Egads! I'm back from nearly a year hiatus. I'm semi-healed from my disgust and anger at the immorality of our local political climate, but I feel guilty watching Paul Ogden and Gary Welsh carry the lions share of the non-partisan blogging work in this town. I'll never be the powerhouses that they are, but I will try to add to what I can from the perspective of a woman who loves Indiana and her people and who seeks to see justice and the rule of law applied equally to all and who will never seek to personally profit from the taxpayer coffers.
Back in the heady days of our property tax protests of 2007 led by yours truly, the activists behind the Indiana Voters League endorsed Ryan Vaughn for City Council. Vaughn was elected and then promptly hired by Barnes & Thornburg, who it is said from both sides of the aisle, today run our city with our "People's Mayor", Greg Ballard as their puppet Mayor.
Thereafter accepting a top city law firm associate position, Vaughn was anointed City Council President. It appears the consensus to appoint him city council president was because he'll carry the water for his employer who stands to reap great sums of money if certain public decisions benefit the clients of Barnes & Thornburg, especially the city water utility transfer and the Indiana Pacers billionaire bailout, both clients of his new employer.
Ryan Vaughn and I have exchanged several emails over the past few months and I give him major credit for being forthcoming in his willingness to communicate with us.
Recently, Ryan suggested a weekly coffee meeting for activists on Fridays. We have yet to set up anything solid, but like Ryan, I'm open to meeting. I am open despite the fact that I think his employment creates many conflicts of interest in terms of his ability to vote without prejudice on any matter that involves a client or financial interest of his employer, Barnes & Thornburg law firm.
I sent the following email to Ryan today. I haven't heard back yet, but I hope it will be the start of an open dialogue about the ethical lines our city's citizen employers expect from our elected leadership. It is our responsiblity to show up if we are going to bend our city's leadership to do our will. I intend to jump back to this game for a time in effort to hold our politicians accountable and I hope you'll join me.
--Melyssa for HFFT
OPEN LETTER TO RYAN VAUGHN, CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
If I sat on city council and there was a vote that had to do with Angie's List, but not necessarily involving my particular job or my advertising clients, I would not be able to vote on the council matter without prejudice toward my employer. Nor would I ever want to be in a position where I had to place a vote that ran against the interests of my employer in order to do what the people I represented wanted me to do.
I'm not sure how you you rationalize your involvement on the water company transfer, but it will be used against you. Everyone I know is angry you have not recused yourself from involvement in this matter.
You still have time to get off this unethical path.