I wasted an hour tonight watching a debate between Mayor Greg Ballard and Melina Kennedy. I suppose if you are very uneducated about the facts you may have been moved by one of them, but I certainly was not. Whoever wins this race will continue the leadership by misinformation that seems to be a prerequisite for holding public office in this country today. There were so many misstatements by both candidates the list is too long to detail here. Perhaps the biggest whopper of the night came when Mayor Greg Ballard responded to a dig Kennedy made at his management of the police department by promoting Lincoln Plowman to a position in charge of investigations. Plowman, of course, was subsequently convicted of bribery and attempted extortion, which makes Ballard's argument that he has been raising the professional standards at IMPD since he became mayor a tough sell. Ballard blamed Plowman's promotion on Sheriff Frank Anderson. While Plowman did join IMPD as a result of the merger of the two police agencies, it was Mayor Ballard who reorganized the management of IMPD after he was put in charge of IMPD and promoted Plowman to the command position in the investigations division. Plowman had actually sued Anderson for failing to promote him when he was in charge.
The two candidates continue to hit each other on taxes. Ballard blames Kennedy for income tax increases he promised to roll back but chose to keep after becoming mayor. Kennedy blames Ballard for raising 140 taxes and fees, but she didn't say which, if any, of those tax and fee increases she would repeal if she is elected mayor. Ballard takes credit for property tax reductions that were entirely the result of action taken by the governor and state legislature. The two continue to spar over who created or lost more jobs as if we're to believe that government and not the private sector creates jobs. Kennedy says Ballard said he wouldn't ask the city to host a Super Bowl game until he had hired 750 new police officers. Ballard says he doesn't recall making any such promise. Ballard likes his deal privatizing the city's parking meter assets for 50 years. Kennedy doesn't like it. There was lots of talk about education, which sounds good, but there's not a lot the mayor can do about it. That's pretty much how it went for an hour. Neither offered much hope for what they could offer the city in leadership during the next four years.