Hot Air: Big Dreams; Big Money

I don’t know if he can win in this congressional district but, given what he’s done in his life already, I’d hate to bet against him.

Dan Canon was raised by a single mother and then dropped out of high school because he was bored. He played in a rock ‘n roll band for the next ten years and then decided to put his life in order. He put himself through college and then law school. And — wouldn’t you know it? — he finished first in his law school class at the University of Louisville

Next thing anybody knew, he was arguing a landmark case before the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United Sates of America. Yep, Canon was one of the lead attorneys in Obergefell vs. Hodges, the 2015 decison that made same-sex marriage legal in this holy land. And now he’s running for Congress in Indiana’s 9th District.


Canon hopes to unseat Republican Trey Hollingsworth, who made a splash in 2016 by moving here so he could run for the House from this district and — wouldn’t you know it again? — won on the coattails of Li’l Duce. Hollingsworth knocked off one of my fave pols extant, Shelli Yoder, who is not running again in the 2018 race but, rumor has it, is mulling a dash for statewide office. Both Canon and his campaign manager, Dustin Collins, like this correspondent, dig Yoder the most.

In any case, Canon must face several Dems also hoping to bust Hollingsworth out of office in the May, 2018 primary.

Can anybody beat Hollingsworth with his war chest bursting at the seams, thanks to his daddy-o’s millions? Who knows? Somebody’s got to try, though. The first Q. I posed to Canon during my interview with him on Thursday’s Big Talk was, How can you win in this reddest of red states?

For his part, Canon took me — and anybody else who suggests Indiana is a die-hard red state — to task. He spoke of this Congressional district’s Democratic past. I didn’t have the heart to counter that the key word in that response is past.

Canon’s smart and earnest and determined. Plus, he’s energized some of the more progressive elements around these parts, as evidenced by the turnout for his meet-and-greet Thursday evening at the Uptown Cafe.

Anyway, here are a couple of links to my Big Talk feature with him and here’s one to the entire interview.


Indiana University isn’t the only bad guy in this case. Pretty much every single big-time institution of higher education is committing this same mortal sin. That is, the amount of dough each spends fielding sports teams.

The Herald Times this morning lists The Top Ten Base Salaries at IU for this year. The big boss, president Michael McRobbie leads the way at $627,300 per annum. He’s followed by the athletic director, Fred Glass at $561,300, then brand new head basketball coach, Archie Miller — who hasn’t won a single game for the faithful yet — at $550,000. In fact, an academic doesn’t turn up on the list until No. 8, Kelley School of Business dean Idie Kesner at $400,289 a year.

But, immeditaely following Kesler is a fellow named Darren Hiller, just hired this past February. Hiller, the HT notes, makes a sweet $400,000 a year.

Now, let me repeat: He’s the assistant football coach. In charge of the offensive line and, acc’d’g to the IU Athletic Dep.t website, he’s also the “run game coordinator.”

Here, let me try this a third time: Darren Hiller is the assistant football coach. Assistant. Not even the top guy. A helper. A second in command, if that — I was under the impression such specialists as the offensive and defensive coordinators were co-seconds-in-command in the hallowed flow chart of football team leadership, the pantheon, as it were.

I’ll say this: Were I a top notch physicist, say, or mathematical genius, or a recognized authority on the works of the Beat writers, I’d be mightily pissed. Why some dude whose expertise in life is the proper formation that eleven guys must assume in order to facilitate a running back gaining, say, 3.7 yards per carry (the Hoosiers’ overall 2016 average; a figure, it must be assumed, Hiller is charged with improving) is scheduled to make something approaching half a mill a year while…, well, I’m not would be a question haunting me as I lay my head on my pillow each night of the 2017-18 school year.


An assistant. Did I mention that?

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