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Fire Lugar 2012

Richard Lugar says Indiana Tea Partiers are NOT Hoosiers!

What do you do when you’re in a hole?  I guess for Richard Lugar, the answer is “grab a bigger shovel.”

From Wrap Your Head Around:

Excuse me, Senator Lugar?  Besides last night at the Republican Establishment dinner, when are you ever seen in Indiana?  I rarely ever leave the state myself—but, according to your logic, I’m not a Hoosier. Hmm.

More from Mitch’s Book: Corruption in Dick Lugar’s Indianapolis City Hall in 1970

From HoosierAccess:

There are plenty of interesting things in Mitch’s new book, Keeping the Republic.

(You can read my review of it here; I highly recommend reading it.)

In one passage of the book, Mitch talks about the evils of public sector unions and his decision to issue an executive order in Indiana shortly after he took office that curtailed mandatory provisions instituted by the Bayh administration years early.

He likened today’s mandatory union dues paid by public sector workers (which then go toward union-backed political candidates) to a scene he witnessed in the Indianapolis mayor’s office in the early 1970s:

In Indiana the old patronage system lasted longer than almost anywhere, well into the 1980s. As a young City Hall intern in 1970, I recall watching the cigar box being passed around in local government offices so employees could maintain their membership in the “2 Percent Club” by “voluntarily” donating 2 percent of their meager pay to whichever party was in power, thereby maintaining their jobs.

Mitch does not mention the name of Indianapolis’ mayor back in those days.

This keeps with his policy in the book of not naming names when he tells stories and relates anecdotes about Indiana. (As I noted in my review, the only Hoosier Republican mentioned by name in the entire book is Richard Mourdock, in the very positive context of supporting Mourdock’s effort to oppose Obama’s bailout of Chrysler and screwing of Indiana public pension funds.)

In 1970, the mayor of Indianapolis was Dick Lugar (Richard Nixon’s favorite mayor, back in those days). So we now know that in Dick Lugar’s City Hall, employees were required to make campaign contributions to keep their jobs.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

RNC Chief Vows Neutrality in Senate Primary

From HoosierAccess:

Nobody wants to stick up for Dick Lugar, it seems. The national Republican Party has bigger fish to fry (like beating Obama) than to earn the anger of the conservative grassroots by wasting money trying to keep Dick Lugar in office for a seventh term.


The Republican national chairman is staying out of the primary between Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

“I happen to believe that primaries are good,” says RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “I think having a diverse field is great. It’s all the earned media, it’s communicating what we need to do to get our country back on track.”

Some Republicans have grumbled they cost themselves a shot at controlling the Senate last year by nominating insurgents over more experienced candidates in Delaware, Nevada and Colorado.

Priebus was Wisconsin state chairman before unseating national chairman Michael Steele earlier this year. He says hard-fought primaries won by Scott Walker and Ron Johnson for the nominations for governor and senator helped fuel their victories in November.

Priebus says the Lugar-Mourdock winner, as well as the winner of the upcoming presidential primaries, will similarly benefit from the exposure gained by having to battle for the nomination.

I happen to subscribe to a similar view as Priebus when it comes to primaries. Competition and the free market isn’t just for the private sector; it’s good to have this sort of competition in the political sphere as well.

Lugargeddon: Mark Levin, Herman Cain, More Mourdock Endorsements Roll In

From HoosierAccess:

Richard Mourdock’s been having a good couple of weeks.

First, a poll from the Club for Growth showed Mourdock ahead of Lugar, 34% to 32%.

Then Lugar rushed out his own poll trying to make things look better, saying that the race was actually Lugar leading Mourdock,45 % to 31%.

Reassuring? Not so much, particularly when the incumbent has 100% name ID, is supposedly beloved, and is actually considerably worse off than Marco Rubio was against Charlie Crist at this point in that race in 2009. Back then, Crist was leading Rubio two-to-one.

The poll was so bad for Lugar that the Mourdock folks had to be happy with the numbers. I suspect that the Lugar people can’t be happy with the results; they had just spent over a hundred thousand dollars on TV ads to bolster their numbers and that was the best they could do.

The entire narrative of their campaign, based on a false perception of invincibility, was destroyed by their own poll. The emperor truly has no clothes.

If Lugar was as beloved and invincible as his campaign has so long contended, he would not be below 50% in race where he has near-universal name ID. No incumbent in such a situation is in a good situation for reelection. For someone to be undecided about Dick Lugar is for someone to not want to reelect him but to not know enough about his challenger (a problem that will be solved soon enough).

And with the polling running Mourdock’s way (even Lugar’s own polling showing how winnable the race is), now come the endorsements.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.


The Last of Lugar?

From National Review:

When Barack Obama was running for president, there was one Republican besides George W. Bush whom he wouldn’t stop talking about. “Politics don’t have to divide us,” he said at his campaign kickoff in 2007. “I’ve worked with Republican senator Dick Lugar . . .” Obama dropped the name of the senior senator from Indiana during his first presidential debate with John McCain, and then again during their third debate: “If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar.” Obama even ran advertisements that showed him with Lugar.

To the surprise of many, the Hoosier State wound up giving its electoral votes to a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964 and for only the second time since the Depression. “I saw those ads,” says Richard Mourdock, Indiana’s Republican treasurer. “My reaction was: You’ve got to be kidding me.” Mourdock assumed that they’d disappear in a day or two. “It was an implied endorsement. I thought Lugar would pick up the phone and ask for the ads to go off the air. That didn’t happen. You can make a case that Obama won our state’s eleven electoral votes because of those ads.”

Democrats may have flourished in Indiana in 2008, but Republicans roared back in 2010. They won every statewide office, picked up two congressional seats, and gained commanding majorities in the state legislature. Mourdock collected more than a million votes as he coasted to reelection. Now he has set his sights on a new office — the one currently held by Lugar. In February, he announced for the Senate.

Mourdock plans to oust the Republican heavyweight by tapping the energy of grassroots conservatives and tea-party activists, repeating last year’s insurgent performances by Mike Lee in Utah, Marco Rubio in Florida, and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Between now and May 8, 2012, when Indiana primary voters head to the polls, the Lugar–Mourdock race could become one of the most bitter and hard-fought Republican contests in the country.

Read the rest at National Review.

Lugargeddon: Club for Growth Slams Lugar on Debt Ceiling, Upends Senate Expectations Game

From HoosierAccess:

Back in April, Club for Growth president (and former Hoosier congressman) Chris Chocola warned Dick Lugar that he needed to retire. To say that Lugar hasn’t listened would be something of an understatement.

Chocola apparently felt that some emphasis was needed on his point.

Monday, the Club unleashed a media buy in Indiana attacking Lugar over the debt ceiling and his past record of votes for bailouts.

This is no fuzzy ad aimed at persuading Lugar. It’s a hard-hitting spot designed to leave a serious mark, and it does.

I doubt that the Club would have run this ad if they thought there was much of a chance of convincing Lugar to come around to their position (though he may yet do so, though probably entirely out of craven political expediency and desire to be reelected, rather than as a result of this media buy).

Moreover, National Journal reports that the media buy for airing this ad in Indiana is in the six figures, and that ad will run statewide. At going rates for ads in Indiana, that is a pretty significant media buy, especially for an off-year out of the campaign season.

The conservative Club for Growth is launching a pair of television ads Tuesday warning Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., not to compromise on the debt ceiling fight while criticizing the two longtime incumbents.

“With 14 trillion in debt, Lugar will soon vote on raising our debt limit even higher,” the narrator of the spot running in Indiana says. “After thirty-five long years, tell Richard Lugar: no more debt.”

A source familiar with the size of the buys said that six figures are being spent on the commercial in Indiana. The Utah buy is not as large, the source said. The Club said in a release the ads will be running statewide.

“We think it would be probably best if he would retire at this point,” Club President Chris Chocola said of Lugar in April.

And so, with one television commercial by the Club for Growth, vanishes the ephemeral fiction of the Lugar camp in playing the expectations game over the past week. The invincible Dick Lugar. The sinking Richard Mourdock. The race done before it started. And so forth and so on.

All gone with the wind.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

“Lugar Discovers Indiana”

From HoosierAccess:

They’re just visiting.

It’s pretty bad when even Lugar’s most ardent defenders in the news media have to concede that, yeah, he hasn’t exactly been paying much (if any) attention at all to Hoosiers until Richard Mourdock decided to run against him.

Between his total neglect of Indiana, his blatant disregard (if not outright contempt) for the sentiments of the base of his party, his all-too-friendly relationship with Barack Obama (particularly compared to his repeated public disagreements with the last sitting Republican president), and his record as one of the Senate’s most liberal Republicans, it’s no wonder that Lugar has problems.

The Evansville Courier & Press has this column, which is full of some of the most backhanded compliments for Lugar that I have ever seen.

When U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar visited Evansville about two years ago, I recall asking folks about the last time Indiana’s senior senator came to town.

No one I talked to could remember.

If you ask me, that, more than anything else, explains why Lugar is being challenged in the 2012 GOP primary by state treasurer and former Vanderburgh County Commissioner Richard Mourdock.

This is not intended to diminish Lugar’s accomplishments. He is a statesman among senators, playing a lead role in limiting nuclear proliferation. He has more foreign policy bona fides than the last three men elected president.

Again comes the “he’s so smart he just doesn’t have time for Indiana” line. People might have bought that for the first couple decades Lugar was in office, but it’s getting old.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

Wanted: Lugar Doctrine on Nomination Votes

From HoosierAccess:

Credit where due; Dick Lugar voted against the nomination of the absolutely awful Goodwin Liu to the already absolutely awful 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

But this vote raises an important question. What is the Lugar Doctrine on judicial nominations (and other presidential nominations for that matter)? Previously, we have been told ad nauseam that Lugar votes for absolutely awful left-wing radicals (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan all come to mind) simply because he believes in the President’s prerogative under the Constitution to appoint whoever he wants. Recently, Lugar was the lone Republican to vote for Obama’s nominee for Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, a lefty that believes that terrorists were best dealt with in courts (rather than killed with missiles from drones or shot dead in their mansions in suburban Pakistan).

For Dick Lugar, “advise and consent” has always meant and been read as “rubber stamp.”

No longer. Apparently, what we once believed to be Lugar’s standard on judicial nominees is no longer in effect. Lugar’s vote against Goodwin Liu has proven that to us.

So there must be some other criteria for determining why Lugar votes for a nominee. Perhaps the liberalism, meager careers, and shallow records of Kagan and Sotomayor were sufficient for him whereas Goodwin Liu’s was not. Who knows.

Winston Churchill supposedly once asked a woman if she would sleep with him in exchange for five million pounds. She answered that she would, pending agreement on specifics. Churchill then asked her if she would sleep with him for only five pounds. The woman became angry, and demanded to know just what sort of woman Churchill thought she was. Churchill replied that the matter of the kind of woman she was had been settled; all that remained was haggling over the price.

So it is with Dick Lugar. The fact is that he will vote against some judicial nominees, whereas he has in the past voted for others. All that remains now is the explanation of why some liberals are acceptable to him, but others are not.

And I’m sure Richard Mourdock’s primary challenge had nothing to do with it.

Lugar Drops Sponsorship of DREAM Act, But Says He Will Still Vote for It

From HoosierAccess:

On the one hand, this has been touted as a result of Richard Mourdock’s conservative primary challenge to Lugar.

On the other hand, it’s a game of smoke-and-mirrors, seeing as how Lugar’s spokesperson openly admits that the move is entirely symbolic, since Lugar would still vote for the bill anyway. It’s not like the DREAM Act loses anything material by him no longer being a sponsor.

It just highlights that Lugar is sufficiently worried about Mourdock to attempt to pander to some element of the conservative base of the Republican Party (which runs counter to his traditional strategy of late of calling conservatives “dupes” and telling them to “get real”). Somehow, I don’t think that anyone is going to be “duped” by Lugar still supporting the DREAM Act even if he isn’t sponsoring it.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

Obama’s favorite RINO

From Angry White Boy:

David Willkie is Dick Lugar’s political director. According to his financial disclosure report for 2009 his investments include the following.

Abbott Labs – Between $100,000 & $250,000

In 2010, Abbot labs contributed over $80,000 to over 30 statewide democrats and as well as the California democratic party. They didn’t give Lugar a dime.

He also owns a similar amount of stock in Coca Cola. In 2010, the Coke PAC donated to the following Indiana democrats.

Baron Hill (D-IN) – $5,000
Joe Donnelly (D-IN) – $2,000
They only gave Lugar $1,000

He’s invested the same bracket with Johnson & Johnson. J&J notable democrat contributions include Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Alan Grayson, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Daniel Inouye, Dick Durbin,  Sten Hoyer, John Dingell, Harry Reid, and Patrick Leahy. They didn’t give Lugar anything.

He has a like investment with JP Morgan, which, in the 2008 campaign cycle, through their PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, contributed a whopping $695,132 to Barack Obama’s campaign.

No wonder Lugar is Obama’s favorite republican RINO.

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