Todd Rokita embarrasses Indiana twice (at least)

Indiana State Representative Todd Rokita (R) has been making the news cycles recently to discuss his ignominious role in the government shutdown. He’s blissfully unaware of how ridiculous he sounds in this soundbite that gets prominent discussion on The Daily Show yesterday evening:

But what takes the cake is Rokita’s sexist remarks to a CNN anchor during a discussion of the government shutdown. At one point, Rokita dismisses Carol Costello’s questions with the remark “You’re beautiful, but you need to be honest.”

Lovely. If we’re remarking on people’s appearances, Todd, I have a thing or two to say about how you look.

Not to be outdone by Rokita, Indiana Representative Marlin Stutzman had this to say:

“We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Continue ReadingTodd Rokita embarrasses Indiana twice (at least)

Some government shutdown reading

First – let’s be clear on who’s responsible for this debacle:

The truth of what happened Monday night, as almost all political reporters know full well, is that “Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance.” (Thank you, Guardian.)

And holding the entire government hostage while demanding the de facto repeal of a president’s signature legislation and not even bothering to negotiate is by any reasonable standard an extreme political act. It is an attempt to make an end run around the normal legislative process. There is no historical precedent for it. The last shutdowns, in 1995 and 1996, were not the product of unilateral demands to scrap existing law; they took place during a period of give-and-take budget negotiations.

Shutdown coverage fails Americans

As the rest of the world laughs at the United States:

“The world looked on with a little anxiety and a lot of dismay, and some people had trouble suppressing smirks,” wrote Kevin Sullivan in a piece for Malaysian outlet Awani entitled, “US shutdown leaves the world scratching its head.”

While Russia Today devoted an entire article to U.S. shutdown comedy, featuring noteworthy images and tweets carrying the #govtshutdown hashtag, photojournalist Lynsey Addario tweeted from India that the shutdown was not being taken too seriously.

“I’m in India, and my driver and translator are laughing at U.S. govt shutdown. So much for world’s great superpower. It’s closed,” she said in a Tuesday tweet.

As US shuts down, rest of the world looks on with bemusement, laughter

And of course Indiana has to show up as a national embarrassment, courtesy Todd Rokita being a dumbass on television:

Continue ReadingSome government shutdown reading

Indiana Governor’s Race: Dumb vs. Dumber

I was incredulous yesterday when the John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for Indiana Governor actually went on record as being against same-sex marriage, because – how dumb can you be? That position is clearly on the wrong side of history, is clearly not a Democratic position, and will lose you your base in Indiana. It won’t gain you any Republicans. If you’re trying to hedge your bets, just don’t say anything rather than saying something so stupid.

I immediately went to Gregg’s site and told him off for not being a good Democrat or a good progressive, and told him that while he still had my vote, he wouldn’t get any financial support from me, nor would I support him online or in my social networks.

Today, Gregg decided to double-down on the stupid. I got this email in my inbox:

Dear Steph,

Fact: Congressman Mike Pence has lived in Arlington, Virginia for over a decade.

If you ask me, that’s over a decade too long, if he wants to be Governor of Indiana. That’s over a decade that he hasn’t been living in Indiana, and over a decade that he hasn’t been talking with real Hoosiers.

Watch our latest video, “Out of State, Out of Touch,” and see how Congressman Pence has been gone for too long!
Watch the video!

Want Washington-style fighting and divisiveness in Indiana? That’s what we’ll get with Congressman Pence, because it’s all he knows. John, on the other hand, is still connected to his Southwest Indiana roots, raising his sons in Sandborn. John believes in working across the aisle to get things done, and focusing on what’s important: jobs and education.

Watch our latest video, “Out of State, Out of Touch,” and see how Congressman Pence has been gone for too long!

The Washington way vs. the Hoosier way? I think it’s a clear choice — and I’ll bet you do too.


Rebecca Pearcey
Campaign Manager
Gregg for Governor

Richard Mourdock just won the Republican primary, apparently on the platform of “Lugar has been in Washington too long” and Gregg is somehow thinking that same platform will work for him against Mike Pence.

But the reality is that Lugar didn’t lose on the “been in Washington too long” issue. He lost because he’s too centrist, and the Republican party has been moving steadily to the right. The “Out of State out of touch” thing with Lugar was just and excuse for people to ditch a guy who’s worked his ass off for the state of Indiana for a couple decades, which is frankly pretty damned crazy. Lugar was a serious force in Washington, and Indiana lost a lot of clout by voting him out.

But as a whole Indiana is NOT as far right as the Republican Party is. Indiana did vote for Obama, after all and I don’t think that was a fluke. Playing on the same themes that the Republican’s are playing to try to appeal to the center is not going to help Gregg in the slightest, and he’s a fool to think so.

I’d almost not vote for John Gregg at all, except that he’s running against Mike Pence. And Mike Pence is the biggest pinhead in Indiana. You have to get up really early in the day to be stupider than Mike Pence. So who do you vote for in a race between Dumb (Gregg) and Dumber (Pence)?

I guess I’d vote Dumb. But this is one of those times when it really sucks to be a Hoosier.

Continue ReadingIndiana Governor’s Race: Dumb vs. Dumber

Dan Coats bumper sticker

Just spotted a Dan Coats for Indiana sticker on minivan on College Ave. I thought the Republicans were really ignorant, but that’s just chillingly nihilistic. He’s such a terrible candidate for the state of Indiana that there’s no way to plead ignorance on the issue – if you’ve got the brains to go get a bumper sticker for him, then you have to actually know what he’s about. And if you know what he’s about, how could you possibly advertise for him? I just assumed Republicans would be on the down low for him; voting for him in private but not admitting it in public. If they’re opening admitting they want one of the shittiest candidates in Indiana history in the U. S. Senate – dog help us all.

Continue ReadingDan Coats bumper sticker

Mary Ann Sullivan for State Representative

Mary Ann Sullivan is the Democratic candidate for my district – Indiana House District 97. She’s running against ‘cut and run’ Jon Elrod, who was going to leave the District high and dry to run against Andre Carson, but then ran back to District 97 when he realized he couldn’t beat Andre.

I’ve met Mary Ann several times and she’s the smart, capable person we need in HD 97 – someone who will actually serve the people and not use the office as a stepping stone to the next job.

Continue ReadingMary Ann Sullivan for State Representative

Jill Long Thompson gaining in Indiana Gov. Race

The latest Indy Star poll that showed Obama edging out McCain by 3 percent also shows Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson moving up in the polls – within spittin’ distance of ol’ Ditch Mitch, actually.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels holds a four-point lead in his bid for a second term, including support from one in five voters who plan to back Democrat Barack Obama for president, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR (Channel 13) poll.

Daniels leads Democratic challenger Jill Long Thompson 46 percent to 42 percent. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

Help Jill out — Donate some money to her campaign.

Continue ReadingJill Long Thompson gaining in Indiana Gov. Race

Hoosier Political Report

Taking Down Words was one of my favorite local political blogs for a long time, and I really miss it. Since Jennifer Wagner switched over to a new URL and format — Hoosier Political Report — things just haven’t been the same, and sadly, it’s going to get booted from my feed reader soon.

Rather than the astute and funny local political commentary contained on the old blog, the new one is composed almost completely of press releases from political candidates (YAWN), videos of recent campaign commercials (I fast forward through them on TV, so why would I waste my time on the internet?) and collected links from local newspapers (I get the headlines from the papers I care about in my feed reader already, so this is just redundant.)

The one thing I thought would be even mildly interesting – The Capitol Report – (where Jennifer sits down in a political pundit style video format with opposing viewpoint radio guy and erstwhile blogger Abdul Hakim Shabazz) just sets my teeth on edge the two times I’ve tried to watch it. Jennifer seems to be trying to remake her image from “witty political gadfly” into “sober political commentator” and the transition just doesn’t sit well with me – mainly because sober political commentators in Indiana are a boring dime a dozen, but witty political gadflies are a rare and desirable creature.

And it’s no secret that I can’t stand Abdul. Given his dubious past running the libelous and in one case criminal Indy Undercover blog (he compromised an arson investigation and endangered the life a police informant by posting her name on the blog) I have trouble with the idea of lending him a sheen of respectability that he just doesn’t merit.

Continue ReadingHoosier Political Report

District 7 candidate Woody Myers threatens to sue blog

I’ve mentioned before that I’m voting for David Orentlicher in the primary as the Democratic candidate for Julia Carson’s former seat in the U.S. Congress. The slated Democratic candidate and current office holder is André Carson (elected in March in a special election) but I’m just not convince that Carson has enough experience. David has been a State Representative for many years. I’ve met him several times and heard him speak on a variety of issues.

The other two candidates running are Dr. Woody Myers and Carolene Mays. Mays is pretty openly homophobic and is universally opposed by the gay community in Indianapolis. Dr. Myers seemed like a decent guy, until we discovered that he opposed the Patient Bill of Rights, which I had supported back in 1998.

This morning, we found out his lawyers sent threatening letters to The Bilerico Project blog for posting the information about Myers opposition to the Patient Bill of Rights, and demanded the identifying information for the blogger who posted the information.

There’s pretty clearly no legal grounds for the threat, but I sure did get a good laugh out of it. And another reason not to vote for Woody Myers.

In other political news, Barack Obama visited my friend Rich’s family farm in north western Indiana and played basketball with Rich’s nephew, and talked for awhile with his family. Rich got lots of photos and I guess Senator Obama was pretty cool.

He also brought Rich’s family apple pies, one of which Rich brought to work. So this morning, I had a piece of delicious Barack Obama Apple Pie, which I heard isn’t store bought at all, but he baked all by himself on the tour bus, from apple he gathered from trees growing right there on the bus roof. Also, I heard he’s ten feet tall, breathes fire and is able to fly. I wonder how he keeps the press from finding all that out. He must be magic.

I still plan to vote for Hillary for a variety of reasons, but I have to admit, Barack’s magic pie is delicious, and if he ends up with the nomination, I’ll be excited to vote for him in the fall.

Continue ReadingDistrict 7 candidate Woody Myers threatens to sue blog

Indiana political blogging

Sometimes it’s really entertaining

for all the

wrong [link deprecated:;jsessionid=38F64BC3DD2AF56DA297D48ACAA576E0?diaryId=2332] reasons.

2019 Update: Lest it be lost to the ethereal ravages of time, this was the subject of the above posts.

Subject: Tyrion
Date: April 9, 2008 4:55:22 PM GMT-04:00

It’s quite interesting that you, of all people, would allow the anonymous postings of one Tyrion who has at times called me “crazy”, “bipolar”, a “liar”, “going over the edge”, “lost it”, and “left my brain in Charleston”, among other things, and who has falsely and with defamatory intent accused me of professional misconduct as an attorney. Obviously, you know the identity of this person. You can graciously identify the name of this person, or you can be named as a defendant in a lawsuit and be served with a subpoena commanding you to reveal his identity. Take your pick. If this guy wants to make it his hobby to professionally trash me on anonymous blog postings, then he can suffer the consequences of defending his actions in court. And if you want to serve as his enabler, you can suffer the consequences as well.

As far as I know, no lawsuits were ever filed.

Continue ReadingIndiana political blogging

The Ripple Effect: How my post on Jon Elrod has spread

I presumed yesterday’s post on the special election would cause some consternation, but it’s always interesting to see how these things play out. Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project asked me to cross post my entry there, which I though would be fun.

From there, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, radio personality and erstwhile former blogger at IndyUndercover got all up about it on his “I’ll admit this blog is mine” blog Indiana Barrister, and apparently has asked Jon Elrod if he’s gay on his radio show.

I’m presuming the answer he gave is no — I don’t listen to the show and haven’t heard one way or another what he actually said.

It’s really cute that in his blog post Abdul says “As one of the premiere bloggers in this state…” Aw. I’ll bet your mom calls you every morning to tell you how handsome you are, too, Abdul. That doesn’t mean it’s true, except in the “state of confusion in Abdul’s head.” Good grief.

Then Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana got all on the case about Abdul even mentioning it either place, referring to my blog post as “a baseless rumor the campaign of Andre Carson has been spreading about Republican Jon Elrod for the past two months.”

Dunno where that description comes from, as I haven’t heard a word about Elrod’s sexual orientation from the Carson campaign. I’m certainly not from the Carson campaign — I’m voting for him against my preferred wishes, and I only posted the entry yesterday morning. But it’s convenient for Gary to reassign the issue to Carson, since he can then claim it’s based in homophobia, as Welsh’s commenters immediately do on his post.

It’s a lot harder for Gary claim my motivation as homophobia – especially when he has a moratorium on talking about me on his blog. I believe I’m one of the people he refused to mention.

Whether any of this changes what I think about voting Elrod — I’ll have to get audio of Elrod’s answer and see what I think about it, and whether I believe his answer. I’m glad that he’s at least been asked publicly a question that half a dozen people emailed me to mention they wondered themselves. If the question is in that many people’s minds, it should be addressed.

Continue ReadingThe Ripple Effect: How my post on Jon Elrod has spread