Sunday, December 02, 2007

Divided Loyalties Divide House Republicans

House Republican critics of Brian Bosma in the past have complained that he has wielded the power of his leadership position to enrich his own law firm. They point to the tens of thousands of dollars he paid to his own law firm, Kroger, Gardis and Regas, out of taxpayer funds to fight the House prayer case in the courts. They also complain that Bosma paid his law firm over $26,000 last year to provide legal work for the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) over which he is the titular head as the caucus' leader. Now, the critics are concerned that Bosma has given his blessing to staff workers for HRCC to pursue other political consulting clients at the expense of the HRCC's efforts next year to recapture the House.

At issue is Maverick Strategies, a Franklin-based political consulting firm founded by HRCC staffers of past campaigns. The firm represented a number of mayoral campaigns this year and has been retained by U.S. Rep. Dan Burton's re-election effort against a strong primary challenge from Dr. John McGoff, a former Marion County Coroner and emergency room physician. FEC campaign disclosure statements show Burton's campaign has paid Maverick Strategies $54,452 during the past year. A source tells Advance Indiana that the HRCC staffers have been doing opposition research on McGoff, which has included searching his medical license records with the State of Indiana and a couple of old medical malpractice claims against his practice group. No pay dirt there I'm told.

At least one action taken by the staffers on Burton's behalf has drawn criticism from within the state party. That involved a letter sent out by the Burton campaign portraying McGoff as pro-abortion because of the support he has received from a long-time Republican Party activist and president of Harcourt Industries, Jean Ann Harcourt, whose political views are too moderate for the intolerant religious right. In light of Harcourt's past leadership roles in the Indiana Republican Party, the attack concerned the state GOP because the HRCC staff use office space in the state party headquarters.

More recently, the staffers' work has drawn criticism from within the House Republican caucus because of their role in convincing Rep. Jon Elrod to give up his Indianapolis House seat after one term to seek the 7th District congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Julia Carson. Due to a large number of retirements, there is a prospect for a larger number of competitive House races next year than in recent elections. The loss of Elrod as a candidate is a blow to HRCC's efforts to win back Republican control of the House. Coupled with Rep. Larry Buell's decision to retire, the HRCC now faces a real prospect of losing not one but two GOP seats in Marion County alone next year. That's how many seats the GOP needs to win back just to draw even with the Democrats. Critics say the staffers are more concerned about lining up paying clients for their consulting firm than winning House seats for the GOP.

The concern of some within the House Republican caucus is reportedly shared by some political advisors of Gov. Mitch Daniels. Daniels badly wants the GOP to regain control of the House for the beginning of what he hopes will be his second term as governor. A Republican-controlled legislature will make it much easier for him to achieve legislative and budget victories. Any hint that the HRCC is less than one hundred percent committed to recapturing the House by fielding a team of first-string candidates in as many legislative districts as possible next year gives pause to his re-election campaign.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not very good at acting shocked.....so I won't.

Anonymous said...

I love it when conservative Republicans eat their young.

They're so whorish about it. If there's a paycheck or a particular consultancy to be benefitted, they cast all doubt and ethics to the wind. It's freaking hilarious.

Anyone who aids either Burton should have his/her head examined. Collectively, their intellegence might fill a thimble, and each is a complete and total embarrassment.

Boz should perhaps mind the store a little more closely.

By the by, ever noticed how Boz's wrist is oft just a tad limp? He's always thrown off that vibe as far as I'm concerned, which would be a hoot considering his overall behavior.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

If I had proof that the Indiana History Museum actually contrbuted to Woody Burton...in kind or monetary, I will personally file a complaint with the appropriate agency. I will start the scouring of records tomorrow.

Anne said...

Gary, let's set the record straight, I think you have gotten off-track on a couple points. First, to imply that Jon Elrod is a tool of Maverick or Bosma is just plain nuts. Jon Elrod is a person who makes his own decisions, speaks his own thoughts, and takes his own actions. His decision to run for Congress was unquestionably his own, and to imply that he did it because he was talked into it or told to do it is just not something I can believe.

As for the letter about Jean Ann Harcourt, I haven't seen the letter but it's not exactly a big secret that she's pro-choice. It's pretty common in politics for the pro-choice folks or the pro-life folks to point out when a candidate is receiving support from the other side, especially when the candidate portrays himself as liberal or conservative (as McGoff has done). I like Jean Ann, so I'm sorry that she was drug into this, yet I think you're making a bit too much of it. McGoff isn't running for church deacon, he's running in a tough political race. A practice as common as pointing out who's supporting him shouldn't be shocking to anyone.

Finally, you imply that Bosma is more interested in helping his friends than he is about recapturing the House majority and becoming Speaker of the House once again. Really, this is a little too far-fetched. No one in Bosma's position would give up a chance at being Speaker of the House. No one in politics is that altruistic.

Interesting article, Gary, but I think you were off-track on a couple points.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 11:37, you have it wrong on both points. Please reread the post. I don't say Elrod only decided to run because of Maverick--only the firm's role in urging the decision he made. And the post doesn't question Bosma's desore to win back House control. It questions the motive of the staffers who own Maverick.

Anonymous said...

Elrod can't even decided where he lives officially...which is not in the house he claims he lives in which is virtually uninhabitable due to its poor condition...that house may fall down any minute.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 6:39, Jon announced his candidacy in front of that home you describe. Do want to rethink that thought?

Anonymous said...

Wilson is channeling through 6:39.

What ever will he do when his favored person is no longer the Member of Congress?

Sir Hailstone said...

"Elrod can't even decided where he lives officially...which is not in the house he claims he lives in which is virtually uninhabitable due to its poor condition...that house may fall down any minute."

You're confused with Patrice Abduallah.

Anonymous said...

10:02,

Go to www.indianacampaignfinance.com and click on contribution search. Click on "search contributions". Enter "in state museum" in the contributor name field and you'll be treated to one result. A $100 in-kind contribution of a membership to Woody Burton For State Representative on 7/1/2003.

Here's a screenshot, in case something happens to the record:

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/8849/burtonrk0.jpg

Anonymous said...

Any suckers out there that still work like a slave and pay their "fair share?" If so, wise up.

Anonymous said...

They're going to have trouble finding something bad on McGoff, if they're foolish enough to try that. Until recently he was a flight surgeon with the Air National Guard, so he had to hold a TS clearance with the requisite background checks.

Anonymous said...

They're going to have trouble finding something bad on McGoff, if they're foolish enough to try that.

I was informed he was a gun grabber. That pretty much did it for me.

Anonymous said...

6:48,

What is your source for that claim? That seems more like a Danny Burton whisper campaign than anything else.