Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy Caught on Video

Remarkable time lapse video from New York City as Hurricane Sandy ravaged.  Just watch this haunting video.

And a sound track...I love this song.


Sometimes a picture says it all.

President Barack Obama and Governor Chris Christie confer about the Superstorm Sandy damage to the Jersey Shore.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thinking of Our Friends on East Coast...

In deference to the superstorm and all that's happening on the East Coast, Indy Democrat will be suspending its posting schedule until Thursday.

No new posts until Thursday.

In the mean time, if you feel so inclined.  Donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Here's a link.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dispatches From the Edge

Pence Impressed I-ARM By Riding a White Horse
As you may know, it's back to work today for me.  So, I took the time to compile a bunch of dispatches from the campaign trail.  As an answer to my friend Abdul-Hakim Shabazz's Cheat Sheet, I have compiled some rumors and innuendo which came from the voices in my head.  Enjoy.

Razor Producers Endorse Pence
The Indiana Association of Razor Manufacturers or I-ARM have announced that they endorsed GOP candidate Mike Pence for Governor.  The president of the organization said that Mike Pence best represents their product.  Jimmy Shick said, "When is the last time Rupert shaved?"

He said that the organization definitely considered John Gregg, but that Pence is just better at "shaving the truth."  (Hat tip to Mike at @LoftyPlanet on Twitter for that joke).

Romney Makes Secret Visit
GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a secret visit to Indiana yesterday.  It was so secret that Indy Democrat's the only place you'll hear about it.

Apparently, Romney caught up with Mourdock while he was campaigning in Southern Indiana.  At a small town festival, Mourdock came upon a man in a Barack Obama mask.  Turns out, it wasn't Obama, it was Romney.

Disguised as his opponent, the squirrels on the back porch tell me that Romney pulled Mourdock close.  Romney was seen shaking Moudock's hand for an uncomfortably long period of time and saying, "Come on bro...really?  Really?  YOU are gonna mess this up for me?  Do you know how long I've been running for this office?  Really?"  Mourdock nodded uncomfortably.

We cannot confirm the reports that the Romney campaign sent Mourdock a muzzle to wear for the remainder of the campaign.  Reached for comment, Mourdock said, "MMM MMM  PHMMMMMPH.  MMMMM MMMMMM MMAAAMMMM.  WAAA WAAA MMM MMMPH."

Lugar Prepares for Retirement
Secretly delighted by the implosion of the Mourdock campaign, soon-to-be former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar continues to prepare for life after the Senate.  He was seen recently in Camby in Decatur Township just a few minutes from his family farm, applying for a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.

Indy Democrat sources overheard the interview for the job.  (Not meant to be a slam on Wal-Mart, FYI.)

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  What are your qualifications for this job?

Dick Lugar:  Well, I have served in the Senate for the last 36 years.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  The Senate?

Dick Lugar:  Yes, the U.S. Senate.  I am currently the longest-serving Republican senator there well, until January.  That's when I can start.

Senator Lugar
Wal-Mart Human Resources:  Oh yeah, I knew you looked familiar.  You're that Moor-dock guy.

Dick Lugar:  No!  I'm Senator Dick Lugar.  That's the guy that defeated me in the Primary.  Mourdock.  Yeah, he was my opponent then.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  So, had an unsuccessful finish to your last position.  I see here you've left a few references.  This Mitch Daniels...uh...Barack O-o-o

Dick Lugar:  Obama.  The President.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  Oh yeah, and this...uhh...Bush guy.

Dick Lugar:  Yes, our 41st President, George H.W. Bush.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  Well...ok.  Anyway, can you organize carts and greet people when they walk in?

Dick Lugar:  I met with Gaddafi, I think I can handle greeting people here in Camby.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  Who?

Lugar:  You know, the former leader of Lib-y...Nevermind.  I don't remember job interviews being this hard.  It was easier to get the loose nukes under control in the former Soviet Union.

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  I went to Taco Bell last night, so I know what you mean.

Lugar:  (Looks puzzled)

Wal-Mart Human Resources:  Senator, with all due respect, you may be slightly overqualified for this position.  Have you thought about a spot in our electronics department or perhaps our deli?

Lugar:  Young man, thanks for your time.

Exasperated by the exchange, Lugar headed to the parking lot.  On his back bumper was a bumper sticker that said, "Don't blame me, I AM Richard Lugar."

Ballard Wakes Up from Ten Month Nap
It was revealed this week that Mayor Greg Ballard has actually been asleep for the first ten months of his new term.

Artist's Conception of Ballard nap
Ballard, who has been on several trade missions and has vetoed several City-County Council proposals including parts of the budget, apologized for being asleep and thanked Ryan Vaughn for running the city in his absence (Hat tip to Paul Ogden for that joke).  He said he couldn't explain why he looked so awake when he was just sleepwalking through his second term.  Ballard fell asleep shortly after the swearing-in ceremony.

After eating a large dinner, Ballard fell back to sleep.  Ryan Vaughn held a news conference a short time ago, "As for now, I am in control here in the City-County Building."

Council President Maggie Lewis could not be reached for comment.

Ballard's nap is hardly a record for a public official.  It is believed Dan Coats is asleep somewhere in Virginia right now.  He has been asleep since he took office in January of 2011.

That's all for now.  Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Schneider's Misleading Ads=Dangerously Misleading

Senator Scott Schneider-R
Serial Misleader
One of the most hotly contested Indiana Senate races is taking place in Senate District 30 where incumbent Republican Scott Schneider is hanging on by a thread against strong challenger Tim Delaney.  Redistricting wasn't that kind to Schneider, and some have told me that this district is pretty much 50-50

Schneider was not elected by the voters, he was elected by a caucus of Republican insiders replacing Senator Teresa Lubbers.  Lubbers moved on to become the Indiana Commissioner of Higher Education.  In that caucus, Schneider took two ballots to knock off Ballard Administration Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn and former State Rep. John Ruckelshaus.

When Schneider entered the Indiana Senate in July of 2009, the long session had ended.  His first action in the Senate was in January of 2010.  He cast a vote in favor of writing property tax caps into the Indiana Constitution.  As it was the second time through the Indiana General Assembly for the property tax caps (having passed the House and Senate in 2008), the property tax caps went to the November ballot for approval, and they were approved by Indiana voters.  Like it or not, it was Indiana's constitutional amendment process at work.  Two separately-elected General Assemblies must approve it followed by the voters.

Thus, I think it's fair to say that Scott Schneider's actual work as a State Senator would amount to me walking up the fairway onto the green and sinking a two foot putt for par for somebody else.  In short, it wasn't hard.  He's pumping up his own record.

Fast forward to 2012.  Mired in a tough fight against Delaney, Schneider is running ads saying that he worked with Governor Daniels to pass the caps.  You'd think he was leading the fight.  Further, he has some audio of Delaney saying that the Democrat would not have voted to support the property tax caps being written into the Constitution from a forum.  He's using that audio to claim the following:

  • That, if elected, Delaney will single-handedly rewrite Indiana's Constitution by removing the tax caps.
  • That, if elected, Delaney will cause people to lose their homes or not be able to buy a home.

Here's a spot.


First of all, WHEN Tim Delaney is elected, he will be one of 50 Senators in the Indiana Senate.  He will be a freshman member of the Senate and still likely in a minority situation.  How on Earth is he going to take a red pen to the Constitution in that fashion?  Besides, Delaney wouldn't do that.  The premise of the ad is completely false.  Delaney AGREES WITH the caps and would not remove them.

Tim Delaney
Tax Cap Supporter
Secondly, WHEN Tim Delaney is elected, Republicans likely will still be in control of both houses of the General Assembly.  That means that, in order for the Constitution to get amended, Tim Delaney would have to snap his fingers and get a belligerent, Tea Party dominated Republican Indiana House and Senate to vote against their own interests.  Did I mention, however, that Tim Delaney AGREES WITH THE CAPS and would not remove them.

Finally, even if Tim Delaney did all of those things, Indiana voters would still need to approve removing the property tax caps.  That's probably not going to happen.  Besides, Tim Delaney AGREES WITH THE CAPS AND WOULD NOT REMOVE THEM.

And, finally finally, TIM DELANEY IS RIGHT!  No one should have voted for the property tax caps being permanently put into the Constitution.  They don't belong there.  This is something that should simply require legislation and not something as permanent as putting it into the Indiana Constitution.  It's a very permanent situation to a problem that doesn't give you a lot of leeway.  Plus, Delaney AGREES WITH THE CAPS AND WOULD NOT REMOVE THEM.

Scott Schneider's charges just don't make any sense when you are an educated voter.  That said, how many voters in Senate District 30 know this?  That's why you need to spread the word to those people that Scott Schneider's ads are completely misleading and completely unrealistic not to mention flat out false.

As for me, I appreciate Mr. Delaney's ads a lot more.

You can always tell when an incumbent is concerned about his opponent.  He grasps for any straw possible and tries to use it as a weapon.  Be smarter than Scott Schneider and tell your friends that he's just being misleading about Tim Delaney and his record.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Feisty Pence No Match for Gregg, Boneham in Third Debate

John Gregg
The Gubernatorial Trio hit the stage again last night in the state's second-largest city, and the result was the same.  Mike Pence came in a painful third to a strong John Gregg and a thoughtful Rupert Boneham.  Something was notably different, though.

In the Lincoln-Douglas portion of the debate, Mike Pence chose to use his one-minute statement to look directly at John Gregg and attack Gregg on failing to balance Indiana's budget for five of the six years he was Indiana Speaker.  That proved to be a mistake.  By the Indiana Constitution, it's impossible for Indiana to run a deficit.  At times, payments were delayed to local units of government, but that's nothing new.  We've seen Mitch Daniels do the same thing in order to build a surplus.  By attacking Gregg, Pence was attacking Daniels.

The attack by Pence was deftly put aside by Gregg, "Congressman if you had spent the last 12 years in Indiana, you would know that our budget has to be balanced in Indiana," said Gregg.  Then Gregg launched into an attack in his two-minute rebuttal about how Pence has failed to be a good steward of tax dollars at the federal level getting in some really big zingers and body blows.  Gregg said, "It's laughable a congressman would lecture anybody on fiscal responsibility."  While Pence was a part of the Republican leadership in the U.S. House, the federal budget ballooned out of control.

Gregg, however, wasn't done attacking hitting the Congressman on his scant accomplishments in Congress.  He noted that Pence had not passed one bill in 63 attempts saying that he didn't know if he had "drank the tea" there in Washington or came down with "Potomac Fever."

Pence kept trying to hit hard, but Gregg continued to turn every attack back on Pence and launch another one.  After Pence tried to blunt the fiscal responsibility attack by Gregg by saying that he didn't support bailouts, Gregg was ready to pounce.  "My career politician opponent drives around Indiana in a Red Silverado because he wants you to forget he voted against auto jobs," said Gregg, who was obviously thoroughly prepared.

While Pence's poor debate prep stood out yet again, the mere fact that Pence is now throwing political bombs towards Gregg means that he's either tired of being beaten up or that this race is getting a lot tighter than the 13-point margin Brian Howey's poll showed just last month.  Gregg's own camp released a poll earlier today showing Pence ahead 46-40 over Gregg.  In that same poll, that's a four point swing over one month.

While Pence and Gregg duked it out, Rupert Boneham had his strongest debate performance.  For the first time, to me, he passed the gubernatorial muster test.  His candidacy has been anything but a joke and he has brought some real issues to the table.

While Boneham has improved on the campaign, one wonders if Gregg had switched tactics from his folksy "two first names" strategy earlier to this on point and well-prepared candidate earlier.  It might have helped.  I still think Gregg is playing from behind, but, after three solid debate performances, there's no longer any doubt who I'm voting for, and, as you know, that hasn't always been the case.  I'm casting my vote for John Gregg.

I'm interested to see what the final Howey/Battleground/Depauw poll says about this race.  According to internet reports, it's coming out next week.  As far as the Governor's Race, it's the quick sprint ahead to November 6!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

After Tuesday Night, Romney's Backing of Mourdock Makes No Sense

Romney and Mourdock
In the firestorm of backlash against Richard Mourdock, one voice still is endorsing the extremist for U.S. Senate.  That's Mitt Romney.

Romney's ad is still running non-stop on Indiana television screens even after the GOP Presidential nominee distanced himself from Mourdock in a campaign statement.  This makes Mourdock's unfortunate and insensitive comments from the Tuesday night debate a national campaign issue.

The Mourdock story exploded quickly and has even made headlines overseas.  Several moderate voices within the Republican Party such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain both have spoken out against Mourdock's view and asked for him to apologize.  Fellow Tea Partier, Mike Pence, asked for an apology as well.  That prompted right wing radio host, Dana Loesch, to call Pence out as a coward for failing to back Mourdock who, in her words, "said nothing wrong."

Romney doesn't need to back Mourdock at this point.  He doesn't need Republican votes in Indiana, where he's expected to easily carry the state.  Of course, he would like a Senate majority and an ally in the Senate, but that's looking less and less likely now as the Mourdock continues to implode.  It gives voice and a narrative to Romney opponents.  In an election that is razor close in key states where independents and women will be critical, when does Mourdock become a liability?  I'd say it was about 7:47 p.m. on Tuesday night in New Albany.

Looks like Indiana could be a deciding factor in the 2012 Presidential Election, after all.  It won't be the electoral votes he gets that will be the continued story.  Romney needs to pull his support for Mourdock and demand his endorsement ad be pulled.  This just simply can't be helpful to his electoral hopes.

Mourdock Controversy Begs This Question for Indiana Republicans...

Some Humor Out of Humorless Situation

Honestly, I feel like I've been mindblown.  I can't follow up the events of last night with blog post of any magnitude.  It's very rare that I am rendered speechless.

After the Indiana Senate Debate last night, I think that the race is turning towards Joe Donnelly.  I will be interested to see how the comments that came out of Richard Mourdock's mouth about rape and life resulting from that heinous act will be viewed.  I have already seen a great backlash in social media realms, and the opinion on YouTube of the video seems to say that Mourdock's views are well outside the mainstream.

Unbelievably, I did recover something from the debate that might be been chuckle-worthy.  It requires a little set-up.  At one point in the debate, Andy Horning, who I feel won the debate after Mourdock's train derailed and exploded in a nuclear fashion, praised Richard Mourdock (before his controversial comments) saying that there might be hope for him if he would just join the Libertarian Party.  It was a funny line.  Well, Chris Spangle, the Executive Director of the Indiana Libertarian Party, sent out this photo after the debate.

Quite clever, I think.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Donnelly Issues Strong Response to Mourdock Rape Comments

Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the comments by Richard Mourdock at the final Indiana Senate Debate tonight.

Today, Joe Donnelly, candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement in regards to Richard Mourdock’s comment regarding rape in the debate this evening. 
"I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance,” said Donnelly. “The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen--ever. What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape." 
When asked about the three candidates’ shared pro-life stances, Mourdock said, "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." 

Mourdock: When Life Begins Due to Rape, "It is something that God intended to happen."

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock had a great debate performance going.  He was dominating the landscape and being aggressive against Andrew Horning and his main opponent (per the polling), Joe Donnelly, who was playing the more above the fray role.
Richard Mourdock

Then, around the 36 minute mark of the debate, things started coming unglued for Mourdock.  He was giving a routine answer on partisanship when he seemed to get a little choked up.  That's ok.  Nothing John Boehner hasn't done.  About nine minutes later, his campaign may have run off the rails.

Giving an answer on the issue of abortion, Mourdock, who like the other three candidates is anti-choice, said that he struggled with the issue.  He agreed that abortion in the case of threatening the life of the mother is permissible, but then he went in an entirely new direction.  

I'll just let his words speak for themselves, "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

I don't even know how to respond to that.  I'm gonna have to let it sit.  My first inclination is just to explode about how Mourdock's view of God and mine are entirely different, but I'll hold off and get back with you.  

I'll only say this.  Richard Mourdock, with that view, is not qualified to be Indiana Treasurer much less Senator from my great home state.  

"Horses and Bayonets" Simply Part of Broader Argument

Need a Saddle?
"We also have fewer horses and bayonets."
--Barack Obama

The comment that launched a thousand memes.  President Barack Obama's well-placed zinger, slap down, or condescending comment (depending on where you stand politically) was perhaps the most meme-orable moment from the third debate, but it is the rush to turn the President's comments against him that cracks me up.

Today, on the Garrison Show, Greg Garrison wrongly pointed out that bayonets are still part of Army training and rightly pointed out that the U.S. dropped saddles from supply planes so that we could use horses in some of the Afghanistan back country.  Woo hoo, score one for the right.  That stupid Obama!  (Sarcasm intended)

It continued though, all day.  Countermemes showing Marines pointing bayonet-outfitted rifles at targets underscored that yes, it's still part of the standard issue for the USMC. And yes, Marines still get training on how to use them.  But, as one of my former students who is in the Corps said, it's not hard to use a bayonet. "Pointy end goes in the bad guy."

The larger argument isn't about old-world technology.  The argument is about how to spend the part of the defense budget most effectively.  Now, I'm a proponent of strength in our military, but I'm not a proponent of building ships and things that aren't efficient or cost-effective.  The battleships are a good example.  Naval technology advanced past them, and the old technology just became obsolete.  16-inch human aimed guns were destructive, but surgical strike missiles and drones are the wave of the future.  Why build manned airplanes if all we need are unmanned drones?  Why build, as I've seen, seven ships to do the job that one mega ship can do?

Mitt Romney thinks he's Ronald Reagan.  Reagan's playbook worked to end the Cold War.  But, the War on Terror is a much different operation.  Just because you build more ships, it doesn't mean that Al Qaeda will be any less willing to attack us if they get the chance.

Instead of pouring our money into defense technology we don't need, why not pour our money into things that keep us safe?  Pour money into our intelligence units.  Pour money into our special forces.  These are the ways to fight terror.  The FBI and the CIA can be far more effective than a new destroyer or submarine in this regard.

President Obama gets it, but Mitt Romney doesn't.  He still thinks Russia is a geopolitical foe and that China is basing their economic policies on how many ships or troops we have.  He's wrong.

We need to maintain a strong defense, but, because of the way we've spent and overspent these last 40 years, we're very strong now.  It's time to see where we can find ways to save money and not spend more.  If Romney were a true conservative, he would be behind this line of thinking, too.

Obama Closes Strong in Final Debate

President Obama at Work
The third and final debate of the 2012 Presidential Election season came down to a fight over foreign policy, and President Barack Obama, as expected, dominated.

Governor Mitt Romney, caught at times grasping for answers, attempted at every turn to fight the debate on domestic policy grounds, but it was Obama that once again controlled the conversation and pace of the evening.

It makes Obama's first debate performance so perplexing.  Following that debate, the race has tightened to essentially a tie nationally and in the key swing states.  Obama's final two debate performances were strong, and they have provided him a bump in some polls.

Now we head for the final stretch of the election season.  President Obama and Governor Romney hit a two week sprint to the finish to see which of the two major party candidates will be elected in November.  At this point, I honestly can't tell you.  There may certainly be an event or two that will change things, but it's largely up to the voters now.

Hard to believe we're only two weeks away from Election Day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Personal Prerogative: Why I'm Voting for Glenda Ritz

Glenda Ritz
I don't often get into educational issues here on my blog, and I do it to keep my political beast separate from the day job.  Often I feel that what I say on education is sometimes magnified because of my job.  I want to stress that this is just my opinion and not that of my school district when I write this.  I think it's too critical for me to remain silent.

When you go to the polls on election day, you have two choices for Superintendent of Public Instruction here in Indiana.  One is the incumbent, Dr. Tony Bennett.  The other choice is the challenger, Glenda Ritz.  They are, at minimum, a Republican and a Democrat, respectively.  Too often, our elections get reduced to party. This shouldn't be about that, though.  For our students, I invite you to look deeper as I have over the years.

Dr. Suellen Reed
Dr. Suellen Reed was first elected in 1992.  In 1996, 2000, and 2004, this Democrat voted for her for Superintendent of Public Instruction.  I didn't see the position as a political one, and neither did Dr. Reed.  It wasn't until Governor Mitch Daniels became the ceremonial occupant of the Governor's Mansion that the SPI job became more about pushing an agenda than what's best for students.

That's where we stand today.  In 2008, Richard Wood lost narrowly to Dr. Bennett who came in on a platform of putting more discipline back into the classroom so that teachers could teach.  Nothing can be further from what has happened.  Under the cover of the Obama Administration's admittedly misguided approach to education reform, Bennett and the Indiana General Assembly have taken education in Indiana corporate and made it subject to organizations like ALEC and for-profit entities.

Some of my friends on the right say that model legislation is used all the time.  That's certainly true, but why should the Koch Brothers get a say on how Indiana teachers are evaluated?  

Dr. Tony Bennett
But, I don't want to lean on Dr. Bennett too hard.  My quarrel with him is not personal.  I have met him and have had cordial conversations and back and forths on Facebook.  He seems like a good enough person.  While I agree with Dr. Bennett that constant reform is needed, I disagree with the reforms we have undertaken over the last four years because of the way they have steamrolled local school boards, local control, and local teacher unions.

This isn't about the ISTA, either.  It's about the local teacher unions and their ability to negotiate fair teaching contracts with local school boards.  Dr. Bennett's reforms have removed much of this ability.  

If I go too far down the contract road, people will accuse me of being greedy.  That's the political environment we live in, so I'll just leave it there.  This really isn't about money.  It's about a passion, this is my passion.  Teaching and the ability to serve my students is one of the main reasons why I've passed up opportunities to run for political office.  I feel that Dr. Bennett's reforms have made my passion a less palatable profession for others with the same passion.  It's hard for me to explain what it's like to be a teacher.  It's the absolute greatest feeling in the world to see the light go on for a student.  When a student tells you that you made a difference, it's food for my soul that no contract can match.  I don't think I'm alone in that.

I also know I'm not alone in voting for Glenda Ritz for SPI.  I know that there are probably teachers out there that support Tony Bennett and perhaps they don't want to jump up and down and proclaim their loyalty to him, but the teachers that I know and that I have heard from are far more in opposition to Dr. Bennett than for him.  I would estimate that the number of teachers out there voting for Bennett is miniscule in comparison to those voting for Ritz.

Dr. Reed was a great Superintendent of Public Instruction because she transcended party politics and focused on our students.  I think Glenda Ritz will be that kind of SPI.  We simply can't hand Tony Bennett four more years.

NOT Political: This Video Shows Why You NEVER EVER EVER Give Up on a Child

This video needs no introduction.  It would cheapen it.  I just think it's a nice reminder that while politics is fun for many of us that there are more important things going on out there in the world. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Indiana Fever, WNBA Champions

A few years back, in the course of my day job as a radio station manager at a local high school, I had the occasion of meeting Tamika Catchings.

Few professional athletes have left such an impression on me as she did.  Tamika stayed a while with our crew and took all sorts of pictures, taped some interviews for the television program, and gave an interview to the school publications department.  She was humble, kind, and totally down to Earth.

Tonight, that kind, considerate, and caring athlete I met is now, without question, one of the greatest female basketball players of all time thanks to her contributions to the Indiana Fever WNBA Championship and WNBA Finals MVP Award.  She has now won almost every major award, and I couldn't be more happy for her.

Congratulations goes out to everyone in the Indiana Fever organization for winning the Championship as well as the City of Indianapolis which showed great support for its franchise tonight.  What an awesome evening to be in Indianapolis.

In Memoriam: George McGovern 1922-2012

George McGovern
One of the last true liberals is gone.  George McGovern is dead at 90.

A three-time candidate for the U.S. Presidency, McGovern won the 1972 Democratic nomination losing to Richard Nixon.  Nixon's second term would come to be dominated by what happened during that 1972 campaign at DNC Headquarters in the Watergate Office Complex.

That however, only tells a little about an amazing life.  McGovern served in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate before that, he was a decorated World War II veteran flying combat missions over Europe.  At one point, he landed his wounded aircraft saving the lives of his crew.  McGovern benefited from the G.I. Bill after the war and became involved in politics when Adlai Stevenson ran for President.

McGovern championed liberal causes.  He pushed for less defense spending.  He was a champion of civil rights and women's issues as well as an advocate for the poor.  Under President Kennedy, he was briefly the Director of the Food for Peace program.

McGovern will probably most be remembered for his staunch opposition to the Vietnam War.  He was one of the first Senators to speak out vocally against the involvement and pointedly criticized President Nixon's policies.  Defeated in 1980, McGovern stayed involved in public life over the last 32 years.  He served, for at time, as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture under Presidents Clinton and briefly Bush.  The last few years, he had been a public speaker, lecturer and fundraiser.

Widowed in 2007, McGovern's health had been failing.  He suffered a fall, but he recovered.  He celebrated his 90th birthday in July.  By August, he was in hospice.

McGovern was a good man.  He devoted his life to public service and giving voice to those without voices.  George McGovern will be sorely missed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney's Economic Plan Sounds Familiar

President Ronald Wilson Reagan
I was the victim of deja vu.

Yesterday, I got on the YouTubes and looked up old Presidential debates. When you do that, it officially confirms that you are a political nerd.  I came across the 1980 debate between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

It was like getting in the time machine and stepping back 32 years to a different time in American politics.  But as much as things were different, they are the same.  The debate was very civil, overall.  There were zingers both ways, but, as you are probably aware, that debate is famous for five words from the man-who-would-soon-be-elected President Reagan to President Carter, "Well, there you go again."

I knew that was coming late in the debate, but I paid more attention to the issues that they were discussing and the way the debate was prosecuted.  This was much different.  There was a single moderator, but there was a panel of reporters.  Each reporter got a chance to ask a question and then, after the candidate's answer, a follow up.  Then, the reporter would repeat the question for the second candidate.  The second part of the debate was of a different format with no follow-ups.

The questions were about the issues of the time:  inflation, unemployment, energy, prosperity vs. sacrifice, the economy, the plight of our cities, minority issues, the Iran situation, and much more.  At that time, however you slice it, the economy wasn't good.  Reagan attacked Carter as any smart politican would.  He also made some promises that sound very familiar.  Reagan promised to lower taxes.  He promised to reduce the deficit.  He promised to bolster defense, and he promised to balance the federal budget.

As we know now, Reagan didn't keep many of those economic promises.  Reagan did cut taxes, but he ended up having to raise them later in his term.  He greatly increased defense spending.  However, he didn't balance the budget by 1983, and he added astronomically to the deficit.

When we hear Reagan go to this Republican playbook that dates back to the days of Harding, you realize that Mitt Romney, who is espousing similar strategies road ahead if he is elected.  This is nothing new.  President George W. Bush promised the same things.  

Romney is just another Republican, and he's no Ronald Reagan.  Why do we want to give them the chance to go back in time to find a solution to today's problems?  We need modern solutions like those proposed by President Obama.

The last President to balance the budget was Bill Clinton.  Obama's policies recall the policies that gave us the growth of the 1990's with better regulation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Second Gubernatorial Debate Thoughts: Gregg WINS!

Gregg Dominates Second Debate
From the campus of Notre Dame University, the second of three gubernatorial debates took place last night. It was essentially a replay of the first one.  John Ketzenberger, the President of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, served as the moderator of the debate.

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
  • John Gregg continued to hit hard at Rep. Mike Pence in a manner we had not seen prior to the first debate.  Gregg tried to hang the stench of the gridlock in "Warshington" on Pence by repeatedly reminding people of Pence's underwhelming record as a member of Congress.  Gregg got in many shots at Pence, but the Congressman didn't really do a strong job of responding to them.  The former Indiana House Speaker clearly tried to woo independents by praising Mitch Daniels, invoking Ronald Reagan, and mentioning Richard Lugar.  Gregg was again the clear debate winner on points and style.
  • Mike Pence spent much of the night acting a lot like George W. Bush.  From mannerisms to speaking cadence, Pence looked and sounded a lot like the former President.  Indiana Libertarian Party Executive Director Chris Spangle was the first to point it out.  Pence tried to be funny and bring in Notre Dame-specific jokes and things.  Most fell flat.  Pence also blatantly lied saying that he had in fact gotten legislation he authored enacted.  That's simply not true.
  • Rupert Boneham was much less nervous tonight, and he raised several of the same points he did the first night.  Rupert certainly comes across as a person with a genuine desire to do good things for people.  The only thing I hope is that after this campaign he's able to stay involved in some manner.
Just one more debate to go here in the gubernatorial race.  The final debate will be Thursday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. in Fort Wayne.  From polling data, it doesn't appear this one is still leaning heavily in favor of Pence.  The Congressman isn't at 50 percent yet, but he leads Gregg 49 to 38 percent with 13 percent undecided in a recent YouGov poll.  It doesn't appear the poll took into account Rupert Boneham.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama Strikes Back

It may take a couple of days, but I think we will see that President Barack Obama may have stopped his free fall in last night's debate in New York.  
President Barack Obama

Compared with the first debate, Obama was much more aggressive and forceful with his attacks on Mitt Romney and his defenses were more pointed.  Romney came off, especially early in the debate, as perhaps overly aggressive.  At some points, he directly tangled with the President, and that actually bit him once.

There was a possible "decision point" moment here.  Mitt Romney overplayed his hand there by picking out the wrong quote from the President.  As a result, the President actually ended up with an opportunity to dress Romney down directly for politicizing the events.  It was a very strong moment for President Obama.  The President also stood up and took direct responsibility for the Benghazi security situation. 

At that point, for me, the debate went from being a draw or a slight Obama win to a possible large windfall for the President's electoral hopes.  Of course, all of that remains to be seen.    

The debate honestly wasn't that enlightening.  I thought the Libya moment will  be remembered because it was a direct take Romney behind the woodshed moment.  Other than that, there were minor gaffes.  President Obama kind of fumbled a question from a 2008 supporter asking why he should vote for him in 2012, and Governor Romney apparently thinks that an example where women go home and cook dinner for their families was acceptable.

The two sparred directly over energy policy and oil drilling, and Obama got a chance to get in jabs at the size of Romney's pension and his 47 percent comment.  

Listen, there's no enlightening stuff at this point for a person that's an informed voter.  This one was played for the low-information voter and the undecideds.  Candy Crowley of CNN did an ok job as moderator.  It's a tough job.  She was not as strong in my view as Martha Raddatz was, but she far exceeded Jim Lehrer.

We'll see what those people think over the next few days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SNL's Excellent Lampoon of VEEP Debate

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney get ready for their second debate tonight, let's take a humorous look back at last week's Vice Presidential debate from the folks at Saturday Night Live  They spend some time nailing both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan here.  Rated PG-13 for strong language.

I'll be live tweeting @johnnystir about tonight's Presidential debate beginning at 9:00 p.m.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Indiana Senate Debate Thoughts: Donnelly Wins!

Your Winner:  Joe Donnelly
In no particular order, here are some of my thoughts following the debate tonight between the Indiana Senate combatants.

  • I know that it's probably no surprise to most of you, but I thought Joe Donnelly came across as the winner.  Donnelly made sure that he was aggressive, but he wasn't a jerk about it.  He talked to both Richard Mourdock and the voter by at least acknowledging that a camera was there.  I thought he had a real human touch at the end of the debate.  I also am struck by the way that Donnelly is kind of a what you see is what you get guy.  There's just much pretense with him as he said, he's, "Just Joe." 
  • Richard Mourdock looked and sounded angry all night.  He was the candidate that was clearly the most defensive.  For probably 7/8ths of the debate, he failed to look at the camera or the viewer at home.  Seemed like this debate was all about him.  Towards the end of the debate, Mourdock was visibly sweating.
  • Andy Horning's performance was highly disappointing.  I expected him to win this debate hands down.  Unfortunately for Andy, he kept saying the same thing over and over ad nauseum.  Yes, Andy, we get it.  You're raging against the machine.  Horning was like a high school pep band that plays the school song over and over and over again.  He plays it very well, but you get tired of hearing it in the end.  He's a much better debater than this.  Still, he would be a lot of fun as a Senator.  Of course, the Cubs might win the World Series, and Ronald Reagan might reanimate before that happens.
  • The moderator Mizell Stewart III was steady and on point as the moderator, and, for the most part, the candidates behaved themselves and stayed within the rules.
  • Twitter makes political debates much more fun.  It's just fun to see how Republicans love their candidates, Democrats love their candidates, and Libertarians yell and scream about how Republicans and Democrats love their candidates.
  • Some members of the local media, not mentioning names, are simply clueless about local politics.  I'm not talking about any of the political reporters, either.
  • Most awkward moment: Andy Horning saying he's "voted for losers" all these years.  
  • Best ZING: After a distortion of his record by Mourdock, Donnelly said, "I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born LAST night."
  • Laughable Moment:  Richard Mourdock saying that he wasn't a Tea Party candidate.  Honorable Mention:  Richard Mourdock lecturing Joe Donnelly on partisanship.
Well, we get to do this all over again tomorrow night.  Presidential debate #2 is on!  I'll be live tweeting at 9:00 p.m.

Garrison Show Goes on Attack Mode Against Andy Horning

Libertarian Andy Horning
This morning on Garrison on WIBC, in just 30 minutes, I was able to deduce that some Republican insiders are pretty concerned about the candidacy of Andrew Horning possibly harming the chances of the candidate they are stuck with, Richard Mourdock.

Congressman Todd Rokita was Garrison's guest.  I picked up the show during break, and, as they came back, they spent the first five minutes of a segment talking about how insignificant Horning's chances in the election were.  Rokita also attacked Horning saying that he had not seen him out and about anywhere and how he didn't have any campaign signs or anything out.

There's apparently a reason for that, Congressman.  I'm told that not only does Andy have a full time job, but he obviously doesn't have the PAC and financial support of a Todd Rokita or a Richard Mourdock or even, for that matter, a Joe Donnelly.

Later, Rokita got off on a tangent self-pumping his ego as a member of the budget committee saying that, with "apologies" to our troops, he had developed a "thousand yard stare" when it came to new spending.  Go advertise another one of your town halls with official funds and quit comparing yourself to anything other than a first-term Congressman, sir.

Rokita also took a moment to attack Rupert Boneham for having only one yard sign out that he had seen.  Sad, isn't it?

The fact that the Congressman and the local poor imitation of Rush Limbaugh spent time talking about Andrew Horning and trying to tear down his campaign proves that they think Horning is not only a factor, but one that is big enough to talk about on the radio.

U.S. Senate Debate Tonight

Democrat Joe Donnelly
Tonight, the candidates for U.S. Senate will gather in downtown Indianapolis for the first debate of the general election season between the candidates.  I am expecting one candidate to shine.

That candidate is the most experience debater, Andrew Horning.  The Libertarian candidate has been in a number of tangles before for various offices including Congress, Mayor of Indianapolis, and Governor.  Four years ago, while he was running for Governor, Andy stole the show a few times over Mitch Daniels and Jill Long Thompson.  I would expect him to be his normal solid Libertarian self.

Libertarian Andy Horning
I'll be looking for the candidate that connects the best with the audience.  I think that will be Joe Donnelly.  Mourdock talks and acts like a geologist who has been locked away in the Indiana Treasurer's Office these past few years.  He's as dry as unbuttered toast.

Donnelly needs to connect with the Lugar Republicans out there that are still on the fence or undecided about voting for him.  His ally might be the guy I mentioned earlier.

Republican Richard Mourdock
While a third-party candidate like Rupert Boneham might pull votes from either side, I think Andy Horning will definitely pull more votes from Mourdock especially if people listen to him long enough.  Horning is much more of a typical Libertarian who wants small and unobtrusive government that adheres to the Constitution.  Horning, unlike Mourdock, hasn't been a guy that's really wanted to change the Constitution so much, but a candidate that wants to see it followed.

If Horning pulls the seven percent he's polling at right now, that's significant.  He's also right when he says not to blame him if Mourdock loses.  Mourdock has had all help and money to make his case.  Those are things that Horning isn't afforded.

I think you'll see a great debate tonight.  I'm looking forward to the fireworks at 7:00 p.m.  I'll be live Tweeting about it at @johnnystir on Twitter.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WIBC Apologizes for "Inappropriate" Tweet

Daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner took a big leap from 23 miles above Earth earlier today.  He landed safely, and the folks that were watching went back to their Sunday after holding their collective breath for a few minutes.

Someone over at 93.1 WIBC thought it would be funny to use the moment to take a shot at President Barack Obama.  Screen grab courtesy of Joe Shoemaker.

I can just imagine the legendary voices of Indiana like Fred Heckman and Joe Pickett shaking their heads from news reporter heaven.  Apparently, someone agreed with me.  Later in the afternoon, WIBC posted this update.

I couldn't quite understand the context of the original Tweet, either.  If you watched the coverage, it was clear the Baumgartner didn't do that alone.  He did have help of a mission-control like ground crew.  That was, in context, the original intention of Obama's oft-misinterpreted "You didn't build that" quote.  Then again, I never try to reason with the folks that distort the President's comments for political gain.

I received a Tweet from WIBC's Larry Downes.  Here it is.

WIBC and Downes should be commended for how they handled this situation.  I always appreciate stand up people and organizations.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ryan, Biden Debate

In a well-moderated debate that let the candidates appropriately drive the topics but without getting out of control, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan met and had a discussion of the issues.

Biden took an aggressive line challenging both Ryan and moderator Martha Raddatz when he thought the Obama Administration was taking unfair attacks or criticism.  It was a far cry from the debate performance of Barack Obama last week against Mitt Romney.  Biden controlled the night and probably won on content.

That said, Ryan had his moments, too.  He was on the defensive quite often, but he also appeared Presidential.  That said, he also didn't provide many specifics several times eschewing the questions from Raddatz or skirting the outskirts in lieu of answering questions.  

If you're a Republican, you probably are proud of your candidate, but, if you're a Democrat, you have to be proud of Joe Biden who pounded the Romney/Ryan ticket at every chance.

Many people have made an issue of Biden's laughing, smiling, snickering, and I think they have some reason to do so.  They obviously don't know Joe Biden because this was Joe Biden, and he was at his best tonight. Ryan was good, but Joe was better.

Hopefully, for President Obama and Vice President Biden, this is what Joementum looks like.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

VEEP Debate Tonight

Representative Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden will meet in the first and only Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky tonight at 9:00 p.m.
What will you be looking for?  Well, if I knew that, then I wouldn't ask, but I can tell you what I'll be looking for.

I'll be trying to see which candidate is more aggressive.  I'll be trying to see what adjustments the Obama/Biden campaign has made.  I will be trying to see if Paul Ryan looks Presidential at all, after all, if Romney wins this thing, he will be the Vice President of the United States.  

I'll also be looking for the little things.  The little details that sometimes creep up in these kinds of events.  The types of things that resonated in the first debate.  The weird look perpetually on Romney's face.  The way Obama never really looked at his opponent.  

I am looking forward to this debate because this debate may not win the election for someone, but it certainly might lose it.  VEEP debates of the past have given us some of the most memorable political campaign memories.  There was Lloyd Bentsen's zinger on Dan Quayle, and Admiral James Stockdale's famous, "Who am I?" moment.

All I know is that I plan to be on my couch tonight, and I'll be live Tweeting as this thing goes along.  Follow me @johnnystir.

Here's a look back at VEEP debates past:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Aggressive Gregg Pounds Pence in First Debate

Like Mitt Romney, Gregg May Save Best for Last
Last Wednesday, Democrats watched as Mitt Romney revitalized his campaign with a special concoction of lies, statement changes, and aggressiveness.  It worked as he's now a rejuvenated candidate who has hit his stride.

Today, Democrats in Indiana watched as John Gregg's mustache of doom flew into action and defeated Mike Pence and Rupert Boneham in the first Indiana Gubernatorial Debate.  The difference, Gregg didn't have to tell lies and change his positions to be aggressive.  He just hit Mike Pence with the thing he doesn't want to deal with...Pence's own record.

Pence started on a high note by striking, in his opening statement, the kinds of themes that we've seen his campaign ads focus on.  After that, he was thoroughly embarrassed by the more aggressive and alert Gregg. Boneham was at times along for the ride, but he found a few moments in this debate to show that he's not all celebrity.  Rupert has a good heart and, with a little more polish, might have been able to stand more toe-to-toe with Gregg.

Gregg, however, using his wealth of experience as Indiana Speaker of the House absolutely lapped the field in this debate and has nearly won back my vote.  I still want to hear more about how hard he will fight for marriage equality, but this John Gregg was the John Gregg I wanted to see back in July.  This is the John Gregg I saw early on back on the stump.

Pence was up by 13 percentage points in the race for the Governor's Office.  I would think this would tighten the race a bit.  I don't know if it's enough to win for Gregg, but further strong performances in debates as well as a new attitude in his ads could help.  It also appears some outside money is in the state helping out Gregg.  With Bill Clinton also coming to town on Friday in support of him, it should tighten.

I feel like for the first time that we have a race for Governor.  Hopefully, it's not too much too little too late, and I still want to hear Gregg say that, like Boneham, he won't stand for writing discrimination into the Indiana Constitution.  Even if it is inevitable, I want a Governor willing to lay down a few shots and at least help the case for marriage equality in Indiana.

New Poll Shows More Problems for Mourdock

Richard Mourdock
A Republican poll shows Richard Mourdock is up three points on Congressman Joe Donnelly in the race for U.S. Senate.

This is yet another poll that shows pretty much a dead heat for the U.S. Senate race in Indiana.  This particular poll, done by McLaughlin and Associates, has a margin of error of plus or minus four points.

Joe Donnelly
The problem for Mourdock...Republicans had a 10 percent advantage in the number of respondents polled.  Forty three percent of the people polled were Republicans and 33 percent were Democrats.  The rest of the 600 likely voters polled considered themselves as independents.  This means that even a poll with a larger Republican sample size shows that Mourdock isn't even covering that spread.  This has to concern the GOP and its nominee for U.S. Senate.

Andy Horning
This also jives with what I'm hearing on the ground.  Just Monday night, I was in a conversation with a lifelong Republican.  She told me that she would not be voting for Mourdock.  "I just can't stand (him), so I'm scratching and voting for Donnelly," she told me.

If this poll is accurate, it looks like lots of Republicans may have the same sentiment.  Andy Horning could make a BIG difference in this race, too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SNL's Take on Undecided Voters

I guess given my post on Saturday, this is making fun of me, too.  This is one of the more funny SNL spots I've seen in a long time, and it's very true.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Carson Ready to Take May's Best Effort

Congressman Andre Carson
As we climb towards the crescendo of the 2012 election cycle, there's one race that runs below the radar.  That's the race for the 7th District Congressional seat currently held by Andre Carson.

The general consensus among political experts is that this is a safe Democratic district.  Carson isn't playing it that way, though.  There is a lot of new turf in the 7th, and Carson is working it hard.  He's ready for the fight of his political life, should it develop.

Indy Politics poobah Abdul-Hakim Shabazz did a breakdown of the district that said it's now a 53-47 split in favor of the Democrats, and he's quick to report that both Mitch Daniels and Greg Ballard won the new 7th.  That probably explains the extra effort by the Carson campaign.

It seems like Carson believes that he is locked in what should be the toughest battle since his initial race against Jon Elrod back in 2008.  After that, he had to survive a tough seven-way primary against some prominent Democrats.  This time around, his opponent is Carlos May, and May is, as they say, no slouch.

May wants to be the first Republican to represent the City of Indianapolis proper since Republican Bill Hudnut who took office in 1973.  Hudnut's one term in Congress is the only two years that a Republican has served Indy since 1965.  Hudnut defeated then-four term Congressman Andy Jacobs in 1972 on the coattails of Richard Nixon.  Jacobs returned on the coattails of Watergate in 1974 and took back the office by knocking off Hudnut.  Jacobs served again from 1975-1997.  Julia Carson took office in 1997 and served until her death in late 2007.  The office set vacant from mid-December of 2007 until March of 2008 when Andre Carson took over, and he's won every election since.  Of course, that was the old 7th.  The new 7th includes more of the southern townships of Marion County that run more Republican.

Since that first day in office, Carson has built a strong record based on Democratic values.  He is no doubt a Democrat, but even some Republicans and Libertarians credit Carson for his access to his constituents and the work he has done on behalf of the people of the 7th District.

Carson's chief legislative accomplishment is the bills he got through Congress and onto President Obama's desk that providing a number of mental health screenings and services for servicemen and servicewomen returning from combat. Another bill that ended up on the President's desk was a bill that helps the returning warriors achieve financial success.  Both bills were signed by President Obama into law after passing through the Republican majority house and one of the most gridlocked Senates in recent memory.

Carlos May
Carson can't rest on the laurels of his record, which is detailed in this post on Indy Vanguard, because here's not a doubt that May is a good opponent.  May knows the district having served in various capacities in Mayor Greg Ballard's Administration except for the times he has run for Congress these past few years.  In fact, I first met Carlos when he was the Mayor's Neighborhood Liaison for Decatur Township.

If I'm being intellectually honest here, I have to say he was a responsive public servant who treated all problems equally, regardless of the party of the person that reported them.

That said, Congress is a bit different than being the Mayor's Neighborhood Liaison.  It is infinitely more political, and, as a Republican, May would be an outsider in Congress as his views tend to run on the moderate side.  You can see the struggle on Carlos' website.

His views are written in a have your cake and eat it to manner, and he avoids the big wedge issues.  For example, on the issue of defense, he wants to fund our troops but cut inefficiencies.  He wants to repeal Obamacare, but he wants to keep popular parts of the bill like keeping young people on their parents' insurance until they are 26 and removing the lifetime coverage cap.

Andre Carson has made it abundantly clear on where he stands on issues.  He has the experience and is now building the seniority to back things up.  As a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus as well as the Congressional Black Caucus, Carson is becoming a respected voice of the young guard in Washington.  He does all this while maintaining contact with constituents back home.

I don't need to tell you this.  If you're reading this blog, you probably already know this, and probably most political wonks know this.

The problem he fights this time around is the low-information voter that will respond to Carson's so-called controversial side, and Congressman Carson may eventually see ads run against him trying to stoke these flames against him.

At this point, May is stitll struggling uphill.  There are some opportunities for him to take hold.   May is challenging Carson to several debates around the district, but, like many incumbents before him, Carson is declining his invitation.  This could be something that resonates against Carson.  That said, Carson's record is no secret, and the district still favors him.

Back to Abdul's assertion that Daniels and Ballard both won the new 7th.  They may have, but those were both relatively well-funded campaigns with big budgets.  May's campaign is not.  But, as we saw in 2007, you don't always need a lot of money to topple an incumbent.  Just ask Bart Peterson.

When it's all said and done on November 6, I don't think you'll see Andre Carson losing this race.  I would say that this one will probably be close to the kind of numbers that Abdul predicts.  I think Carson will win with around 53-55 percent of the vote.  This is still closer than the past, but it's still a good win in the new 7th.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chevy Doesn't Run That Deep for Mourdock

I had seen this ad for Richard Mourdock many times, but I only noticed something I had previously overlooked just today.  See if you can see what I might have overlooked.

Besides his stretch claim that he made government "accountable and efficient" (as Indiana Treasurer??) in the ad I noticed that Mourdock decided to use a Chevrolet Malibu in the ad.  I have one just like it.  Similar color and everything.  It's a great car.  There's one thing missing from the car.  THE CHEVY BOWTIE.

Here's my car.

See it?  Mourdock's version of my car is definitely missing its Chevy Bowtie.

If he was just removing a recognizable logo on the car in the ad, then why do logos for Ford, John Deere and Dodge Ram appear in Mourdock's "Choice" ad as shown by these screen caps...

Cute girls but check that logo to the right

Nice John Deere Sir
Have You Seen My Campaign?

Looks like the Mourdock camp may have made a conscious decision to perhaps use a Chevy and then airbrush out the logo.  Now why would they do that?  HMMMMMM....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I Am an Undecided Voter...Sorta

John Gregg-D
Well, it's time that I level with you all.  Despite the name of this blog, I'm feeling a bit undecided about the 2012 gubernatorial election.

Now, I don't think it's full out crisis mode for John Gregg or anything.  He's a good man, and I will probably vote for him on election day.  That said, I kind of feel like voting for Rupert Boneham, too.  I'd say it's a 70-30 feeling still in favor of Gregg, but I'm just not certain yet.

I don't think John Gregg and his campaign folks are sitting in their offices worried about Jon Easter's vote, but I've come to this conclusion based on a number of reasons.  Most of all, it's the recent revelation that Mike Pence plans to ignore gay couples when he talks about promoting marriage in Indiana.

The Associated Press reports that Pence, who has linked family to his economic proposals, doesn't believe that gay couples apparently count as two parent households.  Needless to say, being told you don't count or whatever family you may have someday is somehow less than another family makes you a little mad. It certainly doesn't make you anxious for an Indiana where Mike Pence might be in the Governor's Office and Republicans control the Indiana House and Indiana Senate.  Given the gains in the 2010 elections and the way the districts were withdrawn, this will be a long-lived majority for the GOP in Indiana.  Pence probably has the best chance to stop Pence, but his chance is slim.

To say I'm depressed about the likely reality that Pence will become Governor in January would be dramatic, but I am concerned.  There are certainly reasons to fight for Gregg.  There are probably 99 reasons, but marriage equality ain't one.

Rupert Boneham-L
Vi Simpson is a tireless advocate for the LGBT community, but Gregg himself is not really an advocate at this point.  Recent statements that say he's ready to concede on things like Right to Work and school vouchers because of the GOP having the upper hand in the General Assembly concern me more.  Will he also concede on marriage equality?  It's an important issue to me.

That's why I can't say I'm 100 percent behind John, and it makes Libertarian Rupert Boneham an interesting choice.  Rupert, from the beginning, has been right on marriage equality.  He has said he would work against any constitutional amendment against marriage equality, and he's said so in no uncertain terms.  There's no statement from him saying marriage is between a man and a woman like there was from Gregg a few months ago.

I know many of my friends on the left will probably smack me for this post, but I just have to be honest.  I know where candidates like President Obama, Congressman Carson, State Senator Mark Waterfill, and others on my ballot stand on marriage equality when I cast my vote for them.  Shouldn't I not be a hypocrite and put my vote behind a marriage equality candidate when this is one of my most important issues?  At what point does principle exceed politics?