Monday, February 25, 2008

Johnson And Miller Withdraw; Voters Will Have No Choice

The election of Marion County's new Republican superior court judges is over before the race began. Judges Kenneth Johnson and Gary Miller officially withdrew their candidacies before the deadline for removing their names from the May primary. The two filed to run despite not being re-slated by the Marion County Republican Party. All eight candidates slated by the party will automatically be elected to the bench. Judge Miller left this comment here this morning explainng his decision: "After discussing the matter with family, friends, and political advisors, I have decided to withdraw from the race." "Under the circumstances, my family and I simply do not want to spend the next 10 weeks on an intense political campaign to the exclusion of all else." It appears the non-slated Democratic judicial candidates took the same path as their Republican counterparts and withdrew. The voters will have no say. Welcome to the Soviet Union.

This slating system in both parties in Marion County has got to go. The Democrats didn't even bother to require their incumbent judges to face opposition. They were automatically given one of the eight slots on the ballot. The challengers had to fight among themselves for the open slots. What happened at the Democrats' slating for the 7th District congressional race was downright criminal. The vote was simply stolen and everyone knows it. Non-compliant committeepersons were simply replaced with compliant committeepersons. Democrats, particularly Marion County Auditor Billie Breaux, should be ashamed of her treatment of other Democrats in her pursuit of Andre Carson's anointment to the 7th District seat. First, she was extremely rude to Rep. Carolene Mays at an earlier candidates forum, basically accusing her of being a Republican. And then at a recent fundraising dinner for Indiana Equality she tore into State Rep. David Orentlicher for daring to challenge her dear Andre for the 7th district nomination. Rep. Orentlicher could not have been more supportive in the past of Rep. Carson and many of the other Center Township Democrats, but it counts for nothing when you dare to oppose them and one of their candidates. Our system of electing folks here in Marion County makes us the laughing stock of the country. We deserve the absolute worst government we have for allowing this to happen year after year.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the precinct committee
persons system and you can get rid of slating, assuming that the party bosses then wouldn't name the primary candidates themselves. I'm still amazed that 150 or so didn't show up for the 7th Dist. Demo special election slating convention.

Advance Indiana said...

Precinct committeepersons serve elsewhere just fine without the need for slating. That many committeepersons were absent because there were a lot of vacancies which couldn't be filled after a certain deadline. Those vacancies were primarily outside of Center Township, of course.

Wilson46201 said...

Get rid of precinct people? HUH? Those are the fundamental grassroots elected-by-voters neighborhood political leaders. Those PCs in turn elect the County Chair. County Chairs in turn elect Congressional District Chairpeople who comprise the State Central Committee. That State CC elects the State Chair.

In other words, the voters of each party elect the precinct people. All flows upwards from there.

If a precinct is vacant for whatever reason, the County Chair can appoint an acting precinct committeeperson.

Anonymous said...

Auditor Breaux is a decent enough lady, but she is four-square behind Carson. That is no surprise and she doesn't try to hide it.

She'd better get used to challenges. She is part of the county party leadership team. That team should've paid more attention to the county offices--they had to scramble to get a coroner candidate, and get Bones Ackles out of the way. A couple weeks late.

It's not like they had no warning the guy was a goof and an embarrassment.

Andre might pull it out Mar. 11, but there's no way in hell he'll win May 6. Will Auditor Breaux be behind the primary winner?

(Who will be David O.)

As for her treatment of Rep. Mays--that was long overdue. Carolene is a DINO, and there are many committeepersons lying in the tall grass waiting on her. She stood in front of a group of GLBT committeepersons and told us she thought her SJR7 vote was the right thing to do. She's got that Mays entitlement mentality down-pat. She won't get 15%.

Best news on that front: she can't run for COngress and re-electin, so after May 6, she's gone from elective office. Thank God.

I'm a Demo and typically stay out of your party's nonsense, Gary, but we're pleased Miller and Johnson aren't running. I'm not sure what your leadership was thinking there...but thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the compliment, AI..those of us in Center Twp like to be involved in our government and make sure that our posts are filled. It is kind that you recognize our efforts.

Wilson46201 said...

By the way, Center Township precincts are only 30% or so of the 7th District precincts. After this re-precincting, it's probably down to around 25% or so.

André Carsons support at the Nominating Caucus came from all over the District -- it was hardly confined to just Center Township. You do realize Billie Breaux lives in Lawrence Township, dont you?

Vox Populi said...

I completely agree with you that the slating process should be eliminated. Party resources should not be used against other members of the same party.

While I don't agree that Marion County deserves the worst government in the country, I believe that with the election of Ballard and the Republicans, we are likely to get it.

Advance Indiana said...

Don't kid yourself anon, 8:56. The Democratic race is over if Carson wins the March 11 special election. I don't care if David O spends a million dollars it isn't going to be enough to make a difference. He is just one of 8 candidates sprinkled on a ballot below Carson's name at the top of the ballot. If David O was smart, he would use some of that money he's piled up and go on the offensive against Carson now before March 11. They are already hitting David O hard in the black community with their typical anti-Semitic crap. There is too much on the line here. David O is making a horrible mistake in lying low until after the March 11 primary. Carolene Mays and Woody Myers have been nearly invisible since their announcements. They appear to be non-factors at this point.

Advance Indiana said...

Yes, I do, Wilson. Recall that I was the one who pointed out that she among many of your other esteemed Marion County Democratic elected officials had failed to pay their property tax bills. Speaking of Breaux, does she do any work for the taxpayers as our paid County Auditor, or does she just spend every day working on Carson's campaign?

Wilson46201 said...

As an attorney, you should know by now that elected public officials dont punch a time clock. Maybe you'll learn it in a CLE class...

Well, last year nobody could accuse Prosecutor Carl Brizzi of spending much time campaigning for Ballard, could they now?

Anonymous said...

You are so right Advance Indiana! Most of the slated judges are jokes! Especially Marilyn Moores! Her Daddy got her the job!

Anonymous said...

I've been a precinct committemen and ward chairman for 20 years. What Wilson describe is pure pie in the sky stuff, not how it is really. How many PCs are elected in the primary? A small percent of the total. Whenever a county chairman wants to rig slating he just appoints scores of "mummy dummies" to fill vacancies to swing the slating. That's why the system doesn't work.

In the late 1980s, GOP Chairman Sweezy was behind a bill that changed the timing of the election of the County Chairman. It used to be that precinct committeement were elected every 2 years then a couple months later would vote for the county chairman. Only elected PCs could vote.

A bill going through the legislature in the mid 1980s (the Sweezy forevery bill) changed that. It made the elections every 4 years, and changed it so the PCs were elected AFTER the county chairman. Thus the county chairman now has 3 1/2 years between the PC election. Who picks the PCs when there is a vacancy...the county chair! You're talking a ton of PC openings in 3 1/2 years. In short, a county chairman now picks his own voters in the county convention. It's a sweet deal.

Wilson46201 said...

AI said:
"They are already hitting David O hard in the black community with their typical anti-Semitic crap."

Who is this "they" of whom you speak? How are you so amazingly cognizant of talk out in the Black community? Do you have any real, credible sources or are you just making stuff up?

As André Carson clearly states on his website: Discrimination & bigotry should not be tolerated on any level, whether the issue at hand concerns ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Advance Indiana said...

You of all people to ask, Wilson-- the person organizing the whispering campaign against Elrod. You decry racism against your dear Andre and then post the same invective falsehoods about Elrod all over the Internet, including the Star's Talkback section and this blog.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of slating? That would leave you two options:

1.) Appointment: Which would not remove the political aspect, it would only shove it further behind closed doors. Decisions would be made by a single person or a small committee, meaning vastly fewer opinions are considered. Several hundred opinions from active, educated PC's are considered in a slating.

2.) Open Primary: The overwhelming majority of voters know absolutely nothing about judicial candidates. You might as well use the ball machines down at the Hoosier Lottery to pick the candidates.

If anyone seriously thinks the slating system should be scrapped, tell us which one you would choose!

tjefferson said...

Wilson bloviated:
"As an attorney, you should know by now that elected public officials dont punch a time clock. Maybe you'll learn it in a CLE class..."

Once again, a low level government clerk attempts to belittle someone with more education, more professional credentials, more skill and more brains, revealing a deep envy of people who actually have succeeded in life without rooting at the public trough. It says so much about the MC Democrat Party that this is their go-to girl for the dirty work.

MissouriDemocrat said...

There is no such thing as slating in Missouri where the party choses to stay out of the primary process. Insiders have their desires, make it known, but the voters decide in the end. So many times the voters have overruled the insiders that the insiders are often times scared to make an endorsement. Thats the way it should be. Slating is nothing more than another word for Smokey Back Room politics. But again, only in Indiana would such a practice survive the many calls for reform.

Anonymous said...

10:44, I've been involved in the Dem Party as long or longer than Wilson.

Don't make the mistake of assuming he speaks for all precinct people in our party. He does not, by a long shot.

And for what it's worth, David O. and a couple dozen volunteers were out door-to-dooring it last weekend, and will do so every weekend until May 6. I am guessing you'll see him at the polls Mar. 11, too.

He will win May 6, regardless what happens Mar.11.

And Andre's nominating convention support was probably from all over the distrifct--but only by a hair did he escape a second ballot. On a second ballot, as anyone who was there will testify, would've been hell on him.

7th district (shortening the name) said...

I commend Johnson and Miller on a wise decision. It does not matter if you agree with slating or not. The fact is that it is the system we use. Don't hate the players, hate the game. The fact that they withdrew shows that they atleast have some respect for the PC's.

Anonymous said...

What to do, what to do? Well, Wilson, I have no idea who the PCs are, or why they are chosen to represent me. I've done more reading, research, and questioning in the past year about our local government than I have ever done previously, and I stand disillusioned, to say the least. This is an exclusive club, both Rs and Ds, my fellow ignorants. I'm sorry, the average citizen isn't as politically savvy as those who make it their life goal to move up party ranks. And I no longer believe that political candidates, on any local level, care one whit about what the majority feels. They don't need to. They only need to stay in good graces with the power brokers of their local party. I have attended meetings and heard the voters basically described as no more than peons who need someone to tell them what to do. The media won't provide true information. The candidates certainly won't, unless they attempt to sling mud at each other. We are left to blogs, with mixed results. Wilson, you truly represent all that I've come to despise in local political activity. Do I vote? Do I abstain? Does it matter? The whole thing just makes me feel dirty, and stupid. But then, perhaps thats the point. For if I abstain, and sit silent, the machine just keeps rolling along. Sorry for the rant. I realize that I just wasted my time trying to present a view that carries no weight.

Anonymous said...

Let people run in the primary without precinct committee persons
and without slating. That's the way that it's done in other counties. Is anyone, other than Wilson, naive enough to believe that PCP know the judicial candidates well enough to intelligently pick them in slating? PCP were in the past used for obtaining political clearance
for patronage jobs and still are used when there's a resignation or death in office to select a temporary successor (except Judicial candidates). I'd wager that 99% of voters don't even know who their PCP is.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what REALLY happened? Miller had to know going into it that his campaign would need to be intense. I don't buy that as he reason for withdrawing. And what about Johnson? No word from him?

Anonymous said...

So what do you think these fellows were promised in exchange for not running? Remember when the Democrats failed to slate an African-American and Steve Eicholtz came off the slate so Grant Hawkins could step in? Steve Eicholtz got a partnership at Locke-Reynolds in exchange for being a "team" player. (Then when he could not cut it as a partner, Ed Treacy stepped in and appointed Eicholtz to the bench - but that's another story).

Anonymous said...

Gary, not all dems pulled out. Per SOS website, Kimberly Brown is still listed.

Anonymous said...

Miller and Johnson still listed per SOS.

Anonymous said...

"So what do you think these fellows were promised in exchange for not running?"

Let's all remember there is an open Federal Magistrate position in Indianapolis and we have a Republican Governor friendly with our Republican Prez.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the Federal Magistrate positions are selected by the judges of the Distrcit, not by the President. There is no opening until after Magistrate Lawrence is confirmed to replace Tinder as Judge.

As for slating, there seem to be definate inequities in the system generally. As a general proposition, I suppose the parties should be able to declare whom they support. But if the system favors those endorsed candidates to the detriment of voters themselves having a choice, there needs to be a change. Judges should be appointed, as they are in several Indiana counties.