Andrew Smith Endorses Rick Davis for Mayor of Evansville


Mark Twain once wrote, “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens everywhere else.” Sadly, he could just as well have been talking about Evansville.

While the rest of the nation has come to expect at least a small measure of transparency in government, Evansville remains a place where important decisions are made behind closed doors by the same group of insiders who have presided over the city’s long economic decline. To call this group a “machine” is a grave insult to machines everywhere. Machines are efficient. Machines get things done. Machines have an off switch. Can any of those things be said about the ruling class in Evansville politics?

This year, the people of Evansville have a rare chance to do something shocking. By electing Rick Davis, they can finally defeat the machine and reclaim control of their own political and economic destiny.

Rick Davis is the first viable mayoral candidate in living memory who is truly independent. He is not owned by anyone, which is precisely why the machine is so threatened by him. He had the audacity not to ask their permission to run for mayor. To make matters worse, he has openly criticized both the sitting mayor and the Republican nominee for their roles in a closed-door meeting at which they planned to eliminate the homestead exemption.

This is not how things are done in River City!

The entrenched powers on both sides of the aisle are determined to teach him—and the voters—a lesson: “We’re in charge, here. Don’t even think about opposing us.” The stakes could not be higher. If Rick wins, it will be the political equivalent of blowing up the Death Star. If the machine wins, they will consolidate their control over city affairs for a generation.

Rick’s opponent is a decent man, and a member of my own political party. I have no quarrel with him. But the instincts he showed during the homestead exemption fiasco represent the status quo. Evansville needs more transparency and openness, not less.

Politicians are fond of asking voters: “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?” In Evansville’s case, it should be “Is our city better off than it was 50 years ago?” If you believe that we are, then by all means cast your vote in favor the status quo. But if you if are interested in genuine change, whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent, I encourage you to “Pick Rick!”


  1. While there is no dispute that Mr. Winnecke is a decent man, Andrew Smith’s point is that a new broom sweeps clean.

  2. How sad that Rick Davis had to go all the way to Louisville to find a Republican willing to endorse him…and one that hasn’t even lived here for years.

    Andrew is a Democrat anyway, and once offered to endorse Weinzapfel during his run for city council. So it’s no wonder that he would endorse someone who wants to raise taxes:

    Andrew Smith’s broom does not sweep clean.

        • Well if you are Weinzapfel’s Assistant then you must work for Vectren because all of the word on the street is that he will be joining Ellsworth on the Vectren payroll. I hope they don’t try to raise our rates to pay those to windbags or any of their assistants.

          • I heard that too Architect, and that it was gonna be Vectren North cause he’s looking for a place in Carmel.

        • If I said it, I said it. It’s possible, given that you were running against David Nixon.

          In retrospect, though, Nixon probably would have done less damage than your boss.

    • A Democrat, eh?

      You guys have called me a lot of names, but never that one. LOL.

      Nothing gets the machine into full Death Star mode like telling the truth. They can’t stand it.

  3. If you guys think this cross-party endorsement, you haven’t seen anything yet. The tidal wave of Democrat endorsements for Lloyd Winnecke will start soon, not to mention the type of Republicans that will make conservatives swoon.

    Andrew Smith is a snake and a joke who was run out of town. I don’t understand why this is news. It sure seems like this publication is pushing Davis to win.

    • Actually Mr. Smith emailed us the endorsement letter and we chose to publish it. We will gladly publish an endorsement for Mr. Winnecke from a well know person of the Democratic party.

      • You know that none of the so called blue blood Democrats are going to come out to endorse Winnecke, they do their work in the dark and behind closed doors.

  4. Andrew Smith was lone voice objecting to the City’s ERC purchase of Mr. Dunn’s parking lot for their McCurdy project. If you are happy with how the City and its mensa like ERC have handled both the McCurdy and Executive Inn replacement, then ignore Mr. Smith:

    “City Council candidate Andrew Smith, a Republican at-large, said Monday the city’s decision to buy the property “fundamentally calls into question the transparency and accountability of the redevelopment commission … the complaint seems to be that they had to pay too much money for this, but they have only themselves to blame for that because of the way that they went about putting together this deal.

    “If they had done the smart thing and tried to acquire these parcels together before announcing the project, then they would have had more bargaining leverage. Instead, in a rush to make an announcement about Downtown development, they seem to be engaging in the kind of fiscal mismanagement that I think has typified this administration.”

    Weinzapfel dismissed that suggestion, saying the realtor representing the city who approached Dunn about buying the parking lot did not tell him who he represented.

    Smith sent a letter Monday to Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, asking his office to investigate the details of the transaction history of the parking lot.

    After reviewing the letter, Weinzapfel said: “If (Smith) wants to have a policy discussion about whether we should encourage Downtown development, whether that is important to this community, whether we should incentivize residential housing construction — that is another point worth having a discussion about. But that’s not what he’s doing here.”

    Weinzapfel said the McCurdy renovation is a “great project” and a building that, because of the operational costs of sustaining it, was at risk of becoming vacant before the city and Scott-Hilliard-Kosene reached a deal to redevelop it. “That would (have been) the worst thing that could have happened,” he said.”

    • Is this the same Andrew Smith who operated AmeriDebt in 2003, when it was described in a Senate subcommittee hearing as “nothing short of a sweat shop?”

      Is this the same Andrew Smith after whose tenure as AmeriDebt president the company “began winding down, laying off half its employees and no longer accepting new clients,” and against whom the Federal Trade Commission filed suit in November 2003, and against whom the states of Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland and Texas also filed suits?

      Is this the same Andrew Smith who when he ran against state representative Phil Hoy (the founder of TriState Food Bank, and one of Rick Davis’s most ardent supporters), claimed to be and advocate for poor people when at the same time Andrew Smith headed up Fairstream, a “loan consolidation” company some say preyed on financial disadvantaged people?

      Is this a political endorsement that Rick Davis sought, or that Rick Davis seriously desires? Let’s hear from Rick Davis on this one.

      • It’s the same Mr. Smith that demos agreed with

        “But Mosby, who has spoken out against the stadium in the past, said he had no problem voting “yes.”

        “Take one-fifth of the money that’s talked about being spent Downtown and use it to renovate Bosse Field,” he said.

        Stadium backers say the project would create jobs. Mosbysaid Evansville has a lengthy list of needed storm sewer projects that could put people to work.”

      • Phil Hoy is a good person. He and I don’t agree on several issues, but he’s an independent thinker and goes with his conscience.

        If I had it to do over again, I never would have run against him.

        • Seems to me you didn’t just run against Phil Hoy once. After losing that election, you ran another campaign against him using one of your employees, David Hennig, as your mouthpiece. Isn’t that right? Then after striking out twice against Rev. Hoy, you ran an unsuccessful campaign for city council, which after also losing, you sulked off to Louisville, from where you now endorse a candidate in the Evansville mayoral race?

          • It is unfortunate that veracity can not get his or her facts correct. First of all I ran against Phil Hoy for State Representative in 2004 and Andrew Smith ran in 2006.Second of all I was not a a mouthpiece for Andrew Smith when I ran for office as a matter of fact I resigned from the business he ran shortly after I announced my candidacy for State Representative.
            Perhaps this individual should know the facts before sticking their foot in their mouth.Anybody that knows me will attest that I would never be a mouthpiece for anybody.

  5. The endorsement alluded to earlier this week gave CCO readers the false impression that a prominent, respected icon of the Republican Party would be announcing a credible endorsement of Rick Davis. If this trend in candidate endorsements persists this election will quickly turn into a very sick, twisted joke.

    For crying out loud, the first necessary qualification of a credible political endorsement is that the endorser is a resident registered to vote in the city the candidate is running for office!

    • When Obama came to Roberts Stadium for his love-fest with Mayor Weinzapfel, that didn’t count since Obama wasn’t a resident of Evansville? I don’t dismiss your general point Dr. John, but an endorsement is an endorsement with the weight depending on one’s own point of view. Whether you like Andrew Smith or not, he publicly objected to the Mayor and ERC’s handling of projects (that remain fiascoes to date) while the other politicians were silent for fear of the entrenched “machine” that is out posting in force today.

  6. Open call to Mr Winnecke: ( a redial)

    “Lloyd, do you believe it is your responsibility, as a public servant, to inform your constituency about significant increases in their Property Taxes, or don’t you?”

    “Hello? … Lloyd? … Hello?” . …

  7. From a short term resident’s perspective: It took all of three months living in Evansville to learn (without trying) that there is indeed a group of people who think that they own Evansville. The existence of this controlling group is a sad commentary on what could be a great community that has been weakened by greed and egotism. It is funny that when I heard from a very credible source (without asking) that this group was alive and well in Evansville, that I could name 2 of them having just lived here a very short time. I don’t care what political party any citizen belongs to. To discredit these people should be everyone’s top priority.

  8. First Betty Knight Smith, then Paul Bitz now Andrew Smith. The Rick Davis All-Star Political Has Been tour continues. is Joel Deckard still alive maybe he is next up. Davis is a joke surrounded by petty thugs and bullies. God save Evansville from west side buffoons

  9. And I thought the Union endorsements were a stretch…

    Now we have KY residents telling us who we should vote for? 😉

    I do respect the man, and appreciate his point of view. But when he moves his business to Evansville, I’ll consider his intentions really focusing on Evansville’s best interest.

    In my view, Davis winning won’t be a political equivalent of a death star destruction – at all. If Davis wins, the mainstream Democrats have a figurative (political) “order 66” that can be called in to ruin him or mold him into what they want. He is one man… Smith is trying to play the figurative, Yoda, communicating while exiled on Degobah.

    Davis winning might be more like 3:50?

    • Strong in the force you are, Eville Taxpayer!

      I haven’t thought about what Star Wars character I’d like to be in a long time…maybe Han Solo, the lovable rogue.

      I do disagree with your assessment of Rick. If he wins, he will be in a position to dismantle the machine. That is why they are fighting him so hard.

      If Lloyd wins, on the other hand, he will have to ask their permission to do anything. They’ll just hunker down for the next 4 years and then replace him with an establishment Democrat of their choosing. That’s why I endorsed Rick. Lloyd’s a good guy, but he is not in any position to make real, lasting change in Evansville politics.

      • Of course the fact that the only republican that would endorse Davis is one that doesn’t live here, had no support by other republicans here and was once called a Dracula by the Attorney General of Missouri for his business practices, says alot about Rick Davis. BREAKING NEWS: A libertarian from Tampa once told Davis he had nice hair.

        • Actually, the only time an Attorney General has ever described me, it was the AG of Indiana, who said that I was “one of the most dedicated and effective consumer advocates” in the state.

          You guys can continue to lie and distort all you want about my career. It doesn’t really matter, since I’m not running for anything. But the fact of the matter is that blaming me for all the wrong things that went on at Ameridebt would be like, well, blaming Rick Davis for all the wrong things that happened in City Hall under Weinzapfel.

          Rick is the cleanup guy, just like I was.

          Again, I’m sure you know all of this, but it’s worth pointing out to third party readers.

          • Finally something we agree on Andrew. I propose sending Davis to another city asap. That will be the best clean up idea yet.

      • I don’t disagree that he’ll, “be in a position to dismantle the machine”…

        I doubt he is creating that mandate, is capable of doing it and has the stomach. I thought you had those three, years ago, but I could have been wrong. In my opinion, they are not attacking him anywhere near like “they” attacked you.

        • You may be right, but he’s our best hope. Winnecke would be at best a one-term placeholder while the Dem machine regroups and consolidates power.

          If he gets elected, he will owe his political fortunes to the Dem machine and will be loathe to cross them. A Republican mayor can’t accomplish anything in Evansville without them, unless he wins a broad popular mandate like Russ Lloyd Sr.

          If Davis wins, the machine will have two choices: they will either reach out to him and make peace, or they will continue to freeze him out.

          My guess is that cooler heads will prevail and they will attempt to reach out to the Davis camp (although the level of political intelligence on the Dem side has been sorely lacking since Larry Aiken died). Then the choice will be Rick’s: will he deliver on the promise of real change, or will be allow the machine to live on? Only Rick can answer that question, but I’m betting he has the integrity and intelligence to make the hard choice.

          • I think “the machine” will rebound either way…

            The same cronies, trust fund babies and political extremists will be funding Democrat candidates in the future. Unless Davis has the “integrity” to dole cronies out government benefits enough to change their political standing, he won’t be fundamentally changing where future Democrats traditionally get their money. (And that would be hypocritical of him to some degree, too.)

            I think, what’s likely is that “the machine” will heal itself either way while out of the spotlight. Letting it heal behind a somewhat popular “hero” candidate… This strikes me as very dangerous.

            Look it, is it true, that some of the only things holding back the machine now is it’s inability to get the Courier to DELETE stories on press releases that it would rather forget for example? (to manipulate popular opinion of past events)

            When unhampered by the mayoral spotlight, sneagle will be extremely dangerous.

            At this point, I think the best way to damage “the machine” is to abstain from this vote. Send both party bosses the message that they are corrupted, bankrupted of good ideas, don’t reflect the taxpayers interests in any clear way and are lead by the nose by progressive media.

            Davis will be getting in the ring with one of the machines from the movie “Real Steel” on his own. ( Long term, the Republican party “machine” needs to send that Democrat party machine an uppercut, from time to time, when it’s deserved to keep it in line…

            Minus a functional two party system, we’re screwed.

          • What happen to Rick Davis stand on Vectren? All of a sudden silence. Silence is telling.

  10. it is unfortunate that veracity did not get his or her facts straight. First of all I ran for State representative against Phil Hoy in 2004 and Andrew Smith ran against him in 2006. I worked for Andrew Smith for a very short period of time and resigned from his business shortly after I announced my candidacy for State Representative. Anybody that knows me will attest that I am not a mouthpiece for anybody.

    • David, they know all of that full well. But in their intense hatred for anyone who dares stand up to them, facts don’t really amount to much.

      Hope you’re doing well, btw.

        • It’s probably always been like this from the beginning of time. Politics is a vile business. It’s rare that the good guys win. Heck, most of the time, the good guys aren’t even allowed a seat at the table!

          Still, the Evansville machine is an especially nasty group of people. It’s like the old saying: “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This group has had what amounts to absolute power for 30+ years. That can’t be good for the soul.

        • Mr. Hennig, since you want to clarify your political relationship to Andrew Smith, please let us know if you signed a fundraising letter paid for by Andrew Smith, when he ran against Phil Hoy, which letter cited Representative Phil Hoy’s vote against a bill to add a same-sex marriage ban to the Indiana State Constitution, and which letter call to question the United Church of Christ’s tolerance of commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.

          • Tsk, tsk, veracity.

            You have to remember: I’m not running for anything, and neither is David Hennig.

            Nice attempt at distraction, though.

          • You may not be running, but it sure is good to see both you boys back in the fray supporting your third musketeer.

    • Sorry I got the chronology backwards. Yes, it was David Hennig who conducted a rather nasty campaign against Phil Hoy in 2004, when Hennig was employed by Andrew Smith. Then when Hennig lost miserably, Smith ran against Hoy next in 2006 with Hennig’s backing and the same nasty campaign tactics. It’s so nice to see these two prominent pillars of the community stepping up for Rick Davis. Still waiting to hear Rick’s gracious thank you to Andrew Smith for this oh so meaningful endorsement.

      • Out of curiosity, do you actually think that this kind of nastiness plays well?

        This is exactly the kind of politics that people are so sick of, on BOTH sides of the aisle.

        Thanks for being an outstanding representative of the Machine, veracity. I couldn’t have asked for more.

        • Truth is, you played the nasty politics game pretty damned well yourself while you were here. Are you trying to claim you had an epiphany in Louisville? HA!

          • An epiphany?

            As a matter of fact, I did.

            But that’s a story for a different time.

        • Andrew – you are correct. We are SICK of this. What’s the worst part? “Veracity” is actually paid by the local machine, and spends his time filling the daily blogs with nasty rants about Rick Davis. Isn’t that right, Alex, Justin, or whatever your name is this week?
          I hope veracity and his thugs are packing their bags. Their days of power and thuggery are numbered. Thank God!

      • First of all veracity I have not nor am I endorsing Rick Davis for Mayor or any other office.I then proudly endorsed Andrew in 06 and would do it again.I was proud of our campaign in 04 and and am still proud of it.But its amazing how you still wish to live in the past and not state who you really are. It does not take much nerve to attack people for taking stands while not acknowledging who you are.

  11. I have traveled all over the US in my profession. Seen all the major cities and most minor ones.But , this little town has been the the sweetest.
    The people here are the best I’ve seen. The nicest, kindest.
    My first night here in 1985 , at Casa Gallardo, I met a petroleum engineer, a psychologist,a day laborer, and one crazy MOFO named Charlie.
    I thought, then, that this was one rockin,happenin town.
    And it was.
    And then this.
    This mediocrity.
    This cronyism.
    This distrust.
    This filth.

    I could have gone anywhere. I wanted to be here.
    I thought it was “Magic Town”.

    Guess I was wrong.

    • Poignant.

      Evansville is a good town with good people.

      It’s just the leadership that is so bad.

        • Do you think it is too late for Evansville?

          These people have had the city in a stranglehold for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched population decline, good people leave, jobs go away, etc etc etc

          But the people in charge never change. Now I wonder if there is even enough left to build on.

  12. Eville Taxpayer:

    Sorry I had to continue our discussion thread down here, but the system wouldn’t let me “reply” any more.

    You make excellent points. Fundamentally, I agree with you that without a functioning two party system, we’re screwed. But the fact of the matter is that Evansville is a one-party state. You can either go with the Hardline Politburo types (Owen, Weinzapfel, Tornatta, etc.) or you can go with the reformers (Davis, Dan Adams, etc.).

    The Evansville Republicans who do manage to get elected are typically just there at the whim of the machine, anyway. They don’t represent a real opposition.

    This is why ultimately I think consolidation is so important. As it stands right now, County residents are getting screwed. They don’t get to vote in Evansville elections, but Evansville voters get to vote in County elections. Not a very good deal, right? Yet somehow, they have been deluded into thinking that they are “safe” from big, bad Evansville. Hogwash! Evansville not only votes in their elections, it just takes pieces of county land through annexation whenever it needs a little extra revenue.

    When you expand to the county level, it’s actually pretty balanced between R’s and D’s, so you at least have a chance at getting good people (on both sides) elected.

    • What has the reformers you speak of delivered? Davis or Adams…

      Davis SPENT a bunch of money on printers and claimed potential future savings as a given.

      That is just the same old progressive crap, just focused on a small area where union influence wasn’t able to bleed out decades of that “future savings” while the cookie jar was open.

      Consolidation is a discussion for another day…

      Don’t you remember, Weinzapfel first won, acting like a progressive reformer out to fix Lloyd’s mistakes?

      That establishment-tyrant vs. rebel scenario, CAN be true. But it also can be, perhaps more likely, political imagry. In my opinion, that was your original mistake. You were percieved as a rebel with a single cause. (The old one-trick pony moniker they labeled you with. I still think if you would have stuck with more of an empasis of across the board sound government basics, as opposed to primarily being anti-establishment, you would have won.)

      I thought most of your support was evidence that this isn’t a one party state, as you describe. That there are people that believe that the business of government, is providing quality basic things – not hotels and newer-smaller-more-expensive-stadiums, etc. (A simple conservative agenda.)

      To me, I’m concerned, a vote for the Democrat mayoral candidate, now. Will be an affirmation in GAGE, FDP and all the progressive expansionism that is the parties basic driving force. I.e. all those sexy vote buying schemes that leave us with no money to fund sewer maintenance!

      Part of me wants you to reconsider this endorsement… because – what if – what you are seeing is just imagry?

      What if, all in all, a politically weak Winnecke gives taxpayers more time to breathe without more agressive progressive expansion?

      You’re not here to live with the consequences anyway!

      This sort of endorsement is what leaves people like me to believe the local GOP to be a weak, floundering group, with absolutely no direction, perfectly happy to be left with the table scraps… perfectly happy to yield principle for personal gain or attention.

      On the other hand, if you ARE considering this, with principles in mind… then… [SIGH]?

      • Eville Taxpayer:

        Very, very thoughtful reply. I appreciate it. I have just a couple of points in response:

        1) I don’t think there was anything I could possibly have done to win. Not in Evansville, with its 2- or 3-to-1 registration advantage, running against not only the Democratic Machine, but the Republican money club as well. Not during a “Democratic year,” in which Republicans lost virtually everywhere, and not against a then-popular mayor. It was a quixotic crusade from the beginning.

        2) You’re right that I’m not around to live wit the consequences. I concede that point. Take my endorsement only for what it is worth.

        3) The local GOP IS a “weak, floundering group, with absolutely no direction, perfectly happy to be left with the table scraps.” That is precisely my point. The only way that will change is if GOP voters get a reality check and start paying attention to what their leaders do BETWEEN elections. I would love nothing more than to see a strong, competent, principled GOP in Vanderburgh County. We haven’t had that in my lifetime.

        4) Every politician uses the “rebel imagery” when they are running against an incumbent. Weinzapfel was transparently a sock puppet then, just as he is now, for anyone actually paying attention. Guys like Mark Owen, David Jones, Larry Aiken, and the GOP moneybags crew don’t support rebels. They support sock puppets. Larry isn’t here anymore, but who are the rest of them supporting this time? I just follow the money and the power, and that tells me who the genuine reformer is.

        5) What if this is just imagery, anyway? Well, then I suppose I’ve been duped. So be it. I don’t think that is the case. The machine has been far too public and reckless in their opposition to Davis. If they lose, it will be a serious black eye, especially for a group of people who aren’t accustomed to losing.

        6) Something happened to me, personally, in 2008. When I saw the entire GOP standing arm in arm with the entire Democratic establishment in Washington to vote in favor of bailouts, TARP, direct government ownership of the banking industry (and auto industry), etc., I lost any ability to be blindly loyal to a political party. Most of the stuff we squabble over is meaningless. They are distractions designed to keep voters from noticing the real problems–structural problems in our economy and foreign policy that are only now starting to become clear.

        Enough of my soapbox. If you are who I think you are, you know all of these things about me anyway. If not, well then I appreciate the opportunity to have a “real” discussion.

        • #1.) You may be right, but I think you made my point… 😉

          #3-4.) Sure, I think we just disagree on the means to that end and the real root of sneagle.

          #5.) Not really. In the grand scheme of things, the Davis led rebellion was a flash in the pan for your typical, periodic news watcher (voter). A mere sound bite now.

          #6.) I suppose that is fair, but to some degree, are you repeating that failure? Standing arm in arm with a rebel in Davis? I thought the GOP learned that lesson? Stand on principle & facts, not reacting to contrived media expectations or candidates that promise the HOPE of, BLANK SLATES…

          I disagree with politicians that think even the “small stuff” is meaningless.

          • 1) Bottom line for me is that I think my 2007 campaign would probably have been successful in many other years: 2009, 2010, 2011, for example. Why? First because there wouldn’t have been a huge pro-Dem, anti-Repub tide, and second because there is a growing awareness that, to borrow from V, “there is something very wrong with this city.” If that’s the point, you’re making, then I agree with you!

            3-4) Yes.

            5) That is what remains to be seen. If the machines simply re-absorbs Davis after the election by saying, “you can’t govern without us, and we are very, very sorry for slandering you, your family, and your supporters…” then you will be right. I am betting that the rift is more significant and lasting than that. But as I said, I could be wrong. Only time will tell.

            6) I don’t think I’m repeating the failure–if anything, I am finding a whole new level of failure! To borrow yet again from V, “people shouldn’t be afraid of their political parties, political parties should be afraid of their people.” The era of blind, stupid obedience to political party is coming to an end, thanks in large part to the global financial meltdown and the democratization of information via the Internet. Our founding fathers warned against the dangers of the “spirit of partisanship.” They were right. I am a Republican. But I am also a person with my own set of experiences and ideas and my own knowledge of right and wrong. That trumps party every time, at least for me. It’s easy for me to say that since I have no intention of ever running for office again…but I think it also reflects the new understanding of politics that is forming out there in the electorate.

            One final point: how can you possibly trust what any politicians say they will do in terms of policy? Just look at Bush: from “no nation building” to Iraq + Afghanistan + Pakistan + God knows what else in just 2 years. Obama: “a new era of bipartisan cooperation” to ramming healthcare reform through a packed Congress in record time.

            I no longer trust what anyone says they will do. I look at where the money comes from, what they have actually done in the past, and who their friends are. And even then, I’m sure I’ll be wrong at least 50% of the time. LOL.

            • You are quoting this speech.

              Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration – whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday – I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

              There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

              Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

              I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor Adam Sutler. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

              Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words – they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek…then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament. And together, we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever, be forgot!

          • I just think your point about supporting Davis was largely achieved during the primary.

            I mean even if Davis doesn’t win, barring some odd event, if he is the reformer he claims to be… he still should have the ability to destroy the machine, regardless? (He won the primary, won’t he still be the de-facto leader of the party even if he loses?)

            If your endorsement washes away some of that “repub tide” from Winnecke… Job well done, genius, perhaps.

            But back to my origional point of abstaining… I think a lot of people with Davis signs in their yards might be more symbolic of those desires. When it comes to actually pulling that lever though, I think, you’re going to see a lot of people taking DRAMAMINE in the morning, covering their noses IN THE BOOTH and heading to the bar afterwards to wash away that memory.

        • “4) Weinzapfel was transparently a sock puppet then, just as he is now, for anyone actually paying attention. Guys like Mark Owen, David Jones, Larry Aiken, and the GOP moneybags crew don’t support rebels. They support sock puppets. Larry isn’t here anymore, but who are the rest of them supporting this time? I just follow the money and the power, and that tells me who the genuine reformer is.”

          ….Davis did split the democratic party, which makes me believe that he is the correct candidate to vote for, as a life long republican it’s hard for me to even consider a democrat much less vote for one, but given the choice, maybe he is what he says he is I think it’s worth a shot, after all we know Winnecke is just a lite version our current mayor. When you have the power brokers crossing party lines to support a candidate that is of the opposing party it should give you an idea of who to vote for, when the current mayor will not support Davis who is of his own party…really that should be enough to convince anyone who would care.

          I’d be interested in what Andrew has to say about the current consolidation plan recently passed for a voter referendum, do you think it’s a flawed or sound plan?


          • blanger-

            I honestly haven’t read the consolidation plan, so I’m not in any position to comment on it. I will say that I think consolidation is a good idea, in theory. County residents get the short end of the stick right now b/c Evansville voters effectively “double dip.” They vote in both city AND county elections, while county residents only vote in the latter. It’s not a good deal for the county.

          • How has consolidation of Jefferson County – Louisville improved quality of life and general services for residents previously living outside the city limits of Louisville?

          • People in Louisville seem very happy with consolidation. It has unified the area and strengthened our “pitch” to companies thinking of relocating here.

          • Have you discussed this with Rick Davis who expresses strong opposition to consolidation of Evansville – Vanderburgh County and has taken large contributions from anti-consolidation organizers?

    • Dan Adams a reformer? Council is his stage for performing. He loves limelight. Remember that until ending secret caucus meetings in mayors office became Rick Davis campaign pledge, Dan Adams attended those caucus meetings. Reform is just slogan with this bunch to draw cheers from blind applauding crowd. Just a stage act Andrew veiws from 100 miles away. He needs to be here to know. Something will come out this week to prove “meet the new boss, way worse than the old boss” Mark those words.

  13. Eville Taxpayer:

    Again, we ran out of room. The discussion is too interesting to stop here, though.

    You asked if Rick Davis would still be the de facto party leader if he lost. I’m afraid the answer is a definitive, roaring “No.” Politics is a brutal sport, and it is winner-take-all. If Rick loses, the machine will consolidate power, expel or co-opt his supporters, and begin the task of SELECTING the next mayor of Evansville.

    The only way to dismantle the machine is for Rick to win the prize–the mayorship of Evansville, with all the perks and privileges that come with it. If he does that, he will be in control of the vast patronage system, and he will be able to re-shape the party according to his beliefs and needs. It is one thing for Mark Owen, David Jones, and the others to sit behind their closed doors plotting against a mere upstart candidate. It is another thing entirely to take on a sitting mayor, especially one from your own party. They would face open rebellion if they did that. And they would lose.

    I do hope that some segment of independent Republicans will read my endorsement and think carefully about splitting their tickets for Rick. One “advantage” Republicans have over Democrats is that our voters actually know how to do that…

    • “The only way to dismantle the machine is for Rick to win the prize–the mayorship of Evansville, with all the perks and privileges that come with it. If he does that, he will be in control of the vast patronage system, and he will be able to re-shape the party according to his beliefs and needs”

      Agreed……the only problem is that there will be those that cry fowl as he reshapes the party claiming favoritism or political paybacks for support….but that is how it is, patronage in politics is a essential and a necessary evil IMHO it is a great motivator to get things done.


      • Are you in line for a job, or do you know anyone in line for a job. If so please enlighten us as to the enlightened administration we can expect.

        • Yes sir….I figure I can take that parks department job and run it via cell phone and give the folks the same level of service they have been getting….and you? 😉

          • Or maybe Della’s job, it seems to be very lucrative, post BS all day on the C&P and collect a check on Friday…not a bad gig.

            Honestly Clovis I have no need or want to work for any aspect of the city, way too much back stabbin’ and ladder climbing for an old guy like me, leave that to the youngsters.


          • I know what you mean! Now that we know you’re not in line for a job, that answers half my question. You got any insight into who might be in line for a Davis Administration position? Please feel free to be just as sarcastic with that answer.

          • Not a single clue……I’m not even close to being an insider, just a concern voter taking an interest (more so then normal) in the mayoral race/election, and of course the 2nd ward where I reside.

            I’ve never given a local election a second thought to be brutally honest, always voted but just along party lines paying much more attention to national elections….that has proven to be a fallacy since IMHO everyone at the national level has proven to be crooks, lairs, thieves, and self serving idiots.

            But Brad Ellsworth turned my attention back to the local scene and if nothing else it has become quite amusing watching all the power plays/brokers squirm around since last fall festival…it’s much better than anything you can watch on national TV and I’m enjoying watching it unfold and prodding it along when I get a chance.

            As you can see I’m interested in the amusement factor, but I do have to say Davis has peeked my interest in pulling for the underdog, if he is truthful and basically honest, lucky enough to be elected, the next four years promises to be very entertaining if nothing else, and who knows might be good for our little burg in the process.

            As a friend of mine is fond of saying “Time Will Tell”…exactly!


    • Remember, you and David Nixon (Not to equate you two politically, in any way), were Republicans.

      The only Democrats exiled, to my knowledge, are gone simply because it’s too hard to plot and scheme in secret when you’re talking in jail on a phone with a glass partition! 😉

      I think if during this race since the primary, Davis hasn’t taken the reigns of “the machine” enough to have an impact – potentially – next time… he probably deserves to lose. That’s why in the month after the primary win I was saying… Rick… Rick… WHERE ARE YOU?

      If he really has the *ability* and the *desire* to fully trash the old machine, he should have been taking more ownership from day one. He should have the editorial staff of the Courier writing about the much anticipated change of the guard, how the rebellion came about in detail and how they have come to grips with the new realities. Minus that, to me, he has no choice but to plan for co-existance or co-option at best.

      • We’ll see, Eville Taxpayer. Most people don’t start paying attention to the race until about now. In fact, the majority probably don’t even think about until around the third week of October.

        The way that the Democratic party is set up doesn’t lend itself to an upstart candidate “taking over.” The only chance Rick has is to win the mayor’s office and start using his bully pulpit and patronage to reshape the party apparatus.

        After what the Machine has done to him, he’d be a fool not to start doing that on day 1.

        As far as the Courier editorial board…do you really think they would just take dictation from Rick??? I could be wrong, but I’d be willing to be they will endorse Winnecke. The Courier as a whole is not exactly a proponent of “change.”

        • No, they’d be treating him as the new money man! The man to get in good with, the man that will run with, adopt and fund their policy perspectives.

          He either buys enough jobs and votes by handing out tons of corporate welfare, subsidies, FDP homes, government salary increases, while squeezing essentials and running up debt… (pretty well the status quo)

          Or… ?

          I fail to understand what you expect this changed apparatus to look like. Asking Democrat party bosses to reject sneagle success, strikes me as asking Vectren to fix rates forever… just not going to happen.

          Did the rebel Davis endorse you or help you in your run?

          • “Did the rebel Davis endorse you or help you in your run?” No the rebel Davis did the bidding of another Smith in 2007, Betty Knight Smith.

          • Nope. Rick and I are mere acquaintances, and (to my knowledge) he never helped me in my races.

            I thought he ran a very classy race against my friend KC Cox, though, and I told him as much after he won.

            There is less than nothing in this for me. I’m sure I’ve pissed off what few remaining friends I had in Evansville politics. Meh. So be it.

        • Rick already tried to place his own committee captains in the 2010 primary. Every single candidate he put up against a party regular committeeman lost. Does that give you guys any notion of his ability to really change rather than just Rage Against the Machine?

          • Let’s hope that the voters decide to chuck the machine rather than rage against it.
            Winnecke and the majority of the current council get voted in and we get the same machine with a different monkey turning the crank.

  14. Wow..
    I think that the quota of ad hominem attacks has been filled…
    Back to the point, I don’t care what Lloyd Winnecke and his “partner”
    Carol “I haven’t run for dogcatcher yet” McClintock do…
    Winnecke is running against the “pro-Meth” caucus…REALLY..
    If he was so fiscally sound why didn’t he and Da Mayor keep a closer eye
    on GAGE funds when they were on the Board…
    What did they say to get the fat chick to take the slap on the wrist fall in that deal?

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