Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hershman May Run for 4th District Congressional Seat

Gay marriage ban Constitutional Amendment backer Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield) is apparently thinking about running for retiring Rep. Steve Buyer's Indiana's 4th Congressional District seat.

Of course, Hershman, the water carrier of SJR-7, is just one of the big name Republicans in the state that allegedly is looking at the seat. Todd Rokita and Becky Skillman have also been rumored to be interested in the seat. In Indiana, there's no residency requirement. Thus, you can run for Congress from any district even if you don't live there. Filing deadline is Feb. 19.

Senate Joint Resolution 7 would write discrimination into the Indiana Constitution by banning gay marriage. It would also be unnecessary given that a law exists on the Indiana books defining who can marry who. Hershman is even against civil unions.

The only Democrat (and candidate) in the race is Purdue University Professor Dr. Sanders who is extremely capable and would make a great representative. Sanders is strongly opposed to things like Hershman's constitutional amendment. He was interviewed on CNN this week regarding Steve Buyer's exit from the race. He believes that this will be a nationally-watched race for Congress. He already knows the district as he has run twice before for Congress with Buyer defeating him in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, Buyer defeated attorney Nels Ackerson, his most well-financed Democratic opponent to date.

Indiana's Fourth District is a tough road most years for most Democrats. Now that Buyer is gone, the prospect of the open seat has made it extremely interesting to Republicans and to Sanders. The district runs from Monticello to Mitchell, and it really lacks any true center instead cobbling together parts of towns and counties for the most part.

Sanders or any other Democrat will need a huge war chest to get the word out and defeat Hershman and any other Republicans. I suspect there may now be a hotly-contested primary fight for the seat. Hershman, having ties to the representative as his district operations director, will possibly be Rep. Buyer's choice to replace him in Congress.

Brizzi's Office Under Fire from Former Republican Judge Gary Miller and Others

Kudos to Fox 59 for this story and to Indianapolis Times' Terry Burns, Advance Indiana's Gary Welsh, Paul Ogden and others for posting it on their various blogs. This is why it's so important to break the Republican domination of the Prosecutor's Office which has gone unchecked for the last 16 years.

Link to the original report...,0,2144501.story

Carl gets defensive in his response...,0,2318944.story

Editors Note: I tried to embed these reports, but they just aren't cooperating this morning.

Personal Prerogative: How This Blog Works

Several people have asked how much time and effort Chris or I put into this blog, so I thought I'd take this Sunday to give you a "Behind The Scenes" look into how Indy Democrat works.

Since I am the principal writer here, I usually post most of the content. Most of my blog posts are written between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. and then set to post at 12:01 a.m. the following day. So, if you read a blog post on Tuesday, it was likely written on Monday night.

Blog post ideas come to me in different ways. Sometimes campaigns will send me information and that will spur a post. Sometimes I may find an interesting news item or tidbit of information I think is blog-worthy. Many times, they come from the readers and what I hear you guys talking about out there. I also love to analyze. Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong.

The toughest nights are the ones where I am looking for something to write about or I just can't think of anything. On those nights you will usually see some sort of video posted that I found interesting. Thanks to MSNBC or Comedy Central, I can usually find something interesting. Typically, my weekend posts are videos or pieces like this one. Readership typically is much lower.

I have said many times to people that ask that my main aim with this blog is not to become a news breaker. That's not to say that I don't pursue scoops or unique content. I am somewhat competitive and if I can get a mention in other blogs as having the story first; that feels pretty darn good. In fact, both Christopher Jackson and I do pursue scoops. Chris writes for the blog when he gets a chance. On Friday, he was a huge help as news popped with Buyer and Orentlicher both leaving the political scene for now.

The biggest thing I try to do with this blog is exercise my journalistic muscle. My minor in college was journalism, and I am a proud graduate of the Ernie Pyle J School at IU. I have worked as a stringer for the Mooresville-Decatur Times, and I did, at one point, have my own column there. It was called Democratically Speaking which, by the way, was the title of the first blog I ever tried to write.

Well, that's probably enough about me and this blog. I am sure you're ready for some more political commentary rather than blather about myself and how this blog is done. One thing is for sure; I couldn't do this without my loyal readership! I really appreciate you all stopping by and spending a couple of minutes here each day. It is much appreciated. Thanks for joining me on this journey. If you ever have any news tips, suggestions, or any feedback, please feel free to drop me a line.

Friday, January 29, 2010

David O drops out of the Prosecutor's Race

Breaking news from Jon Murray at the Indy Star, David Orentlicher has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nod for Marion County Prosecutor.

Here is the statement released by Orentlicher from Jon Murray's story:

During the past six months, I have seriously considered running for prosecutor of Marion County. I believe I could bring much to the task--my experience in writing criminal laws, spearheading a policy task force on crime in Indianapolis, and even sitting as a judge pro tem in Marion County criminal court. I also know that I have the kind of vision and integrity to build a more effective prosecutor's office, one that is both tough on crime and truly fair to all residents of Marion County.

Many people have helped me in this pursuit, and I am humbled by their support. Indeed, as my financial report indicates, we were well on our way to marshalling the resources necessary for a successful campaign.

But I believe very much in party unity and do not want to see a divisive campaign. It is important for the Democratic Party that we coalesce quickly around our nominee for November so that we can elect the next prosecutor for our great county. Accordingly, I have decided not to pursue any further the office of Marion County prosecutor this year.

Instead, I announce today my support for Terry Curry. Terry will do much to make our community a safe place to live, work, and play. He will provide the necessary leadership and inspiration to restore the utmost professionalism, integrity, and fairness to the prosecutor's office. Terry will be a top notch prosecutor, and I look forward to working with him in the coming months to make sure that he is elected.

This news definitely shakes up the race in which Curry is already the clear front runner. I wonder how this will affect Greg Bowes' plan to run against the slate in May's primary?

Buyer will not seek reelection

Steve Buyer, the 4th District Republican who has received much reticule on this blog for past comments, has announced that he will not seek reelection. He has stated that his reason for not seeking reelection is due to his wife's illness. I think I can speak for the entire Democratic community in wishing for his wife's speedy recovery back to good health.

With Buyer out of the 4th district race, who will run for his seat on the Republican side? My bet is on Todd Rokita, the current Indiana Secretary of State, who will probably use it as a steping stone to an attempted run for Governor.

Who's Making the Rounds: Full House at Perry Dems Meeting; Orentlicher Speaks Out on Slating

Approximately 50 people showed up at the Perry Township Democratic Club meeting yesterday evening.

Newly-hired political director of the Marion County Democratic Party, Scott Carr, spoke to the assembled Dems and candidates regarding a variety of topics of interest. First of all, he encouraged Dems to sign up with Marion County Clerk Beth White to run for Precinct Committeeperson and State Convention Delegate. If you're interested in doing this, you can find the forms on White's website at or simply by following this link. Carr also briefly addressed the upcoming slating convention to be held on February 13. Current Democratic Ward Chairs, Vice Ward Chairs, Precinct Committeepersons and Vice Precinct Committeepersons will come together at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to select the slate for the 2009 Marion County Democratic Party Ticket.

Nearly all major candidates for slating were in attendance including all three Democrats running for Marion County Prosecutor. Greg Bowes spoke first and again repeated his opposition to slating and his refusal to sign the party slating agreement. Terry Curry spoke next and talked at length about his qualifications for the job and that he had signed the slating agreement and had said from the beginning of the campaign that he would abide by it. That means that if he loses at slating, he would drop out. David Orentlicher took the stage last, and he gave a great talk about his qualifications for the job. Orentlicher did not give any indication about his slating plans.

I found this interesting because some individuals had recently approached me asking if I knew what David O planned to do after slating if he were not to win. They told me that they had heard through the grapevine that Orentlicher was planning on a run against the slate.

David has raised over $180,000 towards his campaign outdistancing his competitors. So, with that war chest, some have thought he might be stocking up for a run against the slate if his fortunes aren't good. Put those thoughts to rest. I spoke with Orentlicher in the hallway after the meeting, and I asked him if he would be abiding by the slating agreement. He said quickly and simply, "Sure."

To me, that means he will go through slating and abide by the results whatever they may be. That said, he clearly expects to win at slating forcing Terry Curry out of the race. "I think it will go well," said Orentlicher.

Bowes, on the other hand, has seemingly about worn out his welcome in some rooms. After being at times challenged on his right to even speak at other clubs recently, An officeholder and a candidate going through slating took dead aim at Bowes' argument about slating and his decision to not go through the process.

Marion County Recorder Julie Voorhies encouraged "her brother Greg" Bowes to come back into the fold and be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Col. John Layton, running for Marion County Sheriff, also told Bowes that perhaps he should be trying to change the process from within the system rather than trying to buck it from the outside. It should be noted that Bowes has been through slating in previous runs for office at the City-County Council level and for Marion County Assessor, where he currently serves.

Besides those previously mentioned in the body of the blog post other sitting officeholders at the meeting included:
Ed Bell, Beech Grove Council
Steve Eicholtz, Marion County Superior Court Judge
George Farley, Center Township Board
Debbie Jenkins, Marion County Surveyor
Larry Ryan, Center Township Board
Jose Salinas, Marion County Superior Court Judge
Mark Stoner, Marion County Superior Court Judge
Becky Pierson-Treacy, Marion County Superior Court Judge
Beth White, Marion County Clerk (running for re-election in 2010)

Besides those previously mentioned in the body of the blog post, other candidates for office in 2010 or 2011 at the meeting included:
Mike Dunigan, Perry Township Constable
Christopher Jackson, City-County Council District 22
Brian Williams, Mayor of Indianapolis

Thursday, January 28, 2010

King Ro Announces Run for At-Large City-County Council

At the Lawrence Township Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday night, my sources tell me that Lonnell "King Ro" Conley announced that he will be attempting to rejoin the City-County Council in 2011.

Conley was bounced from the Council in 2007 on that horrible night for Democrats that gave us Mayor Greg Ballard instead of four more years of Bart Peterson. The Marion County GOP ran a 2-for-1 campaign against "King Ro" and Rozelle Boyd in 2007 by posting campaign signs saying essentially that "King Ro" had voted to raise taxes over 60 times. While "King Ro" was on the ballot as such, I would offer that Rozelle Boyd (who had served well on the Council since 1965) was likely adversely affected by the campaign because Boyd's first name and Conley's nickname are so similar. Let's face it, too. The 0.65 rise in the county option income tax didn't help either. Where is that money now Mayor Ballard...I digress though.

Conley joins Annette Johnson, John Barth, Zach Adamson, and, presumably, incumbent Councillor Joanne Sanders as Democratic At-Large candidates.

Obama vs. Cheney? Zogby Has the Match-up

Cue fight announcer Michael Buffer...





But pollster John Zogby decided to take a look at a potential 2012 match-up between Dick Cheney and Barack Obama with a nationwide survey of 1,963 likely voters just over a week ago. The results showed that even though some people may disagree with Obama (approval rating is 49 percent), they don't like Cheney AT ALL. Zogby writes..

"President Barack Obama would beat Republican Dick Cheney by a sizable margin in a hypothetical presidential match-up - but 35% of likely voters said they would choose the former Vice President over the current President (49%) and another 14% said they would pick someone else, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows."

It's good to know that, in the midst of all this angst (rightly or wrongly) aimed at the President, that people still don't like Dick Cheney even more.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of The Union

President Obama just finished delivering his State of the Union speech about 30 minutes ago. It was a rather interesting speech that seemed to somewhat measure the pulse of the nation.

At times, he was very honest about his own troubles as President, and, yet, he also took a few swipes at the GOP exhibiting the confidence he showed on the campaign trail over a year ago.

You can read the entire text of the speech here.

Personally, I thought President Obama was at his best in two specific parts of the speech. I thought he did a tremendous job arguing against the gridlock that has become so very prevalent in Washington. He took the fight to both Democrats and Republicans who feel that partisan rancor between the two major parties is not helpful to the country.

"Of course, none of these reforms will even happen if we don't also reform how we work with one another.

Now, I am not naïve. I never thought the mere fact of my election would usher in peace, harmony, and some post-partisan era. I knew that both parties have fed divisions that are deeply entrenched. And on some issues, there are simply philosophical differences that will always cause us to part ways. These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, have been taking place for over two hundred years. They are the very essence of our democracy.

But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day. We cannot wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about their opponent - a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants should not be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual Senators. Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game. But it is precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet, it is sowing further division among our citizens and further distrust in our government.

So no, I will not give up on changing the tone of our politics. I know it's an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern. To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let's show the American people that we can do it together. This week, I'll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. And I would like to begin monthly meetings with both the Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can't wait."

I thought President Obama also took time in the speech to address those people that turned out at the polls to win him the election in 2008. His message was that, while there have been some failures, that he is still on the job, and he will not back down just because things have not gone well.

"Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions - our corporations, our media, and yes, our government - still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people's doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

No wonder there's so much cynicism out there.

No wonder there's so much disappointment.

I campaigned on the promise of change - change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change - or at least, that I can deliver it.

But remember this - I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone. Democracy in a nation of three hundred million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is.

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths. We can do what's necessary to keep our poll numbers high, and get through the next election instead of doing what's best for the next generation.

But I also know this: if people had made that decision fifty years ago or one hundred years ago or two hundred years ago, we wouldn't be here tonight. The only reason we are is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard; to do what was needed even when success was uncertain; to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and grandchildren.

Our administration has had some political setbacks this year, and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going - what keeps me fighting - is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism - that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people - lives on.

It lives on in the struggling small business owner who wrote to me of his company, "None of us," he said, "...are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail."

It lives on in the woman who said that even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, "We are strong. We are resilient. We are American."

It lives on in the 8-year old boy in Louisiana, who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti. And it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go some place they've never been and pull people they've never known from rubble, prompting chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A!" when another life was saved.

The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people.

We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment - to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more."

President Obama also made some news tonight by saying, in no uncertain terms, that he would work with the military and the Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the next year. All-in-all, it was a strong nuts-and-bolts speech with a soaring finish.

A New Republican Plea: Send Us Your Candidates

Kudos to Wilson Allen for sending me this graphic posted above.

Jokes aside, I've heard now that Mark Massa is indeed the lead prosecutorial candidate for slating on the Republican side. A source familiar with the Marion County GOP tells me that likely three to five other Republicans may vie for slating as well. My source did not include names.

In other news, the Indiana Democratic African American Caucus Indianapolis Chapter newsletter highlighted an upcoming fundraiser for Greg Bowes hosted by a handful of Democrats on Feb. 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1512 N. Delaware. Price of admission ranges from $25 to $100. Bowes was a distant third in the fundraising battle amongst candidates grappling for the Democratic Party nomination. Bowes raised over $7,000 last year for the run at Prosecutor while David Orentlicher and Terry Curry both raised north of $100K.

Curry is planning a fundraiser the same night as Bowes' event at the Broad Ripple Tavern, 745 Broad Ripple Ave. from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Curry's fundraiser carries a hefty upper level price tag of $300, but the smallest donation level is $30. Nothing recently from Orentlicher on the fundraising front.

Big advantage to the Democrats in the Prosecutorial Pile-up.

It's Bayh or Die for Liberals

Fellow liberals, it’s time to forgive and forget and embrace Evan Bayh because we do not want six years of John Hostettler...or even that Mike Pence has stepped aside.

Recent polling should serve as a wake-up call to Democrats all across the state showing that the race is closer than any of us had imagined. If you didn't see yesterday's post, a Rasmussen poll conducted on January 21-24 showed Bayh leading former Rep. John Hostettler, 44-41. Thankfully, Pence, who was leading Bayh by three percentage points, has removed himself from the running.

For those planning to sit the bench this 2010 election and let Bayh go it alone, do so at your own peril. You don't have to contribute to him if you do not want to do it, but please don't let Republicans elect someone against your self interests. Pledge like I am to show up at the ballot box and re-elect Senator Bayh. I don't mean to fearmonger, but, if Democrats fail to show on November 2, the results could be disasterous for Indiana.

Let’s not forget who John Hostettler is. In 1995, he advocated killing the Department of Education and the Direct Loan Program. At an April 2002 meeting with breast cancer survivors, he reportedly tried to make a causal link between abortions and breast cancer. In 2004, he was detained at the Louisville airport for carrying a gun in his briefcase through security. He plead guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and plea bargained a 60-day sentence in jail that was discharged without him serving it. In 2005, Hostettler accused Democrats of waging a war on Christianity. He is a crusader that will only take us backwards. His only redeeming quality is his anti-war stance. He was one of the very few Republicans to take up the cause against his own President on Iraq. Otherwise, as previously said in other posts, he makes Rick Santorum look like a liberal.

Let's not forget the gaggle of wackiness running against Hostettler for the GOP nod. State Senator Marlin Stutzman, Financial Advisor Don Bates, and that wacky tea bagger Richard Behney. Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has more on Behney here.

Grudgingly, it’s time to let bygones be bygones with Bayh and help lift him into a third term in the United States Senate. The alternatives are too diametrically opposite to anything advocated by the Democratic Party. For all Dems, it’s time to board the Bayh bandwagon…unless you want to empower the Garrisons, the Dr. Laura's, the Rushes, the Coulters, and the Malkins. That’s what you’re getting with Hostettler.

Marchal is OUT in Prosecutor's Race, Mark Massa To Run

Terry Burns over at the Indianapolis Times Blog has all the details about Helen Marchal withdrawing her name from the hat to become the next Republican nominee for Marion County Prosecutor here. Looks like Daniels' fingerprints are all over this one as his Chief Counsel Mark Massa may be in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Baron...Now Bayh? First Polling Close in Indiana Senate Race

Writer Jessica Taylor at Politico is reporting that a Rasmussen Poll of 800 likely voters done last week shows Congressman Mike Pence with a 47 percent to 44 percent lead over Senator Evan Bayh in a head-to-head match-up for the junior senator’s seat here in Indiana. Politico also says that the Rasmussen Poll shows Bayh leading well-known former Rep. John Hostettler by just three points, 44 to 41 percent. The poll results are within the 3.5 percent margin for error, and Rasmussen is known to lean a bit to the right.

This has to be concerning for the former Indiana Secretary of State and Governor turned Senator. First elected in 1998, Bayh has never really been closely challenged for his seat in the United States Senate. Pence and Hostettler seem to be benefitting from a ticked off electorate.

Pence has a tough decision to make. Just what is he running for? Re-election to Congress? Governor? President? This is another potential office he might be campaigning to win. He needs to decide something, and he told Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair John Cornyn that he would make a decision this weekend about a run for Senate. Pence has made no bones about his desire to run potentially for Governor or even for President in 2012. Late last week, political pundits called Pence’s potential run against Bayh a no-lose proposition win or lose.

I tend to disagree. To ensure that Bayh's base stays away, Pence will need to position himself as a more moderate voice or risk drawing Bayh’s most liberal friends back into the fold. Right now, Bayh’s ticked off liberal supporters might just take the election off and be content to throw him to the dogs. If it’s clear that Bayh may lose and be replaced by the ultra-conservative Pence, the liberals might grudgingly support Bayh to prevent a calamity. Bayh is, after all, MOSTLY right on social issues.

A loss in the race by Pence may prop up his chances for a run at Governor in 2012, but it would also cost him a chance to hold on to his leadership posts in the U.S. House. He would lose that seniority and would be out of a job for at least two years. As a major figure in the Republican Party’s leadership in the House, Pence can continue a potential run for President. Pence may also get his crack at the Senate in 2012 if Richard Lugar retires.

It’s an interesting time for Pence. So many ways he can go here.

Hostettler has to be beaming. He can use the poll’s results to raise a little campaign cash (although he is well-known to eschew that practice) and show folks that he’s a serious candidate. I think Indiana voters need to be reminded of why they threw the former 8th District Representative out on his ear in 2006 in favor of the ultra-conservative Blue Dog Democrat Brad Ellsworth. When you dig deep, he has said and done some kind of crazy things.

For Bayh, this poll may make him raise an eyebrow and sit up straight in his chair. There’s still a long way to go for the man-who-would-have-been-Vice President. That seems so far in the distant past now. Bayh can hold up the distinction of being the Democrat that voted against President Barack Obama the most times in this past session of Congress. That might help him in Indiana where Obama has, according to Rasmussen and Politico, a 56 percent disapproval rating. If Obama’s policies catch on, this could hurt Bayh, too.

Bayh also has a huge $12 million treasury to throw at the problem of Pence. I doubt that Pence could amass that kind of campaign war chest and match Bayh dollar for dollar. Of course, money means nothing when the people want to make a change. It just bears note that, by and large, Bayh has yet to pull off the money clip and go at it.

This doesn’t look like your typical election with old Evan Bayh on the ballot. In the interest of full disclosure, Carmel businessman and potential revolutionary (read Abdul Hakim-Shabazz's scary blog post on this guy here) Richard Behney, banker Don Bates, and State Senator Marlin Stutzman are running for the GOP nomination for Senate as well.

A Republican friend of mine who alerted me to the polling had advice for Pence. Remember David McIntosh! McIntosh gave up a fairly safe seat in Congress to take on Frank O'Bannon in the 2000 Gubernatorial Election. He lost big time and was essentially done in politics. Pence has to be saying...can I beat Bayh or am I comfortable where I am now?

Word comes that Mike Pence has removed his name from consideration to concentrate on his re-election campaign in Indiana's 6th Congressional District. Apparently, the Republican must have thought he had too much to lose and heeded the advice of my Republican friend.

Monday, January 25, 2010

We're Going To The Super Bowl...AGAIN!!!

The Indianapolis Colts are headed back to the Super Bowl for the second time since the team pulled up its Baltimore stakes and moved to Indianapolis. This time, the boys in blue will be playing the New Orleans Saints.

If the Colts were not in this game, I would be saying "Who Dat." Not gonna happen now. GO COLTS!

Nothing political about this one although I'm sure that you can pretty much count on various members of city and county government going to Miami to watch the Horseshoes in person. The Colts have, as a franchise, now been to four Super Bowls (two in Baltimore and two in Indianapolis), and all four have quizzically been in...MIAMI! So, as Dorothy says, "HIT IT ROSE!"

Back to politics tomorrow...for now, GO BLUE!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hope For Haiti-An Amazing Night I Missed But Can See Thanks to Internet

Help Haiti today. If you haven't helped yet, please give. They are still pulling people out of the rubble alive. If you wish, you can go to the Hope for Haiti website at

However, it's just the beginning for these folks. They need that hand to lift them up. That's where we come in. Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris collaborate on one of the most beautiful renditions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Click on the link below to go to the performance. It's absolutely gorgeous.

Justin Timberlake - "Justin Timberlake "Hallelujah" (Live)": "Pop star Justin Timberlake, accompanied by singer-songwriter Matt Morris, performs the spiritual Leonard Cohen song 'Hallelujah' as part of the 'Hope for Haiti Now' telethon in Los Angeles."

Or, you can go to this lower quality YouTube link.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bad News Baron: The Polling Has Flip-Flopped

Bad news for Rep. Baron Hill. A poll in the race for Indiana’s 9th District U.S. House seat reveals that, if the polling is correct, it may be the Democratic incumbent and not perennial opponent and former Rep. Mike Sodrel that is fighting an uphill battle for another two-year term in the U.S. House.

The Hill magazine reports that Hill trails Sodrel, a Republican, 49-41 in a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by the liberal blog Firedoglake. From The Hill, “Hill has won three of four consecutive matchups with Sodrel, including by 20 points in 2008. That means the race has seen a net 28-point swing in 14 months. That's troubling if you're Hill, who has made overtures about running for governor in 2012.”

The poll did not report if it took into account attorney and former Marine Todd Young or real estate investor Travis Hankins who are also running for the office as Republicans. Young has over $205,000 cash on hand. Sodrel has just $1,919 with over $1.2 million reported in debts owed. To run credibly against Hill who has over $525,000 on hand, Sodrel will need to correct that. Democrat Gretchen Clearwater also is listed with a 9th District Campaign Committee and over $2,300 in cash.

This blogger has been critical of Hill for his treatment of a journalism student at a town hall meeting where he came off as condescending and, frankly, politically naïve that an exchange with the student wouldn’t make it to YouTube. It did. I also criticized Hill for sending out strong signals that he’s interested in running for Governor in 2012 while running for re-election to the House in 2010.

Other polling needs to be done, but the same company, SurveyUSA, reports that only 38 percent of the 600 likely voters polled in the 9th District approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance with 58 percent disapproving. Democrats are glad that there’s still a long, long way to go.

If I were Hill, I wouldn’t ignore this poll though. It’s time to get out the old campaign shoes and fight for his career. I know I have been hard on the guy a little, but Baron Hill is a better representative of Democratic values than either Todd Young, Travis Hankins or Mike Sodrel (who has a voting record) are.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Marchal Concerns?

Many people have votes in their past that they aren't proud of, I'll admit it. Back when I started voting and didn't understand really what it meant to be a member of a political party, I voted for some Republican candidates...I PARENTS were REPUBLICANS...thankfully, during my time in Bloomington at IU, my eyes were opened to the world of politics in a big way, and I cast my first Presidential vote for President Clinton in 1996. I voted in the Democratic Primary in 1999 or 2000 and have always been a Democrat since. Way back when, I was just a babe, a high school or college student and anything but the politico I've become.

On the other hand, you would figure that a Deputy Prosecutor under a Republican Prosecutor might know what he or she is doing when it comes to politics...right?

A high-level Democratic Party source informs me by e-mail that Republican Prosecutorial candidate Helen Marchal voted in the Democratic Primary in 2002! "Crime Beat" Carl Brizzi was on the ballot that year running for his first term as Prosecutor. The source asks, quite astutely, "Who exactly did she vote for that year: Carson, Anderson or Osborn?"

At the time, Marchal had been a Deputy Prosecutor under Republican Scott Newman for the previous four years. Looks like Mrs. Marchal may have some explaining to do on that vote.

Fundraising: Layton vs. Brown

The Democratic candidates vying for the party nod in the May primary have weighed in with their first reports by filing their campaign finance documentation with Marion County Clerk Beth White.

Leading the way big time is MCSD Executive Officer, Col. John Layton. Layton raised over $112,000 since filing for the office a little over two months ago He also spent very little with a grand total of $108,000 cash on hand leading all candidates currently in the race in unencumbered dough. IMPD Sergeant Mark Brown reported just over $10,900 but he also reported nearly spending it all with only close to $1,500 cash on hand now. He can't afford the party slating fee even if he wanted to try.

On the Republican side, Bart McAtee reported over $175,000 raised, but he only has about $89,000 on hand. Fellow Republican Dennis Fishburn raised about $5,400 and has around $5,100 on hand. Republican Tim Motsinger had over $220,000 in his kitty, but it's almost all honorably going back after the controversial financier Tim Durham was tied to Motsinger as his chief fundraiser. Motsinger has since left the race but has apparently left his committee open. Former candidate for Sheriff on the Republican side, Steve Davis just re-opened his campaign on January 11.

See the reports for yourself here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Voorhies Wins Early Fundraising Fight in House 92 Race

The campaign finance reports are in, and the clear winner in the battle for campaign dollars in Indiana House District 92 is Democratic challenger Brett Voorhies over incumbent Republican Phil Hinkle.

Voorhies has raised $32,921.00 and has a whopping $26,471.46 on hand after officially filing his committee on June 5, 2009. Hinkle's committee reported raising a decent $10,049.00 last year but incurred expenditures of $10,986.16 leaving him with just 9,701.74 on hand. I guess it's a good thing that he had $10,638.90 on hand to begin with.

Again, Voorhies is the challenger to Hinkle in a seat that has been Republican for years. Hinkle was first elected to the Indiana House in 2000.

There is a caveat here as well, Stephanie DeKemper, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2008, also outraised Hinkle by a wide margin. Still, the kind of dollars Voorhies has raised in essentially six months is even more than DeKemper raised. Who knows what Voorhies can raise in another six months if his momentum continues through the primary?

It's an amazing and impressive start for Voorhies, a first time Indiana House candidate, and may make Hinkle work very hard, just as he did in 2008, to keep ahead at the ballot box in November.

See the reports here.

Haiti Relief; Please Help If You Can

Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton team up for Haiti relief.

First Lady Michelle Obama for the Red Cross

60 no more? Say it's not so, Joe!

So if you haven't notice from the headlines plastered all over the news, Republican Scott Brown has won the former Senate seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. With Senator-elect Brown's victory, it is the first time in 31 years that a Republican has represented Massachusetts in the US Senate. If you want to read more into the finger pointing within the Democratic Party on who to blame, feel free to Google it.

Here's my take on yesterday's events: Joe Lieberman, head for the hills!

With all due respect Senator Lieberman, your self-serving, manipulative tactics aren't going to get you anywhere, anymore. After stalling Health Care Reform in the Senate for weeks on end, with your fellow cronies, Senators Ben Nelson and Olympia Snowe (among others), your power trip just reached an abrupt end. Yesterday, before the polls even closed in MA, you said that the Democratic Party needs to move more to the center! Are you crazy?! That is exactly what is currently wrong with the Democratic Party.

On November 3rd, 2008, if anyone would have told any Democrat that we would have 59 votes in the Senate, that Democrat would be jumping for joy and would say that we could pass any legislation that we wanted. The following day, the American People gave an astoundingly loud mandate to the newly appointed Democratic administration to push the Progressive agenda through Congress.

Yet one year later, we have allowed the process to be hi-jacked by conservative Democrats that are all about self preservation and hurting Progressives (the latter of which applies specifically to Lieberman after his loss to Ned Lamont in the Senate Primary circa 2006.) But that won't continue anymore. Without 60 possible Democratic votes, we don't have to worry about appealing to the likes of Senator Lieberman. We must now do exactly what President Bush did with a Republican Senate, get legislation passed without a supermajority! Its time for Democrats in the Senate to grow some spines and do the work that Democrats were put in office to do, especially passing true Health Care Reform. Past precedent demonstrates that legislation can be passed in the Senate without 60 votes to overcome the Filibuster, whether by reconciliation or other means. But the message delivered last night is clear (unlike what some of the pundits and conservatives want to say) inaction, not action, will decide whether Democrats experience a bloodbath come this November 2nd.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guess Who is a Member of the Southside Democrat Club? Also, Curry Releases Fundraising Figures

A source of mine says the scuttlebutt around the table at the Southside Democratic Club's Third Tuesday Luncheon today was that a member is running for Marion County Prosecutor. It may not be one of the three members you normally think of, either.

Apparently, Helen Marchal is not only a member of the Republican Party running for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office but that she is also a member of the venerable Southside Democrat Club.

Isn't that interesting? I bet Tom John and Carl Brizzi didn't know that one when they got her to run.

Doubtful that Marchal is ready for a party switch. According to club sources, her husband, Jeff, signed her up for the membership. No sinister intent, I'm sure. I don't even think this one should be held against either one of them honestly. Such is the case in a mixed party marriage. That...and lots of canceled out votes.

In other news, Terry Curry officially released campaign fundraising information showing that he has, indeed, raised over 105K for his run at the office. Here is his news release:

INDIANAPOLIS --With the support of hundreds of donors from across the county, attorney Terry Curry, a Democratic candidate for Marion County prosecutor, raised more than $100,000 for his campaign in the closing months of 2009.

“The support we received from people across Marion County in the last few months helped us more than surpass our financial goal for 2009,” Curry said. “This outpouring of support puts us in a strong position as we look forward to the May primary.”

According to the 2009 year-end campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the Marion County Clerk’s Office, the Curry for Marion County Prosecutor campaign raised $105,187.16 last year. Curry has already spent a ton of dough, however, and finds himself with just a bit over $69,000 cash on hand.

“This kind of support shows that voters are ready to elect a prosecutor who will bring new direction, new perspective, and new leadership to the prosecutor’s office,” Curry said. “After 16 years of one party controlling the office, voters clearly are saying that it is time for a new approach to making our city and our neighborhoods safer. We are prepared to provide the leadership necessary to make the office an effective partner with all who care about our community.”

Breaking News: Mayoral Marathon

With the campaign financing deadline tomorrow, the numbers are starting to pour in. Indy Democrat has learned of the fundraising numbers for the two leading Democrats for the Mayoral post, which is be voted on in the 2011 election.

A source close to the Kennedy Campaign tells Jon Easter that the Kennedy campaign has raised $250,000 in her run for Mayor of Indianapolis. The former Deputy Mayor also has $220,000 cash on hand. Pretty impressive numbers to wrap up the 2009 fundraising cycle.

Also in the Mayoral race, Brian Williams released his fundraising numbers in a press release today. The Williams campaign ended the 2009 cycle with over $100,000 cash on hand. Those too are pretty hefty numbers, especially for a relative newcomer to Democratic politics.

One has to wonder what effect these numbers will have on the potential candidacy of others, including City-County Councilor Jose Evans.

Be sure to check out Indy Democrat in the coming days for more analysis of these numbers and for more late breaking news on campaign finance numbers.

See the reports here.

Bob Cockrum, Former Council President, closes Committee

Continuing to bring you the most up to date and breaking news today, Indy Democrat has received news from a source that today Bob Cockrum, the Former President of the Indianapolis City-County Council, who represents District 22, has closed his campaign committee.

This comes as the latest sign that the Councilor who has served on the Council since 1996, making him the longest currently serving Republican on the Council, will be retiring after the 2011 election. Earlier this month, Councilor Ryan Vaughn was elected to be the new Council President, replacing Cockrum after his 2 year stint as President.

The big question now is who will run as a Republican to fill his seat?

(In the effort of full-disclosure, I, myself, am a candidate for District 22.)

Will Brizzi's Stink Taint Marchal's Campaign?

Helen Marchal appears to have a very good resume to run for Marion County Prosecutor, but will that resume matter if she is closely tied to Carl Brizzi?

The connections are already coming. Chris Worden waxes on the topic on his iPOPA blog here. Terry Burns over at the Indianapolis Times Blog has penned two posts (here and here) directed at Marchal's 12-year career in the Marion County Prosecutor's Office under Carl Brizzi and predecessor Scott Newman. It appears that it's Brizzi's slop that could cause trouble for Marchal.

It's also interesting to ponder how the Democrats will attack her candidacy. Carl Brizzi would have been an enormous seal with a wounded flipper in shark-infested waters. He made the right decision to move on, and the Democrats running for the office have already been taking bites at him. The tactics must now change. Instead of attacking Brizzi, there is a small window of time here to define Marchal. One must be careful in doing so however because there is a possibility of a face plant if it's not done correctly. IF Marchal is politically savvy, she needs to hit the ground running and make sure that she is the one to define herself. I'm not giving her any advice here, but it only makes sense that she needs to find a way to communicate that her eight years as a top-level Brizzi aid only extends to any accomplishments of the office and not to anything old Carl did outside of it.

Thanks to Brizzi's late decision not to run, Marchal is getting a late start as well spotting the Democrats months of fundraising and campaign time. Also, there's still over a month until the primary filing deadline. If another Republican with fundraising ability jumps into the fray, it may not make a difference about what Marchal does as the handpicked successor to Brizzi. It would seem to behoove Republicans to divulge themselves of anything "Carl" at this point in order to put an air freshener on Brizzi's stink.

I'm not an elephant party expert, but I know that Helen Marchal starts her run as a fairly unknown commodity. I only knew her as the occasional co-host of Crime Beat with Carl Brizzi on WIBC and the wife of my friend and Democratic Marion County Superior Court Commissioner Jeff Marchal.

I'm sure this puts Jeff in an interesting position as someone who probably aspires to perhaps one day be on the bench as a Democratic Marion Superior Court Judge (since he ran before) but also was someone who was rumored to possibly be in the running for a U.S. Attorney job in the Obama Administration's Justice Department. I do feel for Jeff as this is certainly making him choose between his friends and his wife. I don't think anyone will knock him for choosing the love of his life and the mother of his beautiful children over Democratic loyalty in this case. I won't play that game here, and I hope others don't, either.

It's still a good question to ask about Brizzi's influence, and I'm sure it's one that will continue to be determined as the Prosecutorial Pile-up continues to unpile in 2010. I think there is tremendous opportunity for some Republicans not tied to Brizzi to file and create a primary battle, and Democrats now must change tactics and carefully connect Marchal to Carl Brizzi or run against her straight up philosophy and facts. I suppose we'll see as we politicos get a front row seat to this race.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Township Government May Not Totally Go Away

As township government (in the form of Trustees and Advisory Boards) appears ready to potentially go to the slaughterhouse if legislation is passed by the Indiana General Assembly to force township-by-township referenda, it's important to ask the question: Will all of township government be gone?

I spoke today with a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, and this House member told me that the current bill would not effect Constables or Small Claims courts. Those entities would go on and continue to exist in Marion County.

What is the benefit of keeping these very unique forms of government if the Trustees and the Assessors were not important enough to keep? Thoughts?

Dr. Martin Luther King, 1929-1968

Let's celebrate Dr. King with his beautiful "I Have A Dream Speech" from 1963:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

David O Suprises with Money Raised...Will It Matter Though?

David Orentlicher sent Democrats atwitter by releasing his campaign finance sheet that showed he had raised over $180,000 in his run for Marion County Prosecutor. Greg Bowes' balance sheet said he had just mere pennies in comparison, and Terry Curry has yet to release the information. It makes one wonder as to what effect this will have on the race.

Party insiders point to how Orentlicher raised the cash. They say that the numbers aren't real because the money comes not from the everyday donor but the rich donor with deep pockets. That's all well and good, but it does make you wonder how David O. got them to open up the checkbook and write him a check if his chances were so slim. Maybe we all underestimated the doctor/lawyer's abilities.

It also makes you wonder just what his intentions might be. Orentlicher certainly has the name recognition to win at slating, but he really has not been fighting that hard so far. At club meetings, he is often absent. At Democrat events, he may come by and work the room for a while, but he leaves early before speaking. Sometimes, he'll arrive as an event is wrapping up making it awkward for the event organizers. It's been an odd run for someone that wishes to do well at slating. Did he plan to win at slating at all?

Greg Bowes, who will most certainly not be going through slating, and Terry Curry, the pre-slating favorite, have been working the crowds hard.

Due to his four-page rambling letter on the slating process, Bowes has run into some resistance lately. Besides the staunch party loyalists who are now finding themselves at odds with Bowes' slating opposition, a handful of club leaders that are not allowing him to speak due to his vocal castigation of the party process that has been good enough for him in the past. My sources tell me that he encountered resistance to speaking about his campaign at both the Wayne and Warren Township Democratic Club meetings this past week. Needless to say, Bowes already slim chances have gotten even slimmer without a welcoming forum to speak in or cash to get his word out.

Like Bowes, Curry's been working hard. While he may not have as much cash in the bank as Orentlicher, Curry has, in my opinion, done the most leg work and has made the most headway with grassroots party loyalists. I just, for example, received a phone call from him today. Curry also said last Monday at the Decatur Township Democratic Club Meeting that he's hit his fundraising goals which the Indianapolis Star reported to be around 100K.

So, exactly what is Orentlicher going to do with that bankroll if he doesn't win at slating? David O. personally called me after I pointed out that he had been somewhat unclear in the early days of the race about his plans for slating and said that he did in fact plan to go through slating and that he would abide by the slating agreement. He has repeated that pledge several times over the past few months in his appearances with other candidates or on his own. If he decides to buck the slate again, it could be a tough road to go for him in the future if he ever wishes to get party backing.

It should also be noted that the most loyal of loyal Democrats have long memories when it comes to bucking the slate. Even after being elected to serve on the bench, many D's privately gripe every time a Marion Superior Court Judge that was not slated before being elected talks or appears at events. Even a winning candidate may not be slated under the new slating agreement for six years if they fail to abide by the terms of slating. That means that if you don't win at slating and you continue your run, you are persona non grata for a while. By terms of the agreement, that extends to sitting elected officials.

Another issue is the specter of experience. Both Curry and Bowes have experience as a Deputy Prosecutor. Orentlicher does not. While he has extensive experience as a law professor, legislator, and doctor, he does not stack up too well when it comes to that prosecutorial experience part of his resume. That could be a problem since the likely Republican to be slated is former Carl Brizzi Chief of Staff Helen Marchal.

So, I don't know what Orentlicher is intending to do. If he is unsuccessful at slating, he will have a difficult decision to make if he is not successful. I guess we shall see where the Prosecutorial Pile-up turns from here.

See the campaign finance reports here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kennedy Collects Another Endorsement in Mayor's Race

Melina Kennedy's campaign keeps racking up the endorsements. On January 12, the campaign announced that it had received the endorsement of the Coalition of United Professionals. Here is a portion of the news release:

Indianapolis--Today, the Coalition of United Professionals (CUP), acting through its political action committee, endorsed Melina Kennedy in her campaign for mayor of Indianapolis.

The Coalition of United Professionals is an organization of twenty professionals that represent a new generation of black business and civic leaders throughout Central Indiana whose ultimate focus is creating opportunities for minority owned businesses as well as having a direct impact on the Federal, State and Local political process.

CUP's chairman, Joseph L. Smith, Jr., cited Kennedy’s experience as vital to the endorsement.

“I’ve known Melina for some time and, hands down, her experience as a proven and successful job-creator makes her the best choice for mayor,” Smith said.

CUP member Gabe Bender added: "CUP looks forward to working with Melina to get Indianapolis moving again by growing the local economy and making Indianapolis a more vibrant, diverse and competitive city that is attractive to professionals and small businesses."

Kennedy thanked CUP for their support. “I am grateful to have the support of the Coalition of United Professionals and look forward to working closely with them to make Indianapolis a city that reaches higher.”

For those of you keeping score at home, former Congressman Andy Jacobs, former Mayor Bart Peterson, and several prominent CEOs and business leaders have come out in favor of Kennedy. Unions also have shown early support for her. AFSCME Local 1887 (Indy Parks), International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local 18, and the LIUNA all have endorsed her.

Kennedy and businessman Brian Williams are the two announced Democratic candidates for Mayor of Indianapolis with a couple of other possible candidates waiting in the wings, too.

Jon Stewart on Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson

From Thursday's Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Haiti Earthquake Reactions
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Limbaugh Out of Line

Usually I reserve my Saturday posts for something funny or interesting that has come up in the news, but somehow, that just doesn’t seem right today as the folks in Haiti continue to dig out and try to reclaim some form of normalcy following the devastating earthquake that struck Port-Au-Prince on Tuesday.

It was a disaster, as Hillary Clinton put it, of “biblical” proportion, and the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere took a direct hit. President Obama has been at the forefront of helping our brothers and sisters in need in Haiti, and America has followed him. The President has shown tremendous leadership.

I had been trying to avoid the political side of this fray, but, I can no more. I feel compelled to talk about the big mouth of one particular conservative leader, Rush Limbaugh. Unfortunately, he has an enormous throng of followers that gets its news from his very narrow prism. It’s a prism which is tinted by racism and a very skewed view of society.

Limbaugh has cemented and underlined who he truly is by his comments in the wake of the earthquake. While Haitians struggle for survival and the United States takes the lead in providing aid and comfort to a friendly nation in need, Limbaugh has decided to uncork political criticism and direct it at one of his most hated targets, President Barack Obama.

In very racial terms, Limbaugh accused President Obama of being a political opportunist saying that he was only trying to increase his standing as a humanitarian and thus bolstering his standing in the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.”

The comments have been widely panned with everyone from fellow conservatives Joe Scarborough and even Pat Buchanan saying that Limbaugh went too far. That didn’t stop the self-proclaimed “El Rushbo” from continuing to sharpen his knife against the President. On his show Thursday, Limbaugh said, “Everything this president sees is a political opportunity, including Haiti, and he will use it to burnish his credentials with minorities in this country and around the world, and to accuse Republicans of having no compassion,”

Well, Republicans do have compassion. According to Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity is even encouraging people to donate and help the tragedy-stricken country with, unbelievably, a now-homeless President. Olbermann reported several other conservative leaning websites had set up links to the Red Cross’ website and were encouraging visitors to donate to Haitian earthquake relief. Yet Limbaugh seemed to encourage people NOT to donate, ““We've already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”

Rush, I’m talking to you now. I know you read my blog, so let’s pull in close here and talk.

You ready? Ok? Here goes…

Conservatives DO have compassion, but you, sir, have none. It’s unbelievable that you had a heart scare a few weeks ago because clearly you have no heart. It must have been a hoax. I only hope that your advertisers and your audience are both smarter than you think and that they leave you in droves.

It’s ironic that you are calling Obama the opportunist here. Clearly, you are projecting your own inadequacies onto him. You, sir, are the opportunist. You, sir, are the one trying to score points and make this horrible tragedy into some sort of political football that can be tossed around.

What makes this scary is that, if Al Franken were right, we could write you off as a "big fat idiot." Unfortunately, I think you are just the opposite. You are incredibly intelligent with little to no common sense. I don’t ever, for one minute, think you are doing anything you haven’t premeditated. Thus, it’s only fair to claim that, in this blogger’s opinion, you know exactly what buttons you are pushing. One day...maybe not WILL COST YOU! You give conservatives a worse name.

Friday, January 15, 2010

John Barnes Has An Opponent

Representative John Barnes sent out an e-mail to supporters last night reporting some important news:

"Just wanted to send out a quick message and give you a news update. At the Warren Township Club Meeting tonight, Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy said that he had talked to Marion County Republican Chair Tom John about my opponent in the next election. Ed says that they have decided to run Larry Buell (again)...

Of course, it's too early to know if this is 100% accurate, but if it is true....

I see this as great news and the chance for a re-match with Larry that we never got to have when he decided to retire in 2008.

I look forward to working with all of you in the next election, and holding on to House District #89 and the Democrat House Majority!!!"

So, it would seem that Tom John, the many who once accused Democrats of digging up Ed Treacy from the political graveyard, has gone to the political graveyard to dig up Larry Buell and reanimate his political chances...if the rumor is true.

It won't matter. John Barnes will raise cash and work hard, and Lawrence Buell will go quietly back into retirement.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Blog Suggestion

The incredibly talented Pat Andrews has a blog called "Had Enough Indy" where she blogs mostly on local, Marion County issues. She leans left, but her blog is much more from the perspective of a concerned citizen. Check it out here.

Haiti Earthquake Shudders Soul

Sometimes, you just wonder why. Why on Earth do these people in Haiti continue to suffer these horrible, horrible disasters?

As I am sure you've heard by now, the country of Haiti was devastated by a 7.0 earthquake centered about 10 miles outside Port-Au-Prince. The damage is catastrophic and the casualties are even worse in a country that has been hard hit by so much from natural to man-made disasters over its years of existence.

As survivors come to grips with what has happened to their country and the world community tries to lift up one of its neighbors in unbelievable need, it's time to pause. To put all the political rhetoric and hatemongering away and remember the words of Helen Keller:

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."

Let's wish our friends in Haiti a fast and speedy recovery from this horrible tragedy. It will take time, help, money, and hard work, but the country of Haiti will rise from these horrible events and stand again. We just need to take the initiative and help. Click here to visit the American Red Cross and find out how you can help the citizens of Haiti.