Friday, October 13, 2006

Carson Dodges AP Interview; Health Questions Raised

Rep. Julia Carson continues to rely on past laurels and surrogates to get her through her latest campaign, making few public appearances and dodging most reporters. The latest reporter to try and fail to interview Carson is the AP's Mike Smith. In a discussion of the 7th District race today, Smith writes, "Carson's campaign did not make her available to The Associated Press for an interview or provide her schedule despite at least a dozen calls to her Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., offices." On Carson's health, Smith writes:

How long she'll continue to serve depends not just on voters, but on her health.

She had double bypass heart surgery before taking office and was sworn in while still hospitalized. She has high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes and took a one-week leave of absence from her congressional duties in 2003 for what she called routine medical appointments. She missed dozens of votes in 2004, saying she felt bad and had no energy.

[Brian] Vargus said some local Democrats had considered challenging her in the May primary, but they "mysteriously disappeared." He predicted Democrats will urge Carson to make this her "swan song" term if she wins re-election.

Carson has said she would quit serving if she were too ill.

"People thought I was too sick to run," she said when announcing her re-election bid in January. "I'm not too sick for anything."

Smith discusses Carson's penchant for running dirty campaigns against her opponent. Smith writes:

Her approach sometimes rankles those on the receiving end.

Mike Murphy, chairman of the Marion County Republican Party, said Carson has galvanized many voters by "trumping up" reasons to portray herself as a victim shortly before elections. In 2002, he noted, she walked out of a debate with Republican Brose McVey, saying he was running an unfair campaign and accusing her white challenger of "racial polarization" in some of his ads.

McVey later characterized Carson's remarks as a "staged act of righteous indignation, not warranted by reality."

Carson recently went on the attack against Dickerson when she told The Indianapolis Star's editorial board that he had been arrested for allegedly beating his wife 15 years ago. Her challenger, Carson claimed, has "been running as Mr. Righteous, Mr. Righteous, when in fact, he beat his wife up to a pulp."

Dickerson, not to be confused with the former NFL running back, denied hitting his wife. Preliminary charges of battery and disorderly conduct were dropped after his wife and daughter declined to testify.

Carson had promised her Republican challenger Eric Dickerson she would run a clean campaign, but she was the first to sling mud in the race. Smith writes:

Dickerson said the congresswoman told him on three separate occasions that she hoped he would keep the race clean.

"I said, `Julia, the only reason this race gets dirty is if you take it there,'" he said. "But she did." [State Rep. Bill] Crawford, a longtime friend, concedes Carson can ruffle feathers.

"Those who dislike her dislike her intensely, and those who like her like her passionately, and there is no in-between," he said.

It's good that at least one mainstream reporter is beginning to ask some of the tough questions about Carson, even if she won't make herself available to the news media or the public to answer questions and answer doubts in many people's mind that she simply is no longer physically up to the challenge of serving in Congress. The fact that most of the media has chosen to ignore her serious health problems is a disservice to the 7th District voters. To re-elect someone to Congress who is not physically up to the challenge because of serious health problems is tantamount to denying representation to the people of the 7th District.

UPDATE: The 7th District candidates have been invited to appear jointly at a "candidates presentation" this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at the Robin Run Retirement Village at 5354 W. 62nd Street, Indianapolis. Dickerson's campaign says he will be there. Let's see if Rep. Carson shows up. The event's organizer, Connie Wick, emphasizes in a press release that it will not be conducted as a debate but rather as an opportunity for the candidates to discuss their "background and goals."


Wilson46201 said...

I read the full article when Google Alert told me it was in the Contra-Costa Times [California!] - I read the A.P. story and went deliriously happy. The phrase I used in telephone calls was "wildly good". I'm so pleased the Indpls Star finally is carrying it. I suspect the Carson campaign may buy reprint rights...

Anonymous said...

That is sad that her staff or campaign people would not release her schedule to a reporter ?

I wonder if he tried to contact wilson ?

Anonymous said...

I have voted for Julia in her previous elections, but I have decided I'm going to vote for Dickerson this election. I would like to thank Wilson Allen for helping me make up my mind. If Julia keeps close company with people like him, then she could not be a good person. Fairwell Wilson and Julia. People who live by the sword die by the sword.

indyernie said...

Carson hasn't attended ANY apperance where she and Eric Dickerson were expected to be until today. I have been to several and I challenge anyone to name even one time they both talked, today was the first and it was a taping at channel 13. The interview will be broadcasted Sun at around 7am.
She is dodging the media, and when reporters are in the room (TULLY), questions don't get answered.
We deserve better.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Their interviews today were conducted separately. Carson has refused a head-to-head discussion of the issues with Dickerson. I understood the show ran at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, not 7:00 a.m.

indyernie said...

If Carson did a head to head with Eric Dickerson the voters would see the difference...what we have and what we can have...

Anonymous said...

Well, that's just it. If voters actually considered her stand on the issues, then most of them would be scared off anyway. She takes the ultra liberal stance on everything. Dickerson is right -- a congressional seat is a terrible thing to waste.

Wilson46201 said...

When Dickerson kicked off his big Congressional campaign with his "No Park Left Behind" township zoning issue news conference at 300 East he heard Congresswoman Carson was on the way over to deal with his grandstanding. He quickly ducked out of the scene, saying he didnt want to involve her or to have a confrontation. Sure!

Now the Dickerson coterie is practically begging for one!

Wilson46201 said...

fwiw, I've been to all those Robin Run events, starting with Blankenbaker and then Hoffmeister and then Scott and then McVeigh and then Horning...

"...and another one bites the dust!"

Wilson46201 said...

btw, does anybody know when the A.P. is going to release their big parallel story about Eric Dickerson?

The AP has a biographical sketch about E.D. where it stated E.D. had been a Democrat until 2000. Oddly enough for a Democrat, E.D. voted only in the Republican primaries during the 90s!

indyernie said...

Wilson you must love talking to yourself...seems to me no one is listening...I see no response... you must think that we all agree with you...truth is, we all know that you are full of BS.

Anonymous said...

Anon 443 pm - I have to agree with you. Simply not because of the things Wilson has wrote, but also since I see we get no representation.

As an elected official you should be heard and available. I have found that Julia is making too many excuses for not being at important community events, and while people may not agree with you, at least you take a stand.

For all the Eric supporters, pass this on to him, this Dem is going to split his ticket.

Anonymous said...

We hear that every day. Not just in the outer townships but in Center Township - in the heart of Julia's stronghold. Democrats who say they have voted democrat all of their lives but will vote for Eric this time.

The Arsenal Neighboorhood invited Julia and Eric to come visit with several neighboorhood groups. Eric was there. Julia choose to go to a $50 a person banquet dinner instead. She had a staff member attend and try to answer for her in her place.

After the meeting a crusty old union carpenter guy came up to Eric and asked for 25 yard signs. By the next morning they were already out in place and he needed 10 more. People were stopping him and asking for yard signs from him - even a school bus driver !

Eric got invited back down to another meeting in the same area next week.

The people down there want someone who actually shows up and will listen to them and answer their questions.

Anonymous said...

So, the Sunday morning TV program appearance has been taped already, and they showed up a different times, with no joint appearance?

I'm going to Robin Run tomorrow night. I've bene to all of them, too, just like Wilson, and to be honest, Julia does usually make mince meat out of her opponents.

Wilson46201 said...

35% of Center Township votes Republican. I am amused at Dickerson supporters who are astonished to discover any GOP presence whatsoever here. I still chuckle at Eric Dickerson himself telling a reporter that my own precinct votes 400 Democrat to 10 Republican. Ignorant!!! The GOP actually gets about 35% here. 35% doesnt win elections!

indyernie said...

Yawwwnnnnnnnnn, What did you say Wilson, sorry but I didn't hear you...I must have fell asleep...Snoooorrr...zzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Wislon you just do not get it - the guy was a democrat - and all of his democrat friends wanted the signs.