Friday, September 23, 2016

Cardwell's Use of GOP Contacts to Promote Business Raises Eyebrows

Indiana Republican Party Chair and Mike Pence loyalist Jeff Cardwell has recently come under fire for possibly using party e-mail lists to promote his own business and his own charity.

GOP Chair Jeff Cardwell
The IBJ wrote that this all started when prominent Republicans started receiving ads for Cardwell's hardware store on Indy's Southside.  

When they unsubscribed from the list the ads were coming from, the notice seemed to indicate that the list had been somehow party-related.  According to the Indy Star, Cardwell defended himself and his actions by saying that he has built a network of contacts in business and politics over the years and that they overlap often with his political contacts.  

Excuse me, cough...cough.

(Deep breath...quick exhale) 

So let's pretend we believe Cardwell's excuse.  

Even if you take him at his word that he was targeting people he knew in his network of contacts to promote his Southside hardware business, that means he was engaged in, what I would consider, questionable business practices.  


I get tons of political e-mails on my personal account each day. I don't get spammed by candidates or party officials that own businesses with information about those businesses.  My friend, Steve Terrell, for example, is an excellent attorney.  We do exchange personal e-mails often.  That said, Steve's never sent me information about his law practice or begged me to use his services to write a will.  

I've never gotten an e-mail from my friend Zach Adamson about a haircut deal at his salon.  

When I hear from my friend Robin Winston, it's always about an awesome political opportunity I usually find interesting.  

Pam Hickman never sends me anything about jewelry sales at Patora Fine Jewelers.

These people are never trying to sell me their services or products.

I'm more casual friends with other people that own businesses that are in politics, and I've never received an e-mail from them about their businesses.  The e-mail lists I'm on are typically only ones I put myself on or ones that clearly are political lists.

Let me be frank.  I think Cardwell got caught trying to butter his bread on the party's contact list or a version of it.  Either that, or he's just no better than those spammers that call you at dinner time.  He just does it by e-mail.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Holcomb Won't Push for LGBT Protections; Gregg Will

Eric Holcomb
It’s very cliché, but there’s what is right and what is popular.

I was always brought up to fight for what is right even if it was not popular, and, in many cases, what is right is not always popular. That’s because what’s right sometimes takes effort and it sometimes goes against the grain.

No matter how hard it gets, Eric Holcomb has said that he isn’t going to fight for what’s right for LGBT Hoosiers. "I don't tend to focus on issues where there's 0% probability of success," the Lt. Governor said, according to WIBC’s Eric Berman.

Well, maybe, dear Eric, there might be a chance of success…I don’t know…if you led the way on this? If you decided to be a champion for the rights of an oppressed minority, maybe other Republicans would follow and there would be a chance for success.

In short, what Holcomb is saying is, “Gay people, vote for the other guy because I don’t have the heart to stand up for you and for what’s right.”
John Gregg

John Gregg has made the civil rights of LGBT Hoosiers a main campaign plank of his this time around since the first day. Was he wrong on the issue in 2012? Yes. He’s apologized, and he’s said he was wrong. He is now promising to fight for LGBT rights at the Statehouse in the form of putting this oppressed minority into the state’s non-discrimination clause.

Yes, it’s going to be hard, and he may not get it done, but I believe John Gregg is going to try to do what’s right for all Hoosiers.

If people didn’t pursue things that have no consensus, where would we be as a world? We would still probably believe the world is flat and that the sun orbits us. We would have never landed on the Moon or pushed the boundaries of space. We never would have made landmark legislation like the Civil Rights Act happen.

When you’re a leader, you look to BUILD consensus…not look for consensus that already exists. Holcomb SERIOUSLY misreads this issue. Times are changing. If John Gregg can evolve and Barack Obama can evolve, certainly Eric Holcomb can see that others can and will too. All it takes is for an ally to stand up and make the case. All it takes is for an ally to LEAD on the issue. Sometimes all it takes is to try.

Eric Holcomb refuses to be that ally. He’s not fit to be my Governor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Yoder Releases TV Ad

Shelli Yoder's up and on the air with her first ad of the General Election campaign season.  She has a great opportunity to take the 9th District back for Democrats against carpetbagger, "Tennessee" Trey Hollingsworth.

All-in-all, a solid, positive ad that introduces Yoder well.  The 9th District is a toss-up even though Hollingsworth has unlimited funds to spend.  Looks like he's going to need it because Yoder is not going away.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Basketball and the Bayhs Bring GOP Criticism

Last week, Evan Bayh's campaign asked Republicans to leave his two twin boys out of the campaign after Bayh used the 20-year-old twins in a campaign ad.

The ad is one I'm sure you've seen.  Bayh is refuting some of the claims against his post-Senate career and touting his record as a legislator and as Governor of Indiana.  In the last scene, he lobs up a basketball for his son Beau to slam home, and the ball goes in.  It's a nice moment, and the smile from Beau is a truly awesome moment you don't see in campaign ads too often.

The "boys" as we've come to know them are all grown up.  They love their dad, and it's great to see them stumping for them.  I love the ad.

Of course the GOP was quick to criticize that both Beau and Nick attend Harvard and largely grew up outside the Hoosier State.  They also point out that the Indiana Pacers and Indiana State gear they are sporting in the ad may have been even more of an attempt to refute the anti-Hoosier charge that Bayh has had to beat back over the last few weeks from those loyal to Todd Young.

Bayh's request to leave his twins alone is noble but misplaced.  If a politician is actively attempting to shield his family from the limelight, I would totally agree with Bayh's request to leave his sons out of this.  That said, Beau and Nick are 20-year-old men now, and, after all, it was the campaign's decision to bring them into this fight.  No one forced Bayh to make an ad with his sons.

So, let's move to the second part of this.  Is the attack isn't unfair or overly nasty?  If the Republicans had just attacked with "his sons go to Harvard" without any pretext, I might agree more with Bayh.  That said, Beau and Nick Bayh are stars of a campaign ad with their father that is, in fact, trying to portray him as more Hoosier.

For this reason, I don't think that the discussion of the twins in the context of this ad is out of bounds at all.

I think it's a particularly weak argument though.  The GOP's attacks that the Bayh family isn't Hoosier enough requires some definition for me.  Beau and Nick may have grown up somewhere else, but they were born in Indiana.  They are Hoosier by birth.  Evan Bayh is a Hoosier, too.  If Beau and Nick identify as Hoosiers, that's all I need.  Evan and Susan Bayh have every reason to be proud of their two sons. Harvard?  That's impressive.  I congratulate them.

Something tells me that Beau and Nick are capable of taking care of themselves.  Whatever happens in this campaign with their father, they clearly have long, successful careers ahead of the family business or otherwise.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bayh is no Bumpkin

Todd Young’s latest ad is a disgrace to not only his campaign, but it’s a disgrace to Hoosiers everywhere.

While trying to make a point about Evan Bayh, Young may have managed to make a point about himself and his own campaign that bears note. It’s a cautionary tale to campaigns and campaign managers that try to make humorous ads.

The ad starts out repeating the same tired lines about Bayh’s post-Senate career. Then it talks about how he’s come back to Indiana to run for Senate again. The ad ends with an actor playing Bayh putting on a hilljack accent and trying to appeal to Hoosier voters in a TV studio full of Indiana props. The backdrop fails, and “Bayh” is exposed.

When have you ever heard Evan Bayh put on some country bumpkin accent? You can say a lot about Bayh, but it’s often the other way. Bayh is stiff and sometimes cold on the campaign trail. It doesn’t seem to be something he likes or enjoys. He talks like an intellectual, and he has voted right along the same lines that Richard Lugar did when he was in the U.S. Senate with a more center left approach than Lugar’s center right approach.

Todd Young’s actor playing Bayh with the country bumpkin accent shows you that this must be what he thinks about Hoosiers. He thinks we’re all hilljacks. Of course, he also thinks that the retirement age should be higher and that social security is a Ponzi scheme.

Young’s ad isn’t even funny because it gets the parody totally wrong. Evan Bayh would never look or sound similar to his persona as portrayed in the Young ad. So, who knows whose reality Young is trying to reflect in the ad? Is this what he thinks gets Hoosier votes?

All we know about Todd Young is he’s a former Marine who has embraced Tea Party policies that have been repudiated by voters in the Hoosier State before. Maybe it’s Todd Young that’s been in Congress too long. After all, he tries to blame Bayh for all of Indiana’s problems, but, if you believe Young’s own ads, Bayh wasn’t even here to cause any problems. That means that Todd Young is part of the problem.

Plus, he just doesn’t seem that in to us.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ballard Put Us Here; Democrats Digging Out

Mayor Joe Hogsett
For eight years of the Greg Ballard Administration, Indianapolis was told that the budgets were honestly balanced and that the city was on strong financial footing.

That wasn’t entirely accurate. As Joe Hogsett’s Administration has found out, sometimes the devil is in the details.

Early in Ballard’s term as Mayor of Indianapolis, he criticized the previous administration under Bart Peterson for all the so-called “fluff” in the budget. I’m told by sources in the know that out most of that “fluff” was rainy day money or revenue set aside for fiscal crises. Other money for rainy days could be raised by city assets such as parking meters or even the water company.

The state gave Indy $52 million to spend on road and street repairs or to put in a rainy day fund. Hogsett chose to start to rebuild Indy’s rainy day fund by putting that cash aside. To address public safety issues, roads, and park issues, Hogsett’s Administration wants to borrow $75 million. That plan was approved by the City-County Council Monday night, 13-12, according to the Indianapolis Star’s excellent reporting by Brian Eason.

Republicans say that Hogsett should spend the state money first before thinking about borrowing, but Democrats and Hogsett point out that this plan gives the city more flexibility. The Republican mentality is exactly what’s built the city’s fiscal problems. Instead of working to replenish the city’s rainy day money, Republicans have spent more than we’ve had coming in for years.

There really are no easy answers at this point to the issues this city has financially. I think Hogsett’s plan best allows the city to replenish those rainy day funds spent down by Ballard while continuing to do what it needs to do to operate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Golden Girls Take on 2016 Election (PARODY)

(Ok, I realize this is a little raunchy, but it was the Golden Girls.  If you didn't like that show or don't like a little political parody, then move along.

I saw a Designing Women scene that had been altered to talk about the 2016 election, so it got me to thinking about the Golden Girls and what they would think.  Here goes.  My apologies to the creators...)

Dorothy sits on the sofa reading a magazine. Disgusted, she throws the magazine aside and puts her hand to her face in a worried expression. Rose enters and sits down on the chair to Dorothy’s left. Blanche enters from the lanai holding a book and wearing a tight floral print sun dress with a very light matching jacket. 

Blanche sits down next to Dorothy and places her book on the table.  She notices the magazine, picks it up.

Blanche: I see you have been reading about politics again. Big Daddy always said there are just some things that should never be brought up in polite conversation.

Rose:  Oh yes, my mother always told me never to talk about what my father did after he ate onions, but sometimes you just had to say something.  I mean the smell was just aw...

Blanche:  We get it, Rose.

Dorothy:  I'm sorry, but I just don’t know how a major political party can elect a self-centered, egotistical, misogynistic, psychopath like Donald Trump to be their nominee for President.

Blanche:  See, you're already making me uncomfortable.

Dorothy:  Well, that could be the dress you're wearing.  If you slipped a dime in your pocket, you could probably read the date.

(Blanche gives Dorothy a dirty look. Sophia enters and is using a watering can to water the plants near the kitchen)

Blanche:  I understand why people don't like Donald, but, for the record, I like Donald Trump Jr.  He got all the good genes from his mommy and his father.  He can be my Commander-in-Chief anytime.

Dorothy:  Like that's some difficult position to hold!  

Blanche:  You're right, Dorothy.  I may be a good Southern Republican, but I cannot vote for Trump.  I'm thinking of voting for Gary Johnson.

Sofia (While continuing to water plants):  Is he the one with the squirrel on his head?

Dorothy:  Ma!

Sofia (Approaches the couch):  Well, all I'm saying is that if that thing scurries off his head during his State of the Union looking for nuts, don't be surprised.  It happened to Mussolini once.

(Sofia exits into the kitchen)

Rose: Oh I don’t know Dorothy. I’ve always kind of found Donald Trump interesting.

Dorothy: (Looking down over nose) Rose, what could you possibly find interesting about THAT MAN?

Rose: Well, he reminds me of Baron Von Flagen Flugen, the richest man in St. Olaf. He had to leave the Mayor’s race because of the Cow Milking Incident of 1938.

Dorothy: (Dramatic pause) Normally, I’d tell you to shut up, but I’m actually interested for some reason. 

Blanche:  Me too.  

(Sophia re-enters carrying a glass of milk and some chocolate chip cookies)

Sophia: Me three, I was listening from the kitchen. 

(Sophia sits down next to Dorothy)

Rose: Oh, Baron Von Flagen Flugen made his money selling dairy farms. You should see how he would buy up a farm, turn it around, and then sell it at a profit. You know he actually claimed to be the fastest cow milker in the world, and he got challenged by Hans Ver Mugen Slagen to prove it.

Dorothy: So, what happened?

Rose: Well, Baron had built himself the tallest building in St. Olaf. It was four stories tall and it said “Von Flagen Flugen” on the outside. It was a sight to see. 

Dorothy: Come on, tell me what happened when he was challenged, Rose. 

Rose: I’m just glad you’re interested in my stories. Most times you guys just tell me to 

Blanche and Dorothy: SHUT UP AND GET ON WITH IT (Rose with a dumb look) 

Blanche: Come on Rose, Sophia is not getting any younger, and I must get some cucumber slices on my eyes after being outside or else my eyelids will just get so puffy.

Sophia: If you put the rest of the salad all over your body will that cure the rest of your puffiness? 

(Blanche gives Sofia a dirty look.) 

Sophia: So, get on with it, ok? I’m not getting any younger here, and Blanche has a date with a cucumber. 

Rose: Ok, you see, Hans’s brother Lars was a bit of a trickster, and he played a trick on Baron and switched his cow out with a bull. So, he was surprised when he started milking his cow and… 

(Sophia looks at her glass of milk, sets it down on the table.) 

Blanche: I think we get the big picture Rose. 

Rose: You should have seen the sight. I mean there was Baron in his black suit covered in the bull’s… 

Dorothy: That’s enough, Rose. We understand. 

Rose:  It was quite the sticky situation!  Anyway, Baron was so embarrassed that he sold his farms and was never seen in St. Olaf again. I mean, think of it.  It was a big scandal.

Blanche:  What scandal?

Rose:  Well, don't you know?  Baron couldn't tell the difference between a cow and a bull.  He had to drop out of the Mayor's race.  Something like that is just unforgivable in St. Olaf.  

Dorothy:  Not to mention a good excuse to get a new suit. 

Sophia gets up off the sofa and heads for the door.

Dorothy:  Ma, where are you going?

Sophia:  I've had enough of this bull.  My friend is coming over to take me to Shady Pines.  It's Bingo Day.  Last time, I won a whole 25 cents.  At my age, I can't pass up that kind of dough.

(Sophia exits)

Dorothy:  Well, I'm going down to the local Democratic Headquarters to see if I can do anything to elect Hillary Clinton.  Rose, do you want to come with me?  

Rose:  Sure, I'll go.  I can make some phone calls.

Blanche:  I want to go.  Democratic men are great lovers. Maybe I'll run into that cute Martin O'Malley.  Just give me a moment to powder my nose.

Dorothy:  You're going to need more than a moment.

Rose:  So I heard Hillary was born in Chicago but was the First Lady of Arkansas.  When did they move Chicago to Arkansas?

Dorothy:  About the same time as your first lobotomy, Rose.  Come on...Blanche can catch up.  She's a Republican anyway.

Rose:  What's a Republican?

Dorothy:  Lord, give me strength!

End of Scene