Can Terre Haute Change? (Part 2)

Part one of this story focused on whether or not Terre Haute can change, and one way of making a change through the local precinct position. One major obstacle to that possibility has been a series of attacks against relatively new precinct representatives. In a recently discovered video local attorney Kal Ellis appears to be handing a flier containing dishonest and defaming content to the current Democratic candidate for Vigo County prosecutor, Johnny Vaughn. Later in the video, at approximately the six minute and thirty second mark, a woman believed to be Maria David can be seen passing out the fliers at the entrance to the building where the Vigo County Democratic Party meeting was being held on the evening of February 25th, 2022. According to Maria’s Linked In account, she works as a paralegal at Ellis Law Offices.

These fliers included false claims about a man named Todd Boland, who is running for re-election as the committeeperson for the Eighth Ward-E precinct. Those claims included an allegation that he had harassed and intimidated his opponent in the race, a woman by the name of Jana Mischler, and that Jana had “feared for her life.” The flier also claimed that Jana had filed a police report, and that the Vigo County prosecutor’s office was reviewing the report. It has been confirmed that no police report of the kind exists, and in an interview with the Tribune Star, Jana Mischler stated that she had not filed a police report but that someone else had filed a report of intimidation. Almost the exact same accusation, word for word, was also made in the flier against Michael Esau, who is running for re-election to the Third Ward-F precinct position.

It has been confirmed that a police report was filed against Esau but because the wording of the accusations are so similar and Mischler’s recorded statement that someone else filed a report in her case, doubts do exist about the circumstances involved in the report filed against Esau. A public records request has been made for these documents. A photo of the flier can be seen here, notice that the header reads “Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office and Vigo County Election Board” needs your help. This might shed some light on why Kal Ellis made very similar verbal accusations against Michael Esau at a Vigo County Election Board meeting just a few days prior to the Democratic party meeting. In the video of that meeting Kara Anderson has to repeatedly tell Kal that his accusations are personal in nature and not appropriate for that portion of the meeting.

Towards the end of the election board session, however, Brad Newman, the Vigo County Clerk and Sergeant in the Terre Haute Police Department, claimed that there was an ongoing investigation into Michael Esau and Todd Boland. Brad and Kara then go on to speak about the allegations as though they’d already been proven to be true. Kara goes so far as to apologize to the individuals who have been harassed, and another board member, yet to be identified, states that, “while people are usually innocent until proven guilty, it sounds like there’s at least probable cause to say that something occurred that should never have never occurred.” So in review, Kal Ellis and Brad Newman both made false claims at an election board meeting held on February 16th, 2022, then derogatory fliers with the same accusations were handed out at a Democratic Party meeting on February 25th.

One possible motivation for these attacks is that Michael Esau and Todd Boland are both affiliated with a group of New Democratic Leaders who are trying to make changes in the community and in their party. And if these events weren’t already strange enough, a week before the primary election takes place, residents in several contested democratic precincts, including Michael Esau’s, started receiving identical letters with the names of candidates running against New Democratic Leaders printed at the bottom. These letters claim that the candidates listed – some of which include Karrum Nasser, Cheryl Loudermilk, and Jana Mischler – are desperately looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives. These have been the exact slogans and phrases used by the New Democratic Leaders through this entire election season. It has also been confirmed that several of the candidates listed in the letters did not mail them. So, the question still remains, “can Terre Haute change?” I still believe it can despite the lengths to which those who are currently in power will go to keep that power.

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