Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Take on Carlos May

My blogging colleagues at Advance Indiana and Indianapolis Times have been pretty hard on Republican congressional candidate Carlos May in recent posts.

Terry Burns of Indianapolis Times refers to Carlos as a "failed congressional candidate" as if May blew a great chance of winning the 7th District. The race always required an aligning of the planets for May to get to D.C.. Even the primary was an uphill battle. There have been other slated Republican candidates who have gotten sidelined by Marvin Scott's substantial name ID. Oh, and I would add that Abraham Lincoln was also a "failed congressional candidate," right before he won the presidency.

Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana points out that May was given a do nothing job within the Ballard administration and criticizes him for going back to an administration that he privately criticized on the campaign trail. I actually agree with Gary that the job Carlos was given should have been more substantive. I also agree that it would have been better to not go back to the Ballard administration. But we all have bills to pay. I can imagine the financial toll that running for Congress had on Carlos. He needed a job...and it would have been better had it been a more substantive job. But sometimes your choices in life are limited by your opportunities.

I think too often people fail to understand the enormous emotional, physical and financial sacrifices that candidates running in competitive races have to make. In 2000, I ran for a house district on the northwest side of Indianapolis that had quickly transitioned from having a Republican base to one in which the Democrats had a majority. I won the primary against Shane Brinkman, the son of the State Treasurer Joyce Brinkman who had been the representative from that district. No easy feat. Still the district wasn't even on the state Republican's radar to win back in the general election until a poll showed Rep. Jeb Bardon in his first term (Jeb has since moved to a different district) was the most vulnerable representative in the house. The polls ended up showing me dead even with Bardon a week out.

I knew though in my heart the polls weren't right - the district was nearing 40% African-American who were polling much more independently than I knew they would vote on election day. I turned out to be right as African-Americans voting against Bush also did me in on Election Day.

I took months off of work for the campaign and worked extremely hard. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I remember coming out of a meeting at state party headquarters downtown and sitting down on a park bench. I had had only had one hour sleep and was so tired I couldn't remember where I parked my car. I had made enormous financial, physical and emotional sacrifices for that campaign, but came up short on Election Day.

During the primary campaign season, I saw Carlos May do the same thing I did in 2000 but on an even bigger scale. I know personally what kind of sacrifices he had to have made to run for Congress, including financially, and can't help but admire Carlos for his dedication.

Undoubtedly Carlos underestimated the power of Marvin Scott's name ID or the long shot of beating Andre Carson in a general election. Still Carlos tackled his first campaign with enthusiasm and energy you don't see with many candidates.
Carlos appears to me the type of person the Marion County GOP needs to be encouraging to run again in the future. That means not only supporting him when he runs, but also supporting him after the campaign in which he's not successful by opening the door to jobs and other opportunities. For too long the Marion County GOP has been in the business of snuffing out the ambition and energy of young Republicans who aspire to run for office.

I know I could be wrong about Carlos. I've been around enough politicians to always be skeptical about their sincerity. I can only evaluate what I saw - a young man with impressive energy and enthusiasm who was willing to be a more independent Republican voice that has potential to appeal to Democrats. Carlos may turn out to be like so many other Republican politicians in Marion County - willing to sell one's political soul and conservative beliefs for personal profit. But at least let me hold out hope that there are good people out there, people perhaps like Carlos, who truly want to be in public service for the right reasons - to serve the public.


Nicolas Martin said...

He needed a job? Has he, like most political parasites, not heard of the private sector?

May got his degrees in political science and law, so he never imagined anything but a life on the dole. What a terrible shame that his ambitions are thwarted for now. But he’ll be back. They always are, like moths to light.

Ben said...

No one in the Primary with the exception of Bart McAtee worked harder than Carlos May. The problem was that Tom John and Davie Brooks dont like Carlos because they cannot control him like they do Fishburn. They will not back anyone that they cannot totaly own.

They did not give Carlos any support at all. All of the money went to Jason Fishburns father.

Carlos has a bright future in Indianapolis. Hell he is only 30 years old. Unlike his boss Mayor Dum Dum, Carlos can put togeather real sentances wiht out stumbeling.

What I found interesting was that the Mayor did not support Carlos at all,but yet he hires him back?

By treating these young turks this was, the good guys like him are being driven out of the Republican party. Why in thehell woudl he want to come back and face the trashing by Tommy John again.

Thats OK, because Tom John is about to get his in November. Maybe when every single Republican gets beat in November the bosses will get rid of the little phish head. Becaus eof Tommys actions Marion County maybe the only place in American where the Democrats will win. Because of Tommys actions Anderson will beat Jim Merett, which is sad.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Merritt will win that race. If it were 2012, I'd agree with you. But it's 2010 and should be a very good year for Republicans.. A rising tide lifts all boats, including Merritts.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I'm sorry, NM, I don't agree that there's anything wrong with public service. You know how hard it is to get employment in the public sector with a poli sci degree?

Guest said...

You do not mention the unknow unfunded interloper from Ohio who suddenly was planted on the ballot that siphoned off Mays votes. I'd say crossovers from the Carson machine put out the word -stop Mays.

Cato said...

Why didn't he go back to his welding business, his auto repair business, his dairy farm, etc.?

How many interviews were held for this position?

What entitles some people to permanent government employment, while others go hungry?

M Theory said...

I remain very impressed by Carlos and believe he's going places.

Thanks for writing this, Paul.

Ben said...


You are an an idiot. I am really trying to figure out your stupid statement, but there is nothing to figure out.

It's racest and ignorant.

There were over 40 pople interviewed for that position.

Prior to your next idiot post, take a valum and get your facts straight

Cato said...

Ben, if you're going to use denigrating epithets against one's intellect, may I suggest that your first course be to get your spelling correct, lest you be hoisted on your own petard, as it were. Your post was, frankly, an incoherent and poorly composed rage.

I have little doubt that you didn't understand my post, as it appears that you lack the capacity to understand much of what minds better than yours (most of them) have penned.

And do be more judicious in throwing out the "racest" [sic] label. It's not "racist," in the least, to argue that a Director of Any Ethnicity is a superfluous and needless position. Further, being so flippant in the use of such a once-powerful term cheapens its meaning until we reach the point where a big-government Liberal like yourself uses "racest" [sic] to describe any limitation on the size of government.

Do aim higher, Ben, and take to heart the admonition that persons of your station best serve the discussion by being readers, not authors.

Ben said...


I went to an PS schooo, so there ya go.

You are vey quck to call out my spelling while at the same time avoid the topic. I invite you to sit down with Carls and see what he is all about prior to your judgemental rantings.

While I do think that most of your posts here are on target, you are way off base on this one.

When 2016 rolls around and Carlos is Mayor, lets see how you attack him

Wilson46201 said...

Carlos May certainly seems to be quite an attractive political candidate - except for the important fact: HE LOST. He spent unwisely and even lent his campaign $18,710 (which he'll have to eat personally.)

He tried to run as a super-Latino in a GOP primary which is poisoned by Tea Party "illegal alien" xenophobia. He made his big candidacy announcement in a 30% Black district with nary an African-American even for window dressing. Not too astute! Ideologically he started off as a generic Boehner/Cantor Republican but then he swung desperately to the Teabaggers. Scott had that franchise sewn up.

Running for Senior Class President in Zionsville is way, way different from running for Congress in a large diverse city. Carlos kept wondering why the Congressional District couldnt include all of Marion County -- he must have slept through his basic poli-sci classes! Amos Brown patiently explained it to Carlos on the air but weeks later May was still running that question.

He seems to be a nice energetic personable guy but relatively clueless about practical politics.