Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Daniels "No" on Running for President Should Extend to VEEP, Too

Governor Mitch Daniels is not running for President, but he somehow has not ruled out a run for Vice President.

I don't quite understand how the veto power of his family doesn't extend to this national office as well. I mean, the Vice Presidential role is not the Presidential one. I get that, but they both come with a great deal of scrutiny, closet skeleton searching, and an in-depth look at someone's record. All of these things were clearly concerns for Mitch when he said he didn't want to run for the big chair. So, why wouldn't the same concerns carry over when offered the role of the Vice President?

I don't think that deep down Mitch Daniels believes he can beat Barack Obama. Sure he said he thought he could in the media, but I know that he's a smart man and a savvy politician. If he thought he could beat Barack, he would have joined the race. Beyond beating the President, mano a mano, I am not sure that Mitch thinks he could have survived the Republican Primary. After all, he only recently entered the realm of the primary voter issues with his decision to sign the bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

The Vice Presidential candidate on a losing national ticket is not always a bad position to be in. We haven't necessarily seen this phenomenon recently, but FDR was a losing VEEP candidate before he became President. There is precedent.

I just don't know how Mitch's girls and his wife are going to change their mind should the Governor be offered the Vice Presidential spot on the national ticket. His refusal to close out that possibility throws into doubt, for me, what his justification for not running was in the first place.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wheldon Wins at Indy

Unbelievable finish at Indianapolis today. The Indy Star forwarded this link on Facebook. Looks like Panther's protest will not stand, I don't think.

Update: Panther Racing did not protest the race results.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shameful Conduct from Washington Street Politics

One thing that I always try to do is be fair to people. When I'm not, I own up, and I take responsibility. Maybe some on the right should be doing the same today.

The Washington Street Politics blog took one line out of one post and utilized it to fit a post's larger theme. In this case, it was my recent post on the pace of road repair. In that post, I took one line to provide some possible legitimate reasons why road repair might actually need to be done in Indianapolis. I said, "The Super Bowl could be one reason, and the fact that some of these areas of the city really needed the work."

Somehow that one line out of an entire blog post was taken out to somehow make an argument about how Mayor Peterson's administration did not do its job in updating infrastructure.

I guess I needed to be more specific. Maybe I should have typed in all caps. Hey, Washington Street Politics, perhaps these areas of the city needed the work because of three years of inactivity from Mayor Greg Ballard. It could also be the work of years of Republican Administrations kicking the can down the road.

We all know the truth here. Mayor Peterson was one of the most successful Mayors on updating infrastructure in this city. His plan to update the sewer system in Marion County was the first time that any Mayor had taken on that problem. It was one of the so-called tax increases Republicans used against Peterson in 2007.

Secondly, many of the successes Greg Ballard claims (convention center, JW Marriott, Super Bowl, Lucas Oil Stadium) now were all hatched under the previous administration. If, for example, the city had not gone for the 2010 Super Bowl under Mayor Peterson, it's likely it would not have had the game awarded to Indianapolis the very next year.

What has Ballard done on his own? I think it's fair to say sell or lease off city assets to make quick bucks to do things to get re-elected. I'm not questioning his honesty or integrity. I'm questioning his politics, and that's what I was doing in that post.

Furthermore, the folks at WSP accused me of using Melina Kennedy's talking points. I don't engage in the use of talking points. Content that comes from a campaign will always be clearly indicated. I let the campaigns do their own talking, and I will occasionally publish a news release in full. I did not receive any help or guidance on the roadwork post other than talking to people not associated with Melina's campaign and hearing the WIBC news report.

I wouldn't expect the folks at WSP to tell you this, though.

I could try their own methods against them. In a post right after the primary election, WSP wrote about the number of votes Democrats got in the primary, "Did the Democrats have more votes? Sure." See, Republicans even understand the tide in Marion County is turning blue. By acknowledging that Democrats have more primary votes they are essentially saying that Mayor Ballard is failing to energize his own voters and motivate them to the polls.

See how that works, I just lifted that one line and turned it into something it wasn't.

That was fun! Maybe I should do it more. Nah. I've got some shred of journalistic integrity left.

Now, back to my hiatus.

Memorial Day Break to Tuesday

Well, it's that time...lots going on for me this weekend, so I'm going to take a blogger's prerogative and put the blog on hiatus until Tuesday.

I hope that if you were effected by Wednesday's storms that you are ok and your family is safe.

Enjoy the race on Sunday! Should be a good one. I'm picking Scott Dixon to put his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the second time.

Remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday! Thanks to all of our servicemen and servicewomen that put it on the line so I can write this blog in freedom. Thank you also to all those gone before that sacrificed it all.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cantor Plays Politics with Joplin Tornado Aid

We are a bootstraps kind of country, and we do "pull our self up" by those bootstraps. That's why we've become the country we have become over the last nearly 235 years. It's when someone has no bootstraps that it's time to step in as the government and help.

Of course, a case for this would be the recent Sunday night tornado that plowed through Joplin, Missouri. Over 2,000 structures including a major hospital have been destroyed or damaged, and the death toll is sure to continue to climb as the unbelievable devastation is cleared away.

People's homes, workplaces, leisure areas, and lifestyles have not only been disrupted, but people have lost everything they have. This is not the time to play politics. The people in Missouri (and other disaster-ravaged places) need help. They need it now.

Unfortunately, the "let them eat cake" mentality of the Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. Congress, Eric Cantor, has risen its ugly head. Instead of keeping his mouth shut and allowing the government to pass along necessary disaster relief funds to the people that need them, Cantor opened it and said that any disaster relief must be paid for by equal cuts.

Are you kidding me? Making a spending vs. debt argument on the backs of these Missouri storm victims? Is this the opinion of the new Republican leadership in Congress?

Cantor can argue his party's fiscal discipline argument anytime he wants to. This, however, is not the time nor the battlefield to argue it on. Cantor simply cannot be allowed to play party politics with a natural disaster that has killed scores and destroyed 75 percent of a city of 50,000. Someone in the Republican Party needs to grab that leash and snap it back. Thankfully, it looks like someone has as it is reported that the House is about to spend $1 billion in disaster aid.

If you want to help those in Missouri, Alabama, or anywhere effected by these awful natural disasters we have recently experienced, you can donate to the Red Cross here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vi Simpson Not Seeking Governor's Mansion

Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson of Bloomington has decided not to pursue the nomination for Governor in 2012.

Here is her statement:
“After discussing it with my family and friends and taking a few days to give it some quiet and serious thought, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Governor at this time.

"I have been deeply moved by the hundreds of people across the state who believe in our shared ideals, and I am honored that they have encouraged me to carry their banner. However, this must be a personal decision based on what is best for my family and for me, and I feel satisfied with the decision we have made.

"I look forward to continuing to be a progressive voice in the Statehouse, to working to refocus the attention of state government on individual rights and economic equality rather than on radical social agendas and to helping elect Democrats to office in 2011, 2012 and beyond.”

The Indiana Democratic Party also reacted to Simpson's decision to not oppose John Gregg for the nomination:
“Vi has been and will continue to be a tremendous leader for Indiana Democrats, and she has long championed issues that improve the lives of Hoosiers across our state. I know she spent a great deal of time making this decision, and her support stretches far beyond her home district.

“That’s why I’m excited that she will be working this year and in 2012 to recruit top-notch candidates who will win their Indiana State Senate races next year and help us build our caucus in that legislative body.

“Vi has demonstrated time and again that she knows how to fight for middle class Hoosiers and make sure that everyone has a voice in the political process. We’re lucky to have her as an advocate, and we look forward to working with her on these critical campaigns.”

This is not a surprise after hearing some things I've been hearing and talking to some of the people in the know.

Pace of Indy's Road Work Concerns Some

If you've driven anywhere in the City of Indianapolis, you've probably been through or have seen a cone zone. They certainly are everywhere right now.

Instead of pacing the work out over time, the City of Indianapolis has decided to go full steam ahead on the road work. They are moving quickly, but it has created a number of inconveniences for drivers and other commuters.

Why would the city move so quickly? WIBC asked that question to a spokesperson from the Mayor's Office, and the answer was that the city feels like this is the way to go. Experience all the pain now and, in the fall, have new streets and roads to drive on. I'm sorry that I can't provide a link from the story I heard on Saturday evening.

What happens in the fall? Oh yeah, an election! An election for City-County Council and the Mayor's Office!

Could that be a reason? I'm sure that figures into it. There are other reasons, too. The Super Bowl could be one reason, and the fact that some of these areas of the city really needed the work. It doesn't stop political animals like me to suspect that the reason may be a little bit more politically motivated.

What I'm hearing is that there is some concern out there that perhaps the city is rushing these projects through too quickly with substandard work. I also am hearing from some that there is some concern that things are happening so fast that it's become difficult to keep up where and to whom the money is going. The Marion County Democratic Party released this a few weeks ago after it was realized that the patch work city crews had done was substandard.

In short, things are flying right now! The deadline, I'm sure is November 8.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Could Indiana's Supreme Court Fourth Amendment Bungle Have Partially Driven Mitch from Presidential Race?

Justice Steven David has become the villain in the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision on the Barnes v. Indiana case. His overbroad majority opinion essentially wiped out the Fourth Amendment in the state. Now the question is, could this have become a factor in a possible run for President by Mitch Daniels and is it too far fetched to think that these little paper cuts might be something that made Mitch drop out?

You see, Steven David was an appointee of Governor Mitch Daniels. In fact, David was Daniels' first appointment to the Indiana Supreme Court in 2010. In his news release announcing David's appointment, Daniels said, "I heard from Steve David the clearest expression of commitment to proper restraint in jurisprudence, and to deep respect for the boundaries of judicial decision-making. He will be a judge who interprets rather than invents our laws."

It's an important decision for any executive. Who do you appoint to the judiciary? Apparently, Justice David and his friends that voted in the majority on this case are the kinds of "judicial activists" those on the right have railed against for years. In Indiana, there's the check and balance of the voter getting to vote for the retention of Indiana Supreme Court Justices.

At the national level, there is no such check or balance. As I'm sure you know, you appoint U.S. Supreme Court Justices for life. It's the most secure government job you can have. As long as you have a pulse, you are employed.

President Obama has made two choices for the nation's highest court, and he has picked two women, increasing the court from just one woman to three now. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor have both proven to be strong choices on the highest court.

For Daniels, his one choice to the Indiana Supreme Court wrote an opinion blowing away the Fourth Amendment in Indiana. This sort of decision was a ready made political ad for some of his more right-leaning conservative opponents and perhaps even Barack Obama in the unlikely event he survived the primary.

I take the Governor at his word that he is dropping out because of his family's wishes, but these are the the kinds of negative things lurking in his record that would have ticked off Republicans and ended it all before November 2012.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daniels Drop Out Leaves Indiana in Play for Dems

The light at the end of the tunnel may not be a freight train, Democrats.

This morning, when Mitch Daniels exited the Presidential race (I'm assuming that the family veto he cited extends to the possibility of a Vice Presidential bid as well), it left the door open a crack for Democrats in the 2012 statewide and Presidential races.

Imagine it. Governor Daniels on the national ticket? That would have had a long coattail effect that would have probably carried over into the Presidential, Senatorial, and Gubernatorial races as well as right down the ticket here in Indiana. Now, with Daniels in severe lame duckitude, it allows Indiana to play out.

It's still going to be a climb for Barack Obama, John Gregg, and Joe Donnelly, but the mountain is now a steep hill.

Daniels OUT

WXIN reported about 1:35 a.m. on Facebook that Governor Mitch Daniels is not seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Maybe that knock in the head at the NIFS jarred some sense into him. The Indy Star is also carrying the story now.

Seems odd to break this time of night. I'll check the newswire and report back in the morning.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mitch Daniels Stops By, Dances Sidestep

This is a guest post by Governor Mitch Daniels. I was surprised when he stopped by my house and typed this out on his way home to Geist last night.


Hello my fellow Hoosiers.

I'm so pleased to be here with you on Jon's blog, and I would like to thank him for allowing me to address all of you out there in Democrat land.

I'm going to go ahead and make something official here. I'm definitely maybe not perhaps deciding to perhaps maybe almost certainly decide to absolutely maybe make a decision about whether to run for President of the United States.

This is a decision that I haven't made yet lightly. It's come after many hours of possible deliberation and careful possible consideration.

I would also like to announce that, as a result of this decision that I am possibly maybe going to resign as Governor at some possible point in the future if and when I see maybe what this decision will probably possibly maybe do, if not at all.

Again, thanks to Jon for allowing me to post here. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to you here.

May God bless our great state.

Thanks to Governor Daniels for his views. There you have it. Brings back to mind this video...all this dancing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fourth Amendment Fight Not a Republican or Democratic Issue

As I'm sure many of you have heard by now, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a case that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution essentially does not apply in Indiana.

It didn't take long for a friend of mine to post on his Facebook page that liberals were essentially dancing in the streets that this ruling was handed down, and that's simply not true.

A poll on WRTV's website found that 91 percent of Hoosiers disagreed with the court's ruling even though the ruling makes some sense when you read the facts of the case, Barnes v. Indiana. Whatever those facts were; the ruling of the court was written so overbroadly that even many of the most liberal legal observers have said it went too far.

Certainly, this case will be heard by the United States Supreme Court, and it should be. The Indiana Supreme Court's ruling needs to, in my opinion as a citizen, be significantly narrowed. To say that citizens have no right to stop police from illegally entering their homes seems to smack of violation of the U.S. Constitution and common law dating all the way back to the Magna Carta.

When that happens, no one wins...liberal or conservative. We cherish our rights in this country, and we've seen them eroded in the last 10 years. This is a battle that Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and everyone else needs to join together and win. If police have no reason to enter your home, they should not have the green light to enter it, period.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WRTV Nominates Pence; Same Piece Raises Valid Point on Women in Politics

Mike Pence is running for the Republican nomination for Governor, and Jim Wallace is too. You would never know it.

I admit that I have been guilty of this as well, but I'm a simple blogger. Back on May 9, WRTV-6 published a piece that talked about the gender of Pence's potential Lieutenant Governor candidate. That's putting the cart like 25 feet in front of the horse.

Pence's chances of winning the nomination over Wallace are very very good, but there are other Republicans besides Wallace that can enter the race as well. Former Attorney General Steve Carter is one possibility. That would further dilute the vote. While Pence will whip up the Tea Party base, there are Republicans that will be looking for more than just, as Mike Pence says, "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."

Much can happen between now and May of 2012. Right now, it's extremely likely that Pence will be the nominee, but no one can say it's 100 percent until the votes are counted. It would be appropriate to call Pence the frontrunner, but it would, I think, be inappropriate for him to start selecting Lieutenant Governor candidates at this point. Frankly, I don't think he is.

While his chances are fairly slim, Wallace should not be taken lightly. It could be argued that Wallace...and not Pence...actually has the experience advantage when it comes to being an executive officer. He's done so in business. I'm not here to play around in Republican Party politics. It's their playground.

Other than making Pence the Republican nominee, Shepherd's piece excellently drives home a point. Indiana does have a rather male-dominated history of political leaders. That needs to change. Democrats tried to change it in 2008 by nominating Jill Long Thompson as their standard-bearer for Governor. For many reasons, she wasn't successful. It should be noted, though, that in 2008, Hillary Clinton eeked out a primary victory over Barack Obama. Women can win in Indiana, and they will.

It's important that women continue to run for office. On the Democratic side, Vi Simpson would make an excellent candidate for any higher office...including Governor or U.S. House or Senate. Then again, I'm also happy with her fighting the good fight in the State Senate.

Lugar Deserves to Lose This Way

As much as I hate to say it, Senator Richard Lugar is changing, and it's not for the better. The man that used to be about principle over politics is proving himself to be just another desperate politician hoping to keep his job.

Lugar was initially a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, an important piece of legislation that would allow individuals that grew up in the United States but are undocumented to gain a path to citizenship through education or the military. The DREAM Act would add many to the ranks of educated citizens and provide a very loyal fighting force for our national defense.

Opposed by the far right, Lugar is capitulating to that crowd by removing his name as a co-sponsor. Should we mention that Republican challenger Richard Mourdock and Democratic challenger Blue Dog Joe Donnelly are both opposed to the DREAM Act?

Lugar's spokesperson, Mark Helmke, told the Indianapolis Star that the Senator may still vote for the bill if it comes up for a vote in the Senate. I hope so.

Perhaps all those years in the Senate have insulated Lugar from realizing that Hoosiers can spot a fraud. Right or wrong, the voters here will know that Lugar supported the DREAM Act as a co-sponsor and now is running away from it. It's an act that I would have never expected from a man like Richard Lugar.

Paul Ogden is right when he says Lugar should retire before facing a primary loss. People support Richard Lugar because he's not a Tea Party automaton. Lugar has a brain and a statesman's soul, and his support of the DREAM Act was another demonstration of that.

Unfortunately, he's proving to be just another politician. We all thought we knew Dick Lugar by now, didn't we?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whoops! Star Goof Makes Controversial R&B Star Libertarian Mayoral Candidate

The Indianapolis Star is slipping. Its online pieces are sometimes chock full of errors, and a recent article about the Libertarian Party nomination of its 2011 Mayoral candidate could bring out some muffled chuckles.

The Star reported on its website Saturday that "Chris Brown" was the man carrying the Libertarian banner into the fall election. I'm sure that Mr. Brown was surprised to know that he is the candidate for the Libertarians...especially because he isn't. Chris Bowen is that candidate.

Today, Bowen pleaded with the Star for a correction with a simple note to the newspaper's Facebook page.

Hello Indy Star! Any chance you will print a correct article with the correct spelling of my name? I was nominated to run for Indianapolis Mayor by the Libertarian Party of Marion County. Your article spelled my last name as Brown.

Further, I was a paper carrier for seven years, until the day I left for the U.S. Army. I won "Paper Carrier of the Year" for two years. Please consider doing an interview with me.

It's not too much to ask. Hopefully, the Indy Star will fix this error quickly. Otherwise, Chris Brown may have to answer some tough questions about his relationship with Rihanna, his volatile temper, and why he recently got literally caught with his pants down in a cell phone picture. Is that the kind of Mayor we want?

I think the actual candidate, Chris Bowen, deserves some satisfaction from the Star.

"The Donald" Felled by One Punch

It’s been a bad few weeks for “The Donald”.

The reality TV star and joke Presidential candidate has finally been seen for the joke of a Presidential candidate that he was. His poll numbers fell faster than a pace car driven off the top of the Trump Tower. Yesterday, he pulled the plug on his comedy routine of a Presidential run.

It was all fun and games until the White House released President Obama’s birth certificate, and the President authorized a risky but efficiently-carried-out operation in Pakistan to take out Osama bin Laden. Those kinds of choices make who to fire on the Celebrity Apprentice seem quite inconsequential.

Trump’s numbers have also been hemorrhaging since President Obama’s routine at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Obama’s comedy routine hit points of truth, and that was driven more plainly home the next night with the bin Laden operation announcement.

I don't want to hear that Trump made Obama bring out his birth certificate or that he should be commended for doing that. He shouldn't. Obama called his bluff and slapped him the face with his document. Take that Trump. And, like boxers that fight in his casinos, down went "The Donald" hard and fast. It was so fast that it was almost embarrassing.

Now, other more serious Republicans are joining the fight. Mitt Romney seems to be in. Newt Gingrich has jumped on board, and the Libertarian-leaning Ron Paul is in it to win it. Jeffery Huntsman may announce soon, and the wacky Herman Cain has the respect of some Tea Party pundits. Who knows what Governor Mitch Daniels or Governor Chris Christie will do? Oh yeah, and how could I forget Sarah Palin?

There became less and less room for the one trick pony that is “The Donald”. The birth certificate argument is really, except for the most staunch conspiracy theorists (like local blogger Gary Welsh), off the table and put to bed. Polling numbers are dropping as the birther base is left alone to yell and scream at empty walls. The American public is moving on.

Polls say that they are rallying around their President. One recent poll put President Obama’s approval rating at 60 percent, and, scary for the Garrisons of the world, the same poll said that a wide majority of Americans now think the President is a strong leader and will keep America safe. President Obama has also gotten a bounce in his handling of the economy where jobs are being created. Gas prices remain a thorn in the side of the Administration, but the President seems ready to take that on, too.

Yes, the momentum is starting to pick up for 2012, and, it was so clear...even to "The Donald" that this was no place for playtime after his rapid fall from one in four Republicans saying he was their choice for President to being at the back of the pack with less than 10 percent support.

Advantage Obama. Who else wants to mess with him?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Comparing the Launch Videos

Here are the video announcements for the three candidates running for Governor of Indiana...so far.

Republican Mike Pence

Republican Jim Wallace

and, the most recent, Democrat John Gregg

Modern Marvels

Today, Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While these things are always a little uncertain, it seemed from all indications to be a normal launch to the uninitiated viewer, but we all know there was something else there that made this one special.

At the helm of this mission is Commander Mark Kelly, an astronaut chosen many months ago to lead this final Endeavour mission. We also know Kelly as Mr. Gabrielle Giffords, and the Arizona Congresswoman was in attendance at the event just a little over four months after she suffered catastrophic wounds at the hands of a disturbed young man.

The wounds should have killed Giffords but excellent first aid care and quick first responders got the Congresswoman to help and saved her life. Her recovery has been nothing short of remarkable, and, to hear that she was not only able to watch the launch, but to be on site, is truly remarkable.

Two marvels. Modern science and rocket technology took a spacecraft from the ground into orbit today, and medical science saving the life of a Congresswoman wounded in a devastating way in a horrible attack. They intersect today with the same family affected by both events.

While space travel is always a gamble, we hope that Commander Kelly with the help of his crew guides the shuttle back safely to the ground after its mission. We also hope, much in the same way, that we see Congresswoman Giffords walking and talking in the Halls of Congress again soon.

It’s a pretty freaking amazing world when you stop and think about it.

John Gregg Campaign Releases Announcement Video

Brought to you by porch swings, state flags, apple pie, flowering dogwoods, Hoosiers, and America. Nice video from the Gregg camp. I'd say they doubled down on the Hoosier after Mike Pence's announcement from Washington.

We still have to see what Vi Simpson might do, but I'd say Gregg's off and running and in the driver's seat.

Hat in the Ring: Gregg Forms Exploratory Committee

Right now, former Indiana Speaker of the House, John Gregg, is taking the first step in a run for Governor of Indiana. He is launching an exploratory committee for his Gubernatorial run.

Unlike Mike Pence, who announced from Washington, Gregg is launching his campaign right here in Indianapolis at Locally Grown Gardens, a chef-owned and self-proclaimed year-round farm market. It's certainly not Sandborn, Indiana, where Gregg is from, but the announcement at a farmer's market in Indianapolis is a great compromise.

The campaign is officially off and running. Gregg's website can be viewed here.

Quit Dancing Daniels

I like that headline because, I think it's probably what Mitch Daniels' former boss, George W. Bush, would say to him right now.

Governor Daniels has been playing coy for weeks about his future plans. His stated reason is that he's trying to get the feel about what his family wants him to do. Well, I say that's bull.

It's a huge step to take on a run at the Presidency of the United States, but, when people are calling your name and asking you to run, I think it's kind of like something you have to try. It's nice to be wanted. There are people in the Republican Party that think Mitch Daniels is the savior sent down from the heavens to save the United States.

We in Indiana know that he isn't. While he honestly has not been a failure as Governor, there are things that have annoyed pretty much everybody. The way he has sold off Indiana's assets, his war on teachers and unions, the distortion of job figures, medicare cuts, and a variety of other things could be liabilities. We already have seen how some elements of his past such as his record as a top executive at Eli Lilly are beginning to ooze out. Others will tell me off the record that, like many people, there may be more skeletons rattling around Daniels' closet.

In short, it's a big decision to throw your life open and to turn all the lights on to the media, to the blogosphere, and to the world. If there's anything to tear you down, it will be revealed in 2.7 seconds. As we've seen, Mitch does well under the media spotlight when the news is good. When it's not, he becomes a nasty and immature character. We have all seen his flip comments when things don't go his way.

These are all things that need to be considered as he continues to dance around the decision. Mitch has to know that folks are not going to wait forever. The 24-hour news cycle has already consumed and spit out Donald Trump (and it only took a month or two). If Mitch waits too long, his announcement will become irrelevant.

I will say this about Mitch. At least his intentions are not truly out there in the public already. When Mike Pence announced he was running for Governor, there certainly was no one surprised. If John Gregg announces, no one will bat an eyelash. When Mitt Romney or Ron Paul said they were running, there was no shock and awe. Mitch's announcement, if and when he makes it, will be anticipated, at least here in Indiana. People are watching him right now, but they will go away if it's perceived he's taking too long.

So, quit dancing Mitch. Let's hear your intentions. The time is now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Redesign Time

Folks, pardon the dust. Over the next few days, I'm working on the annual redesign of the blog. The content will continue to be updated, but I'll probably be doing a number of things to try to make the experience interesting here. If you are so moved, leave your comments below.

Libertarian Ticket Partially Set

The Marion County Libertarian Party met yesterday and chose its ticket for the 2011 November election.

Chris Bowen was chosen as the party's candidate for Mayor. The Indianapolis Star reports that Bowen (though it mistakenly listed him as "Chris Brown") is a hospitality manager. Marijuana legalization advocate Bill Levin was chosen as an at-large candidate along with Reid Miller and Sheri Meinert. The Libertarian district candidates are led by incumbent Councillor Ed Coleman who moves off the at-large ticket and into the District 24 race. Other district candidates, as reported by the Indianapolis Star, include the following:

District 1-Michael Bishop, District 2-Sam Goldstein, District 4-Raymond Vanlanot, District 6-Kevin Fleming, District 10-Joell Palmer, District 11-Tom Mulcahy, District 13-Jason Sipe, District 15-Zach Capehart, District 21-Josh Featherstone, District 23 Ken Raquet, and District 25-Kevin Vale.

I believe that the party can still nominate people to fill empty ballot slots until June 30.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yosemite Sam To Oppose Burton in 2012

Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam announced Friday at a news conference that he is running for Congress as a primary challenger for veteran legislator, Dan Burton. Sam previously ran for Sheriff of Marion County.

I happened to be at the news conference, which took place in my imagination, and I asked Sam why he was running against Burton. With smoke trailing from his ears, Sam said, "Ooooooh that Dan Burton makes me soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo MAD!"

Sam didn't take too many questions before jumping into his pickup truck (complete with his signature "back off" bumper sticker) and speeding off leaving the media covered in dust. Campaign Volunteer Coordinator Wile E. Coyote gave us all Acme wipes to clean off the dust. But, he had to go. The Roadrunner ran by about that time. He took two steps and knocked himself out by running into an Acme pole (the Roadrunner had erected).

It should be an interesting race. With the new Looney Tunes on the air, though, it does raise questions about equal time.

The Burton campaign was quick to respond. They released this clip from the new Looney Tunes show and questioned his ability to serve with such an anger management problem.

Sam's campaign manager, Foghorn Leghorn, responded strongly, "I say...I say...Burton is just concerned for his job, son. Anyone can see that. He's been up there for what, 50 years? That's a joke, I say, that's a joke, son."

Sources say that Burton's campaign may be looking at the Barnyard Dog to manage his campaign in 2012. That's unconfirmed.

I will follow this story until I'm out of ideas. As always, Indy Democrat brings you the latest in fake news and information. Especially on Saturdays.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Repost: Dems Take Huge Lead in Campaign Fundraising

(Thursday's Blog Post apparently got eaten by Blogspot. Here it is reposted.)

As we begin the General Election season, it appears that the Republicans start with a BIG disadvantage in fundraising in the crucial At-Large City-County Council race.

Using Marion County Election Board’s website, I was able to add up fundraising figures for both the four Republicans and the four Democrats running for At-Large City-County Council, and I found that the difference is quite stark.

Let’s look individually at each Republican and what they raised and have on hand through the first quarter of 2011.

Angel Rivera-$6,780.74 raised; $5,555.85 on hand
Michael Kalscheur-$2,665 raised; $2,312.63 on hand
Barbara Malone-$1,472.47 raised; $0 or $1472.47 on hand (I believe there is an error on her report. Her campaign reported no expenditures or money raised. On the form, I think she carried down the zeroes too far, I think.)
Jackie Cissell (who filed her committee on 3/8/11, after slating)-$841.88 raised; $741.27 on hand.

The Republicans (assuming the error on Malone’s sheet) have a total of $11,760.09 raised with $10, 082.22 on hand.

Let’s now look individually at the Democrats during the same period.

Zach Adamson-$18,223.03 raised; $12,087.31 on hand
John Barth-$17,408 raised; $8,487 on hand
Leroy Robinson-$13,264 raised; $6,019 on hand
Joanne Sanders-$11,676.86 raised; $9,686.36 on hand

The Democrats have raised $60,571.89 and have $36,289.67 on hand.

I wonder what the next quarter will show? I know that the Democrats are doing well, but they continue to be aggressive. They know that to win these races that it’s going to take some campaign cash to get it done. They are in a position to be more aggressive, and you can see that they already have been.

The Republicans seem to be either taking things at a slow pace, or their donor base seems to be sleeping through this one and focusing on the title card between Melina Kennedy and Greg Ballard. In that race, the Mayor has the lead in fundraising, but it’s not by as much as you might think. Kennedy has over a million dollars in her campaign coffers right now to challenge the Mayor. I think we’ll probably see a record before this is over for this election cycle on money raised and spent.

Regardless, kind of makes you wonder as the Democrats continue to raise money how the four Republicans can compete.

Hodge Podge: A Variety of Political Tidbits for a Friday

I have no solid ideas for today's post, so I decided just to throw together a jumbled mess rather than write about Yosemite Sam's latest campaign. I'll save that for Saturday. Anyway, here goes:

Time to Reload
At the Decatur Township Democratic Club meeting on Monday night, City-County Council candidates Zach Adamson and Leroy Robinson thanked the pollworkers and the party organization for their hard work. Robinson talked at length about how this particular group of four candidates is running as a team even going as far as sitting down for dinner on a rotating basis at each other's homes. It will be an apparent unified front again for November.

Teresa Hall Files
Former Chief of Staff for Marion County Clerk Beth White and current Marion County Superior Court Commissioner, Teresa Hall, has filed to run for Superior Court Judge in 2012. It's going to get likely very crowded for a race that will be for probably just one or two seats. Several others are considering a run, but Hall is the first to file.

Mike Pence Has Company
Hamilton County Business Executive, Jim Wallace, has officially kicked off his campaign to run for Governor. Wallace, who has a very impressive resume, will lack in name recognition, but he could provide an alternative for Republicans who believe Pence is too extreme. Former Attorney General Steve Carter and others may also decide to seek the office.

Crooks Running for Congress
This news is a few days old, but former State Rep. Dave Crooks is going to try to take his talents to Congress. He will be running in the 8th Congressional District against Larry Buschon. Crooks is popular and well-liked, and he has a media background as a radio station owner and talk show host.

Buttigieg Wins Primary
Also a few days old, but friend of the blog and friend of the blogger, Pete Buttigieg won his primary race for Mayor of South Bend. Congratulations to Pete.

I suppose that's it for this issue. Sorry there's not more substance here, but I hope you found what is here interesting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

John Gregg Continues Statewide Tour

Let me preface this with a disclaimer, this is not an endorsement of John Gregg. I am still undecided on which Democrat I want to be the nominee for Governor in 2012, but I think I will have a very tough decision.

It's not any secret that I am not the biggest fan of moderate Democrats. I find them sometimes to be wishy washy and poll-driven. It took me a long time and a direct conversation with him to come around to Brad Ellsworth's Senate candidacy, and it's going to take the same kind of time and soul searching for me to get my arms around a Joe Donnelly campaign. In that vein, you might think I have the same feelings about a moderate potential Gubernatorial candidate named John Gregg. Would it surprise you to hear that I don't?

John Gregg is not a wishy washy Democrat, and I heard him speak out loudly and proudly about the party he has chosen to represent with distinction as a past Indiana House Speaker. While he and I disagree on many issues, he and I agree on others, and I believe that he will make a tremendous candidate for Governor.

At Monday's Decatur Township Democratic Club meeting, Gregg began his talk with a story. "I'm a storyteller," said Gregg. "Just throw a cup at me if I go on too long." The thing was...he didn't, and he left the assembled Democrats wanting more.

Gregg talked at length about opportunities that Indiana has. He didn't spend a lot of time bashing Republicans. Instead, the Sandborn native talked about what Indiana's government could do to put Hoosiers back to work.

"We are an industrial state," said Gregg. "We have a manufacturing base here because Hoosiers are willing to work hard."

He's right. He listed a number of innovative ideas that we could possibly see a Gregg Administration put forth. One of those ideas was to continue to invest in wind power technology, but, instead of importing the wind turbines from Eastern Europe, use Indiana workers to build them. He also talked about how advances in agriculture could utilize Indiana's fertile soil to advance life forward here. Gregg mentioned more investment in the life sciences and used his own recent hip replacement surgery as an example of what life science investments can do.

Gregg strayed away from the divisive wedge issues. He said that those lead us to division. He noted that Democrats celebrate difference in a party that includes a wide array of political viewpoints. "We are a party that celebrates difference," said Gregg.

He's exactly right. The Democratic Party is a party that does have a big tent. Unfortunately for some, like me, those so-called wedge issues are things we hold near and dear. While Gregg didn't address many of them specifically in the talk to the Decatur Democrats, I have certainly been working the back channels to find out where he stands.

I have found that Gregg is staunchly anti-choice when it comes to abortion. I don't like it, but I can accept that. He admitted his pro-life views in the Decatur talk (to cheers from some in the room). Many of my friends agree with Gregg. With that said, I have talked to many people who tell me the Gregg is right on just about every other social issue important to Democrats. If that is the case, then I could definitely get on board with a conservative Democrat with reasonable views on other social issues.

Gregg said he believes in compromise, and he talked about the two years he served as co-speaker of the Indiana House when there was a 50-50 tie. For everything the Republicans or Democrats wanted, they needed one member of the opposite party to vote for it. I was younger and less involved in politics then, but I can remember that time. The next Democrat to serve as Governor will likely need Gregg's touch to get an agenda done. It only takes 51 votes to overturn the Indiana Governor's veto, so it's going to have to be a get along kind of time or else it's going to be nasty.

We know he can compromise. What's the state of the state right now? The former Speaker said that he had traveled to all corners of the state and that he's convinced that the race is winnable. "Democrats are enthused, and our base is unifying," said Gregg, who added that he's been working Indiana's roads and backroads since January in preparation for a possible run at the Governor's Mansion.

While Gregg said he's not 100 percent ready to announce yet that he would likely be forming an exploratory committee next week.

Nope, John Gregg is not your typical moderate Democrat, but he comes across as a typical Hoosier. That's something that Mike Pence can never do, and that's why Gregg's a dangerous candidate for 2012 should he get the nomination.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Donnelly Officially Kicks Off Race with Bio Video

Joe Donnelly’s bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dick Lugar got its official start yesterday as the Congressman released this video to introduce himself to the electorate.

The video, which runs over two minutes explains why Donnelly feels he should be elected to the Senate and gives some biographical information about Donnelly. It reveals that he was raised by a single father after his mother passed away when Donnelly was 10. It also introduces us to Donnelly’s family. It’s a nice piece though Donnelly comes off as a little stiff in parts.

The Indiana Democratic Party’s e-mail to supporters came in with the tagline proclaiming Donnelly as the next U.S. Senator from Indiana. I guess that means he’s the choice of the state party. It will be interesting to see if anyone tries to buck the party line on that one.

It’s no shock that the IDP would support Donnelly, who, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, closely resembles the moderate politics of Democrats like Evan Bayh and Brad Ellsworth. I suppose I should reserve some judgment until I talk to Donnelly at some point over the next year and a half or so.

As I stated before, Donnelly’s politics don’t make me that excited. His votes and issues positions don’t mirror my own, and many of them are issues that are critical to me. I know that many point to his vote on the “Redefining Rape” bill, and I have a real problem with his opposition to adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin to the hate crimes definition. That, to me, is a no brainer.

Of course, as we saw with Congressman Brad Ellsworth, running statewide to all of Indiana is much different than running to a Congressional district. I would like the opportunity to see Donnelly explain these votes to the more liberal voters in Indiana that will make up his base in Marion and Lake Counties. Those counties are critical to his win.

All of that said, I’m not going to spend the next few months bashing Donnelly, but I do think it’s disappointing that the IDP seems to be “settling” for the same candidate we have seen in statewide races like this one for many years. The Indiana Democratic Party is really at a weak point right now, and this might be an opportunity to go in a new direction.

And, frankly, it doesn’t have to be that much of a new direction. The more I hear about and from John Gregg, the more this man intrigues me. I will be writing about his appearance at Monday’s Decatur Township Democratic Club Meeting tomorrow on this blog.

If Donnelly is able to keep the path clear and the Republican primary gets nasty, then I think it’s a possibility that he could have a shot at the seat. If that’s true, he will need to explain himself and his votes to the left wing of the Democratic Party. If he doesn’t sufficiently, people further left than me may sit it out, and that won’t be good for the Democrat’s chances to win.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Star Reports Curry's Surgery Successful

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry's heart bypass surgery was apparently a success. The Prosecutor will remain at the St. Vincent Heart Center for a few days before returning home. Read all about it, here from the Indianapolis Star.

Great to hear that the surgery went well, and we all are rooting for a fast and speedy recovery for one of Marion County's chief crime fighters.

Donnelly In for Senate; Who Joins Him?

In an announcement later today, Joe Donnelly is expected to announce that he is running for United States Senate in 2012. This announcement comes as no shock to anyone.

Donnelly has been saying for about two months now that he is interested in the job, and the final nail on his House career was probably driven home with the redraw of the 2nd Congressional District. Democrat Andrew Straw announced last week that he was going to take on that challenge and try to hold on to the seat for the D's.

So, Donnelly is going to join Republicans Richard Mourdock and Richard Lugar in the running for Senate. I would speculate that others will follow on the Democratic side as well.

Donnelly is a Blue Dog Democrat. He has proven to be one of the more "independent" Democrats in his time as a U.S. House member. Recently, he voted for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. He voted no on legislation to include national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity in the definition of a hate crime. Only at the last minute, he decided to vote for the health care bill. He voted against the DREAM Act. I'm sure there's a multitude of other things as well like his vote on the so-called "Redefining Rape" bill.

Here we go again with another Dem like Evan Bayh running for Senate. Donnelly may even be more extreme than Bayh or Ellsworth (the last Bayh clone to give it a go). For the record, after speaking with Brad Ellsworth, I became a big supporter. I have yet to talk to Congressman Donnelly about his views, but, needless to say, his candidacy fails, as Randy Jackson would say on American Idol, to "make me jump up and down" at this point.

Sources told the Indianapolis Star that Donnelly is running because he doesn't think that Richard Lugar can beat Richard Mourdock in a primary. That may be true, but I wouldn't bet on it. Lugar has millions in the bank, and he can get more. It's also going to be hard for the extremist, Mourdock, to topple Lugar. We saw Dan Coats prove very tough to stop by tea partiers last time around. Sure, Coats put on the...well...coat of a Tea Partier to win, but his past record and the fact that he was a former member of Congress certainly worked against what the Tea Party stands for.

Anyway, I'm not so sure Donnelly will be alone this time. The Indiana Democratic Party is not the strongest political organization right now, and I don't think they can keep people out. One of those people rumored to be considering a Senate run is Dr. Woodrow Myers, the former Indiana Health Commissioner and Congressional candidate. I've also heard a couple of other names, but I haven't heard them nearly as often or as loud as Myers' name.

I wish Donnelly well, but I really don't like the idea of another middle-of-the-road Democrat running for office. I admit, all could change if and when I talk face-to-face to Donnelly, but I'm just not excited about this announcement.

Should be interesting to see what develops.

Thoughts with Terry Curry This Monday

I heard on Saturday evening that Terry Curry would be undergoing bypass surgery today. This is something that's all too familiar for me and my family. My father had the surgery twice. He came through it both times and lived a little over 14 years after his second surgery with a pretty good quality of life for most of it.

I was shocked to hear that Terry would be undergoing the surgery mostly because he looks to be one of the most fit people I know, but the underpinning truth of the matter is that sometimes diet and exercise delay the inevitable. If heart disease runs in your family, that can be the contributing factor to your heart health.

Because of my own family experiences with heart disease, I couldn't help but thinking about Terry, his wife Sheila Marshall and the rest of the Curry family since I heard the news.

I first met Terry when he was running for Prosecutor. Early on, I was a supporter of Lowell "Butch" Shroyer. When Butch bowed out, he told me I should consider supporting Terry. I remember sitting down with Terry and my friend, Chris Jackson, over dinner at Joe's Crab Shack for dinner to talk about his campaign. Unlike most politicians I've talked to in a situation like that, Terry didn't buy. Terry didn't buy my support. He earned it.

It was much the same way he went about his campaign. It was mostly a ground game campaign that wasn't flashy, but it was effective. Again, Curry earned the support of voters with his plan for the office, and how he would be different from his predecessor. He stuck to his message, and he won in a year many Democrats did not...especially when the Governor was supporting their opponents.

Now, Terry needs our support once again. If you get a moment today, send a kind thought up for Terry Curry. He's done a phenomenal job as our Prosecutor, but he's an even better person and man. Here's to you Terry. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day

That's me and my momma. I hope that those that can enjoy some time with their mothers or, if you are a mother, Happy Mothers' Day to you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Breaking News: Terry Curry To Undergo Heart Surgery

Tonight, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office announced that Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry will undergo heart surgery on Monday. I wish Terry the best, and I know he is in good hands at St. Vincent. My father had surgery there twice, and the doctors are phenomenal.

Here is the release from the Marion County Democratic Party:

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry will undergo cardiac bypass surgery on Monday, his office announced today. At an afternoon briefing, Chief Deputy David Rimstidt and Dr. Ed Fry, cardiologist with the St. Vincent Medical Group, provided an overview of the procedure, and the administration of the duties of the Prosecutor’s Office in Curry’s absence.

On Friday afternoon, Prosecutor Curry began to feel unwell and drove himself to the hospital. Tests revealed he has arterial blockage. Based on the recommendation of his physician, Curry will undergo cardiac bypass surgery.

Prosecutor Curry leads an active and healthy lifestyle; however, his family has a history of heart problems. He has always monitored his health, is a non-smoker, and exercises three times a week. Prosecutor Curry is being treated by the cardiologists at the St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana and is expected to make a full recovery following the procedure. He is currently alert, awake and resting in the hospital.
“The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will be without our leader for the coming weeks, but it will function seamlessly,” said Chief Deputy David Rimstidt. “All ten of our divisions have very capable and experienced supervisors and it will be business as usual as we carry out the essential mission of the MCPO.”

While Prosecutor Curry recovers from his home, Rimstidt and Chief Counsel Laurel Judkins will manage the day-to-day administration of the Prosecutor’s Office.
"I am very fortunate to have access to world-class healthcare in Central Indiana, and I look forward to continuing the work of the MCDP during my recovery and when I return to my daily routine in the office," Prosecutor Curry said. "I strongly encourage anyone with a history of heart problems to ensure they are regularly evaluated by their physicians, and ensure they and their loved ones are educated about steps to good heart health."

Saturday Humor: President Bush Reacts to...Well...Something

Blast from the Past: Pence on Iraq in 2007

Some adult content in this one...just FYI.

I think the video stands alone.

Friday, May 6, 2011

President Obama's Speech from Earlier Today at Allison Transmission


President Obama Visits Allison Transmission

As you are all aware, President Barack Obama spent some time in Indianapolis today at Allison Transmissions on the beautiful Westside of the city to talk up more environmentally friendly transportation.

It's always cool to see a sitting President in your hometown, but this is different for me. This was like the President visiting my home turf. I grew up just north of 10th Street close to Ben Davis. I was pleased with what the President had to say about making our vehicles more eco-friendly.

Here is the reaction of the Marion County Democratic Party and its Chairman, Ed Treacy:
It was a great honor to have President Barack Obama as a visitor to Indianapolis today, especially in celebration of the work being done at Allison Transmission. Despite this accomplishment for our city and state, Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb recently released an absurd statement calling the President’s visit “politically transparent.”

His statement, which attacks the President and demeans our automotive workers, should come as no surprise. Holcomb and his Republican friends spent an entire legislative session attacking the working class and chasing a radical agenda, rather than focusing on creating jobs in our state. Holcomb must believe pursuing innovation and finding ways to create jobs is a waste of time, and he has little respect for the extraordinary work our fellow Hoosiers are doing here in Indianapolis. We should be proud of the success at Allison Transmission, and the President’s visit speaks to the role Indiana should play in moving our country forward.

But even as Holcomb was taking unfounded jabs at the President, opportunistic Governor Mitch Daniels and visionless Mayor Greg Ballard were shaking hands and posing for photos, happy to cash in on the media-heavy event.

Hoosier workers are what make this state strong, and they deserve recognition. The Indiana Republican Party’s classless attacks capture the ongoing vendetta against our working families, and prove that Republicans have no interest in moving our state forward.

Treacy has a point here. Holcomb's assertion is completely undermined by the fact that Ballard and Daniels met with the President and accompanied him to Allison. On the tarmac of the Indianapolis International Airport, Obama, Daniels, and Ballard even shared a few laughs and chuckles.

Also there with the President was Congressman Andre Carson. Congressman Carson rode on Air Force One with the President and stayed with him today. It's another sign of his rising star in Congress. Of course, Allison is in his district, and the President was too.

It was a good day for Allison Transmission. Unfortunately, Eric Holcomb and the Indiana GOP decided to throw shade on it.

Shocking News: Washington Mike To Run for Governor

In a dramatic and completely surprising move, Mike Pence announced yesterday that he was running for Governor. Did you detect the sarcasm? Sadly, “Washington Mike” decided to do the deed from Washington, D.C. instead of Indiana. That’s a move that shouldn’t sit well with Hoosiers.

We currently have a Governor that gladly refuses to live in the Governor’s Mansion. So, Hoosiers pay for the Governor to have security at a place where he doesn’t live and only occasionally holds events as well as his home on Geist Reservoir. Now, we have a guy that wants to replace him that has spent more time out of state these last 12 years than in it.

Seems to me that this is bad staging for Pence. Pence should have made the announcement in an Indiana cornfield surrounded by farmers. At least, that’s the kind of Mike Pence we’ve seen portrayed in ads for these past many years. Perhaps he should have been wearing a blue dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up. It would have been better stagecraft. Instead, he announced it by video in Washington in a sweater.

This is a ready-made campaign issue for the Democrats potentially running for the seat. The two chief candidates you hear trying to gain support, Vi Simpson and John Gregg, are both entrenched in the Hoosier State. In fact, this could be the campaign. If Gregg and Simpson can portray “Washington Mike” as an outsider, I think they can make some populist inroads.

Taking Gregg for example, his views are closer to Pence’s than Simpson’s. Gregg can use his Hoosier wit and charm, and I guarantee he will. Simpson will use her expert knowledge of Hoosier issues while there will be a learning curve for Pence having not served in state government before.

Personally, I think this will be an interesting race, and if Pence does stupid things like announcing his campaign outside the state again, it will only feed the possibilities. Pence is the frontrunner, but he’s not unbeatable.

Thursday, May 5, 2011



Ed Treacy-After a contentious slating process and a couple of strong challengers to the slate, the Marion County Democratic Party line held fairly easily. Melina Kennedy’s towering victory over Sam Carson and Ron Gibson, two challengers with name recognition, also showed the strength of the county party’s reach. The fact that the two top vote getters on the At-Large ballot were the two at the end of the ballot also underscored the fact that party loyalists vote in primary elections.

Kyle Walker-For the most part, see Ed Treacy. Jocelyn-Tandy T. Adande’s challenge was beaten back handily. The Republican slate also showed muscle in the district seats.

Melina Kennedy-If there were doubts that she had the attention and the support of the party, those questions were answered yesterday. Most REASONABLE individuals placed her threshold for victory around 60-65 percent. She exceeded that by a wide margin. She almost got to the unrealistic 85 percent set forth by some on the other side.

Leroy Robinson-How about this guy? He gets in the race at the last minute. He survives a tough slating fight against Annette Johnson, and then he proceeds to work his butt off for the next three months. End result? Second place in the voting behind Joanne Sanders. Not bad.

Steve Talley-In his political comeback, the former Council President gathered 86 percent of the vote. Impressive.

Vop Osili-The former statewide candidate dusted two other candidates and is well on his way to a seat on the City-County Council. Vop will be a big asset on the City-County Council should he not be installed as Secretary of State if Charlie White is declared ineligible to have run for the office in the first place.

Pat Andrews-Yes, I know that many will question my inclusion of Pat in this, but she did get 14 percent of the vote and finished fifth with 15,686 votes. I think that deserves recognition even though she ended up going down in defeat.

Jim Brainard-First you get compared to Hugo Chavez, Moammar Gaddafi, Saddam Huessin, and, worst of all, Rod Blagojevich (I keed, I keed) and then you end up dusting the competition. Nice mailer there Accetturo! How’d that work for ya?

Perry Township Schools and their students-Despite the state’s best efforts to hamper schools in getting more funding, Perry Township proved that you can in fact get a referendum through if you make your case to your township and its voters.


Buddy Templin-He’s a friend of mine, so it hurts to include him here. He was the slated candidate for Mayor of Beech Grove, and he lost significantly. Dennis Buckley wins and will face Terry Dilk in November.

Charles Henderson-The Mayor of Greenwood was bounced out of office in the Primary. His controversy-plagued performance in the last few months brought the house of cards to a tumbling end.

Sherron Franklin-Former City-County Councillor Sherron Franklin bottomed out in this election. She finishes sixth and well behind Pat Andrews. No one quite understood why Franklin was running, and she certainly didn’t illuminate the situation.

Pat Andrews-Yes, I put her in the winners column, but I also put her here. By going through slating and then deciding to run against the slate in the Primary, Andrews is now persona non grata for being slated again for six years. I don’t think that will really effect Pat in any way, but that’s the way it goes.

Jocelyn-Tandy T. Adande-Watch out Libertarians...maybe she’s heading to your house next.

Angel Rivera-An incumbent City-County Councillor finishes dead last among the four winning candidates? That signals people that aren’t too jazzed up about you.

Sam Carson-Well, the Carson name got you 4,647 votes. You ran as your mother’s son, but it appears Democrats want more. We love Julia, but we don’t know you, Sam.

Ron Gibson-Gibson said he stepped out on faith. The former City-County Councillor stepped off the ledge with his political career in his arms. Gibson was once a bright, shining star with his party, but personal problems and now this ill-fated run probably have ended that career. Ron’s a good guy, but it wasn’t enough.

David King Baird-First Wayne Township voters elected Andy Harris over Baird in November. Now, he loses this race for Council to Vop Osili by a wide margin. Like Andrews, he went through slating and is now ineligible to be slated for six years by the slating agreement he signed.

Republicans-Democrats cast almost 6,800 more ballots than the Republicans did. Melina Kennedy got 29,096 votes in a three-way race where Mayor Ballard got 29,960 votes in an uncontested race. About 8,900 votes went to other Democratic candidates for Mayor. If those break for Kennedy, she exceeds Ballard’s total. If half of them did, she exceeds Ballard’s total. If 1,000 of them did, she exceeds Ballard’s total. All-in-all, Ballard has to be concerned, and I think he sounded on the defensive in several of the news reports from last night.

Franklin Township and Avon schools and their students-These students will most certainly have fewer offerings, larger class sizes, and other disadvantages thanks to the loss of the referendums in these areas. The voters that voted no now cannot complain when school quality suffers because of this.

Voter turnout-While it was certainly better than the abysmal 2007 turnout where only a tick over eight percent of registered voters showed up at the polls, the preliminary number of 23 percent turnout is still extremely sad. Then again, as the Libertarians pointed out, the primaries are party business for the Dems and Republicans. Some people just don’t want to be identified.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Libertarian Showdown?

Last night, I had a front row seat for a little Libertarian smackdown on my Facebook page. It was so good, I pulled out the metaphorical popcorn and watched it unfold.

Richard Kent wants to pursue the Libertarian nomination for Mayor, but the Libertarian Party of Marion County seems to want nothing to do with him. Kent accused me last night of essentially ganging up on him to try to derail his campaign.

You see, as the Libertarians will gleefully point out, they do not hold primaries in that party, and it all started when Kent, a former "Facebook friend" of mine, posted an item about ballot access in Marion County to the primary. We started a small, friendly conversation about it. I casually dropped the Indiana Code that states that a party is considered major and eligible for a primary when its candidate receives 10 percent of the vote for Indiana Secretary of State.

In the meantime, another friend of mine who is a Libertarian posted something about my conversation with Mr. Kent on her page. When I commented on her posting, I had no idea that she was referring to what was happening on my page. Apparently, Kent saw our conversation, and that's when I got a note from Kent on my Facebook wall that he thought I was colluding with the Libertarians to keep him off the ballot.

A mostly civil but interesting and sometimes heated back-and-forth then started between a few Libertarian Party officials, former candidates, or loyalists including LPIN Executive Director, Chris Spangle. All I can gather is that the LPMC believes that Kent has issues with his residency. Kent believes that he does not, and all of this will come to a head at the Libertarian Party convention on May 14.

Lots of inside baseball here, so I don't know where the truth lies. I usually say there's no party like a Democratic Party...that may change for one day on May 14. Too bad I'm working that day and can't go see the potential fireworks. As TO once said, "Better Getcha Popcorn."

Oh yeah, and I could care less if Richard Kent runs for Mayor, Governor or Dog Catcher...just thought I'd get that out there if anyone was still doubting.

Primary's Over! On to November!

Yesterday's Marion County Primary Election Day held few surprises. It was a good day for many of the slated candidates, but there are some folks that have to be scratching their heads and asking questions right now.

First of all, the Republican vs. Democratic split in ballots. D's had almost 6,800 more ballots cast in the Primary than the Republicans did. There was a contested Mayor's race, and there were other contested races. That said, there were some contested races on the Republican side as well. It raises another question. Did the R's stay home? If they did, will they be back out in November?

Related to that, Greg Ballard's vote total barely exceeded Melina Kennedy's vote total. Presumably, the votes that went to Ron Gibson and Sam Carson will split her way in November. That's not to say 100 percent of them will, but if half of those votes did, she would have outdistanced Ballard by a wide margin. Again, did people skip the Ballard circle because he was unopposed, and will they vote for him in November?

The Republican slate of At-Large City-County Councillors prevailed. On the D side, incumbent Joanne Sanders led Leroy Robinson, John Barth, and Zach Adamson. On the R side, incumbent Barbara Malone led the ticket, but her fellow incumbent Angel Rivera finished fourth. He was many votes ahead of Jocelyn-Tandy T. Adande, but is this something that's significant? Apparently, Rivera has to get his name recognition up.

This sure sets up a contrast between the parties. On one hand, you have Greg Ballard who has governed pretty much in complete contrast to how he campaigned, and, on the other, you have Melina Kennedy, whose energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence will quickly shine through.

I'm interested to see how long this is a race. Kennedy is used to long, hard races. She's a runner, and this will become part of her narrative...I'm sure. She's ready to govern and to lead this city, and I only think it's a matter of time before people across Indianapolis pick up on the message.

Last night, at the primary celebration, in a room full of supportive Democrats, Melina Kennedy was at ease and at home. She delivered what I thought to be the best speech she's ever delivered. She talked about the need for change in this city with clarity and conviction. She addressed guns, education, crime, drugs, jobs, and a variety of other topics.

Mayor Ballard has run away from his grassroots support that initially put him on the ballot and in the office on the 25th Floor. If you talk to them, they don't recognize the Mayor anymore. He's certainly not the man that ran for the office four years ago, and those early Ballard adopters will tell you that they aren't going to go back and vote for him again.

Enough for the appetizer. The main course is coming now, so here we go folks!

"Friends, being Mayor is so much more than a job to me, being Mayor is a commitment. So tonight I offer you my commitment-as a mother there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect my family, and as a Mayor there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect yours."
--Melina Kennedy

Oh yeah...and about Mike Pence

Mike Pence is apparently going to make his announcement today that he's running for Govern...errrr...his announcement about his political future.

At this point, everyone knows he's running anyway. I hear he's due to make it outside the state. That's not very smart. Kind of hands your opponents an early campaign gift.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ron Gibson Reacts

Ron Gibson took to his Facebook to thank his supporters and stopped just short of endorsing Melina Kennedy.

"It takes a lot of courage to run for mayor of Indianapolis. I stepped out on faith. However, I did not win. Nonetheless, I want to thank you for the privilege of being considered. I have no doubt that the future of Indianapolis will be in capable hands. Many thanks to my campaign team, church, friends & family. I thank you for your personal sacrifices & pray that God will continue to bless you. Stay encouraged!"


Yeah, that's all you need to know. It was another impressive performance by the Marion County Democratic Party and its leadership tonight as the countywide slate passed through fairly easily.

Melina Kennedy took a strong 77 percent of the vote in a 3-way race. Joanne Sanders led the at-large Council ticket for the Dems with Leroy Robinson, John Barth, and Zach Adamson outdistancing unslated challengers Pat Andrews and Sherron Franklin.

Angela Mansfield, Len Farber, Monroe Gray, Vop Osili, Brian Mahern, and Steve Talley all took down primary opponents easily.

On the Republican side, similar results were evident. Barbara Malone, Michael Kalscheur, Jackie Cissell, and Angel Rivera all won for at-large Council. All slated Republicans also won the district races.

It was a good night for the county party slates.

In some of the excluded cities, it was a different story.

In Lawrence, Mayor Paul Ricketts survived barely on the Republican side with just 53 percent of the vote, and independently-slated Democrat Buddy Templin went down big time to Dennis Buckley in Beech Grove. Beech Grove held its own slating convention independent of the Marion County Democratic Party slating.

Franklin Township taxpayers shot down a proposal to raise property taxes for school funding, and Perry Township passed its referendum on the schools.

Outside of Marion County, Mayor Charles Henderson lost in Greenwood, and Mayor Jim Brainard held on strongly in Carmel. On a personal note, a friend of mine, Robby Kendall (a Republican) won his primary fight against an incumbent to win a seat on the Brownsburg Town Council. Congrats Robby.

More on the results tomorrow!