Cue The Kazoos
I was too lazy to attend the debate between the three Democratic candidates for mayor last night at IU’s Neal Marshall Black Culture Center. John Linnemeier, John Hamilton, and Darryl Neher sat together on stage without a brawl breaking out in the first of several such panels between now and the primary May 5th.
[View The Pencil’s schedule of debates and forums here.]
The Herald Times this AM reported on a rather dull affair with the three offering the obligatory array of political positions including their four-square backing of good government, honesty, and sunny spring days.
The frontrunners, Hamilton and Neher, have so little to separate themselves, philosophically and politically, that the danger exists whomever succumbs first to desperation will turn this race personal. Hamilton already has (gently) hammered on Neher’s transformation from Republican to Democrat. Last night Neher pointed out that five Hamilton underlings were convicted of swiping $1.6 million in taxpayer dough when H. was in former Indiana Guv Frank O’Bannon’s cabinet.
Personal to Hamilton and Neher: Don’t go there. Bloomington’s voters will turn quickly against anyone who engages in negative campaigning this cycle. See, nobody in the general public is so madly in love with either of you that they’ll forgive destructive mudslinging. Just my unsolicited advice.
Coats Leaving The Cloakroom
So, who wants to be the new junior United States Senator from Indiana now that Dan Coats is hanging up his Republican buckle-hat and breeches?
- Todd Young?
- Baron Hill?
- Shelli Yoder?
- Evan Bayh?
- Richard Mourdock?
Well, maybe not Richard Mourdock, although America is noted for shocking second acts (Richard Nixon, Marion Barry, and ABBA, for examples). But how about these names, mentioned by The Hill, the daily hardcopy and online newspaper covering Congress?
- R — Eric Holcomb, Coats’ chief of staff (The Hill sez he’s doing the grunt work necessary to building relationships and a name for himself prior to a putative run.)
- R — Susan Brooks, Indiana’s 5th Dist. US Congressbeing
- R — Greg Ballard, Indy mayor
- R — Todd Rokita, Indiana 4th Dist. US Congressbeing
- R — Jackie Walorski,
- R — Marlin Stuzman, Indiana 3rd Dist. US Congressbeing
- D — Tom McDermott, Hammond mayor
A Luke Messer spokesgeek sez the 6th Dist. Republican US Congressbeing isn’t hep to the idea of running at this moment, The Hill also reports.
Tom LoBianco of the Indy Star adds these names:
- R — Mike Delph, State Senator from the 29th Dist.
- D — Christina Hale, State Rep. from the 87th Dist.
- R — Brian Bosma, Indiana House Speaker (88th Dist.)
Politico‘s Kyle Cheney does a thorough job of vetting Evan Bayh’s mindset as the seat comes open. Cheney figures there’s no chance Bayh — even with his $10 million war chest — will run.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz of Indy Politics drops Bosma, Young, Stutzman, and Rokita’s names — adding Holcomb’s almost as an afterthought.
Coats so far is the third US Senator to announce he won’t run in 2016, joining Dems Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) in the glue factory line.
Hey, you’ve only got six more days to read Scott Russell Sanders’ new novel, Divine Animal. The current selection of the Bloom magazine Book Club, Divine… has been flying off the Book Corner‘s shelves.
Malcolm Abrams’ brainchild was a smashing success the first time around with Bloomington author Michael Koryta packing the house at Oliver Winery on the Square in February. Koryta’s Those Who Wish Me Dead was the Book Club’s first selection.
Sanders will read from his book and answer questions Tuesday, March 31st, 5:30pm, at FARM Bloomington’s Root Cellar Lounge. My advice? Get there early.
Scott Russell Sanders
BTW, poet extraordinaire and IU Creative Writing prof. Ross Gay told me yesterday that Sanders — back when he was still teaching keyboard clacking there — was a terrific influence on a lot of young scribes, the tall versifier included. “Every time I’d see him in the hallway, he’d have something nice or encouraging to say,” Gay remembers.
Keep in mind encouragement is worth its weight in gold to an aspiring writer, especially considering careerists in that field see very little gold in their lifetimes.