A divide in Tri-State politics splits a figurehead on Evansville City Council from the Republican Party.
Eyewitness News reported about local pushback on taxes and voting districts over the weekend. It was enough for Dan McGinn to cut ties with the GOP.
Chairman, Wayne Parke offered sharp criticism to some of his recent votes, and McGinn wasn’t shy to fire back; switching from an “R” to an “I.”
“He certainly didn’t like to be criticized publicly,” Parke says, “but I thought he was not acting in the best interest of the citizens.”
It took five paragraphs for McGinn to put Republicans in the past, saying he doesn’t “wish to be affiliated with any person or organization that punishes independent thinking.”
He has recently shown support for an income tax increase, passed by City Council earlier this month. McGinn has said for years the city needs to raise prices to stay competitive.
Parke says that goes against Republican ideals. “The Mayor didn’t ask for the increase, and he’s the executive of the city,” he says, “the message all the way from Trump to the Governor is to cut taxes.”
Gregory Ellis says he understands the party’s decision to fire back at McGinn. “I wouldn’t have been for the raising the taxes, people are tired of that.”
McGinn has also shown support for more restrictions on gerrymandering. He says the practice of redistricting for a political advantage is “dishonest, unconstitutional,” and “cheating.”
Erin Lewis sides with the councilman. “I only wish others would speak up more loudly about the same problem,” she says.
Gerrymandering is legal, but critics say it gives an unfair advantage in elections. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case against it.
McGinn is still on City Council, but Parke has called for him to quit. McGinn didn’t have any additional comments Wednesday.
(This story was originally published on October 18, 2017)