Friday, January 11, 2008

Who Is Tom Rose?

Republican committeepersons in the 7th District will meet on Sunday at the State Fairgrounds to pick a candidate to run in the March 11 special election and the May primary election to succeed the late Rep. Julia Carson. While there has been a very public discussion of the crowded field of eight candidates on the Democratic side vying for their party's nod at tomorrow's Democratic caucus, the Republican race has been cloaked in secrecy. Neither the state nor county GOP has published any information on their websites about Sunday's caucus or the candidates vying for the nomination, let alone any public endorsements of the candidates. As we gather from Dan McFeely's report in today's Star, there are four Republicans competing for the nomination, only two of which are serious contenders. They are State Rep. Jon Elrod, the first candidate of either party to announce his candidacy for the 7th District seat and Tom Rose. As I've written extensively about Elrod in the past, this post is written to provide readers more information about the lesser-known Tom Rose, who today's Star describes as a "radio talk show host."

Rose, an Indianapolis native, is a 1980 graduate of Brandeis University and earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1985. Rose began his career in radio and television journalism and later served as a special assistant to former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith from 1992 to 1997. Rose took time out during the first Gulf War to volunteer for service in the Israel Defense Forces. Rose is best known for the job he later took as publisher and CEO of the Jerusalem Post from 1998 to 2004. Tom and his wife Rachel lived in Israel with their three children while he he ran the Jerusalem Post. Rose is a founder of Jerusalem-based Liberty Capital Partners, a private equity firm. After leaving the Jerusalem Post, Rose and his family returned to Indianapolis. Rose now co-hosts "The Bauer and Rose Show", a conservative radio talk show. He is also a frequent guest and sometimes guest host on WIBC's "Garrison" talk radio show and is a contributor to The Weekly Standard.

Rose had a very rocky tenure at the Jerusalem Post. While he boasts of his accomplishments there, many newspaper employees complained about his management style. Rose claims the newspaper was the world’s first newspaper to start its own all-news English language internet radio station; the first Israel paper to offer a Palm edition; email news alerts and SMS headlines and the first Israeli paper to offer same day home delivery in the New York area. According to one account, Rose had a bright yellow sign posted on his wall at the Post, which screamed "Tom Rose Go Home," a joking reference to what employees there thought of him. The newspaper was acquired by Hollinger International, the Canadian newspaper conglomerate, in 1989. Rose was criticized for shifting the newspaper's editorial comment further to the right. Sweeping cuts in jobs at the newspaper made him particularly unpopular among the newspaper's staff.

On November 17, 2003, Hollinger International announced plans to sell the Post after the company's CEO, Conrad Black, was forced to step down in the face of accusations he had paid improper fees to himself and other senior executives. In 2004, Hollinger fired Rose. In 2005, Rose filed a $2 million lawsuit in New York against Bret Stephens, a former Post editor in chief who later joined the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, claiming Stephens orchestrated his firing and defamed him in the process. Rose also sued Hollinger and the Chicago Sun-Times for unpaid severance benefit. At the center of the lawsuit is this e-mail message Stephens circulated about Rose days after his firing:

So many of us have been waiting for this day, and fighting for it, that we may be forgiven for thinking that Tom’s departure brings our problems to an end. It does not. It will be some time before we can undo the damage he wrought: To our finances, to our reputation, to our business relationships, to our morale, to the quality of our editorial product …. What we can say is that, with Tom gone, we can begin to address our problems in a rational and purposeful way.
Rose claimed Stephens' assertions in the e-mail were false. According to the New York Observer, former staffers at the Post described Rose as exhibiting an "abusive and erratic management style in his campaign to slash the Post’s costs." Those decisions he made left the newspaper in a "perilous financial state" according to the Observer. Hirsh Goodman, a former executive at the Post, told the Observer that Rose was "an impossible person to work with." Goodman related one particular incident with Rose after he traveled to London to meet with Black to discuss problems with Rose's management style. When he returned to Jerusalem, Goodman said Rose told him, "The next time you go behind my back, I’ll tear your tongue out of your head!” Rose denied Goodman's account according to the Observer.

Laying aside Rose's management style, his political views are staunchly conservative. His pro-Israeli views sometimes collide with even the supportive Bush administration. On social issues, he takes a hard line on hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage according to an interview he gave with Greg Garrison this week. In campaign literature he mailed to committeepersons, Rose says under the heading "God and Public Life" that he: wants to "restore the principle of freedom of religion, not freedom from religion; "protect public displays of faith . . . threatened by a vocal majority; and "end the secular assault on God . . . that threatens our entire system of government." That contrasts with his more socially-moderate opponent, Jon Elrod, who opposes legislative attempts to enact a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, supports equal rights in employment for gays and lesbians and supports hate crimes legislation, all of which are anethema to the religious right Rose is clearly wooing. Elrod is equally as conservative on fiscal matters, however. He supports efforts to streamline government through consolidation, cut spending and repeal Indiana's unfair property tax.

Rose's candidacy would represent a first. If he becomes the next U.S. Representative of the 7th District, he will become Indiana's first Jewish member of Congress. Interestingly, a leading Democratic candidate, State Rep. David Orentlicher is also Jewish. If both are successful in winning their respective nominations, the 7th District will be assured of sending its first Jewish representative to Congress. The 7th District race could become even more fascinating if Rose is chosen to face off against City-County Councilor Andre Carson in the March 11 special election. I believe Carson would become the first practicing Muslim to be elected to Congress from Indiana, and he would become only the second Muslim member of the current U.S. House of Representatives. According to an interview Carson gave to fellow blogger Ruth Holladay, he is "an Orthodox, universal, secular Muslim" who "frequently attends" services at Nur-Allah Islamic Center. Radio talk show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz joked earlier today about a possible face-off between Rose and Carson. "By the way, the most fun match up would be Tom Rose and Andre Carson, because I can’t wait to see what happens when Rose loses it and calls Carson (who is a Muslim) an “Islamofacist” during a debate and all hell breaks loose," Shabazz quipped.

So it looks like this year's 7th District race could become a first for several things. The parties' respective caucuses this weekend should determine just how many firsts there are. Stay tuned. It's going to be interesting.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am going to pick up a D ballot and vote for Sanders.

Anonymous said...

That will be hard to do...there will be only one nonpartisan ballot and it will have 1 Democrat, 1 republican and possibly a libertarian. Everyone will receive the identical ballot. Only if Joanne Sanders is on selected by the caucus tomorrow will she be on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

7:18, I think you're confused. This isn't going to be a primary election. I assume you are not a precinct committeeman, so you get no say in the nominations.

Anonymous said...

Why arent the other two candidates viable, Gary? Just curious..

Advance Indiana said...

First, I've never heard of either one of the other two candidates. Secondly, nobody else I talked to knew anything about them.

Advance Indiana said...

The Indiana Week In Review panel tonight seemed to think Rose was the favorite on the GOP side, although Ann DeLaney asked if he was a resident, noting he had lived "somewhere in the Middle East" for a period of time. They also think Andre is the likely candidate with Orentlicher having the next best shot.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Rose's management style mirrored his former boss', Steve Goldsmith.

Anonymous said...

I heard Campo today on Shabazz's show, I got a flyer from her in the mail, and spoke with her this evening. I think she'd be a great GOP representative, and I will cast my vote for her on Sunday.

Rose? No.

Elrod? Let's see..2004-Center Twp board..2006-In H/R..2008-attempted run at US Congress. While I admire professional advancement, should not one actually gain professionalism by holding one job for more than an election cycle?

Advance Indiana said...

"While I admire professional advancement, should not one actually gain professionalism by holding one job for more than an election cycle?"

And what office has Campo been elected to previously?

Anonymous said...

Oh 7:52, never assume.....

Anonymous said...

Does one have to hold a political office (previously) in order to run for one? I think not, and to suggest that one does strikes me as an aristocratic notion, which I dont believe you share, Gary, in that you support or have written about a Pollard candidacy...right?

Advance Indiana said...

It isn't a requirement to hold public office and, in some cases, it's actually a benefit if the candidate hasn't held public office. Both Hillary and Obama started running for president almost as soon as they got elected to the Senate. The Center Township Board Jon was elected to was simply an advisory board--no big deal in leaving it 2 years after he was elected to it. Also, Jon could not control the timing of when Carson died. He announced he was running in the 2008 election before she died, which would have allowed him to fill out his full 2-year term. If he was planning to seek the party's nomination for the general election, it would not have made sense for him to bypass the special election just so he could complete his full House term. If Orentlicher is elected, he will have to give up his seat. If Andre is elected, he will have to give up the council seat he was just elected to for the first time. On Campo, you present no credentials which make her uniquely qualified to hold one of 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Anonymous said...

www.campoforcongress.org

Wilson46201 said...

Loved her endorsers!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Elrod and Campo would be decent choices. I would like to hear where Campo stands on gay issues. Rose sounds like he's psycho.

Anonymous said...

Please, Republicans, puh-leeeeeeeze, nominate Tom Rose.

alittlebirdy said...

The fix is in folks.

The GOP party apparatus spread the word yesterday in calls to PC's that Rose was the pick.

THey don't expect him to win. His views don' conform to the district. What the expect is for him to raise a lot of $$ he can then share with someone (back to Brizzi again?) for a fall campaign or another federal campaign (Burton? Pres?) so they can have some clout with someone.

Obviously, Elrod's record suggests the guy most likely to be able to win in the 7th on positions and his history of working to win his leg. seat.

But sadly that's not the point.

A 7th district Ward Chair said...

From the picture on her web page I would say she is attractive. That does not mean qualified. As a ward chair, I would not want to support someone who has not been an active member of the party. Everyone has the right to run in the primary, but if you want the party to endorse you then you should actually be a player. I for one would say to her to get involved and run in a few years if she wants party backing.

Tom Rose has sone nothing for the party. He has not even been in Indiana for the better part of the last 10 year or more. Why should he get the support. Especially if Gary is accurate about his past employment.

Jon Elrod, I feel, is the only viable candidate. He has proven twice now that he is up to the challenge of a difficult fight. As a republican he won a seat on the center twnshp advisory board. That is not an easy task. He was able to win a house seat against a very difficult person to beat with the name recognition of Maher. His willingness to walk every neighborhood and knock on every door makes him a great candidate. Not only that but when he has the voters at the door he seems to be able to win them over. If we don't support Elrod then we will be making a huge mistake.

To Elrods critics, just remember that this is a short session this year. At the end he will have completed his duties as 97th rep. He would not be bailing on his voters if he wins and leaves unlike many of the democrats who have decided to run.

Anonymous said...

To GOP committee people, THINK! Speak to the idiots who head this party and tell them the people out here are tired of thier shenanigans. THEY have disenfranchised their own party. They have to stop this, NOW!

Anonymous said...

Tom Rose is a 4-alarm a-hole, and anyone who has dealt with him personally knows to run screaming from the exits over this guy. And if the Repubs are counting on northside Jews to support him with cash and votes, they can think again.

Elrod is the guy.

Peter said...

Does one have to hold a political office (previously) in order to run for one? I think not, and to suggest that one does strikes me as an aristocratic notion, which I dont believe you share, Gary, in that you support or have written about a Pollard candidacy...right?

That's exactly backwards, I think. It's *not* an aristocratic notion that one should have had prior experience in a lesser capacity before assuming greater responsibility. This is the general way that both our political system and our economic system function - with the caveat that *sometimes* talented outsiders with no prior political experience are able to come in and do a good job.

What strikes *me* as aristocratic is the conceit that political power is hereditary - the idea that because one's say - grandmother - had a particular political position, the grandson is entitled to the position notwithstanding the grandson's lack of: (1) political experience; and (2) any other experience suggesting that he is qualified.

guido said...

Though i would admire Mr Rose for his convictions to serve in the IDF I would wonder why not serve with his countrymen and women. Before I am labeled an anti zionist, I would question where his loyalties would lie concerning issues in the mid east and general foreign policy issues. Sorry, not meaning to offend anyone, just thinking.

Anonymous said...

You dont even have to take into any consideratons of his stance on any issue to know that he is a five star pain in the behind......he is a wingnut and the base would abandon him in droves............

dark horse said...

Carson will be challenge, trust me he will be challenge. It will be the story of how David slain the giant. It will and it is going to happen.






Sincerely


DARK HORSE

Anonymous said...

"Wilson46201 said...
Loved her endorsers!"
I agree, those are exactly the type of endorsers District 7 needs in order to put a candidate like Ms. Campo into office. She seems well-connected to the people, so she would have no problem getting out the vote.

Anonymous said...

3:16--you DO realize, don't you, that she has no endorsers on that website? That she's basically playing a bluff hand?

And rather poorly I might add. Kinda Elmer Fuddish.

I mention this only because if you're going to that caucus tonight, otherwise known as a GOP clusterf---, I wouldn't want you talking about "all her endorsers."

Better folks think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Be vewy vewy qwiet...it's a waskilly wabbit.

Chris Douglas said...

(I am advised by a precinct committeeman in the 7th that a Rose campaigner called to encourage a vote this evening, but in the process denigrated Elrod's positive positions about the gay community and cast unsavory aspersions on Carson's religious character. That committeeman who was previously not all that excited about attending the caucus, has resolved to do so and to vote for Elrod, characterizing the content of the call from the Rose camp as the work of nasty people. The conversation as it was relayed to me is hearsay, and therefore may not be entirely reliable, but perhaps valuable nevertheless as an additional data point about Rose.)

trifle said...

Having worked very closely with Rose from the beginning of his tenure at the Jerusalem Post, I'm sorry to say that the various stories about him are 100% true.

However, I have no criticism of this since his job at the Post was to sort out a highly inefficient company which he made tremendous headway in doing.

What is more concerning is his unpredictable behaviour. Having no knowledge of US politics, I cannot comments whether this is an advantage or disadvantage. Certainly in Israeli politics this could be construed as an advantage.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Tom Rose at the Jerusalem Post. He caved into one of his bosses, David Radler and withdrew $75,000 from the Post's "Forget Me Not" fund, a toy fund for hapless children, and gave it to Haifa university, which responded by giving the now discredited Radler an honorary doctorate. When the university learned the source of the money, they withdrew the honor. Radler, to avoid jail time, agreed to testify against HIS colleague Conrad Black, who recently received a jail sentence for his activities as CEO of Hollinger Co., former Post owners.

Martin said...

Tom graduated from North Central High School in 1980, so probably not from Brandeis until at least 1983.