Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Pfleger (et al) Matters

You are known by the company you keep and those with whom you associate. While I believe that it is important who is the President, it is equally if not more important whom that President surrounds him/herself with.

Frankly, The Rev. Wright, Fr. Pfleger, Bill Ayres and his bride Bernadette, are not exactly the people I would choose to have associated with the President. These people clearly hate America. There is nothing wrong with dissent, mind you, but hatred for the institutions of the country and our society is not dissent.

BHO's association with these folks demonstrates an astounding lack of good judgement. Judgement, in my view, is the key characteristic that one must have to be President. Good judgement - whether in considering temperament for the Courts, Cabinet Offices, or Foreign policy - makes all the difference in the success or failure of an administration.

That is why BHO's association/acquaintance with these persons is important and how it will effect his ability to execute the office of President.

"We must destroy this village in order to save it."


I was going to write this piece about the fratricide taking place within the GOP here in the Hoosier state. While I was googling around doing some research I ran across this article from Brian Griffiths in Maryland.

If you read the first couple paragraphs and replace the references to Maryland, you could easily mistake it for Indianapolis. It's unfortunate that our once great GOP is pitting friends against friends, strong-arming colleagues, and shooting veiled threats at folks who we will ultimately need again for another battle.

Some wounds take a long time to heal.

I'm old enough to have vivid memories of Viet Nam. A place where the warrioirs won all the battles only to have the leadership lose the war. The parallels are not obscure to even the most casual observer.

If we're not careful we will lose the war in November. We will have certainly destroyed the village. Who will step up to end the folly?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ron Paul revolution at the Indiana GOP Convention?

Is there going to be a Ron Paul revolution at the Indiana GOP Convention? Apparently, someone thinks so.

Kristen got a call yesterday from 219-000-0000. The caller asked specifically for her (although we are both delegates to the convention) and identified the survey as one specifically for Indiana delegates to state convention. They asked three questions:

1. Do you think that the US should pull out of the War in Iraq?

2. What is your view of the Patriot Act?

3. Who did you support for President?

If I were trying to identify Ron Paul delegates without specifically asking, that would be how I would do it. State Party has been musing about the large numbers of Paulistinians who contacted state party about running for delegate this year. I've heard numbers as high as 200 identified Paul delegates who made it through on the May ballot.

After the Nevada fiasco, is state party trying to make sure the Paulistinians don't create a riot? With the AG race sucking everyone's attention, is there a possibility that Ron Paul's delegates are organizing themselves quietly via this phone survey?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Talking About Serious Matters

(Cross posted at Hoosier Access)

This is Lauryn Walls a local four year old girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in January. In our heavy discussions about
the AG’s race, we can’t lose site of some of the really important matters out there, such as the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Earlier this month I wrote about fellow blogger Mark Warner who is raising money to run in the Chicago Marathon in October. The money he raises will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a participant in their Team In Training program. Mark has written an update to his progress and I ask that you check out Mark’s training page and consider helping Mark out. Below is a portion of a recent letter he sent out.

I am training for my very first marathon and am doing so with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT). TNT is the largest, oldest and most successful sports endurance program in the world. People just like me volunteer to fundraise for the society’s mission of curing blood cancer, while training for an endurance event.

The inspiration for me to complete this program is Lauryn; a local four-year old girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in January. Lauryn loves playing with her big sister, Jordyn, traveling to Florida (me too!), reading, playing school, riding horses, painting fingernails and playing make over on her mommy, Dea. She is an amazing little girl and is the honored hero I am running for.

I am asking for your help so that the society can achieve its goal of curing blood cancer by 2015. My personal goal is to raise $3,000. I would greatly appreciate a donation for this worthy cause. Please check out my Web site to donate online or send me any check donations, made out to LLS, by Wednesday, July 23.

Carl Brizzi: “No Candidate Has the Experience Greg (Zoeller) Has”

(Cross posted at Hoosier Access)

In the fall of 2006, I ran for re-election committed to a philosophy that Experience Matters. Voters expected an experienced prosecutor to lead the 175 attorneys who prosecute without apology the violent felons, drug dealers and habitual criminals who prey on the innocent.

The voters believed that when it came to going after the bad guys there just wasn’t time for on the job training. Our team had experience – my Democrat opponent never worked a day in the prosecutor’s office – Not 1. My opponent was quoted as saying “Experience Just Isn’t An Issue.” Turns out experience was the only issue. And the reason we broke the trend of Democrat victories and won re-election in what proved to be the toughest year for Republicans since Watergate.

Like Prosecutor, the office of Indiana Attorney General needs a leader who has been in the trenches fighting everyday to protect Hoosiers. That is why I’m supporting Chief Deputy Attorney General Greg Zoeller during the Republican State Convention.

Over the past seven years, Greg has been a tireless advocate for Hoosier families. He helped fight the nightly invasion of telemarketers by implementing one of the strongest Do-Not-Call lists in the country. Greg then aggressively pursued telemarketers who violated the Do-Not-Call list and returned almost $800,000 to Hoosier taxpayers.

Greg also keeps our families safe from dangerous criminals. The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for representing Indiana whenever a criminal attempts to appeal their conviction. I, along with every prosecutor in the state, rely on the Attorney General’s Office to keep the convicted murderers, rapists, and child molesters behind bars. When one of these predators attempts to appeal his conviction, I’m comforted knowing Greg’s team wins over 93% of the time.

I’ve been friends with Greg for over 10 years. I’ve seen first hand how deeply he cares about protecting Hoosiers from sexual predators, telemarketers, and those who prey on innocent consumers. No candidate - Republican or Democrat - has the experience Greg has. Please join me in supporting Greg Zoeller for Attorney General.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hey Pete, Joe, Andre, Brad and Baron How Much is Too Much?

Here’s an open letter to all of our Democrat Indiana Congressmen and their constituents.

I just have one question to ask; how much is too much? Unleaded gas in some parts of Indiana is over $4.00 a gallon.

“It is painful. It is painful,” said Fischbach, 44, Marion, who paid $4.08 for unleaded regular at Kroger on West 38th Street near Moller Road. - The Indy Star

The cost of a barrel of oil is over $120 and has been as high as $130 in recent weeks. Democrats took over congress in 2006 with a promise to the end of the war and declining gas prices. Shockingly to no one (except for probably Democrats) you’ve failed to accomplish ending the war or lowering gas prices.

For most Republicans, the War is not a major voting issue this November, but for the vast majority of the voting electorate gas prices are. Republicans have been championing drilling in different parts of our nation, such as ANWR and off the Straits of Florida for years. Congressman Steve Buyer has even offered a new proposal to the energy crisis, which Democrats immediately ridiculed. But other than claiming that they’re saving the “pristineness” of a barren and desolate area in ANWR, they’ve also said that it would take 10 years to get produce oil from ANWR. Well guess what? You’ve been saying that for 1O YEARS And you still have no new ideas! Even Jay Leno is making fun of you for it!

To top it off, we can’t drill in Straits of Florida, but you know who can? China! They worked out a deal with Cuba to begin drilling for oil in our backyard! Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for research and development of alternative energy sources, but with the rising cost of corn, milk and other foods at what point do you suck it up and say enough is enough? How high does the cost of gas have to get till something is done? $5, $10, $20 a gallon? $200 - $300 for a barrel oil?

Indiana has been at the forefront in the search for alternative energy sources, but while preparing for the future, shouldn’t we also secure the present?

I will close this by saying, I know the man made global warming argument is one that is used against new drilling. While I find man made global warming to be less of a problem than AlGore and his mad cadre of scientists would like to make it, you should ask yourself, how is Jupiter going through worse climate change than earth is when they don’t have any human life?

And just for a little bit of extra reading:

In just one year. Remember the election in 2006? Thought you might like to read the following:

A little over one year ago:

1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;
2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;
3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:

1) Consumer confidence plummet;
2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;
3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);
5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;
6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.

America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!

Of Bureaucrats, Indygo, IMS, and a fellow Weird Pro

I didn't see The Contrarian at IMS though where his seat is located it's of the "How The Other Half Lives" ... I was in my Paddock Box seat at the Yard of Bricks and saw a lot of action during the 500 mile race. Including Buddy Rice cut off Darren Manning coming out his pit box and knocking the sideplane off his front wing. In spite of that Manning pulled out a 9th place finish for AJ Foyt. This is quite the result for AJ since his tenure as an owner since he retired from driving has not been the best. Congrats though to the Friends of The Contrarian Panther Racing as their driver Vitor Miera pulled out a respectable 2nd place in spite of the horsepower and budgets of "The Big Three".

Thanks to whoever made that phone call to the Federal Transit Administration on allowing IndyGo to continue the shuttle bus service. Not to say there was a lot of people using the shuttle, but I was ticket #9713 and after the race I waited in line to get onto the shuttle to go downtown for over 1-1/4 hour, and when I boarded the line to get onto the bus still stretched from 16th & Georgetown all the way to 14th & Main. Now imagine all those folks driving to the track in their own cars, and leaving all at once in their own cars. I'm sure IndyGo and Town of Speedway Police will think of something to help the boarding process in the future. Considering the shuttles were a "last minute reprieve" then they should be cut some slack.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What if we actaully gave activists the yard signs, t-shirts and stickers they wanted?

Yard signs, t-shirts and stickers.

There are few subjects that will invoke more anger, frustration and crazy stories from veteran campaign staff than these mundane items.

Mundane? Yes. Simple? No.

Anyone who has ever had the privilege of working on any campaign of any size is familiar with the sanity-testing exercise of keeping donors, activists and volunteers happy. Undoubtedly, these supporters of our candidate want a visual representation of their support for our candidate.

It used to be we could give them a "Smith for Congress" yard sign or a "Jones for Governor" bumper sticker and call it a day. Not anymore. Welcome to a micro targeted, coalition driven, Long Tail world of campaign collateral.

C'mon Chris I thought this would be a substantive discussion on REAL campaign logistics. Trust me, it is. Just hang with me for a few minutes.

We are starting to see more segmentation of campaign collateral as our supporters ID themselves as "Veterans for Smith", "Viva la Bush!", "Sportsman for Kennedy" or even "Asian American Pacific Islanders for Bloomberg". I am not making that last one up, I have a button to prove it.

Enter the The Long Tail. Recently I finished reading the The Long Tail by Chris Anderson and was blown away by such a simple but powerful concept. People want more choice in everything they do...including their politics.

Now add Threadless. Read a great article in Inc. Magazine on the success of Threadless and how it uses its user driven community that cuts out all the advertising and marketing and just prints the shirts customers actually want. Free lance designers upload their art, community members vote on their favorites and then that same community buys them by the truck load.

So what if a big campaign that had some online store component actually asked it's online supporters (specifically the small dollar donors) what they wanted? How many "Frat boys for McCain", "Dentists for Coleman" or "Pet owners for Mitch" would want a t-shirt, bumper sticker or yard sign?

Even better than having to give it away at Campaign HQ all the time what if supporters actually pay for their own stuff. Allow them to "actively" participate in the campaign and engage on their own terms under their own label.

Now that would be a cool idea.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Whew, What a Week!

So much for our poll. By a 4-1 margin respondents said they were going to vote in the GOP Primary, but the post election data shows that only two of the 92 counties in Indiana cast more GOPer ballots than Dem.

In looking at a couple of races there were significant under-votes on the down ballot contests which leads us to believe that a bunch of folks were just voting the POTUS race on Dem ballots and going on about their business. It will be interesting to see the academic analysis of the election both here in Indiana and overall nationwide as it gets published later in 2008 and '09.

There was a pretty spirited discussion of some of the races this weekend on the Hoosier Access podcast live from the VFW in Lawrence. (Shout-out to the good people at the VFW for being such gracious hosts.) Your humble correspondents tried to illuminate things in between Squidword's cut-ups and the three pizzas we had spread out between us. If you listen carefully, you can hear the clink of beer bottles getting passed around too.

More coming on the "Live Blog from ..." project. We had all the bugs worked out Saturday, but had connectivity problems and just could not get a signal on the old Sprint card. We are working on setting up a live blog/podcast from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this month. Hey, it's May in Indy, where else are you gonna be?

Stay tuned! Way more to come ...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We're on Hiatus ... back in a few days

Fellow flacks,

We're going deep underground to do some serious dumpster diving and will return in just a few days with more good stuff to dish on.

See ya soon.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Here's one for the Weird File. A Japanese company uses a unique marketing tool that you just have to see to believe.

Brought to you by the same people who do those odd anime toons on Saturday, this has got to be a hot seller. I just don't think it will fly here in the Midwest. (What with all the flap over Victoria's Secret window displays and all.)

Fellow hacks, can we get this into a political campaign office somehow? I mean stress balls are OK, Maalox is a given, but putting one of these things in the Chief Strategerist's office would be cool.

H/T Weird News

Thursday, May 1, 2008

After Tuesday

I need some therapy.

So, beginning Wednesday morning, after my coffee and Fiber One flakes, I am going to go out and scrape the old flaking paint off the barn. Then I'm going to break out the belt-sander (Hmmmm, More Power!) and the paint brushes. That might get me to Friday. Assuming I can get a day without rain, I can likely get the barn painted, and fix the barn door that rotted out from ice damage over the winter.

If I am lucky, I can fix the mower deck, pump up the air in the tires on the drop-spreader, and weld a new hitch on it so I can pull the roller behind the drop-spreader in tandem (save fuel by doing two things at once) and maybe, just maybe, on Sunday I can cut the grass, fertilize, and roll (all at once, no less!) around the house and get some of the things that I really needed to do last month done.

Such is the nature of campaigns. I am just thankful that I don't have "baby chicks and ducklings" or a "sick" horse (@joetrippi) to complicate matters. (Although, the idea of some chickens has crossed my mind - just so my grand kids could have some fun ...)

When it's over, it's over. We get to go back to what we do. Fortunately, when the Primary is over, I'm pretty much done. I feel for the rest of my friends who have to go through this for the next six months. Political campaigns have become a bloodsport. Too bad. Our Republic suffers from the deterioration of the process that the Founders hammered out that miserably hot summer in Philadelphia.

We have a media that has abdicated it's responsibility as the Fourth Estate to the almighty "ad dollar" and editorial bias. We have the Internet, the 21st Century "Whisper Campaign". But the most depressing thing to me is that we have about 60% of the population that will not take the few hours necessary to cast an informed vote. In a time where we can access information at an unprecedented level; where we can discern the truth beyond what is spoon-fed to us, we just don't seem to care. I hope I am wrong. I hope that we do really want to look beyond the pablum of the pandering.

It strikes me as odd that "teen angel" porn sites get more hits in fifteen minutes than any candidate for public office gets in a month. What does that say about the process?

Well, after Tuesday, it doesn't make any difference to me. I'll be wearing my John Deere hat. I will be scraping paint off my barn. I'll be doing manly-man things with welders and hand tools. I'll be having a cathartic experience.

And I'll be reminding myself that June 8th is only a month away. Bring on the baby chicks.

Wow! That was better than a $225/hr therapist.

God Bless the John Deere Company.

Waiver Granted to IndyGo: Speedway Shuttle Service Resumes

Yay! In one of the WORST decisions out of the Beltway was the regulation banning the use of IndyGo and it's Speedway Shuttles to get fans to and from the track.

According to the Rag, a waiver was granted Wednesday and IndyGo will run shuttles for the Indy500 and Brickyard 400. There will NOT be shuttle service for the Red Bull GP. Of course if you're going to the Red Bull you're riding your motorcycle to the track anyway.

If someone here pulled some strings with the FTA to get this waiver done - THANKS!