Sunday, October 15, 2006

Carson And Dickerson Share Their Differences; Provide Voters A Choice

Connie Wick and her residents at Robin Run Village did tonight what no one in the mainstream media has been able to do to date in the 7th District congressional race. They provided a forum at which voters could gather, hear the candidates speak for themselves and answer questions submitted to them from the audience. The contrasting views and personalities between Rep. Julia Carson (D) and Eric Dickerson (R) could not have been more striking. My only disappointment is that tonight's event wasn't televised so all the voters of the 7th District would have a chance to see the candidates up close and decide which of them is best suited to represent us in Congress.

My view of the two candidates has been pretty apparent to all who have been reading this blog for the last several months. I believe Ms. Carson is past her prime and is not physically or mentally up to the challenge of holding one of the most important government positions in our country, past accomplishments over the past 32 years in elective office aside. Her performance tonight only reinforced that view. Appearing frail and tired, she declined to stand at the podium to speak, choosing the comfort of her chair. Dickerson politely remained seated to avoid grandstanding her physical incapacity. Dickerson's performance tonight was as good or better than any I've ever witnessed in my 30 years as an astute political observer. He was poised, confident, well-informed and knew how to communicate his message to the audience. For a candidate who is admittedly running on a shoe-string budget without the assistance of paid professional consultants, his performance tonight was stunning.

Each candidate was provided an opportunity to make an opening statement. Carson arrived late for the event and spoke to the audience first. Adorned in red, white and blue attire, she expressed her feeling of being "blessed to be born in the U.S" and how she would want to live nowhere else in the world but here in a "very blessed country." She then reminded her audience of the numerous public offices she's held since her first election as a state representative in 1975. She tried to remember when she was first elected to Congress, but she forgot the year. "I've been elected to five terms," she said. "I hope I know when to quit," she added. She briefly touched on domestic issues which concerned her--single parent mothers, violence and crime among our youth who lack self-respect, human trafficking, and more government assistance for our senior citizens.

She reminded her audience that she "had the courage" to stand up and vote against the war in Iraq. She thinks that Bush jumped into the war too fast before giving the WMD inspectors enough time to do their job. While she agreed that Saddam Hussein was a "vicious person", he had nothing to do with attack on the World Trade Center. She criticized Bush for not directing all his efforts at tracking down al Quaeda terrorists and, more specifically, Osama Bin Laden. She predicted an October surprise from the administration just before the election that the U.S. has captured Bin Laden. Carson set out to clarify a statement she made during her appearance on "Political Insiders" this weekend which left the impression she favored a cut-and-run approach on Iraq, although she still wants our troops withdrawn from harms way. She also complained that the Bush administration had failed to properly equip and arm the troops who are fighting the war, leading to more casualties.

Carson, drawing attention to her own medical difficulties, said she had been blessed to have access to the best medical providers in the nation's capital and here in Indianapolis for her medical care. She hoped to implement a universal health insurance program which would insure access to the same type of care she enjoys to all people.

Dickerson arrived early and pressed the flesh with every single person in the audience. He had a little fun in his opening comment poking fun at the pols and pundits who think his campaign is a lost cause because he isn't running a big media campaign. As he often explains, he spent several years branding his name through the promotion of his Buick dealership. Everyone in the audience tonight knows my name as he recited his company's slogan. He told the audience about growing up in Detroit and being taught by his mother Betsy to believe that you can become whatever you want, a philosophy he has carried with him throughout his life. It never occurred to him that running for Congress should be any different than anything else he's set out to achieve in life. He doesn't need a lot of money to win this race. He has his RV and a message, and he takes it directly to as many people as he can every day he says.

Dickerson sees our country at a crossroads between a future which promises prosperity or a slippery slope. "I've never held a public office before and I've had nothing to do with the sad state of our city, state and country," he said. He says he served his country proudly as a U.S. Marine out of his love for his country. He's not running for Congress out of any expectation of "lining his pockets", but to serve his country. As Dickerson explains it, 7th District voters are faced with the same predicament a patient has with a doctor who he's been seeing for years but can't seem to cure his ailment. At a certain point, the patient can no longer hope for something better; it's time to find another doctor who might have a cure. He thinks the success of a congressperson should be based on their accomplished deeds in office and not their words alone--an indirect hit at Carson's lack of legislative successes after 10 years in Congress. It's nothing personal he insists; it's just a logical course of action whenever anyone fails to produce results. "It's about what you can accomplish, not what you hope to do."

On Iraq, Dickerson highlighted his "support and train" approach to Iraq. "We can't just leave in the middle of the night" as some have advocated he says. It took the U.S. Marines 4-5 months to whip him into shape with basic training; we should do the same for Iraqis he urges. Dickerson would train Iraqis to become front line soldiers for the new democratically-elected government at training bases outside Iraq. When they returned, they would replace front line American soldiers, who then could revert to less dangerous and secondary support roles, or return home altogether.

During the question-and-answer session, Carson reiterated her support for a universal health care system with no specifics on how she would fund such a plan. Dickerson opposes a government-run health care plan. He wants to encourage greater use of personal health care savings accounts with the attending government tax incentives to encourage their use. He thinks the worst situation we can find ourselves in is a government-run system where health care is rationed to patients in the absence of any free market forces.

On reducing our dependence on foreign oil, Carson said she supported incentives to use ethanol, noting her support for legislation to give tax credits to retailers who installed ethanol pumps. She also observed that within three years, all Indy 500 cars will run on ethanol. Dickerson said that's not enough. He noted his travels to Brazil and how it has achieved total energy independence through the use of ethanol by using American-made technology which has been around since the 1970s. He thinks Congress must take affirmative steps to make ethanol available at every gas station in this country, not just a handful here and there.

The candidates were asked to express their views on nuclear power. Carson offered no specific position other than to state that she thought the government intended to shut down most of the nuclear waste facilities over time. Dickerson said the lack of definitive solution for dealing with nuclear waste leads him to the conclusion that it should not be pursued as a viable, alternative energy source.

On the issue of illegal immigrants, Carson once again sought to temper comments she made during her appearance on "Political Insiders" this weekend. While she reiterated her position that everyone should have to wait their turn in line, including those who "jumped the waters of Mexico" to get here, she felt we had an obligation to feed and care for the illegal aliens and their children who live here in the country today. Dickerson emphasized the need to enforce the laws already on the books. As a marine, he was taught to tend to a wounded soldier on the battlefield by "stopping the bleeding." We need to take the same approach by getting control of our borders to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

At one point in the discussion tonight, Carson, in my opinion, took the low road in addressing her opponent. It came during a discussion about the need to help people become self-sufficient instead of continuing to provide them handouts that only encourage dependency. Carson digressed into a discussion of taking your car repeatedly back to the same dealer who keeps promising to fix your car but never fixes it for you--specifically referencing Dickerson's former Buick dealership. It really didn't fit into the discussion and showed a vicious streak in Carson mentioned by the Star's editors today in their backhanded endorsement of her re-election.

One issue on which both candidates agreed was the need to ban the use of any form of torture in compliance with the Geneva Convention for any foreign enemy held captive by the U.S. They differed sharply, however, on the use of wiretapping international phone calls involving American citizens without the use of a warrant. Carson flat out opposes such warrantless wiretaps without exception. Dickerson arguably took the less popular position and reminded the audience that we are at war. He only approved of such warrantless wiretaps on international calls only where suspected terrorists are communicated with persons inside the U.S.

There was an independent candidate, John Plemons, who also addressed the audience tonight as well. I'm not going to discuss the lengthy statement he read in full tonight with all the capacity of a grade school remedial student. He demurred from answering most of the questions, saying they required further study on his part. I hate to be too critical, but the scene reminded me of a recent episode of South Park where the entire town learned that Officer Barberry couldn't read at a town hall meeting he called for the purpose of getting community help to track down the perp who was violating all the town's chickens. And it really was just as humorous. I have to give Carson and Dickerson credit for not losing their composure as most of the audience couldn't help from doing at moments.

The candidates were each allowed the opportunity to make a brief one-minute closing statement. Carson stood for her closing statement--the only point she did so during tonight's discussion. She relied on her folksy charm to woo her audience without offering anything concrete she would deliver or work to deliver if she is re-elected. Dickerson was very direct in his closing--"If you can't deliver, you can't help. It's not personal." His carefully crafted message seemed to work with this audience. He continuously reminded his audience tonight that you must demonstrate your effectiveness based on your deeds, not your words. Carson failed to make the case for her re-election. She relied exclusively on her past laurels and folksy ways, offering little reason for sending her back for another two years. Will it make a difference in the outcome? Who knows. But I can assure you Carson's handlers won't be insisting on any more joint appearances with Dickerson. It's a risk I'm betting they won't take again in what little time remains of this election.


Wilson46201 said...

I laugh at your use of the word "handlers" in association with Julia Carson. Anybody that knows her knows she runs the show herself - there are no handlers whatsoever.

Her associates were quite pleased tonight. Eric sounded like he just couldnt wait to join George Bush and his Rubber Stamp Congress to persist in their follies!

My enhoyment of the event was somewhat ruined by that crazy Jocelyn Tandy loudly and repeatedly calling me a "faggot" in the parking lot afterwards for taking her photo. The GOP needs to throw her out as the Democrats already did!

Anonymous said...

That was honest and accurate! I'd ask if you could write for the Star but you are too good for that.

Anonymous said...

My enjoyment of the event was very much ruined by a rude photographer who decided to walk behind the candidates ON STAGE during the middle of the discussion to take pictures and intrude themself into my evening.

Anonymous said...

If Julia runs the show herself, as you allege, then why do I never see her rebutt any of the claims of her physical or mental infirmity, not to mention her ties to business people who have been labeled 'Ghetto Mafia'..said label given to her and these business folk BY the Black community?

But I always see you..constantly.."handling" Ms. Carson. Kind of a dichotomy, dont you think?

Or just another example of 'Deflect and Distract'..much like a clown hired by an insurance company to perform at the scene of a fatal accident. As the horror and disgust enfolds, the clown repeatedly tries to gain the crowds attention, but realizes that the effort is a vain one, and then starts shrieking at the crowd, blaming THEM for not enforcing seat belt laws, guard rails that would prevent a tragedy, etc.

Sad thing (for you and Ms. Carson) is, is that all the time and effort you spend on here defending her sorry performance in Congress..has probably given Eric Dickerson SEVERAL votes.

Or are you in Mr. Dickerson's employ? Regardless, you are entertaining, if nothing else..but I think your act, if genuine, is more helpful to Ms. Carson's opposition than to her.

Wilson46201 said...

That photographer was me getting some over-the-shoulder shots of the crowd from behind candidates. Lighten up, for gosh sakes! Did you ask for your money back from the promoters?

That "Ghetto Mafia" crap comes from just one person: Darla Y Williams, a Republican candidate - she's also called Jocelyn-Lite for the similarity of their vitriol ...

indyernie said...

Hey Wilson, I saw Tony give the signal to get Carson out of the room, if thats not handling what is it?
She left with people wanting to ask her questions.
She's handled and anyone stateing otherwise is foolish or a liar.

Anonymous said...

This should be the FINAL DEBATE for Julia Carson -- The people of the 7th District can't be "that" loyal to the "mainstream media" and their counterparts "public money moochers" that we'll throw-away a CONGRESSIONAL SEAT.

"A Congressional seat is a terrible thing to waste."
~Eric Dickerson, November 15th, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Its nice to know that the rude photographer and Wilson are one and the same. It simply means the is one less "in your face" liberal idiot in this town than I thought there was.

Anonymous said...

Julia is not "handled." That's just ridiculous.

But she could use some handling.

Anonymous said...

I am new to this, but I had brought my children to see this event and was very disturbed to see this Wilson46201, wearing the "I love Julia" t-shirt, giving someone the finger. I don't appreciate that at all! If this is how Julia's people act, I want no part of it.

Anonymous said...

AI - you missed a couple of things - one the non-sequitur response about nuclear energy and she rambled about nuclear bombs. The other being when it was time for the candidates to come on stage she started to walk out of the room! Lucky for her, her non-handler handler Wilson pointed her in the proper direction.

See more hard-hitting information HERE

Wilson46201 said...

I have never ever in my life given anybody the finger - I guess the Dickerson folk are so desperate that his AnonyMice are once again resorting to lying. There was only one family with kids there that I recall. I hope the children didnt hear Tandy hollering "faggot" !

Gary R. Welsh said...

Wilson, lying is exactly what you are doing every time you tell people that Tandy is a part of Dickerson's campaign. You know full well that she is not a part of his campaign and yet you continue to claim she is in the hopes of stirring up gay activists who dislike her because of her opposition to the HRO.

Wilson46201 said...

Jocelyn has been one of Dickerson's staunchest supporters here and on other forums. She's a Republican precinct committeeperson hanging with the Dickerson crew last night. She is a hateful homophobe who not only opposed the HRO but also has repeatedly used the word "faggot" in public!

Anonymous said...

Jocelyn can be a supporter, and everyone is welcome - and encouraged - to support the campaign thru yard signs, talking to people, and even contributions if you so desire. She is NOT a campaign volunteer.

She does her own thing in Center Twp in support of the Republican office seekers.

To quote your congresslady we "have no nickel in that dime".

Anonymous said...

Put some shades on that Plemons guy and he would look just like Officer Barberry.

indyernie said...

Ms Carson arrived late in a German built Mercedes (talk about eco-friendly); it took her staff 4 minutes to get her out or the car. She rambled about nuclear bombs when the question was about nuclear energy. Carson hacked and hockered three times during her introduction, nine times during the debate. She was rushed out 10 minutes after the debates end leaving folks who wanted to ask her questions. She left in a Van, looked handi cap equipped? Sounds like someone who I want to represent me in Congress.

Anonymous said...

The Forum made the choice perfectly clear to everyone, Dickerson will be the next Rep for the 7th District.

Anonymous said...

Carson got crushed last night. I just don't know how else to say it.

Anonymous said...

When Congresswoman Carson gets defeated, she AND WIlson46201 will be out of a job.


indyernie said...

Wilson scratching your temple with you middle finger while being photographed is giving the finger to someone. You can try to play it off but more than one person saw the jester.
No class whatsoever and with childern present. This is unacceptable, even for you.

indyernie said...

Carson made a comment that she supported the troops in Iraq. When
it was time to vote in support of the troops, all she could say was "present". Was she asleep and woke up at the sound of her name being called? Maybe she felt her vote didn't matter. The last time I looked she was representing the 7th district and that is Indianapolis. Her callowness towards the armed forces is a reflection on all citizens of Indianapolis. Monday night she voiced her opinion about sending troops into a war zone with equipment that was not ready for battle. However, she voted with her party line to cut the military budget.
She wants to have her cake and eat it too.
I say respectfully to Ms Carson, I aint got no nickel in yo dime.
As a Viet Nam era veteran, I'm embarassed by your representation in congress.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your take on the evening Gary but I did think that Carson was more alert than some of the other posters did. She was definitely more aware than I thought she would be. I do have issues with some of Dickerson's views (health care and Iraq) but he is quite a charmer. The guy running as an independent was a hoot. I have to give him credit for putting himself out there. Who do you think wrote his opening speech? I have been visualizing him all day long. Wacky.

Wilson46201 said...

It sounds like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is out by Crown Point Cemetery as all the Dickerson supporters are whistling by that graveyard !

Anonymous said...

Nice job. I learned a lot. Thanks, AI.

The warrantless wiretapping answer needs some work on Dickerson's part. He said he only supports the taps if one of the parties is a suspected terrorist. Duh. With that suspicion, repeated before a FISA judge, bingo, you've got a warrant. He needs to bone up on that little Constitutional question.

But somehow, I don't think it'll do any good.

Wilson46201 said...

Once again, I find it sad that nobody here has denounced Jocelyn's crass public homophobia but a Dickerson supporter or two is alleging I gave somebody "the finger" - even if inadvertently while scratching my temple - I just tried it that way and it is totally unnatural and couldnt happen. I just dont give anybody "the finger" - never have - its not a part of my personality but it seems to loom large in some folks minds...

But homophobia and deceit seems to be an integral part of the Marion County GOP ... pitiful !

Anonymous said...

Thank you AI for this summary. I was there that evening and am sorry I missed meeting you.

As for Ms. Carson, I was watching her as she tried to go up to stage to only go up the stairs to to the exit and the "friends" with her stopped her and then again up the wheelchair ramp to the same exit before her "friends" stopped her again. It was only then that they were able to "help" her move in the right direction to the stage. By her own admission she had been there numerous times and still was confused as to where the stage was. I know it can be confusing because the stage was hidden (not).

As for all the pictures that Wilson was taking, I would love to know if mine was. I never saw it pointed in my direction, so I must not look important enough to photograph.

Mr. Dickerson did a great job and I would love to get copies of the papers he used during the discussion. His comment on "you can get this information off the internet" leads me to believe it was research on Caron. Wilson did you get pictures of those papers?

Mr. Dickerson's bus looked great on the parking lot and when I saw it I knew I was at the right place. It's a shame that none of the canidates has any signs out. It would have helped me find the place easier.

Anonymous said...

Neither candidate was allowed to have any signs on the Robin Run Complex.

Julia Carson's people put some yard signs out with out asking permission and were told they could not do so but continued to put out more signs on their property. After they talked to the front desk people the then relucntly pulled them out.

Dickerson did have some signs out in front of the main enterance on the other side of the road to help point out where to enter.

Julia Carson had signs spread up and down 62nd street including church property.

indyernie said...

Wilson if it is uncomfortable then it must have been intentional.