Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gregg Takes First "Debate"

I watched a bit of today's gubernatorial forum on education, and I have to say that I was not impressed by any candidate.

I felt that this was an excellent opportunity for the three candidates to connect in some way with students, teachers, and parents about education.  Instead, I think you heard two candidates spit back canned answers (Eric Holcomb and John Gregg) with Rex Bell who often played the anti-government and establishment card.

The candidates took questions from students and from the moderator.  One particular student caught my attention.

A young man from Tech High School asked a question about whether undocumented immigrants living in Indiana should be eligible for in-state tuition rates rather than the out-of-state rates.

Bell supported the measure.

Holcomb said that the issue had not passed the legislature and had not gotten much traction.  Essentially, his heart isn't in fighting for these kids.

Gregg said it was a tough issue that should be looked at on a "case-by-case basis".  

I guess we'll look towards next week's debate at the University of Indianapolis on Monday to see if debates will change this race.  I'm planning to attend.

All-in-all, since he seems to be the frontrunner, John Gregg probably won this debate.  Holcomb, who is a much better debater than Mike Pence ever was, scored no major points.  Bell was likable but not gubernatorial.

Gregg comes out ahead.  I saw no reason why swing voters would swing to Holcomb's side.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lynn Coleman Attracts DCCC Help

There’s some bad news for Jackie Walorski in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District.

Lynn Coleman’s campaign is doing so well that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commission is entering the race. 

The DCCC entering the race so late means that they must have some data that this race is trending Coleman’s way and that he must be within striking distance. Otherwise, they’d spend their valuable money and time elsewhere.

In the 9th Congressional District, the DCCC has been engaged for a while as Shelli Yoder continues to fight against “Tennessee” Trey Hollingsworth. That race has been showing up as a dead heat for weeks. It was thought to be the only close race in Indiana between a Republican and a Democrat.

There is no question that the weakest incumbent is Walorski. After all, Joe Donnelly held that seat even after it was redistricted. Walorski has done little to distinguish herself as an incumbent. She’s managed to hold off Joe Bock in 2014 in an off-year election. 2016 is a Presidential year, and she barely defeated Brendan Mullen in 2012 to claim her spot in Congress by about one percentage point.

If Democrats are ever going to take back the U.S. House, this is a district that must go back in the blue column along with the 8th Congressional District.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Clinton Rocks Trump in First Debate

Well, the debate is over.

The clear winner was Hillary Clinton, and it wasn't even close.

Donald Trump was rattled and rambling all night.  He was spewing lies and half-truths at such a rate that it was hard to fact check.

It's now up to the voters to make a decision about what kind of President of the United States they want.  It couldn't have been more clear tonight about who was the more polished and prepared candidate to take the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017.

That person is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Will independents respond to her?  Will she use this excellent opportunity as a springboard?  All of that remains to be seen.

The next Presidential Debate is October 9.

Debates About Only Remaining Campaign Event for Clinton to Stop Trump Momentum

Donald Trump
I'm starting to feel like this is becoming Donald Trump's election to lose.

It seems that no matter how crazy he gets or how the times scream out for someone opposite of him to lead the free world that this election continues to move in his direction.  

It's getting dire.

Then comes tonight.  One of the last things that can shake up this race: the first of three debates. 

Tonight will not win the election for either candidate, but it can certainly lose it.  In the age of the GIF, the wrong smirk or look at the wrong time can become something that a campaign is forced to respond to.  The right sound byte can zing the opponent and help the fortunes of a candidate.

In 2012, Barack Obama briefly lost his way with a horrid first debate performance.  Mitt Romney was declared the winner by almost everyone, including me.  The polls tightened a bit, and things became a little uneasy for the frontrunner.  During the second debate, Obama stopped the momentum as Romney made a unforced and strange comment about having "binders full of women" that he used to find qualified candidates for positions when he was Governor of Massachusetts.  It was a shaky moment, and it turned momentum back towards the President  who won the second and third debates.

Hillary Clinton
It's really hard to handicap tonight's debate.  Trump could gaffe big time, but he's been amazing at mitigating the damage.  What aspects seem like they might be shortcomings for other candidates (lack of couth, tact, common decency, connection with reality or the truth) seem almost like virtues for Trump.  Whereas the vitriol and hate for Hillary Clinton by Republicans and even some Democrats have clouded her message.

The media clearly has been perplexed by this race.  They aren't covering Trump like a traditional candidate because he's definitely not.  Clinton, who is getting the traditional treatment, seems to be getting the tougher go.  

The clock is working into the fourth quarter on this race.  Donald Trump has the football, and his team is driving.  Hillary Clinton is on defense with a small lead, but you can see her players are tired and on their heels. 

Tonight, Clinton has to either hold Trump to a field goal or find some way to get a big hit on Trump to get the ball back so she can be on offense.  Maybe Trump will throw her the ball, or maybe he's going to leave her an opening.

After over almost two year's worth of campaigning, it's come down to the debates. As NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens once said, "Better get your popcorn."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cardwell's Use of GOP Contacts to Promote Business Raises Eyebrows

Indiana Republican Party Chair and Mike Pence loyalist Jeff Cardwell has recently come under fire for possibly using party e-mail lists to promote his own business and his own charity.

GOP Chair Jeff Cardwell
The IBJ wrote that this all started when prominent Republicans started receiving ads for Cardwell's hardware store on Indy's Southside.  

When they unsubscribed from the list the ads were coming from, the notice seemed to indicate that the list had been somehow party-related.  According to the Indy Star, Cardwell defended himself and his actions by saying that he has built a network of contacts in business and politics over the years and that they overlap often with his political contacts.  

Excuse me, cough...cough.

(Deep breath...quick exhale) 

So let's pretend we believe Cardwell's excuse.  

Even if you take him at his word that he was targeting people he knew in his network of contacts to promote his Southside hardware business, that means he was engaged in, what I would consider, questionable business practices.  


I get tons of political e-mails on my personal account each day. I don't get spammed by candidates or party officials that own businesses with information about those businesses.  My friend, Steve Terrell, for example, is an excellent attorney.  We do exchange personal e-mails often.  That said, Steve's never sent me information about his law practice or begged me to use his services to write a will.  

I've never gotten an e-mail from my friend Zach Adamson about a haircut deal at his salon.  

When I hear from my friend Robin Winston, it's always about an awesome political opportunity I usually find interesting.  

Pam Hickman never sends me anything about jewelry sales at Patora Fine Jewelers.

These people are never trying to sell me their services or products.

I'm more casual friends with other people that own businesses that are in politics, and I've never received an e-mail from them about their businesses.  The e-mail lists I'm on are typically only ones I put myself on or ones that clearly are political lists.

Let me be frank.  I think Cardwell got caught trying to butter his bread on the party's contact list or a version of it.  Either that, or he's just no better than those spammers that call you at dinner time.  He just does it by e-mail.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Holcomb Won't Push for LGBT Protections; Gregg Will

Eric Holcomb
It’s very cliché, but there’s what is right and what is popular.

I was always brought up to fight for what is right even if it was not popular, and, in many cases, what is right is not always popular. That’s because what’s right sometimes takes effort and it sometimes goes against the grain.

No matter how hard it gets, Eric Holcomb has said that he isn’t going to fight for what’s right for LGBT Hoosiers. "I don't tend to focus on issues where there's 0% probability of success," the Lt. Governor said, according to WIBC’s Eric Berman.

Well, maybe, dear Eric, there might be a chance of success…I don’t know…if you led the way on this? If you decided to be a champion for the rights of an oppressed minority, maybe other Republicans would follow and there would be a chance for success.

In short, what Holcomb is saying is, “Gay people, vote for the other guy because I don’t have the heart to stand up for you and for what’s right.”
John Gregg

John Gregg has made the civil rights of LGBT Hoosiers a main campaign plank of his this time around since the first day. Was he wrong on the issue in 2012? Yes. He’s apologized, and he’s said he was wrong. He is now promising to fight for LGBT rights at the Statehouse in the form of putting this oppressed minority into the state’s non-discrimination clause.

Yes, it’s going to be hard, and he may not get it done, but I believe John Gregg is going to try to do what’s right for all Hoosiers.

If people didn’t pursue things that have no consensus, where would we be as a world? We would still probably believe the world is flat and that the sun orbits us. We would have never landed on the Moon or pushed the boundaries of space. We never would have made landmark legislation like the Civil Rights Act happen.

When you’re a leader, you look to BUILD consensus…not look for consensus that already exists. Holcomb SERIOUSLY misreads this issue. Times are changing. If John Gregg can evolve and Barack Obama can evolve, certainly Eric Holcomb can see that others can and will too. All it takes is for an ally to stand up and make the case. All it takes is for an ally to LEAD on the issue. Sometimes all it takes is to try.

Eric Holcomb refuses to be that ally. He’s not fit to be my Governor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Yoder Releases TV Ad

Shelli Yoder's up and on the air with her first ad of the General Election campaign season.  She has a great opportunity to take the 9th District back for Democrats against carpetbagger, "Tennessee" Trey Hollingsworth.

All-in-all, a solid, positive ad that introduces Yoder well.  The 9th District is a toss-up even though Hollingsworth has unlimited funds to spend.  Looks like he's going to need it because Yoder is not going away.