It seems that being a member in a group of fiscal conservatives that promotes fiscal conservatism is not acceptable to the HamCo GOP party elite. Three elected precinct committeemen ( PC’s) and myself , a Vice PC, have been served notice of a hearing to defend ourselves from claims we are “not in good standing”.
This doesn’t come as a complete surprise as I have been a thorn in the side of the GOP because I have called out the corruption and cronyism that has existed in my county for nearly a decade. However, it is important to note, I do not think I have betrayed the party as much as I think it is no longer represents the tenants of its charter.
I have been a lifelong Republican and have faithfully voted in the last 12 local primaries taking the GOP ballot. In 2010, I began hosting the Fishers GOP Club meetings at my restaurant until the then “temporary” chairman, Pete Peterson, summarily pulled the meetings because we dared to invite a sitting GOP county councilor to speak about TIFs. I was one of the five original members on the Committee to Reorganize Fishers in 2012 that advocated for a new hybrid city. I have stood outside polling sites on behalf of no less than 5 current or previously elected Republican candidates of the Fishers Town/City council. I ran in the 2016 GOP primary for County Commissioner that saw my wife Brenda win the PC race for our precinct. In 2017-18 I ran a campaign for a GOP Congressional candidate in the Indiana 6th District. It was our group of “haters” (predating FCoHC) that helped current HamCo party chairwoman, Laura Campbell, retake the chairmanship by throwing our support behind her during that contentious intraparty battle.
So what is our sin? We kept endorsing fiscal conservatives in HamCo and they finally started winning. We played their game and beat them at it, and instead of accepting their defeat, they rounded up an “independent republican” to challenge one of our endorsed primary winners. But the real insult was they had the lawyer that represented the County Party defend the independent in a ballot signature challenge in front of the Election Board. If it is possible to make matters worse, a sitting Republican County Councilor and Township Trustee publicly endorsed the independent and yet WE are the enemy?
At what point in time do you push back and say, enough is enough? The HamCo GOP has lost its way. It continues to ignore the concerns of the voters to the mounting debt and lack of transparency in these various governmental entities. The FCoHC will not cower in the face of these attacks on our “republicanism”. We have numerous examples of the hypocrisy I mentioned above and if the State Party wants to have all of its dirty laundry shared in public, then they will continue down this path.
It is not too late to do the right thing. Issue an apology to my fellow FCoHC Board members and withdraw the complaint.
Bill Smythe is a founding member and current President of the FCoHC Board and is a resident of Fishers. He is a small business owner, lobbyist and political consultant. His wife Brenda is Fall Creek 08 PC and he serves as her Vice PC for the GOP.