Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Matt Kelty Timeline

I put together this chronology of the Kelty campaign as a service to the readers of this site. If any of you are still undecided on who to vote for then please just read this timeline. Also, I'm sure there's a few items I've missed so if you notice something then post it in the comments and I'll add it...

October 10, 2006 - Matt Kelty declares he will run for mayor

January 18 - Kelty outraises Nelson Peters in the first campaign finance reporting period. The majority of his $171k raised comes from a "personal" $148k loan. When asked about this Kelty responds "How can I ask others to support me if I haven’t invested in myself?"

February 7 - Kelty runs a newspaper ad using the Indianapolis Colts trademark without permission

February 22 - Election board chastises Kelty campaign for sending out illegal absentee ballot forms

April 7 - Matt Kelty says 9000 residents were polled in Harrison Square poll - turns out it was only 401.

April 13 - Kelty says he doesn't know who all is involved in the commissioning of the Harrison Square poll but says they aren't directly involved in any campaigns. Of course we later learn that Fred Rost commissioned the poll and then we learn that he also loaned Kelty $148k for his campaign. Most would call that direct involvement.

April 16 - Kelty campaign places illegal sign on downtown building with some in the campaign claiming it was a "banner" and not a sign

April 17 - Kelty unleashes his grand vision for Fort Wayne - the Kelty Dome. He wants to put a glass enclosure over downtown and claims he's producing renderings. No word of who in the private sector will fund such a venture

April 20 - Fred Rost admits he commissioned the Harrison Square poll but doesn't mention Don Willis' role

May 8 - Kelty wins Republican primary

May 14 - Kelty is asked by party members how he could afford to loan his campaign $148k. He attempts to bamboozle them saying "my wife and I live a very frugal lifestyle"

May 24 - Kelty files addendum to campaign finance report to show Rost as the source for the $148k loan

May 31 - Kelty hires Jim Bopp to save the day after receiving heavy scrutiny for his campaign finance report

June 19 - Election board holds a hearing to rule on Kelty's campaign finance reports where they rule in Kelty's favor on a 2-1 party line vote. The hearing is a complete whitewash as the Republicans on the board only ask a single softball question between the two of them.

July 3 - Allen County prosecutor Karen Richards appoints special prosecutor Dan Sigler to take over the Kelty campaign finance investigation. Sigler appoints a grand jury

July 9 - In a Fort Wayne Left exclusive, councilman Sam Talarico becomes the first elected official to bash Kelty

July 13 - Kelty reneges on his plan to cut property taxes by 10%

July 21 - Congressman Mark Souder becomes the only elected official to public endorse Kelty

August 14 - Kelty Indicted on 9 counts including 7 felonies. Two of the seven felony indictments are for perjury related to his grand jury testimony

August 21 - GOP executive committee holds an informal vote and the majority are against Kelty's candidacy

August 23 - Ken Neumeister, president of the executive committee,resigns because he can't support Kelty

August 23 - Shine disbands executive committee

August 23 - Kelty lies to Mark Mellinger when asked whether or not anyone in the GOP asked him to step down. This is such a blatant lie that Mellinger repeats the question 4 times but Kelty doesn't budge.

August 23 - Kelty claims he's just a poor kid from the old Catholic Ghetto. Of course he actually lived in Forest Park which is synonymous with money.

August 23 - Kelty lies about whether or not he knew who was involved in the HS poll in an interview with Mark Mellinger

August 24 - Former GOP Vice Chair Cathy Hawks publicly endorses Tom Henry

September 16 - Kelty bashes mayor Richard for not doing enough to support the FWCS facilities petition drive. Of course Kelty never signed either petition and stayed silent during the entire process; to this day it's unclear where he stands on the issue

September 19 - Kelty hires criminal attorneys to defend him against the 9 charges against him including 7 felonies.

September 27 - Tom Henry holds a Republicans for Henry rally. Kelty says he could've had one 4 times that size with Democrats despite no prominent Democrat voicing support for him.

October 7 - Matt Kelty's birthday cake attacks several local Republicans and shows the divisiveness of the campaign. The pictures only become public after the Kelty campaign posts them on their campaign website.

October 9 - Kelty tells Peters he doesn't know what he's talking about when asked about the cake

October 11 - Congressman Mark Souder bashes Kelty

October 15 - Congressman Souder says he hasn't made up his mind whether or not he'll vote for Kelty

October 16 - Congressman Souder publicly withdraws endorsement of Kelty citing his divisive campaign and points to Dan Turkette's blog,, as an example

October 17 - Tom Henry releases campaign finance report early showing he has raised $730k and has over $300k cash on hand. FWL alerts readers to watch for Kelty's inevitable turn to negative campaigning in light of Henry's strong fundraising

October 18 - AFA runs negative ad against Tom Henry.

October 19 - Kelty campaign reports woeful campaign finance numbers. Henry outraises Kelty 2-1

October 19 - Kelty says he hasn't heard the AFA ad and knows nothing about it

October 20 - GOP Chairman Steve Shine rejects AFA ad in a letter drafted to Kelty

October 21 - Kelty is in default on Rost loan as he has only paid back $30k and not the $100k required by the promissory note.

October 22 - Kelty violates campaign finance laws again by not reporting Turkette's $1000 contribution before the primary. Every single contribution was reported except Turkette's.

October 23 - Councilman John Crawford denounces negative AFA ad and asks Kelty to do the same

October 23 - Kelty says he is only vaguely familiar with the Metro ordinance targeted in the AFA ad despite the fact that a poll he commissioned specifically asked a question about the ordinance

October 24 - Kelty says he still hasn't heard the ad because he doesn't listen to that particular radio station and because nobody has e-mailed it to him. Of course that is a lie as I personally e-mailed him the ad and I know his campaign received it as they contacted me within a couple of hours of receiving my e-mail

October 27 - Senator Lugar endorses Liz Brown for city council but stays silent on Kelty despite their history. Kelty's website touts his political experience working with Lugar and even has a photo of him with Lugar.

November 1 - Kelty releases a poll with all the information execpt the head-to-head results with Tom Henry where he was likely getting creamed


Parson said...

Wow, I forgot a lot of those. How can that man (if you can call him that) expect to run on of the states largest cities.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I find it interesting that you are still posting things that you consider "negative" about Kelty and yet you post nothing good about Tom Henry...

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

The #1 issue for me is character. Kelty's lack of character trumps everything else in my opinion...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I respect your opinion and character is important to me as well; I just find it interesting that you cannot seem to find much about Tom Henry to like!

Mike Sylvester

Speakeasyhoosier said...

Parson - I guess Kelty could hire it done like Graham Richard did with Becker. In the last debate, Henry even offered his services and Kelty agreed, they even shook on it! There's a novel idea. Mayor kid Kelty taking the heat, Deputy Mayor Henry getting it done. ;)

David said...

People like Mike Sylvester who complain about negativity are really looking for democrats to dance for their own pleasure and agenda, IMO. It's not unlike those whose mantra is "all politicians are corrupt" when corruption/incompetence/naivete of Kelty's level are so stunning and exceptional they must be brought to light continuously.

Considering the libertarian position on issues like strip clubs, abortion rights, gay rights, and religion in government, not to mention *campaign financing*, it's exceptionally amusing that Mr. Sylvester can't figure out for himself and agree with many of Henry's positive attributes.

david said...

I would think that a question of ones character would
make you second guess the other things you like. That
is certainly how i feel.

Rachel said...


Thank you for posting this incredibly comprehensive list of Kelty events. It's truly stunning to look over the past year and see what has happened to the trainwreck known as the Kelty campaign.

We know that Tom Henry is an effective and experienced leader. What we had to decide was if Kelty would be better than Tom. Kelty's lack of judgment sealed the deal.

Speakeasyhoosier said...

On the other hand...

This timeline highlights the missteps a seasoned politician should avoid. The allure of Kelty is that he's not a seasoned politician.

He owes no political favors to anybody.

He entered the race with no party mainline backing.

He had no financial support outside of a few willing to invest in him and hundreds willing to hit the streets and blogs for him.

To his credit he entered the race over a year before the general election inviting business leaders and non-profit leaders to breakfast and lunch meetings touting the same issues he is still advocating to end.

He upset, both figuratively and literally, the elite ruling body of the Republican machine in Allen County.

In a race for a seat in the state legislature, he almost upset a former Fort Wayne mayor who actually did commit a felony but plead down to misdemeanors...Win Wins!

He learned firsthand that politicians and lawyers continue to adapt the system to make it more difficult for non-lawyers and non-politicians to participate.
--recent changes to election laws
--political piranhas frothing at the mouth to chomp on any perceived misstep by political opponents.
--sign ordinances which take one of the only advertising tools away from low or non budget candidates.
--election boards that are figure heads with authority limited to what is acceptable to the ruling class.
--a ruling class that will perpetuate itself despite party affiliation.

--He was called a liar when asked if the leadership of the party asked him to step down. Anybody with election law knowledge knows that they couldn't have him step down unless he died or was convicted of a felony. It is self-serving or self-deluding to accuse him of lying.

--The political elite made a media circus out of his arrest after the grand jury indictments, making sure the television stations filmed him being handcuffed and put in a squad car. His 10 year old son watched the whole thing in horror. A child should never have to experience the fear that their daddy was going to jail, never to come home again, unless is was for the good and the safety of the community. Kelty's charge, he filled out two lines on political paperwork incorrectly and wasn't forthright about it. A former mayor of Fort Wayne took public money from a public savings account, gave it to a business owner so he could "donate" it to the campaign of a man that the mayor wanted elected as sheriff. That mayor was allowed to turn himself in to be booked out of public view. That was the right thing to do.


Let's consider Kelty's opponent:

Tom Henry wasn't even considered a viable candidate even 4 months before the primary elections. As late as February this year, the Democratic part had yet to name a candidate, (although there was already someone registered to run as Democrat for mayor)

Tom Henry was politically "Fired" by his constituents in the 3rd district because after 20 years, he had lost touch with his community.

Tom Henry didn't put together a platform until after the indictments of Kelty and the Republican meltdown, he didn't have to.

Tom Henry has raised twice as much money from sources outside of Fort Wayne as Kelty has raised total.

Tom Henry's new "initiatives" sound suspiciously like reactions the issues Kelty has brought to the forefront as the TRUE concerns of the average citizen of Fort Wayne.

Tom Henry was on City Council for 20 years and, according to the statistics, the combined sewers poured raw Fort Wayne sewage from Fort Wayne toilets into the Fort Wayne rivers at least 2000 times. That's a lot of stuff happening on Henry's watch.

Tom Henry keeps saying "my wife" owns a bar. Yet he is proud to be the owner of a business. Why can't he just be honest and say "we own a bar."

Tom Henry's campaign was managed by an East Coast Democratic Party professional campaigner.

Tom Henry's commercials were produced by a company from outside of Indiana.

Tom Henry really seemed during the debates to be wondering what he's gotten himself into. Pale as a ghost, bumbling with answers. The most relaxed he seemed to be was when he was talking about his family and talking about if Matt Kelty would be a good mayor. He said Matt would and that he would like to be his deputy mayor. I don't think Henry really desires the responsibility.

Tom Henry's solutions to our financial woes always are "more taxes" or new "untapped tax revenue streams." Personally, I can't afford to have that type of mentality in city government.

The Answer: Evan Bayh's Public Endosement.
The Question: What does Hilliary Clinton and Tom Henry have in common. ...Bayh, I wish he could be president, he couldn't screw America up any worse than it is and Indiana would continue to see its tax dollars come home rather than squandered in Alaska and Massachusetts.
One could go on and on.

My beef with the Allen County Democratic Party is that, perhaps excluding Graham Richard (history will tell), they fail to present us with any exceptional candidates. In the off chance they win, we're stuck... we all lose. The cycle of presenting a lesser qualified candidate, or a candidate who has to be coaxed into running is not fair to the citizens of Fort Wayne in the off chance they win. (Wayne Township Trustee?!? Look into it!)

My tirade ends.

I have to vote for Kelty tomorrow because he's had the right vision for Fort Wayne for the longest time. He's a young father and businessman like me. He has more energy and excitement for Fort Wayne. We need more corporations to move to Fort Wayne, and his energy and enthusiasm will sell our city much better than Tom Henry will. (More people to pay more taxes...that's the "untapped tax revenue stream" I get excited about!)

I have to vote Chris Stewart for 4th district city council. I cannot vote for Mitch Harper.

I really want to be more loyal to the Democratic party but I can't with its current leadership. After listening to 5 months of "Kelty is so bad that..." I am sick of the negative politics. All this has communicated to me is that Henry is such a dud, we don't have a chance unless we can convince enough people that Kelty is the anti-Christ incarnate.

If Henry doesn't get to be our mayor, I propose we draft him to take over leadership of the Democratic party in Allen County. He has shown that he does have integrity and class.


C Ford said...

"I think I'm going to go to Ketly's architectural firm today and announce my intention to become an architect.

I believe my complete lack of experience in this area is a plus. No one has taught me what I can't do in architecture!

I may make some mistakes as I begin my architectural career, but I am a good Christian and feel as though God is pushing me in this direction so I believe everything will be ok."

Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?

Speakeasyhoosier said...

I guess I missed something, Henry has mayoral experience?

And just why is he in the race? My guess is that he and his brother met with the Democrat party chair, they flipped a coin and Tom lost.

With your type of reasoning, our choice is between a Saint Francis College graduate who's wife owns a bar, and a University of Notre Dame graduate who owns his own business. Maybe Henry will have his wife walk him through the really tough decisions if he wins.

The choice is clear.

Truthfully, Fort Wayne cannot be helped or hurt very much if either man is elected mayor. It all boils down to us working together as a community despite politics, religion and personal preferences.

This election has been a great thing for Fort Wayne. I've talked with a couple people at different polls and they've said this has been one of the busiest municipal elections they can remember.

We all win when we all care enough to get involved. In the end, we all want a great Fort Wayne.


C Ford said...

My point is that a lack of experience is sometimes a good thing, but I do not believe it is when you're talking about something as serious as managing the second largest city in Indiana.

Obviously Henry does not have mayoral experience, but I believe his experience on the City Council has better prepared him to lead Fort Wayne into the future.

From my point of view, Kelty has not shown us that he is capable of getting all of us to work together "despite politics, religion and personal preferences" during the campaign.

He has ostracized himself politically from those in his own party, promoted his religious beliefs in a way that could intimidate those who do not share them, and, between refusing to speak out against the AFA ad and based on Rost's post the other day, he has pretty much expressed personal disdain for those who have other 'personal preferences'.

Still, whether we agree or disagree, I am glad people are voting.

Speakeasyhoosier said...

Well said.

This blog has made me reconsider some of my personal views and has reinforced some of my views, but all in all it has been very good.