New city council game of chance: Horseshoe Party Affiliation Roulette.


Last night, city council president Pat McLaughlin once again appointed 6th district Independent Scott Blair to serve with John Gonder on the Horseshoe Foundation board.

This is important, given that much of New Albany’s economic development planning centers on politely demanding money from the Foundation.

My, how we miss Guido. He could have rocked that one.

In the past, the foundation has insisted that only real Democrats and genuine Republicans can attend its meetings, seeing as these are the only two parties legally allowed in God’s own America, with the council expected to send one sub-species of each, meaning that the sole GOP choice for eight years running has been Kevin Zurschmiede, the council’s sole Republican.

In 2013, it went down like this:

McLaughlin thanks Benedetti for her servitude, challenges Horseshoe Foundation to do something about it at year’s first council gathering.

As it transpired last night, Blair’s appointment in 2015 comes with a delightful, new berry twist.

McLaughlin (read: council attorney Matt Lorch) has determined that Indiana state law defines one’s political party identity as being derived from the individuals’s chosen party ballot in the previous year’s primary election, and Blair having voted Republican in May of 2014 … voila!

The Independent is magically a Republican for the purposes of the Horseshoe Board.

Recalling that former GOP party chairman David Matthews once told me that he used this very same standard of past primary voting identification to vet potential Republican office seekers (Blair himself might recall this trait), it should be evident that Blair’s GOP primary vote last May was undertaken with an explicit shared understanding of its future usefulness when contriving Horseshoe-inspired political performance art to be performed during appointments in January, 2015.

And maybe this is why Diane Benedetti was angered last night that McLaughlin’s letter via Lorch to Horseshoe explaining Blair’s ideological transformation was mailed without copies being provided to other council members, which McLaughlin explained as a regrettable oversight owing to the time-sensitive need to expedite his explanation as a last-minute courtesy before Horseshoe’s January meeting.

Of course, he might have done it on any of the 220-odd days elapsing since the plot was hatched in the 2014 primary, but I digress. Dan Coffey promptly declared that while communication and transparency are always good, they’re not anywhere near as compelling when Benedetti suggests them, and so let’s all consider this recent factoid about the company that owns and operates Horseshoe Southern Indiana:

The parent company has posted losses for each of the last four years, and its total liabilities have climbed to $28.2 billion.

Most of the debt stemming from the buyout is concentrated in Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the unit expected to file for Chapter 11 protection.

With all eyes (rightly) turned toward Pillsbury …

(Thanks to A for the link)