Friday, March 07, 2008


I'm still pinching myself to make sure this isn't just a dream. The Star endorses Jon Elrod over Andre Carson in the 7th District special election race. Hallelujah. Thank God almighty. We are free at last from the Carson political machine--at least on the editorial pages of the Indianapolis Star. In the words of the editorial, "Jon Elrod is best prepared to serve." What I give the editorial writers credit for doing is that it appears during their interview of the candidates they actually pressed them beyond their standard talking points. When they did that, Carson's smooth-sounding sound-bites got a little rough. Here's what the editorial says on Carson, who they describe as the "fourth-best qualified Democratic candidate" (OUCH!) among Democrats competing in the May primary:

Democrat Andre Carson, the late congresswoman's grandson, has served barely six months in public office. He was appointed to the City-County Council last year and ran unopposed for that seat in November.

Democratic insiders in January pushed Carson ahead of stronger candidates in slating him for the special election. In fact, Carson likely will be only the fourth best-qualified Democratic candidate in the May primary, behind state Reps. Carolene Mays and David Orentlicher and former state health commissioner Woody Myers.

Carson, a former investigator with the state Excise Police, is engaging and energetic. He also has a remarkable life story, including childhood memories of living in a Salvation Army shelter.

But he struggles with specifics on key issues when pressed to move beyond talking points.

Carson also promises to bring "fiscal responsibility'' to Washington but defends one of the more egregious examples of congressional earmarks directed locally -- federal transportation dollars to relocate loading docks and build a visitors' entrance at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

The editorial doesn't offer a lot of information on what led the editorial writers to give their approval to Elrod, but here's what they said:

In contrast, Elrod pledges to forgo earmarks -- pork-barrel spending -- if elected. To make up for the loss of federal handouts, Elrod promises to emphasize constituent services, including hiring experienced aides who can help nonprofits and small businesses apply for grants and other assistance. That's an admirable idea but could be difficult to pull off given constraints on congressional staffing.

Elrod, an attorney, isn't exactly a seasoned veteran of public office. He's still in his first term in the Indiana House and before that served a short stint on the Center Township board. But, in defeating longtime incumbent Ed Mahern to ascend to the House in 2006, Elrod ran a smart grassroots campaign that relied on his own hard work and initiative.

Libertarian Sean Shepard is a bright, personable business owner. His third-party status, however, will severely limit his draw on Tuesday.

In the special election, The Star recommends Elrod over Carson and Shepard. It's early in Elrod's career to be chasing a seat in Congress, but he's better prepared for the job at this point than his Democratic opponent.

I can assure you that Republicans and Jon Elrod's campaign were not expecting this endorsement. This is a major boost for Elrod in the closing days of the campaign and a major setback for Carson, not only in next Tuesday's special election race. "Democratic voters should eagerly look forward to the May primary, when Mays, Myers and Orentlicher lead a deep and talented field," the editorial reads. Being fourth on their list is not a good sign of what the future holds for Carson. Elsewhere, Matt Tully provides a very disappointing rundown on Tuesday's election. It's not the quality of work you would expect from an experienced political columnist. The Star's Kevin O'Neal has a rundown of last night's uneventful debate co-hosted by WISH-TV's Jim Shella and radio talk show host Amos Brown.

Speaking of Brown, he endorsed Carson to no surprise in his "Just Tellin It" column in the Indianapolis Recorder this week. "Elrod doesn’t understand that he would be representing a racially, religious and culturally diverse 7th District," Brown writes. And, of course, Elrod is guilty of being too white. "His campaign began at a rally with a lily-white crowd," Brown writes. "His web site contains photos only of whites; in a district where 35 percent of the population are racial minorities." To Brown, "Elrod seems to represent old fashioned Indianapolis politics." Thanks for sharing, Amos. Incidentally, he says he won't be making an endorsement in the May primary because of a "conflict of interest." Psst . . . his boss at the Indianapolis Recorder is Carolene Mays


Anonymous said...

Wilson, oh Wilson, care to comment?

Anyone but carson

Sir Hailstone said...

Gary -

Now keep in mind what kind of track record The [BLEEP] has lately in its endorsements. That is when they actually bothered to interview everyone involved.

Wilson46201 said...

When the Star (for the first time ever) endorsed our Congresslady Julia Carson in 2004, she jokingly wondered what she was doing wrong - the Star had never endorsed her before!

Anonymous said...

The Star endorsment is a sly trick. Dennis Ryerson has realized that the Star is an empty vessel that begs for derision from all sides.

So, if the Star "endorses" the opposite candidate from the one they prefer, they know that their silly readership will fall for the ploy, and correctly vote for André Carson instead.

Anonymous said...

despite my generally low regard for the editorial pages of the star, it's really hard to argue with any points made in this one. elrod is smarter and more prepared. furthermore, glad they hit the nail on the head regarding the dem primary field -- carson is a distant 4th in qualifications.

Anonymous said...

The Star's endorsement of Elrod comes under the category of "Even A Blind Squirrel Can Find An Acorn Sometimes."

As for Tully, when did he ever do a column that involved more than sitting on his whiney ass and typing a few paragraphs? He never breaks a sweat. The landscape is littered with his feeble attempts at a relevant political column worthy of a state capitol newspaper. I've given up reading him. It's too frustrating.
And sometimes, frankly, he's just plain wrong on facts or history.

Joe Gelarden, Ed Ziegner, Ben Cole, et al, weep.

And that "Behind Closed Doors" Sunday column has become a sorry gossip heap.

As for Amos: he sees racial hatred and motivation in absolutely everything. There is absolutely racism in this city, and Amos is free to call it out. But, sometimes, Amos, it's just a simple oversight or not remotely related to racism.

Sure, a 7th Congressional campaign website should contain photos of all kinds of people. Failure to do so is not a capital offense, Amos...just an oversight. (How about the words, dude? The WORDS. Are you paying attention to the platforms, or just the pix?)

Amos's bleak and distorted yardstick, turned around, means that some Center politicos need to include more whites in their decision-making and public appearances, and stop accepting ANYthing said by an African American politician as gospel.
Oversights and silly mistakes are not race-specific--neither are they always hateful, Amos.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

There are certain standards of civil discourse that people like "Wilson" have failed to learn.

Perhaps it is characteristic of the Indiana Democratic Party to act in an arrogant, self-serving manner when dealing with average citizens. Power gets entrenched, and authority brings money and influence. I think the Idiana Democratic Party needs a real "Spring-cleaning" to bring new life to the political process.

This is the sad tale of elitist snobs claiming to represent the common man and perhaps civil rights activists like Amos Brown becoming overtly ethno-centric and guilty of racial bigotry in the name of defending black power and position from being lost.

The Indianapolis Star has only focused on the facts at hand in their endorsement of Republican John Elrod. So many people have been stepped on by the whole manner and method used by the Democratic Party to select Andre' Carson as their hand-picked replacement for his Grandmother's unfinished term of office.

Furthermore, the Democratic Party has already picked Carson as the winner of the May 6th Democratic Party Primary Election and that is an insult to the voters in the 7th District as well as belittling to the seven other candidates in that election who would like a level playing field and a fair opportunity seek voter approval of their talent and capabilities.

True democracy is a process that requires a sense of "fair-play" and tolerence of the wide variety of types, backgrounds, experiences, and abilities represented in a multi-cultural society where each indidvidual is free to express their opinions, ideas, viewpoints, and positions on issues in competition with others in the free market of representative government.

Wouldn't it be boring if everyone was rubber-stamped, cloned, and straight-jacketed into a zoombie culture of hedonistic consumers of regurgitated pulp where shallow mental conditioning was the rule of law?

Perhaps the real problem, the deeper ailment, has to do with the infection of elitism that seems to permeate the organizational infrastructure of the Democratic Party these days.

Racist commentary is an ordinary feature of Amos Brown's radio show. When Amos refers to the "blue-eyed" ones there is no mistaking his racially motivated derogatory insinuation.

John Elrod was born with light-colored skin, but Barack Obama has a very white-toned Irish Mother, and is called,and calls himself, an African American.

I have no doubts that John Elrod could champion the cause of his darker-skinned constituents if he chose to do so, and probably do so more effectively than a pampered semi-crooked black politician who got elected on his Grandmother's name and record.

As a Democrat, I won't be pulling the handle for John Elrod because he isn't strongly opposed to the war in Iraq, and that is a priority issue with me.

I'll be sitting this one out and be preparing for the exciting May 6th Primary Election where I'm a candidate and don't intend to come in last.

Anonymous said...

You must be reading a different Star if this editorial surprised you.

Anonymous said...

8:43, the hypocrisy of you whining about "standards of civil discourse" is astounding. You say you're a candidate, but you are trolling the blogs and calling your opponent a "semi-crooked black politician" under the cloak of anonymity. How can you claim that you have raised the standards of civil discourse?

Anonymous said...

News Update,

Wilson Allen has been found hiding deep down inside of his dumpster with the lid closed. At first we thought it was just another smelly dead body, but after a thorough investigation it was determined it was just Wilson.

Anonymous said...

I'm a skeptic, a real hardcore skeptic, especially with regard to the Indianapolis Star.
I was involved in Indiana Democratic politics many years ago. I spent many an hour with Ed Ziegner. In those days an editorial endorsement from the local newspapers carried a lot of weight. That has waned in recent years but the Indianapolis Star's endorsement today of Jon Elrod struck me a sincere. After I read the endorsement I mulled over it and was skeptical from about every angle trying to find holes in it.
I couldn't find any holes in it so I sent out a couple of emails to see what was going on. What I found was just how much weight an Elrod endorsement from Indiana's senior Senator, Richard Lugar has.
Senator Lugar feels that Jon Elrod would not only make a good Congressman but he would best represent ALL people in the 7th District rather than just the self interests of a few.
It occurred to me that my own Democratic Party in Marion County has lost it's way. They no longer stand for what they used to. It's no longer a local party that welcomes participation and fair competition from all. Many like myself walked away from it years ago.
The Indianapolis Star picked the right candidate.

Anonymous said...

Wilson emerges from hibernation to offer us.........Nothing.

Anonymous said...

"Wilson emerges from hibernation to offer us.........Nothing."

Per usual.

But wait, Wilson, I thought Louis ordered you away from here. Tsk, tsk.

Anonymous said...

No response from Abdul Hakim Shabaaz about the Star's Elrod endorsement in his blog.
Odd, very odd.

Anonymous said...

Carson made a critical mistake last night during the debates, that will cost him the primary amongst seniors as well as with African American voters. Jim Shella ask all three candidates if they were elected:"What committee would they like to serve...Carson's response:"Ways and Means, Transportation". Yet his entire campaign he has being talking about Medicare,Social Security, Funding for no Child left behind. If anyone know a little about how the Federal Budget is broken down. You will note that the programs I've mention falls under Health and Human Services. His entire campaign was and is to mislead the voters and that is exactly what his campaign has been doing since the Caucus. We will not let these factors get away during the primary debates, I sure hope he shows up, because he has allot of explaining to do. And his new blogger IPOPA is a front, I wouldn't be surprise that is that great dumpster diver. Wilson 46201.

Anonymous said...

Abdul's too busy working on how to spin Andre's acceptance of terrorist-linked contributions, anon 1:06 as simply another attack on Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Tully is a bright guy whose attitude or elitist impairment, severely affects his work product, a standard of news (comprehensive) compromised by views.

Anonymous said...

Tully is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Tully really took that story of Carson accepting cash from an Hamas supporter and ran with it didn't he.
His column today was pathetic. If a candidate for Congress had dome what Carson did seven years ago they would have cuffed 'em and taken them to Gitmo.
I'm glad that the Indianapolis Star ran that big story on that Indiana National Guard unit that's deployed to Iraq while brushing a traitor's deed under the rug.
I guess Tully got religion confused with CAIR supported terrorists this election.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing? You have for over a year talked about the poor judgement of the Star and even called it the communist rag and the Red all of a sudden you think they are wise because they endorse your candidate for congress....whose judgement is questionable here???

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 4:53, Don't confuse me with Sir Hailstone. He is the one who refers to the Star as a "communist rag" and "Red Star." If you are a daily reader, you know that I often praise editorials as much as I criticize them. I similiarly praise news stories as well as criticize them. If I agreed with everything the newspaper wrote, or disagreed with everything the newspaper wrote, you would have a point. But you don't. So get over it.

Anonymous said...

The Star has improved. But, face it, the Star has always been a Republican newwspaper. However, their call on Jon Elrod over Andre
Carson is on target.
However, I don't think sacrificing
a afternoon beer at Hooters is worth seeing Andre Carson beat..


Anonymous said...

I just can't get over Andre Carson's comment that this is a "Democratic" seat. Sorry, Andre, but this seat belongs to all of the people of the 7th District. I usually vote Democrat, but not this time. I believe that John Elrod intends to serve all constituents, not just Republicans.