Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ogden: Ignore Frank Anderson; Go After Mayor Ballard

I my opinion, the best TV show of all time was The Twilight Zone. Its ironic endings and use of science fiction to analogize on political and social norms and themes still make it relevant today 50 years after it debuted. One of those themes was that we will encounter folks whose intentions are not what they seem. Two clasics on the subject: "The Hitch-Hiker," where a woman encounters a hitchiker who is Death in disguise, and "To Serve Man," where a supposedly altruistic alien species befriend mankind only for mankind to find out it is to turn them into the aliens' supper.

This is a theme that comes to mind as we examine why blogger Paul Ogden has an obsession with Barnes and Thornburg and publicly criticizing Mayor Ballard. As Paul wrote on his blog today, Ogden reinforced both his opposition to "pay-to-play" politics and his commitment to building a stronger Republican Party. That is what he says publicly when specifically addressing the subject, but his writings say something completely different. As you have seen already, he prefers to criticize Republican Greg Ballard, who has done nothing wrong, over Democrat Doris Minton-McNeill, who has been charged with three felony counts involved in assaulting a police officer. Next, let us examine his thoughts on Sheriff Frank Anderson.

To be up front, Paul Ogden has written frequently and critically on Anderson's administration of Marion County's Jails and their privitization. More on that later. But in October, there was an opportunity for Ogden to opine directly on Anderson and "Pay-to-Play" legal contracts, the frequent subject for which he criticizes Ballard.

In October, the Indianapolis Star published a story on Sheriff Frank Anderson's outside legal contracts with the law firm of Locke Reynolds. Ogden accordingly wrote a blog post, but instead of praising the Star for its investigatove reporting, Ogden expressed disappointment. This about says it all:

"Every Indianapolis lawyer waking up this morning seeing that story has to be
wondering the same thing. Why did the Star decide to focus on Locke Reynolds
rather than the more obvious beneficiary of city legal business since January 1
- Barnes & Thornburg?"

Given his analysis of Minton-McNeill, it is not terribly surprising on its surface that Ogden, despite his so-called Republican status, wants the powers that be to scrutinize the Republican Mayor over a Democrat with public evidence against him, evidence which Ogden again omits from his analysis. Ogden completely neglects to tell his readers of the prinicpal attorney in the Locke Reynolds contract, Kevin Murray, was also a paid campaign official for Frank Anderson's campaigns for sheriff. That is a direct pay-to-play conflict, one far worse than the supposed infractions by Barnes and Thornburg that Ogden harps about.

Even more revealing is that Ogden goes out of his way to praise Locke Reynolds for how they handle legal cases. Note that Ogden regularly supplements his Barnes and Thornburg diatribes with anecdotes of how he and other anonymous, unnamed attorneys hold Barnes and Thornburg in low esteem.

To recap, Paul Ogden contends his attacks on Mayor Ballard are to help Republicans and to protect taxpayers against corruption/conflicts of interest. Yet, with both Doris Minton-McNeill and Frank Anderson, cases with hard evidence of conflicts of interest, supposed Republican Paul Ogden says ignore the Democrats and instead investigate Mayor Ballard.

Now those who defend Paul Ogden will quickly note that Paul has gone after Sheriff Anderson on his CCA privitization contracts. What is the key difference between the pay-to-play with Kevin Murray Ogdne ignores and the CCA issue Ogden derides? Murray is with Locke Reyonolds and CCA is a client of Barnes and Thornburg.

Why does Paul Ogden only want Barnes and Thronburg investigated? Our examination will continue...


  1. Paul isn't the only one who wants Barnes & Thornburg investigated.

  2. Anon
    You may have notice that Mary Jo does her/his best to try and discredit Paul. She/he states Ballard has done nothing wrong and attempts to put Minton-McNeill into a higher level of criminal activity. If the allegations are true and if Minton-McNeill did commit an assault against a police officer that crime involved the officer. Ballard on the other hand sits on the throne at the top of city hall handing out taxpayer money to B&T clients over and over again. The crime being committed is against the all taxpayers. The difference between the two crimes is like comparing a slap in the fact to a murder. I too would like to see B&T and their clients investigated the sooner the better. Then we just might find out why the city is squandering away taxpayer money by giving it to B&T Client Corporations who have a contract with the city to provide a service and continually violate that contract. I think you know how much money I am talking about because I keep asking about it. That transaction alone represents only one incident where the mayor is not owning up to the reasons why the corporation received the money from the city.

    Leslie Sourwine

  3. I didn't ask that B&T be investigated, but now that it's been brought up, that's a good suggestion.