Friday, October 10, 2008

Zoeller Up Ten Points Over Pence According To WISH-TV Poll

A new WISH-TV poll shows Republican Greg Zoeller leading Democrat Linda Pence in the race for attorney general 42%-32%, with more than a quarter of voters undecided. Democrats last held the office during a period when the state was electing Democratic governors. Zoeller has an advantage with Gov. Mitch Daniels leading the state ticket; however, his lead over Democrat Jill Long Thompson has clearly been shrinking in recent weeks as the economy tanks. While many Republicans express great confidence Daniels will handily beat Thompson, I'm not as confident. Unfortunately, Republicans appear to be taking the brunt for the current financial collapse, which has its roots in policies enacted and defended by liberal Democrats in Washington. If I were Gov. Daniels, I wouldn't take anything for granted this year.

Back to the Attorney General's race, I see that Linda Pence is promising to dump the legal contract Attorney General Steve Carter signed with the law firm of Lewis & Wilkins. The 7-figure contract to defend the state in lawsuits drew fire from many in the legal community at the time it was executed. The law firm was created from scratch by two former attorneys from the Attorney General's office, one of whom had a part in writing the specifications for the contract. According to state records, the firm billed the state over $551,000 in 2007. Pence says she will save the state over $300,000 annually by bringing the work back in-house.

Lewis & Wilkins expected to cash in big when Greg Ballard upset Bart Peterson in last year's mayoral election, but one of its principal partners, Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John, bolted and went to Ice Miller earlier this year. The firm also employs in an "of counsel" capacity the highly controversial radio talk show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who is not licensed to practice law in Indiana. It remains a mystery what exactly Shabazz does for the firm. I'll be surprised if Pence keeps her promise and brings all that work back in-house if she wins. With all the money she is raising from the big firms in town for her campaign, you better believe they will expect some work out of her office if she is elected.


M Theory said...

I talked with Diane Vice, a well-respected Indiana whistle blower, who is full steam for Zoeller. She's the gal exposing TREMCO ROOFING school bid schemes to sunshine.
She's endured lawsuits and vicious tactics by Tremco's lawyer/lobbyists and it finally looks like things are going the way of the taxpayers.
After the election, we're launching a campaign to see to it that she gets the 2008 SAM ADAMS ALLIANCE "Sunshine" national prize. It will help offset her mounting legal fees which is the price she's paying to expose this corruption.

Her blog is called WELCOME TO MY TEA PARTY

Paul K. Ogden said...

The trouble with polls on these lower profile races is that they aren't that accurate because the people being polled don't know the candidates. The races tend to follow more the baseline Republican-Democrat vote for that particular year. While that normally means a Republican victory, this year could well prove the exception.

I expect Pence will be the strongest state-wide Democrat candidate so if she doesn't win, I doubt any Democrat state-wide candidates will win. Right now though I wouldn't bet against her because I think Obama is going to carry the state.

Anyone who has read my blog has seen me express great disappointment in the lack of aggressiveness in the Attorney General's Office. I can't think of a single person working for real estate regulatory reform that was happy with the performance of the AG's office in regulating realtors and appraisers.

But I've seen that lack of aggressive is other parts of the AG's office. Too many times we brought things to the attention of the AG's office and nothing was done. It was very frustrating.

While my preferences almost always lean Republican, I get extremely disappointed when I hear Greg Zoeller promise to continue the status quo in the AG's office. We don't need the status quo. We need change. While I think Greg Zoeller is a good man and probably would be a good Attorney General, I think he would be a lot better AG if he started from the perspective that we need substantial change in how the AG's office is run. I haven't heard that yet. I hope to though.

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