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Well it wasn’t dinner, but a very polite conversation and I couldn’t come up with a better blog title. I spoke with Democratic City-County Councilor Andre Carson tonight about his candidacy for the seat that was held by his grandmother, Julia Carson, until her death last year.

Carson says he’s been hitting the precincts pretty hard in anticipation of the January 12 special slating of Marion County Democrats to nominate a candidate to run in a special election to fill out the rest of the late Congresswoman’s term. He says he expects a competitive race as some of his opponents worked to line up precinct committeeman votes while he was in mourning and he also expects some to run against the slate in a general election.

I asked Carson about the criticism levied at him that he is being “anointed” for the seat because he is Julia’s grandson. He says it is legitimate concern because of the potential for abuse, but he he was running to continue his grandmother’s tradition of being a voice for those citizens who had none and not about carrying on a family name. He also says he supports removing most American troops from Iraq, but realizes some would have to stay for stability. And while he believes in universal health care, universal insurance will likely be the more pragmatic route to go. He also said he would be an advocate for community block grants and providing schools with funding so they could comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Carson also said his age and experience are legitimate issues, acknowledging that the candidates who have filed or will soon file have impressive resumes, but he does question whether some of those candidates are running because they want to be advocates, saying he is not going for the job to add to his resume. He also pointed to other elected officials such as former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford who had little political experience before taking office.

I also asked Carson about his ties with controversial figure Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan, who spoke at Julia’s funeral. He says Farrakhan spoke at his grandmother’s request and he takes a more moderate approach to his Islamic faith, even though he was raised a Christian.

Carson was just elected to his first full-term as a City-County Councilor in District 15. He ran unopposed. He was appointed last year to take the place of former Councilor Patrice Abduallah who resigned after it was discovered he did not live in his District.

On the Democratic side, the list of contenders includes State Representatives Carolene Mays, David Orentlicher, Greg Porter, County Treasurer Mike Rodman, former State Party Chairman Robin Winston and former state health commissioner Woody Myers.

  • http://na tjg

    It will be an emotion vote not unlike many others replacing a Congressman/Senator who died in office. Although it would be better to have a Republican Rep, a candidate named “Carson” will win. Not sure political experience is all that much a positive in Washington. Founding Fathers thought Congress would live at home on their farms not in the Capital year ’round.

  • arnie

    It will take a majority to win the caucus. If this does not happen on the first ballot, the low vote getter is removed and a 2nd ballot is cast and so on until one on the candidates has this majority. Andre will have to win on the first ballot. If not the real fun begins. The question then is, does he have this 50% majority. The first lesson one learns in politics is how to count.

  • Bob

    Harold Ford? While I respect Harold Ford, he ran as “Harold Ford Jr.” for his father’s seat “Harold Ford Sr.” as he was finishing law school. Cleverly orchestrated. Andre should not use that as a model.

  • Another Hamilton Bound 7th Dweller

    >”his grandmother’s tradition of being a voice for those citizens who had >none”

    Really? I wonder what the 50 million dead since Roe v. Wade think about “his grandmother’s voice” for them. What a sad, sad joke this entire outfit is.

  • Snark

    Andre is a member of the Nation of Islam?

    Farakkhan spoke at Julia’s funeral?

  • Wilson46201

    André Carson is NOT a member of the Nation of Islam. He is Black and a Muslim but not a “Black Muslim”. Yes, the Farrakhan eulogy was broadcast in full and live on all 3 major Indianapolis broadcast TV stations with nary a complaint about it … Governor Mitch Daniels, Senator Dick Lugar, Senator Evan Bayh, Mayor Bart Peterson and many others also spoke at the funeral.

  • Snark

    Why the heck would someone from the Nation of Islam be invited to speak at Julia’s funeral?

    Especially if the heir apparent is not a member of the Nation of Islam?

    I can’t imagine that Bayh, Peterson, Lugar et al were too pleased Farrakhan was the star!

  • Snark

    And, Wilson, since you brought it up — to what mosque does André Carson belong?

  • John Howard

    No complaints about Farrakhan speech? Huh? We must not exist in the same universe.

  • Gary Indiana Guru

    O.K. Conflicting information. How can Carson be Black and a Muslim, but not a Black Muslim??

  • Wilson46201

    “Black Muslim” is the common and colloquial name for adherents to the Nation of Islam. Most Moslems in the USA are not members of that particular sect. André is what I jokingly call a “Methodist Muslim”: mainline & nonradical & mainstream. Like Methodists!

  • Snark

    So, what mosque (in which tradition or sect) does André Carson claim as his affiliation?

    Is he Sunni? Shi’ite? Ismaili? If he’s no longer Nation of Islam, is he a Warith Deen Muhammad Muslim?

    Inquiring minds want to know what kind of black Muslim he is — and “Methodist Muslim” is a flip but uninformative answer!

  • Gary Indiana Guru

    Pardon me, but up here in Gary we know that this Carson person is a pretty good friend AND follower of Farrakhan… so there!!

  • Wilson46201

    …and the Gary Guru is a flatout liar. Isn’t that against one of the Ten Commandments, bearing false witness? Tsk, tsk, tsk!

  • Snark

    So, Wilson, admit that you DON’T KNOW what kind of Muslim André Carson is.

    From appearances, it does seem that he remains part of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam!

  • Wilson46201

    Continuing the slander and smear? He’s just a generic secular Sunni and NOT a member of the Nation of Islam. Why are you so incredibly fascinated by the details of André Carson’s religious beliefs? Are you backing another candidate or political party? The FBI vetted him thoroughly for his Homeland Security Intelligence job. “Snark” sounds like he couldn’t pass any sort of intelligence test, FBI or other!

  • Snark

    Methinks you’re still willfully misleading us by engaging in obfuscation, Wilson!

    Why all the mystery about André Carson’s religious affiliation? We sure knew that his grandmother was a good ole Baptist!

    What the heck is a “generic secular Sunni”?

    Asking about his religious affiliation (particularly: which mosque he attends for Friday services) — especially in the light of his cozy relationship with a known Black Muslim — isn’t engaging in slander and smear, Wilson (unless, of course, grandson Carson is still, in his heart, a member of the Nation of Islam, Farrakhan’s organization and the affiliation of Carson’s youth).

  • Wilson46201

    “Snark” is not only a persistent theologian, he is also a human M.R.I. scanning human hearts for contents!

    André Carson is running for the US Congress, not the Imam of your mosque. In America our Constitution does not allow religious tests for election.

    The real questions US citizens are concerned about is how to end Bush’s War in Iraq, national healthcare insurance, massive home foreclosures, etc. Sadly, some folk want to rehash 9th century theology instead of the real problems we must deal with in todays USA.

  • Brady Bunch

    Wilson. What I think Snark is saying is that you are full of it. Andre has an endorsement from a radical Islamic group.

  • Wilson46201

    The FBI is perfectly satisfied with André’s religious and social affiliations — they vetted him very thoroughly for his Indiana Homeland Security Intelligence job.

  • Brady Bunch

    Wilson: slight difference between being a member of congress vs. rum, dum State of Indiana employee. My gosh you are a novice. You must be native to Indy. Andre will be scrutinized like never before. It will be a Quayle-like embarrassment for Indiana. As a peron of color, we have go to do better for the Democratic Party.

  • Snark

    Brady Bunch sez: “Wilson. What I think Snark is saying is that you are full of it.”

    Well, yeah. That’s exactly it.

    I sure am glad that the “FBI is perfectly satisfied with André’s religious and social affiliation”, but the FBI isn’t thinking of sending him to Congress to represent me!

  • Wilson46201

    ummm … working for the Homeland Security Intelligence Center aint exactly some rum-dum state paper-pushing job. Secret anti-terrorism law enforcement protects us all after 9/11. The FBI doesnt allow just anybody. It’s a pity some smalltime politicos here callously dismiss our LEOs defending our country…

    André Carson had the right skills to be an asset and could pass the rigorous background screening to defend our country. Now, the Swiftboaters attack him for his service…

  • Wilson46201

    checkout http://www.ruthholladay.com for a good interview with André Carson about his faith …

  • Snark

    12. If he’s no longer Nation of Islam, is he a Warith Deen Muhammad Muslim?

    I hit it on the head in that post — way back at number 12.

    Why couldn’t Wilson have told us this? (Or, did he know?)

  • Concerned Citizen

    It seems pretty amazing to me that all this is taking place. Firstly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Indiana State Police do not, and cannot handle “Secret” information. If Andre is affiliated with the Nation of Islam and did not disclose such affiliation with the FBI, shame on him. Maybe the FBI should be made aware of this fact. Louis Farrikan is an American traitor and a racist. If Andre Carson is a card carrying member of the Nation of Islam, who in their right minds would vote for him? Just let this little tidbit of news spread to the more conservative populace and there would be hell to pay. Mr. Wilson, are you a Nation of Islam member? Is this why you are so vocal and are so defensive towards Andres position? I am curious to see if you have the guts to answer this truthfully.

  • Wilson46201

    Concerned Citizen is well-known for her activities in kicking puppy dogs to death. Shameful! She is also a notorious gossip who throws slander everywhere. Disgusting!

    The FBI checked out André Carson very thoroughly before he was permitted in his Homeland Security Intelligence position so all the squawking from the racists and bigots are simply crap … they are desperate Republicans who can only win by lies, deception and deceit!

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