4 fellow GOP candidates cry foul against Dermody on election eve

Press release submitted May 5, 2019
With less than two days before the May 7 City of LaPorte primary election, four fellow Republican candidates have joined to denounce behavior by LaPorte mayoral candidate Tom Dermody. The four allege that fellow Republican Dermody’s actions are unethical and that he is unduly meddling in the campaigns of other city candidates. City Clerk-Treasurer candidate Geoff Sellers and City Council candidates Suzanne Miller, Mike Conner and Larry Pinkerton released a joint statement on May 5 attacking Dermody for the way in which he was supporting their opponents.
“There will always be people supporting candidates, and maybe even some doing it to get favors later on, but this is a step further,” said Suzanne Miller. “Dermody is trying to create a City Council that he owns—by buying them—should he win the election.”
Miller and the others said the City Council and the Clerk-Treasurer’s office should act as independent checks to the Mayor’s power, and by heavily supporting select candidates in many of the races, Dermody is undermining the independence of those branches of city government. They allege that Dermody’s heavy-handed financial and public support of their opponents will prevent them from acting independently.
“It seems like he wants to control every level of city government. And for what purpose?” said Geoff Sellers.
Sellers said he learned earlier this week that Dermody had paid to send out postcards on behalf of his opponent, Courtney Parthun. Mike Conner, Suzanne Miller and Larry Pinkerton all said they discovered Dermody had paid for postcards to be sent out for their opponents as well. This is in addition to the door-knocking and radio broadcasts Dermody had been doing to support their opponents.
Conner added, “I think it’s unethical for him to play favorites, in seeking to choose the people he wants to work with and pay for their advertising.”
Dermody began campaigning for mayor in early 2018, almost two years before the new mayor would take office. Since that time, the four allege, he has curried favor with numerous donors outside the city to raise tens of thousands of dollars. In just four months, he has reportedly brought in over $52,000, much of it from large engineering firms, law offices, consultants, and contractors who are in some cases likely to be involved in projects with the city to their financial benefit.
These potential future conflicts, coupled with hand-picked candidates loyal to Dermody, left Sellers, Miller, Connor and Pinkerton uneasy about the situation and prompted them to speak out, they said.
“An independent City Council and Clerk-Treasurer’s office is critical if we are going to have a city government that is ethical and fair,” said Larry Pinkerton. “Dermody’s picks for those offices need to be able to prove they will stand up to him, not just nod along.”
The primary election is Tuesday, May 7, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

45 Responses to “4 fellow GOP candidates cry foul against Dermody on election eve”

  1. Not Buying Into This

    May 05. 2019

    I hope everyone sees this is a last ditch effort to try to to win over votes. This was a grimey move. The people of La Porte are smarter than these candidates think they are. We also have access to public records of the many years of failures some of these mud sliingers have lived thru. May the best men and women win. This article does not change my vote.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Reality hits home

    May 05. 2019

    I think the true colors of Mr Dermody came out. He is trying to brain wash people on who they should vote for…vote for the person who has the most experience…all I have to say is shame on you. My vote goes to Tim…at least hes real…and not afraid to step up….

    Reply to this comment
    • Mark

      May 06. 2019

      Tom Dermondy is ethical & experienced. He also wants those who are to also lead this city. Tim is a fraud! He will lie to your face & not think twice plus he has an anger management problem. Our vote goes to Tom, the person with a plan…

      Reply to this comment
      • Sienna

        May 06. 2019

        Really? He’s been campaigning for like 2 years and he just now came up with a plan after Stabosz started branding himself as the “candidate with a plan.” Tom doesn’t have substance, he just wants to win really bad. That’s why he moved into the city! And “solving” bad roads and drugs isn’t a plan, it’s just the same two things every poitician promises and never delivers. You wait and see, if people elect this guy he’ll just start pretending the money spent on roads was his plan all along when the city had been working on it for years. He’s not the messiah people. Wake up!

        Reply to this comment
      • AUH2O

        May 06. 2019

        Oh my!!! So many accusations and so little evidence. Just because you SAY things…does not make it so, Mark! I KNOW Tim as the most transparent, honest, and hard working (for the people of LaPorte) person that I know. Honestly. By the way: I don’t associate with people with “anger management issues”. Tim is dedicated and passionate – yes (and bless him for that). Anger management issues: I’ve never seen it in well knowing Tim now for almost 19 years!!!

        Reply to this comment
    • Not Buying Into This

      May 06. 2019

      He also isn’t afraid of running from the cops. He has that going for him.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Julie

    May 05. 2019

    I totally agree with “Not Buying Into This”….this is a desperation call. Tom Dermody is as honest and forthright as they come. To do anything unethical or dishonest is not even in his DNA as he wasn’t raised like that. This town finally has a chance now to become all that it can be with Tom Dermody’s leadership.

    Reply to this comment
    • Brad

      May 06. 2019

      Are you kidding? Dermody is a full on politician sleezebag. He’s receiving donations from special interests left and right. What do you want to bet these engineering firms and PACs dumping $5000 at a time at him won’t want a piece of the pie later on. Dermody is owned by big money and so are his puppet candidates.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Those who live in glass houses..

    May 05. 2019

    I completely agree with “not buying into this”. Can you blame Dermody for wanting fresh faces? I too would want better people than these 4? How can these people say they are equipped for office when they can’t even demonstrate? Laporte deserves better.

    Reply to this comment
    • Geoff Sellers

      May 06. 2019

      Ill gladly meet with you and show you why i’m the most qualified candidate for Clerk – Treasurer. Just tell me when and where.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Citizen

    May 05. 2019

    I don’t have a problem with a Mayor wanting to surround himself/herself with competent people who want to move the city forward. Sellers can’t handle his own money but let’s put him in charge of all of ours?

    Reply to this comment
  6. John

    May 06. 2019

    It’s interesting that Pinkerton asked if he could put a Tim Stabosz sign in my yard. Him and his wife stated that they were supporting him. So Dermody can’t support certain candidates, but Pinkerton can???!!!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Rob

    May 06. 2019

    Mayor of Laporte…who cares.

    This is po- dunk town

    Reply to this comment
  8. Citizen Detective

    May 06. 2019

    Mike Conner may have been 1 of 5 candidates to cry foul on Dermody campaign, but I’m going to Cry Foul on his 3 page rap sheet.Voters should be aware. City council material? Negative.
    If I were Mr. Dermody, I would pick the people without a criminal history as well. I would put plenty of space between the good and the ugly.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Peggy

    May 06. 2019

    Sounds like a bunch of cry babies. I’ve know Tom for many years, he honest and he cares about La Porte. My vote is for Tom and all of his candidates that he promotes!!

    Reply to this comment
    • AUH2O

      May 06. 2019

      Peggy: So I guess you think it’s OK to BUY people…

      Very obviously, now: If Mr. Dermody WERE to win this election, LaPorte Citizens would have to incur an additional expense…

      Over City Hall, they would have to erect a sign reading: “CITY HALL: PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT TOM DERMODY MAYOR” 🙂

      Reply to this comment
  10. Deb

    May 06. 2019

    Seriously? To begin, any individual running for office such as Mayor
    (Governor or President) would choose to support and “run with” candidates that share a similar vision and values. After reading, listening to and researching these candidates for the past two months, it appears that Parthun, Brown, West-Schroeder and Franke are exactly what La Porte needs….educated, professional, community oriented and most important, candidates that aren’t recycled and throwing their name into the hat every time there is an election. New Candidates translates into FRESH IDEAS!!!! As for Dermody supporting them, good for him. Maybe working as a team, with common goals will actually accomplish something in La Porte. The other Mayoral candidate struggles to build consensus on every issue he raises, not to mention he struggles supporting ideas that aren’t his own. ONE observation, is that It’s interesting that the four crying “Foul” weren’t crying foul when Dermody invited them to his radio shows, which they happily obliged, introduced them along with everyone else, as well invited them to the Get Out the Vote Rally held last week and I I think I was told Miller was in attendance. At the end of the day, Dermody was a solid public servant on the School Board and as a State Rep. for 10 years. He was born and raised in La Porte and has always put community first. He committed two years ago to running for Mayor. He is a solid individual that cares about his community, he doesn’t own multiple questionable properties, he hasn’t run from the police, he cares about La Porte and feel he can make a difference. At the end of the day when you are loosing you go negative, that’s all you have left and hope for the best. Politics 101. I believe 100% that the other Mayoral candidate participated in this last minute attempt to gain support. LISTEN to his ads….in the last two weeks he has taken every point Dermody has used for the last year and attempted to make it his own. Again, he is hoping for the best. Lastly, it is disappointing that three women and one man, new to running for political office as well as Dermody, with a credible solid history of putting community first are subjected to this type of behavior by their own PARTY and yet we ask ourselves why no body gets involved politically? This is why you never see new faces running for office, the old political guards never welcome you in either party and they treat you as an outsider. Both parties prefer to keep recycling the individuals that loose time and again, because they are the safe choice. It’s really too bad that there’s not an “Independent” Party, I feel like that would be a better fit for Dermody, Parthun, Brown, West-Schroeder and Franke given the way their so called fellow party members have chosen to treat them. ENOUGH OF THE SAME OLD SAME OLD!!!! These five deserve the opportunity to show us what they can do! Vote Tuesday May 7, for the CHANGE LA PORTE DESERVES!!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • AUH20

      May 06. 2019

      Deb: I’ll be short on your lengthy commentary I could spend all day on:

      1) Support? Fine Financially buying out another candidate? HELL NO!

      2) The candidates coming onto Tom’s show? That was long BEFORE this deliberate, last minute move “into the mud” of machine politics that TOM DERMODY has deliberatly just now engaged in by buying out these select candidates. [If there WAS an inddependent party…NONE of them could be members since, very obviously, they are not independent but bought and paid for my Tom Dermody.

      3) Why do you think that Tom Dermody waited at the last minute of the Election to pull these “Chicago Machine” type shenanigans? Did he do it so that LaPorte citizens would see it in the light of day, Deb? NO! He hoped nobody would notice…and if they did it would be too late to “sound the alarm” to voters as to WHAT they are truly voting for.

      4) These candidates are NOT desperate…they are caring and fair minded citizens that know this is very important VOTER INFORMATION citizens need to know before pulling the lever. If you want a “King” who has bought and paid for all of this cronies beholden to him (and not the people of LaPorte) – Vote for Dermody. If you want a fellow, caring citizen who treats you as a neighbor and equal — and wishes to selflessly give of his time and well demonstrated creative energy to the benefit his City – then VOTE FOR TIM STABOSZ FOR MAYOR! With these revelations I have just learned, it really now comes down to that, Deb…

      Reply to this comment
    • Well said

      May 07. 2019

      Very well said

      Reply to this comment
  11. Someone sounds nervous

    May 06. 2019

    It seems some of my earlier comment did not go thru correctly. What this should say……shouldn’t a Clerk-treasurer know how to spell the word treasurer and NOT have mortgage foreclosures and several small claims judgments? How can someone manage city finances when they cannot manage their own.

    Reply to this comment
  12. LP Proud

    May 06. 2019

    To reiterate a well-stated comment on this issue, we do not need a mayor and/or clerk-treasurer who follow the rules/laws only when it suits them, who create conflict instead of resolving it, and who have never shown that they know how to be a part of a team. For instance, a clerk-treasurer should know how to properly manage their own personal finances instead of multiple foreclosures and judgments against them due to financial mismanagement. A potential mayor shouldn’t have a record of running from police.

    Reply to this comment
    • Geoff Sellers

      May 07. 2019

      I wish people would put there actual names so we could respond to false information. Just so you know the letter was in response to mailers bought by candidate

      Reply to this comment
  13. Desperate much?

    May 06. 2019

    Wow! This is so sad. It’s refreshing to see different names on these signs around town. It’s hilarious that this is an issue. It’s LaPorte. Pretty inevitable that at least one candidate will have a relationship with someone else running. Everyone knows everyone in this town. Ever since I was little, I’ve seen Tom Dermody around town because it’s clear that he cares what’s happening for everyone, not just a few people. These other candidates are just jealous because of the success Dermody has had over the years. Id much rather prefer someone who has experience outside of this town, like Dermody—someone who knows what moves to make to keep LaPorte moving forward. Look around, Michigan City is booming, New Buffalo, Valparaiso, Chesterton..all are doing really well and this area is only continuing to grow. It would be foolish to put a bunch of backward, old-school people in office this election when we need to keep up and continue improving LaPorte. From what I know, Tim Stabosz has a record that proves his tendency to flip flop on not only issues, but also people. Not because he doesn’t agree, but because he’s got other motives. Either way, if you want to keep LaPorte growing and attracting more businesses and educated people who contribute to our local economy, vote for Dermody. Don’t go backwards.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Geoff sellers

    May 06. 2019

    First off the reason for the letter was written was because of a mailer getting to mailboxes 4 days before the vote date. If you don’t see an issue with one candidate buying another candidates advertising then i’m guessing you have no problem with anything. The comments were made not by Tim but us so, to be saying things about Tim are wrong. To say we are old guard is hilarious. If you did your reasearch and watched the candidates night video you must not have seen the video I was at. Also, i stand up and put my real name out instead of hiding.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Geoff Sellers

    May 06. 2019

    Why not put the mailer out earlier rather than wait till 4 days before a vote?

    Reply to this comment
    • Good Voter

      May 06. 2019

      Geoff,

      Why haven’t you walked the neighborhoods and knocked on doors like Dermody? You can’t win off of Facebook alone!

      Reply to this comment
      • Jodi Dials

        May 07. 2019

        Whoever your getting your facts from you need to get a new source. I know for a FACT that Mr. Sellers has walked several neighborhoods and knocked on several doors because he has had our son with him. His name is Colton. So again before running your mouth get your story straight..

        Reply to this comment
  16. Jill

    May 06. 2019

    Tom Dermody is amazing and I think he will make some long needed changes to Laporte!!

    Reply to this comment
  17. just nobody

    May 06. 2019

    ok I can’t really comment here as I work for the City. But I do know the Mayor well be my new boss. Tim needs to go back to Chicago.. The other cronies already ruined the payroll since being PUT in….this petty childish back stabbing in politics NEEDS to stop!!!! State your ideas and let voters choose…..anyone who does such as this article is NOT for the job!!!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Lynn Lisarelli

    May 06. 2019

    Wow, such vehemence both ways! You certainly can’t say this Mayoral pairing hasn’t brought out the comments. Still voting for Dermody.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Love LaPorte

    May 06. 2019

    Geoff and the no postcard crew,
    Why didn’t you ask Tom to buy your postcards? Most likely he would have bought yours too! He’d even give you the shirt off his own back if you needed it.

    Reply to this comment
    • No postcard for you

      May 06. 2019

      Or at the very least Tom would give you a Dermody for Mayor T-shirt! Does your team of sore losers look good in orange & black?

      Reply to this comment
  20. Good Voter

    May 06. 2019

    Are the other candidates just too lazy to go out and campaign? LaPorte is still in America. The others candidates need to get away from their computers and canvass the neighborhoods like Dermody has. No foul for wanting to meet your constituents. The others smell LOSS by LAZINESS. My vote is for Dermody, just for the effort!

    Reply to this comment
  21. You Nasty

    May 06. 2019

    I thought it was pretty noble of candidate Sellers to say “I’ll gladly meet with you and show you why I’m the most qualified candidate for clerk-treasurer. Just tell me where and when.” Like most job applicants I turn to the most telling source of information I can get my hands on, to see what they are really like around their friends. He has postings that are offensive to women on his public profile. Sickening, really. People find it strange that Dermody doesn’t want to attach his name to that guy? Mr. Sellers. You are not my LaPorte either. Now to research the others.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Marvin Jurjevic

    May 06. 2019

    I am sorry I can’t vote for Tom because I don’t live in in Laporte. I don’t know enough about the other candidates to comment on there abilities or experience. But when people comment about Tom giving you the shirt off his back, or being a hard worker,committed, dedicated and experienced, that is incredibly accurate. I seen it and experienced it on numerous occasions. I moved to the area 30 years ago. I have never met a person that loves his community more than Tom Dermody. I wish him and the City of LaPorte the best. It is a beautiful community and I truly believe Tom will do everything he can to help take it to another level. In today’s world nobody is ever happy and love to blame everyone or someone else. Tom is a guy that will work to do what’s in the best interest of the community. You should be proud to have someone wanting to dig in like him. Best of luck to all candidates. But Tom Dermody is a born leader.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Two Sides to Every Story

    May 06. 2019

    Stabosz Manifesto:
    Tim Stabosz mailed a letter a week ago and he proudly admits that he recruited candidates to run in this election cycle. And these opponents are accusing Dermody of doing this????
    Stabosz states, “I also serve as a Precinct Committeeman for our party and was a delegate to the 2018 Republican State Convention. One of the things I have been most proud of is my working, this past election cycle, to recruit and support quality candidates to run under our party banner.”

    Tell me opponents why you are complaining that you have been treated unfairly and that Dermody is the one playing favorites when Stabosz admits that he is recruiting. AND support candidates???!!!

    Reply to this comment
  24. Tim Stabosz

    May 07. 2019

    I did NOT “admit that I recruited candidates to run in this election cycle.” Re-read the letter. I said that I recruited candidates for COUNTY elections, to improve our county. I did NOT recruit candidates so that I could then be their major financier, and create an inappropriate impression of their being beholden to me as mayor. That would damage my credibility as mayor of La Porte, and make it seem like I was trying to control city government. I did not recruit any of the candidates in the current city elections (I actually actively discouraged one of them that I am personally associated with from running), and have given NOT ONE DIME to any city candidate (although I reserve the right to make a donation of up to $100 to any individual candidate).

    Reply to this comment
  25. Glad I don't live in the city

    May 07. 2019

    I’m so glad I don’t have to vote for mayor……………Dermody is not a good choice for LP. But you guys will have to find that out the hard way.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Jodi Dials

    May 07. 2019

    Why do politics have to be so ugly? Why does it matter who paid for what?Its not about money or at least it shouldnt be…it should be about working as a team to make LaPorte a better place to live and to focus on the issues at hand…I lived in LaPorte all of my life…Laporte isnt what it used to be…Get out today and vote for the personwho you think is qualified for the position ..its not about who paidfor what. ..we have other issues that need to be addressed tomake LaPorte a place where people are proud of call home. Good luck to all …

    Reply to this comment
  27. Trash Talkin'

    May 07. 2019

    This election reminds me of having to choose between Trump and Hillary again. No good choices.
    Good luck LP.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Dan In LP

    May 07. 2019

    When in doubt, follow the history. Tom Dermody, while he has been a lifelong resident of the LP community, has done very little in way of job creation, business development and education. Why would anyone vote for him?

    Look at the record:
    Once elected a school board member (to a corporation his own children did not attend prior to his election), he sat by and said nothing while the state passed laws allowing local funding (PROPERTY TAXES) for public education to be fleeced out of the local economy and sent to outside charters/other school districts. Never once did he speak out in opposition when hundreds of thousands of dollars were cut from the LP school budgets; forcing the elimination of extracurricular programs, teacher and student access to resources, among other things.

    Once a member of the General Assembly, ALL BUT TWO of his sponsored or co-sponsored bills was in regards to increasing access to GAMBLING, LIQUOR or E-CIGARETTE SALES. And one co-sponsored bill required drug testing for parents receiving TANF. I guess if your idea of job creation involves nearly every vice known to man, HE IS YOUR GUY! However, where is the record of job creation or infrastructure redevelopment he speaks of and has been promoted on this forum? In regards to education, his only claim to fame is that he voted against many bills increasing charters, vouchers, and reducing funding for education; however, NEVER SPOKE openly against it while his colleagues continued their assault.

    Now we have him running for mayor of a city he calls home, but has never stood up for in Indianapolis. While local toll road revenue continued to be diverted from the Region to the likes of Carmel, Hamilton, Fishers, etc., as a part of the “Major Moves” and the “State that Works” campaigns, he enjoyed his cozy office claiming to be “Slicer”. We have given him multiple opportunities to do right by us with positions in multiple facets of government, and by my calculations, he leaves a lot to be desired. I expect more from someone who wants to take charge of a city I have lived in and raised a family in my entire life.

    Being a former Slicer athlete is great, but come on people.

    Oh, and since I am someone who likes to back my accusations up with facts: here is the full voting record of, unfortunately, our Next Mayor. Don’t say you weren’t warned….
    https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/58328/tom-dermody/?p=1#.XNHBhTBKjct

    Reply to this comment
    • sharon dettmer

      May 07. 2019

      Thanks for doing your research and for your insightful comments.

      Reply to this comment
  29. Dan in LP

    May 07. 2019

    And I would be remiss if I didn’t express my outrage that local UNIONS have voted to support a candidate that was right there when one Right to Work bill after another was passed into law throughout his tenure. Only in LaPorte! Sometimes we really do get what we deserve…

    Reply to this comment
    • Kasey

      May 07. 2019

      Dan very true. Union workers have to remember where their bread is buttered. Right to work is a TOTAL blow to workers rights. Well said. REPEAL RTW!

      Reply to this comment

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