Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ice Miller Lobbyist/GOP Committeeman Wants Trump Stopped

The Indianapolis Star's Washington columnist, Maureen Groppe, offers words of advice from John Hammond, an Ice Miller lobbyist and GOP National Committeeman for Indiana, on the prospects of Donald Trump becoming the nominee. Not surprisingly, Hammond thinks the record number of Republican voters who've gone to the polls to date in the early primary and caucus states and cast their votes for Trump are just stupid because he knows that Trump is "unfit" to be president.

In a Q&A with Groppe, Hammond says 64% of those voters in a crowded field cast their vote for a candidate other than Trump. He, of course, dismisses the point that Trump's share of the vote represents far more votes than were cast for either John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012 at this same point in the election process. Hammond says he cannot support Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee. "If everybody were jumping off a cliff, would you jump with them?" Hammond rhetorically asked. According to Hammond, Trump is destroying the Republican brand. I would argue the current Republican Party leadership has destroyed the brand by not standing behind the principles it professes to support.

Groppe asks Hammond about the party rules that have front-loaded the primary election process, giving unfair weight to states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that are not representative of the country as a whole. That process narrows the field substantially, by design, so that the vast majority of the voters in this country have no real choice in their party's presidential nominee. Hammond defends those rules changes of which he was a part as "good." Hammond blames the "coarsening of our culture" for allowing Trump to become popular.

A word of disclosure, I once worked with Hammond at the same law firm many years ago. I know him quite well, and he's a great guy. I also know him not be much of an ideologue. In fact, I would go so far as to say his heart has never really been with the Republican Party. The very word "conservative" is not something with which he's very comfortable, and he's married to a liberal Democrat, Diana Hamilton, who makes large campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and has a female-owned business that gets her share of no-bid contracts in the area of public finance thanks to her and her husband's political participation.

Hammond wasn't a big fan of Ronald Reagan, who most party leaders like himself at the time believed was unelectable. His political involvement is an expedient necessity of his day job as a lobbyist. I've always had a problem with lobbyists holding party leadership positions because their views reflect those of their corporate clients as opposed to rank-and-file Republican voters. The reality, however, is that both political parties' leadership is completely dominated by lobbyists. The laws our elected officials enact too often reflect their values, not our's, which has a lot to do with the current anger felt by many voters regardless of political affiliation. Trump is popular because he's tapping into that anger in a somewhat different manner than Bernie Sanders is tapping into voter anger in the Democratic Party. Party leaders like Hammond have nobody but themselves to blame for that anger. Finally, I would note that Hammond would have argued that McCain and Romney were the most electable candidates in the past two elections. We see how well that turned out.

Breitbart obtained video of a secret meeting Marco Rubio's campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, had with Wall Street donors in Manhattan a week ago in which he openly discusses the plan of blowing up the system to ensure a brokered GOP convention where the party leaders like Hammond will be free to vote for their choice for president and discard the choice made by Republican voters this year. Many of the establishment power brokers now favor Rubio, who is perhaps the easiest candidate in the field to blackmail. He has a gay past from his younger years that he would like people not to hear about as he passes himself off as a happily-married straight man, and he acquired considerable wealth on the sly while serving as Florida's House Speaker. The Democrats have a long dossier on his financial dealings that will be laid bare if he becomes the GOP nominee. People forget that some details of this dossier got released four years ago when his name was mentioned as a 2012 vice-presidential choice. The unseemly matters revealed therein are explosive to say the least and have been ignored by the mainstream media, which allows him to live the life of a "boy in a bubble" as Gov. Chris Christie has derisively but aptly described the situation.


Anonymous said...

Trump is not fit to be president but i am voting for him just to piss off the party elites. And to see Al Sharpton leave the country.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, anyone who knows of John Hammond knows he is total establishment crony. Gary, you nailed it that “… the current Republican Party leadership has destroyed the brand by not standing behind the principles it professes to support.” For this reason, we “grass roots” have run away in droves from a party indistinguishable from the liberal Democrat party.

Hammond is one of the top tier poster bubbas for all that is wrong with Hoosier establishment RINO Republicans. How arrogant to call voters “stupid” when it is John Hammond and his many insider Indiana GOP cronies who are the ignoramuses.
Fools like John Hammond gave us the Bushes, the McCains, and the Romneys… who all in effect gave us the Marxist Barak Obama with two terms in the White House and Lord knows how much damage to the Nation.

The voters are angry with people like John Hammond. Hammond and his entrenched RINO Republicans are scared because their strangle hold on political power, privilege, and payola may be coming to an end… or at least to a bit of a roadblock. If a person cannot be bought and sold then that person will not be allowed access into the political process. I know, I was there and I saw so much corruption and lies in the Hoosier Republican Party I probably could write a book thicker than Rex Early.

What I read of your experience with Mr. Hammond strikes completely with what I have observed and heard. These people like DB and Hammond rig the system locally and nationally with rules changes resulting many times only favored political prostitutes “winning”.

Trump is not really my first choice but I will vote for the guy if he takes the nomination. Marco Rubio is a liar in the tradition of the wretched Hillary Rodham Clinton. Cruz is the Constitutionalist. Trump or Cruz are far, far better than extreme leftist liar Democrat hack Hillary Rodham Clinton or quasi-socialist extremist Bernie Sanders.

We don’t need jackasses like John Hammond who typify destroying any “Republican” they do not like by voting for Democrats. And that’s exactly what these establishment RINO’s would do… they’d rather destroy their own Party’s candidates than allow one they do not care for be elected.

Anonymous said...

So, Paul Ogden cold be a Republican National Committeeman sort given his near total obsession with defeating the not conservative Trump? Not knowing much, I suspect these national sorts have to give away a lot of money. Do you suppose they give together? How much money would it take to get a real puff piece published? Say, "Why Indiana Has Ballot Access Laws that don't apply when you have $3,000,000 of donor money rusting away in a bank"? Yep, dem rules dey be made for the breaking? I don't live downwind of Hamilton County but that Republican CAFO operation sure needs cleaning up. Tales of Jim Wallace and Charlie White seem to be gaining in currency and substance among thinking people. Congressman Young must have cut a deal with duh democrats since they have not, apparently proceeded with their winnable lawsuit against his fingers and toes problem-let alone being the prototypical establishment Republican...against whom (as a class), no one in America has any use-see Ted Cruz and see Donald Trump.

Pete Boggs said...

There is no stupid like arrogant; the predictable pathology of those confusing brand with principle. Principles are not a brand & government is not a business.

The establish-meant is now well understood & therefore rejected; as a protection racket of liberty limiting, predatory statists. Who needs that or believes we can't do much better? Who, doesn't understand the correlation between crony statism & cultural or economic failure? Who needs the establish-mint?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling us what John Hammond does for a living. I don't understand why these reporters attribute quotes from people without providing any context to the people making these comments so I can draw my own conclusions on weighing their views. You don't interview John Gotti for his views about the mob and fail to mention what he does for a living.

Anonymous said...

To the castle, light the torches! It's the monster we have created.

Flogger said...

As a Bernie Sanders supporter a similar scenario is playing out in the Democratic Party. The Democratic Establishment and the pressitutes in the McMega-Media are going all out to discredit him any way possible. They continue to harp on the inevitable coronation of Queen Hillary.
It quite evident the Plutocracy does not want either Sanders or Trump to win the nomination. Both Sanders and Trump threaten the Plutocracy in bypassing the elite that wants to decide who we can vote for. The Plutocracy hopes the Super Delegates can stop Sanders and a contested Republican Convention can stop Trump.

Anonymous said...

Say what you all want, but all of the establishment Republicans and Democrats have always supported NAFTA, Lugar and Coats voted for it when it became law, Clinton signed it into law, yet, these clowns are boohooing when Carrier said it's leaving town for Mexico. American's trade deficient with Mexico has been in the toilet since NAFTA's inception, we keep on losing jobs to Mexico, Indiana's manufacturing middle class in at a all time low. I didn't hear ole Mitt today talk about the successes of NAFTA, which is one of Trumps goals to re-negotiate, Romney talked about how Trump is going to destroy our trade agreements. Why don't one of you Establishment R's or D's ask the 1400 soon to be laid off Carrier employees, how they feel about NAFTA, and ask them if they would like our next President to re-negotiate that trade deal!

Anonymous said...

So let me see if I understand. A vote for Donald Trump is like whacking a piece of rebar across John Hammond's knees? Ok, cool. Done. Trump 2016. Thank you for putting it in a way I understand, Mr, Hammonds. Without your help, I probaby would have voted for Rubio or that guy from Ohio. Not any more. Thank you, Sir.

Flogger said...

ANON 8:13, you hit the nail hard on the head and drove it to the 2x4 with one big hit. We see at the local level here in Indianapolis the collaboration of both Political Parties into one party the Republicrats. The Republicrat Party eagerly embraces the Corporate Welfare showered on the Pacers and Colts. No dissent is permitted.

The same evil spirit of Plutocracy resides in the Republicrat Party on a National Scale. Bill Clinton with a huge boost from the Democrats and Republicans voted in NAFTA. Pence, Gregg, Coates, Donnelly, Andre Carson are all Silent on the Legal Mechanism of NAFTA that has allowed Carrier to move to Mexico.

Ross Perot warned about the sucking sound of jobs going south of the boarder if NAFTA was passed. Bernie Sanders voted against NAFTA.