Sanders is Out, Pam Hickman is In and Something is Up

Yesterday, At-Large City-County Councillor and Minority Leader Joanne Sanders bowed out of her re-election campaign citing an increased work load at her full-time job working as a union representative.

Today, Ed Treacy announced that Pam Hickman will take Sanders’ place on the ticket. Hickman ran for State Representative in District 87 and lost. Comments over on Indianapolis Times are claiming Hickman ran against the Democrat slate several years ago as well.

We don’t know what on earth is going on over at the Marion County Democrat Headquarters but something is up. Rumors are swirling that Monroe Gray and Vernon Brown were working to stage a coup and vote Sanders out of leadership after the election. This is a clear indication that the Democrat Council Caucus is spiraling out of control.

But is that why Sanders unexpectedly dropped out of her re-election bid? We aren’t sure but we are willing to bet there is a lot more to this story.

John Gregg Joins the Fun: Campaign Video Week

Today, John Gregg decided he should join the fun and put out a campaign video too.  We’re hearing the email his campaign sent out was sent to a list obtained from the Indiana State Democratic Party.  This makes sense since they have made no secret that John Gregg is their man.  If it were us, we would maybe be a little more careful.  Surely, the IN Dems haven’t forgotten the 2008 Jill Long Thompson debacle.

Back to the video.  Besides reminding us all what cities are in the state of Indiana, Gregg makes sure to put in a few jabs though we’re not sure he lands the punch.  Gregg says,  “We need a leader who cares more about the next generation than the next election” and has graphics saying “From Indiana, In Indiana, For Indiana”  with a waving Indiana flag in the background.  

Gregg’s team is clearly trying to put some focus on the thought that Pence may have his sights on higher office and give a little snipe at Pence for announcing his campaign via video while he was in D.C.  Nevermind the fact that Pence is a Congressman and was serving his constituents by actually showing up and voting.  We really don’t expect the State Democrats to respect that type of service anyway since they supported the 2011 Walkout stunt by House Democrats.

Gregg ‘s email also has a fundraising appeal asking people to “Invest in the Campaign.” 

 Two things seem clear to us. First, Gregg appears to be chasing Mike Pence and hoping to keep up.  Mike Pence, the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination for Governor, put out a campaign video a few days ago. Now, John Gregg puts out a video.  Mike Pence has raised over $300,000 just in major donor contributions since officially getting in the race.  Now, John Gregg has to focus on fundraising. 

Second, we are going to enjoy watching this race play out, if only because we are fascinated by John Gregg’s mustache.  We don’t think he needs a running mate – just make the mustache the Lt. Governor.

Primary Day Predictions: Kennedy and the Marion County Republican Slate

With all the commotion of the events in the last 24 hours, it is easy to forget tomorrow is Primary Election Day here in Marion County.    So, for the moment, we’ll turn our attention to local politics.

We are interested in two races.  First, we are obviously interested in seeing the outcome of the Democratic Primary for Mayor.  Kennedy did do some radio ads but has been otherwise fairly quiet and did not even have yard signs until a few days ago.  In short, her campaign has not exactly put forth an impressive effort in a primary we believe they should have taken more seriously. 

First, she is running against the last name Carson and that should never be taken lightly.  Second, simply winning the primary may not be enough.  Many in the Indianapolis political circles believe that Kennedy needs to get more than 85% of the vote to really show she has the support of the Democratic Party faithful particularly with the reported rifts within the Marion County Democrats.  We don’t think she’ll get it.

The second race we are interested in is the At Large Council race on the Republican side.   For those who may not know, the Republicans have slated four candidates and a fifth is running against the slate.  Jocelyn Adande Tandy, a former Democrat, is running and actually changed her name so she could get better ballot placement by switching it to Jocelyn Tandy Adande.  She also is a former Democrat who has run for Mayor and several other offices as a Democrat. 

The Marion County Republicans sent a mailer out highlighting her Democrat history.  At this stage, it seems everyone in both Parties think she is a joke.  We believe she will be defeated.  If she doesn’t, it is going to be a long year for Marion County Republicans.

We’ve told you our predictions but we want to know what you think.  Vote to let us know if you think Melina Kennedy will get the big win she needs on Primary Day and if Marion County Republicans can push their slate through despite ballot placement complications.

WSP Re-Districting Analysis: Congressional Districts

We’ve been meaning to get this post up for the last few days but, sadly, we do actually have real jobs.  We’re working on doing a full analysis on the implications of re-districting and will start with the Congressional Districts.  

The 1st Congressional District remains a safe Democrat seat for Pete Visclosky to sit in until he dies if he so chooses.  He is unlikely to have any serious opposition in either the Primary or General Elections.  In fact, its biggest impact is on the 2nd Congressional District.

The 2nd Congressional District was molded as a district for Jackie Walorksi.  The district has taken out the highly Democratic Michigan City and given it to the 1st District while Howard County and the Democrat area of Kokomo were drawn out completely. They also added some nice Republican spots in Elkhart and Kosciusko counties and all of Miami County. 

Will Jackie have a primary?  We’re hearing yes but we highly doubt anyone is going to beat her.  She is known as a tough campaigner and is putting together a campaign team that is already working with the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.  We strongly believe Congressman Donnelly was already focused on running for U.S. Senate in 2012 and this district makes that more likely.  We’re not sure who the Democrats have warming up on the bench. 

The 3rd Congressional District, much like the 1st, has a bigger impact on the 2nd than on itself.  Several key Republican areas were sliced out of the 3rd and given to the 2nd.  Regardless, it looks to be a fairly safe Republican district provided Congressman Stutzman does not make any major mistakes.

In the 4th Congressional District, we have a very nice Republican map.  Unfortunately for Congressman Todd Rokita, it does not include his home. This is not an issue as we have heard for some time that Rokita planned to move to Hendricks County.  It is a good thing since Rokita has about as many friends in the Legislature as we have in the Kennedy for Mayor HQ.  The Congressman made a lot of enemies by putting out his own re-districting plan last year when he was Secretary of State.  No better way to piss off the legislature than messing with the maps.  Ironic that they used re-districting as a way to get back at him, huh?

The 5th District is interesting but, as usual, it is due to Primary implications rather than General election races.  Congressman Dan Burton has a good district for the General but not so much for the Primary.  The northern portion of the old 5th is where Burton got his votes and it was put in the 3rd District.  If you think his dustup with Messer was close in 2010, check out the numbers if this had been the district.  The race would have come down to a few hundred votes rather than a few thousand.  Burton was able to use his friends in the legislature to push Shelby County, Messer’s home county, out of the 5th.  David McIntosh, however, is based in Madison County and that is in the 5th District.  Will McIntosh take Burton out?  God, we hope so because someone should. 

The 6th district looks to be fairly Republican but not so Republican that a poorly run race would be guaranteed victory.  Congressman Mike Pence is all but declared to run for Governor.  We expect he will announce sometime after the legislative session ends so he can start fundraising.  Luke Messer is said to be taking a close look at the district and we expect he will run.  McIntosh is said to be interested as well.  While McIntosh is registered in Madison County, the new 6th has several of the counties he used to represent. We’re not all that enthused about a McIntosh return to Indiana…unless it is to finally rid our delegation of Dan Burton.  There are a few other names being tossed around but none that should cause too much of an issue if Messer goes all in.

The new 7th District is a bit of a mystery.  Democrats say it is solidly Democrat while the Republicans seem to be split.  We’ve heard some say it is a lock for the Democrats and some who are hopeful that the addition of the Republican Southside will make the district competitive.  Either way, we think you’ll see a much more energized race there in 2012 than usual.  Congressman Carson will crush any opponent in the Primary and the General could be interesting if the Republicans can get a legitimate candidate.  Marvin Scott, this is not a request for you to throw your hat in.  The likelihood of getting a strong Republican candidate could be impacted by the 2011 Mayor’s race.

The 8th District lost some key Republican areas to the 4th and 9th Congressional districts and may well become the Bloody Eighth of  the past. Congressman Bucshon should be safe in the Primary election.  The General will really depend on who the Democrats can get to run.  Democrats appear to be courting Brad Ellsworth for a curtain call but we don’t see it happening.  He just got a great gig  and he lost his home congressional district to Coats in his U.S. Senate bid.  If John Gregg is the Democrat Governor candidate, it could make things interesting in the 8th  (and 9th as well) but we still don’t think the Democrats have a candidate to beat Congressman Bucshon.

Finally, the 9th District looks a bit better than it use to for Congressman Todd Young.  Since this district has been tossed back and forth between the two parties like a hot potato, it is not surprising that Republicans decided to clean it up some.  The district is more Republican than in the past and it looks much more favorable for Young to fend of Primary challengers.  Many of the counties drawn out were won by his 2010 Primary opponents. The district does still include Jackson County where former Congressman Baron Hill resides.  We would think Hill has had enough of fighting for this district for a decade but you never know.  We would say the 9th is more Republican than before but by no means a lock.

Dan Parker’s March Madness

It is March Madness so let’s play in metaphorical terms.

Coach Dan Parker looks down his bench for some substitution relief. His starters haven’t exactly been getting the job done. Bayh quit on the team before the clock ran out, and when fans thought Ellsworth would be an All-Star he busted like Greg Oden in the NBA. With the clock ticking Coach Parker has got to be worried. His roster lost in a blowout in 2010. Players like Baron Hill and Trent Van Haaften went down hard, along with every statewide candidate on the Democrat ticket.

Options for the 2012 matches seem to be slim. We could see John Gregg or Joe Donnelly run in statewide races but if those are your two strongest contenders off the bench then you may be in for a long season. If Joe Donnelly decides to run for statewide office in 2012 Coach Parker now has to play tough defense in a congressional district they could barely hold in 2010. Who comes off the bench to go head-to-head versus someone like Jackie Walorski? No strong names come to mind.

John Gregg may have been a giant in state politics, but that was nearly a decade ago. If he runs for Governor, he’ll most likely be battling the GOP team’s current MVP, Rep. Mike Pence. That isn’t exactly a fun matchup for Coach Parker. I’m sure Coach Parker and his team won’t back down from a tough game, then again about 39 players on their team currently have.

When all is said and done, the vulnerability of the Democrat team in 2012 is very apparent. We could potentially see another massive blowout resulting in the pickup of a congressional seat, more gains in the General Assembly, and four more years of a GOP controlled executive branch. Coach Parker is scrambling to sub players in who can contend. Unfortunately, it’s hard to score when you’re always on defense.

Word on Washington Street: Illinois State Legislature Looking to Tax Democrats in Exile?

We’re hearing rumblings that some folks in the Illinois State Legislature are looking to start taxing some of the Democrat legislators who are holding up legislation from exile. 

The thought is that these legislators are conducting business from the state of Illinois and should have to pay some taxes on it.  Just one more reason the House Democrats should come back to Indiana and get some work done.

Melina Kennedy Endorsed by Emily’s List

Melina Kennedy was endorsed by Emily’s List today.  Click here to read the full release.

We weren’t very surprised especially considering a line from the press release  saying, “EMILY’s List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) helps pro-choice Democratic women.”

Congratulations, Melina.  You are the only woman in the race and, thus, their only choice.

You’re number one!

Irony Courtesy of the Marion County Democrats: Fighting for Hoosier Families…From Illinois

How would you like your irony served this morning?  We prefer it with a cup of coffee. 

Check out the email we received from the Marion County Democratic Party.

TOWN HALL: Fighting for Hoosier Families

The Marion County Democratic State Representatives invite the public to a Forum and Q&A session

Thursday, March 3, 2011
6:00pm – 7:30pm
atMESSIAH BAPTIST CHURCH
5640 E. 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN
State Representatives will participate by video conference.

 

 

 

*Facilitated by Amos Brown*
——
Marion County Democratic State Representatives
Representative Jeb Bardon
Representative John Bartlett
Representative William Crawford
Representative John Day
Representative Ed Delaney
Representative Greg Porter
Representative Cherrish Pryor
Representative Mary Ann Sullivan
Representative Vanessa Summers

 

Guest Post from Jon Elrod: Indiana the Republic, and the Rump Parliament

The United States is not a simple democracy, nor is the State of Indiana.  The People with some exceptions, do not vote on the laws that govern us.  It is a constitutional republic; a representative democracy with a bicameral legislature.

In our system of democracy, only the identity of our representatives are decided at the ballot box.  Our laws are decided on the floor of the General Assembly.  The People’s vote may be cast at the ballot box, but the People’s right of self-government is exercised by the ayes and nays in the General Assembly.

The vote of the legislative majority is the vote of the People.  The right of the legislative minority is limited to debates, votes, and entries of protest. 

Quorum is intended to ensure that the majority does not pass laws without the minority’s presence and opportunity to debate.  Quorum is not a concept intended to permit the minority to defeat the vote of the majority  The Indiana Constitution permits those assembled to “compel the attendance of absent members.” 

The Indiana Democrats are not exercising a legislative right.  They are violating the Constitution.  They have removed themselves from the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana so that Indiana authorities cannot compel their attendance.  They are fugitives actively avoiding enforcement of the Constitution.  

But they are worse than fugitives.  They are undermining our democratic system.  The ballot-box is only half of our system of self-government.  Refusing quorum in the legislature is the equivalent of cancelling election day. 

In times past and future, a majority might run roughshod over the procedural rights of the minority, and abuse of quorum should be lauded as responsible civil disobedience.  But that is not the case today.

Since the Farewell Address of George Washington, the world has looked to America in awe at the peaceful and democratic transition of political power.  What a poor reflection of that legacy.  Rather than lay down his gavel to the will of the People, Pat Bauer and his rump parliament issue demands from a Best Western in Illinois.

You Asked, We Answer: What does the Dem walkout mean to local 2011 elections?

We have had a few comments asking our opinion on what the effect the Democrat walkouts over at the Statehouse will have on local races here in Marion County. 

At Ogden on Politics, Paul says, “You betcha.”  He argues that these issues will motivate the Democrat base and predicts Mayor Greg Ballard will lose by more than ten percent.  To that, we ask if he is a part of the marijuana legalization study the State Senate just passed.  We’re not saying it is crazy to predict a victory by either candidate–everyone has the right to their opinion.  We’re saying a ten percent victory for either side is a bit over the top.  As an aside, Paul said, “Opinion polls do not measure the intensity of one’s views.”  That is incorrect.  Nearly every poll we’ve ever seen has an intensity question.  Not all do but most that are done by reputable pollsters include an intensity question.

Over at Indy Democrat, Jon Easter says yes. He makes a valid argument that some of the controversial issues being brought up over at the Statehouse could put local officials in a tough spot.  Honestly, we think that it is all a matter of how the issues are addressed.  That said, those issues are not what the walkout is centered on.  We believe the walkout is going to overshadow a lot of those issues at this point and become the issue.   And we believe the House Democrats overplayed their hand. We said it yesterday but Capitol & Washington referenced a poll saying that 67% of Americans disapprove of the walkouts like in Wisconsin.  That isn’t an Indiana only poll but it shows a general trend.

Our view is that they overplayed their hand and it will end up being a negative for Democrats in the Statehouse.  We really aren’t sure that it is going to have any effect on local candidates.  We did read on IBJ reporter Francesca Jarosz’s twitter that Democrats plan to skip the State of the City address as a show of opposition.  If local Democrats start taking their cues from the Statehouse then this trend could definitely have an effect on the upcoming elections.  Voters typically expect legislators to show up and vote.  They do not always have to agree with the vote but just not voting doesn’t seem to be acceptable.  And there is always a danger for any candidate to get on the wrong side of an issue and have a problem–but that is something a candidate can control or at least minimize the damage.  

But to say you know definitely how any of this will actually play out and affect elections while we are still in the middle of it is a bit of a stretch.  As Michael Douglas says in The American President, ” I drop five points when Wisconsin doesn’t make the Rose Bowl.”  Our point?  Voters are unpredictable and this situation is volatile.  Who knows what is going to happen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.