Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lugar's Problems Don't Include Not Having A Residence In Indiana According To Tully

It's the big elephant in the room Indiana's mainstream news media wants to pretend isn't there when it comes to Sen. Richard Lugar. I'm talking about the fact that Lugar hasn't maintained a residence in Indiana for more than three decades. Instead, he lives in hotels when he visits the state. Yet reporters like Matt Tully want to malign voters and political opponents every time they discuss Lugar's difficult challenge in winning re-election to an unprecedented seventh term. In his mind, they're just too angry and too stupid to know what a great thing they have in Lugar.

Tully's latest defense of the out-of-touch senator, instead, focuses on reminding us that he's "civil, statesmanlike" who needs to figure out how to get non-Republicans to come out in this year's primary to vote for him without "alienating conservatives". Tully resumes his role as Lugar's number one fan by telling him that he needs to emphasize to Republican voters that he's the candidate "most likely to win the general election" though he acknowledges that being in the Senate "for nearly 40 years" has its disadvantages given the current national mood. Tully assures us that Lugar is working "to mend relationships with local party leaders and activists", but it's "not a natural area of strength."

What is Tully? A paid campaign adviser for Lugar, or a political columnist? People are sick and tired of this gratuitous and condescending ass-kissing of a man by the news media who has been given more than enough time in the Senate to stroke and soothe his personal ego. Every time Tully writes another story about what a great statesman Lugar is, he spits on the Pulitzer prize-winning, former reporters at the Indianapolis Star whose investigative reporting uncovered the depths of the corruption within the City of Indianapolis when Lugar served as its mayor. In a five-part series, a fellow blogger, John Michael Vore, portraits Indianapolis under Lugar as being wide open to criminal syndicates to operate during the Lugar years based largely on the reporting and retelling of those years by Dick Cady in his book "Deadline: Indianapolis." Forget the the mythological BS you've been fed for years about how Lugar built the city up from a backwater naptown. Learn the real history, something Tully and most of the other reporters in Indiana today are obviously incapable of doing.

The South Bend Tribune's Kevin Allen has an equally gratuitous piece today touting Lugar's re-election in an opinion piece masquerading as a news story.

8 comments:

Vox Populi said...

Lugar is part of a dying breed of politicians from both parties--someone who can intelligently work with the other side and compromise on legislation. Congress is getting more extreme and as you can see, nothing is getting done. People have a lower opinion of it than ever.

People should learn from his example, not try to replace him with a right-winger (or left-winger, for that matter) who thinks compromise is a four-letter word.

Paul K. Ogden said...

The Indianapolis Star has gone from Dick Cady to Matt Tully and they wonder why they're having trouble selling newspapers.

patriot paul said...

Once again, Matt Tully cites peripheral matters, just as he did in his first story. This time he wants to play adviser and submit tactical items he thinks would help Lugar to ingratiate himself to a better campaign. It is amazing that 2 different attempts to bolster Lugar come without any mention of policy issues that have conservatives and tea partiers upset. If he dares writes a third column, I hope he focuses on his voting record and policy differences. Once again Tully has picked low hanging straw man rhetoric instead of dealing with the seriousness of the issue. I expected better of him.

David Welsh Hume said...

When Senator Lugar visits Indiana, since he does not live here, taxpayers pay his expensive hotel bill and his meals.

Congress is in session about 120 days a year. According to Congressional records, Senator Lugar spends an average of 40 days in Indianapolis and visits two other Indiana cities each year. His visits to Indiana communities are confined to giving speeches at important events. He does not conduct town hall meetings. He has visited perhaps a dozen of Indiana’s 92 counties since he was elected to the Senate and sold his Indiana home over thirty years ago.

He is a stranger out of touch with Hoosier issues and voters.

John Michael Vore said...

In the skyboxes of U.S. Senate politics, Hoosiers, in the last 25 years, have not found or taken much that is new. As for Senator Lugar being of an old breed, that certainly is true: he comes from a corrupt and criminal-conspiracy racked Marion County Republican Party which in the 70s was locked arm and arm with the mafia (via the Teamsters) and the numbers racket/ gambling (via the Mitchell family).

Lugar, himself, was not and still is not immune; first as Mayor, he allowed International Investigators to investigate one of IPD's own vice cops (in 70-71), then he reneged, then when the Star got hold of the story, three years later, well, Lugar commenced a song-and-dance on corruption in which he sings about knowing nothing, then gets tough, then turns it over to Pearcy, then gets beaten hard by Bayh in the 74 bloodbath--so then, again, turns tough against corruption.

As I continue my Hoosier Hysteria series, I'm trying to find out more about Lugar Construction, the company which suddenly appears in the 1970 City Directory, as work was ramping up on 475 and other city interstates…while most of what I cite above is from Cady's work with the Star investigative team, one cannot help but suspect that old man Pulliam was pulling some strings, himself, from above it all (not reporters, but outside actors). Some of what can be odd about Mr. Tully is that there seems to be no obvious source of string-pulling, so it seems wondrous that he's so status quo, when there's no threat outside his door, as their might have been in years past, if he didn't toe the line. Being status quo is almost another form of nostalgia, in this second decade of the 21st century...

At any rate, here's a moment of self-promo, Hoosier Hysteria 6: in which Senator Borst's time with Mr. Bulen gets put through the ringer…and the Pink Poodle gets a dog wash...

http://ideaswithoutideology.blogspot.com/2012/01/hoosier-hysteria-6.html

-jmv

John Michael Vore said...

[That should've been 4-65, not 4-75...]

Gary R. Welsh said...

I agree that Pulliam was ideologically rigid and used front-age editorials to push his own political agenda, but the reporters seem to be given a lot of freedom and support to root out corruption, even when it impacted people Pulliam liked. I think he didn't want politicians to think he would ignore their transgressions simply because they supported his personal agenda. Otherwise, how do you account for the incredible stories his reporters were allowed to publish in the newspaper about Republican corruption in Marion County? It is much worse today under the Gannett-controlled media giant that is totally beholden to the political establishment, which panders to the political insiders of both parties.

John Michael Vore said...

Thanks for mentioning the Hoosier Hysteria series at Ideas Without Ideology, Gary. My point about Pulliam comes down to understanding the way in which crime was--and one imagines, to some degree, still is-- handled in Indianapolis. From the perspective of movers and shakers, there are crimes-of-friends and crimes-of-enemies, and everything else. The crime-of-a-friend might mean someone got arrested and indicted, but almost never actually sent to jail. The crime-of-an-enemy usually meant law enforcement (from IPD to the FBI) wanted in on the action, not an actual prosecution: the law enforcement system was used to squeeze criminals for pay-offs and bribes, not to actually eliminate/weaken crime (this was a model institutionalized by Prohibition). Even crimes-of-nobodies could get fixed for a price in the 70s, as Cady notes. Pulliam could allow the Star reporters free reign because, in reality, nothing would come of it--the influential, bipartisan elite of the city looked after one another, even in the face of the Star reporting. And what was the result of the Pulitzer? The reporters who were indicted by Marion County Prosecutor Pearcy and arrested by IPD finally had the charges against them dropped (after Pearcy lost re-election). There were resignations from the IPD--some of a shake-up at the FBI--but even with the latter, the most corrupt FBI agent in the Cady book (Dean G. Naum) was still working on cases in Indiana as late as 1981, from a news account I found. Finally, while I could not have written Hoosier Hysteria without Mr. Cady's book, there are more than two dozen sources, in all. Mr Cady's book was the spine of my own research, but I go significantly beyond Deadline: Indianapolis, with sources likely not available to Cady in the 70s. For example, where he makes several statements about Bulen's extensive ties to the crime syndicate, without whom we may never have met Senator Lugar--I show that Mitchell Crime Syndicate members, their Republican and Democrat lawyers, defenders and even prosecutors--all lived within blocks of one another, whether in Meridian Hills or Johnson County--and I've found other sources which corroborate the 30-year friendship between Bulen, the Mitchell Syndicate and Johnson County Republicans like Pearcy and Borst. More lasting results came from the election loss of Pearcy and his becoming the fall-guy in the Tinder Commission. I can't wait to read the actual Tinder Commission Report on all of this--and one cannot but wonder whether or not Honest John--who had originally fired Bulen in the 50s (Cady)--when he played a clean-up role against his successor, Pearcy--was paving the way for his law school son--who, 30 years later, sits way up in the Federal bench, thanks to Mr. Lugar. Now ask yourself: who benefited most from the Tinder Commission Report?