Where Does Melina Kennedy Really Stand on Education? Good Question. No One Knows.

As we noted yesterday, Melina Kennedy appears to want to replace either Eugene White, Tony Bennett or her local school board president.  She has a television commercial up and has dropped two negative mailers in the last week on education, an issue that the Mayor of Indianapolis does not have much control over.

Since Kennedy wants to spend so much time talking about education, she must have some clearly staked out positions on education reform, right?  You’d think so, but no.  We’ve never heard her say anything about any of the education reforms that were passed in the legislative session. 

Ok, maybe education reform isn’t her cup of tea.  So Kennedy has a position on mayoral control of Marion County schools, right?  Wrong again.  Kennedy hasn’t said if she is for or against mayoral control either.  Is it just IPS that is a concern or all the township schools too?  You guessed it, she hasn’t said.  

How is Melina Kennedy going to solve these problems?  She hasn’t been very specific.  Kennedy has highlighted some fundamental issues that everyone believes are important but she doesn’t give specific ideas of how she will solve these problems.

The Mayor of Indianapolis does actually have authority over charter schools.  Kennedy must be focused on that issue then, right?  Nope.  She doesn’t seem to talk about Indianapolis charter schools either even though they are some of the best schools in the state of Indiana.

Feeling like you don’t really know where Melina Kennedy stands on education?  Don’t worry, she doesn’t either.

Summer Ends, Ads Go Up

Some of our critics happily noted we have been on a bit of a hiatus.  Yes, we broke out of our blogger basement for the summer.  We’re sorry.  Can you blame us for not wanting to spend the summer writing about the debt ceiling or the nonsense coming out of the Kennedy campaign? 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve notice that Mayor Ballard and Melina Kennedy are both up on television.  Ballard’s ad touts accomplishments of fiscal responsibility, fixing neighborhoods and lower taxes and crime.  Pretty much what you would expect from an incumbent.  Mayor Ballard has said several times he is running to his record and this ad is a prime example of doing just that.

Kennedy’s ad struck us as a bit odd.  The first half is the typical bio advertisement about how she helped pay her way through college as a waitress, is married and has kids.  The second half is focused on education. It seems like an odd thing for a candidate for Mayor to make a focal point of their campaign since the Mayor of Indianapolis doesn’t have any control of education outside of charter schools.  Maybe we need to draft a job description so Melina Kennedy understands the office she is seeking.  Right now, it sounds like she wants Eugene White’s job.

Weekend a Huge Success for Black Expo, Community, IMPD and Mayor Ballard

This weekend, Indianapolis hosted the Indiana Black Expo and it was a huge success. Over the last few years, the positive aspects of the event have been overshadowed by violence.  The saddest part of this is that the violence was caused not by those attending the official Black Expo events but those using the event as a reason to loiter around downtown. 

This year, however, was a much-needed positive experience that showed the Black Expo can be a safe, fun-filled weekend for families.  You can read the Star’s full story here but here are some of the highlights.

Vernon Williams, IBE spokesman, said officials hope it is a turnaround that will carry over to future Summer Celebrations and help erase the taint of past violence.

“We’re just extremely gratified,” Williams said, “that there were no serious incidents last night.”

He said several factors contributed to the turnaround. He cited a concerted, cooperative effort between police and Black Expo officials and the help of faith leaders, who mustered several hundred volunteers to monitor activity on the streets on Friday and Saturday nights.

Relocating the popular celebrity basketball game to the Indiana Convention Center from Conseco Fieldhouse was another positive change, Williams said. That kept attendees under one roof, so fewer young people roamed the streets getting from one venue to another, he said, and it “encouraged more parents to come into the convention center for other events instead of just dropping their kids off.”

“There is no doubt about it that Mayor Ballard and the Police Department did a great job,” Williams said. “We are very, very grateful for the way they stepped up and assured our citizens and visitors safe travel in and around the Downtown.”

In a statement issued Sunday, Ballard said that “thousands of visitors to Downtown Indianapolis this weekend enjoyed events filled with activities for families and children, and they did so in an atmosphere of peace achieved with the tremendous support of our partners.

“I commend the Indiana Black Expo organizers, Summer Celebration participants, Ten Point Coalition and the many officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police for their efforts working together to make the security surrounding this year’s Summer Celebration a success.”

As the Candidates File: 8th CD

We’re still waiting on Dave Crooks to file a report but thought we’d go ahead and post the numbers we’ve got and update with Crooks when it is posted.

Bucshon – $208,110 Raised, $195,971 Cash on Hand
White – $17,150 Raised, $100,000 Personal Loan, $111,317 Cash on Hand

Bucshon had a good fundraising quarter but his cash on hand advantage was brought down a notch by a $100,000 personal loan from Terry White to his campaign. That said, Bucshon still has a significant cash on hand advantage and, luckily for Bucshon, it looks like the Democrats will spend their money on a primary.  We doubt Terry White will have another $100,000 to throw at a General Election campaign IF he makes it through the primary.

As the Candidates File: The Todds (Rokita and Young)

We have postings from a few incumbents as well.   Since they don’t have opponents, we’ll post them together.

Todd Rokita raised $168,154 and has $471,517 cash on hand. 

Todd Young raised $225,910 and has $322,077 cash on hand. 

More to come…

As the Candidates File: 6th Congressional District

The filing continues and so does the fun.

In the 6th Congressional District, we have reports up from Don Bates, Travis Hankins and Luke Messer. Here are the breakdowns.

Bates: $55,245 Raised, $53,197 Cash on Hand
Hankins: $33,905 Raised, $61,277 Cash on Hand
Messer: $200,539 Raised, $185,148 Cash on Hand

Looks like Luke Messer has been busy raising a boat load of money though we can’t say we are surprised. Messer has some big backers and showed he can raise money in the 5th District race last year.

The fact that Bates only outraised Hankins by $20,000 cannot make him happy. Bates ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 while Hankins ran in the 9th District with a more grassroots focused campaign. That said, Hankins spent more than he raised this quarter with his cash on hand number dropping from $70,343 at the start of the period to around $61,000 this quarter.

If money talks, Messer is sending a message.

As the Candidates File: 5th District Edition

As some of you probably know, the Federal Election Commission requires candidates for federal office to file campaign finance reports July 15th for the 2nd Quarter. We’ll be covering these reports as they are filed. First up: John McGoff.

John McGoff is running for the third time against 5th District Congressman Dan Burton. McGoff posted $146,046 raised and $10,064 spent. This leaves him with a little over $136,000 cash on hand.

So what is the story behind the numbers? First, this appears to be the most McGoff has raised in one quarter in his campaigns against Dan Burton. This is clearly good for McGoff but he was aided by the fact that he was the sole opposition to Burton. Now that David McIntosh and Susan Brooks appear to be entering the race, money could be a little harder for McGoff to raise.

Second, Burton has just over $200,000 cash on hand as of the April report though we are guessing he will have kicked fundraising into gear and we’ll see a bigger number by the end of the deadline. Regardless, this is a pretty low number for the incumbent Congressman.

We’ll give a 5th District update once the Burton report is up. McIntosh and Brooks have not yet filed so they won’t have reports.  As usual, the 5th District looks to be interesting to watch. We’ll see if the candidates do a repeat of 2010 and let Burton sneak by with his seat again.

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