The whole point of Weblogs (for those new to the concept) is to give people forums for instantly commenting on events. There are political blogs, where professional and amateur writers comment on events as they happen, often updating throughout the day. There are blogs that are used as diaries by regular people. If I see a really cool sunset, I’m supposed to run inside and let you know all about it. If I had access to a blog on April 8, I would be expected to pour my grief into the site for all to witness. So I’ve kind of missed the point by waiting a week to share this entry. But trust me, it took that long to digest and begin to make any sense of it. I’ve felt like Chandler Bing: “Too….many….jokes….”
Noblesville, IN mayor Dennis Redick was out for a fun night at the Verizon Wireless Music Center a week ago. Noblesville can best be compared to someplace like Liberty for the KC crowd: affluent, distant from the urban core, a little sleepy. We’re not talking about Watts, Oakland, or even Raytown here. Anyway, Da Maya took in the Jimmy Buffett concert with his live-in girlfriend, Sylvia Clemons. (I just noticed her last name. This is even better than I thought.) After an enjoyable evening of singing along to “Margaritaville” and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?” the couple retired to their limousine. Details are sketchy, but something caused a ruckus, and before anyone knew what was going on, their idyllic night was shattered and the limousine driver was forced to pry the good mayor’s hands from the neck of Ms. Clemons. (Wow, I still am having trouble with that. Her name really is Clemons? He was choking her? It’s almost too much…)
Redick was arrested, charged with a couple misdemeanor charges of battery and domestic battery, spent the night in jail, and faced the world last Monday. He made sure everyone knew that he had neither asked for, nor received, any special treatment. Bravo. Ms. Clemons issued a statement stating she had started the altercation, and Mayor Redick was in fact holding her hands to stop her punches, rather than choking her. The Mayor’s ex-wife publicly stated her support for him, and added that in 30 years of marriage, he had never laid a hand on her.
Ahhh, but the mayor is a politician, and where there are politicians, there can also be found power struggles, old slights, and ambition. The county Republican Party quickly rescinded support for Redick in the upcoming general election. They vowed to support an independent candidate, which could come from a pool of several candidates he barely defeated in the recent primary. Democrats, seeing an opportunity to gain office (something that comes along about as often as a solar eclipse in suburban Indiana) quickly offered a challenger who had lost an election as recently as a year ago! The city council, in a nasty debate, voted down a resolution asking Redick to resign by a 5-4 margin. As of today, Redick remained in office, and was shouting wildly about how the US Constitution was still in effect and he was innocent until proven guilty (astute use of the Constitution in the week of our nation’s birth!). His ex-wife said he was the victim of an attempting lynching. And I could be mistaken, but I think life went on as normal over the weekend in Noblesville.
Just a tremendous story, loaded with stuff to comment on. You can see why I’ve had trouble composing my thoughts. Where to begin?
Domestic violence: never a good thing. Let’s assume that the mayor wasn’t under the influence of any substances, legal or otherwise. I don’t care if your lady is smacking you around, you don’t put your hands anywhere near her throat and force her against an automobile.
Perhaps those that say margaritas and second hand marijuana smoke can’t make people belligerent are wrong.
What’s the deal with people named Clemons and domestic battery charges related to choking?
There’s nothing like a good public screw-up by an elected official to get the political vultures out and pouncing. “If Redick would just smack that girl friend of his, we’d have our chance.” (Please note, making light of domestic abuse is also never good. I’m making fun of his opponents.)
I love public figures that find themselves in sticky situations and remind us about the concept of innocent until proven guilty. They’re pretty much saying, “Get off my back until I’m convicted” aren’t they? Civics lessons from people who manage to get into fights with domestic partners in public parking lots are generally missed by the masses.
Ex-wives who come to your defense are true gems. One wonders if the former Mrs. Redick spent the remainder of last week in her home baking cookies (a semi-obscure reference for the true political junkies out there).
And using the term lynching when talking about a white, middle class, Republican, elected official never gets the desired effect.
All I know is I’m happy I live in Carmel, IN, where the city council is too busy pissing everyone off with the school redistricting plan to have time to go to concerts, get liquored up, and smack around their live-in love interests.