Saturday, August 18, 2007

Howey: Kelty's Fall A Major Setback For Religious Right

Brian Howey has an excellent analysis of Matt Kelty's recent fall from grace and an almost-certain defeat in this November's Fort Wayne mayoral race in his latest column. Howey outlines how the religious right has a carefully crafted plan to target local races, like the Fort Wayne mayor's race, in hopes of building a team of potential candidates for state offices. Howey writes:

The Right to Life movement has been involved with Kelty's mayoral campaign from its earliest moments. Sources tell me there is a concerted effort by Right to Life and other family organizations to recruit and run candidates of that stripe for city and county offices. These subsequent officeholders will then be poised to move into legislative, congressional and, yes, perhaps even the governor's office after the Daniels era passes. These groups bristled at Gov. Daniels when he suggested just prior to his re-election kickoff that he had little stomach for some of the wedge issues such as the anti-gay marriage amendment (Indiana already has such a law on its books).

If there was ever a poster boy for this ingenious strategy, it was Matt Kelty. Eyebrows were lifting when Right to Life and the Indiana Family Institute became so involved in the Kelty campaign, given the fact that abortion is not a municipal issue. Pornography, massage parlors and violent video games are local issues and, thus, relevant. This turned off some of the "economic" Republicans who defected to Mayor Graham Richard over the past two elections.

But it was the pro-life wing that propelled Kelty to a stunning upset victory last May by a narrow margin when just about every establishment Republican from Senate President Pro Temp David Long, to city councilmen, to U.S. Rep, Mark Souder backed Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters. Kelty's grassroots organization was energized and effective. And, well, they cheated.

As we now know, it was a loan from the leader of the Right to Life movement in Allen Co., Fred Rost, and a Zogby poll he helped finance, which ultimately led to Kelty's 9-count indictment this week by an Allen Co. grand jury. "Those in the family advocacy circles who protest what they call a vendetta may find themselves walking the fine line between having the credibility of true believers and wanting something so badly they will sell their own political souls," Howey astutely observes.

Ironically, a new poll by that same firm whose earlier poll has gotten Kelty in so much hot water suggests the race for Fort Wayne mayor was a dead heat prior to this week's indictment. "Even with a grand jury investigation and potential indictment, Fort Wayne Republican mayoral nominee Matt Kelty was in a dead heat with Democrat Tom Henry, according to a Zogby Poll taken on July 26. Henry had a 39-38 percent lead with 21 percent undecided." Want to wager a bet those poll results would show a much wider Henry lead if the poll had been taken after Kelty's indictment?


Anonymous said...

What's also very intresting here is the role of Terre Haute Jim Bopp, legal advisor to the National Right to Life folks as well as a current key player in the flip-flop Romney campaign. Bopp has said the campaign disclosure laws Kelty now has been indicted for are less than clear and ambiguous, and thereby joined the chorus of right-wing angels in saying its OK to violate the spirit of the law so long as the letter is observed. Mind you that this is the same Jim Bopp who claims the second sentence of SJR7 is clear and free from any uncertainty...and thereby fully worthy of becoming part of the Indiana constitution. It's all relative for the absolutists, is't it? Methinks Republican mainstreamers are beginning to wake up and feeling as violated as that young man in Clark county. Better late than never.

Wilson46201 said...

What is the role of the not-so-Religious ultra-Right in the Indianapolis mayor's race? I'm sure they're trying to get their hooks into Ballard. Where does he stand on LGBT issues?

Anonymous said...

What is the role of the not-so-religious ultra-left in the Indianapolis mayor's race? I'm sure like you they are still supporting a corrupt, lying tax and spend Peterson. Where does he stand on taking responsibility for the rising crime rate and other issues?

bobett said...

I guess it was ok for Democrat,
Win Moses to plead to misdemeanor charges then face felony charges when he ran for mayor's office in Fort Wayne.
The law is a funny thing and can be mistcontrued. This case is based on a technical understanding of the law.

I think the Fort Wayne Mayoral
election is or was about change
and shaking up the good ole' boy
nepotism club that prevents
change in Fort Wayne.

Anonymous said...

Howey finally gets one right.

It was bound to happen. (yawn)

Anonymous said...

IFI is responding to the criticism on their blog, Veritas Rex, in a series of 3 posts. Looks like Abdul really got to them...

Anonymous said...

Matt Kelty's support among the right-to-lifers appears to be based solely and slavishly on his opposition to abortion. It doesn't appear related to his character.

While there is overwheling evidence to support the idea that the establishment didn't/doesn't want him as a candidate, this adversity has helped expose his true character. He has little respect for the law (witness during the primary the grossly oversized - and hence illegal - sign he erected downtown); he has little regard for the truth (witness his deceptions regarding the financing of the first Zogby poll and later mistruths to GOP leaders and the public about the source of campaign funds); he has little grasp of fiscal conservatism (witness the huge loans he secured with no means of repaying them); and he has little appreciation for true family values (witness his dragging his children to a political rally just hours after seeing him handcuffed on TV).

Through no fault of his own, Kelty got caught up in situations for which he was not prepared. You can't blame him for that nor should anybody kick him while he's down.

However, it is how we deal with that kind of adversity that defines one's character. Matt Kelty just doesn't measure up.

Anonymous said...

"Howey outlines how the religious right has a carefully crafted plan to target local races, like the Fort Wayne mayor's race, in hopes of building a team of potential candidates for state offices."

And so Juan Maniqualt who is endorced by AFA and the Indiana Family Action PAC must also be one those potential candidates. His track record with Workforce Development alone speaks volumes of his lack of leadership. He'd fit right in with at the state level.

bobett said...

The Fort Wayne mayoral race is not
about the National right -to -lifers or the religious right.

It's amazing these folks that
make such comments on this blog sign in as anonymous.

Mr. and/or Mrs. Anonymous you distort the truth just by how you sign in. I believe Fort Wayne is due for a change in the City Government. Again, it's not about
abortion or religious right. A Major elected can not change that kind of legislature.

It's about changing Fort Wayne.