In what has very quickly become a non-event, news came out today that City-County Councilman Ed Coleman has left the Republican party to become a member of the Libertarian Party.
Please allow me to say this up front: I really like Ed. Beyond the fact that his wife was a good friend of mine in high school, during the time I've known Ed he's become someone I've admired. He got into this (politics) for the right reasons and Indianapolis can be proud of his service.
Up until today, that is. With his action he has effectively deprived Indianapolis of his leadership and has paved the way for his early retirement from politics. This has nothing to do with the Republican Party (or the City of Indianapolis) and everything to do with Ed and salving his wounds from some perceived mistreatment, either real or imagined.
Think about it: Ed has now been stripped of his committee seats. He has removed himself as a voice for any input on city affairs. If this was about policy or ideology, what stops him from voting a certain way while maintaining his party affiliation? Was he that naive that he didn't know that sometimes in politics you don't always get your way?
Consider this: Ed is an at-large member of the council. In other words, he was elected with a slate of Republicans to the seat; no one was voting for Ed in particular, they were voting for Republicans in general. With this move Ed has selfishly (and naively) removed those voters from having a voice. Because of some perceived slights from other Republican members, he has rejected the support that voters gave him in 2007.
The bottom line for this non-story is that the least influential member of the City-County Council has now made himself completely irrelevant. He has also ended his career, as he has no shot of being re-elected in any capacity whatsoever. I mean, this is a "party" (the LP) that claims as successes elections to soil and water conservation boards. They have no infrastructure, no fundraising ability and no organization, and this is nearly 40 years after they were founded. You'd think they would've figured something out about elections by now, wouldn't you?
Ed Coleman, we hardly knew you. You have my best wishes for your private life, as your public life has needlessly ended.