Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dark Horse Candidate Could Emerge In 7th District Democratic Race

As 7th District Democrats begin to wrestle with the debate over the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson's successor, a local Democratic officeholder tells me some are looking at a dark horse choice as a potential compromise candidate for warring factions. That candidate some have in mind, according to the officeholder, is Randle Pollard, a bond lawyer with Ice Miller who formerly worked as Domestic Tax Counsel for Eli Lilly. Pollard previously served as a member of the Indiana State Board of Education and the Indianapolis Private Industry Council.

While Democrats appreciate the many years of service Rep. Carson gave to her community, there appears to be growing resentment towards efforts of those close to her to install newly-elected City-County Councilor Andre Carson, her grandson, to the coveted office. These Democrats feel Andre is neither qualified nor electable. Another leading candidate, Rep. Carolene Mays, is poison to the city's GLBT community, a key constituency in Carson's core group of supporters. Democrats fear that constituency would defect to a Republican candidate like State Rep. Jon Elrod if Mays is the candidate because of her past support for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. Democrats fear a non-African-American candidates, such as State Rep. David Orentlicher or City-County Councilor Joanne Sanders, would alienate black voters, who count on the 7th District seat as the only congressional district in Indiana in which an African-American can get elected. If the seat falls into the hands of a white congressman, it could be many years before Indiana sends another black to Congress.

Pollard, according to the officeholder, is viewed by some Democratic leaders as someone who can attract support from a broader constituency than some of the other candidates free of the baggage many of them carry. As an attorney at Ice Miller, it is unlikely Pollard's name is being floated as a potential candidate without the blessings of another Ice Miller attorney, Lacy Johnson, who was one of Carson's closest political advisers. If he doesn't back Andre's bid to succeed his grandmother, that could be a death blow to his candidacy. What is unclear is how involved Marion County Democratic Chairman Mike O'Connor will get in this race. As the county chairman, he is able to appoint precinct committeepersons to the many vacant slots who will cast a vote at the slating convention next month to select a candidate for the special election. What he does could have a big impact on the race.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. this seems really out of the blue but AA certainly has a reputation for coming up with some bombshells this year.

while i didn't know pollard was inclined to run for a political office, he is smart, professional, and accomplished. he could even appeal to some republicans.

i get and appreciate that gay and lesbian issues vis a vis local politics are a focus of this blog and that that community was very (wildly) supportive of carson. that is certainly very helpful. however, the number in the 7th district still has to be incredibly small, no? are there really enough to sway an election? just asking.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 1:09, It's called the politics of addition as opposed to the politics of subtraction played by some politicians. Carson expanded her base of supporters by reaching out to GLBT voters, just as Jon Elrod did in his race for state representative. Estimates put the number of gays and lesbians in the 7th District at about 20,000. That's well above Carson's winning margin in most of her races.

Anonymous said...

who? This is the craziest rumor that I have ever heard.

I have no idea if Andre Carson is interested but your reports of resentment are totally unfounded.

Eclecticvibe said...

Don't forget that not only GLBT people vote on GLBT issues. There are plenty of allies that won't vote for a candidate that supports discrimination under any guise. The GLBT community has parents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, and many others who support their right to legally partner with the person they chose.

Anonymous said...

1:09 may not vbe aware that gays are drawn to urban settings precisely due to the fact that they tend to be the only places where one can live freely and without discrimination.

While I am sure that the Indy HRO did not sweep all that away with one fell swoop, it certainly made the statement that Indy was / is now as welcoming as Bloomington, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Fort Wayne, and Michigan City.

That just confirmed the feeling that was already present in the
7th Dist. Of course, upwardly mobile people also move to cities.. to seek their fortune and establish new lives. Also a trend among gays and lesbians.

Wilson46201 said...

Marion County Treasurer Mike Rodman is African-American and is considered so by the Indianapolis Black community and others...

Advance Indiana said...

I'll take you at your word on that, Wilson, but I'm sure it comes as a surprise to some.

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, I don't have Joanne's race wrong do I?

Advance Indiana said...

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz says Monroe Gray isn't African-American, but Gray says he is so who I am to question it?

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad, Gary. All this time I thought Rodman was Jewish. Who knew.

Anonymous said...

geesh...This line of discussion on race is precisely why we should not categorize people. Let's all focus on the person's ability to be the best rep we can get.

Anonymous said...

While most people believe that Andre is not qualified to run for congress, most people do not know that Ms. Carson has been grooming him for years. He has more knowledge about the 7th dist. and congress than any person mentioned so far. Looks and assumptions are always deceiving, but if Andre does consider running let him present himself and see if you have a change of heart.

Anonymous said...

5 PM--surely you jest. Andre has more knowledge than Rodman, Mays, Porter, et al? Have another drink. What a joke.

There is strong resentment about Andre among committeepersons. And the reason is quite simple--follow along with the home edition of this game, fans:

Julia won in 1996 against then-Gov. Bayh's choice, Ann Delaney. Bayh wouldn't confirm that, but all his top aides and cabinet were actively supporting Delaney. Julia worked her ass off, met often with supporters, and smashed Delaney. It was, in my humble opinion, Julia's finest victory, mostly because the snotty Bayh cadre all loudly thumped their chests that Julia wouldn't win.

She had earned the right to represent the district, after over two decades of firm public service.

For Andre to even consider this race, is an insult to his grandmother's strong legacy. Andre has simply not earned it.

The Ice Miller attorney rumor notwithstanding, this is going to be a donnybrook, mostly because of the compressed timeframe--caucus for special election candidates, special election, & slating all occuring within a week or two of one another, and all three could produce different results for different reasons.

But Andre will not win.

The catty Rodman remarks aside, he's a very experienced businessman and political insider. He's smart and a worthy candidate, just like the others mentioned.

Carolene Mays has certainly proven her ability to win, and she's smart, also--but not smart enough to vote against SJR7. If the Dems are stupid enough to anger 20-25,000 GLBT residents, many of whom vote religiously, then they deserve what they get. In proportion, the GLBT community votes 4-5 times more strongly than the black community.

Come to think of it, of all the names mentioend thus far, on either side of the aisle, Andre has the least amount of experience. He may be a terrific guy, but we just don't know him.

And the nonsense about him knowing more about the district than anyone else is nuts. I've been a committeeman for 25 years and he doesn't know me, nor vice versa. I can say the same for dozens of fellow committeepersons.

He's pleasant, and I'm sure he'll be a good councilman--certainly better than his predecessor.

But he's not Congressional material--yet.

Julia, send us some kind of sign, any kind of sign...that doesn't involve your kin.

Chris S said...

Wow, this looks oddly like Abdul's posting earlier this morning. Have you just stopped giving credit?

B said...

From a neutral observer: I always thought Rodman was African American. Don't know him, just saw his campaign posters.

Technically speaking, of course, "black" is a race, "African-American" is an ethnicity. (ask the EEOC). A black man from France is not African-American, for example.

Many African-Americans are biracial, of course.

And then there's that whole matter of recent African immigrants to America. Who could also be called "African-American". Of course there are some who would say Barack Obama- white American mother, black African father, isn't really "African-American" And, for kicks, "African-American" would include Teresa Heinz Kerry and Charlize Theron-- both born and raised in Africa and now US Citizens.

All of which does highlight the point that judging people by the color of their skin is exactly what Dr. King taught us not to do, and labels aren't particularly helpful either.

But we can't seem to help ourselves.

Advance Indiana said...

chris, I spoke to a Democratic officeholder, not Abdul. Perhaps Abdul spoke to the same person. I didn't speak to Abdul, and my post isn't based on what he posted. Ergo, he gets no attribution for the post. BTW--Abdul posted about some Democrats wanting to get rid of Mike O'Connor before the slating just the other day. I posted about that weeks ago. Did you hear me complaining? No, I didn't think so. And Chris, Abdul is a big boy. He really should be fighting his own fights, don't you think.

Advance Indiana said...

And chris, at least I correctly spelled Pollard's name.

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama is not African American...he is African.

Advance Indiana said...

I read a front-page Sunday story in the Sun-Times this summer where Obama and his wife were lamenting the fact that they constantly had to defend their race in the African-American community. "You're not black" is a constant refrain they hear. I've never understood how some in the African-American community talk about Bill Clinton being the first black president, while they put down Obama, Colin Powell and Condi Rice for not being "black enough." It makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama is "African"? I don't think so.

Barack Obama is American.

His FATHER was African. But Barack was born in the U.S.A. Hawaii, to be exact.

His mother is white. From Kansas.
His father black. From Kenya.

He is biracial, for sure. He is American, for sure. He is arguably African-American, but some question if he is "African-American", not having the slavery legacy.

Wilson46201 said...

Alan Keyes, an Illinoisian Republican like Gary Welsh (teehee), is indubitably African-American. He even made a hulabaloo about it when he ran against Barack Obama. Keyes got 27% of the vote...

Sir Hailstone said...

"they put down Obama, Colin Powell and Condi Rice for not being "black enough."

Difference being, they (Gen. Powell and Ms. Rice) aren't drinking the koolaid. Unlike "The Justice Brothers", Cynthia McKinney, and the CBC.

BTW, one of my best friends is "Afro-British". He was born in Africa, Malawi to be exact. Raised in East London and Johannesburg, South Africa. His skin is paler than all of us white folks put together. But he's more "African" than most African-Americans.

Anonymous said...

He was born in Africa so I think that makes Obama African...his mother was American so that makes him American....please don't mistake what I said...I intend to vote for him........even if the nomination is settled when Indiana votes.

Anonymous said...

I am humble anon 8:23...I just checked his bio and Obama was born in Hawaii.....his father was African...you are correct and I was incorrect but I still support him and plan to vote for him

Anonymous said...

IC 3-13-1-10 establishes who is eligible to participate in a caucus of this sort. Subsection (b) provides "(a)n appointed precinct committeeman is eligible to participate in a caucus called under section 7 of this chapter if the precinct committeeman was a committeeman thirty (30) days before the vacancy occurred.

Both county chairmen might be appointing precinct and vice precinct committeepersons to participate in a slating convention for the May primary, but those appointed after November 17th won't be eligible to participate in the caucus to select a nominee for the special election ballot used to fill the congressional vacancy.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the 5:21 posting, the 1996 primary race between Julia and Ann Delaney was slated towards Delaney as far as the experts predicted, but with the grass roots get out to vote that was put in place, Julia won. Of course most articles say that Jacobs backing is what won Julia the 1996 race. Grass roots was then and is now the strong hold of any race.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 1:04, I remember that race vividly. The biggest problem in that race was Ann's image. She had all the money and plenty of endorsements, Jacobs excluded, but people could only think of the woman they saw weekly on Indiana Week In Review. At that time, Rex Early was her counterpart. He was extremely effective at getting Ann worked up and showing her bad side. What people saw in her they didn't like. If you want to credit someone with Julia's election, credit Rex Early because he helped shape the negative image of Ann DeLaney which sealed her fate against Julia.

Wilson46201 said...

The reverse worked too -- I have an elderly Republican aunt who chose Goldsmith over Rex Early because Rex allowed Ann Delaney to push him around too easily on TV!

Anonymous said...

I still say that Rep. Greg Porter is the best candidate.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me advane indiana, the general public does not watch Indiana Week In Review. Not even the committee people. Ann's image was not affected bad or good by Rex Early. Most people polled said that they thought Ann was well educated, professional and would make a good congressperson. Hard work by Julia and a good campaign is what won Julia her first time to congress.