Lugar in hot water

Dateline: Sat 28 Apr 2012

It looks like Pat Boone, John McCain and Matt Tully may not be able to save Dick Lugar's Senate seat. Too much of one thing. Not that the dour Mr. (Richard) Mourdock is so wonderful, but read what Cornell Law School associate professor William Jacobson posted yesterday about Lugar's campaign, under the headline: Pro-Lugar SuperPac pulls o9ut of race:

"This is the worst omen for Dick Lugar in a slew of bad omens this week.

"The SuperPAC which has dumped $600,000 of advertising into the Indianapolis market is pulling out of the race:

'The American Action Network is pulling out of the Indiana GOP Senate primary, dropping its efforts on behalf of embattled Sen. Dick Lugar less than two weeks before the May 8 election, sources told POLITICO.

'Dan Conston, a spokesman for AAN, explained: “We’ve decided we’re going to let this race play out.”

'The group has already begun to pull its TV dollars; no further ads will run after Tuesday and digital advertising in the race has stopped effective immediately.

'Republicans have told me the ads appear to have helped move the needle in Indianapolis, but the sense across the party is that the race has broken in Mourdock’s direction throughout Indiana.

:While Lugar has a lot of money in the bank, this is a sign that the Republican establishment has given up on him and doesn’t want to damage Mourdock for the general election:

'Lugar still has a big warchest to draw from, so the loss of ads against Mourdock won’t hurt him that badly in the air war. But this is the latest sign that the race is slipping away from the six-term senator, who has been badly damaged after it was revealed he’s lived in Washington, D.C. for decades and is a top target of many conservative groups.

'The race seems to be slipping away from Lugar and the American Action Network may want to avoid inflicting any more damage on Mourdock, the likely nominee, ahead of what could be a competitive general election race against Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

"Lugar still has John McCain, Pat Boone and Mitch Daniels (barely) stumping for him.  It has come to that."

Don't forget Matt Tully.


Tell The Truth [Member] said:

With friends like Conston, who needs enemies?

Geeesh. This could've been cast a number of ways. Yet the pro-Lugar SuperPAC not only left, they s**t all over him on the way out.

I'm still thinking Lugar eeks it out. Marion County is the key. If he doesn't win well in MC, it's over.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

But here's a scary thought; Indiana's two senators could be Dan Coats and Richard Mourdock. Fighting to be further right than Atilla the Hun.

2012-04-28 11:19:04

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

This is what I have enjoyed about this primary season. Republicans eating their own. Kind of like male grizzly bears.

2012-04-28 14:43:27

Terry [unverified] said:

Indiana is an open primary, right?

2012-04-29 03:53:08

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Good Lord. No, Terry. It's been closed for decades.

2012-04-29 05:23:09

hendy [Member] said:

For reasons unknown, the ex-Mayor of Indianapolis has seen a long yet occasionally unsordid career. He'll be a pretty old fella at the end of his term, should he be reelected. I think he should spend it in retirement in DC, an area he obviously loves and where he'll be appreciated.

Joe Donnelly might win his seat. If the TP Mourdock wins, it will prove my case that we should rename ourselves North Alabama and resegregate everything right down to Riverside Park. The Stars and Bars should fly over the State House, and women should go back to crossing their legs and wearing more clothes. That is, unless a male desires her. Then, you women folk better remember your Bible and be the subservient chattel that we know you to be. Got it?

2012-04-29 07:15:27

John M [unverified] said:

It depends on your definition of "open."

Voters are not formally registered as Democrats or Republicans, but rather declare their intentions at the polls and can request either a Democratic or Republican ballot. According to statute, voting in a party's primary is limited to voters who either voted for a majority of the party's candidates in the prior general election or who intend to do so in the upcoming general election. Obviously, it is impossible to monitor whether a particular voter has voted for or will vote for a majority of the party's candidates in the general elections.

A member of the political party may challenge a voter on the basis of party affiliation, but the voter can overcome the challenge and cast a ballot (a real ballot that is counted on election day, not a provisional ballot) by signing an affidavit that attests to the above (has voted for or will vote for a majority of party candidates).

In short, as a practical matter, any Democrat or Independent who wishes to vote in the Republican primary may do so. Taking a Republican ballot without the required intent would violate the law (and would require perjury if challenged), but the law making Indiana's primaries nominally closed is essentially unenforceable. I would suspect there will be some crossover next week.

2012-04-29 08:51:59

Nobody [unverified] said:

I'm one Hoosier who'll be crossing over.

Mourdock is just too damn scary to be allowed a shot at representing "us" in the Senate!

Can't wait for this whole Tea Party movement to implode. Those folks are destroying America.

2012-04-29 13:51:21

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

John M: you need some help. By national standards, that's the very definition of a closed primary.

2012-04-29 15:53:42

John M [unverified] said:

The most common definition I have found of a closed primary is a primary in which voting is limited to registered members of a political party. Indiana does not have registered members of political parties, and absent a challenge there is nothing to prevent a reliable Repbulican from voting in the Democratic primary, or vice versa. Most national voting and media sites I have reviewed characterize Indiana's primary as somewhere between semi-closed and open. That one's ballot choice does not require modification of voter registration sets it apart from true closed primaries.

2012-04-29 17:21:34

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

John: in the commonly-accepted definition, Indiana's primary is closed. Period. You choose one party. You cannot cross-party to vote--you must remain withink that party's ballot.

Not one state in America asks persons to register as members of any siongle political party.

It's a minor point, but: we used to have state party conventions to choose most of these nominees. Folks thought the closed primary was a better system. I don't much care either way. We seem to be getting worse and worse candidates.

2012-04-29 20:27:14

hendy [Member] said:

And so the Republican Monroe County Chairman crosses over by getting a Democrat ballot just to stir it up. Happens, TTT. All. The. Time.

Will Democrats cross over to f-up Mourdock? Sure. I prefer the divide and conquer method, but each to his/her own.

We have a carpetbagger as the other Senator. Indiana gets what it deserves.

2012-04-29 22:02:32

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Well, if an elected party chair crosses over and takes a different party's ballot, he ought to resign.

Because the law is clear: if you take that partry's ballot, you promise to vote for them in the fall. I'm not sure how a party chairman could advocate all sum mer, after a primary, for his party, when he's taken the oppposite party's ballot.

Folks change their minds, and that's fair. A party chair who takes the opposite ballot in May, then stays in office, is flat-out lying.

He could be prosecuted. If he'd admit to sticking with his party in the fall.

That's how the system works.

2012-04-30 06:16:40

hendy [Member] said:

No, not really. Here in the People's Republic of Monroe County, the Republican County Chair likes to stir-it-up. If you don't believe me, do the research.

For as long as I can remember (I started voting in '72), people have crossed tickets to either do damage, mayhem, or whatever their sense of their best political outcome was. So, you think he should resign? Har. It's like making a law against murder. Do you really thing the crime rates are going to change? Justice occurs both when crimes don't occur, and the crime/punishment of when violations DO occur.

There is little altruism in politics. I'm starting to lean towards the Pirate Party and open government. Whether it's K Street trying to control Congress, the SuperPACs, or just the fat cattery of America putting puppet-strings on politicians, I'm aghast. All the stuff the nuns taught me in primary school about politics was a fat fib. I'm tired of pretending that it's not, and there are people of ideals and a reasonable moral and compassionate compass left. The few that are left are pretty disgusted, and with good reason.

2012-04-30 07:31:33

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Regarding Richard Lugar:

Though I really hope he ekes it out for the nation's and Indiana's sake, I would sure hate for it to come to an end such as this.

When I was covering the Hoosier delegation, I learned so much from Dick Lugar. As a Hoosier, I was glad that our Congressional delegation was headed by such intelligent and widely respected people like him (and Lee Hamilton, Andy Jacobs and Tim Roemer) who were well-regarded for the quality of their thoughts throughout official Washington.

I had such hopes for Evan Bayh. That never materialized. I keep hoping that Coats will someday wise up and rise up, but that doesn't look likely.


2012-04-30 12:05:15

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Lugar turned tail and voted almost unanimously with whatever George W. wanted. No "Reoublican moderate" behavior there. (Whatever happened to Nelson Rockefeller?).

Maybe bad karma has visited Lugar for that. However, the other guy is a nutcase, no doubt.

As I have said here many times, Evan Bayh was a tremendous disappointment to me. I remember Neil Young chewing his ass out royally at a Farm Aid Press conference back in the early 1990s which I covered. Neil was pissed at all of the Bayh persona.

Hendy, you run for senate or governor or president and I promise to put your bumper sticker on my 180,000-mile Subaru wagon and your signs in my front yard.

I'd run, but I can't walk.

2012-04-30 16:18:51

Cope [unverified] said:

"Not one state in America asks persons to register as members of any siongle political party."

TTT: I'm pretty sure I wasn't hallucinating when I had to register as a member of a political party to vote in NY's primary.

2012-04-30 17:54:34

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Whitebeard: What happened to Nelson Rockefeller was his death while atop his mistress.

Cope: NY does not require it: there is a box for "other" on their state registration forms. Where you can write in "Birthday Party" or anything you wish. It's been a common practice for years. There are 5-6 choices of "established" parties, but you don't have to choose them. And when you walk into the primary voting place, you can ask for a ballot of any of the recognized parties. Where you can write in anyone's name. Anyone.

It's a leftover from John Lindsay's campaigns for mayor and then president; he was running from his native Republican Party for their far-right pandering. Sound familiar? And the incumbent NYC mayor did something very similar.

2012-05-01 07:49:18

John M [unverified] said:

Here is a passage from Florida's election website.

"Florida is a closed primary state. If you wish to vote in a partisan primary election, <b>you must be a registered voter in the party for which the primary is being held.</b> However, if all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will not have opposition in the general election, all voters, regardless of party affiliation may vote in the primary election for that office. In addition, all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote on issues and nonpartisan candidates in a primary election.
<b>All party changes must be made by the end of the 29th day before the primary election</b>. For a general election, a party change can be made at any time by contacting the Supervisor of Elections’ office."

We can quibble about the definitions of "open" and "closed" and how they fit with Indiana's system, but there are states in which it is much more difficult to cross party lines in a primary than in Indiana, and states in which it is necessary to formally register as a D or an R to vote in a party primary. If the Lugar-Mourdock race were in Florida, then Democrats or Independents who are just now beginning to follow the election or to realize that Lugar may be going down would have no ability to cross party lines. Registration must be changed 29 days before the election (which I presume is the voter registration deadline as well). In Indiana, as a practical matter, it's pretty easy for any registered voter to vote in either party's primary. I agree with you that it's a violation of the law for a partisan of one party to vote in the other's primary, but it's essentially an unenforceable law. Indiana's primary is nominally closed but is practically open. Florida is one of many examples of a truly closed primary.

2012-05-01 08:56:35

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Oh for Christ's sake--we have a closed primary. Whether you or I like it isn't the point.

I suspect some Ds may take an R ballot to vote for Lugar.

And, for the record, the use of Florida as an example for anything regarding voting, is probably not wise. I visit there often--there are thousands of Broward County votes that were never counted in 2000.

2012-05-01 15:54:21

hendy [Member] said:

Careful, your chads are dangling.

2012-05-01 16:03:10

Tell The Truth [Member] said:


There are some older Mai-Jong players in Broward County who are still pissed. Every time I see them the stories grow more colorful.

2012-05-01 22:36:08

Cope [unverified] said:

TTT: I double-checked and I wasn't mis-remembering. From NYC voter registration:

"Party Affiliation and the Primary System

In a Primary Election, only voters registered with one of the parties qualified to hold a primary in New York City may vote to nominate their party's candidate to run in the general election."


"Voting in Primary Elections

Because a primary is strictly a party election, only voters registered with one of the parties conducting a primary may participate in that party's election. Voters registered without party affiliation may vote only in General and Special Elections."

So yes, you must register as a member of a political party to vote in that party's primary election.

2012-05-03 18:58:03

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