Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Elrod Versus Carson




State Rep. Jon Elrod won a decisive victory at the Republican caucus tonight to slate a candidate for the March 11 special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of U.S. Rep. Julia Carson and the May primary election. Elrod captured 64% of the vote on the first round of voting to pick the party's primary candidate, winning 186 votes to his nearest competitor, Tom Rose, who garnered 79 votes. Gabrielle Campo finished third with 26 votes. After losing the first round of voting, Rose graciously urged his supporters to vote for Elrod in the second balloting to name the party's candidate in the March 11 special election, which Elrod overwhelmingly won in the perfunctory vote, which included a fourth candidate, Greg Stroude, who declined to the pay the approximately $8,000 required of candidates for the county slating process, and his name was not included on the ballot in the first round of voting.

Elrod's win represents yet another repudiation of the status quo Republican establishment. Elrod stunned caucus-goers when he announced during his speech to precinct committeepersons that he had been asked last Saturday by the party establishment to step aside in favor of another candidate. Elrod reminded the party faithful that Keith Buelen didn't let the party establishment tell him what he couldn't do nearly 40 years ago when he successfully challenged them for control of the party, and Greg Ballard didn't let establishment tell him he couldn't win the election to be Indianapolis' mayor in this past November's election. Like Buelen and Ballard, Elrod said he rejected the establishment's view that the 30-year-old was too young and incapable of raising the money required to win the race to the cheers of his supporters.

Elrod assured the party he had assembled an organization which will allow him to raise the money needed to run a competitive special election race against Democrat Andre Carson, a 32-year-old newcomer to the Indianapolis City-County Council. He reminded his audience that he had won a race for state representative last year everyone told him he couldn't win, leading Star political columnist Matt Tully to call him the "hardest working politician." The icing on the cake for Elrod was the infamous poll unsuccessful Democratic congressional candidate State Rep. Carolene Mays commissioned a little more than a week ago, which showed him within three percentage points of Carson. Elrod said he could win because he proved in his successful State House bid that he is capable of winning the votes of blue collar workers and Indianapolis' diverse inner city population. And, drawing lots of laughter from the audience, Elrod told the party faithful he had no skeletons in his closet. "Having run against a Mahern, it would have already come out if there was anything." On a personal note, Elrod noted that the special election on March 11 will coincide with his mother's birthday. What better gift to give to his mother on his birthday than to vote to send him to Congress.

Several precinct committeepersons I spoke to tonight, confirmed that Rose's candidacy was being pushed by Center Township Republican leader David Brooks and state party chairman Murray Clark. State GOP Committeeman for the 7th District John Hammond assured me he had remained neutral in the race. Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John did not recommend either candidate over the other. In his introduction of Jon Elrod, however, John offered some very flattering comments about Elrod, suggesting he was his personal choice. Mayor Greg Ballard addressed the caucus prior to the vote and urged the committeepersons to vote their conscience and "do what you think is right with no special agenda." He added, "Our party is better off if we do this."

Rose pitched caucus-goers on his ability to put together an organization, a message and money for the 60-day sprint to the March 11 special election. Rose said it would take $250,000 to $400,000 to run the special election. Rose said he had in hand $40,000, another $75,000 in commitments and would raise $100,000 within 10 days. Touting himself as an "unconventional candidate" who would run an "unconventional campaign", Rose opened his speech by leading everyone in prayer for members of our armed forces. He said his campaign would send a strong message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Republicans were going to take back control of Congress this year, and that it was going to start right now with this special election.

The 7th District Republicans wisely chose Elrod over Rose. I can tell you from the conversations I had yesterday with many Democrats who are dissatisfied that the Carson machine prevailed over more qualified candidates that they are fully prepared to cross over and vote for Elrod. This is particularly true of GLBT Democrats, who consider Elrod a better choice than Carson on their issues. Democrats who plan to support State Rep. David Orentlicher in the May primary believe an Elrod victory will bolster their candidate's chance of winning the May primary. One Democrat observer told me that Orentlicher will raise $400,000 for his primary race against Carson. And that race begins now and not after the March 11 special election so Carson will be opposing a strong candidate from within his own party at the same time he is campaigning against Elrod for the special election. A Carson loss in the special election will help Orentlicher make his case that Carson is unelectable in the November general election.

As an aside, Jocelyn Tandy Adande appeared at tonight's caucus and wore an identification badge announcing herself as a Republican candidate in the 7th District. She confirmed in a conversation with me she intends to run in the May primary. She was not happy to learn that tonight's caucus slated the primary candidate, as well as the special election candidate. She complained to me that Tom John had not been returning her phone calls. Ballard campaign supporter Darla Williams, who had been a precinct committeeperson, was upset that she had been pulled and was not able to vote at tonight's caucus. Both Adande and Williams noted the small number of African-Americans at tonight's caucus. Ron Frankliln attributed the low turnount to the timing of today's caucus right after the Colts playoff game against the Chargers.

The number of voting PCs at tonight's caucus was much smaller than were in attendance at the Democrats caucus. There were 300 tonight compared to the Democrats 439. State Committeeman John Hammond explained to me, however, that Republicans used the new, reduced number of precinct districts for purposes of tonight's caucus, while the Democrats used the old precinct districts. That explains a significant amount of the difference in the numbers.

Perhaps the most unusual moment during tonight's caucus came when Tandy, Williams and I all shared a conversation with Mayor Ballard. Nobody held any punches and Mayor Ballard gave back as good as we could dish out to him. Mayor Ballard is coming into his own now and his presence was very much felt in the room tonight. He didn't have to endorse Elrod. When he told PCs to vote their conscience, that's all people had to hear. They knew what he meant. I think the GOP left tonight's caucus feeling better about their candidate's chances than they have in any recent elections. Elrod just might become the first Republican since Watergate took out William Hudnut to win this congressional district.

61 comments:

Anne said...

Jon Elrod ROCKS! Jon is the real deal, a man with an open mind and a big heart for people. The people in the 7th congressional district have an opportunity to elect a man for the future, their positive future, versus Andre, a man who was chosen based on the past. Time for voters to step up and reclaim their representation in Congress, by electing a person who will speak for them, a man who will listen, JON ELROD. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

I sure hope he helps fix the property tax and township government mess first.

Anonymous said...

The Poll which Rep. Mays had done had a sample of 400 people and a 5% margin of error. However since only 21% of the people knew Rep. Mays and could make an informed decision about her and Rep.Elrod was know by 21% of the people polled the sample was 105 people which would make the margin of error more than 15% on way or the other. When you get into subsections (men vs. women or Reps vs. Demos and independents the margin of error would be over 25%. This means that this poll has no value. Contact any pollster and they will tell that Rep. Mays wasted her money.
Elrod was talking about the poll tonight he needs to know that it is worthless and not base anything on it. I don't think either Mays or Elrod should be bragging that only 21% of the voters know there names while David O's numbers were much higher and Andre Carson were much higher than David O.

Anonymous said...

On the brighter side, this means Elrod wont be my state representative any more. He was worthless and didnt even live in the district.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29....ou are a liar. He most certainly lives in the district. Ask his neighbors and you will see....It is okay Jen, it will all be over soon. Hopefully you won't get fired for the Carl Brizzi joining the 7th mess. What an amature display of propaganda.

Jon has too much class to call you what you are...Wilsonesque dumpster diver! Your time is certainly coming. You have picked a fight that you cannot win sugar!

Anonymous said...

Every one who lives in the 97 House District knows that Elrod was the one who ran a negative campaign against Ed Mahern, not the other way around. But then again Jon never let the truth get in the way, why should he start now.

Anonymous said...

Elrod may be GLBT friendly but from the sounds of his interview with Abdul the other day, he is not pro-choice - a problem if he wants Democrats to cross-over.

Anonymous said...

It is not a skeleton, but Jon is a member of the club. I will be proud when he is elected. Maybe his successor will take the next step.

Angry Republican said...

10:42 said:
"Every one who lives in the 97 House District knows that Elrod was the one who ran a negative campaign against Ed Mahern..."

Everyone? My parents live in the 97th District. They don't have a clue as to who Ed Mahern is - never heard of him. Why do you think that is?

So, I don't think I'd say "everyone."

Wilson46201 said...

"the club" Huh? Aren't all good Republicans members of the Columbia Club? So what!

Angry Republican said...

10:19 said:
"I don't think either Mays or Elrod should be bragging that only 21% of the voters know there names..."

A very good point, actually, though I wonder if those who make up that 21% know how to spell.

AR

Anonymous said...

then let him be an "open" member of the club...I have no idea if he is or not.... but if Anon 10:44 knows what he/she is talking about then let the truth come out.....

Advance Indiana said...

anon 10:19, so are you saying the pollster that the Indiana House Democrats and many other Democrats use every election cycle is no good? You know better. It is a reputable polling firm, and a lot of the numbers in it reflect people's gut feeling about this race.

Wilson46201 said...

The "hard ID" numbers from that poll:

Mitch Daniels: 89%
André Carson: 48%
David Orentlicher: 38%
Carolyn Mays: 21%
Jon Elrod: 21%

Elrod's got a lot of catching up to do!

Advance Indiana said...

The innuendo about John's sexual orientation must be an indication of what kind of campaign the Carson folks intend to run. Believe it or not, it is possible for a heterosexual man to support equality for all people without regard to their sexual orientation without being gay.

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, John starts this race with much higher name recognition than Ballard had throughout most of his campaign last year. The key to those numbers is how high Carson's negatives are so soon in the campaign. Name recognition, as Bart Peterson learned, can be a double-edged sword.

Wilson46201 said...

Actually Gary, you know it's your GOP cohorts that have "issues" with gays and their allies. Your own Republican wingnut associates have labeled Jon Elrod a RINO, primarily on LGBT agendas. Your own Republican state legislators lust for SJR7 and your Washington GOP Congress and President push for a national Antigay Constitutional Amendment.

Still, a nice attempt by you to deflect away from the Republicans and the party-base 'discomfort' about LGBT equality!

Advance Indiana said...

I believe it was your own Julia Carson's campaign that ran the worst smear campaign in recent memory against the first openly gay congressional candidate in Indiana history, Kris Kiser.

Wilson46201 said...

It was NOT Julia's campaign but you will continue to believe whatever strikes your fancy...

indyernie said...

Gary I was impressed with Gabrielle Campo.
Gabrielle has a future in Indiana politics if she wants one. I hope the GOP reaches out to Ms Campo she could be a continder.

Advance Indiana said...

One of Julia's largest campaign contributors, Marla Stevens, published the dirt on Kiser, Wilson, as you know. Marla could not have obtained the information she published about him without the able assistance of others skilled in skullduggery.

Advance Indiana said...

I agree, IndyErnie, about Campo. The Republicans are always looking for good legislative candidates. I'm not sure where she lives, but she should give consideration to that.

Anonymous said...

I read Ms. Campo's website.

If that kind of effort impresses you, Ernie, you're going to be mightily disappointed in politics in the future.

It was pitiful.

Stupid Carolene Mays sent her poll around for all to see. When, oh when is she going to cross over and become a Republican?

It remains to be seen if our GLBT folks will support Jon or Andre. But we had strong choices in the Democratic caucus who did not prevail. That much we know.

indyernie said...

"Perhaps the most unusual moment during tonight's caucus came when Tandy, Williams and I all shared a conversation with Mayor Ballard. Nobody held any punches and Mayor Ballard gave back as good as we could dish out to him. Mayor Ballard is coming into his own now and his presence was very much felt in the room tonight."

Very understated Gary. It was more like Ballard walked into a buzz saw after being ran over and then backed over by a bus.
I must say that all involved in the conversation held their ground and a spirit of understanding came out of the encounter.
I'm confidant that Mayor Ballard will perform well as Mayor of Indianapolis. I trust that he will do as he stated all night "I will do the right thing" just as he encouraged us to do.
I still hear the “beep beep beep” of that Greyhound as it was backing up over Ballard.

Wilson46201 said...

I was as astonished as you were when I read the results of Marla's sleuthing skills online. I certainly had nothing to do with it.

By the way, do you think strong, clever women like Marla need the help of "others skilled in skullduggery"? Letting some misogyny slip there, Gary?

Wilson46201 said...

Most LGBT folk are also pro-choice as is André Carson. Jon Elrod is no moderate on that issue: he is just another GOP Right-to-Lifer...

Jon's seemingly good on LGBT issues as is André Carson.

We all will await Elrod having to finally take a position on the War in Iraq. Is he a loyal Bushzoid or a Ron Paulista?

Advance Indiana said...

The lady lives in Iowa, Wilson. Most of the information was sleuthed in the nation's capital where Kiser worked as a lobbyist. Marla had to have had a lot of help from another one of Ms. Carson's biggest political supporters and you know it. I wasn't thinking of you, Wilson. This person had to spend some big bucks on a private investigator to find out some of that information.

Advance Indiana said...

Robin Winston has just announced he won't run in the May primary for the Democratic nomination. He is supporting Carson.

indyernie said...

Robin Winston is a rude little toad. He wouldn't be a threat to anyone.

indyernie said...

I over heard Winston state that he was a fighter pilot...he’s to short to see over the console to fly a jet fighter.

Anonymous said...

As to Greg Ballard doing the "Right Thing"? Greg Ballard does not appear to have a clue about what the "Right Thing" is!
After only a few days of Greg Ballard as mayor, I have
"HAD ENOUGH OF GREG BALLARD!"

Wilson46201 said...

I am amused that Jocelyn Tandy will be running in the GOP primary in May - more Republicans will see what a hateful little bigot she is! She'll be muttering about Jon Elrod and "Sodom & Gomorrah"...

Now what's up with the ever-lovely Darla Y Williams? Why did the GOP yank her appointment?

Anonymous said...

Wilson: Obviously the GOP does not like educated Blacks with strong personalities. It is so very clear that the GOP prefers the rather Step-and Fetch-it Blacks that have been used for so long to deny the Black population true representation or inclusion. I wish that I could say the the Demos are any different. Bart Peterson had a lot of Blacks in his administration but none had any real authority. Can we really say that the Blacks currently blessed by the Indianapolis Plantation Owners are the very best representatives of the Black Community? Neither party wants representative and intelligent Blacks;they should all be happy that there are more than enough Toms and female field slaves/bed partners to go around! We are just waiting for the next slave ship to arrive to unload the new slaves! What ever happened to civil rights and strong freedom minded people?
Guess they sold out to get a pig foot dinner!

Anonymous said...

I did notice that there are no Black people in the pictures of the GOP Slating? Very interesting. Greg Ballard was not surrounded by the many Blacks that he had around him while he was running for office? What happened? Did the GOP call you out at a recent Klan meeting? You might as well keep your sheets on all the time! It is so obvious!

Anonymous said...

Where were the African Americans in your photos? This district is 30% African American.


IndyErnie ...way to dis and disparage a veteran of our armed services.....I dont know you to know if you are a short toad but you are a hate spewing toad.

Anonymous said...

I think that Jon has nothing to fear from being who he is.

Anonymous said...

I don't care whether I have a chance with him or not. I will be voting for him cause he is cute, cute, cute.

Anonymous said...

For the GLBT Democrats who are considering voting for Elrod to bolster David O chances in the primary. Don't bother. I didn't like the outcome of the caucus myself, but we have our guy and I will be supporting him. He is right on the war, children and GLBT issues.

Jon Elrod just another pretty face. Washington has plenty of those already.

Wilson46201 said...

Jon Elrod may be LGBT-friendly but he's no friend of straight women. He's just another GOP "Right-To-Lifer"...

Anonymous said...

Elrod's religion doesn't require women to walk two paces behind their husbands and otherwise live a subservient life like Carson's Muslim religion dictates. I'll trust Elrod with womens' rights over Carson any day, Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of Democrats -- even women (gasp!) -- are pro-life, especially in Indiana. Many Democratic black women are devoutly Christian and pro-life. So Wilson's new catch phrase might actually help Elrod. :)

Anonymous said...

I hope Jon Elrod realizes this basic fact, which has been well-known in Marion County Demo circles for years:

If you oppose the Center machine, be prepared for all kinds of personal attacks, true or untrue.

He'll be bloodied or trengthened, or both.

I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

indyernie said...

"Jon Elrod may be LGBT-friendly but he's no friend of straight women. He's just another GOP "Right-To-Lifer"..."

So Wilson are you are backing a candidate who supports killing babies to represent Indianapolis? Are you saying that Andre supports killing babies? Are you having a baby soon? To quote someone we all know, I don't think you have a "nickel in that dime".
Time will tell if our next Congressman is effective. We certainly know the definition of ineffective.
"Right to life" is right period.

indyernie said...

"IndyErnie ...way to dis and disparage a veteran of our armed services...."

The conversation that I overheard also included disrespect towards another Veteran by Winston. Robin is a putz. I have no respect for him or his opinions. I’m a veteran and I know BS when I hear it, I heard plenty that day.

indyernie said...

"Elrod's religion doesn't require women to walk two paces behind their husbands"

"Many Democratic black women are devoutly Christian and pro-life."

Wilson's such an idiot. Keep up the good work buddy.

Anonymous said...

The GOP's had young black guy on stage last night. Who is he and what role does he play? He wasn't a candidate but he seemed to know the who's who present last night, if you wanna call them that. I saw him joking around with Ballard

tjefferson said...

Reading through this conversation, you can just feel Wilson's panic at the prospect of facing Jon Elrod. So, as he's been so ably trained to do, he starts pulling arrows from the quiver and casting them about hoping one sticks. They don't have to be factual, fair, germane, meaningful, or ethical. Just attack with everything you can think of until the slime gets so thick that it obscurs the truth.

It's shameful, cynical, and deeply dishonest and it sullies the political process to the point that people are repelled from participating.

I would say that same thing about those who would smear Andre Carson with unfounded accusations about his religion. I just can't abide listening to Wilson cry about these attacks when he and his cohorts are absolute champions at the same smear tactics.

We now have a choice between two young men with very different levels of experience, different political philosphies, and different paths to their ambitions. Let's listen to them and make a choice without destroying either of them in the process.

What do you say, Wilson? Are you capable of conducting a politcial contest without your buckets of mud?

Anonymous said...

Please, Indyernie knock off the "baby killing" crap. If Republicans want to win that seat the only way they can is with a moderate. You are hurting the party more than you are helping it.

Anonymous said...

By the way Indyernie, "are YOU having a baby anytime soon"? Many GLBT people do have children and many GOP women are pro choice. If Elrod is ghoing to win this race he will have to have cross over votes.

Anonymous said...

I think that those possessed red eyes tell the story on Elrod.

tjefferson said...

tjefferson asked:

What do you say, Wilson? Are you capable of conducting a politcial contest without your buckets of mud?

Answer: silence

Anonymous said...

"The GOP's had young black guy on stage last night. Who is he and what role does he play?"

He was probably a former democrat who came to he's senses and switched parties.

Seriously and all joking aside it was Aaron Williams, son of Deputy Mayor Williams.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Elrod has promised to personally campaign at every single household in the district (a la Dick Nixon's promise to campaign in every state in 1960)?

I know that his other races were heavily affected by his herculean door-to-door efforts.

It will be impossible to make that kinda personal contact in the 7th Congressional District, which is more than ten times the size of HD 97 and considerably more heavily Democratic than his other races.

His best (albeit still hopeless) chance is in the special election.

He will also face fund raising problems, which he overcame with hard work walking door to door in his previous races. This approach is simply not feasible in a Congressional race (see above).

But thanks for coming out anyway (sigh).

Anonymous said...

Hoosier Access did a wonderful job of blogging live from the caucus. Thank you!

Jon, my donation to your campaign is on its way!

www.JonElrod.com

Anonymous said...

"Elrod's got a lot of catching up to do!"

Like Ballard?

Tired of the same old same old - no more Carsons.

Anonymous said...

"Actually Gary, you know it's your GOP cohorts that have "issues" with gays and their allies."

Wilson, as usual, you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

"Robin Winston is a rude little toad. He wouldn't be a threat to anyone."...and OH SO right about Peterson's win!

Anonymous said...

I see anon 1240, the bitter campaign volunteer is back...

Anonymous said...

The GOP's had young black guy on stage last night. Who is he and what role does he play? He wasn't a candidate but he seemed to know the who's who present last night, if you wanna call them that. I saw him joking around with Ballard

RESPONSE:

He's the Marion County Republican Parties black token, Avechino Reeves. Hired after the 2006 Elections. I can't imagine "what" he'd be capable of in the party, except be a flunky and token--which it appears he is, thats why he had no real role except to sit up there on stage, smiling and grinning, proof that the republican party is "inclusive" visible for the camera's and people to see; a hollow, empty shell with dark pigment. (PERIOD) But that's all the Marion County Republican party needs to meet the "good faith effort" at diversity.

Avechino ran for Mae Dickinson districts in 2006 at the same time as Eric Dickersons' campaign.

Like a slave he let David Brooks and the rest of the republican party tell him to stay away from the other "black" candidates, especially Eric Dickerson, thereby hurting both races.

Instead, he participated as part of a tag-along cast to bolster Carl Brizzi's "Grand Entrances". He did this for months, in Brizzi shadows, with Brizzi speaking and him just there as a token in the Brizzi campaign, just like lastnight, instead of a serious state rep. candidate. Someone forgot to tell him that people don't vote for "servants" and you don't get black votes by campaigning with a PROSECUTOR.

Of course he lost miserably in his predominately district because he did not campaign, (or maybe his handlers had him convinced that that WAS the way to campaign) insteading of hitching to Brother Dickerson, to hitch to a white man that refuses to give him a job after the election.

So, he's been mooching around for a job. He hold's some position with the Republican Party, doing what? I have no idea and don't care. He's no use to anybody but his exploiters. I hope they have fun with him, they deserve it if it gives it up so easily.

Anonymous said...

6:23 PM

Avachinno Reeves is Secretary of the Marion County Republican Central Committee, and is employed by the Indiana Secretary of State.

Anonymous said...

Jon isn't a member of "the club," I can vouch for that. :) I believe he just feels that the government shouldn't be involved in the marriage business.