Monday, June 02, 2008

If Presentation Matters, Zoeller Beats Costas Hands Down

I just had the opportunity to hear both GOP candidates for Attorney General at the 7th District Caucus. Greg Zoeller's speech convinced me I had made the right decision to support him over Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas. Costas addressed the caucus first. Costas delivered a very brief, forgettable speech. I honestly can't recall anything of significance he had to say other than he was backed by Gov. Daniels. It was almost as if he thought he was taking a coronation tour after being handed the AG's nomination on a silver platter by Gov. Daniels.

In striking contrast, Zoeller treated his opportunity to speak as if he was making final arguments in a big trial. He convincingly reinforced his campaign theme, "Experience Matters." Throughout his career in public service, Zoeller accentuated the fact that he has continuously worked with the state's 92 counties. As the office's Chief Deputy Attorney General for the past 7 1/2 years, all attorneys in the office report to him. He is very proud of the record he and Steve Carter have built and believes it is a strong one to run on, noting that Carter four years ago was re-elected by the largest margin of any statewide elected official in Indiana history. Zoeller's speech drew a standing ovation from about half of the delegates seated in the room. That's impressive when you consider the fact that Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John is supporting Costas and has been encouraging at least the delegates he appointed to support Costas. Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who was also present for this morning's caucus meeting, is backing his long-time friend Zoeller.

Mayor Greg Ballard's presence was prominent in the 7th District Caucus. He delivered a brief speech highlighting the successes of his administration during his short time in office, after which he received a standing ovation. Ballard, who did not publicly endorse either candidate for the Attorney General's race, said he thought the contest would be beneficial to the party. Ballard, along with Tom John and Jennifer Ping, were nominated by the caucus as delegates to the Republican National Convention. A few delegates objected to nominations by the caucus being made by the chair as opposed to coming from the floor, but the chair's will prevailed handily without any disruptions.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and Superintendant of Public Instruction candidate Tony Bennett both stopped by to speak on behalf of their candidacies. Both are unopposed. Jon Elrod, candidate for 7th District Congress, had a mediation to attend this morning and was unable to make it to the caucus meeting. Gov. Daniels did not make the caucus rounds this morning.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry to disagree, Gary, but I'm intimately familiar with the operations of the current AG's office. It is a horribly run office. For example, the homeowners protection unit refuses to enforce the law when it comes to realtors and real estate appraisals. And they couldn't spell RESPA if you spotted them the RESP. Then take the area of complex litigation and civil rights. The attorneys there seem to have no idea what they're doing, and no supervision. I can't think of one area of that office that is run well.

Gary, before assuming the current office is being run well, I'd urge you to talk to some attorneys who have worked in the AG's office. I know of only one former DAG who speaks well of Carter's office.

The fact that Zoeller oversees the mess that is the AG's office and everyone reports to him, is precisely a reason not to vote for him. He bears the responsbility for how poorly that office is run.

CallMe-Ishmael said...

"Ballard, who did not publicly endorse either candidate for the Attorney General's race...."

I wonder why he didnt take a stand? Its not like he owes any loyalty to either Mitch Daniels or Tom John.