One 7th District Republican Congressional candidate says he is the victim of dirty tricks by his opponent. Former City-County Council member Ron Franklin says comments made in a recent interview about gays and some individuals on disability are being taken out of context.
In an interview conducted last month, Franklin was asked about gay rights and social security. On the gay rights issue, Franklin says the Indianapolis city county council was wrong to pass the human rights ordinance. He says marriage should be between a man and a woman, however he concludes the interview by saying "he likes it better when they [gays] kept it in the closet."
Later in the interview after touching on other issues he comments on people on social security disability (SSI). He says he's seen too many people getting disability and tells his office manager to not rent to them. Franklin manages the Mosell Sanders public housing complex on east 38th Street in Indianapolis.
Franklin says he knew he was being set up by his opponents so he gave answers that weren't to be taken seriously.
He blames the entire matter on the Eric Dickerson campaign, which he says has tried to use a number of dirty tricks to derail his campaign. Already the two sides are hinting at legal action against each other over the interview.
If the allegations are true, they may damage not only Franklin's political campaign but also his livelihood. As Abdul reports, Franklin manages the Mosell Sanders public housing project on East 38th Street. It is hard to understand how he managed to hold on to that job after he was convicted of firing a gun at a truck carrying several passengers in a road rage incident in August, 2001; he was acquitted in that same incident of possession of cocaine which was found in the vehicle he was driving at the time. But since it's against the law in Indianapolis to discriminate against either the disabled or gays in housing, one must question whether a person with those views is suited to manage a publicly-financed housing project.
As Abdul reports, Franklin's campaign is blaming the incident on a dirty trick by the Dickerson campaign. Abdul does not tell us who conducted the interview, or for whom the interview was being conducted. That would shed some light on Franklin's charge. Nonetheless, one has to question Franklin's judgment, who, according to Abdul, knew the interview was a set up by Dickerson and "so he gave answers that weren't to be taken seriously."
This is yet another in a string of embarrassments for Marion Co. GOP chairman Mike Murphy. Many in the party were already taken back by Murphy's decision to slate Franklin for the congressional race over several more qualified and less controversial candidates. In light of this most recent development, AI predicts that the successful and respected automobile dealer Eric Dickerson will handily defeat Franklin in the May primary. While local Democrats are sure to be amused by this latest development, AI doubts that Julia Carson's campaign will like the fact that it will aid Dickerson, who will likely prove to be a much more difficult candidate to beat in November.
UPDATE: In response to a question from AI Editor Gary R. Welsh, Abdul says the interview of Franklin was conducted by a GOP precinct committeeman, whom he did not identify by name.