Sunday, February 26, 2006
Is Rep. Craig Fry A Thug?
When Jeremy Hiler recently announced he was seeking the Republican nomination to run for the House seat currently filled by Rep. Craig Fry (D-Mishawaka), the St. Joseph Republican Party chairman said that Hiler would win because Fry is a thug according to the Howey Political Report. At the time, the comment seemed a bit over the top for even a party leader to make. But given Rep. Fry’s recent treatment of a fellow Democrat and mayor, the comment might just have been on the mark.
Matthew Tully recounts in today’s Star a response Mayor Michael Fincher (D-Logansport) received from Rep. Fry after he wrote to Fry urging him to support Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Major Moves initiative. Mayor Fincher badly wants the Heartland Highway built, which would run from Lafayette to Fort Wayne, passing through Logansport along the way. The highway has been promised for many years, but keeps getting delayed. Mayor Fincher believes the highway is a key to Logansport’s economic future. Mayor Fincher sent the same letter of support to every member of the legislature.
Fincher’s letter upset many Democrats, including House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, who all let Fincher know they didn’t appreciate him helping out a Republican governor. The letter he received from Rep. Fry, however, was the most direct. "As a fellow Democrat, I am disheartened by your support for this Republican initiative," Fry wrote. "One might even call you a 'traitor' for supporting such a shortsighted plan."
A traitor? Does that mean Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) is a traitor to the Democratic Party in Chicago because he privatized the Chicago Skywall Toll Road to finance transportation improvements in the City of Chicago? His privatization plan was actually supported by many Democrats. Even closer to home, is Sen. Glen Howard (D-Indianapolis) a traitor because he announced his support for Major Moves? Or is anyone a traitor who dares to support a Republican governor in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation to accomplish good things for his community and the state as a whole?
If Rep. Fry’s traitor comment in his letter to Fincher wasn’t bad enough, Tully reports that he later called Fincher a clown. "’To have some clown from Logansport writing me, telling me he knows better than I do what's good for my district, I don't have tolerance for that,’ Fry said, explaining his letter. ‘For him to tell me what I should do about the Toll Road is just asinine.’ ‘I don't need people interjecting themselves into an argument they have no business in,’ Fry said, seemingly forgetting that lawmakers serve the entire state, not just their own districts.”
On second thought, the St. Joseph County Republican chairman was right. Rep. Fry is a thug. With his kind of thinking, it is no surprise that Democrats were unable to accomplish any of the major road projects on the drawing books during their 16 years controlling the State House.