Monday, December 7, 2009

Prosecutorial Pile-up: Where the Race Stands Heading into 2010

It's been a while since I've taken a look at the Marion County Prosecutor's race, so I thought I would go ahead and do a status report here on this blustery Monday.

Things look very good for Democratic fortunes right now. Carl Brizzi's chances of re-election seem to get more and more wounded with every passing possible Tim Durham connection that gets reported. Did anyone else think that his odd interview on Channel 8 hurt him more than it helped him? While we're on the Durham subject for a moment, Brizzi and any other officeholder or candidate that took money from Durham should do what Tim Motsinger did: return it.

That goes for the Democrats, too. Baron Hill, I'm talking to you!

Let's get back to the Prosecutor's race. On the Republican side, who knows who's running for the seat? I don't. For now, it's Brizzi. If it is Brizzi, I will say it now, the Democrats will easily win election. Right or wrong, the campaign ads are ready-made tying the incumbent to some allegedly unseemly things. Since Brizzi seems unwilling at this point, it might be time for an enterprising Republican to stand up and take the bull by the horns and get in the race. That might quietly push aside Brizzi because the Marion County GOP is not going to push aside Brizzi on its own. Tom John seems too weak to lead a revolt.

On the Democratic side, Terry Curry continues to be the front runner for the nomination with David Orentlicher and Greg Bowes chasing him. While many 2010 and 2011 candidates are receiving endorsements, Curry's camp has been somewhat quiet with any major ones on their side. Recently, his webpage went live in bare bones form. For a frontrunner, the news has been kind of quiet lately from Curry. He has been holding fundraisers including one a couple of Sundays ago at the Firefighter's Union Hall on Mass Ave. Some heavy-hitters were sponsors.

Orentlicher had been extremely quiet lately with little or no activity from his campaign, but the Marion County Democratic Party Weekly List published a fundraiser for David O set to take place Wednesday:

"A fundraiser honoring David Orentlicher, candidate for Marion County Prosecutor, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the home of Catherine Gibson, 5256 N. Capitol, 253-2829. Suggested donations: $50, $100, $150, or $200."

Seems clear that David O. is very much in the race until slating at least.

I had an e-mail exchange over my two-part blog analysis of Greg Bowes' campaign decision to totally bypass the slating convention and appeal to the voters at the May 2010 Primary, and Greg wasn't mad at me. I still haven't heard much from Greg's campaign other than the letter announcing he was detouring past slating and the occasional club appearance.

Whatever candidate wins at slating and then at the primary on the Democratic side would seem to be playing from the front if Brizzi does or doesn't run. If I were advising Brizzi, I would advise him not run for re-election, host his radio show, and see how this Durham mess all plays out. There will likely be other offices for him someday if he emerges from this mess with some of his reputation intact.

Another possibility is the addition of a quality third party candidate to the race. The Libertarians got lucky when Ed Coleman fell into their laps in changing his party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. Now, they are calling him the highest Libertarian serving in public office today...puhleeze. Nevertheless, the Libertarians proved they have some muscle by helping to send the smoking ban down in flames by advocating against it. A good Libertarian might pull more votes away from the Repub running further electing the Democratic candidate. Keep an eye on that one.

The Prosecutorial Pile-up remains an intriguing race to see who will serve as Marion County's lawyer over at least the next four years. I know that I'm interested to see how it unfolds from here.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Brizzi was never going to run for a third term, even before the Durham scandal. I am convinced of that. Why would he? He barely won last time and the county is even more Democratic today than it was in 2006. It made no sense for him to seek a third term. Better to go out a winner and look for other opportunities.

Rather, I think the plan was to delay as long as possible to keep an upstart from wining slating for prosecutor. The longer they wait, the more likely the slated candidate will be whoever BrizziTom John decide to endorse. A shortened schedule plays into the hands of the Republican establishment. Of course that was before the Durham scandal which has changed the game again.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Democratic mayor candidate, Brian Williams in the list of people who have relationships with Tim Durham. While Williams may not have accepted the tainted money, he certainly was involved in Obsidian with Durham. If he turns out to be the candidate, the Dems will be hit over the head with that repeatedly and lose the mayor's office.

Jon E. Easter said...

I haven't forgotten. If you back through old posts, you'll see two places where he has answered questions (from me and from Amos Brown) about his relationship to Durham.