ON THE AVENUES: Socialists for Seabrook, because we desperately need a new beginning in New Albany.


So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

 — Hans Christian Andersen, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” recently quoted at Jeff Gahan’s campaign kick-back-off

NA Confidential’s 15th birthday arrives on October 20, 2019, to be followed two weeks later by Election Day.

That’s when we will learn if Jeff Gahan’s time-tested platform of power-grabbing, influence-peddling and campaign finance loot accumulation has been crass enough to buy him a third straight term as Anchor City’s Wizard of Bling — something that hasn’t occurred since 1955, when C. Pralle Erni did it on a platform of support for public housing, as opposed to Gahan’s palpable and ongoing war against the community’s least fortunate.

But enough of that.

You already know how I feel about Gahan’s vapid Reign of Error, and so today we examine a viable alternative. In retrospect, NA Confidential’s entire 5,475-day-long journey through New Albany’s Open Air Museum of Ignorance, Superstition, Backwardness and Treachery now seems to have been pointing to this juncture, all along.

I suppose it has taken 15 years because I’ve always been a methodical learner, suspicious of sudden epiphanies and more disposed to trust the accumulation of evidence that seeps through, day by day, over long periods of time. The learning curve is a harsh mistress, and it can be a maddening maze, so I allow plenty of chances for front porch cigar pondering before jumping to my conclusions.

Taking all of it together, there is a strong likelihood that I’ll begin drinking at the blog’s forthcoming 15th birthday party, and continue the process until after the ballots have been counted.

Don’t worry, readers. I’m a trained professional. Beverage alcohol contains the minimum daily requirements for all mandated food groups, just so long as you continue eating tacos and pizza throughout the binge.

As such, let’s avoid the late October politics rush. If you’re looking for quality endorsements, you’ve come to the “right” place for a lifelong leftist like me.

In 2019, this European-style Social Democrat will be voting for Mark Seabrook for mayor of New Albany.

Before telling you why, just a wee bit of personal background. I’ve come to understand that my political frame of reference is utterly negated by America’s two-party system and the “traditional” call-and-response psychoses stemming from it.

I’ve lived in Floyd County, Indiana my entire life, the most recent half within New Albany city limits, and yet in political terms I might as well be in exile. As such, a born contrarian’s iconoclasm outranks even booze as an escape mechanism.

The votes I cast must be examined on a case by case basis amid forever shifting circumstances, which come down to this: What course of local action is most sensible, and which candidate is best suited to pursue it, irrespective of political party affiliation?

It took a long time to see that simple lockstep ideology cannot suffice for me, as neither major political party in America takes an interest in expressing my beliefs. I’m left to cope as best I can, honing my intellectual survival skills, and searching the dumpsters for discarded fish bones and carrot shavings to make a thin soup of sustenance.

Pragmatism, here I come, and it feels good.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy
— Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, quoted at a recent Redevelopment Commission meeting

Let’s begin by stating for the public record that Mark Seabrook’s lengthy experience as an office holder in both city and county government, and more importantly to me, his career as an independent small businessman, recommend him highly for the office of mayor according to any prevailing criteria of which I’m aware.

Eight years of Democratic Party propaganda would have you believe that Gahan’s ascendancy to power came via divine right, as though the goddesses themselves sent him to us as the only human being truly capable of ruling the New Albanian rabble — hence Gahan’s surreal, unintentionally hilarious cult of personality and his fatuous claims to have made not one single error his entire time as an elected official.

That’s sheer bullshit, of course.

Even the majority of local DemoDisneyDixiecrats know that Gahan’s pipe dreams of glory and grandiosity are disturbing and delusional. They bow, scrape and toe the line only because so many of them are in it for the beak-wetting, and that’s why we must continue to follow Dear Leader’s financial trail: In Pecunia Veritas.

Seabrook is perfectly capable of being mayor, of performing mayoral tasks and delegating responsibilities to mayoral appointees.

Seabrook has wider experience in elected office than Gahan, and having been elected to multiple terms in office and not only one, he has benefited from far more hours of real hands-on time governance than presumed kingmakers like Gahan’s venal and cadaverous toady Warren Nash, who was a veritable Olympian of mayoral ineptitude until his clothes-free protégé came along to make veneer great again.

Seabrook has given no indication that he seeks the office of mayor in order to be a paid media superstar with his face attached to shopping carts, crosswalks, full-page lifestyle magazine advertisements, and any other unfortunate inanimate objects lacking the good sense to get the hell out of the way.

Seabrook will be surrounded and advised by the most capable cast of adjutants and actual thinkers that we’ve seen for a while in this city, including (although not confined to) sitting councilman Al Knable, (hopefully soon to be) councilman Scott Stewart, State Representative Ed Clere, party chairman Shawn Carruthers and quite a few others, and with a younger generation of energetic, principled leaders on the horizon.

Seabrook can be expected to appoint similarly solid representatives to serve on non-elected boards, and to see that these boards remain transparent and answerable to elected officials — and hence, to the ratepayers themselves.

Seabrook will be questioned by some who doubt he possesses the stamina to serve as mayor, but he has been admirably pro-active and transparent in addressing his physical health concerns. As I can personally attest, those interacting with him lately encounter a nimble and fully engaged mind. I won’t begrudge Seabrook a nap now and then; imagine the vast amount of time he’ll save by NOT wasting the many hours Gahan needs each day to preen, posture and pretend to be an omniscient messiah.

Seabrook’s fitness for office cannot be denied, although Democrats lacking other suitable cudgels will lie about it. When they do, ask these increasingly wild-eyed ward heelers if they’ve ever experienced shame. Some actually might have.

Seabrook proposes that our city return to the task of efficient daily management, while ceasing to function as convenient set props and stage furniture for the tinhorn theatrical aspirations of a failed wood products salesman.

Seabrook aims at transparent operations and accountability, not exaggerated claims and play-acting. To summarize, he seeks to return governance to functional adults who possess long attention spans and small egos, and this is exactly what we need in New Albany at this point in time.

Seabrook will need all these attributes as well as a skilled team to begin cleansing our tainted City Hall.

Q: What do Gahan supporters say when the Kool-Aid and Loaded Rice Krispies Treats run out?

A: Dude, this mayor really sucks.

Now for a few random thoughts about Mayor Seabrook’s probable challenges.

Future costs must be identified and contained.

Among Gahan’s ritualistic bait ‘n’ switch tactics has been an infrastructure Ponzi scheme, borrowing massive sums of money against future “growth” and shifting the burden of repayment to the children and grandchildren of voters dazzled by bright shiny objects.

The problem: As we add infrastructure embellishments of questionable need, and considering the cost of borrowing to finance them, we’re also steadily adding maintenance and upkeep expenses that aren’t “included” in the glossy touts.

It is likely that one of Seabrook’s first tasks as mayor will be to conduct a complete and thorough audit of the city’s finances. Given the inevitable filing cabinet bonfires we’ll see on December 31, this might prove to be a daunting task, but a necessary one to restore sanity to the municipality’s tortured financials.

Gahan’s pestiferous swamp must be drained.

Seabrook will conduct a purge of the Democratic Party’s fat and sassy governing clique, and it’s about time. Nowhere within the code of ordinances can be found commandments proclaiming the feather-bedded entitlement on the part of gilded functionaries like Nash, party chairman Adam Dickey and Irving Joshua to lifetime sinecures on appointed boards.

A cleansing flush is necessary, and waiting off to the side, whether Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Druids or Monarchists, there are bright individuals, fresh ideas and new blood patiently awaiting their long overdue turns at the wheel.

I’m convinced Seabrook and his team will act to enable them.

The Democratic Party’s doctrine of non-cooperation must be curbed.

One hallmark of the Democratic Party’s perennial stranglehold on municipal government is an absolute refusal to cooperate with Republicans at any level. Granted, there are social policy occasions when this makes sense (see Pence, Mike), but the little-discussed flip side in a state like ours possessing a solidly Republican governmental apparatus is Gahan’s legacy of missed opportunities for cooperation with people like Clere and Ron Grooms, so as to leverage scarce resources toward genuinely useful goals. Gahan prefers putting it on the TIF One credit card, and this politically-motivated non-cooperation means we pay more than we should.

It won’t happen with Seabrook as mayor.

City-county relations must be improved.

It’s true that even in a county as small as ours, there’ll always be differences between urban, suburban and rural residents as they pertain to definitions about “quality of life.” The more I’ve learned about urbanization, suburbanization and guy-in-the-backwoods-hut-ization, within the contexts of transportation, land use, environmental impacts and a score of other considerations, the greater the complexity.

We may not know the answer to every question, but a house divided still can’t stand. Governmental units working together rather than separately might actually be useful — for a change. It needn’t be “unigov” to cooperate where applicable for the collective good. It’s just sanity.

Ever since Democrats misplaced their mojo outside city limits, the party has pursued a policy of open hostility to county government. Indeed, at times this has been fact-based. Far more often the motivation has been one of pure and spiteful disruption. I think daily life is challenging enough without waging an ongoing Uncivil Cold War, and I believe the Floyd County Republican Party doesn’t bear the primary burden of bad behavior in this matter.

With Seabrook as mayor, perhaps we can begin thinking about rowing together when applicable.

Is Mark Seabrook flawless?

Of course he isn’t.

Not a single human being occupying elected office is free of error, in spite of Deaf Gahan’s incessant, mirror-gazing and narcissistic insistence to the contrary. Seabrook’s record in city and county government can be thoughtfully dissected like any other, as with the coal dust disposal scandal occurring during his tenure as commissioner, or those disagreeing with his advocacy of the hospital sale.

No one’s perfect, leaders are elected to make decisions, and the chips fall. Some imperfections merit a higher level of scrutiny than others. However, of most importance to me as a lifelong left-winger is this consideration:

I wouldn’t endorse Seabrook or any other Republican if I thought for a moment they harbored secret plans to impose a vicious right-wing dictatorship on New Albany.

Yes; the higher the elected office, the more this prospect does concern me, but it’s entirely irrelevant insofar as City Hall in New Albany is concerned. After all, Gahan the purported progressive darling has made no effort whatever to impose a vicious left-wing dictatorship on the city.

Mind you, he has imposed a vicious, elitist, cliquish dictatorship dedicated to duping progressives in order to satisfy cash-hungry sycophants. However, this isn’t to be confused with left, right or any other ideological standpoint. Rather, it’s all about a small-timer, C-minus homeboy student’s obsession with pay-to-play patronage and cold, hard cash.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t endorse Seabrook if the best I could say about him is, “Well, at least he isn’t Gahan.”

If the equation devolves to “anyone except Gahan” then I’d be obliged to consider Dan Coffey’s independent mayoral candidacy, and although I know precisely what it means in political terms to be in Coffey’s position outside the two mainstream party camps, surely we all grasp that this election is about Seabrook and Gahan, one on one.

In conclusion, both tactically and cynically, I might support Seabrook to supplant Gahan, who simply has to go.

Personally, I’d rather vote FOR Mark Seabrook out of conviction that he’d be a good mayor.

And he would.

So I will.

Endorsement Compendium:

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September 12: ON THE AVENUES: There’s no business like no business, and it’s none of your business (2016).

September 5: ON THE AVENUES: Welcome to traditional Danish lunch in Copenhagen, September 1989.

August 29: ON THE AVENUES: Welcome to “Pagan Life,” a weekly column devoted to heathens, infidels, idolaters, atheists, non-theists, irreligious people, agnostics, skeptics, heretics and apostates.

August 22: ON THE AVENUES: The 32 most influential books in my life.


  1. I knew I'd be hearing from you, and of course you know of which you speak. I might write at length but will keep it simple: Yes, and we need Gahan gone so very badly that I'm willing to risk it.

  2. Roger I completely understand. Maybe, just maybe he he has changed because of his experience with me. Lol
    You can bet that he will clean out the third floor. Bye bye Scott and John

  3. I think you gave him quite a rise. I don't know if we ever change all that much as people, but I will say in all sincerity that Mark seems less volatile than before, like someone who's been through a lot and is more introspective now. I don't know whether it's true, although I'd like to believe it is. Agreed completely about draining the City Hall swamp. If he wins, I look forward to a parade with lots of pink slip confetti.