Yesterday’s Journal Gazette had an article on the front page above the fold announcing Mark Souder’s withdraw of endorsement. This is a very difficult time for Kelty, who has been politically attacked with the judicial system, thrown to the wolves by the local party, and now kicked when he’s down by the ranking Republican in the area.
One must understand Matt Kelty was not the primary candidate the party leaders backed. They didn’t want him to run. They had their own guy. Kelty ran a great campaign and won the primary. That is when his problems started. Many top Republicans decided it was better to have the Democrat as Mayor than the candidate selected by city Republicans.
Kelty’s campaign finance was challenged. The bipartisan election board (1D, 1R, & 1I) cleared Kelty of wrongdoing. That was not enough. The matter was taken to the county prosecutor as a complaint, and turned over to a special prosecutor. A special prosecutor who doesn’t move a case forward gets no publicity. The matter went to a grand jury who indicted Kelty on more than half a dozen counts several of which were felonies. The trial of course is not until after the general election.
It is important to know there are no correct answers when it comes to Indiana election law. Other than the election board there is no answers other than litigation. Indiana election law is vague, complex, and open to interpretation. If one doesn’t know what the statute says one must consult an attorney. Of course the attorney must then interpret, and advise the client. That doesn’t make the advice right.
Anyone can file a complaint on a candidate. A special prosecutor gets to present a 1 sided case to a grand jury. The special prosecutor probably didn’t mention the cryptic nature of election law. He probably didn’t feel a burden to be objective, because that is not his job.
I don’t know if Matt Kelty did anything wrong. None of us will know until after the election. That is the problem. The people of Fort Wayne deserve better. The people of Indiana deserve better. This issue comes down to either Matt Kelty intentionally violating campaign finance rules, or certain interests plotted Kelty’s political destruction. Either is not good.
If Kelty’s trial clears him, the Allen County GOP needs a change in leadership, Mark Souder should resign, and Indiana election law needs changed. If Kelty is convicted, election law still needs changed.
Politics have clouded this issue from the beginning. Mark Souder clouded the issue further yesterday. He could have achieved the same end by going to Kelty. If Kelty is cleared, then Souder will have abandoned an innocent fellow Republican in need. You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys fees to run for office in this country. Anyone should be able to run. The voters should decide who’s ideas and values should lead us.
The game is rigged. If you don’t think so then get more involved. Objective, independent, logical, responsive leaders are needed to pull us back from the brink. Partisan, manipulative, self centered leaders need to be pushed aside. The voters are the only ones who can do that, but they need better information. The newspapers have an agenda, and the television news coverage of politics at any level is pathetic. The voter is left alone in the wilderness. Some believe everything they read in the paper. Others listen to their party, union, or interest group.
I don’t know the answer to this problem either, but continuing as we have is insane. Mark Souder has the honor of being associated with a congress supported by less than 1 in 5 Americans. How can our government for the people be considered legitimate with that kind of support. Does Mark Souder think his opinion carries any weight? Maybe it does, but if so it says a lot about our country.