Good reporting

Dateline: Tue 21 Feb 2012

Alex Campbell's front page story Sunday, 'Boxed In,' about motels and other spots where sex offenders are forced to cluster -- interesting story, readable.

And while this is long overdue for commentary, Tom Lobianco of Associated Press got the story I could smell out there --- the one about the discord in the Indiana Democrat party over Rep. Pat Bauer's histrionics regarding trying to stop right-to-work legislation.

Again, no matter what your opinion on the bill, now law, Bauer made an ass of himself and his party by refusing to come to work and threatening to disrupt the Super Bowl with his Northern Indiana/Chicago union thugs.

Both John Gregg, Dem candidate for governor, and Rep. Ed DeLaney of Indy publicly challenged Bauer's strategy.

"It's time to move beyond this divisive issue,' Gregg said right after right-to-work passed and was made law. "Indiana needs a governor and a legislature that shows up for work every day and works together with one focus -- creating jobs, whether it's for a union or non-union workplace. Because in the end, it doesn't matter if you're in a union or not -- if you get laid off, you're not bringing home a paycheck.'"

DeLaney and also Rep. Peggy Welch simply went on record as saying they disagreed with Bauer's strong-arm tactics. DeLaney is quoted:

"All the air is filled with phony progress on the jobs front and the distraction on the social issues. And we don't have a lot of money to break through. It takes up a lot of our energy, and at the end of the day, it has no impact on the public other than to leave them distracted."

Thanks to Campbell and Lobianco for going beyond the surface.




Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

Union thugs? Really, Ruth? I bet that what the Pulliams and their ilk called you Newspaper Guild reporters too ...

2012-02-21 13:25:34

Sean [unverified] said:

"Union thugs?" For Chrissakes, Ruth.

2012-02-22 12:15:21

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ruthie, I love ya more than my luggage, but you've been listening to too much Oxycontin Rush.

But you're spot-on on the Bauer pulse. There is a deep chasm in that caucus, and right now Bauer isn't well-liked. It's mostly because he's been there since Moses wore short pants. It's too damned long. He's out of touch--his "private sector" job is with Ivy Tech. He pools about $120K a year with bennies from the public teat. That's what my grandpa used to call "ROB" money--rolling out of bed(or not). His old-school style would crash and burn in the priovate sector, and he's lucky he's got public jobs. He inherited the legislative job from his dad--who (I think) died in office. He has never, to my knowledge, made a payroll. And it's time for someone else to speak for Democratic goals, ambitions, hopes.

The Illini Holiday Inn strategy last year may have been brilliant or stupid. I don't really know. My gut feeling is that it didn't move a single citizen's vote.

I've seen a lot of electioneering in my life. Bauer's day has past.

He's competing against rightwing zealots who are steadfastly committed to one message. They're disciplined and well-funded. They think their view of God must prevail in every single classroom and home in this state. Bauer is such an easy god-damned target for them.

That group was superbly organized in 2010. We'll see who's organized this fall.

But Lord God let Pat Bauer be put out to pasture. Please.

2012-02-22 19:21:37

hendy [Member] said:

He took on a lost cause and noisily tried to stand up for the rights of working people. You all watched the drive-by union slaughter at the hands of the national Republican agenda, the 1%ers and their dupes.

So how's that working for you? Price of gas go down? Seen the economy chugging along? Or did your neighbor's income get chopped like so many onions? Got a nice and safe entitlement? Wonder how that's going to get stoked? Does it ever scare you how large (about $3.5trillion) that we have unfunded pension liabilities in the public and private sectors, with all of the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age?

Pat Bauer has the state's second worst comb-over, and a fighting attitude. He fought for working people. I believe that he faced a no-win situation. I would have done it with more dignity, but I would have stood up for my constituencies rather than wonder about Girl Scout sexuality.

2012-02-23 07:26:02

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Your last graph sums it up, Hendy (by the way, who has the worst comb-over? Gene Keady?).

I'd like to see many more Democrats (or independents) who are willing to put on the gloves for working people and for those of us who are "un-affluent."

Like you, Hendy, I give Bauer credit for that despite all of his shortcomings mentioned by others.

2012-02-23 13:36:29

hendy [Member] said:

Poor Gene. As a guy with a full head of hair, sometimes in a ponytail, I have to cringe for him. At least they're not The Donald.

2012-02-23 16:39:07

Jason [unverified] said:

Well, not all thugs are unionized and certainly not all unions are full of thugs.

I believe she was referring to their behavior, which in this situation is decidedly thuggish. I understand the rush to defend unions, but the reality is that sometimes they act justly and sometimes they don't. We get lazy when we tack towards "those damn unions!" or "those damn 1%ers!"

I have yet to hear a cogent defense justifying the complete hijacking of the political process that has occurred. Unfortunately, the stance most people seem to take is completely predicated on their political beliefs, and less on their beliefs in representative government.

Anybody could do a 10 minute internet search and find dozens of examples of unions bravely defending employees who have been wronged, and examples of unions acting morally reprehensibly. Unfortunately we instead subscribe to whichever special interest suits our own needs. Just my HO.

2012-02-24 12:08:54

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The Bauer defense is duly noted.

So was todayh's warmw eather.

Pat Bauer is an arrogant heavy-handed legislative thug in a bad suit. Hell with the hair--it's easy fodder. It's his tactics and his administration ot eh House with which I have difficulty.

It's way past time for him to go. Forty-two years is long enough. I know this: I would never have left the Hosue chamber. I might have yelled at the top of my lungs, but I'd have done it inside the House. Not from Urbana.

Sometimes experience comes with a pricetag that's too high. As a billboard, he's lousy for Dems.

Valliant warrior? It's hard to tell. He presided over the election strategy that got them to 40 members.

Fifty is nowhere in their periscope. So it's time for new leadership.

2012-02-26 18:48:37

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