It’ ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

Over there at stAllio!’s digs, he’s been keeping a good hand in at critiquing the local political situation.

Just to sum things up a bit for you out-of-towners – Indianapolis has a bunch of dirty cops; after a string of high-profile drug shootings, Mayor Ballard frantically tries to keep it together; and Jon Elrod quit his District 7 race like a little girl and went running back to District 97.

ANYWAYS, stAllio! had a particularly insightful take down of radio personality Abdul Hakim-Shabazz’s recent major public malfunction: “what this town needs are a couple good police beatings.”

Abdul apparently didn’t have any adequate defense to stAllio’s post, so he shot back with this:

Go get a drink and relax. You are way too uptight. I thought you would have mellowed out after getting married.

To which I pop my head up from gardening the front flower beds and pronounce a particularly insightful: “What? WTF is he on about?”
I guess he thinks Ben Berg and I are the same person? I kinda wish, actually. He’s a better writer than I am, and a cool local artist. I do have a lovely piece of his art in my home:

Evil Fever by StAllio!

Abdul, perhaps you should lay off the coke a bit.

Continue ReadingIt’ ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

Dealing with some denial of service attacks on the site

I have been dealing with a denial of service attack on my site recently. I suspect that I’m the target of some unethical behavior in the gay Republican base in Indianapolis politics, specifically because of this post I wrote about Marion County’s special election to replace Julia Carson.

It’s been almost exactly a year since I wrote “I Am Not an Activist” and after that scaled back my writing about local political issues in favor of more relevant topics. In retrospect that was a good decision. Also appropriate since David Wene, a local gay Republican “activist” decided to use that word to describe me as though it was an epithet.

Continue ReadingDealing with some denial of service attacks on the site

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

March 11 District 7 Special Election

I’ve been saying I’m going to write about the March 11th special election, and I haven’t forgotten that. I actually have had a REALLY long post written about it since Friday, but I’ve revised it 10 times and can’t quite get out what I really want to say… so I’m starting over.

Hopefully you’ve all figured out by now that Julia Carson’s District 7 seat as a U.S. Representative is being filled by a special election on March 11th. Whomever wins will still need to campaign again to be chosen in this May’s primary race and to be re-elected in November if they are the candidate.

The two contenders for the seat are Democrat André Carson and Republican Jon Elrod. Elrod is currently my rep in the statehouse, having upset Ed Mahern for 97th District in 2006.

So, where do I stand? As I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, I’ll be voting for André Carson, although he’s not my favorite candidate, and I’ll be supporting another democratic candidate in the May primary.

I really don’t believe Carson has enough political experience to be a U.S. Representative yet. His only other elected office has been a few short months on Indianapolis’ City-County Council. He has no experience in higher Indiana offices, no experience at the Indiana Statehouse, all of which should be prerequisites for an office at the federal level.

There are several people much more qualified for this office than Carson, some of whom actively sought it, like David Orentlicher, who is our representative for the 86th District in the Indiana Congress.

Why Carson over Elrod?

I’ll get to that, but let me start off with some of Elrod’s good points:

Elrod does talk a good game on gay issues. Many gay people in Indianapolis are campaigning for Elrod because he stands out as a lone Republican voting against SJR-7 and against other homophobic legislation in the Indiana Statehouse, and I can see that’s a great thing. There are several gay households in our neighborhood that have Elrod signs in their yards.

However, these same folks are studiously ignoring that Elrod hired a notoriously anti-gay company to build his website – a company that has actively lobbied for SJR-7 and for other legislation destructive to the gay community. I don’t think that’s a deal-killer as far as voting in my eyes, but it does suggest that Elrod doesn’t have a complete awareness of gay issues, or who he might accidentally be in bed with politically in the Republican party.

Elrod also really gets himself out there. I held a long conversation with him in my front yard when he was running in 2006 for District 97, and numerous other people in our district also reported talking to him. He’s definitely a “get out and meet the people” guy. I’ve talked to him twice since that initial meeting, too.

So what’s wrong with Elrod?

I’m not voting for Elrod because I strongly believe that he’s gay.

Yep, you heard that right.

I really, really think that Jon Elrod is gay, and I’m voting against him for that specific reason. I have no real, verifiable concrete evidence that Jon Elrod is gay. None whatsoever. I have no smoking gun, no secret lover, no rumor or innnuendo from within the gay community. I have nothing but instinct.

That man sets off my gaydar at 5 miles away. I’m not kidding.

I’ve been out and active in the gay community for over 20 years. My gaydar is a finely tuned, high performance machine at this point. When it occasionally misfires – and I admit it does – it always because people fly under the gaydar; never because I’ve had a false positive. I never suspect someone is gay when they aren’t; I always suspect they’re straight when they’re gay. I suppose it’s possible that Jon Elrod is straight and I’m mistaken. But I really don’t think so. Not at all.

There’s also not much evidence to contradict my belief; he’s good-looking, single, definitely metro-sexual, and I’ve never seen a girlfriend/beard, although there might be one.

So… IF Elrod is gay, shouldn’t I be voting for rather than against him?

In theory, yes.

Vote for a gay man? In a heartbeat – I’d be thrilled to.

Vote for a gay Republican? – that’s conceivable. If I thought he was the right guy, I just might. I don’t cross the aisle often in my voting, but it’s definitely not off the table, depending on the person.

But vote for a closeted gay Republican? Absolutely fucking not. I’d rather cut off my own arm and beat myself in the head with it.

In the year 2008, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone running for public office should be in the closet, even in Indiana. Especially in Indiana. There’s so much at stake for gay people in Indiana that it would be an utter betrayal of trust to be a closeted elected official, and I really, really believe Elrod is.

What I don’t get is why I’ve never heard this elephant it the room (if you’ll pardon the pun) discussed in the gay community.

I CANNOT be the only person who thinks Elrod is gay. So if all these other gay people are supporting him, are they doing so also suspecting that he’s gay, and wanting to have him in office because of that, despite the closeted status?

I sure hope the hell not, because the very idea makes me sick to my stomach, it’s so disgusting. The self-loathing involved in doing something like that would be overwhelming to me, and one of the most pitiful things for a gay person to do that I can imagine.

I really don’t believe that Jon Elrod is a true friend to the gay community of Indianapolis, and I don’t believe he’s the best person for the job of U.S. Representative for District 7.

Continue ReadingMarch 11 District 7 Special Election

links for 2008-01-27

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-01-27

House District 97 Vote Recounts

Taking Down Words gives a nice run-down of what’s going on in my district with the “still-up-in-the-air-due-to-polling-screw-ups” race between Mahern and Elrod, who are just 65 votes apart.

Seems that the touch-screen voting stations available at each of the polling places weren’t counted, and the state has just now decided to turn them on and get the votes from them. The touch screens were in place for disabled voters, but were available for use by anyone. Why did someone decide not to count the touch-screen votes? Who knows.
Turns out in some precincts, voters weren’t given a choice and were told to use them. Why? Good question. No one has an answer.

There are over 500 of these machines, and with a difference of just 65 votes between the two candidates, this could mean a lot.

Continue ReadingHouse District 97 Vote Recounts

Four Indianapolis Races Affected by Missing Votes

According to the Indianapolis Star:

Sadler said vote tally cards from 66 precincts remain out or have been misplaced with other election material. Election workers are searching for those documents this morning. She said the initial emphasis is on the 27 precincts that are involved in the four tight races.

Sadler said that voting machines that had to be disabled at about 500 precincts also must be returned to election headquarters to confirm the votes cast on those machines before they were shut down. She said the total votes involved is likely less than 500.

My district — Elrod vs. Mahern — is one of those close races. I’d be interested to find out if my precinct is one of the 27. I wish they clarified which ones in the story.

Continue ReadingFour Indianapolis Races Affected by Missing Votes

I voted

First time I’ve voted in the new neighborhood – at the Old Centrum church on 12th and Central. It’s a bit easier to get into and park than the firestation I used to vote at.

Jon Elrod was there, as well as one of Mahern’s nephews, handing out campaign literature. I forgot to wear my Democrats baseball cap today.

Oh, and I should report that I had not trouble voting even though I didn’t update my address on my driver’s license. The poll workers did note that it didn’t matter that my address was different — all that was needed was my picture and name.

Looks like others around the country are not having such luck, however, as compiled by Shakespeare’s Sister…

I voted
I voted
Continue ReadingI voted

People You Meet While Gardening

I met two interesting people this weekend while planting bulbs in my front yard. One of the is our neighbor, Craig, who owns the house to the north of us, and is moving back in. He’s not new to our neighborhood — his family has owned the house for decades — but he’s just now returning because he’s been in Afghanistan and Iraq for the past four years in the military. I didn’t ask him what branch or anything about what it was like, (I figured that was way too much to get into) but of course a million questions raced through my brain. He did mention, while talking about is plans for working on the house, about possibly being called back to service, but he seemed pretty pragmatic about it. I hope that doesn’t happen; I’d prefer having someone live there. The house has seemed pretty lonely all this time.

The other guy I met was John Elrod, the Republican candidate for State Representative for District 97 running against Ed Mahern. He was walking around knocking on doors and leaving flyers. I talked with him for a bit, and was somewhat surprised that he said he went against his fellow Republicans on the marriage issue. He said that he felt the “government should get out of the marriage business altogether and marriages should be considered as ‘civil unions.'” I was tired and dropped the ball on that question — I should have followed up specifically on the marriage amendment and how he would vote on it, because his other statement was way too broad.
One thing that really bugged me — when I later opened his flyer, the interior contained photos of the logos and signs of all the downtown neighborhoods, making it seem like they were endorsing his campaign. I certainly know that’s not true, but anyone else reading it would get that impression. Not cool.

Continue ReadingPeople You Meet While Gardening