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Fifth District Follies

I am hoping the race for Indiana’s 5th District Congressional will turn into the greatest political show on earth and not just become another Congressional race.

Think about it.  A long-time incumbent who just barely won re-election the last go around by the skin of his false teeth decided to exercise the better part of political valor and exit (stage right, of course).  The challengers began to line up, heavyweights and featherweights, old faces and new faces.  We had new district boundaries.  Everything is set for a spectacular show, but so far this is turning into just another congressional race.

I have now had the privilege of moderating two forums for the 5th District candidates.  One in Fishers and one in Kokomo.  And after listening to the candidates, it is a more than fair assumption that they are all pretty much on the same page.  Granted, each one brings something different to the table.  Susan Brooks brings her experience as a Deputy mayor, former U.S. Attorney and time at Ivy Tech.  John McGoff brings his medical and military experience.  Wayne Seybold has executive branch management from being Mayor of Marion and David McIntosh knows how Washington works, or doesn’t work these days, as a former Congressman.  Even the lightweights bring something to the table.  Matt Mount is a law enforcement officer.  Jack Lugar is an attorney and owns a real estate business.  And Bill Salin, well, he’s got one heck of an interesting personality.  I haven’t met Jack Anderson.  Overall, most of these guys and gal would make a decent Congressman or Congresswoman.

On the issues, they are all pretty much operating in the same universe.  They all believe in repealing the President’s health care plan.  They all are pro-life and support the second amendment.  There are some nuances, for example on earmarks, Seybold says they are not inherently bad and pointed to one Thursday which helped save jobs in his area, however he says with the nation’s current financial situation, there’s an issue of affordability.  And both McGoff and Brooks said while they oppose bailouts in general, they could see the rational behind the Chrsyler bailout which helped saved hundreds of jobs in the Kokomo area.

So with not much difference between the candidates, at the end of the day this race will come down just like every other race.  How organized are the candidates?  Who has the money to compete?  Who can brand themselves in such a way that they are just the most likeable person.  And you could argue, who can reach those Boone County voters.

Boone County?

Yes, if you compare maps between the old and new 5th Districts, you can see that Zionsville is in and Huntington is out.  And assuming Seybold is strong in the north, Brooks, McGoff, and McIntosh split up the Indianapolis area (Marion and Hamilton counties).  Although McIntosh is from the Anderson area so he can lay claim to some of that.  Lugar, Anderson, Mount and Salin split about 10% of the vote, that leaves Boone County and what I call “the Volvo driving soccer moms” and the good folks along 421 who have the potential to make or break this race.

And how does it get done, unfortunately, the old-fashioned way. Targeted television ads on cable, mailers, phone banks, knocking on doors. Advertising on political web blogs (hint! hint!) But who knows, the fun part about politics is always the unexpected stuff. And it’s the unexpected stuff that creates the leader of the pack.  So we’ll see, hopefully something unexpected will happen and this will turn into the greatest show on earth and not just another campaign.

The Indiana primary is May 8.

  • Think Again

    You forgot to memtion Mayor Seybold’s stunningly smart (?) endorsement by the exiting incumbent.

    Please tell me WHERE that’s an advantage.  Except in “loaning” staff members to the campaign.

    Some strong personalities there.  I knowk Susan Brooks, and she’d be a stunning candidate.

    Dr. McGoff was willing to boot Danny Boy when no one else was.

    Should be interesting.

  • Uatu

    For this or any other race, I would hope that all would  view their candidacy as that of a need to hold the office..a need to use their life skills and experience to make a change for the better.   I am highly suspicious of anyone who WANTS to be an office holder.  I have seen time and again self-aggrandizement and nest feathering as their motive to hold office, rather than for the collective good of their employers, the constituents.  

  • Pogden297

    TA, you do realize Susan Brooks is married to David Brooks, don’t you?  That’s a pretty big error in judgment.

  • Think Again

    I’ve known of her for years.  He outmarried himself in every possible definition of the word.

    I’d never vote for her–or him, obviously. But she’s smart as a tack.  But:

    He’s perhaps smarter.  He didn’t break a sweat, took a quarter mil from Marion County, and drew some lousy council maps that will be challenged in court. 

    But she ought to be able to stand on her own merits.  It’s only fair.

  • Think Again

    Kinda smarmy for a person who has a name without a consonant.

  • Pissed off in Broad Ripple

    Ya, No one can figure that one out. Susan is a very nice person and very able to do this job.But her husband may be the single most disgusting  human being in Indiana next to Mourdock.

    I think that she would do a great job,however the thought of her drum beating husband running around DC in his camouflage is kind of creepy.

  • cynical sam

    When did the Consonant Board drop “t”?

  • cynical sam

    Just for fun, how about listing all the chumps on the same ballot without putting a party ID after their name.   Could be quite hillarious.  Its not like there is any difference between the two “parties of corruption and poltroonery”.

  • Dave

    Consonant dissonance…

  • Rs8722pcb

    Vanna, can I buy a “T” ?

  • Think Again

    Why would he leave Carmel-Indy?  He can cash quarter-mil, checks without breaking a sweat here.  Nobody’s that stupid in DC.

  • Rico

    “I’d never vote for her–or him, obviously.”
    Our very own Yoda admits that Party affiliation outweighs ALL else. Integrity, honesty, work ethic, experience, (and intelliegence, in the above example) mean absolutely nothing!  You are indeed wise. At least leftist radicals, while wrong, are committed to a ’cause’. Your loyalty is to the letter ‘D’.

  • Comicbooknerd

    It’s a comic book reference. Uatu is a character in the “Cosmic” section of the Marvel Universe. He’s part of the race known as Watchers where he observes and record Earth’s history, with a pledge never to interfere with what he’s observing.

    Of course that pledge is constantly broken, and arguable Uatu’s mere presence at an event can change the outcome, but I digress.

  • Pogden297

    I would never say David Brooks isn’t smart.  Far from it.  But having integrity and being smart are two different things.

  • Abdul is a Fake and Poor

    abdul –

    why do you act like you are part of the “1%” when you have never made more that $250,000 a year in your life? You are a phony?



  • Rico

    Vanna’s in the hospital with a vowel obstruction.

  • Dave

    Best we all knot this thread, lest we become consonant complainers.

  • Abdul

    Actually making $250K outs you in the top 1.9%.  The Lovely Mrs. Shabazz and I are in the top 20%.  We just did our taxes.  Indy Politics was very profitable last year and we are on track to do 10x the business this year.  Thanks for playing.

  • Abdul


  • Ramon

    Unfortunately for the truth but fortunately for the voters,  you are not a candidate so we will never know the accuracy of your assertions.

  • Uatu

    Perhaps in your reality and universe, “smarmy” is an adjective for a logical desire.  Perhaps as well, in your world, a  “T” is a vowel.    Either that or you slept through 1st grade.

    Uatu is non-partisan. I have seen many political realities..oh yes..the fiasco that was First Lady Kitty “DUI” Dukakis…President Dole’s   “Afternoon in America” that precipitated the death of millions abroad and at home.   But in all my time Watching..I have NEVER seen any politician not escape their office untouched with grime.   Pity.

  • Greg Wright

    Does Senator Lugar meet the “inhabitant” requirements of the U S Consitution?

  • Rico

    Since when is an Obama fan concerned with the accuracy of a politician’s assertions?

  • William Salin

    Well for all you who not at the debate in Fishers, let me give you my site — becasue this is candidate William “Bill” Salin, A True Republican Conservative who believes that Economy & jobs are the Priority.

    website:  http://salinfifthdistrictindiana.com

    Thank you,
    William “Bill” Salin

    A new voice for the people