Friday, December 28, 2007

Daniels Wants To Delay Special Election to May Primary

If Gov. Mitch Daniels has his way, he'll delay holding a special election for the 7th District congressional seat until the already-scheduled May primary to minimize costs to the taxpayers. In a letter dated today to GOP Chairman Murray Clark and Democratic Chairman Dan Parker, Daniels seeks a consensus from the two parties on the best date to hold the special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Rep. Julia Carson (D). Daniels' counsel, Mark Massa, writes:

As you are aware, the passing of the Honorable Julia Carson has created a vacancy in Indiana's Seventh Congressional District, necessitating the need for a special election to select a new U.S. Representative for the district to serve out the remainder of the term. Various provisions in the Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Code delegate to the Governor the authority and duty to call a special election by issuing, via Executive Order, a Writ of Election directed to the Clerk of the Court in the counties comprising the congressional district.

The practical effect of the election statutes direct that a date be chosen not sooner than 60 days from today, to give the two major parties time to caucus and select a candidate, to allow election officials to plan and organize a special election, and to give third party candidates time to fulfill ballot prerequisites, as well, should they so desire. Before the writ issues setting the date for the special election, the Governor has asked me to canvass the leadership of the two parties in an effort to achieve bipartisan consensus, if possible, on a date acceptable to all. The Governor is prepared to select any date that the parties can agree is fair and workable to all. The Governor is prepared to select any date that the parties can agree is fair and workable but has asked that I inquire about holding the special election on Primary Day to minimize taxpayer expense.

While Gov. Daniels waited almost two weeks from Carson's death before bothering to seek input from the state's party leaders on the special election, the Democrats aren't wasting any time. They have already announced a district-wide caucus on January 12. State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker tells the Star he is unsure who will run for the seat at the caucus. Candidate filings for the caucus open next week. The only Democratic candidate who has filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC is State Rep. David Orentlicher. On the Republican side, both State Rep. Jon Elrod and probation officer Wayne Harmon have declared their candidacies. Counting 60 days from Gov. Daniels letter today, the earliest possible date for a special election would be late February. By delaying the election until the primary, 7th District voters would be without representation for five months.

A decision to delay the special election to the Primary Day in May may work to the advantage of some candidates and to the disadvantage of others. In addition to Orentlicher, State Rep. Greg Porter and State Rep. Carolene Mays are both interested in the 7th District seat. If these state legislators are not slated for the special election, they might forgo a run in the May primary and, instead, seek re-election to the respective House seats. By setting the Democratic caucus so early, Democrats are clearly trying to force the party to quickly unite behind a single candidate. A losing candidate in slating, however, could still challenge the slated special election candidate in the May primary. Carson grandson, Andre Carson, told reporters today he was seriously considering a run for the seat, which should come as a surprise to nobody. His grandmother supposedly made a death bed endorsement of his candidacy, and he's already sewn up the support of the Congressional Black Caucus and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.

On the Republican side, State Rep. Jon Elrod is considered the early favorite, although rumblings persist that others might throw their hats into the ring, including Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, Sen. James Merritt, former 7th District candidate Marvin Scott, attorney Milt Thompson and Jerusalem Post publisher Tom Rose. Elrod would likely step aside if either Brizzi or Merritt jump into the race; otherwise, his candidacy will not be deterred by the entry of others.

19 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Congressman Andy Jacobs Jr early and firmly supports the candidacy of André Carson...

Advance Indiana said...

Surely you don't think that makes a hill of beans difference to 7th District voters do you, Wilson?

Anonymous said...

Andre is an idiot. I have seen him at the CCC meetings and he looks completely lost. Congress? Ha! And you think I give one crap what Andy Jacobs has to say??? Double Ha! If he had loved Julia like he said he did he should have told her to retire and take care of herself.

As for Daniels, we have been without representation long enough. I am tired of taxation without representation!

Anonymous said...

Oh god please let the Republican nominee be Tom Rose!

Anonymous said...

Where does the line begin for getting our 8 months of federal taxes refunded due to lack of representation?

Anonymous said...

Daniels, like Carson, wants the 7th to go without represenation as long as possible.
Why? Because like Carson, Daniels has turned his back on the people who elected him.

Anonymous said...

7:33 and 9:31, you both need to get on decaf. Clearly the morning coffee has juiced your brains.

We may not have a representative in Congress for awhile. While it's regretable, no issues are coming down to one vote these days. And constituent services, a hallmark of Julia's career, continue under able leadership of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Party insiders are trying to force Andre down our throats with an earlier-than-necessary caucus. I think it makes perfect sense to push the special election back to May--and allow some breahting room.

Plus, the cost of a special election, and the headaches for the election process, are ample reasons to push this all back. We'd effectively staff polling places for two elections in about 50 days. Slow down and think about those logistics. At my polling place, where four precincts vote, fully 75% of the pollworkers are older Hooisers, most of whom headed south for the winter. Yeah, they can vote absentee, but they can't work the polls from Florida.

Lastly, Andy's thoughts are important to Democrats, Gary. But I've talked to many in the last week, who will wander from the reservation on this one. The overwhelming feeling: Andre simply has not earned this Congressional seat, in the same manner his grandmother did, or in the same manner as any of the other-mentioned D candidates.

It's not even close.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats are not holding the caucus any earlier than necessary. State law requires the two major political parties to nominate a candidate to the ballot within 30 days of the vacancy being created. Congresswoman Carson passed on December 15th. Whether you start counting on the 15th or on the 17th, when her death was certified to the governor, both parties must act within 30 days (either January 14th or 16th, depending on when the counting begins). State law also requires that the parties send out notice to the eligible precinct committeepersons no later than 10 days before the caucus.

I predict that you will see the Republicans issue their notice next week as they, too, have to hold their caucus within 30 days of the vacancy being created.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please let the GOP candidate be Brizzi...he has been such a horrible proscecutor and has been too busy drinking at his restaurant to run his office....Elrod would be toast quickly.....I am looking forward to this...my understanding of the law is that Brizzi would have to resign as prosecutor to run for Congress.....what a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Where does the line begin for getting our 8 months of federal taxes refunded due to lack of representation?

7:33 PM EST

Anonymous said...
Daniels, like Carson, wants the 7th to go without representation as long as possible.
Why? Because like Carson, Daniels has turned his back on the people who elected him.


What's the rush? I haven't been represented since being gerry- mandered into the 7th District and suffered thru the Carson years. Save the dough, hold the election with the May Primary and let this sort out and as far as money back, how about a refund from the Carson Estate for her lack of representation while being propped up by her entourage.

No need to annoit Andre heir to the throne or to listen to Andy Jacobs Jr. who has long been out of touch with reality.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of the district, I'll be mighty pissed off if I have to wait until May to have representation again. Carson may have been "gone" long before she was gone, but at least there was an office to contact. Surely even Mitchie understands that taxation without representation tends to make people angry.

Wilson46201 said...

All employees remain place for constituent services for Indiana's 7th District. True, there is no Congressperson voting but the many tasks for a District are still being performed by the existing staff under the official leadership of the Clerk of the House.

Wilson46201 said...

To reach the Indianapolis office of the 7th District, call 283-6516 as usual.

The Washington number also remains 1-202-225-4011.

Anonymous said...

Surely you don't think the law should be violated, Wilson. The people deserve a special election and in due time. This needs to get settled... and without a Carson on the ballot.

Wilson46201 said...

Indiana law does not specify a time frame for calling the Special Election (unlike many other states). By law, the Nominating Caucuses must be held within 30 of the vacancy but nowhere is the Special Election date specified. That's why the Governor is trying to develop a reasonable consensus about this unusual situation...

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:42 where does it say that a Carson can not be on the ballot......if Andre is the choice of the precinct committepersons as prescribed by law then his name will be on the ballot ...while he is not my first choice, he would be a good candidate.......let´s use common sense and have the special election and primary on the same day...it would save up to one half of a million dollars of taxpayers money.

Marti said...

I ask this question honestly...why do Republicans covet the 7th so much?

Julia missed a ton of votes and ran against another African American (who had money behind him). There is no way Brizzi will run in the 7th. I honestly hope it's David Orentlicher, but I bet it will be Andre. The 7th has been blue for a long time... and will continue to be.

And saying that Andy Jacobs Jr.'s input doesn't matter is just ignorant. I'm 40, and I still remember him. He's one of the most ethical men to ever serve in office. I'm sure others that are older than me remember him too.

What I think is outrageous it that Daniels wants us to wait 5 more months for representation.

The last vote she cast was HR 3580, on 9/19/2007. So that means the 7th has to go 8 months without representation.

Anonymous said...

I must point out that by "delaying" the special election until the May primary, instead of having it on the earliest possiblr date, Indiana will go without representation an additional 2 months, not 5. 8:55's comments on the elction date (not the caucas date) make sense. If a candidate is not slaqted, he or she is free to run in the primary election and run for the full term.

I hadn't realized that Ornlichter had filed. He would make an excellent Congressman. Hopefully the caucus will make a wise choice.

How does the caucus work? What does a resident have to do to participate?

Wilson46201 said...

The Nominating Caucus for each political party is open only to precinct committeepeople of that party who reside within the District. The general public will have its definitive say in the actual Special Election (whenever that may be!)