- Democrats will pick former Peterson chief of staff Mike O'Connor to succeed Ed Treacy as Marion Co. Democratic chairman.
- Republicans will pick attorney Tom John to replace Mike Murphy as GOP chairman.
- Governor Daniels will fail in his efforts to privatize the Hoosier Lottery.
- Governor Daniels will succeed in passing a bipartisan initiative to provide health insurance for the uninsured, which will be funded by an increase in the cigarette tax.
- Governor Daniels' popularity will improve as the year progresses, largely because he must adopt a more bipartisan approach in his governing style.
Democrats will no doubt quarrel with that last prediction, but I think on balance Daniels' popularity has improved, although it is still low enough to make him vulnerable in next year's election.
On U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, I had it right that she would step down from Congress, but I predicted it would be because of her resignation due to health problems rather than death. Here's what I predicted:
Rep. Julia Carson will resign her seat in Congress due to her worsening health problems, triggering a special election, which could be timed to coincide with the city's municipal elections. This will set off a scramble among Democrats to choose her replacement, which will take place at a district convention. Carson would like to see her grandson, Andre Carson, take her place. His chances are better in an election of Democratic committeepersons than an open primary at which any Democratic voter could vote. Mike O'Connor and other Democrats likely will favor someone other than Carson, which is the reason he may have opposition in his bid to become county chairman. My betting is the Democrats, if this scenario plays out, will choose someone other than Carson. Republican Eric Dickerson will make another run for the open seat, but he'll need the support of his party to get on the ballot this time. The candidates chosen by each party at a district convention would face off in a special
Think about it. If Rep. Carson had resigned in September as her health really began to fail, and had a special election been scheduled to coincide with the mayoral election, Bart Peterson may have been re-elected, assuming the Democrats had slated an African-American candidate for the open congressional election. Some Democrats have blamed a low turnout in the African-American vote last month as the reason for Peterson's loss to Greg Ballard. I honestly believed Carson would time her resignation to help Peterson's re-election. I'm sure many Democrats wish she had done that, including Peterson.
These four predictions I missed completely, primarily because I didn't see the property tax crisis coming one year ago, although I think I was entirely correct about the deal between Gov. Daniels and Mayor Peterson. Those predictions included:
- Mayor Bart Peterson will undeservedly be re-elected to a third term as mayor--by default. Peterson and Gov. Mitch Daniels enjoy a good relationship, and they both want re-elected to their respective jobs. A lot of Democrats think Peterson is their best candidate to defeat Daniels in 2008. My instincts tell me a deal has been cut. Daniels and a few key Republicans will make sure that Peterson does not face a serious, well-funded opponent for mayor. In exchange, Peterson will not challenge Daniels in 2008. To those of you who scoff at the suggestion such a deal could happen, I can only say you don't know much about politics.
- Republicans will nominate City-County Councilor Isaac Randolph as their sacrificial lamb in the 2007 mayoral election. He will lack the money and organizational effort necessary to win.
- Democrats will retain control of the City-County Council. I believe they will pick up at 1-2 seats. The Bradford seat will likely change to the Democrats. Randolph's seat will also likely flip to the Democrats. Republicans' lack of organization, good candidates and general disarray will contribute to their losses.
- Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi will have a busy year handling problems with other public officials, including the coroner and Center Township Trustee's office. Brizzi will be successful in his efforts to get Indiana to adopt a hate crimes law.
Who knew Brizzi would spend his year lining up a questionable ownership in a restaurant/bar and a new radio talk show gig with WIBC instead of combating public corruption. I didn't anticipate Ike Randolph's "personal and family issues" he cited for pulling out of the race for mayor, but I did correctly predict his seat would switch to the Democrats. Also, the property tax crisis helped seal a big victory for Ryan Vaughn in retaining Jim Bradford's seat.