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Election lobbyist chairs Marion County clerk race

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A lobbyist for a voting machine company that is interested in running Marion County's elections also is directing the campaign of a Democrat who wants to oversee those elections, raising questions about a potential conflict of interest.

Kip Tew, a former Democratic Party chairman and Statehouse lobbyist, is chairing the campaign of Frank Lloyd while also representing Election Systems and Software LLC, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The Nebraska-based company previously held the county's elections contract but lost it in 2009 over widespread problems with the 2007 primary.

ES&S recently expressed interest in winning back the contract, which the Marion County Elections Board is considering putting up for a bid. Six other companies also have signaled their interest.

Lloyd, a Democrat who currently serves as the Marion County coroner, announced Wednesday he is running for Marion County clerk. Incumbent Beth White announced Monday she would run for Indiana Secretary of State.

If Lloyd wins, he would administer county elections and hold a seat on the three-member elections board that decides which company gets the contract.

Tew said Thursday he saw no immediate conflict of interest but would consider ending his representation of ES&S if Lloyd wins election.

"There's no conflict," he said. "There could be one in the future, but there's not one now."

A formal request for contract bids has not yet been issued.

ES&S held the contract for the Marion County elections during 2007, when widespread problems were reported with the primary elections. They later lost a bid to RBM Consulting in 2009, according to minutes from the elections board.

White, a two-term county clerk, created the opening when she announced she would seek the office overseeing state elections. Lloyd is set to face Myla Eldridge, Indianapolis elections director, in the Democratic primary. Republican Christine Bischoff has also formed an exploratory committee for the open seat.

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  • Really Kip!!
    Work for the company that rigs the elections as you head a campaign?? Really???
  • The beginning of the end
    Detroit-style politics comes to Indianapolis. Let the rot begin!
  • Cronyism
    Detroit-style politics comes to Indianapolis. Let the rot begin.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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