Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tully Raps Mahern For Seeking House Seat

Star political columnist Matt Tully takes after newly re-elected Councilor Dane Mahern (D) for making plans to run for the District 97 House seat being vacated by Rep. Jon Elrod (R) after one term. Rapping what he sees as opportunism on Mahern's part, Tully writes:

Voters had elected Mahern to a second term on the council just six days earlier. But he never had any intention of sticking around the City-County Building for another four-year term -- despite a summer and fall spent knocking on doors and asking voters for that new term. The council was a springboard to where he really wants to be: the Statehouse.

Though he had been cagey about it for several months, Mahern acknowledges he was eyeing a Statehouse seat while waging this year's council campaign. The desire to end up at the Capitol, where members have more power and influence, spurred him along during this year's race.

"This is something I've been thinking about," he said. "I knew I had to win re-election first." But why? Why sell voters on your candidacy for City-County Council if you have no intention of serving a full term?

"I think a lot of it is there is a vacuum of change taking place," Mahern said. "A lot of people see it as an opportunity."

Political opportunism is rarely pretty. And it isn't in this case. But Mahern isn't the first politician to run for one office with a plan to turn around and run for a higher one. Many politicians spend their careers looking for the next big thing.

And Mahern is correct. There is an opportunity for Democrats in House District 97.

With Jon Elrod's decision to vacate the seat he just won from Ed Mahern last year, you can hardly blame Dane Mahern for wanting to seek the open seat, which is a very competitive seat. The person most disappointed by all this is House Republican Leader Brian Bosma, who is now going to have to start from scratch to try to hold this seat. I've heard of no viable candidate on the Republican side to step forward to run for the open seat. Mahern will no doubt face some skeptical voters. Marion Co. voters rebuffed former Mayor Steve Goldsmith big time when he ran for governor right after he won re-election to a second term in office. Mahern may face the same fate, although I suspect voters have less of a problem with a legislative official seeking another office than they do with an elected executive like mayor.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since he didn't win by much, I suspect he ran for re-election just to hold the seat for the D's.

I remember when Sue Anne Gilroy, while Secretary of State, ran for Lt. Gov in '96, flirted with running for Coats' Senate seat in '98, then decided to run for re-election as SoS in '98 while acting like she was running for governor in 2000. Then, not even being sworn into another term as SoS, she announced she was running for Mayor in late '98.

Nothing but a game of musical chairs!

Anonymous said...

I should also add she shoved Connie Nass out of the way at the '96 convention and still lost to George Witwer.

Anonymous said...

The Maherns are a plague on the city. They have been dining at the public trough too long. And the library fiasco, headed up by Louis, borders on criminal.

Wilson46201 said...

As the above partisan commenter knows, Louis Mahern was brought in to clean up the mess the Republican appointees to the Library Board had made. But truth never stands in the way of the haters like the anonymous nobody @8:09am.

Anonymous said...

They are a plague! I met Dane's father when he was state rep. I felt like I needed to shower after talking with him...

Those people would rather suck off the teet of the taxpayer with their government jobs than get a job in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

8:32 is 100% correct.

Louis Mahern cleaning up anything...that's a hoot. And, it was a mess, made by Republican AND Democratic board appointees.

The trouble with all this is, is we could interchange Maherns, maybe put Brian in the legislature, it might be more palitable. Dane has long supported LGBT causes, but, let's just put it out there: he's no rocket scientist.

Let's just say, if successful, he'll fit in fine with Phil Hinkle.

The brazen campaign he ran to hold onto the council seat was disingenuous at best. He ought to be ashamed.

He ought to have declined another term back at slating time, and let another good Democrat step up. I can think of four or five non-Maherns who would've done a fantastic job.

Dane running...almost makes me want Ed back.

(Whew) Just checked myself. Negatore on the Ed thought. Showering my mind now.

Bil Browning said...

Brian Mahern is after John Day's seat. That's why Day was his campaign co-chair after the elder Maherns begged him to do it. He was very hands-off with the campaign though. Why? If you talk to John you'll find out he doesn't think too highly of Brian and says he doesn't have the intelligence to be a Representative.

I told Keller repeatedly that he should be using that during the campaign, but he refused since he considered that "going negative." Hell, even Brian's primary opponent endorsed Scott in a letter he mailed to the district. "We don't need someone just interested in moving here so he can step up to a higher office," was one of his quotes.

While John was going to retire this year, he didn't want the seat to fall into Brian Mahern's hands so he's sticking it out for a while more. But it's looking more and more likely that we'll end up 2 Maherns in the legislature again. Yay. *rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

Sorry about you bad run campaign and the lose of your unqualified candidate Keller. Choose better next time. Oh your comments about Brian's ability is pure "hogwash"

boy1985 said...

I don't understand how Dane can be criticized for moving onto the state rep seat after one term when that's exactly what Eldrod did, and is doing again. Elrod was on the township board, and announced his running for state rep during his first term. Same thing now, when he announced for Julia. So I guess it's ok for the young republican star, but not for a Mahern.

But I rest fairly assured that Mahern can pull it off. It's going to be tough to find someone to run in that district, and it leans pretty solidly Democrat. More then Elrod winning the race last year, Ed lost it by taking his seniority for granted. Furthermore, Dem turnouts are higher in presidential elections.

Anonymous said...

Let's be fair; both D's and R's sometimes seek one seat while keeping their eye on another seat. The Republican councillor-elect for Warren Township, Ben Hunter, sent out a mailer to his district claiming to be the pro-life cadidate; this for a city council race! When a prospective constituent asked why he targeted abortion issues in a city council race, he replied that he'd like to run for another office and he felt it important for people to know where he stood on the issue. Not only was this mailer disingenuous, but it signaled his belief that voters care more about a wedge issue than where the candidate stands on issues relevant to city governance.

Advance Indiana said...

Bil, I heard the same thing about Brian running for Day's seat. I thought Day was supposed to resign before the end of the year and Brian was going to seek appointment to the seat according to the rumor.

Anonymous said...

Township baord is hardly an office on the same caliber as city council or state House.

If the entire township board blew up tomorrow no one would notice. Especially Center's...whose board is Carl Drummer's lap dog.

When it was rumored last year that the township boards might be done away with, one longtime Center board member remarked to folks at a Democratic rally: "Well, I use that money to go to the (gambling) boats. What would I use if I didn't have that job?"

Pick up some pop bottles, hun.

The township board is worthless in function and in execution.

Representative Dane Mahern. One week after he wins a close race for council. He may be smarter than I thought.

(Pause to ponder)

Nah. Turns out he's not.
Anyone who doubts this, I kencourage you to become a Ch. 16 groupie. Dane chairs the Economic Development Committee. It's a riot. And when he offers up those committee's reports to the full council, it's hilarioous. Or sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm a good Democrat, and I don't think Dane has what it takes to be our next state representative.

Of all the good potential candidates in HD 97, there are many, many, many more who should step up.

Anonymous said...

Did you take in Elrod's announcement today, Gary? Just wondering how it went.

Advance Indiana said...

I received absolutely nothing from Elrod or his campaign about his announcement today, so no, I have nothing to share.

Anonymous said...

There are other candidates in the 97th district that are far smarter and articulate than Dane Mahern. I would vote for no one rather than vote for Dane Mahern....but there will be a qualified, honest candidate who knows how to speak the English language.

Anonymous said...

6:17, my sentiments exactly.

We need brains in the legislature. They're too few and far between as it is. Sending Dane Mahern over-duplicates what's there.

Bil Browning said...

Gary, John didn't retire once it became known who would be pushed to replace him, eh?

Anonymous said...

Dane should be on his knees thanking God that he was reelected to the council...instead before he is even certified as a winner, he is running for a seat he thinks he inherited from his father. There is no royal family here. the 97th needs someone who can speak English, read, and have original thoughts ....all of these eliminate Dane Mahern.