignore other far more blatant examples of persons violating the public trust.
One such example was Paul Ogden's sole post on City-County Councilor Doris Minton-McNeill (D-Dsitrict 15). Ms. Minton-McNeill was arrested this summer and charged this fall with multiple felony counts of assault and battery against a police officer. By most accounts, Minton-McNeill called police to report an unwanted guest at a party at her home whom she believed was a sex offender. When police arrived, the guest in question had left, but Minton-McNeill was drunk and beligerent towards police. A shouting match then escalated to where Minton-McNeill allegedly shoved one of the police officers, knocking her to the ground where she sustained a minor injury.
In October, after Minton-McNeill was charged by a special prosecutor (a fellow Democrat), Ogden on Politics wrote a blog post on the subject on why he would not write on the subject. Ogden had three points:
- "I have done some criminal defense work and I see people charged all the time who turn out to be not guilty."
- "I don't believe in judging people based on the worst moments of their lives."
- "The allegations against Ms. Minton-McNeil's do not involve a breach of the public trust or public corruption."
Point one is the classic "all persons are innocent until proven gulity in a court of law" response, although one might argue that Ogden affords Minton-McNeill this respect while he denies it to his fellow Republican Mayor. Point two is also, like point one, a description of how Mr. Ogden prefers to conduct himself.
But point three is a misrepresentaion, or ingorance, of the facts in the Minton-McNeill case as a political matter. First, Minton-McNeill is charged with assualting a police officer. As a City-County Councilor, Minton-McNeill was appointed (not elected, to fill Andre Carson's seat) to make laws and uphold them. Police officers, also known as law enforcement officers, embody a public's respect for the law. Attacking a police officer is a disrespect of the law and is a "breach of the public trust ."
Second, the police report of the incident stated that when confronting the police officers, Minton-McNeill grew upset that the police did not immediately do what she asked. McNeill went into her whom, grabbed her Council Business Cards, and shouted at the the police something to the effect of "Do you know who I am. I'm a City-County Councillor!" both when they did not immediately search her home and when they arrested her. The implication was Minton-McNeill tried to use her position of power to obtain special treatment that the public would not receive on their own. That is also a "breach of the public trust," and also gives us a hint that if in a higher position of power, Minton-McNeill would be prone to "public corruption."
Yet, Paul Ogden doesn't figure in his analysis that the alleged assault was against a police officer, nor that Minton-McNeill attempted to use her office during the incident. Instead, Ogden wanted you, the Indianapolis blogosphere, to ignore the Minton-McNeill distraction, which was taking good space away from Ogden's real issue: Barnes and Thornburg. Ogden wrote:
"I really think we conservatives and Republicans should devote our limited resources on those offenses that matter the most - those that involve public corruption, breaches of the public trust and unabated conflicts of interest among our elected officials. Every minute we spend outraged about Minton-McNeil possibly shoving a police officer is a minute we are distracted from exposing breaches of the public trust and working for a more honest and ethical government."
In other words, Paul Ogden doesn't want you to look behind the curtain at a real breach of the public trust like the foolish Doris Minton-McNeill. That issue takes away from Ogden's efforts to expose Mayor Ballard and Barnes and Thornburg!
So, why does Paul Ogden want you to ignore Doris Minton-McNeill and instead hold Mayor Ballard and Barnes and Thornburg in higher contempt? Our examination will continue...