Friday, April 17, 2015

Tully Piles On Pence

Star political columnist Matt Tully has always been one of Mitch Daniels' biggest cheerleaders so it hardly comes as a surprise he would do all he can in his role to put the nails in Gov. Mike Pence's political coffin. His pitch in his column today is along the same lines we've been hearing from others in the media who regularly flack for Daniels and his cronies: Pence barely won election in 2012 capturing a tick under 50% of the vote, and his popularity today has tanked considerably from where it stood on election day in 2012. His hope of recovering from the damage is in question, or so goes the meme. The poll numbers Tully discusses I'll come back to shortly, but I wanted to point out what Tully reveals.
  • He conceded close Daniels allies have been flooding him with e-mails talking up a primary challenge. One of Tully's best sources over the years has been Angie's List CEO and former Daniels campaign manager Bill Oesterle, who has sent out minions to talk him up as that challenger. Oesterle lived just around the corner from Tully for several years, and he's as much of a member of the Matt Tully Circle Jerk Club as you can be. 
  • Tully also confirms rumors I've heard that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was taking a look at the race, particularly since his post-mayoral job at Cathedral High School fell through, primarily due to the negative reaction that prospect received from the school's alumni. Unfortunately, the easily duped mayor two months ago was talked into turning over $400,000, or about half of his cash on hand in his campaign committee, to the doomed candidacy of Chicago carpetbagger and political newcomer, Chuck Brewer, by Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker, who will likely use the money to pad his and his wife's wallets the same way he's done with the party's and Ballard's campaign funds in the past.  
After Tully's column went online today, he tweeted that multiple sources tell him that Oesterle is encouraging Daniels to run again for governor instead of seeking the office himself.
I still don't think Daniels is interested in being governor again, but I could be wrong. That aside, Pence can't be happy with unfavorable poll numbers released since this entirely manufactured story regarding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") on the heels of the earlier manufactured controversy over his JustIn state news service. The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum reminds his readers that Mitch Daniels' poll numbers looked at least as bad, if not worse, at one point during his first term before he went on to defeat Democrat Jill Long by a wide margin in 2008. Daniels' poll numbers were well below 50% for at least a one-year period. In April 2006, Daniels' approval rating stood at just 35%, which is worse than Pence's 43% approval rating shown by one poll taken this past week. At that point in Daniels' first term, only three Republican governors in the nation were more unpopular than Daniels, and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's approval rating by his state's voters paced well ahead of Daniels' approval rating at 47%. How quickly people forget about all of the "Not My Man" bumper stickers. 

Speaking of Indiana's RFRA law, a conservative Republican lawyer writes in The Federalist that Indiana now has the distinction of being the most anti-religion state in the nation thanks to "the fix" state lawmakers quickly passed and Gov. Pence signed into law to stem the media-driven criticism directed at the state portraying it as an intolerant state based upon false claims the law passed by the legislature gave a license to businesses to discriminate against gays. David Saffrin writes at The Federalist:
The hastily and stupidly crafted amendment they enacted during Holy Week provides that Indiana’s RFRA can never be used as a defense in any gay rights or other civil rights proceeding by anyone other than a clergyman, church, or religious institution. It’s in the same vein as a DC City Council proposal that would force religious organizations to hire or provide resources to people who diametrically oppose those organizations’ missions, which hundreds of congressional lawmakers are actively opposing, using Congress’s right to decide DC laws. Of course, until the advent of gay marriage there hadn’t ever been a single instance in any of the other 31 states with RFRA statutes or equivalent judicial protections using RFRA as a defense in a gay-rights case, much less in a case involving racial or other alleged discrimination. 
RFRA protections have been raised, however, without success, in a series of recent cases around the country in which government author­ities, acting under state or local gay-rights laws, have ordered creative professionals such as photographers, florist,s and cake designers with religious objec­tions to same-sex marriage to nonetheless provide their services for or at these wedding ceremonies or face crippling fines and “rehabilitation.” . . . 
But that’s not how Pence and his clueless company chose to proceed. Now Indiana—not DC, not California, not Massachusetts, not Vermont—is the most hostile state in the country to freedom of conscience in these cases. The irony would be comical if it weren’t so sad.


Anonymous said...

Oh boo hoo. Christian bigots can’t use rfra to defend themselves against their shameless bigotry in Indiana. And the evangelical spin masters want to call us the most hostile state in the country to freedom of conscience cases. Whatever. I like to think the sensible people of Indiana rose up in indignation against the hostile intent of the Christian right, which has gotten a little too big for its britches. And its leader Mike Pence is due for a slap down. Overdue. They think we were all born yesterday and buy their sorry schtick. This is a younger generation. They can recognize a bigot in sheep’s clothing. This is a State that is going to respect the equal rights of gay people. If you can’t stomach that, then you ought to reevaluate your belief that Christianity wants you. Because denomination after denomination is speaking out for the human dignity of equality. This is the way it is going to be. Get with the program, or get used to being called a bigot to your face. Once you go into business you agree to serve everyone equally. If you can’t live with that then go out of business. Because you can’t choose not to serve blacks at your lunch counter. And you can’t tell a gay couple you won’t take their business. Stop whining about it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You personify the hatred and bigotry of those who profess to support equality.

Anonymous said...

Daniels is making $10K per week at Purdue, car, house,spending account,why would he want all the problems and confusion of being the Governor again.

LamLawIndy said...

Gary, there may be a difference inasmuch as Mitch was seen to go bold in his first term: property tax caps, reducing state payrolls, etc. I always believed that Mike should follow suit: scrap income taxes in favor of a broader sales tax, expand school vouchers to ALL Hoosier kids, etc. For whatever reason, the Guv remained cautious. IMHO, that was a mistake: voters will give the benefit of the doubt to leaders who try big things but not to the timid. Then again, I'm not the one who would've been blasted by 150 legislators, the media, & lobbyists for pushing a "regressive" tax regime.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Property tax reform wasn't on Mitch's agenda until the property tax crisis blew up in 2007 and he figured out how mad people were with the protests in front of the governor's residence, the State House, etc. His original tax plan was to raise taxes to fund a failed health care initiative. Other initiatives included day light savings time and privatizing the Indiana Toll Road and welfare. The property tax reform was forced on him and then used for his re-election bid.

Anonymous said...

You want to increase sales tax so rich homeowners can have no property tax?

Poor people can't afford houses, but they're supposed to spend more of their already little income so rich people can keep their status symbols and party palaces?

I'll vote for Vi Simpson over any Republican who tries that.

It's disgusting to see Republicans even think up such ideas.

Anonymous said...

Gary you are dead-on correct in your response to LamLawIndy 7:05.

Why people think Mitch Daniels is so damned great is so far beyond me that my brain huts when I think of it.... and I am one grass roots who foolishly gave Daniels my vote! As a Purude alum, I am sickened that Daniels is at PU and I inform every fundraising telephone call I will never again donate to my alma mater.

And why people believe that "property tax caps" are truly caps is beyond me as well... they are not. All that "cap talk" was pure smoke and mirrors until the people calmed down so the higher taxes could be left in place; anyone who can successfully add one and one understands there is a formula for the property tax "caps" and that formula contains variables. Change one of the variables and you can easily raise the cap; this allows politicians to allege they are meeting the spirit of the "cap" even as they raise property taxes. Democrats and Republicans created higher property taxes that now shut out many buyers from the homes they would otherwise purchase.- harming sellers and consumers.

As for Pence, he brought his low ratings on himself with his weak and instant capitulation to "explain" the law he signed. Did Jeff Cardwell counsel him to do that? Foolish... it was such Chris Christie move. Pence gave himself the stamp of fear and weakness and I doubt he will never be able to fully repair the damage. Pence was never POTUS material, never.

While Pence does not deserve the hate and bigotry that is being hurled at him by the very people who say they are against hate and bigotry, Pence is just so out of it and dense that I often wonder if a tree has less wood. I do know one thing for sure, a piece of lumber has more personality.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Something I've noticed happening is Marion County is that a lot of homes in struggling neigbhorhoods are way over-assessed. There are houses in block after block that you can't give away which are assessed at $75,000 to $150,000. If the owners can manage to pay the taxes, they can't afford the code enforcement fines and orders to which they are being subjected. You can appeal your taxes, but it takes four years in some cases to get your appeal adjudicated. The city should be offering 100% abatement for a period on these homes for owners who agree to a plan of action to re-invest and bring these homes up to code compliance. Instead, the city keeps offering abatements and incentives to politically-connected developers in those areas of the city that are already thriving as the situation in most neighborhoods keeps getting worse.

Anonymous said...


Does this City have master redevelopment in mind for these neighborhoods, so it wants to clear people out with tax liens and tax sales, then eminent domain the remaining houses on the blocks?

Most of these wood houses were never intended to last over 75 years.

Anonymous said...

Matt Tully is a never-was. If it were not for Advance Indiana (or Ogden) shining the daylight of intelligence on an apparently uneducable moron like Tully, would anyone have even an inkling of the delusions Tully puts to electronic paper?

And if even one person remains standing with a wisp of a doubt just how damned ignorant our buffoon mayor is, the fact that Greg Ballard allowed himself to be talked out of his own campaign chest is another chit of undeniable proof of the utter obtuseness of this idiot. Who gives away their campaign chest? Really, seriously, who does that??? A headless marionette could not be better played. So when it comes to Kyle Walker and his wife Jennifer Hallowell Walker, I see that leeches do what leeches do best.

While this past week I have been laughing about Oesterle’s grande dame delusions of political office, I’ve begun to realize if we could elect people like Greg Ballard, Joe Donnelly, Zach Adamson, and Jeff Miller, anything might be possible.

Anonymous said...

10:11: Whom says the folks were elected by a thoroughly clean system? Get it? Fraud and corruption elect folk. Agenda for over many years here.

Anonymous said...

"Greg Ballard allowed himself to be talked out of his own campaign chest"

It never was Ballard's campaign chest once he actually had one - it was Bob Grand and the Downtown Mafia's. Besides Ballard is lame duck anyway so the fund is next to useless.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 6:40: While I cannot call liberal Democrat Evan Bayh a lame duck, it is my understanding that Evan Bayh, retired from the US Senate (ca. 2010), continues to control HIS campaign war chest reputed to consist of millions and millions of dollars. Democrat Evan can bestow any of this largess- mostly from transnational corporatists- to any politician or political cause he desires (within statutes); however, Evan does not stupidly let go of all the bucks. Evan is an attorney (as is his now-wealthy corporate board sitting wife Susan) so Evan may have known the law regarding formation and "ownership" of campaign chests whereas Greg Ballard appears to know nothing about nothing.

All of the above boils down to this: I don't know if Greg Ballard was also dumb enough to allow attorney Bob Grand to own the Ballard political war chest, you may be right on that. But to state that a campaign chest is next to worthless to out of office or so-to-be out of office opportunists like Evan Bayh and Greg Ballard is probably not very accurate.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 6:30 is woefully uninformed. The Constitution is a document of human rights; which you ignore in favor of a bigoted militancy, which confuses non acceptance & non endorsement with persecution; tactics of retribution, driven by those you hate rather than love.

If you were secure in your selections of self determination; you wouldn't be a pusher of Political Puritanism, a phony charade of forced association & endorsement.

Religious freedom is a first amendment right. Expand your love of knowledge & you'll discover it will displace the hatred you feel for those who exercise their rights, including the right to disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if Greg Ballard was also dumb enough to allow attorney Bob Grand to own the Ballard political war chest, you may be right on that."

Greg Ballard had no war chest until Bob Grand came along, and thus Grand maintained de-facto control over it. In 2007, Greg Ballard was a nobody that Tully blew off as an "also ran" and the same Tully predicted the death of the Marion County GOP in 2007 finishing off resounding local defeats in all countywide offices except Prosecutor in 2006.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the new "Pence Must Go" yard signs being peddled at $10 per sign by the long-time Watson Road area gay couple who are the famous faces of support for the unelected Rick Sutton's "Freedom Indiana" where there is freedom for just about everything except independent thought.