Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prince Of The City: "A Typical Black Democrat Precinct Captain"

Former Star editorial writer RiShawn Biddle pens an unflattering portrait of Democratic 7th District congressional candidate Andre Carson in the latest edition of the American Spectator. "[Carson's] own brief record resembles a typical black Democrat precinct captain rather than a change-agent, which essentially makes him a creature of the very culture voters are rejecting," Biddle writes. Discussing the challenge he faces in defeating State Rep. Jon Elrod (R) in a special election on March 11, Biddle writes:

As the grandson of the late Indiana congresswoman Julia Carson and the favorite of the Indianapolis political machine she so carefully cultivated in her lifetime, Andre Carson should be a shoo-in to take over her open congressional seat.

The fact that the district is a Democrat stronghold, along with the backing he has gotten from such prominent leaders as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senator (and fellow scion) Evan Bayh, should ease his path to power.

But as the seat comes up for a special election next month, Carson petit-fils is struggling to defeat his Republican opponent, Jon Elrod, who made a splash two years ago by ousting a Democrat from the state house from a seat that both he and his brother had held for 30 years.

At the same time, Carson junior faces challenges from three heavy hitters within his own party in the congressional primary in May. If he can clear both of those hurdles, he will still have to take on Elrod again in the general election in November.

He is also is dogged by suspicions about his ties to the Islamic community, especially after Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan essentially endorsed the younger Carson during a eulogy at his grandmother's funeral two months ago. Carson the younger distances himself from Farrakhan by claiming that his grandmother invited him. Said Carson in a recent interview about his faith: "I am multifaceted."

Biddle takes on the corrupt political culture in Center Township that has taken its toll on the city's African-American community and the old-style black political machine it represents. He has particularly harsh words about both older and younger Carson politicos. Biddle writes:

The younger Carson could manage to keep the seat in the family. But his struggles show the difficulty of sustaining old-style black political machines, many of which were built during the Civil Rights era on race-baiting, appeals to black pride, and the doling out of welfare benefits.

As younger generations of blacks realize the extent of the damage to their communities wrought by this archaic form of leadership, even heirs apparent will strain to articulate reasons for continuing the status quo . . .

Carson fils is a onetime rapper, former state excise police officer and flunky in the state's homeland security agency. He snagged his only political office -- a seat on Indianapolis' city-county council -- after one of his grandmother's proteges resigned when it was revealed that he didn't live in the district. Although physically imposing, the soft-spoken youngster lacks his grandmother's authoritativeness . . .

The corrupt antics of the elder Carson's allies -- especially then-council president Monroe Gray -- along with rising crime and a 65-percent increase in the city's county-option income tax, finally brought voter anger to a boil.

Those scandals and grievances reminded voters of the reality that quality of life hardly improved under Carson's grandmother. The city's largest school district, Indianapolis Public Schools, admitted that four in ten students who made up its original class of 2007 dropped out, while another 13 percent will likely follow. The city's job base, once far more robust than its Rust Belt rivals', has barely grown this decade.

Blacks, including the 25 percent who live in poverty, were especially hard hit as seven years of skyrocketing felonies -- including a near-record 153 reported homicides in 2006 -- devastated their neighborhoods. This decline, along with the corruption of her allies and her own dirty politicking, colors the very legacy of the elder Carson on which her grandson is running. His own brief record resembles a typical black Democrat precinct captain rather than a change-agent, which essentially makes him a creature of the very culture voters are rejecting.

While Biddle is critical of Carson, he speaks approvingly of his GOP opponent. "So a challenger like Elrod, a socially moderate Republican who is known for attending closely to his constituents, would seem more attractive than the younger Carson, who, like his grandmother, represents more of the same," he writes.

It's too bad a voice like Biddle's no longer exists at the Star. He was driven out of town by the corrupt Carson political machine because he spoke the truth about them from the perspective of an educated, informed and independent voice within the African-American community. His departure has left a real vacuum in local news media coverage on these matters, leaving Amos Brown alone to practice the tired and worn out race-baiting in which he engages every election in this city to galvanize black voters to fall in line with the corrupt Carson political machine.

Hat tip to the numerous Advance Indiana readers who e-mailed a link to Biddle's article today.

18 comments:

Vox Populi said...

Oh my god... you mean to tell me Carson's black?

Advance Indiana said...

It's a quote from Biddle, Vox Populi. And by the way, if I were to show the comment you attempted to post about Jon Elrod on my site the other day to David Orentlicher, he would be pushing you as far away from his campaign as possible as the Carson campaign should have done with Wilson Allen long ago.

Vox Populi said...

I'm not with a candidate at the moment, AI. I'm still shopping, but I'm not inclined to vote for Mr. Carson. And don't try to make it look like I said something terrible about Mr. Elrod.

Advance Indiana said...

You were saying something false about him, Vox Populi. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Gary. I didn't always agree with RiShawn, but I really miss him.

Vox Populi said...

Ok, Mr. Welsh. I'll not post that on this site. I'll head over to Blue Indiana and write a diary about my suspicions.

Advance Indiana said...

It would fit right in with the rumor and innuendo that Thomas has allowed Wilson Allen to make his blog into.

Anonymous said...

Bring back RiShawn Biddle!

Vox Populi said...

Thomas does a great job with his site. Wilson is a special case. I think we all disapprove of his tactics and behavior.

Anonymous said...

Andre Carson strikes me as just another Kwame Kilpatrick riding that tired old '60's machine all the while their neigborhoods bleed and crumble.
Carson won't make out of the primary. After March 11 the real fight begins.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Anon 8:49, let me share a story from you, and I am not making this up. I was visiting a multi Service Center, I will not share the location, however. I was talking to a African American woman who said that she has recieved mailers from the Carson campaign. And this is what she said: "These so called black leaders or political cronies if you will, continues to play as if the African American community cannot think for themselves, moreover, she said that she will not support Carson nor will her husband. They through it in the trash". Mr. Carson in his many ads continue to avoid the issues, rolling back Bush tax cuts, universal health care, and safer streets. Mr. Amos Brown needs to understand we do appreciate you here in Indianapolis, but it is time for a change, and Mr. Carson is not the one who can deliver the seventh district, nor is Jon Elrod for that matter. Billy Bro, Bill Crawford, Carl Slummer, and Macy Johnson I hope you are reading this. Wilson, you should start preparing to choose your nursing home sweet heart, because it's right around the corner.



DARK Horse

Marti said...

LOL, you're impugning Thomas? That's about the funniest thing I've heard all week. Tell me, did Rishawn call Andre a zip coon?

harry callahan said...

Great post AI. Your last paragraph speaks volumes about our local media.

It brings to mind the pathetic apology Dennis Ryerson staged with the old school Carson machine and the now defunct former mayor. He and Bart looked like two little boys that were taken out to the woodshed and spanked!

Anonymous said...

Biddle should watch out. No doubt Andre will threaten him as he has others.

I have to agree with 758, thanks for posting this AI.

Anonymous said...

Marti, there must be some rock somewhere you can crawl back under. Geeeeesh.

A good post, Gary, but RiShawn gets tripped up on small details that could easily be researched.

The Maherns have not held that House seat for 30 years. Redistricting has changed it substantially, paritcularly in the 90s. But brother Louis was in the Senate, not the House.

RiShawn was fired becuase he didn't check enough facts. His firey writing was and is entertaining, and mostly spot-on. But when someone routinely forgets to check the little facts, which could easily be checked, it makes editors wonder about the bigger facts.

The overall tone of the RiShawn article is correct.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 6:03, I suspect RiShawn was tacking on the many years Louis Mahern served in the legislature to Ed Mahern's time.

Anonymous said...

Marti, you need to go out and buy some new batteries.

Anonymous said...

Ed Mahern held his seat for ten years. He defeated an incumbent Republican. His brother,Louis, served 4 terms in the sate Senate from 76'to 92'. The Mahern-Elrod election was tainted by the fact that one heavily Democratic precinct in Beech Grove received the wrong ballots that contained neither Elrod or Mahern's names. The 8 vote difference between the two candidates could esaily have been made up in that precinct. The State election board voted 2-1, along party lines, to uphold the results, effectivly disenfranchising the voters of that precinct.