Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Secrecy Does Disservice To GOP's 7th District Candidate

The GOP's silence on this Sunday's caucus to select a candidate to run in the special election and May primary to fill the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson is deafening. Take a look over at the website of the Indiana Republican Party and you'll find nothing about this Sunday's caucus. Wander over to the website for the Marion County Republican Party and there, too, you will find nothing about the 7th District race. It's not even on the calendar of upcoming events. To their credit, the Democrats have been doing a good job of keeping the public informed about its upcoming caucus this Saturday and the candidates who have filed to run in the special election. Declaration of candidacies have been made available online at the Indiana Democratic Party's website, along with information about this Saturday's caucus.

Now, we know that State Rep. Jon Elrod (R) announced his candidacy before Carson's death last November, and that he has filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC. Brian Howey reports that Tom Rose (who the hell is he besides being a former publisher for the Jerusalem Post) is running and will have lots of money for the race. Also, Howey throws in the names of perennial candidate Marvin Scott and Blan Dickerson, son of the party's 2006 candidate. Although Elrod assures me he has the backing of the party, Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John and state GOP Chairman Murray Clark have said nothing publicly about supporting his candidacy, leading many to speculate there have been backroom negotiations to find a different, as-of-yet, unnamed candidate. Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi is the name most-often mentioned. The rumor mills are running at full steam. Taking Down Words writes:

TDW has now heard from several sources that Republicans are waiting to find out who's running on the Democratic side in the Seventh District vacancy caucus. (That deadline is 10 a.m. tomorrow.)

After all the forms are filed, the rumored plan is that rookie State Rep. Jon Elrod will bow out, and Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi will step in as the GOP consensus candidate.

Elrod declared his interest in the race months ago, but his candidacy has generated little excitement. If the whispers are true, Elrod might be able to avoid becoming a casualty of Rising Star Syndrome, whereby young'uns outgrow their political britches at record speed and then can't figure out where everybody went.

With a deadline tomorrow morning for GOP candidates to announce their candidacies, just 72 hours before precinct committeepersons meet to select a candidate, this is an absolute joke. If the GOP thinks all this secrecy behind its Sunday caucus is good for the party, think again. A process that denies public debate and empowers a few could very well doom what little chance your candidate has of winning this special election and the November race to represent the voters of the 7th District. The party has proved itself completely incompetent in running campaigns in the 7th District in the past. It appears this year will be no different.


Anonymous said...

Don't feel so bad on your side, Gary. Although our Democratic information is on the website, the rules and committeeperson lists are a tad confusing. For even the candidates.

Both parties' leadership have not heard the clarian call of voters last fall, which still exists, in spades: stop the nonsense. The insane desire of power-brokers, to control every aspect of this special election, is contrary to the public interest.

Anonymous said...

This is the same party apparatus that ignored it's own slated candidate in the mayoral race. Then, when he won without their support they claimed credit for his victory!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Make you want to go out and buy a couple of tickets to the Ballard Ball at $500 a pop doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

"A process that denies public debate"

How do you figure on needing public debate. Last time I checked it was not up to the public who the party supports, it is up to the Ward chairs and committeepersons. Get over yourself Gary. Your blog is becoming a joke lately.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 12:59, It's attitudes like your's which will ensure defeat of the 7th District candidate. Republicans won the mayor's race and control of the council in spite of the best efforts of the state party and the county organization to prevent that from happening. There is no GOP organization to elect a Republican congressman in the 7th District. Go ahead and shut everyone out and cut your deal in a backroom. You'll get exactly what you deserve--another losing candidate.

Anonymous said...


I think that there is an important distinction to be made between a slating convention and a special election involving the public's ability to participate. Certainly slating is the privilege of each party's grassroots workers. And it should be. However, the democratic check on that perogative is the Primary where the circle is enlarged to include those in the public who, while not PCs and WCs, are declared Ds or Rs. The General election then allows all citizens to have the final say.

Special elections are substantially different in the sense that there is no input from exclusively D or R voters. Because there is no Primary election. I think that this is Gary's point(sorry Gary, if I am misstating you. Correct me if I am wrong). Anyway, you don't have to agree that a special election warrants more public involvement, but I do think that the difference here warrants discussion without accusing people of needing to 'get over themselves'.

Wilson46201 said...

The local GOP has tried all sorts of candidates for Congress:

1. Blankenbaker: "liberal" Republican
2. Hoffmeister: Eric-Miller Republican
3. Scott: Black Republican
4. McVey: George-Bush Republican
5. Horning: Libertarian Republican
6. Dickerson: egomaniac Republican

what next?

Anonymous said...

We have a secret!
Right, Wilson?

Wilson46201 said...

Jim Shella adds Greg Stroude and Gabrielle Campo to the list of GOP candidates. Stroude is a real-estate specialist and Campo is a youth social worker.

Wilson46201 said...

By the way, what are the Libertarians up to? They also have a Party slot for a nominee. Will they field a candidate for the Special Election? Last I heard there were three contenders, including the ever-lovely Melyssa Donaghy...