Are you, I asked, qualified to occupy a seat in Congress?
"Absolutely," he said, not surprisingly. "You just have to look at my record."
Carson talked about his decade as a State Excise Police officer, a tenure that ended last year when he took a private-sector marketing job. He pointed to his short time as a city-county councilman. His campaign biography emphasizes his work on a park board and with a neighborhood group.
It's not a bad resume for a 33-year-old. But it's clearly not the kind of resume that would turn a guy named, say, Andre Johnson into the front-runner in a race for Congress . . .
"I'm ready because of my record of public service and because of my heart," Carson said. "It takes a real commitment to think and act for those who don't have a voice."
Carson talks frequently about "being my own man." But let's be honest: He is where he is because of his last name -- and that doesn't make him unqualified. He says years spent working beside his grandmother prepared him for office.
So how did Tully do in assessing the candidate? A good way of answering that question is to take a look at what Tully could have discussed in his analysis but either chose not to or was prohibited by his editors from writing about it. Let's begin with the 10 years Carson spent working as an excise police officer. How did he get that job? According to the Star's own archives, he got it with the help of his grandmother's former campaign manager, who landed a job running the state excise police after he successfully managed her first campaign. That man, Gene Honeycutt, was later removed from his post after he became embroiled in a scandal involving favoritism for certain strip clubs in town in exchange for sex. He was forced to resign and faced criminal charges for his actions as head of the Indiana State Excise police. According to Star reports at the time, Honeycutt hired Carson and another one of his relatives despite their having lower test scores than other more qualified candidates.
Tully also could have talked about Carson's ascension to his City-County Council seat by appointment less than six months ago. What was the first thing Carson did as a newly-appointed council member? He quit his state job and became a marketing specialist for Cripe, an engineering firm which does a lot of government work. Despite having no experience in the engineering field, Carson took a job which, at least from a public perception standpoint, expected him to trade on political favors to help win business for his new employer. That's not exactly a move which instills confidence in the public, is it? And what has Carson done since he's been on the council? There's no mention of anything he's attempted to do as an elected official. Sure, he's only been there a short time, but you would have thought he could have introduced a proposed ordinance or done something to demonstrate he's up to the job.
There's also that matter of the endorsement of Carson's candidacy by controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrahkan. Once again, no mention of that in the Star. Oh well, as Paul Harvey would say, and now you know the rest of the story.