Governor Meets with “Reverends in Gary” Who “Tell Them How to Vote”

Marion Johnson and Marlon Mack were caught on video last year bragging that they could deliver votes for cash.

May 1, 2017-Gazette readers who viewed the Reverends in Gary video (below) when it was published last year were outraged, calling for an investigation into the apparent criminal activity depicted. Instead, Reverend Marion Johnson and Reverend Marlon Mack got a private meeting with the Governor on Friday. As shown in the flyer from the event, above, Marion Johnson and Marlon Mack are listed as members of the host committee for a private meeting with the Governor which Occurred on April 27, 2017 in Gary.

In the video below, Marion Johnson and Marlon Mack make clear that they are no fans of Republicans. They brag about giving parishioners donuts and chicken and telling them how to vote. At 6:08 in the video Marlon Mack explains “but if you have stuff for them, they not going anywhere. They going to do exactly what you direct them to do.” More shocking, they clearly lay out that they want cash for doing so . . .untraceable cash, no checks. “It’s got to be passed confidential through the pastor” Marlon Mack says referring to payment. At 6:42 in the video Marlon Mack says “He could make the check to you. You cash the check and just bring the cash.” Mack even suggests that the contribution could be a charitable donation, implying that a donor could obtain a tax deduction for a non-deductible political expenditure. “Or he could make the check to a particular church and then it works out as a charitable donation, mainly because it looks like he just gave a donation to the church.”

Marion Johnson is also a member of the un-elected Gary Redevelopment Commission which stands to benefit from a pair of bills signed by the Governor just prior to the event. Governor Holcomb signed House Bill 1144 and Senate Bills 128 and 567 at, or just prior to, the events. The trio of bills strip local elected officials of power and, in the case of HB1144 and SB128 hand power over to the un-elected RDA and local Redevelopment Commissions. The Munster Town Council and Mayor Thomas McDermott of Hammond have both said the disastrous House Bill 1144 will create a “shadow government.” Senate Bill 128 was designed to take money directly from cities and towns who have stated they could not afford their prior pledge to the West Lake Extension or have reconsidered their provisional commmitments.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was a sponsor of the event. Mayor Freeman-Wilson originally signed a resolution opposing House Bill 1144 but later sent a letter stating that her concerns had been addressed. Gary Council President Ron Brewer stated that House Bill 1144 “would devastate our community.”

A press release for a public event stated that the Governor would be meeting with “Minister’s Task Force of Gary.” We asked the Governor’s office for details on the Minister’s Task Force of Gary but did not receive a reply. It is unclear if the Governor has seen the Reverends in Gary video, compiled by the Project Veritas. We hope he sees it now if he has not yet.


  1. Please… Every NWI elected Official pays either cash, public contracts or jobs for their supporters. Why not start with JR.

  2. John Allen I noticed this as well when I received an invitation and attended the Governors reception. Point blank, this was not a serious political gathering but a faith based one. Again, nothing wrong with faith based community initiatives but its clear that we have a defacto theocracy government in Gary Indiana. Meaning that rather by lawful right or not, most Gary leaders are members of the clergy or “selected” or voted in by clergy, and the city of Gary true legal system is based on local religious culture and influence. There is little or no regard to reality or other people who are not a part of (or specifically approved) by that closed circle. The worse part is in official theocracies religious laws are implemented with the intent of making a Divinity the source of guidance and for the purpose of seeking prosperity in the efforts of the adherents. In Gary’s case most (not all) of the lead voices from the clergy do not know religious law and ethics of their own faiths and worse yet are given grand eminence and excessive respect as having scholarship in faith as opposed to just rhetoric about what should or should not be done. In most cases these powerful clergy are not holding an official office or having adequate participation and knowledge on the political issue(s) they are given too much weight and say about.

  3. Crooked,Corrupt,Cronyism-
    What else is new? We need a flippin people’s party that we fund at a grassroots level, and usurp the pay to play politicians free ride. They are doing a piss poor job representing us NWI folk in the State govt as well as the Federal. As if we need anymore nightmares in government between Lake County DNC corruption, the bizarre backwards big donor stronghold the GOP has on the state, who offer them NOTHING, and this hot a** mess in the White House that could very well leave us with a ” President Pence”- I gag at the thought. We have a unique mix of people in NWI,more diverse and progressive than other areas likely because many of us are Chicago transplants, and we deserve to be represented as our modern values(
    That represent a newer, younger vision of new technology,green energy, social equality, and a desperate need to bring many out of poverty and into the working middle class with some innovation, community self determination, and young blood) – this simply will not happen with the brands of politics we have to choose from. We have a state that is now near the bottom for air and water quality, high in infant mortality, unions jobs are dwindling because of the right to work (for less) act, and there have been patent rejections of ideas to stimulate our economy through tightening environmental restraints and opening more solar and turbine manufacturing plants, indoor verticle farms that are helping areas of Chicago, cooperative small business arrangements, hemp as a cash crop, (frankly recreational and medical marijuana would be the biggest revenue maker for our state-and not in the exclusive only so and so can participate, but again,coopertive owned enterprises where the entire program is run democratically, workers are the shareholders, the highest paid only makes a certain ampunt more than the lowest, and the state makes the loans then uses the taxes to fund the commons-(public schools,roads,parks) and in addition to this it would be beneficial towards combatting the opioid crisis and non violent drug incarceration. There is significant positive results in the use of plant medicine to treat people weaning off the toxic dope, and because it would be useful to put some of that drug war money into comprehensive drug rehab and job training programs. Thats a whole other issue though. Then we have the whole sunday alchohol prohibition which must really hurt the liquor stores on the border. Again, more outdated policy that hurts us as a state. We need a party that is going to put the everyday lives of all Hoosiers first, and at the same time keep up with modernization,clean environmental standards, and a damn wage for adults that is a LIVING wage!!! (
    Because these things affect all of us and the economy- the workers ,employers,and the residents)- if people dont have money to pay all their bills, they arent putting any into the economy! Transitions can be hard but we can protect our fresh small businesses and still make a progressive transition to giving people a chance. Its becoming more and more clear that the whole party line of “small government” only really applies to the benefit of the rich. They government does not seem so small on social issues when we are
    told whose religous values to follow, what to do with our bodies, but at the same token, people are being left to languish- as if thats part of any good religious view! The whole concept of protections (
    Or as the wealthy say regulations) is to protect regular
    people from the sociopathy of corporate or industry greed, their externalities that affect us negatively, and to make sure the scales do not get tipped too far to one side. Regulation rarely hurts the little guy but thats what we are told. The fact remains that if the median income in indiana is 50,000 or less but the people who represent them in the federal govt make 3.5 times more, they are going to vote for things that protect THEIR class of people- the middle class has not gotten a raise in a really long time but the top 20% sure have. Its sad that graduating high school over two decades ago, I was making more an hour an at my summer department store job than my college age son does at his minimum wage retail job! In addition to that, when he was born,everything was much cheaper- and I cannot figure out why more people are not outraged! College graduates are working for 10 bucks an hour, both my husband and I have educations and trades that now start employees at about 35% less than we started at, and the amount of foreigners buying manufacturing companies and real estate for rentals and investment is unbelievable. They do not replace the jobs with better paying jobs either, we are talking about poverty level living wage and then the folks have rent that takes more of their wage than is acceptable.
    All this funny business going on in local politics- get used to it, corruption is about the only thing that
    actually “trickles down” –
    Damn voodoo economics bs!
    Peoples Party,take the power back!

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