Although Democratic Mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy and I don’t agree on much, I always held a certain amount respect for her and her desire to serve the public. Lately, I have come to the conclusion that Kennedy’s ability to be honest and tell the truth is about the same as the Indianapolis Colts’ ability to win a football game. I don’t think she can be trusted with stewardship of the city of Indianapolis. Allow me to explain.
A few Saturdays ago I sat in on a meeting of a local black-oriented community organization. Both Melina Kennedy and Greg Ballard made appearances. I expected pretty standard stuff both candidates and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed; for the most part. However at that meeting Kennedy made a statement that made me raise my eyebrow. She said that Ballard was the first Mayor in the city to have a white police chief, fire chief and public safety director. That struck me as odd because I remembered former police chief Mike Spears, former fire chief Jim Greeson and public safety director/advisor Jerry McCory, all who worked under former Mayor Bart Peterson and they were all white as snow. I chalked that one up to Kennedy misspeaking and left it at that. At least I did until I heard her repeat it several times in a number of venues.
That wasn’t the only thing I heard her repeat that wasn’t factually accurate. She also said the Mayor had no high ranking African-Americans in top departments of the city. She obviously or conveniently forgot about Olgen Williams, the Deputy Mayor of neighborhoods. Her allegations against Deputy Mayor Mike Huber regarding a novice City-County Council candidate’s fund-raiser as well as her attempts to play the race card even had my colleague Matt Tully calling her candidacy into question, and Tully thinks she would be a good Mayor. Say what you will about a candidate’s positions on issues, but in order to be effective, the candidate must have the ability to tell the truth. I can live with spin, that comes with politics. But when you outright lie and mislead the public something is wrong. If Kennedy made these statements in court she would have been convicted of perjury.
The Marion County Republicans came out with a list what they say are repeated false and misleading accusations by Kennedy. We can debate where spin ends and lies begin, but if Kennedy will habitually lie or mislead the unsuspecting public about something as easily verifiable the racial make up of the police, fire chief and public safety director, what else is she not being honest about? Can the public trust her? Can they trust the person who wants to take money from neighborhoods for their streets and sidewalks and spend it on social programs. Can they trust someone who talks about education, but never showed up to offer testimony on the most sweeping changes to the state’s education system in a generation? And can they trust someone who would get in bed, politically speaking, with an individual who was not only investigated by the state for inappropriate contact with a minor, but also had the charges forwarded to the authorities for further prosecution?
My Marion County Democratic friends like to push the concept of “Ballard’s broken promises” but someone also needs to ask can the public trust Melina Kennedy? I will answer that question for you, no. If you will lie and mislead about the little stuff, Lord only knows what you will do with the big ticket items.