Another day and another flattering column at the Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star by its political columnist Matt Tully about the outgoing Angie's List CEO who promises to shake up the political climate in Indiana, all of course, without any prodding from his mentor, former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Here's a taste of what Tully has to say about his former neighbor and best source:
Bill Oesterle was filling a to-go cup of coffee at the Cornerstone Coffee Shop on the Northside Monday morning when a worker there recognized him.
"Thanks for what you're doing," the employee, a lifelong Indianapolis resident named Marty Sullivan, said. "I just appreciate someone around here having some backbone."
As Oesterle deflected the compliment, less than a week had passed since he'd sent the Indiana political world into overdrive with his announcement that he would soon step down as the CEO of Angie's List so that he could spend more time on politics — and, more specifically, on moving his Republican Party in Indiana away from the culture wars that have cost it and the state so much in recent months.
"Hoosiers are fair and practical people — they are," Oesterle, 49, said during a 90-minute conversation Monday. "I've seen it up close and personal, over and over. And if we as a party don't begin to realize that we will eventually end up with another 16 years of Democratic governors, like we had before Mitch (Daniels) came along. I don't want that. My goal is to prevent that." . . .
Oesterle was cautious as we talked because, he said, he has barely begun to draft the details of his political plan; he is just now re-engaging in state politics after several years as little more than a big-dollar financial contributor. With a few months remaining at Angie's List, he said his next step is "to gather up a bunch of people and figure out what we are going to do."
By "people," he means Republicans who served in the Daniels administration, or who believed deeply in its focus and ambition, or who simply worry that state GOP leaders are forging a destructive path forward. At a high level, he said, the concept is to make it easier for people who come from the Daniels wing of the party — the pragmatic, jobs-focused wing as opposed to the far-right wing — to once again play a leading role in Republican Party politics, and to win elections.
"Mitch's governorship represented something very powerful to a lot of people," he said. "It was built on ideals. It was built on energy. It was fearless. It had thousands of loyal participants. It was about putting the interests of the state of Indiana first. It was about the simple proposition that if you do the right thing for all Hoosiers, everything works out."
"I want to make sure," he continued, "that all of the people who bought into those things have the organizational and institutional support to run for office or to get involved. Right now, they are stuck out on an island. Banding them together and putting resources behind them is the point here. Because they will change the world." . . .Seriously? This guy wants you to believe Mitch Daniels' cronies are stuck out on some island as if they've been exiled from Indiana politics? Please. They're all living up the good life as multi-millionaires from all of the insider political crony deals they enjoyed during Daniels' eight years as governor--all of the stuff you refused to report on as any responsible, legitimate State House political reporter would have done, Mr. Tully.
I'll give you a taste of what I hear about the Bill Oesterle-run Angie's List. Here's the latest from Advance Indiana's mailbag:
How about the Angie's List company bus trip to Cincinnati for a Reds game? The place shuts down and everyone goes along for the beer-infused trip down, the game, and the return home. Part of the ritual forces females walking down the bus aisle to be groped and fondled by any and all. Yes, even company officials participated.
Then there was the "soap box derby" races in the parking lot.
All the while [Company Official] is carrying one with a very, very young employee. So young that other notices how hard she has fitting in with all the carrying on. After the divorce and remarriage, [Company Official] steps aside from Angie's sexual harassment committee . . .
Just a fun place to work. No wonder it is filled with unemployable and unemployed Republicans.Which is more accurate? Tully's press releases masquerading as serious political columns or the Advance Indiana mailbag?