Statement of Ed Coleman, Libertarian Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Councilmember

For Immediate Release Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At-Large Republican drops GOP label, joins the Libertarian Party

INDIANAPOLIS — Ed Coleman, Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Councilmember, released the following statement this morning on his party affiliation switch from Republican to Libertarian:

“Good morning. As an At-Large member of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council , I am announcing today that I have joined the Libertarian Party.

This is not a decision I take lightly, nor did I come to it without deep reflection. I have found that the direction of the Republican Party has changed, and it is not the same party I joined many years ago. Nor do I believe its current leaders truly represent the ideals that the party markets and advertises to voters.

Both of the old parties have forgotten their ties to the common man, and instead focus on power and control as elitists. I am a common man, I campaigned for the common people , and I still represent the common people; the voters and taxpayers.

I have come to find that my politics are actually more aligned with the Libertarian Party than any other; a party that still allows free thought, a party where dissent is not necessarily a dirty word.

Both of the old parties endeavor to silence dissent. During the Council’s previous period of Democrat control , the majority’s powers were used to silence Republicans. Now, under Republican control, the Council majority abuses their power to weaken Democrat influence. Over the past year I have been criticized for votes I made in response to the concerns I heard from my constituents. As a leader I have spoken out against the secretive and expensive affairs of the Capital Improvement Board; but the old two parties want obedient followers, not leaders.

As I stated during my campaign, I support good, transparent, fiscally responsible proposals whether they originate from Republicans, Democrats or Libertarians. I will continue to work with representatives from the other two parties and hope they will feel free to approach me for support of anything that makes our city safer, more livable and prosperous. I am not beholden to any special interest . I am beholden only to the wonderful citizens of Marion County.

Like a surprising number of other Libertarians, I am personally still a social conservative. I am proud of the Christian values that I hold but oppose using government to force my religious values on others or assume authority over things that should be the domain of the church. I am still the same person today as I was when I campaigned for office. The letter after my name may be changing, but if you wanted an advocate for the common person, an independent voice to challenge the status quo , then I am still your man.

I would also ask my fellow elected officials and anyone else that feels as I do, that the two-party system is broken, that maybe your party has left you or government’s focus is on the wrong things, to consider taking a stand and joining me.”