Monday, April 29, 2013

Indiana GOP Legislature Micro-Manipulates Marion County Political Structure

In case you weren't paying attention, the GOP controlled Indiana legislature reshaped the Marion County city-couny council with the passage of SB621. Currently we have 4 "at large" councilors. Originally, back in 1969, these seats were created to consolidate GOP hold on the city, when it was believed a simple by-district representation would not give them the majority, even though, by-population, the mayor would always be expected to be Republican. The process was quite heated, and very obviously a political move to consolidate power. 30 years later, the removal of these seats is again a subversive political move--all 4 at-large councilors are currently Democrat, as is the council majority, while the mayor is Republican. Removing the at-large councilors, however, will give the council back to Republican majority.

Presuming this was a political move, it was incredibly short-sighted, in terms of strategy. Large urban cities across the country, including the Midwest, trend towards Democrat. Indianapolis is no different. Removing these at-large seats will not consolidate Republican power, as they hope. Presuming trends hold in the future, and the current state of the GOP nationally gives no indication of a change, Indianapolis will continue to move Democratic, and SB621 will serve only as a reminder of manipulative political tricks by the GOP in Indiana now that they have a trifecta supermajority.

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