It's a sort of trouble in paradise for the Republican Party here in Hamilton County. On the one hand, they are the dominant party here. On the other, they are coming unglued in embarrassing ways. Matt Tully's column in the Sunday Star.
The battle is being fought by a pair of Hamilton County's top political names -- new county GOP Chairman Charlie White and longtime County Commissioner Steve Dillinger.That suits me very well. Throw in the Libertarian strategy of exposing the tax-and-spend ways of the Hamilton County GOP, and voters turning up their noses at these childish, amateurish displays, and we may well see the whole thing come apart, with voters going Libertarian.
White calls Dillinger an annoying "Boss Hogg" who is too friendly with firms doing county business. Dillinger counters that White has betrayed former allies and doesn't have the trust of many county Republicans.
Concerns over this battle are spilling beyond Hamilton County's borders. Gov. Mitch Daniels won the GOP stronghold by nearly 50,000 votes last year, and state Republican leaders fear a party split heading into the 2006 elections.
They're only a heartbeat away right now. Certainly several small business owners -restauranteers mainly- are making the jump. That will happen so long as the GOP abandons its fiscal conservative side in favor of toeing the line for the Governor, or in balancing budgets through tax increases.
The next chance to see the GOP step on their tails is when Fishers votes on a 1% food & beverage tax, Monday, August 29.