Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a Flogger, a Libertarian, and a Conservative Democrat were running for office . . .
O.k., so we’re all still waiting for the punchline. But, Mary Beth Schneider has a story for the Indianapolis Star giving us the set up for the increasingly peculiar race to fill Bob Garton’s Senate seat. As you may recall, Greg “the Flogger” Walker unseated long-time Senate President pro tem, Bob Garton, largely with the assistance of hardcore pro-life groups upset that Garton didn’t make a priority of legislation designed to make it difficult or impossible for doctors to perform abortion procedures for their patients. Consequently, time ran out during the short session, and the legislation never received an up or down vote.
Enter “the Flogger.” Greg Walker pulled off the upset against Garton with the support of the pro-life groups, capitalizing in large part on Garton’s wishy-washy stance on health care for legislators. But, it turns out, that Walker had written a letter to the editor in 2003 suggesting public flogging as an appropriate punishment. He later defended his support of public flogging as a biblically based punishment.
Running against Walker is a prominent Democratic attorney from Columbus by the name of Terry Coriden. Among other things, Coriden paid $150 to attend a fundraiser for Gov. Mitch Daniels in Columbus which Republican candidate Greg Walker did not attend. Coriden wanted to send a message that he intends to work with the Governor if given the chance. Coriden also opposes abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. (Walker would not support legislation that contained exceptions for rape or incest.)
Add to the mix, a Libertarian candidate by the name of Ken Gividen who attained a fair amount of name recognition in his unsuccessful campaign for Governor in 2004. As I recall (and Mr. Gividen may very well be along shortly to correct me if I’m wrong), he has a very libertarian philosophy with respect to economic issues but not so much with respect to social issues. For example, he was opposed to a student newspaper publishing an article on the dangers of oral sex. Mr. Gividen is more likely to draw voters from the ranks of Republicans than from Democrats in the district.
Gividen, who ran for state Senate in 2002, receiving 3,350 votes to nearly 22,000 for Garton, argued that his small-government, lower-taxes views make him “more Republican than the Republican candidate” and a good fit for GOP voters — if, that is, Republicans can be persuaded to vote for a different party.
“I’m not so much running against Greg as I’m running against that Republican button on the voting machine,” Gividen said.
If elected, he said, he’d caucus with the Republicans and would even consider becoming one, if he got “the blessing of Libertarians.”