Monday, February 25, 2008

Insiders Tell All During Exclusive Conference Call

House GOPers Ready to Rumble across the State in '08

Several Bloggers from across the state joined in on an HRCC-led conference call this afternoon and your intrepid dumpster divers were there in force. Along with yours truly, our humble hack, Rich Wilson and both Kurt and Kristen Luidhardt were listening in.

Since all of the real bloggers on the call were interested in the serious stuff, like polling data and candidate profiles, head-to-heads and all the "nut-and-bolt" 411 , we mostly just sat quietly with the mute button on and listened in ( largely due to the racket that our blender makes spinning up a fresh batch of Margaritas! )

WPer Wilson did ask one interesting question of HRCC's Mike Gentry about the climate statewide and his thoughts on their opportunity to take back the majority down on West Washington Street. Not suprisingly, they feel pretty good about where they're starting from.

In reality, Gentry has a point. If you count the seat being vacated by Jon Elrod, who is running for Congress in CD 7, the HRCC is starting out at 48 seats. The GOPers are defending fewer seats than the Dems who have three open in what HRCC's Gentry terms "Republican districts" and, he said, fundraising "never skipped a beat". Traditionally, the GOPers have a better go of it in POTUS years and, considering the Dem Tsunami of '06, the Dems are playing defense all over the place this cycle.

"What's the number?" we asked. "... there's a distict possibility of 52 ... on a good day 54," said Gentry. WP also thinks that much will be depending on POTUS turnout ( and, perhaps, the Gov's popularity? A strong showing by the GOP POTUS candidate and a big win by the Mitch-ster could prove beneficial for the good guys and return Rep. Bosma to the Speaker's Chair in January '09 ). Still, at least one of us wonders what the dynamic is if a certain Jr. Senator is on the ticket? There's also the Property Tax problem that's still hanging around out there with no real solution in sight ( ... and if nothing gets done, who gets the blame? the "Gov" or the "Rug"? ) Hoosiers are going to take out their ire on somebody ... maybe the incumbant, regardless of party ... and the GOPers in both Chambers need to work with the Gov to get a real solution. WP believes that (to paraphrase Thomas Paine) they'll either all hang together, or, most assuredly, they'll all hang seperately.

There's a long way to go but you have to give the HRCC guys credit. Getting the blogosphere in and letting them have the inside skinny this far out is encouraging. Spin it however you will, but we thought it was a pretty straight forward and honest assessment of what they're thinking and where they see the opportunities.

So there you have it. No dish. No juicy little tidbits. Still, it was an interesting call and we were happy to be included. Hopefully, this isn't a sign that we have gained some kind of "legit status" with the these guys!

More later on the really good stuff we've been working on over the weekend. Look for our exclusive and hard-hitting inside story on a certain candidate fundraiser at an establishment known for wagering on games of chance and large-animal contests ... What if you threw a fundraiser and nobody came? The inside dish, later on these pages. Don't miss it!

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