IN-02: Dolan Withdraws from Primary; Endorses Jordan

In the Republican primary in Indiana’s Second Congressional District, Martin Dolan has announced that he is withdrawing his candidacy. He indicates that he is withdrawing for personal reasons: being a candidate is a time consuming activity that doesn’t lend itself well to spending time with and providing for one’s family.

At this time, he is throwing his support to Jack Jordan. Dolan is none too happy with Republican lawmakers endorsing Jackie Walorski (see, e.g.), feeling that during the primary process, elected officials in the party ought to remain neutral.

Jordan describes himself as a “non-politician” and “citizen-candidate.” His “stances” page looks to me like a litany of standard conservative talking points. He’s also a graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University who spent most of his career at Eli Lilly. Frankly, I liked Dolan’s positions better. I certainly didn’t agree with a lot of them, but the explanations were more thoughtful than the overly simplistic bullet points on Jordan’s page.

IN-02: Martin Dolan

Martin Dolan, a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the Second District of Indiana was kind enough to pass along a link to his website. His bio looks solid – though, I suppose a candidate’s website wouldn’t be doing its job if a bio looked otherwise.

He’s an IT guy with a military background and says he’s running because of what he sees as the ineffectiveness of President Obama and the current Congress. I disagree with some of his premises but won’t argue with them at the moment. Go to his site and judge for yourself.

Busy Primary Season

There is some unrest in the air, making this a busy primary season. The Lafayette Journal & Courier has a list of people who will be on local ballots.

Don Bates, Jr., Richard Behney, Dan Coats, John N. Hostettler, Marlin A. Stutzman
Coats is a former Hoosier, lobbyist, and very retro – I don’t think he captures the mood of the Republicans. Behney has come off as a blowhard, talking about playing with his guns if he doesn’t get his way. Hostettler is a wingnut. I don’t know much of anything about Bates. Stutzman has been a state legislator, giving him a veneer of respectability, who has a reputation as very conservative, which will play well in the primary.

D: Peter J. Visclosky*, Woody Wilcox
R: Adam A. Dombkowski, Ric Holtz, Mark Leyva, Peter Lindemulder III, Eric L. Olson, Robert Pastore, Michael Petyo, Jayson Reeves

Visclosky has some ethics issues dogging him, but, so far as I know, it’s just investigatory at this point. He has to be regarded as a heavy favorite at this point.

D: Joe Donnelly*
R: Martin A. Dolan, Jack Edward Jordan, Jackie Walorski, Tony Zirkle
Any primary fight that involves Wacky Jackie battling with a disbarred (pdf) Illinois Nazi supporter should be one to watch. I don’t know anything about Dolan and Jordan – they might be credible challengers.

D: Tara E. Nelson, Mark Powell, David Sanders
R: Jon Acton, Cheryl Denise Allen, Mike Campbell, Daniel L. Dunham, James T. (Jim) Hass, Brandt Hershman, LaRon Keith, Todd Rokita, Mark Seitz, Ed Soliday, Phillip J. (PJ) Steffen, Phil J. Thorpe, Eric L. Wathen, R. Michael Young

David Sanders is a Purdue professor and a great guy, but has not, historically, been able to raise the kind of funds necessary to compete against Steve Buyer in this district. He threw his hat in the ring when nobody else was going to, which is good because it would have been a shame if Rep. Buyer had gone completely unchallenged in the wake of his Frontier Foundation shenanigans. Off hand, I don’t know anything about Mark Powell or Tara Nelson who will compete with him in the primary. The real action, at this point, is in the Republican primary. IN-04 is a heavily Republican district and would-be Congressmen came out of the woodwork when Buyer announced he was stepping down. Right now, I’d probably give Hershman and Rokita the edge in this crowded field. Rokita because he has name recognition, and Hershman because the Fourth is his turf probably more than the others, as a state Senator from the Lafayette area and as someone very involved in Buyer’s campaigns. I’m not sure how well the Indianapolis types will fare in this sprawling district.

D: Brad Ellsworth*, W. Trent Van Haaften
R: Bud Bernitt, Larry D. Bucshon, Billy J. Mahoney, Kristi Risk, John Lee Smith, John K. Snyder, Dan Stockton, Steve Westell

This one is interesting because Ellsworth is probably going to take a stab at the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh which would leave Van Haaften as the Democratic candidate. Trent is a state representative who has been known to read and even comment on this blog from time to time which automatically makes him a man of discerning tastes. I am not immediately familiar with the Republican candidates.

There are also plenty of state and local races. I won’t comment on the local races because I live and work here and don’t like crapping in my nest, so to speak. But one item of interest, I see that for Indiana House District 15, currently occupied by Don Lehe, there is someone on the Democratic ballot going by the name of, and I quote, “John (The Man) Malan.”

Congressional Fundraising

Blue Indiana has a handy chart listing Congressional fund raising number for the quarter. Of note:

Indiana’s 2nd, 7th, and 8th appear locked up for the freshmen Democrats, Donnelly, Ellsworth, and Carson, respectively, in those seats. Their challengers have not raised any money to speak of.

Baron Hill seems to be doing very well in Indiana’s 9th with $684k on hand compared to Sodrel’s $263k.

In Indiana’s 3rd District, Mike Montagano has a disturbingly low cash on hand of $31k compared to Mark Souder’s $450k. However, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been putting money into this race, so that might explain why his cash on hand has been allowed to get low and provide him with money to finish strong.

In Indiana’s 4th District, Nels Ackerson has put up some solid numbers, but he has his work cut out for him with $100k on hand compared to Buyer’s $800k. In fact, I received a copy of Buyer’s press release which states his intent to “own” the airwaves. We’ll see if his PAC money can buy this thing or if Ackerson has enough money to make a run for it.

Visclosky (IN-01), Burton (IN-05), and Pence (IN-06) also seem to have things locked up fairly well based on a comparison of their war chests to the money of their challengers.

Congressional Matchups

The Lafayette Journal & Courier had an article a few days ago primarily focused on the upcoming match up in the 4th Congressional District between 8 term incumbent, Steve Buyer and Westfield attorney Nels Ackerson. Ackerson sports an impressive resume and the ability to raise money that might give Buyer his first serious challenge; though it’ll be tough sledding in the heavily Republican Fourth District.

Other races in Indiana will be:

IN-01: Pete Visclosky versus Mark Leyva. Hard to think Visclosky is vulnerable.
IN-02: Joe Donnelly versus Luke Puckett. I think Tony Zirkle got like 5,000 votes.
IN-03: Mark “term limits” Souder versus Mike Montagano.
IN-05: Dan Burton v. Mary Etta Ruley.
IN-06: Mike Pence v. Barry Welsh.
IN-07: Andre Carson v. John Elrod.
IN-08: Brad Ellsworth v. Greg Goode.
IN-09: Baron Hill v. Mike Sodrel. The re-re-re-match. It’s like Groundhog’s Day down there.

Indiana (and North Carolina) Primary Day: VOTE!

It’s primary day in Indiana and North Carolina. Whatever your preference*, get out and vote. It’s good to get in the habit. Here in Lafayette, turn out seemed strong. Until today, I had never waited in line to vote in an Indiana primary. I waited for 3 or 4 minutes at 6:45 a.m. this morning.

*When I typed that, I recalled Mike Kole, Libertarian, and his practice of going to the polling place, signing the book, and leaving because the primary is stacked in favor of just Republicans and Democrats. That made me think of the Blues Brothers scene:

Elwood: What kind of music do you usually have here?
Claire: Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

I suppose primaries are kind of like that for any third party.

My footnote kind of ate up the initial post here. Still, get out and vote.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier is doing an election day notebook. As of about 2:45 p.m., about 30,000 people had voted in Tippecanoe County’s primary. I don’t know what the record is/was for the county, but according to the J&C, 1996 had about 22,500 and that was the highest primary turnout from then to now.

State Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

I’m tired, and it’s late, so this will be a short post, but I just got back from the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Indianapolis. It was like a 7-fer for a political junkie: Evan Bayh, Lee Hamilton, Jill Long Thompson, Jim Schellinger, Hilllary Clinton, Barack Obama, and, my favorite, Howard Dean. One of my favorite lines of the night was from him, saying something to the effect of, maybe if we were keeping the money we were spending in Iraq here at home, we wouldn’t have to sell off our highways.

I was surprised at how many names I recognized on name tags. I guess if you consume the vast amount of state political media that I do, names will eventually seep in. I was particularly happy to see Dave Crooks again. He was just always very pleasant to me when I was a rookie staffer at the Legislative Services Agency. I also exchanged a few words with Baron Hill, Joe Donnelly, Russ Stilwell, and the brother and father of Michael Montagno.

My name tag was misspelled “Mason” instead of “Masson,” but even that was a little funny since the woman who handed me my name tag recognized my name from the blog and apologized for the typo. On a number of occasions, folks would indicate some familiarity with this site, and it was always vaguely surprising. I went with “T” who comments in these parts. His wife accused me of blushing whenever someone would mention the site. I’m not sure I went that far, but I’m a little self-deprecating by nature; so, I’m never quite sure how to handle the odd compliment.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. Hopefully Amy can salvage some of the pictures I took. I suspect most of them are backs of heads and a speck of a speaker off in the distance.

Update Not much of an update, but I noticed that I forgot to thank Chris Coyle with Indiana Progressives who got me a ticket to the dinner.


I’ve resisted commenting on Tony Zirkle’s latest antics because I think he’s something of a side show. Tempting as it is to pretend otherwise, he’s not really representative of the GOP. He’s running in the IN-02 primary, trying to get a shot at unseating Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

But, really, I’m not made of stone. The man went to speak in front of honest to god Illinois Nazis. I’ve seen the Blues Brothers a couple dozen times. You have to pay attention when your favorite movie comes to life.

Elwood: Illinois Nazis.
Jake: I hate Illinois Nazis.

Lest there be any idea that Mr. Zirkle was unaware of who these fellows were:

Tony Zirkle, who is seeking the Republican nomination in northern Indiana’s 2nd District, stood in front of a painting of Hitler, next to people wearing swastika armbands and with a swastika flag in the background for the speech to the American National Socialist Workers Party in Chicago on Sunday.

Zirkle says that people who haven’t talked to him aren’t very credible when speculating about his motives. But, come on: Illinois Nazis. The linked article also has this tidbit:

The event was not the first time Zirkle has raised controversy on race issues. In March, Zirkle raised the idea of segregating races in separate states. Zirkle said Tuesday he’s not advocating segregation, but said desegregation has been a failure.

That line reminds me of an old Murphy Brown episode where Wallace Shawn (the Sicilian from The Princess Bride) plays Stuart Best, a former FYI anchor who gets elected to Congress through a coalition to the right of David Duke and says something like, “Slavery is an ugly word. . . . But, let me tell you a word that is worse: ‘Welfare.'”

Indiana Democrats and Sen. Lugar are bipartisan sometimes

Maureen Groppe has an article in the Louisville Courier Journal entitled “Congress’ Hoosiers Showed Independence in ’07.” But that headline is not entirely accurate. Indiana’s House Republicans — Pence, Burton, Buyer, and Souder — were not notable for their bipartisan efforts.

On the other hand, Bayh, Hill, Donnelly, Ellsworth, and Lugar were noted for crossing party lines from time to time. No word on Carson or Visclosky, though Carson didn’t do much in the way of voting last year and Visclosky presumably voted Democratic like his counterparts Pency, Burton, Buyer, and Souder.

The article mentions that Bayh broke with his party to allow the government to conduct warrantless surveillance in the United States, and to vote against a requirement that utilities get some of their power from renewable resources. Hill, Donnelly, and Ellsworth also voted for warrantless government wiretaps and against children’s health care. Good going, guys.