The fallout from the Pacers shooting up a strip club continue to reverberate. For those who don’t know, four members of the Indiana Pacers were involved in an altercation with other patrons at a Westside Indianapolis strip club … Stephen Jackson told police that he was punched in the face and then hit by a car when the fight moved outside Club Rio.

Carl Brizzi, in a bit of a tussle in this year’s re-election campaign, has already been taking some heat over the recent homicide high. Now comes a politician’s dream come true: high profile (read: distracting) case with bigger headlines and … (watch out now) tons of free publicity.

Some are suggesting he will use this opportunity for political gain by bringing the hammer down on an unpopular, unwanted Pacer player. The Pacers have had a preseason publicity campaign, knowing that they are facing a disenfranchised fan base (and worse, possible empty seats), with television ads and billboards featuring players and the “It’s up to us” slogan. Actually, some say this Pacer is a black cloud and should have long had a hammer dropped on him by someone long before now.

Enter Carl Brizzi.

Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says that Jackson, with 35 people in the club’s parking lot, fired several shots from his handgun in the air. Those bullets had to land somewhere. Brizzi says there also are inconsistencies in Jackson’s story about being punched in the mouth, at first cited as one of the factors that led to the shooting.

I heard Carl Brizzi say on the Bob and Tom show that he took the celebrity part out of the equation and made his decisions from there. He wouldn’t come down harder because Steve Jackson because he was a celebrity, but he wouldn’t do anything less because he was one also. Let me tell you, he’s a sincere sounding politician, but he’s still a politician doing what politicians do best. Getting upset with him for politicizing current events for his own gain is like being mad at a thundercloud for raining – it is simply doing what it does.

Is he thinking about the politics as he moves forward? Of course he is. At the very least he has stuck his moistened finger in the air and is aware of the direction the wind is blowing. You know what that makes him? An aware politician. However, do you know who I’m not worried about being treated unfairly in a legal bind? A rich, celebrity athlete.

Honestly, be purchasing tickets for a sports franchise that has lost its sense of integrity and character, things held dear by Hoosiers and a big part of what makes us “us”; or voting for politicians we’re either tired of seeing and/or wanting to give someone new a shot at things, it really is “up to us.”

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