ON THE AVENUES: Love in the time of choleric Coffey, though it’s nice of Deaf Gahan to support the K of C’s political agenda.


ON THE AVENUES: Love in the time of choleric Coffey, though it’s nice of Deaf Gahan to support the K of C’s political agenda.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Tonight there’ll be a city council meeting, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Never mind the bobble-heads, it’s Non-Binding Resolutional Culture Wars Night, and the potential for legislative grandstanding approaches solar eclipse levels of suggested pre-meeting martini consumption, toward which I pledge my last full measure of devotion.

New Albany city council, this Thursday: “Resolution Expressing Solidarity with the People of Charlottesville, Virginia, and a Public Condemnation of Racism, White Supremacy, and Neo-Nazi Ideology in Our Community, the Nation and the World.”

As we’ve seen, autonomous councilman-for-hire Dan “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Coffey — who on occasions as widely scattered as Monday’s coming solar event actually stoops to represent the 1st District — is organizing his own celebration of ragpicker’s diversity.

Dan Coffey plans his own unity rally, because why should those smarty pants Democrats have all the fun?

Bring your own hoods, folks. There’ll be barbecued bologna and toadstool crepes … but alas, I digress. Let’s begin with this excerpt from last week’s column:

ON THE AVENUES: Super Tuesday shrapnel – or, tiptoeing through the tulips with Dan Coffey, now THE face of historic preservation in New Albany.

Glorious Stated Aim #2: Give the Knights of Columbus (Main Street) a new façade.

Translation: … since Coffey is a tremendous backer of the K of C, he’s neutralized and back on the mayor’s payroll, at least for the moment.

Meanwhile: Deaf Gahan is Catholic … and the Democratic Party has been holding gatherings in Catholic-affiliated venues since the long ago days when bona fide Democrats like FDR walked the earth … and that pesky priest at St. Mary’s keeps breathing down Team Gahan’s tight collars about the original sin of the two-way streets conversion … so POOF; all dissonance disappears, just like that, and to such a pervasive extent that we now see Coffey taking pride of place in the mayor’s MTV video touting Super Cash Stuffed Envelope Tuesday.

That’s right, folks. By means of just a teensy tiny bit of façade cash awarded to an organization that maintains an anti-abortion monument out front, welcome to a gay-baiting, venom-spewing, ward-heeling councilman forever in service to the highest bidder becoming the poster child of historic preservation in New Albany … but Gahan isn’t finished yet.

Absolutely no one doubts that as an entity, the Knights of Columbus does charitable works. Last week on Super Tuesday, when Coffey shuffled humbly to the anchor-bedecked podium to accept his cash-stuffed envelope (psst — the one intended to pay for the K of C’s facade work comes much later), he made it a point to emphasize this fact.

With the Knights of Columbus, it’ll give a better appearance in the neighborhood, but the Knights of Columbus also does an enormous amount of charity work.

More accurately stated, it’ll give a better appearance to Dan Coffey, because if there is any one cardinal rule to fathoming the Byzantine intrigues, gleeful backstabbings and gold bullion transfers inherent in the bottomless cesspool of New Albany politics as usual, it is this:

Never, ever accept a Coffeyism at face value. It will contort your face, and annoy the Wizard.

With still more money hoisted from the Redevelopment Commission, and alongside valued institutional cover from Indiana Landmarks, Jeff Gahan has struck another of his trademark political stink-bomb deals, enabling Coffey’s ongoing jihad against modernity by blithely ignoring the separation of church and state — a concept Coffey openly derides, of course, but the sort of appeasement legerdemain that democratic Democrats (where?) condone at their own peril.

However, Gahan’s never met a ward-heeler he wouldn’t fluff, and that old bromide about non-profits refraining from involvement in the political process? Think again.

Knights of Columbus head says Catholics cannot vote for abortion advocates (National Catholic Reporter, August 2, 2016)

Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus fraternal order and one of the most influential lay Catholics in the church, has said that abortion outweighs all other issues in the presidential campaign and Catholics cannot vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights.

Much more detail is to be found here.

How One Religious Organization Bankrolls America’s Social Conservative Movement, by Josh Israel (Think Progress)

… But while much of the Knights’ charitable efforts in recent years have supported purely altruistic causes such as the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, millions of their charitable dollars have funded a very socially conservative ideological agenda: opposing abortion, LGBT rights, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and pornography, while supporting public funding for religious organizations.

(While legally independent from the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus entities call themselves the church’s “strong right arm.”)

The Knights also operate a legally-separate but affiliated charitable arm called the Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. That tax-exempt non-profit organization made about 57 percent of its annual grants in 2013 to efforts to “promote matters affective life family, marriage and similar priorities in building a culture of life.” More than $1 million of that went to support “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” a network of facilities that dissuade women from choosing to terminate their pregnancies, often by sharing misinformation.

Tonight’s council meeting should be a fascinating test of New Gahanian dysfunction.

Under normal circumstances, forced to endure another effete expression of council support for people and ideas he loathes, Coffey would be spewing, fulminating and dropping an occasional sotto voce hint of imminent violent revenge against the gays, libtards and drunkists.

But Coffey’s also enjoying the sweet tea-laced post-coital glow of yet again maneuvering Gahan into merrily compromising everything the Democratic Party should stand for by indulging the councilman’s Generalissimo Francisco Franco fetish.

Gahan should have had the good sense to accompany his ill-considered largess with a temporary gag order, but of course, it was chronologically impossible to anticipate Charlottesville, which led to the solidarity resolution, and which gives Coffey a convenient “get out of handshake free” card to play this evening.

Perhaps Coffey will choose to avoid the meeting entirely, as he did on March 6, the last time such a threatening resolution occurred, after white supremacist handbills were duct-taped to local alley walls.

Seize the gesture and read the city council’s non-binding “Resolution Condemning the Promotion of Intolerance.”

Will the serial bigot Coffey support a resolution in support of human rights? Contractually, he’ll have to vote yes if Gahan demands it. But does the mayor even care? Will Scott Blair abstain, citing his oft-stated principle of eschewing non-binding resolutions?

To paraphrase Chico Marx: “Coffey — he-a no show up.”


MEMBERS PRESENT: Council Members Mr. Caesar, Mr. Phipps, Mr. Nash, Mr. Blair, Mr. Aebersold, Mr. Barksdale, Dr. Knable and President McLaughlin. Mr. Coffey was not present.

In spite of it all, there remains a valid reason to commend Coffey for a certain consistency of action. The second cardinal rule of New Albanian political geography is that Coffey’s always in it for himself; consequently, he might be the only politician in town who is consistent with his gestures.

He may be repugnant, and quite possibly horrendous, but he’s not hypocritical.

There’s something to be learned from this, but is it too early to start drinking?

Events got all topical on us, but next week I hope to return to “Mr. Duggins Goes to Bob Lane’s Old Office and Mistakes the Bidet for the Toilet.” 


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: I’ll match your customary gesture politics and raise you a spate of virtue signaling.

FLASHBACK: You say you want a resolution? Ya gotta take yer growth industries where ya find ’em.

Recent columns:

August 10: ON THE AVENUES: Super Tuesday shrapnel – or, tiptoeing through the tulips with Dan Coffey, now THE face of historic preservation in New Albany.

August 3: ON THE AVENUES: On the importance of being ancient.

July 27: ON THE AVENUES: Irish history with a musical chaser.

July 20: ON THE AVENUES DOUBLEHEADER (2): A book about Bunny Berigan, his life and times.