candidate greg ballard was a cipher, an enigma. the people who voted for him didn't know much more about him than they knew about noob saibot. so now that ballard is our mayor-elect, there have been two primary fears about what kind of administration he's going to build.
right-wingers and ballard supporters have feared that ballard might stack his administration with establishment republicans and longtime party hacks, effectively selling out the grassroots political revolution they were convinced they'd been a part of. meanwhile, democrats and progressives feared that he'd load up his staff with the types of fringe characters who were ballard's most-vocal online supporters—in other words, we were afraid of an entire administration full of "bart lies" types.
mayor-elect ballard has now named his transition team, and if the names there are any indication, he plans to do both.
the list is chock full of GOP insiders, and gary welsh for one is ticked off about it. for one thing, the transition team includes both marion county prosecutor carl brizzi and former US attorney susan brooks. gary supported brizzi in last year's election, but these days he doesn't care for either brizzi or brooks, because they never prosecuted marion county democrats for alleged corruption. beyond that, the team contains two partners from the law firm ice miller, which has close ties to outgoing mayor peterson. and there are also two partners from barnes & thornburg, another high-powered law firm that donated $20,000 to peterson's re-election. (barnes & thornburg has also been in the news in the past couple years because two of its attorneys have had to resign because of their ties to disgraced lobbyist jack abramoff.)
at the same time, ballard appointed darla y williams to be his liason with the peterson administration. in addition to having the most hideously incoherent blog layout i've ever seen, darla is well-known as someone who has a long-standing personal grudge against mayor peterson, and whose past job performance has been questionable at best. she's the type of person who's prone to go off on long-winded rants about the "ghetto mafia". in other words, appointing her to be the liason to the peterson administration, where she will have to work day-in day-out with mayor peterson and his aides for the next two months, is like extending an enormous middle finger. it's like appointing miss ann or sir hailstone—both of whom seem to be big darla williams fans. you couldn't pick someone who would be more overtly hostile if you tried.
both gary and jen at tdw speculate that the more experienced members of the transition team will deal with the darla problem soon enough. and there are signs that it might have already happened: wilson notes that darla's name mysteriously doesn't appear in this morning's star article about the transition team. one can only hope that ballard has already cut her loose. ¶