The Jeff Gahan Money Machine, Part 12: Madam I’m Adam, or the way HMB’s Dickey brokers power and channels his party’s beak wetting.


Previously: The Jeff Gahan Money Machine, Part 11: Lawyers from afar, expressing gratitude to Jeff Gahan for their billable hours — and the curious case of Stan Robison.

Some people peddle religious tracts, but during the coming weeks we’ll be plucking highlights from eight years of the Committee to Elect Gahan’s CFA-4 campaign finance reports. Strap in, folks — and don’t forget those air(head) sickness bags.

A political machine such as the one administered by New Albany’s DemoDisneyDixiecrats is not designed to enable sincere policy discussion, or to empower ways of improving the lives of residents. It exists to allocate power, to preserve power in the hands of those who already have it, and to maintain this power.

Characteristics of such a system include:

  • Control by a political boss
  • Reliance on patronage
  • Distribution of spoils
  • Shadowy operations behind-the-scenes
  • Reinforcement of longstanding loyalties

In true mafioso fashion, the boss of our DemoDixieDisneycratic political machine is Jeff Gahan, a two-term mayor whose absence of gravitas and charisma is chump change compared to an almost superhuman ability to suck wads of campaign cash through a garden hose.

However it bears mentioning that personality cults like the one Gahan has built these past eight years — his face on every object, credit claimed for every achievement, no errors ever made, the source of all local knowledge — has two functions.

One of them is to dazzle and distract the populace with daily lies about Gahan’s unprecedented wisdom and perfection.

The second is to remind potential challengers of Gahan’s firm control at the top of the monetizing pyramid. That’s because no absolute ruler ever rests easy. Aspirants to the throne, and more importantly potential enablers of rebellion, always lurk — even when they don’t at all.

Paranoia, the destroyer.

Gahan’s own enablers include key DemoDixieDisneycratic machine cogs like the spectacularly overpaid city attorney Shane Gibson, self-identified elder real-e-statesman Warren Nash, larcenous bag man David Duggins, former legislator Connie Sipes, reclusive heating and air human money funnel Lemor Dowell and template-bred party chairman Adam Dickey — who in an exceedingly crowded field easily wins the title of “Most Likely to Be Smarmy.”

adjective INFORMAL

ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive.

“a smarmy, unctuous reply”

synonyms: unctuous, ingratiating, smooth, slick, oily, greasy, fulsome, flattering, obsequious, sycophantic, fawning

Chairman Tricky Dickey is a very busy man, who like the proverbial hedgehog understands one (and only one) important point: Everything he does, every day of the year, is mutually reinforcing, devoted to allocating, preserving and maintaining power for the machine.

Credit him with no wasted motions — and then reach for your pitchfork.

Dickey serves as 9th district party chairman and has seemingly permanent seats on New Albany’s Redevelopment and Economic Development Commissions, as well as the Tree Board, where he lubes chain saws.

The chairman, who prepared for his political career by peddling AFLAC, also enjoys prominence at the River Hills Economic Development District & Regional Planning Commission. If there’s a dimly lit courthouse corridor anywhere in Southern Indiana, it’s a safe bet that Dickey has transacted business in it, as his employer is HMB Professional Engineers, for whom he toils as Regional Development Director.

Paving news, but before that, a review of pro-Gahan campaign finance “engineered” by HMB and HWC. (May 14, 2018)

Given the impossibility of separating Dickey’s day job selling engineering services to governmental entities, from his night job trying to populate government entities with Democrats, his work affords numerous opportunities to curate the patronage machine’s allocation, preservation and maintenance of power.

Although occasionally even Dickey must pretend to be impartial, allowing the remainder of his pliant associates on various boards to approve the fix he’s already enabled. This one’s from 2017, I believe.

In 2014, HMB had a contract to assist with pump refurbishment at the Flood Control Bureau of Nepotism. There no doubt have been numerous other opportunities to wet beaks, with Dickey winking, nodding and stepping aside when necessary, no doubt a tolerable tactic in comparison to the power thus buttressed.

From 2011 through 2018, HMB Professional Engineers has tallied a nice chunk of change for Jeff Gahan’s Money machine.

Christopher Stewart     500
Brad(ley) Meyer (HMB head honcho, six years of donations) 8,000
Adam Dickey     100
Total: $8,600

It’s only 20% of what Clark Dietz has tithed to Dear Leader during the same period, but remember that a mayor seeking to raise more than $50,000 each calendar year — not just during his own re-election campaigns — already has grasped the utility of money in the bank.

Money helps with the power thang, especially when there’s a loyal backroom emissary like Dickey, for whom the words “conflict of interest” are no more than social media feeds ripe for blocking.


Rebuttals are welcome and will be published unaltered — so don’t forget spellcheck. If you have supplementary information to offer about any of this, please let us know and we’ll update the page. The preceding was gleaned entirely from public records, with the addresses of “individuals” removed.

Next: The Jeff Gahan Money Machine, Part 13: United Consulting Engineers rocks Deaf Gahan like a hurricane.