Indiana Pundit


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Election Deadlines

Friday has the possibility of being a busy day at the election board. It is the deadline for local political parties to designate candidates for offices in which their respective parties didn't have anyone on the ballot for the primary. It is also has an important impact as far as party strategies go leading into November.

Republicans need only fill the vacancy to meet Win Moses. Moses hasn't faced a challenger since narrowly beating Matt Kelty.

Democrats have numerous vacancies on the ballot. Kevin Knuth's party has two choices to address the situation.

First, they can fill as many positions as possible. This would require a wider distribution of resources to many different campaigns. It also serves as a way to spread the resources of Republicans and potentially underfund a viable race.

The other choice is to fill only a few key races. This would allow for a greater share of the party's resources to be used by those campaigns. This is an "all eggs in one basket" approach. It concedes uncontested races. It also allows Republicans to focus on only the contested races.

Knuth and the Democrats have an unenviable task at deciding which approach they will take. They have until noon to figure it out.

Thoughts on Burg Leaving Taviano's Camp

When a campaign manager leaves a campaign one often hears "that campaign is in trouble." I've heard that several times in regards to David Burg leaving the Taviano camp as reported by FWOB. That assumption is not always correct.

It is often difficult to get local political people to run a hotly contested primary race. Being in the camp of a primary candidate can sometimes burn political bridges with those in opposite camps. For this reason a lot of campaigns will go outside the area and bring in a specialist for a primary race. But having an outside consultant in a general election may hurt a campaign come the fall.

Primaries and general elections have different strategies based on their different dynamics. They are in most aspects two seperate campaigns. So having a different campaign manager for each may actually benefit a campaign.

Burg's replacement is Suzzane M Runge. She was a candidate for the Democrats in 2002 in an unsuccessful bid to beat Bob Lee for county treasurer. She has the experience of a general election campaign for a countywide race.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Push Polls

I have it from a good source that the xxxxxxx campaign is using push polls. While I have not heard the poll myself I thought that now would be a good time to explain what a push-poll is.

A push poll is a technique used by campaigns in an attempt to influence the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are a form of negative campaigning because they tend to spread rumor. The data taken is discarded and never kept for legitimate uses.

It is also is often used to remind voters of a particular issue such as abortion. It might ask respondents to rank candidates based on their support of an issue in order to get voters thinking about that issue.

The advantage of push polls is that they are an effective way of maligning an opponent while avoiding responsibility for the distorted or false information used in the push poll. They get their name because they "push" voters away from a candidate.

If credible evidence emerges that the polls were ordered by a campaign, it would do serious damage to that campaign. Push polls are also relatively expensive, having a far higher cost per voter than radio or television commercials. Thus push polls are most effective in elections with fewer voters, such as party primaries, or in close elections where a relatively small change in votes can mean victory or loss.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

On the lighter Side

"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."
Mark Twain

"A politician is a man who thinks twice before saying nothing."
Frederick Sawyer

"The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it."
Walter Bagehot

"If I were two-faced would I be wearing this one?"
Abraham Lincoln

"Do you pray for the Senators, Dr Hale?"
"No, I look at the senators and I pray for the country."
Edward Everett Hale

"Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives."
Abba Eban

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full."
Henry Kissinger

"I would not like to be a political leader in Russia. They never know when they're being taped."
Richard Nixon

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Conversations on the FWOB interview with Graham Richard

I've talked to several people about the FWOB interview and most of the converstions somehow get steered to this part of the interview.

Nathan Gotsch
I asked him what he would say to a private business owner who wonders why he or she should invest in downtown when, through the City's use of eminent domain, they could end up having their property seized and used for another use, especially another private business like the hotel, as happened in the past with Belmont Liquors.

Graham Richard
"I would say that, number one, the tools that were available to us in state law were the tools that we used. Fortunately we didn't have to use it for the acquisition of all the property for the Grand Wayne expansion. At the time, we felt it was the prudent thing to do, to acquire that property," he said. "Since that time, the state law's been changed, and [that] probably could not happen again in the future."

Some people don't think he answered Nathan's question at all and kind of side stepped it.

Another person had an interesting perspective to it. Their take was that the city won't do any more eminent domains such as the Grand Wayne Center only because it can't due to the change in law. This person thinks that if FW could it would do such eminent domains. This person feels that businesses don't feel the protection of the law because if their is a desire to do something they will find a way to do it no matter how creative they need to be.

I think he implyed an answer without actually stating one. Its a trick used more often than not by politicians.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Why Not?

Tracy Warner posted on the perennial voice of opposition provided by Jon Olinger on FWCS. Mike Sylvester made a good point in the comment section that is yet to be properly covered by any of the area news agencies.

Why was this contract not put through the normal bidding process?

This is one of those things that could have wide political costs to board members.

The Nuclear Option

On Sunday the Journal Gazette had an article about the rural group that is studying the consolidation issue. In that article they revealed that the group is looking at the option of incorporating the eastern third of the county to protect it from being consolidated by Fort Wayne.

This option does two things. It becomes a last resort option should their concerns not be addressed and things move forward anyway. It also forces the commissioners and councils to take them into consideration on this matter. This becomes a nuclear option for rural allen county.

Would the county pull the trigger so to speak? Should their study shows that it would be both economically and logistically possible I think they would.

Note: As I was writing this article this thought came to me. The proponents of county consolidation argue that it would make government more efficient. But this rural group formed their own commission and were investigating the matter a full month before the commissioners/ councils group.

I find it ironic that the group touting efficiency through consolidation is the least efficient of the two groups studying the matter.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Primary Results Available

The Election Board has released the results of May's Primary nominations. They are broken down between the two types of machines used at polling stations. It required a little bit of math to figure out what the true totals were.

In order to save my readers the time of doing so I have done that math for the major races. I will not be doing this for precinct by precinct results. That would be insane.

I will take this weekend to look over the results and report if I find anything of interest over the course of next week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

SWOT - Ken Fries

  • Has done a good job at long-range planning for this campaign.
  • Has a strong fiscal backing.
  • Has the local network needed to implement a grassroots campaign this summer.

  • Still a political neophyte though the contested primary seasoned him up a bit.

  • Ken will be able to get a first-hand look at the job he is seeking as the chief deputy. He will discover nuances in the position that he might not have known otherwise.

  • Herman is a love-him/ hate-him kind of guy among the Republican base. His endorsement of Fries could soften Ken's base a bit. But other than that it is Ken's to lose. Pat Love is the only Democrat to win a countywide seat in a long time.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Them's Fightin' Words

In the seemingly rare Parley posting, Mitch lets Tracy Warner really have it about his criticism of the Medical Examiner system. Here's an exerpt from that post. Could this be the beginning of a blog dual between the two?

Mr. Warner goes on in his blog post to say that Indiana ought to have a medical examiner system.

Well, Mr. Warner, Indiana already has provisions for a Medical Examiner system in the Indiana Code.How do I know? Because I drafted the legislation, introduced as a bill in the Indiana House of Representatives and got it passed in 1981. I did so in conjunction with Dr. John Pless, the longtime forensic pathologist at I.U. Medical Center and with the support of then Allen County Coroner Bud Ahlbrand, M.D. and a large number of rural county coroners. That legislation led to a very robust debate which resulted in today's Indiana Coroner's Training Board and the current situation where all coroner's autopsies in Indiana ARE conducted by forensic pathologists.

Term Limit Promise

I've heard a lot of people say that Souder is going to be hurt by the term limit promise he had made several years ago. For the record it won't hurt him.

When I look at who is saying the promise is an issue I see a group of voters who who are already not voting for Souder. There are not a lot of undecideds or members of Souder's base who feel this is a an issue. It has hardly made a dent in the last 8 years. I don't see it making a significant jump in importance now.



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