Indiana Pundit


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Democrats Attack Mitch Harper's Character

This website does its best to not do editorials concerning the opinions of others in our community. But this caught my attention over at the Democrat Party blog. and I thought it needed to be addressed.

Mitch Harper over at Fort Wayne Observed seems to get bad information- or perhaps he just likes to report things he knows are wrong. He is a known Republican who seems to "filter" what he prints- anything he thinks will favor the R's gets in, things that favor D's does not. I acknowledge that I am a political hack, but Mitch wants to be considered a "journalist", when he is nothing but a hack for the R's.

I have known Mitch for many years and consider him a friend. He is a well-respected leader in the community who holds the respect from people of all political persuations and allegiances.

While I understand that the quotation was made in a fit of frustration, the attack on Mitch's character as made by the Democratic party was unprofessional and libelous. People expect more from the organization made great by the likes of FDR and JFK.

An apology to Mr Harper should be in order.

Souder vs Hayhurst 3rd Congressional District

This campaign had left many Republicans wondering how secure their man was. Hayhurst has been a popular city councilman. He also lives in the Aboite area and weakens Souder's strength in that area. This should be the best showing for a Democrat in this race for a long time.

Hayhurst needs to be looked at by voters as a moderate Democrat in order to win. He was doing a good job of it until last week's debate. It wasn't his stance on immigration or abortion that did him in that night. He made the fatal error of questioning the values of his opponent's base when he stated that there was a fundamental problem with conservatives wanting the government to intervene with the issue of the legalization of abortion.

Hayhurst needed to weaken Souder's base in order to win. With that statement he lost them.

Both candidates have done negative ads this cycle with Hayhurst starting them since the debate. You always want voters focused on you the week before the election and on election day. Going negative at this time doesn't do that and is a critical error.

Seeing as how Republican the rest of the 3rd District is Hayhurst needs to win Allen County by a large margin. I don't see him pulling the 30-40% beyond the Allen County Democratic base in order to do so.


Pence vs Welsh 6th Congressional District

While the Welsh campaign has been very active. It has been undisciplined at times. It also faces an opponent in Pence who is popular both locally and nationally. I don't see any weaknesses in the Pence camp other than belonging to a party ridden with scandals.

Pick: Pence

Fries vs Taviano vs Smith - County Sheriff

This has been one of the more active campaigns in this election cycle. It has also been one of the more interesting. All the candidates have had some good ideas as far as what they would do in office.

But this race will be decided by 2 factors. The first factor is this is a predominantly Republican district by a ratio of 2 to 1. The second factor is that there are 3 candidates.

PJ Smith really has no chance in this race no matter what kind of ideas he might bring to the table. But his presence on the ticket brings the question as to which candidate will he steal votes from and will it be enough to make a difference.

Best estimates based on how 3rd party candidates do in countywide races in the past suggest he will take around 2-5% of the vote. After watching the debate between all three candidates I found it interesting how closely Smith's views are to that of Taviano. Smith will more than likely take votes from Taviano because of that.

Pick: Fries

Miller vs Cline County Council District 4

Though there are both Republican and Democrat candidates for this position there really has not been any sort of campaign save for a handful of reused yard signs for Cal Miller. There has been no fundraising or grassroots efforts. Given the absence of a challenge or scandal campaigns like this go to the incumbent.

Pick: Miller

Ball vs Johnson County Council District 1

This is the seat that Mike Cunegin gave up in order to serve in Indianapolis. James Ball filled that seat through caucus and is on the ballot for next week.

This district is the most competitive from a campaign perspective. Its demographics are the most diverse and include the strength of the Democrats GOTV.

In essence it was a perfect opportunity for Democrats to make their pressence known on the county council. As it looks right now however, James Ball has done a better job of raising money and developing a grassroots effort than Mae Johnson.

This was the best shot local Democrats had of winning an election. Her odds were better than either that of Taviano or Hayhurst.

Pick: Ball

Web Poll Results

Last week IP ran a poll wanting to know who our viewers thought won the Souder/ Hayhurst debate on WANE TV. Here are those results.

21 votes for Souder (60%)
14 votes for Hayhurst (40%)

Monday, October 30, 2006

McGauley vs Summers County Recorder

The most press Herb Summer got in this campaign was when he was misidentified in the Journal Gazette as Herb Hernandez. He went about this campaign all wrong. First he switched parties right before announcing his candidacy. That means that he lost whatever political capital he had in the Republican party and he has no credibility with Democratic powers. Even his own family are supporting his opponent. That translates into an underfunded campaign with weak grassroots capabilities.


Love vs Lopshire County Assessor

Pat Love took this seat 4 years ago against a scandalized opponent. Her competency is in question by the public due to her testing inadequacies. Given the predisposition of voters in this county is heavily Republican. Lopshire upsets Love easily.

Pick: Lopshire

Tom Wyss vs Michael Bynum 15th District State Senate

Mr Bynum had an outside shot at the beginning of this race. But in order to win in this district against a Republican incumbent you must run an extremely aggressive and visible campaign and have an opponent who has some major vulnerabilities. I saw neither in this race.

Pick: Tom Wyss

Randy Borror vs Mark Wehrle - 84th District Indiana House

The odds are stacked against Wehrle. Many in the 84th remember his antics from his last campaign. Top that with the fact that the incumbent has a high level leadership position and is in an overwhelmingly Republican District. Only a strong Republican candidate can beat Randy Borror.

Pick: Borror

Howell vs GiaQuinta vs Enders - 80th District Indiana House

While I like both Kevin Howell and Robert Enders. I don't think either can surmount their own difficulties against their Democratic challenger. Kevin is a nice guy who doesn't posess the assertiveness needed for the position. Robert is an underfunded political neophyte. This is a very Democratic district and for anybody to in it outside that party they need to be more than just congenial and blunt.

Pick: GiaQuinta

Mourdock vs Griffin - State Treasurer

This is an open seat left vacated due to term limits by Tim Berry. This should be the closest of the Todd, Dick and Berry races. Richard Mourdock has gotten some help by sharing the campaign platform with Todd Rokita and Tim Berry. I need more time to figure this one out.

Pick: Mourdock

Berry vs Anderson - Auditor of State

While local boy Tim Berry isn't the incumbent in this race he gets the incumbent boost as some voters will not realize he is not running for his former seat. He is one of the more popular state candidates and should beat Judy Anderson with a strong 55-57%

Pick: Tim Berry

Rokita vs Pearson vs Kole - Secretary of State

Rokita won the last election with 53%. I expect Republican numbers to be down this year and Mike Kole to steal votes away as well. However, Joe Pearson didn't put out the needed aggressiveness in order to win this race. This should be a close one.

Pick: Rokita

Lugar vs Osborn - US Senate

This is the easiest of any of my prediction. Republican Dick Lugar comes off as the grandfatherly statesmen who garners the most bipartisan support from Indiana voters. Libertarian Steve Osborn doesn't stand a chance.

Pick: Lugar

Friday, October 27, 2006

Predictions and Pundies

Rundowns and predictions for contested races are coming on Monday.

Also look for the Pundie Awards for the fall on November 8.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Souder/ Hayhurst Debate poll

WANE-TV hosted a debate between Souder and Hayhurst last night. If you didn't see it and want to do so then click Here .

I want to hear what everybody thought about that debate. A webpoll has been created and will be here until Monday.

Here are the rules for commenting on this post.

  • Keep it civil
  • Make comments that are directly related to the debate

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Must be Vigilant

I was at the local GOP website doing some research for an upcoming post. In the candidate area I noticed two things.

First they had Lisa Blosser's website still listed. That has been offline since at least mid-April. Second they are missing a web-link to John McGauley's campaign.

I know I haven't done a good job of keeping up with some of my links. But I'm also not the official gateway for voters to find information about Republican candidates.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Why Right to Life would Endorse a School Board Candidate

Over at FWOb there has been considerable discussion in the Graham Richard Tribute post here. In that post Nancy Nall made the following comment:

"RTL has in the past canvassed candidates for elective office that do not touch on the abortion issue in any way -- city council, various county offices -- and presented voting recommendations based on the responses. RTL doesn't care that a Fort Wayne City Council member's job has nothing to do with whether abortion remains legal in the United States; if they're not on the team, they're not getting the RTL seal of approval."

She seems to miss the intent of groups like RTL when they make these kinds of endorsements. It is a matter of long-term strategic planning concerning their issue.

Elected officials who have any type of bearing on issues such as abortion, gun control, and such don't get to that position out of the blue. They start out as city councilmen, mayors, and even school board members.

RTL is financing multitudes of campaigns that don't currently affect the abortion issue in hopes that some of those candidates will eventually progress in their political careers to such a point that they can affect the issue at hand. The more candidates they fund the greater their chances are of having a majority at some point on their issue.

Popping Up like Weeds

In case you haven't noticed, yards signs are popping up like dandelions all around the area. Time to get out your weed killer.

IP spent a lot of time critiquing local yard signs this past spring. Over the summer I discussed the diminishing effectiveness of this campaign tool with several peers and readers.

We had come to the conclusion that they are no longer as effective as they had been even two years ago and were only effective as a perception of the health of a campaign. The consensus is that this medium is on the decline.

Yard signs will undoubtably survive a few more years until somebody comes up with the next big thing. Campaign tools are most effective when they make a campaign stand out apart from the rest of the ballot (not just their opponent).

Until somebody comes up with something new, keep your weed killer handy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hayhurst Ads Appear

FWOB noted that there had been a big buy of ad time by the Hayhurst campaign. Today I saw the first of those TV spots. Its an evolving portrait of Dr Tom on a blank background.

I thought it was simple and well excecuted. The only criticism I have for it is that I was too engrossed by the evolving portrait that I missed the message. But thats what repetition is for.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Endorsements Galore

There were two endorsements made this week that I find interesting. First Ken Fries was endorsed by Congressmen Pence and Souder. Second John McGauley was endorsed by Attorney General Steve Carter.

Normally I wouldn't mention endorsements but these two are not typical endorsements.

A Congressman will on occassion work with a sheriff to develop a crime bill. So an endorsement by the local Congressman is not out of the question. This is also an enticing endorsement for a Congressman because the sheriff is a high visibility candidate. For two Congressmen to share the spotlight in this endorsement is rare.

County recorder candidates have a hard time getting anybody to take notice of them. At best they can hope to get the endorsement of an elected official in whom they will work with on occassion. The last time I checked there wasn't a lot of interactivity between that position and the Attorney General's office. This is the first time I can recall when the Attorney General has made an endorsement for a County Recorder position.



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