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Lest We Forget

My Democratic blogger are obviously and understandably quite ecstatic over the recent misfortunes surrounding City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman and they cite the recent ethics complaint filed by Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield as partial motivation for Plowman’s expected resignation today.

I read the complaint.  Mansfield is says that since Plowman won’t talk about the pending investigation he should disclose the nature of the investigation and if not, take a leave of absence until the investigation is over.   She also says if the citizens of District 25  have a problem, they should call the At-Larges Council members for help.

Where do I begin?

First of  Mansfield is an attorney and even a  first year law student knows that when there is an investigation you shut up.  But that really isn’t the issue.  What I find almost laughable is my Democratic friends have suddenly discovered ethics.

I don’t recall them saying much when former Councilor Ron Gibson and current Councilor Doris Minton McNeil had their “issues”.  In fact, I recall of number of them showing up for a news conference Gibson had expressing their support.  Both were criminally charged for their offenses.  Charges were dropped against Gibson and Minton-McNeil beat the wrap.  I don’t remember any of them leading the charge in 2007 to get a handle on former Council President Monroe Gray and they all sat silently when Paul Bateman had his problems.

Now in all due fairness to Mansfield, she did propose an ordinance that would have prohibited then Council Attorney Aaron Haith (who had his own ethics issues a while back) from representing both the Council and the members as individuals.   That measure passed in 2008.

I’m not saying Mansfield shouldn’t have filed her ethics complaint and asked Plowman to take a leave of absence, but she’s had several opportunities in the past to file  ethics complaints, but apparently going after the guy who fought her tooth and nail on the smoking ban just seemed the right way to go.

Correction:   I received an e-mail from Angela today telling me the ordinance that would prohibit Council attorneys from representing Councilors as individuals was passed in 2008.  The blog post has been changed to reflect that information.

  • IndyRacer57

    Its all about what sid you are on. Not only in this city but every city in America.

  • joneaster

    I take no delight in seeing a political career go down in flames unless the person's name is David Duke.

  • Think Again

    I'm with Jon, but back off Angela, Abdul. Relax…look at this a little more globally. I think two very personal-Abdul-type things are at play here:

    1. You vigorously opposed the smoking ordinance. Which is your right. So why are you jumping all over Angela, just because she vigorously promtoed the ordinance? Don't you think that's just a ltitle petty for a worldly lawyer-professor-comedian like you? So far, you're batting 50-50 on the smoking ordinance. We have an ordinance. Attempts to strengthen it have failed. It will be brought up again and again, and you'll be there to scream loudly against it. Last time I checked, that's the way it's supposed to work.

    2. You've openly admitted multiple times that Lincoln is your friend. I truly admire friendship and loyalty. But if you'd been around for longer than you have, you'd have noticed Plowman for what he is, and this is said by folks on both sides of the aisle: not the sharpest tool in the shed, opoprtunistic, overly talkative, not that trusted. You've known him for what–three years? His kind of political opportunistic character has been evident in both parties over the last 30-40 years, and one thing is consistent: they ultimately flame out, usually by their own hand. Want a list of names? It's bipartisan, I promise.

    Your point about political selection is very valid. Angela didn't file similar complaints against Ron, Patrice or others who should've had ethics complaints against them. I believe she wanted to. Politics prevented it. Hell in 2007 Monroe Gray openly asked folks to run against her in the primary because she wouldn't cow-tow to Monroe.

    The ethics complaint wasn't necessary. You're absolutely right.

    It's pretty clear that LP's lack of judgment won the day, and he's gone politically. I looked up the IMPD salary/pension schedule online, and it looks like he'll get about $25,000 a year…can't tell about benefits. He's young, he can work at something else, and he may still have some friends left.

    He's about to find out.

  • Hector

    When the Democrat councillors had perceived ethics problems, there were 14 or more republican councillors on the council. Any of them could have filed an ethics complaint. In the cases of Ron Gibson and Monroe Gray, I wish that they would have. You should be careful about pointing fingers at Democrats when your own GOP councillors sit idly by and do nothing.

  • Think Again

    Hector, to be absolutely fair here…Monroe ran the council so badly I'm not sure anyone knew where the door was, let alone an ethics complaint form. Seriously.

    Patrice was the most-outrageous one, for me. I mean, the guy lied about his residency, or covered up after the truth was known, whichever truth you choose.

    He wasn't qualified to be on the council because of his residency.

    The Gibson case was playing itself out in a criminal setting, and it took a special prosecutor almost a year to figure it out. Very few of the facts were unknown–it was all out there in the open. Which is kinda odd, considering the councilman involved. But I digress…

    I feel kinda sorry for LP. He brought all this on himself, but today can't be easy for him. It speaks to another basic of politics: vet your candidates carefully, because they might get elected. And I hope we're done with city employees on the council. Forever.

  • pogden297

    I doubt he can draw that pension until he's 60 or 65. I could be wrong.

  • guest

    Well sir, Plowman is your good friend according to your radio show. And honestly Abdul, with all your connections, why haven't you told your viewers what you know about the Plowman investigation? Come on, you have reported and gone after people with less than ounce of evidence in the past. Why not now? O where or where has Indyundercover gone, o where or where can he be? Oh wait. Bottom line, Plowman is typical good ole boy Franklin Township politician. Just like all the other politicians in Franklin Township.

  • Think Again

    Paul, I don't have any idea about the pension connection. I just looked at payouts in the public record.

    Guest: your frustration is obvious. There are a lot of good folks in Franklin Twp. who need representation. They think they had it in LP. They now know differently.

  • Rico

    The fact of the matter is that there are scumbags on both sides of the aisle. The difference is that the Dems circle the wagons around theirs.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    I've got a broader point to make by starting on this relatively innocuous example.

    I concur there are some stances tainted by the actions or attitudes of a few, but can we agree that some issues need to be illuminated on behalf of taxpayers, transcending race, party, income, or sex?: Public service (as in Mr. Plowman), parenting, and economics come to mind.

    Instead of asking why Mr. Plowman is singled-out for possible conduct unbecoming a councilman, why wasn't the book thrown re ethics complaints against Minton-McNeil, Gibson, and Boyd? Why do Vaughn and others get away with not recusing themselves- when applicable?

    Instead of a latent race card played against Tea-Partiers for suppossedly only caring about economics when a Democratic President with darker skin is in office, why wasn't the issue of economics covered more thoroughly in the Bush era? There've been callers and bloggers for years on this topic (with a Concord Coalition media contact number provided). But, this was not perceived as a hot topic. To bring this up in years past was to be looked upon as a nut case- someone claiming the sky was falling when there was nothing to fear. With the past year of legislative priorities, terrorist handling, Czar appointments, and bankruptcy convention, I suggest the even greater err was in not interviewing all who knew more (BEFORE the election) about the polished, educated, but unknown Senator Obama.

    Why does it have to be based on a suppossed grudge against poor home owners, to dare to want a thorough airing of the events and solutions regarding our near financial collapse? This isn't what's needed so our nation never agains tetters near toppling? Regardless of who was or wasn't “the bad guy” and what the theoretical solutions will be?

    It really, truely is only possible to discuss illegal immigration in terms of being either a hater or being caring? There's no room in-between for at least airing the fiscal issues and facing-up to what's affordable and what our priorities are?

    To bring-up parenting and the decline of education as associated with our ambivilance about needing two parents or extended family is a sign of intolerance? It's a valid assumption to think that if you believe parenting is a societal problem, you must think all single or poor parents are “crackheads”?

    I may not be a government-as-the-answer guy, but I agree we're not ready for utopia or theoretical anarchy either. It's difficult, but I suggest we continue striving for the old tradition of muckracking, holding both sides to the same fire, exposing with same degree of scrutiny, before casting asperisions against just one- whether politics, economics, whatever. Call me on it if I'm inconsistent.

    Even with imperfections, there remain few mediums I know of as collectively conducive to covering topics than the collective broadcasting and blogging of Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.

  • chrisworden

    Anytime a Democrat messes up, he makes the whole party look bad, which is why I've called a lot of resignations from my own party's folks – to avoid bad press in the future. So the premise we ALL circle the wagons is wrong.

    But if I were to categorize the misdeeds of a councillor from most to least offensive, those who get drunk and act like idiots don't bother me as much as peoople who abuse the public trust. Did Plowman sell his office? We don't know because he won't even say why he is being investigated. He doesn't imperil himself saying why he is in trouble. Perhaps the problem is that he has so many skeletons in his closet, he honestly just doesn't know.

  • Indiana_Barrister

    Actually I'm doing better than 50-50. More like 75-25. I wasn't an orginal fan of the first compromise, but after living with it for a year or so, I've come to like it.

  • Indiana_Barrister

    Actually you need to go back to my February 4th post. I told exactly what I knew. I'll have more info after today which I will be more than happy to share. I miss Joe Friday, too.

  • ibviral

    As much as it pains me, Im going to have Abduls back here. It is a Federal Probe, not local. If it is federal there is NO informaiton that anyone, even Abdul is going to get.No one is talking downtown, no one.

    My fear is that this will go past Plowman. Jim Volyes is a deal cutter. Thats what he does. You dont go to him unless you are in deep shit.He will cut a deal for Plowman, that means that others will go sdown with him. I assume that it will be lower level folks that he will roll on.

    Abdul is all about the Arbitron. He understands when there is controversy, his numbers go up, there are more advertisors and he gets a raise.No one ever said that Abdul was a dummy.

    If the marketing foks in the various campaigns had half a brain the would be buying his staition for the Primary.He does not have big numbers,, but they are consistant and loyal. And the most important thing, his listeners are decision makers.

    Hey Abdul and I disagree on several points, but I have to give the man props for his abaility to promote himself,with class

  • seanshepard

    It's always possible that saying anything about the investigation may jeopardize it in some way. Until we know what's going on, we don't know what's going on. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and anyone involved with the law or the legal system knows you are always best to keep your mouth shut lest the most innocuous thing be taken out of context or interpreted incorrectly and then used against you.

  • Think Again

    Chris, add this to your premise: councillors who get drunk, act like idiots, AND then proclaim loudly: “don't you know who I am?” We've been there, in our aprty, and recently, too.

    Irritating as hell.

    I think Plowman's misdeeds will become public soon enough. There's enough out there to know the guy is being asked questions regarding an ongoing federal probe.

    Rico, wagon-circling is not the exclusive domain of either party. Think Oliver North, Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Vince Foster…the list goes on.

    This would be eliminated or greatly-reduced if: we vetted our council members better at the nomination stage, and their annual Financial Disclosure forms were worth a cup of warm spit.

    I hear Lincoln had a private investigations/security business. Which is a giggle, because if you spend more than five minutes with the guy, you quickly figure out he needs adult supervision for that kind of endeavor.

  • Rico

    Gibson actually assaulted a police officer. Of course, I'd expect a Dem to water that down to just calling it 'getting drunk and acting like an idiot.' And Minton-McNeil was said to have put her neighbors at risk (children included) by driving like a drunken maniac.

    From local to national politics, the Parties treat the scumbags among their ranks very differently.

  • Rico

    All great Americans (Foster not withstanding.) Libby was charged and convicted for bullshit. He was not pardoned.
    Let's talk the present, shall we? Pelosi, Rangel, Dodd, Frank, Murtha (what a loss that was!), Jefferson, Waters, Clinton, etc., etc., etc.

  • Think Again

    Rico, Oliver North is a criminal. I do agree with some of your “current” names…especially, Rangel, Murtha, Jefferson.

    You may not like the law Olly broke, but he broke it.

  • Rico

    Anyone who commits a crime is a criminal. I'm a criminal for exceeding the speed limit this morning. Oliver North committed a crime in defense of his country. He is a true American patriot.

    I will give just one glaring example of the difference in the parties. Trent Lott is forced out of his leadership position in the Senate for making an inappropriate joke at a party. Joe Biden makes a profoundly ignorant comment about Barack Obama being “…..clean and articulate..” and he becomes VP.

    ( I wonder which one of your non-biased news sources will report Dan Rather's comment about Obama selling watermelons.)

  • chrisworden

    I will admit that I'm not as well-versed on the facts, but did Gibson admit to striking an officer, or are you just assuming he lied because he's black or because the other party was a police officer? Because we know police never right, right Mr. Jefferson? Right Mr. Plowman?

  • Rico

    I assumed he lied because he's black?? Wow! Our president would be very proud of you.

  • chrisworden

    You're right, Rico. Let me start over. Were you there to see it? No? Did Gibson confess to doing it? No? Then on what basis can you say he assaulted a police officer? He certainly wasn't convicted. And yet you said it with certainty, so if you're saying you just assumed he was lying, NOT because he's an African-American, but because he's a Democrat, that's very post-racial of you. If you're saying you just assumed he was lying because he wasn't a police officer, then you're naive enough to turn a blind eye every time a police officer, whether black or white, lies. I apologize for suggesting you're a racist; I shouldn't have equated you with the Star trolls who clearly harbor racial animus. I'm sure your explanation is something completely different….like….(and here's where you explain yourself and pick your own poison).

  • Rico

    Do I know for certain? No. I based my assumption on eyewitness accounts of the incident (by both cops and civilians) and on Gibson's behavior in other situations.

  • chrisworden

    The eyewitnesses had two different versions of events and Gibson, as I recall, said he didn't strike the officer. You said you're relying on Gibson's behavior in “other situations?” Like what?