Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Oh No! It's a pumpkin horror film! AHHHH!



And...my annual tradition. The posting of Danse Macabre on Halloween. Enjoy! This one goes out to Mrs. Vaughn, my elementary music teacher. She was a great teacher, and she played this piece by Camille Saint-Saens and the accompanying filmstrip for us each Halloween or around Halloween. I don't know where she is now, but thanks Mrs. Vaughn!



HAPPY HALLOWEEN LOYAL READERS! THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Open Letter...



To the anonymous person that keeps posting bigoted comments directed at Muslims here:

I am moderating the comments, and your comments will not be posted. You could post them 200 times, and I will not post them. All I have to do is click a box and report all of the comments as spam.

If you wish to put out your agenda, feel free. Get your own blogger website and post away.

Sincerely,
Jon Easter
Founder
Indy Democrat Blog

PS: To the rest of you, I apologize for interrupting your day. It's just that someone with an anti-Muslim agenda has left approximately 20 comments here today...most on posts that have nothing to do with anything Muslim.

Just Wondering: Will the Colts Affect the Election?



Election Day is Tuesday, and I'm sure that everybody who's anybody in the political world is planning on getting out and voting (if they haven't already done so), but here's something to think about.

On Monday night, the Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans in a key AFC South game that could, frankly, determine if the Colts still have a shot at a division title or if the team is playing for a wild card berth in the playoffs. A loss for the Colts would put them 0-2 against Houston and drop the team to 0-3 in the AFC South. Both are important indicators for playoff positioning.

With such an important game, it's very likely that many televisions will be tuned in to the Monday Night Football game until probably close to midnight. There will also be 63,000 or more Colts fans filing out of Lucas Oil Stadium after the game. I can imagine that some of them will be inspectors and poll workers in the morning.

Therefore, it's quite possible that there could be a "Colts Factor" to the early hours on Election Day. Maybe some of the people that stayed up late to watch the Colts will find it difficult to roll out of bed and get to the polls early on Tuesday before work or school.

I hope I'm wrong. I think if people care enough; they will get to the polls. Still, this is something I don't remember happening before in Indianapolis. Let's hope the Colts roll to a victory on Monday night and that Democrats roll to a victory on Tuesday.

Saturday Humor: Voting Republican

I know that I've used this before, but I think it again poignant on this final Saturday before the election.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Hodge Podge: Favorite Local Political TV Ads of 2010


Well, I'm going to do my Casey Kasem impression and countdown my top five favorite political TV ads from local or statewide candidates here in 2010. It's been a long campaign season, but these are my favorite five ads.

And, before we begin, isn't YouTube an amazing tool? Sure there's a lot of crap out there, but this kind of blog post would have been nearly impossible before YouTube.

5. Pete Buttigieg for Treasurer
I love it when a candidate speaks for himself or herself. This great ad from Pete Buttigieg introduces himself very well. He certainly wins the ad war over Richard Mourdock's boring ads.

This ad's theme seems to borrow a bit from Brad Ellsworth's state convention video. I still think it would have made a dynamic ad for the Congressman in his Senate campaign. Here's a link to that video.



4. Terry Curry for Prosecutor
This ad is in response to Mark Massa's ad that calls into question Terry Curry's resolve in potentially prosecuting a child molester because he defended one as a defense attorney. Even Republicans have called Massa's ad desperate and totally out of line. In the meantime, Curry drives home some important points.



3. John Layton for Sheriff
Tough, tested, experienced...all things you want in a Sheriff. This one sums up everything you need to know about John Layton. Kudos to the campaign for including some great footage and photographs of Layton in action as he worked to bust criminals over his 36 years.




2. John Layton for Sheriff
This is a great ad. It highlights one of the many important roles of the Marion County Sheriff, maintaining the sex offender registry. The assignment of a deputy to monitor each sex offender is an important way to keep them in the sights of law enforcement.



1. Andre Carson for Congress
Congressman Carson goes ebulliently positive in this ad, and he does the talking for himself. The music, the tone, the writing is all about being forward thinking and positive. I give this one the top spot because I really think it captures who Andre Carson is and what drives him.

Despite what you hear from his detractors, Carson has taken the ball from his grandmother and has expanded on her work for the 7th Congressional District. He has been all over the district, and this ad shows Carson in his element with constituents and friends.

It's a great ad, and I believe it fully explains why the Congressman deserves another term. As an aside, the campaign tells me that this ad was created in the 7th District, written in the 7th District, and even scored in the 7th District.



Ok, now I'm off to record my long distance dedication for a dog named Snuggles. If you don't know what I'm talking about, type "Casey Kasem rant" into a YouTube search box and enjoy. It's definitely not safe for work, though.

Charlie White Continues Disgraceful Run for SOS Amid More Controversy


Possible voter fraud and now election law problems...just another day's work for Charlie White.

The man who moved miles out of his district while still serving on the Fishers Town Council and then allegedly committed voter fraud by voting outside of his precinct is at it again. White sent out a direct mail piece with no mention of who paid for the ad. This is a violation of Indiana Code.

Here is the article from the Indianapolis Star.

The sad news is that even though White has been totally exposed in the electronic and print media; he still leads in the polls! Indiana could be poised to elect someone that clearly at least has problems with following voting laws and election laws to become Indiana's Chief Elections Officer.

The White campaign is claiming dirty politics and says that the omission of the ad's money source was simply an oversight. What a dumb excuse! Regardless, don't you think that given the situation with White's voting record that you would want to make sure EVERYTHING is completely perfect after that point. That your "nose was clean" so to speak.

A vote for Charlie White is a vote for Mitch Daniels picking our next Secretary of State if White has to resign or is convicted of a crime and, yes, an investigation is underway.

Vop Osili has been the best choice for Secretary of State from the start of all this, and he remains the best choice, today. How can anyone justify voting for Charlie White given the way he has conducted himself? Vote Vop!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make Your Vote Count, November 2!


Ladies and gentlemen, gentle readers, friends, family, fellow Democrats (and selected Republicans...you know who you are):

I am extremely concerned about what is going to happen on Tuesday. I wouldn't say that I'm in despair. I think that the 2010 election will actually deliver a Democratic sweep in the Marion County offices on the ballot, and I think it will return Congressman Andre Carson to Congress in the 7th District. I think Vop Osili will win in Marion County keeping the Democrats in the inspector positions in our polling sites and give our party ballot position in the county for the next four years.

I believe Mary Ann Sullivan, John Barnes, Jeb Bardon, and many of the other Democrats whose districts lie in Marion County are going back to the State House. Jim Merritt may finally go home, and, despite all his efforts to avoid it, Brian Bosma may get ousted from office.

I think these things are going to happen. Beyond that, I don't know what's going to happen, but I think the indicators...as they stand now...look mighty scary. It has nothing to do with Halloween.

I am concerned about the state and national landscape. Right now, I fear that Republicans stand to pick up two more of Indiana's nine Congressional seats with Joe Donnelly, Pete Visclosky, and Carson returning to Washington. I fear that Brad Ellsworth will be defeated despite his best efforts to trumpet the alarm about Dan Coats' dubious lobbying career.

I'm concerned that, despite a great campaign effort, that Sam Locke, Pete Buttigieg, and Vop Osili may not be able to escape the Democratic Party label on the ballot. I am concerned that even though people wanted change in 2008, that they have forgotten about 2008 in favor of the Tea Party Tempest in 2010. I'm concerned that we might be ready to elect a man under investigation for voter fraud to become our state's chief elections officer.

I'm EXTREMELY concerned about a state landscape that will, by electing Republicans, allow the same backwards thinking about social issues to gain traction and passage here in our backyard. It's a scary thought that many of the social wedge issues fought off with a Democratic Majority in the Indiana House can now be pushed through with a lame duck Governor running for President and an unchecked Republican majority in the House and Senate.

I'm concerned that people are going to sit on the sidelines and wait this election out. That despite all the efforts by our President, Organizing for America, and other entities that we just aren't going to be able to jazz up young people and Democrats for this year's crucial and critical election.

If all those things happen, I more than worry about the next two years in Indiana and nationwide.

But, the thing about concern is that we can change it. We can change concern into action. If you are concerned like me, sound the alarm. Ride the horses through the streets (metaphorically, of course) and tell your friends that "THE ELEPHANTS ARE COMING! THE ELEPHANTS ARE COMING!"

Tell them that working people will soon be under attack. Tell them that we can expect things like gay marriage to again become wedge issues that push us apart instead of bringing us together. Tell those friends that if they sit this one out, that the issues they may care about will be forgotten. Real public schools reform will be pushed aside in favor of political wedges like school vouchers, the moving around of funding, and merit pay for teachers. The playbook is there, and the Republicans have waited a long long time to try to follow it.

If we don't vote in November, it's all coming in January, but we can stop it. When you're concerned about something, you get off your duff and do something. If you care about this country, vote on November 2. If you care about this state, vote on November 2. If you care about your friends or your family, vote on November 2. Make the time and make your vote count!

If we all vote, my concern will turn into celebration as we send the Republicans to an upset defeat, nationally and statewide. WHO'S WITH ME?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If You Believe the Governor...


Governor Mitch Daniels lives in a fantasy world up there on Geist. It's a fantasy world of surpluses and job growth.

He wants you to believe that, in the face of tough economic times, that his administration has guided the state through the stormy waters while the other states around us have gone all "Edmund Fitzgerald."

Well, there's a report penned by the Associated Press that I found via NPR that horrifyingly turns that whole thing on its ear. Indiana is in bad shape because we cannot apparently provide even the most basic services for some of our most in-need citizens.

Call me liberal, but THIS is ridiculous. Read the article. Headline is, "Ind. Parents Told Drop Disabled Kids At Shelters."

After you're done, consider two years of Mitch Daniels with no fear of re-election and no fear of any Democratic opposition at the state level. Tuesday is an important day for many of the most vulnerable Hoosiers.

Massa's Plan: Steakhouse Tastes on a McDonald's Budget


Republican candidate for Prosecutor, Mark Massa, has released an ad that touts a "new kind" of crimefighting for Marion County. This as property tax caps are about to be likely voted in to our state's constitution and, as Mayoral Candidate Melina Kennedy points out, our county's budget is slipping into the red.

Marion County and Indianapolis can't pay for many of the services that are being provided today, but Mark Massa somehow believes that he can provide these new services apparently at no cost to the taxpayer.

Here is the ad:


Massa is promising a rapid response team (who knows what department that would be put under). If he's trying to grow the Prosecutor's Office, then why does he show police in the ad? If this will be a new police agency, wouldn't that require IMPD's cooperation, and how does he do that without speaking to the Mayor and the Public Safety Director? Massa's also interested in a DNA Database Team. I believe we actually already have one of those, but maybe he's trying to grow the size of government, again.

Finally, this business about no plea bargaining and charging criminals with the toughest charges possible. I guess that means that you can expect low level drug dealers to get charged so highly that maybe bigger drug suppliers, for example, are not ferreted out.

For someone that started out so strong, Mark Massa sure is running an odd campaign all of the sudden. His first two bio ads were slick and well-produced. Governor Daniels took to the airwaves to endorse him. Then, suddenly, the polls showed he was behind.

Change of strategy...he did the ad attacking Terry Curry for defending someone (Isn't that what lawyers do?), and now this pie in the sky ad talking about unrealistic plans that I don't believe he can pay for in this economic climate.

The Massa train is derailing in front of our eyes.

Everybody, Meet Pete('s New Ad)

The Democratic candidate for Treasurer, Pete Buttigieg, has just released his first television advertisement. It's very good, and it's great when a candidate can do a good voice over. This blows Mourdock's ads out of the water.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sarge Visher's Arrangements

I have gotten many questions regarding my post about the death of Sarge Visher. Here is his obituary as published by the Indy Star.

S. Sargent Visher On October 24, S. Sargent Visher, (64), known to all as Sarge, died. He is the son of John and Rosemary Treanor Visher and the husband of Belle Turner Choate. Sarge graduated from Shimer College and IUPUI School of Law and practiced law - in the public and private sectors - for many years. He also proudly worked as Congresswoman Julia Carson's Chief of Staff until her death. One of Sarge's many pursuits was the advancement of veteran's rights. He served in Vietnam and was awarded a purple heart and bronze star for that service. He will be forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. All are welcome to come to a gathering for those who wish a time to say goodbye - to be held at Leppert Mortuary in Nora at 740 East 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN, on Friday, October 29, 4:00-6:00 PM.

Things Get Heated at Decatur Twp. Forum


At last night's Decatur Township Civic Council Candidates' Forum, Judge Bill Fisher, of the Decatur Township Small Claims Court, got a little hot under the collar when Democratic candidate Steve Terrell brought up that collection cases seemed to get filed in Decatur Township's court because the court seems to, by its own representation, value revenue over fairness.

Fisher took the comment personally and attempted to lodge an objection to Terrell's statement. He shouted something unintelligible about his judicial record and then was lightly pulled back down by his arm into his chair by Decatur Township Trustee, Steve Rink. He later apologized for, "losing his cool." One way or another, it showed, in my opinion, bad temperament for a sitting judge. He also refused afterwards to shake Terrell's hand.

The truth of the matter is that Fisher had just explained...out of his own mouth...what a cash cow the Decatur Township Small Claims Court has become for Decatur Township government. He said that since he became judge in 2007 that the court moved from 8th in the county to 3rd in the number of cases filed. With the accompanying filing fees, court costs, and judgments, Fisher called the Decatur Small Claims Court a "valuable asset."

Here's something you might not know, plaintiffs such as collection agencies, hospitals, or landlords can file small claims cases in any small claims court in Marion County. You can shop for a court. If a specific court seems favorable, you can file there. The Decatur Township location is particularly attractive because it doesn't sit on a bus line. That makes it more difficult for, let's say, a person that doesn't drive to get down to the courtroom and provide a defense.

None of this shouldn't be construed to be personal towards Judge Fisher. He's a truly nice guy. It's just that the manner in which his courtroom operates is absolutely fair game for Terrell. It's the issue of the campaign for many who feel as if they did not get a fair shake in the court itself due to the pressure or the philosophy of the court as a cash cow.

The question, I guess, is should the Small Claims Court be more about making money or more about making fair judgments? For Fisher, it seems he wants to be fair, but it's also that he seems to be more about making money for the township than fairness. Perception can be reality.

I invite Judge Fisher to respond to this blog post if he believes I have been unfair.

Also at the forum, Decatur Township Trustee, Steve Rink, a Republican, debated his opponent, Alexis Skriloff James, the Democrat. James was recently endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Local 86. She pledges to beef up poor relief in the township and maintain the township fire department.

Democrat Timothy Huber went toe-to-toe with longtime Rep. Bob Behning, the Republican, in the House District 91 forum. Huber has improved each run and now seems to be hitting his stride as a candidate. He gave reasoned, passionate responses to the questions he was answered. Behning, a local flower shop owner, figures to be the GOP member that will chair up the House Education Committee. He's also a staunch advocate for charter schools, vouchers, and initiatives such as merit pay.

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Arrests, No Warrants Served, and Fishburn Wants to Be Sheriff


Dennis Fishburn is out on the campaign trail and is touting his 29 years of law enforcement experience as a reason why you should vote for him to be our Marion County Sheriff. The GOP nominee's 29 years should be applauded and respected, but it just isn't the kind of experience that stands up to John Layton's 36.

The Fishburn campaign is putting all of its chips on the 29 years of experience Fishburn accumulated between the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. His ads are not really that specific about what he's done in those 29 years, and they aren't specific for good reason. (Editors Note: The ad for Another Cool Design comes with the embed. GRRR)

Dennis Fishburn For Sheriff - Public Safety is Personal from Another Cool Design on Vimeo.



FISHBURN For Sheriff - Public Safety is Personal from Another Cool Design on Vimeo.



So, what has Fishburn done?

In the last few years, Fishburn has been, essentially, a pawn shop detective. Sources tell me that he compares the serial numbers of stolen property to those of property found in pawn shops. If he finds something, he picks up the phone and calls somebody to take the investigation farther.

Compare that to what Colonel John Layton has been doing the last eight years. Layton has been at the right hand of Sheriff Frank Anderson. When Sheriff Anderson is out of town or unavailable, John Layton has served in his role as the leader of the Marion County Sheriff's Department and its thousands of employees.

John Layton has worked at every level of the Marion County Sheriff's Department. He has served on road patrol, undercover, in the jail, and management. As his excellent ads point out, Layton founded a gang intelligence unit. Layton and Anderson also have implemented a program that puts a Sheriff's Deputy on every sex offender in Marion County, and that program requires Layton and Anderson to participate by keeping track of sex offenders, too. This ad from John Layton's campaign talks about that aspect of the Sheriff's job.



This ad talks about Layton's experience.



The long haired dude in the Sheriff's windbreaker that's busting into the home? That's John Layton. The guy in the helmet with the big gun pointed at a suspect. That's John Layton.

There's more to all of this, though. It has to be brought up, even though I am reluctant to do so.

Fishburn has decided to make his son's tragic shooting a part of the campaign as well. He says that it's why he's running for Sheriff, to give back to the community that supported his family. If this is truly the case, I salute him for his desire to get involved.

And, while I have a moment, I want to say that Jason Fishburn's survival was a result of his strong will to live and the great medical care he received at Wishard Hospital (Dennis Fishburn was a strong advocate for a new Wishard Hospital last year, and I applaud him for that). I am so amazed by Jason Fishburn's progress since being nearly killed by a truly nasty individual. Jason Fishburn should be an inspiration to us all.

Let's put that aside and concentrate on Dennis Fishburn for just one more second.

Dennis Fishburn is running ads that imply that if warrants were served correctly that his son's shooting might not have happened. I'm never sure that a one-to-one comparison can be drawn in any case, and I feel bad dragging this into the conversation. It was Dennis Fishburn, however, that brought this up, so let's look at the facts.

Under Sheriff Frank Anderson, the number of deputies tracking down warrants has gone way up over Jack Cottey's Administration. Secondly, I'm told that Dennis Fishburn has never served a warrant--not once. That bothers me. If you are going to talk about it like you know how to do it, then you had better have done it. There's almost nothing that John Layton has not done in the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

People want to marginalize the Marion County Sheriff's Department now that the brown cars aren't patrolling the streets, but it's still a major part of public safety in this community. Not only do the deputies run the jail, but the Sheriff is in charge of security at the City-County Building, the sex offender list, warrants, the 911 call center, and processing those who are arrested.

The GOP wants you to elect someone who has never made an arrest and has never served a warrant in 29 years of experience in law enforcement? To me, that makes the choice easy. John Layton has the experience and the plan to be Marion County Sheriff.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Memoriam: Sarge Visher (1946-2010)


I have just been informed that loyal Democrat and longtime local political leader, Sarge Visher, has passed away.

I met Sarge when he was the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Julia Carson. He was a good, pleasant, and decent man. He always had a smile and a joke for me. I absolutely loved to hear him tell stories. There were those that knew him much better, but I never ever saw Sarge when he didn't speak to me and shake my hand.

Sarge, you will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

Conflict Nothing New for Shearer


It's amazing what a simple Google search will pull up on someone. After Ernie Shearer and Ed Treacy allegedly had some form of disagreement outside the Warren Township satellite voting site (where Shearer was , as Democrats allege, taking pictures of voters as they left), I decided to type in his name into a Google search as well as the name of the the PAC, Hoosiers for Honesty in Government.

I'll let the results simply speak for themselves.

Here

Here

Here

and Here.

Shearer, Treacy Allegedly Scuffle



Warren Township GOP leader Ernie Shearer and Marion County Democratic Party Chair Ed Treacy allegedly got into a shoving and shouting match outside the satellite voting center on East 10th Street yesterday.

I heard about this on WTHR's Weekend Sunrise this morning, but I wanted to wait to post something on it until the Indy Star reported something. Here's the report from the Indy Star.

One way or another, I think this picture is appropriate in this situation.



UPDATE:
Here is the Channel 13 story on the event.

Tully Criticizes Massa Camp for Attack Ad


Matt Tully, the Indianapolis Star's political columnist, is a great writer who makes everybody mad at times. That means that he's really good at what he does.

In the last couple of weeks, he has taken on the lobbyist, Dan Coats, saying that the revolving door should be permanently closed on Coats and all but endorsing Brad Ellsworth.

Today, Tully goes after Mark Massa in a well-crafted column that explains what anyone close to the legal system understands. If you are a criminal defense attorney, you defend your client. That's the system when everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

This all goes back to Massa's attack ad on Curry about a child molester that he defended when he was doing criminal defense work. I won't bother to post it here. Curry responded with a "setting the record straight" ad.



Tully's column can be read here.

Matt Tully's right though, you don't go negative like this unless you need to catch up. That means that Terry Curry is the frontrunner for Marion County Prosecutor, according to Mark Massa's campaign.

Just One Reason Why I Still Support Barack Obama


President Barack Obama recorded this video as part of the "It Gets Better Project". It was released on the White House's You Tube channel on Thursday. As I watched this, I wondered to myself, would George W. Bush do this? Would any previous President?

Obama takes a lot of heat on both sides of the aisle for being too liberal or not being liberal enough. Yet, it's these moments and messages that make me very proud that I voted for him. Yes, I'm still proud of my vote, and I credit President Obama for this awesome message to young people in the wake of the recent suicides of LGBT youths across the country.

He's right. It does get better!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Terry Curry Releases "Setting Record Straight" Ad


After a misleading attack ad by his opponent, Republican Mark Massa, Democratic candidate for Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry was initially quiet. That silence has now been broken.

The Curry campaign has put together this new ad highlighting the frontrunner's record of putting away child predators.

Did You Watch Last Night's Senate Debate?

I was busy last night, and I couldn't see the Senate debate last night between Brad Ellsworth, Dan Coats, and Rebecca Sink-Burris.

What did you think of it? Leave your comments below!

Saturday Humor: Christine O'Donnell After Auto-Tuning

Well, the good folks that do Auto-Tune The News sunk their fangs into Christine O'Donnell's now infamous "I'm Not a Witch" ad which she released after Bill Maher revealed an old clip from his Politically Incorrect show on Real Time that showed her saying that she "dabbled in" witchcraft as a youngster. Enjoy.



And the original ad if you haven't seen it.



And the clip from Real Time that started it all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Parking Deal Redux Still Filled with Potholes


I am far from the authority on the deal between Mayor Ballard's Administration and ACS to take over parking operations at the city's meters scattered across town. There are many other blogs that out there that have dealt with the issue, so I will just piggy back on to what has already been said.

I direct your attention to Advance Indiana and Gary Welsh. You know, Gary and I have gone around and around on his blog many times, and I don't agree with his politics. I find myself in agreement with him and his assessment of the ACS deal 100 percent. That should bother people. Maybe there is something to this 2012 thing :-). You can read Gary's well-researched and excellently crafted response to the ACS Deal here. The Urbanophile blog goes further on the original deal.

While the whole piece is still well worth the read, the digest version is simple. The new deal isn't really new at all. It just shifts a few terms around and slaps a new sticker on the front. The core question remains: why does the city need ACS to do this for them?

That's a harder question to answer. It likely dives deep into the bowels of the sausage-making factory of politics. I have no doubt that if the public blinks and buys this new deal hook, line, and sinker that Ballard will get the votes to stuff it through the Council.

Welsh and Blogger Paul Ogden have both been on top of the story about Council President Ryan Vaughn's apparent lobbying activities on behalf of ACS. Vaughn denies it, but Ogden says that a state report listed him as a lobbyist for ACS. That's just one issue. There are many more.

Then, there's the question that no one seems to be answering: How will this effect small businesses downtown? My friend (and future At-Large City-County Councillor), Zach Adamson owns Just Hair on Ohio Street. He has been saying all along that raising the parking rates just makes it less likely for people to frequent downtown businesses. Channel 8 did a story on this as well.



So, while Mayor Ballard and some of his friends on the City-County Council might believe this is good for the city, it sounds like there's still enough out there that is hanging in the air to keep asking questions. Let's hope enough City-County Councillors keep asking them before they ram the deal through.

I think there will be a few more drives around the block before this story finds a final parking spot.

David Sanders Releases First Ad


The Democrat who wants to represent Indiana's 4th District, David Sanders, has released his first campaign ad. It's a fairly positive piece that advocates voting for Dr. Sanders because of his experience in traveling the district and knowing the issues, his outsider status (not a "career politician"), and his background as a scientist.

Republican Todd Rokita is possibly a bit more vulnerable these days due to some recent upheaval in his campaign management.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marvin Scott: Pushing the Muslim Button


Marvin Scott's back to his old tricks. He's playing the "religion card" against Congressman Andre Carson in a desperate and sad effort to raise last-minute cash in the 7th District Congressional race.

Sources tell me that Scott has released this fundraising plea to his tea party loyalists. Some people have no shame and will resort to anything. Here's what it says.

Emergency: Tea Party Activist Scott Poised To Defeat Carson

ALERT - In less than TWO WEEKS, my campaign is poised to DEFEAT Nancy Pelosi's most reliable vote, Barack Obama’s socialist comrade, the darling of the Progressive Caucus -- André Carson. Supporters are coming from all across the political spectrum to support my campaign to unseat Carson!

But we're fighting an uphill battle for dollars, against his shadowy funding sources...

A favorite of rabid race-baiter and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, Carson is a radical Leftwing vote on everything -- bailouts, stimulus, TARP, ObamaCare, job-killing nanny-state regulation -- an aggressive activist, pro-Sharia Muslim with ties to terrorist sympathizers with deep financial pockets. And with Obama's Chicago machine behind him too, he can tap into untold depths of dollars to hold on to his seat!

And that's why we MUST raise enough money to broadcast our message of private sector job growth, lower taxes, limited government, and love of liberty in these final days before the election!

We MUST tell the voters what the liberal mainstream media won't tell them: that André Carson is a extreme leftist who has voted time and again for national bankruptcy, debt and dependency, taxpayer-funded abortion, Cap and Tax, and big, wasteful, job-destroying, extravagant, intrusive government across the board... every wild-eyed liberal scheme Washington can dream up to wreck America... plus he is an Islamist who condemns our ally Israel and a socialist who demeans our nation -- in cahoots with Obama's "progressive" plans to unravel the U.S. Constitution and factionalize our nation ... and worse!!!

You can help me DEFEAT André Carson -- one of the most radically liberal politicians in Congress -- and make history. Please support our campaign's efforts to PUT PAID to André Carson, an Obama liberal, by offering your most generous contribution to my campaign TODAY!

You can contribute any amount up to $2,400 per individual or $4,800 per married couple...

With just days left to the election, we still need 257 more people who can contribute $100 or more in the next 48 hours so we can get crucial radio and television ads on the air THROUGHOUT THE LAST CRITICAL WEEK TO REACH THE UNDECIDED VOTE, and DEFEAT André Carson once and for all!

For America,

Dr. Marvin Scott
Marvin Scott for Congress

“I am not a career politician and I do not seek to make politics a career.” — Dr. Marvin Scott


How about that last quote? If Marvin does not seek to make politics a career, why didn't he stop after the first time he was slapped down by a Democrat?

Truth is that Marvin Scott is worse than a career politician. He's a career wingnut. That's right. You know me, I don't resort to name calling very often, but it's true. There are so many lies in that fundraising notice that it would take me all night to refute them. Since you know they're lies, I'm not going to bother either.

I guess the question is: Does this advance the ball for positive politics at all? Yes, I know I just called Scott a wingnut, but it's clear that Marvin Scott doesn't want to discuss the issues here. He wants to religion-bait and turn Carson into the second coming of Vladimir Lenin.

Well, the 7th District isn't buying it. Scott can use his funky math, his crazy ravings, and his worst lies. He's still going to lose. He's going to lose by a bundle.

Richard Mourdock Stalks Pete Buttigieg?


Treasurer Richard Mourdock sometimes does things that defy logic.

In August, he brought in controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, AZ. Arpaio is under federal investigation now, but that didn't seem to bother Mourdock. Mourdock also appeared on the same card as Glenn Beck at a rally earlier this year.

This one, though, takes the cake.

Mourdock, in a move that defies logic, good sense, and pretty much anything else you can think of, apparently took photos with himself and his supporters in front of Democratic opponent Pete Buttigieg's home in South Bend.

Let that sink in for a moment...I'll wait. If you need musical help to digest it, click play below.



I had to read the post on Jim Shella's blog twice, so if you need to read it again, I'll type it again.

Mourdock, in a move that defies logic, good sense, and pretty much anything else you can think of, apparently took photos with himself and his supporters in front of Democratic opponent Pete Buttigieg's home in South Bend.

For his part, Buttigieg made this into a great opportunity to get some zings in on the incumbent. Here is the news release from his website:

SOUTH BEND – In one of the stranger episodes of the 2010 election cycle, yesterday incumbent State Treasurer Richard Mourdock was in South Bend and took time to pose for pictures with supporters outside the home of his opponent, Democrat Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg, who is traveling the state discussing risky investments in the state’s portfolio and his plans to improve the office, was contacted by several concerned neighbors who witnessed the strange scene.

He released the following statement this morning:

“Last evening several concerned neighbors alerted us that a group of people were assembled in front of my home in South Bend taking pictures. After a family member investigated, I was surprised to learn that there was indeed a group present posing for pictures at my home and that State Treasurer Mourdock was among them.

I have no idea why they were there, why Treasurer Mourdock and his followers were photographing my home or what their intentions were. I doubt they were there for early trick-or-treating. Frankly, the whole thing is odd and a bit creepy.

But more than that, I am puzzled that our elected state treasurer, the man charged with looking after our money, would make time for a juvenile stunt like this, while claiming to be too busy to debate me on the important issues confronting this office.

I’ve repeatedly asked Treasurer Mourdock to debate. I’ve asked in person, by letter and through the press and he has consistently refused to respond. If only I’d known he was coming, I’d have made sure to be home, and invited him in for a cup of coffee so we could sit down like adults and nail down the details of when and where we could publicly debate.

We still have time to meet in a debate. There are still two debates left in the race for United States Senate, so there is surely enough time left for one debate in the state treasurer’s race. And, since he obviously knows where I live and is so interested in my house, I’ll even offer it up as a venue for our debate.”

For more information on Pete Buttigieg or his campaign for Indiana State Treasurer please visit www.peteforindiana.com or call 574-889-0002.


Boy, there are some gems running for these state offices on the GOP side (sarcasm intended). Auditor Tim Berry, Secretary of State candidate Charlie White, and Mourdock would make a good comedy team, but they don't deserve your vote November 2.

Massa Can't Avoid Durham Influence Unless He Dumps Daniels


Mark Massa has spent much of this campaign season trying to distance himself from Carl Brizzi and his dirty deeds, but he can't get by the fact that one of his major political backers, Mitch Daniels, continues to hold on to disgraced financier Tim Durham's campaign contributions. In case you've forgotten about old Tim Durham, read about him here.

Governor Daniels' Aiming Higher PAC has given Massa $60,000, according to the most recent campaign finance report. It's there on page 140. That's over half of the $111K Massa has on hand right now.

You may recall that Durham gave Governor Daniels a huge chunk of change (presumably made via Fair Financial and other business ventures) for his re-election campaign. Daniels has said that he can't return the money because it has already been spent. In April, the Aiming Higher PAC had a balance of $728K on hand.

Apparently, it has been spent in trying to elect a GOP majority in the Indiana Senate and the Indiana House as well as to help make sure the Governor doesn't have a pesky Democrat like Terry Curry in the Marion County Prosecutor's Office to investigate his (and his administration's) activities. Daniels has been an ever-present voice on the radio and face on our tv screens. You almost wonder if he's running for something.

I was talking to a friend of mine who used to work for the state, and, if some of the things he's telling me are true, Mitch should definitely have to worry about having someone in position to investigate his version of state government. If this stuff is true, Tony Soprano has nothing on Mitch the Knife, and I'm told that much of what is being done is done in the open. But, with Brizzi there to kick dirt on the case...no one notices. Nothing shows me that Massa will be any different to one of his campaign's biggest donors in Governor Daniels. After all, Massa used to work for the guy.

Advance Indiana also reports that Massa has received some serious campaign cash from a Las Vegas-based businessman named Jerry Slusser. Sounds like Massa may have some explaining to do there.

So, while Mark Massa's out there distorting Terry Curry's record with misleading television ads, he's doing it with money that somewhere up or down the line came from questionable resources. Hypocrisy from a guy who says he's best suited to clean up the corruption present in the Prosecutor's Office.

Should we be surprised? After all, he is from the party of Carl Brizzi. All the more reason to break the Republican stranglehold on the Prosecutor's Office and elect a man like Terry Curry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Marvin Scott: The Gift That Keeps on Giving


During my normal "search for material" visit to Marvin Scott's Facebook page Sunday afternoon in between watching football games I found something. Marvin Scott, unbelievably, doesn't want to end the War on Terror. He wants to keep it going.

Scott's new radio ad is slickly produced and hits the false "Carson/Obama socialist agenda link" hot button quite well. Buried in the ad is a sentence that blew my mind. After calling Obama and Carson socialists, the announcer says, "And Carson and Obama aren't finished yet, with radical cap and trade laws that will destroy Indiana jobs, an end to the War on Terror, and illegal alien amnesty, Obama and Carson must be stopped before it's too late."

You can take that to mean many things. I take it to mean that Marvin Scott wants to keep the War on Terror going, indefinitely. Does that mean that he wants to continue to keep our troops in harm's way for longer than they need to be? That if some resolution can come in the War on Terror that he will continue to spend trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars on warmongering? What does Marvin Scott mean?

Of course, it won't matter after November 2. Scott will be planning his next failed run at something. Won't this guy quit?

Christine O'Donnell Doesn't Understand the Constitution

Watch and be in shock as Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware, shockingly...well...unbelievab...well, just watch the video. This is from a debate in Delaware against her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons.



For the benefit of Ms. O'Donnell,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


It doesn't say the words "separation of church and state" but it's pretty darn clear.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Not Right in Rokita Land; Could 4th District Not Be So Safe?



Channel 8's Jim Shella reported that another Todd Rokita Congressional campaign manager has hit the road. This is the third campaign manager that has left the current Indiana Secretary of State's 4th District Congressional campaign.

Just two weeks out from Election Day, it's usually the time you want the campaign to be running like a finely-tuned machine. Instead, it's the David Sanders campaign that seems to be generating momentum.

Rokita completely came off looking like a robotic talking point generator at the WLFI debate in Lafayette a couple of weeks ago. Professor Sanders absolutely cleaned the floor with Rokita, rung him out, and cleaned the floor some more with him.

Does this make a difference in the 4th District where Republicans have dominated for years? I guess we shall see!

Here is the full Shella report from WISH-TV.

Victim? Really Charlie?


The Indianapolis Star reports that Charlie White is trying to solicit campaign funds to get television ads up and on the air to try to right the sinking ship otherwise known as his campaign.

Of course, White has been accused of and is under investigation for possibly committing voter fraud.

The White camp is accusing his opponent, Democrat Vop Osili, of playing dirty politics. As the Star puts it, "According to White's website, White wants voters to show Osili 'that hiding behind these shameful tactics to avoid talking about the real issues will not work.'"

Hmmm...ok...so what if potentially having committed voter fraud is a REAL ISSUE in a race to determine the state's highest ELECTION OFFICER? Seems like Osili has the high ground on this one. Osili told the Star he'd be willing to discuss the facts in the ad with White.

The Star isn't the only one writing about Charlie White's issues. Brian Howey went off on White in a column published in the News and Tribune. When I say went off, I mean...WENT OFF! His piece here is well worth the read.

Charlie White can play the victim all he wants. I say it's hard to convincingly play the victim when you gift wrap a whopper like this for your opponent.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Carson Ad to Begin Running

Congressman Andre Carson has put together an excellent ad for his re-election campaign. It's positive in tone, never mentions that dude he's running against, and is done in his own voice.

It's also very true. Despite rhetoric on the other side, one thing that Congressman Carson hasn't forgotten is who he represents. You'll see those folks in the ad. This is a great ad.

Ellsworth Ups Rhetoric on Coats Hypocrisy


As the campaign tightens in time, the Ellsworth campaign tightens its focus on Dan Coats. I looked all morning for some polling data, but I can't find anything recent. I think Coats is still leading, but I wonder if these attacks may start to knock Coats' lead into the manageable category.

After all, just like in basketball, when a team gets out to a big lead, you have to chip away at it. Finally, despite what Coats is out there saying, he went negative first (and really didn't need to).

This ad is the best so far from Ellsworth when it comes to attacking the hypocrisy of Dan Coats.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ballard Determined to Use ACS as Parking Partner


Rather than seek a better deal for the sell-off...I mean...lease of the city's parking meters, the Indianapolis Star reports that Mayor Ballard is continuing to work with the single vendor, ACS, on the parking deal.

Ballard, clearly concerned that he might not get the necessary votes to fund his re-election campaign...darn it...infrastructure improvements through the parking deal, is apparently ready to punt his original plan down the pike and settle for a shorter lease rather than seek another plan with another vendor (as Councillor Brian Mahern, for example, suggests).

We've already seen the Rebuild Indianapolis signs popping up all over the city. I pass two on the way to work each day, and it's fairly clear that the Mayor is mortgaging some of the city's future revenues and assets in order to make sure those signs are up and about across the city.

Ballard has a paper-thin record to run on, and this is his legacy. The record he has includes scandal, tax and fee increases, and other problematic things for a Mayor.

The parking deal is no deal at all for Indianapolis. It, yet again, mortgages the future for a short term bang. The rate increases and extended hours will, no doubt, hurt businesses.

It's yet another bad idea by a bad Mayor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Indiana Senate Debate I: Ellsworth Takes Fight To Unprepared Coats

I just watched the Indiana Senate Debate from Monday night. I believe that Brad Ellsworth prevailed in the debate, and, if you were an undecided voter, I think the debate might have made a difference. Who knows until we see some polling. More debates are scheduled on October 22 and October 25. Will people watch them?

Let's look at each candidate's performance in order with how I think they finished in the debate.

In third place, Dan Coats.
Coats gave a very uneven performance. He started out stammering around. At times, he appeared half asleep before going all "mad as hell" at the end. I thought his biggest flub of the night was not answering the jobs question and instead going into a riff on why Ellsworth was wrong about his lobbying record. It was a brilliant maneuver by Ellsworth that knocked Coats back.

On term limits, Coats totally whiffed. According to Ellsworth, he recycled an answer from a previous Senate debate with now U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett. Coats also said that he introduced the idea of term limits. That's not likely unless he was alive in ancient Greece or Rome. They both had that idea. Hmm...did he invent the Internet, too?

Coats was clearly bothered by the format of the debate. For a guy that had done this before, he looked poorly prepped and came off as aloof, out of touch, and over-confident.

Positives: Nice tie
Negatives: Unprepared, Used "alternative lifestyle" and a myriad of other non pc terms, off balance all night.

In second place, Rebecca Sink-Burris.
Sink-Burris proved herself worthy of being on the stage and added to the continuing list of good and solid candidates for the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Sink-Burris provided the appropriate third option for those upset with government and the two-party system to feel free that their vote would not be wasted on her.

Sink-Burris shined in spots. Her response to the same-sex marriage question was the best of the night saying, essentially, that the federal government has no place in marriage. She did call social security a ponzi scheme, and that's not exactly the truth.

Positives: Consistent, intelligent, coherent, and on message
Negatives: Nothing major other than coming off as small time in spots.

In first place, Brad Ellsworth.
Congressman Brad Ellsworth was unflappable. He was aggressive, bulldogish, and on target with his attacks. When attacked, he calmly sidestepped the volleys without breaking a sweat. Ellsworth, as a friend of mine said, came off as a candidate "with a brain." He successfully danced through the minefields without major injury.

His highlight was on the jobs question. Because he had used time to engage Coats on his lobbying record at the end of his answer to a previous question, it forced Coats to totally miss answering the critical question of how to bring jobs back to Indiana. By the time that question got to Ellsworth, he was ready with a fine answer.

Ellsworth also got some carpetbagger shots in on Coats. He said that the former Senator gave the same answer on term limits that he did in 1992 which was essentially serve as a Senator then go home and serve in the private sector. Ellsworth argued that Coats had not done that and that he had not paid taxes, voted, or held a drivers license in Indiana in recent years.

Positives: Aggressive but not angry, measured, calm
Negatives: Too nuanced in spots

All-in-all, I think Sink-Burris may actually gain some support from this. Ellsworth should have scored with independents. Seems to me that undecideds may break his way if they watched. Dan Coats needs to fire his debate prep team. What did he think he was in for? A walk down the street?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Party of Brizzi Files Ethics Complaint...Nope...Not Kidding!


Apologies to former Indianapolis Colts head coach, Jim Mora, but:
ETHICS??? DON'T TALK ABOUT ETHICS!! YOU KIDDING ME...ETHICS???

Earlier today, Jim Shella reported that the Marion County GOP had the nerve to file an ethics complaint against Democratic nominee for Marion County Sheriff, John Layton.

The party of ethically-challenged Carl Brizzi says that Layton violated ethics rules by using some of the images his campaign used in his latest ad, specifically those of uniformed officers and squad cars.

Republicans know that they are in trouble in the Sheriff's race with John Layton as the Democratic nominee. Layton's qualifications for the job of Marion County Sheriff are impeccable. Dennis Fishburn's are so-so, and that's probably being kind. Fishburn can't boast any of the experience that Layton can.

So, the Republicans decide to attack the latest ad. I guess they figure that they can't beat Layton, so they will file this ethics complaint to see if they can get the ad off the air.

Knowing the people that are working Layton's campaign, I have to say that this ad probably meets or exceeds ethics standards. All of these folks are veterans of many campaigns and understand the law and rules. I doubt this complaint will last long.

In the mean time, John Layton's brilliant ad runs on. In fact, I'll put it here again.

Curry Ads Roll Thursday; Layton's New Ad Rolling Now




Terry Curry's campaign rolling out his first campaign ad. It uses other voices to tell us what many of us know, he's the choice to end the corruption in the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. No hoity-toity Governor here. Just diverse and regular folks (including Terry's family). It stands out in tone from Mark Massa's depressing and gloomy spots.



John Layton's campaign has also released a new ad that is, frankly, the best political ad I've seen in quite sometime. Yes, I know what the detractors are saying. Yes, I know that the Marion County Sheriff's Department no longer has patrol responsibilities, but it is still the Marion County Sheriff's responsibility to help keep Marion County safe. Yes, some, like Abdul, are trying to make a big deal about the Layton Campaign's use of squad cars and uniformed officers in the ad.

Frankly, it's hard to tell what uniforms the the "Deputies" in the ad are wearing and what their uniforms say. It does make me miss that old brown uniform on the streets, though. And before you say he's wearing a badge, Layton's star is just a campaign pin. I have one (if I can find it).

This ad totally makes Layton's case. It also shows his depth of commitment and the fact that he's not taking anything for granted. Sources say Dennis Fishburn has essentially raised two nickels and an old shoe for campaign cash, so it's very unlikely we'll see an ad from him. Layton still is pounding away and getting out the message, "I am your next Sheriff."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WLFI Holds 4th District Candidates Forum

WLFI in Lafayette broadcast a one-hour candidates forum for the 4th District Congressional candidates, Democrat David Sanders, Republican Todd Rokita, and Libertarian John Duncan.

I have embedded the forum below, and there is a so-so summary of the event here.

In the debate, Sanders was the aggressor taking the fight to Rokita. Rokita appears to think he's Peyton Manning with a four touchdown lead in the final minute of the game. He played it very conservatively and didn't really do much to engage the stronger debater (Sanders) in a give-and-take.

Sanders scored some major points on Rokita's claim that he's running a 2010 Secretary of State's Office on a 1987 unadjusted-for-inflation budget. Sanders claims that Rokita's office had a 50 percent increase in spending a year ago. Sanders also hit Rokita hard on the use of what he called "a convicted sex offender" by Rokita to run his volunteer operations. Rokita actually defended this individual saying essentially all are welcome in his campaign. An odd answer.

What else we learned about Todd Rokita's campaign...
--He says he's a hawk on defense spending.
--He believes we should return to 2008 spending levels (plus 15 percent less).
--He never believes we should raise taxes.
--He wishes to add to the deficit by continuing the Bush tax cuts.
--He breathes loudly when challenged on his office budget.
--He's not shy about defending what David Sanders called, "a convicted sex offender," when he is willing to help the Rokita campaign.
--He's now against term limits.
--He's a career politician looking to move up.
--He's a horrible debater. David Sanders cleaned his clock.

Here's a portion of the Sanders campaign's release on the event:

At the debate Todd Rokita combined dishonesty about the spending of the Secretary of State’s office with flip-flops on the issues, denials of previous positions, and what was famously called “voodoo economics.”

Todd Rokita repeated his erroneous claim that he has made dozens of times during the campaign that the office of the Secretary of State that he runs has the same budget as it did in 1987. This claim is a complete distortion of the facts. There has, in fact, been a steady increase in spending by the office of the Secretary of State
throughout Tood Rokita’s term with a 50% increase occurring between the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 budgets. How can the voters trust Todd Rokita to cut spending in Washington D.C. when he can’t be honest about the greatly increased spending of his own office?

Todd Rokita earlier in the campaign was against term limits for legislators. At the debate he claimed to be in favor of them. During the Republican primary Rokita insisted that he would not request earmarks, now he has changed his position. During the Republican primary, Todd Rokita called for the repeal of Medicare part D, the prescription care benefit. Now he denies that he said that.

Voters cannot be confident of Todd Rokita’s ability to serve as U.S. Representative because of Todd Rokita’s poor grasp on economics. He repeated the long-discredited notion, referred to by former Republican president George Bush as “voodoo economics” that reducing taxes increases tax revenue. Mr. Rokita also insisted, against all accepted principles of economics, that social safety-net expenditures—Mr.
Rokita singled out unemployment and food-stamp benefits—do not stimulate the economy. Hoosiers cannot afford to be represented by someone who is so ignorant of basic economics.


If you have a few minutes, take a look at the debate below. It's worth a watch.