Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sandlin Acting Scared on the South Side

If you haven't yet noticed, I hope you take a minute to turn your attention to a very interesting Council race that has been developing on the South Side.  Marion County's 24th district, located at the due-south side of town, along US 31 from I-465 to County Line, is shaping up as one of the more interesting races in this year's election.

Ed Coleman
The "battle of the mustaches" is between Libertarian Ed Coleman, currently an at-large councillor representing all of Marion County, and Republican Jack Sandlin, the current District 24 representative, appointed to fill the position last December after Mike Speedy left for his State House seat.  There is no Democrat running in the race. The word is, though, that Marion County Democrats are apparently making it clear through their inner circles that any Democrat who does not vote for Coleman is, in their view, essentially voting for Republican Sandlin.

Both have been out spreading the word about their campaigns and have sent several pieces through the mail.  Coleman has sent two or three mailers out so far and has thus far remained positive.  Sandlin has sent several mailers (mostly sent on his behalf from the Republican Party) which have been misleading at best.

This issue was tackled on Monday by fellow blogger Paul Ogden.  In his article "Mailing Brags About Councilor Jack Sandlin's Support of Mayor Ballard's Agenda BEFORE Sandlin Took a Seat On the Council" Ogden talks about how Sandlin, a councillor for a mere 11 months, takes credit for years worth of votes on the Council.

One of Sandlin's first misleading ads

I assume Sandlin is trying to play into the fact that most voters do not even know who their councillor is.  By making claims that are not even possible, Sandlin hopes to capitalize on the votes of voters who simply do not know better.

From Ogden:

"The only problem is, Sandlin did not take a seat on the Indianapolis City-County Council until late 2010. Bragging about Sandlin's support of the Ballard agenda when he wasn't even on the council seems to be at worst dishonest and at best sloppiness by party officials.

It is also a stretch to say he was "elected" and now should be "re-elected." Sandlin received his position when he won an unopposed precinct committeeman caucus vote to fill a vacancy when Councilor Michael Speedy was elected to the legislature."
Ogden is right on both points.  Sandlin's mailer starts by asking for you to "re-elect" him.  Simply, you cannot re-elect someone that was never elected in the first place.
Second, Sandlin takes credit for passing honestly balanced budgets each of the last three years.    Simply, again, you can't pass budgets that you were not part of the Council to even vote on. (I won't even get in to the "honestly balanced" statement, except to say Indianapolis does not have an honestly balanced budget.) His mailer, as you can see, is full of similar points that are simply impossible for an 11-month councillor to have achieved.
Sandlin's newest mailer, the first one I've seen actually paid for by his campaign, directly attacks Coleman for having "attacked" him unfairly.

Sandlin's recent "I was attacked" mailer

The first line of the mailer indicates that Coleman is trying to deceive the 24th District voters.  An interesting statement from someone claiming credit for 4 years of votes during 11 months on the Council.
The mailer also refers to Coleman's mailers as an "attack" on Sandlin.  If you look at the samples of Coleman's mailers that I have included, I am sure you you find that they are free of attacks on Sandlin. In fact, Coleman's campaign ads have been very good about staying centered on Coleman's achievements.

Back of one Coleman mailer
Front of both of Coleman's mailers
Back of the other Coleman mailer
I'm not going to get up on a pedestal and say that Ed Coleman is without flaws.  One thing that he is, though, is honest.  On more than one occasion I've heard members of other parties, even when disagreeing with him, refer to Coleman as one of the most consistent and principled members on the Council.  To suggest that Coleman is lying or being deceptive in his campaign materials is, as I show above, simply not true.
In fact, if there's a deceptive candidate this year in District 24, it's Jack Sandlin.


  1. How much did Sandlin spend at the mens wear house?

  2. I don't understand why it matters how much money the Coleman campaign spent at a suit store.

    I saw Gary's article on the topic, and am confused why a blogger of his caliber found it even worthy of writing about.

  3. Josh, they all do it in one form or another.Im just surprised that the Coleman camp was not smart enough to not have it appear like this on their forms

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