By Abdul Hakim-Shabazz
If you haven’t paying much attention to the Republican race for State Treasurer, don’t feel bad. I have and one of the candidates has some major issues.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org.
I am talking about Don Bates, Jr. He has some serious issues and for some reason thinks blaming the media will make them go away.
Bates, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and Congress in the 6th District in 2012, is challenging Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold and Kelly Mitchell, who works for the current treasurer, in the GOP primary. Delegates to the state convention in June will pick their candidate to face a Democrat to be named later.
What are his issues? Well, Bates was sued by his former church alleging fraud in a land transaction involving the state of Indiana. The case is set to go to trial in August, a month before the campaign season begins in earnest. The suit was filed back in 2010. I took a trip over to Randolph County and spent two hours reviewing the file. Bates says the lawsuit was frivolous, but it has never been dismissed in the four years it has been pending.
In addition, Bates has been the subject of foreclosure proceedings which he says were the result of a bank error involving his home loan modification. Bates produced a letter from the bank saying there was an issue with the modification, but has never produced an order from the court dismissing the foreclosure.
And if those two weren’t enough, another shoe is dropping: Delinquent property taxes. According to the DLGF website, since 2003, Bates has been delinquent six times in paying his property taxes on his home on Gray Lane in Winchester and each time was hit with a penalty for late payments. Bates was late in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. The late payments totaled more than $7,500, not including the 10 percent penalties.
There is also an issue of whether he has been representing himself as financial planner on the campaign circuit even though his license expired in January.
The Bates team has tried to portray this as an attack on his faith and some of his supporters accused me of doing the “bidding” of his opponents and being a Muslim who hates Christians. They obviously aren’t aware that I love bacon, scotch and cigars and married a Baptist. So, for starters, I’m not a very good Muslim.
As far as the “bidding” of his opponents goes that’s another allegation that’s way off base. Now I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I have friends who work for Seybold and Mitchell and I have some who are strong supporters of Bates. I have no dog in this fight. What I do have is a job to write about interesting political stories – and a candidate for state treasurer who has been the subject of foreclosure, a lawsuit by his former church alleging fraud and delinquent property taxes is interesting, to say the least.
None of this is fabricated; this is all in public records. And as I have stated before, if the Bates folks are smart, instead of going after people like me, they will have him go public and address ALL these issues once and for all and get them out the way once and for all. I am happy to provide them with a forum.
Because guess what I’m hearing from delegates? They don’t want another Charlie White situation on their hands. So instead of blaming the cigar-smoking, whiskey drinking Muslim for his problem, I suggest Bates behave like the conservative he claims to be and start taking some personal responsibility.
Abdul is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org. He is also a frequent contributor to numerous Indiana media outlets. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.