WRITTEN BY: FRIEDA M. RINGS
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana is breaking down just a few of the candidates on the ballot tomorrow. See the Democrat Candidate briefs below for Mayor James Mueller, City Clerk Candidate Bianca Tirado, Common Council District 5 Candidate Sherry Bolden-Simpson and Common Council District 5 Member Canneth Lee.
MUELLER: South Bend Democrat Mayor James Mueller noted in his 411 League of Women Voters responses that: “We’ve made record investments into social infrastructure…” Part of that record investment includes $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds to the controversial Motels4Now project, a no-sobriety-required hotel for the homeless on South Bend’s west side. Area businesses and neighbors say Motels4Now has brought crime and disorder to the neighborhood, as well as a dramatic number of police calls to the homeless residence. Rather than invest in a homeless program with metrics and accountability, South Bend pursued a losing low-barrier homeless strategy that has failed in other parts of the nation — as well as shifted the homeless population to the west side in order to move the problem from the business district downtown. Most recently, Motels4Now has been blamed for the closure of the McDonald’s on Lincoln Way, immediately adjacent to homeless hotel.
TIRADO: South Bend Clerk candidate Bianca Tirado is running on experience, the same failed platform the now ousted county Democratic clerk Rita Glenn used in her campaign. The Democratic experience in local clerks’ offices is notoriously bad — so bad that Tirado was paid $80,000 to re-do work that the incumbent Democrat clerk Dawn Jones could not do — which essentially doubled the taxpayer cost of the clerk’s salary. Former county clerk Rita Glenn, meanwhile, was found prior to last year’s elections to be in possession of both the Republican and Democratic keys to the ballot room and was identified on camera as being alone in the ballot room without her GOP counterpart. Glenn’s supposed anointed successor Lana Cleary lost her fall 2022 race. She was beat by now Republican county clerk Amy Rolfes, whose ads successfully conveyed the message that she didn’t have previous experience in the county clerk’s office — and that was a good thing! Rolfes’ win marked the first time Republicans took over the county clerk’s office since the 1800s.
LEE: Democrat Canneth Lee, running for another term on South Bend’s Common Council, appeared to use a trademarked logo for Lee jeans to promote his campaign for councilman for South Bend’s 1st District. His ad, running on Facebook and featuring other area Democrats, encourages South Bend residents to vote for his party with his slogan, “Together We Can.” Those found in violation of misusing registered trademarks without permission can face legal consequences.
SIMPSON: Democrat Sherry Bolden-Simpson’s front page of her campaign contribution and expenditures report makes it appear that Bolden-Simpson raised much more money than she actually did. Bolden-Simpson is running for a district seat on South Bend’s Common Council 5th District. The former school administrator and counselor, who sells herself as someone with “problem-solving skills,” failed to perform simple math skills on her state-required forms, leading to an overstated amount of money that she still has on hand for her campaign. Whereas she should have reflected $12,354.31 in her remaining campaign funds, she showed a balance of $22,830.95 — a more than $10k difference. Bolden-Simpson failed to subtract her expenditures from her report and instead added them to the money she had available to spend this reporting period. One of the South Bend Common Council’s responsibilities is to make spending and budget decisions.
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