Tuesday, June 30, 2015

November Ballot Takes Shape

Depending on what happens with the campaign of Reverend Charles Harrison as an independent, you'll have either two or three candidates for Mayor of Indianapolis in the fall.

Republican Chuck Brewer
Democrat Joe Hogsett
Independent Charles Harrison (Depending on validation of signatures and acceptance of nomination)

Your November Council ballot has also taken its final shape.  Here are the combatants who filed in the three major parties.  Incumbents indicated with an asterisk.  (At-Large) means that the Councillor is currently an At-Large Councillor and not an incumbent in that district.

District 1 
Leroy Robinson (D)* (At-Large)
Brian Jones (R)

District 2
Kip Tew (D)* (At-Large)
Sam Goldstein (L)
Colleen Fanning (R)

District 3
Christine Scales (R)*
Pam Hickman (D)* (At-Large)
Christopher Bowen (L)

District 4
Mike McQuillen (R)*
Ray Biederman (D)

District 5
Curtis Bigsbee (D)
Jeff Coats (R)

District 6
Janice McHenry (R)*
Frank Islas (D)

District 7
Joe Simpson (D)*
Adrianne Slash (R)

District 8
Monroe Gray (D)*
Patrick Midla (R)

District 9
Duke Oliver (D)*
Chuck Madden (R)
Caitlin Young (L)

District 10
Maggie Lewis (D)*
Terry Bible (R)

District 11
Vop Osili (D)*
Remy O'Guin (R)

District 12
Michael Gunyon (L)
Blake Johnson (D)
Susan Marie Smith (R)

District 13
Stephen Clay (D)*
Terry Miller-Penquite (R)

District 14
La Keisha Jackson (D)*
Terry Dove (R)

District 15
Marilyn Pfisterer (R)*
Chris Wall (D)
Laurie Works (L)

District 16
Jeff Miller (R)*
Emily Shrock (D)

District 17
Zach Adamson (D)*
Sally Spiers (R)

District 18
Eddie Barnes (D)
Susie Cord (R)

District 19
Ben Hunter (R)*
David Ray (D)

District 20
Jason Holliday (R)*
Jon Easter (D)

District 21
Frank Mascari (D)*
Anthony Davidson (R)

District 22
Bob Lutz (R)*
Jared Evans (D)

District 23
Scott Kreider (R)
Douglas McNaughton (L)

District 24
Jack Sandlin (R)*

District 25
Aaron Freeman (R)*
Michael Jasper (L)
Jeff Wheeler (D)

If you live in one of the excluded communities or other locales within Marion County, you may have more on your ballot than just Mayor and Council.  Check the Marion County Election Board's website for those races at www.indy.gov/elections.

Libertarians Won't Field Candidate for Mayor in 2015; Republicans Fill Slate, Dems Two Districts Short

Last minute filings came in, and the Libertarians DID NOT file a candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis.

The Libertarians did file candidates in seven City-County Council Districts.

District 2-Sam Goldstein
District 3-Christopher Bowen
District 9-Caitlin Young
District 12-Michael Gunyon
District 15-Laurie Works
District 23-Douglas McNaughton
District 25-Michael Jasper

Republicans filled seven City-County Council Districts meaning the GOP has a full slate of candidates in all 25 Council Districts.

District 1-Brian Jones
District 7-Adrianne Slash
District 8-Patrick Midla
District 9-Chuck Madden
District 10-Terry Bible
District 11-Remy O'Guin
District 14-Terry Dove

Democrats, according to the Clerk's Office, did not file a candidate in Districts 23 or 24. So...based upon information I have...

Congratulations on your reelection Jack Sandlin in District 24.

Source: Petition Company Hired to Gather Harrison Signatures

Rev. Charles Harrison
The "group of concerned citizens" behind RunRevRun.com, the website trying to convince Reverend Charles Harrison to enter the Mayor's race, claims in a Facebook post that it has gathered "thousands of signatures" to get the Reverend on the ballot as a candidate.

But the story gets mighty peculiar from there.

If Harrison is going to run, today is the deadline to declare his candidacy and then he would have until July 10 to pull out of the race.

Here's the bizarre thing.  It's unclear as to whether Harrison or anyone connected to him is actually behind the effort to get him on the ballot.  That's because a source tells Indy Democrat that someone hired Star Petition Group to help gather the signatures get Harrison on the ballot.

Star Petition Group pays individuals to go out and collect signatures for political or issue-oriented campaigns.  A simple Google search of this organization also shows that they are typically affiliated with Republican Party politics.  Some others don't speak highly of the company or its tactics.  To me, this smacks of someone that wants Harrison to run awfully bad and has hired out all the legwork.  A former State Representative, for example, tells me that there have been Harrison signature collectors outside Walmart on Lafayette Road for a couple of weeks.  It appears everything has intensified lately.

It's possible that this is part of some master plan to get the Reverend on the ballot, but I think it is what it is...a last ditch effort to get him to run.  It's a last ditch effort to upset the applecart and change the race in some way.

Fit me for a tinfoil hat, but I think this kind of thing has Kyle Walker written all over it.

Incidentally, Reverend Harrison closed out his exploratory campaign committee in April.  He had raised just $50 at the time his committee was disbanded.  We should know more by the end of the day what is plans are.  It's anyone's guess how he will respond to this effort in his name.

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz reports that there were around 7,000 signatures filed on behalf or Rev. Harrison who now has until July 15 to accept or decline and file necessary paperwork.  That's assuming that enough of the 7K signatures are valid.

HALE NO! Indy Lawmaker Won't Seek Senate Seat

Rep. Christina Hale
Baron Hill is breathing a sigh of relief as his main contender for the Democratic nomination for Dan Coats' U.S. Senate seat said she won't oppose him in 2016.

State Rep. Christina Hale said she's not going to run for Senate, but she will be seeking reelection to the Indiana House, according to the Associated Press.  That's the good news in all of this.  While Hale won't run for the Senate, her leadership is needed in the Indiana House, and her absence from the Democratic Caucus would be felt.

Hale has become a rock star in the Indiana House on the Democratic side of the aisle for her outspoken work on a wide variety of issues that have long needed attention.

She was first elected in 2012 defeating incumbent Cindy Noe by just a few votes.  She won reelection in 2014 by a wider margin.  District 87 remains one of just a handful of competitive districts in the Indiana General Assembly.

As for the Senate race in 2016, Hill is now the only Democrat in the race.  Eric Holcomb and Marlin Stutzman are running on the Republican side with Todd Young likely to enter.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Harrison Site Appears Online

Rev. Charles Harrison
A website encouraging Reverend Charles Harrison to run for Mayor has appeared online.

Runrevrun.com is online now with an accompanying Facebook page.  It has no disclaimer, so it's impossible to tell who's paying for the effort.  Also, the site appears just one day before the deadline to get the necessary 3,000+ signatures to get Rev. Harrison on the ballot if he's running as an independent.

My feeling is that there probably has been an effort to get the Reverend on the ballot ongoing.  It's just very strange timing that this website would pop up just days before the deadline to get on the ballot.  You'd figure that any grassroots effort would have been up for weeks.

Instead, this appears more like an astroturf effort to get him on the ballot to me.  There's a very organized effort that's been going on, in my opinion.

I guess more shall be revealed by the end of the week.

I've said repeatedly that Rev. Harrison entering the race doesn't change Joe Hogsett's status as a frontrunner, but it will make everything a lot more interesting.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hite Should Apologize to Levin for Jim Jones Comparison

Bill Levin
I understand why Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and IMPD Chief Rick Hite had a joint (hehehe) press conference today to announce how they would be handling the First Church of Cannabis service on July 1.

Heck, from the sound of it, even Grand Poobah Bill Levin sounds like he understands.

What I don't understand is Hite's out of left field comparison between Levin's group to Jim Jones' People's Temple.  He owes Levin an apology.

Chief Rick Hite
Bill Levin is not Jim Jones.  The First Church of Cannabis is not the People's Temple. Comparisons are not warranted.

The infamous Jones, a native Hoosier, was a mass murderer whose group assassinated Congressman Leo Ryan after leaving Indianapolis, moving to San Francisco and eventually to Guyana.  Jones led his congregation to a mass suicide on November 18, 1978 and over 900 died.

Levin, who ran for City-County Council in 2011, has little in common with the preacher-turned-lunatic Jones.  Levin's dedicated his public life to efforts to legalize marijuana in the State of Indiana.  This First Church of Cannabis experiment is more to stick it to the man and spread the word that direction rather than do the horrid things Jones did.  In fact, Levin is the anti-Jones, in my opinion.  His motto..."One Love."

Hite's flippant remarks show should not be allowed to stand.  He should apologize to Levin for the unwarranted comparison.


"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." --Justice Anthony Kennedy

Enough said.

Tallian Shares Vision for Indiana

Senator Karen Tallian
I attended the Perry Township Democratic Club Meeting last night, and the speaker for the evening was Senator Karen Tallian.

It was the first time I had a chance to hear Tallian speak about her plans and qualifications as she continues her run for Governor of Indiana, and I was impressed with what she said.  She connected well with the friendly audience.

On her opponents, she took it easy.  Tallian said she wouldn't say anything bad about John Gregg.  She said she worked for John last time to get him elected. "He came close, but he didn't win," Tallian said.

She said she believed she could draw a broader coalition of support than Gregg mentioning specifically women.  She didn't go into detail, and she did not mention Glenda Ritz at all.

Tallian did talk about why she believes she would be a good Governor of Indiana.    "I am the only candidate in the race that has a current working relationship with the Republican supermajority," Tallian said.  As an example, she cited how she wrote and shepherded through a bill on mortgage foreclosure despite being one of the very few Democrats in the Indiana Senate.

It's that working relationship with the Republican supermajority that is something that gives her a big advantage over her two opponents.  As the only Democrat in a statewide executive office, Ritz is reviled by most Republicans in the General Assembly, and John Gregg's been out of the legislature for years.

The question remains, can Tallian get any traction?  She's working to get her signatures in line to get on the ballot, and she has a strong message.  While there's no question she could do the job of Governor, she lacks the name recognition and organization of her two opponents.  She's starting at zero here while Gregg and Ritz are somewhere down the field organizationally.  Message-wise, she's right on target for rank-and-file Democrats to support.

I am glad I got to hear Tallian speak.  She's out and about, and she has a lot to say.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Time Spent on Father's Day Pays Dividends Later

My father in Florida
It's Father's Day in the United States and in all the countries across the world that celebrate dads.  For the sixth year, I celebrate the memory of my father as he passed away in February of 2009.

As I've written before on this blog, I have positive memories about the relationship with my father, Henry Easter, and I always knew that he loved me because he was never afraid of telling me.

My dad was big and powerful, and he could be hard to get along with, but, as his life went on, I think he began to enjoy it more.

That's not to say it wasn't challenging.  Before my mother passed, a tape existed with my father's thoughts on it as his life slowly faded.  He was sick, and he knew his heart only had a few months of beats left.  Depressed and sleep-deprived, he put his thoughts on to a mini cassette tape over a series of nights.  It left us with a 20 minute snapshot of my father's mindset before he passed.

I never wanted to hear the tape, but my brother urged me to listen.  I'm so glad that I did.

Those thoughts were far too personal to reveal here, but my father believed his biggest successes in life were not in his professional life.  He believed that his biggest successes were in his family life.  He loved my mother with everything that he was, and he was proud of my brother and I.  That tape went to the grave with my mother because it really was hers.  Dad meant it for her, and it's with her always in the casket where she rests for eternity.

As I always say on Father's Day, if you can, spend some time with your father or the father figure in your life.  Try to mend old wounds and relationships.  The time you spend will pay dividends years down the road.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hogsett Gets Personal with Second Ad; Brewer Bio Largely Remains Mystery

As discussed earlier this week, Joe Hogsett released his second TV ad of the campaign, and it's not even July yet.

This ad takes a more personal tone than the first ad where an announcer read things people had written about Hogsett. It was an ad to bolster his credentials as a crime fighter. The second spot gets to the heart of the matter. Hogsett talks about his sixth birthday and how his father was injured in a car accident at Kentucky Avenue and Raymond Street.  Here's the ad in case you missed it.

Chuck Brewer hasn't been on TV, but he did spend some money on a snappy YouTube ad touting Indianapolis' virtues and talking about his decision to put his business in Indianapolis. It's targeted, strangely, towards businesses in Connecticut it seems as Brewer says in the first lines of the ad that he was born there. It is the most we've heard biographically about the Republican nominee. He remains largely a mystery to voters.

While Hogsett has made a couple of policy rollouts in the area of government transparency and targeting at-risk teens with a jobs program, Brewer had a news conference yesterday where he announced his "Envision Indy" plan.  Among one of his proposals was to appoint a Republican and a Democrat to the IPS Board of School Commissioners.  This drew criticism by a couple of IPS school board members on Facebook.

We still largely know little about Chuck Brewer, and it's unclear if he's ever going to tell us more than he's a business owner and single father who once worked at Sears Holdings and is a retired Lt. Colonel from the Marine Corps.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tragic Charleston Church Shooting Leaves Larger Questions About Hate, Humanity

Hate is a powerful word.  I don't use it often.  In fact, I hate to use it.

I may disagree with some folks, but I don't hate them.  I never could.  As a human, it's hard for me to hate...even when someone has wronged me or even when they hate me.  

Please forgive me if I have no earthly idea how someone could hate someone else they don't even know so much to kill them.  It's an idea so foreign to me and to probably all of you reading this blog post that it's hard to fathom.  That means I have no starting point for making sense out of what happened in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night.

On that night, a white man walked into an historically black church and allegedly blew away its pastor and almost all of those at a prayer meeting because they were black.  It's a headline seemingly ripped out of the 1950's or 1960's when these types of crimes against humanity were commonplace in the American South.

The victims, six women and three men, were from all walks of life.  They apparently died for no reason other than the color of their skin, the fact that they went to the Emanuel AME on the wrong Wednesday night and the apparent hatred inside of an armed young man.  

To think that they opened their doors to that young man who allegedly sat for an hour at the prayer meeting before he opened fire makes this whole thing even more hard to understand.

I was not raised with the capability to hate.  I know many of you are like me.  With headlines like this one, we must fight the temptation to hate back.  We have to keep reminding ourselves that while there are those who will do others harm for hateful reasons that the majority of society condemns those crimes and people remain peaceful and good.  Each passing headline such as this one makes it harder, but we must be left hopeful that someday hate will be purged from our collective vocabulary and the actions of hateful people.  

Rest in Peace:
State Senator Reverend Clementa Pinckney, 41
Cynthia Hurd, 54
Susie Jackson, 87
Ethel Lance, 70
Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Myra Thompson, 59

My thoughts are with the families of the victims and those that knew them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

With Pence Reeling, Democrats Need Unity

John Gregg
Governor Mike Pence is in trouble.

Less than 1/3 of Hoosiers polled by Republican polling firm Bellwether believe that the troubled Indiana Chief Executive should be reelected.

The poll also finds him in dead heats with Democrats John Gregg or Glenda Ritz.

In short, Pence has work to do. 

Pence is set to announce his reelection campaign tomorrow at the annual Indiana GOP Dinner, but it makes you wonder how many Republicans in that audience may want his job. After all, Fort Wayne car dealer Bob Thomas has announced a potential run, and Bill
Glenda Ritz
Osterle, a former Mitch Daniels lieutenant and CEO of Angie’s List, sounds like he might want to tangle with Pence.

It’s more apparent than ever that Democrats get on the same page and back a single candidate. Some believe that a primary fight would be healthy for the Democratic Party, but I don’t think so. Ritz and Gregg, if they are the two most prominent candidates, need to sit down and figure out what it will take to unite as a ticket. Even if Ritz or Gregg doesn’t end up on the other’s ticket, they need to decide right now how to come together. Karen Tallian, of course, has a role in all of this too.

Gregg made a few baby steps this weekend towards clearing the distance he needs to make up with Indiana’s LGBT community with an appearance at Indy Pride. He’s previously softened his stance on gay
Karen Tallian
marriage, and he needs to continue to evolve on other issues. I think Ritz’s expertise in education can carry her far since the Governor’s Office now has such a control on it. Ritz seems to be positioned right on social issues, but she remains a bit of a blank slate. Tallian has yet to find much traction.

The bottom line in all of this is that Democrats need to get their act together before the Republicans do and start attacking Mike Pence and the Republican Majority in the Indiana House and Senate. The GOP’s brand is vulnerable, and Pence’s polling numbers show that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Courage Comes in Many Forms

South Bend Mayor
Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg is a courageous man.

First of all, he serves his country as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve.  Recently, he returned home from a deployment to Afghanistan.

Secondly, he ran for statewide office in a tough election cycle.  It takes a lot to put oneself out there, and Pete sought and campaigned hard for the office of Treasurer of State.  That 2010 election was a Republican landslide, and it gave us nearly four more years of Richard Mourdock in that office.

Mired in a reelection campaign for Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg took the courageous step to come out today in an essay for the South Bend Tribune.  Buttigieg discusses his reasons in the essay, and it's well worth the read here.

Like Pete, it took me years to come out, and I think it hurt my relationship.  While I was out to my family and most of my friends, I often would worry about holding hands or hugging my ex in public.  I was too worried about what others would say or about whether or not it would hurt my job.

It takes great courage to overcome and to realize that the people who truly care for you will never change their opinions.  It takes great courage to realize that you can't really control how another person will feel about you.  Most of all, it takes courage to stand up and stand out for others.

I've long wanted to call Pete Buttigieg my Mayor, but I'm happy to call him my friend.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Second Hogsett Ad Centers on Father's Injury

Joe Hogsett's second ad brings some power.

The candidate speaks for himself in this ad telling the story of how his father was seriously injured in a car accident at what looks to be Kentucky Avenue and Raymond Street.  It happened on Joe's sixth birthday.

I think it's a highly effective 30 seconds of advertising that gives a person a bit of insight into who Joe Hogsett is.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Beech Grove Mayor Buckley Speaks Out: Calls Wal-Mart YouTube Fight Video "Embarrassing", Calls Retailer "Not a Good Corporate Partner"

Mayor Dennis Buckley
In the midst of the aftermath of video of the fight that has gone viral from the Beech Grove Wal-Mart, Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley has spoken out against Wal-Mart via his personal Facebook page:

(I've quoted the Mayor directly from his FB page only spacing between paragraphs.)
"You don't really know a company until you start working with them. I have learned by trying to deal with them that the Beech Grove Wal Mart is NOT a good corporate partner. 
This should be of no surprise to anyone. They drain our police resources every single day, their customers increase our crime numbers, they do not maintain there property (especially in the back) and I consider them a public nuisance. They are even fighting us over a permit for fireworks. 
Yesterday after the incident with the police pursuit, our city attorney wrote a strongly worded message to their corporate local legal group that the cavalier attitude of the folks at the Beech Grove Walmart is going to be addressed through future legal action. 
So what have we done to try to curb Walmarts miss use of our resources. As you know we created a compliance division last April to start to address environmental and nuisance matters throughout our beautiful city. 
The City Council has recently passed new environmental and public nuisance ordinances to start addressing these issues. Our City Council has taken a strong position concerning properties such as this one who continuously drain our resources . This is good work which will result in future remedies. These ordinances need to take time to be enforced. 
As a result of the strongly worded letter to Walmart (and the U tube video) they have requested a meeting to discuss our pending legal maneuvers. 
I'm not sure how long Walmart has been in Beech Grove but up until about two years ago, the city did not attempt to pursue any remedy for this type of miss use of government resources, the city just let it happen. We will work with the City Council through further ordinances if needed to get the attention of public nuisances such as the Beech Grove Walmart. 
Once again the Beech Grove Police Department exercised very good judgment in withdrawing from the vehicle pursuit long before the accident occurred. Once again Walmart failed to control their property. Our condolences go out to the family who was the innocent victim of a senseless tragedy. 
The U tube video was embarrassing to the City of Beech Grove and the people who live in our beautiful city. Walmart should be ashamed of itself once again for failing to control the people who enter their store."

This is just one side of the story, and Buckley clearly levels some hefty charges.  It will be interesting to see if Wal-Mart has a response.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Potential Harrison Entry Won't Change Bottom Line

Reverend Harrison receives the Sagamore
of the Wabash from Gov. Mike Pence
There's allegedly a "Draft Reverend Charles Harrison" movement going on out there, according to Abdul-Hakim Shabazz in a piece he wrote for his Indy Politics website.

Reverend Harrison has made no announcement as to his future as a candidate.  He declined the Libertarian Party nomination and will not be running, obviously, on a major ticket.  The 3,000 signatures needed to run as an independent candidate must be gathered rather quickly to get on the November ballot.

As the head of the Ten Point Coalition, there are few more visible individuals out there fighting against street crime and fighting some of the other issues plaguing our streets.  Certainly, he is a compelling candidate for Mayor if a non-traditional one.

There's bad news. Harrison's millions of dollars behind Joe Hogsett, and Hogsett has built a strong reputation as a crime fighter on the other end of the judicial system as U.S. Attorney.  Hogsett also has been running, has been on the air with commercials, and has broad mainstream support from elected officials on the Democratic side.

Harrison has close ties to Greg Ballard Deputy Mayor and brief Mayoral candidate Olgen Williams.  That could spell trouble for Chuck Brewer, the Republican nominee for Mayor.

Brewer does not have the background as a crime fighter, and he's now carrying the Ballard Administration's record which seems to be limping through its final few months.  I don't believe Harrison could beat Brewer, but he certainly makes it tougher on him to somehow get the votes he'll need to beat Hogsett.

Harrison's prospective entry as a candidate doesn't really change the calculus of this race for me.  Joe Hogsett's still the heavy favorite.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ritz Running; Pence Vulnerable

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Glenda Ritz
Today's "worst-kept secret" announcement that Glenda Ritz is running for Governor underlines one thing about Mike Pence.  He's so vulnerable that three Democrats (and maybe two Republicans) want a piece of him.

Let's go back to seven or eight weeks before the 2012 election, Mike Pence found himself with a double-digit lead in the Governor's race, and it seemed a foregone conclusion that the S.S. Pence was an iron-sided vessel destined to have a port perhaps outside the White House.

The first sign of trouble came over the next few weeks as that double-digit lead for Pence began to dwindle and mustachioed John Gregg closed to within three percentage points on Election Night.  The Republicans had little explanation for the near collapse, and they insisted Pence's smoothly-sailing ship was continuing to sail on calm waters.

Early on, Pence showed inexperience in dealing with the Republican majority in his own legislature by surprising them with policy initiatives and working around them.  The result was that his agenda nearly was derailed by his own party.  He didn't get the deep tax cuts he wanted, and he looked weak.  Pence created his own own shadow department of education to work around Glenda Ritz, but he had to back off when it saw the light of day.

Then...RFRA.  We all know about the debacle around the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Now, the controversy over the form letter he sent Indy Pride.

Suddenly, Mike Pence is no longer a player on the national stage.  He's holding on in Indiana, and the party that finds itself in a deep superminority seems poised to snap back in 2016.  What seemed silly a few months prior to the 2012 election seems plausible just three years later.

This only happens, however, if the Democrats have a robust but not nasty primary.  Karen Tallian, John Gregg, and Glenda Ritz have to be civil with each other and keep focused on Mike Pence.  It would also hurt to see a lot of money and resources spent on a primary fight.  

My feeling is that Democrats won't simply come together, so this will have to be solved at the ballot box before it's solved at the ballot box.  Whatever happens, Indiana can't take another four years of Mike Pence.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hill Digs Out Campaign Shoes; Says He's Running for Senate in 2016

Former Rep. Baron Hill
Baron Hill is IN!

The former 9th District Congressman announced on Wednesday that he has decided to pursue the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Republican Dan Coats.  It's Hill's second run at the Senate, and he's seen as the frontrunner for the nomination no matter who else jumps in the race on the Democratic side.

As Hill enters, news has become a bit cloudier for Republicans on the other side of the ledger.

The man who defeated Baron Hill for his House seat in 2010, Todd Young, is apparently being pushed to run for the Republican nomination by former Indiana Party Chairs like Jim Kittle and Al Hubbard, according to Lesley Weidenbener of the Statehouse File.  Another former party chair and Republican insider who is already in the race, Eric Holcomb, had been seen as the choice of the Daniels wing of the party, but this puts that in doubt.  Tea Party favorite Congressman Marlin Stutzman of Indiana's 3rd Congressional District is also running.

A nasty Republican Primary could help Hill just like it helped Senator Joe Donnelly when he ran for Senate in 2012.  While Republicans sat back and fired political volleys at each other, Donnelly campaigned across Indiana.  Richard Mourdock took out incumbent Senator Richard Lugar, and the seat became pretty wide open after that.  Mourdock's debate comments later in the campaign sealed his fate.

For now, it's clear sailing for Hill though State Rep. Christina Hale has expressed a possible interest in running for the nomination.  She would be a challenge for Hill especially in Central Indiana if she runs.

Looks like this Senate race is finally off and percolating.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Joe Hogsett Hits Airwaves

It's June, and Democratic nominee for Mayor of Indianapolis Joe Hogsett is up on the airwaves with his first ad.

It's a positive piece that talks about his time as U.S. Attorney and portrays him as tough on crime.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mick Would Go Walkabout

In the movie Crocodile Dundee, Mick talks about going walkabout.

The Urban Dictionary has written the definition, too.

A spontaneous journey through the wilderness of one's choosing in an effort to satisfy one's itchy feet, a need to be elsewhere, the craving for the open road, that space over the horizon...yes... something like that... you can't quite touch it so you have to go find it because it's you just know it's there...Or maybe it just feels good to go walking around ... Yeah. It's WALKABOUT.
Now, I'm not on a spiritual journey or planning on living in the wilderness like a real walkabout, but I think that about explains it.  It's time for me to decompress a bit.  Let the stress roll away, and, while this blog isn't stressful, I do strive to do good work here.  I need to take a break from the daily posting schedule for a few weeks.

Now, you won't catch me in yoga poses (sorry for the vivid image), and  I will be posting. I'll also be doing lots of other things that will take my attention away from posting.

Will you notice any difference?  Maybe not.  The quality will likely go up if I am not posting daily.  That means that I'll be posting when I want to post this month or when something happens that I feel I need to post.  Posts may also not happen at midnight.  I may just decide to post something whenever.

Later this month, I'll go visit my brother and his wife in Tennessee, but I'll mostly be sticking around the homestead.  Make sure you follow me on Twitter for the latest updates to the blog at johnnystir.

Thanks for your patience and your readership.  One of my favorite songs...