Big money comes to Tuesday's Indiana primary
By Rick Yencer
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Less than 12 hours before Tuesday's primary election, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came to town for a private fundraiser while touting jobs as the make or break issue in the 2012 election.
Romney insisted to a crowd of the richest Indiana residents that the United States was headed to ruin like Europe with high unemployment and a decaying industrial base that also facing rising debt all thanks to Democratic President Barack Obama.
And for a mere $50,000 contribution to Romney's campaign, donors can get a weekend at one of Romney's summer homes, dinner and pictures with the presidential hopeful besides other party perks.
Last Saturday, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was subbing for Obama at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner and talked about a similar platform of jobs despite high unemployment and thousands out of work and dropping off benefit rolls.
Somewhere in the middle, thousands of voters going to partisan primaries will be the deciders of everything from the presumptive presidential nominees Romney and Obama to who wins that highly contested three way race for Republican Yorktown Town Councll District 2 among Larry Crouch, Laura Vice and Dixie Quakenbush.
Make no mistake, the center of Delaware County's primary elections won't be that Indiana House 34 race among David Walker, Sue Errington and Karen Brand. It will be somewhere around Yorktown High School where more than two dozen signs, mostly for Republican congressional hopeful Luke Messer. surround the poll for Precinct 71.
It was just Monday at Yorktown Superintendent Jennifer McCormick was reminding a candidate that the school had a policy of no politics on school grounds. Exemptions including polling places besides visits by Republican officeholders like State Rep.Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, causing some parents to wonder whether they teach Republican there.
The number of Messer signs, only beat by Republican congressional sidekick Bill Frazier, local favorite son, illustrate that Republicans still have all the mojo going into the primary. Add that Republican Delaware County Commissioner District 2 candidate Sherry Riggin, along with sister, Melanie, that fabulous singer, will be hanging around before, during and after school in Yorktown.
Look for a big turnout in the fastest growing town in Delaware County recently dubbed by one campaign as a Growing Green Community. Government reform and a Republican led council that grew the town, spent all the money and raised property taxes is headed for a bipartisan recogning as the first Democratic fundraiser in years was held last week in Morrow's Meadow for Shannon Pitzer, a Democrat seeking a council at-large seat. He brought his friends from the Delaware County Highway Department to town to help turn the local government blue.
Still the marquee race on Tuesday is the Republican grudge match between U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN and that Tea Party darling Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
In the final day, one of Mourdock's little helpers, Indiana Faith and Freedom Coalition did a blast mail piece claiming to be a voter guide. showing Lugar's blue voting record of supporting a $1 a gallon gas tax hike, confirming liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices, supporting a Wall Street bailout and taxpayer funded embbryonic stem cell research.
Meanwhile, Lugar was showing off some GOTV numbers illustrating why he will win the primary. More than 42,563 calls made to Republican voters Monday, with more than 1.5 million calls sofar. That GOTV program that is a voter ID and call system is the cool way to win elections with no muss or fuss.
Locally, there will some elections decided by candidates who wage literally no campaign.
Take Yorktown Council member Rick Glaub, a Republican, who faces newcomer Beau Mendenhall, a suspected put up of Republican council President Bob Ratchford, who ousted Glaub as council president this year. Glaub has been a council member for six years and says simply his fate is decided by voters.
Then there's Steve Fields, the well known survivor of the United Taxpayers group founded by Richard Amburn and Basil Davis Sr. He has been elected twice as Mount Pleasant Township trustee and recently on Yorktown council. A Republican, Fields is no nonsense when it comes to government finance and taxation. He faces another campaign do nothing Gerald Langley, who was led to the election office by Republican Party Chairman Will I am Statom to derail Fields' campaign.
Another under the radar campaigner that might surprise is Democrat Susan Heitzman of North Vernon who is seeking the Democratic nod to Congress District 6 now held by Mike Pence, a Republican who will likely be Indiana's next governor. Local favorite son Brad Bookout is expected to win bur the busy race in both congressional primary may not favor Bookout or Republican big money candidate Luke Messer who is just like Mike Pence.
Look for more fun at the polls today to decide partisan nominees for the leaders of the free world, United States, Indiana and free Yorktown.