Saturday, June 03, 2006

Democrat Convention Theme: Ditch Mitch

The theme for the Indiana Democratic Party's state convention today can be summed up in two words: "Ditch Mitch." The AP's Mike Smith captures the image from former House Speaker John Gregg, who chaired the convention:

It's time we ditch Mitch and take over the Statehouse," said Gregg, wildly popular among Democrats for his vibrant personality, quick wit and humor. "I walked in the Statehouse today and smelled an odor over there. I came over here and smelled victory."

House Minority Leader Pat Bauer echoed Gregg's comments. "He's the greatest thing we've got going for us right now so let's keep him until November, and then we'll veto Mitch," Bauer said to rousing applause Smith reported.

Campaign memorabalia available at the convention offered more of the same according to Smith. He wrote, "There were buttons that said, 'Keep the Toll Road, Lease Mitch,' and front, plastic car plates that said, 'Ditch Mitch _ The For Sale State,' and 'Indiana For Sale _ They Did What?'"

There was business to conduct as well. The party nominated three candidates for statewide office. Joe Pearson, a former deputy commissioner of the Department of Agriculture under the O'Bannon-Kernan administrations, was nominated to run for Secretary of State. Highland clerk-treasurer Michael Griffin will be the party's candidate for Treasurer. And Judy Anderson, a Vigo Co. Commissioner, has been tapped to run for Auditor.

The party also adopted a platform of the issues on which its candidates will run this year other than against Daniels. Details offered in Smith's report concerning the platform are very sketchy. Smith writes, "The Democratic platform includes seeking affordable health care for all Hoosiers and to 'advocate harder than ever' for implementation of statewide, full-day kindergarten, a passionate goal of the late Gov. O'Bannon that he failed to win in the Legislature."

Do you think the party took a position on SJR-7, or equality in general for gays and lesbians? It doesn't appear so. At least one speaker had something to say about gays. Brian Howey reports, "UAW leader Terry Thurman blasted Republicans for 'privatizing, downsizing, and out-sourcing' and brought the house to laughter when he said, 'I'm 55 years old and I've never had a gay man hit on me.'" I'm not sure how this comment was meant to be taken. Perhaps someone in attendance at today's convention can provide context for the remark.

1 comment:

Dave Sanders said...

I'm torn on the Gay Rights issue. I completely support gay rights, everyone should be equal under the law, no matter who or what you are.

BUT, Gay Rights, or rather, No Gay Rights, is a traditionally strong Republican issue. Gay Marriage was the single reason Bush won in 2004, as Karl Rove helped push states to get Gay Marriage on the ballot. This ensured that the "base" would go to the polls against gay marriage, and would likely vote for Bush at the same time.

We need to win back as much as possible this year, and by talking about a wedge issue that goes against us, we're going to not do as well as we could. I'm all for gay rights, but there are a lot of other things we need to do too and 2006 and 2008 are CRITICAL years. One step at a time, then maybe we can bring a few more people around before the whole country falls apart.