Monday, December 27, 2010

Winners and Losers of 2010

State Politician - Winner: The award goes to Governor Daniels. Although he is entering the lame deck phase of his eight years in office, Gov. Daniels unified campaign effort on behalf of the legislative candidates helped Republicans go from a 47 seat minority to a 60 seat majority in the Indiana House while picking up enough seats in the Senate to make that chamber impervious to a quorum call.

State Politician - Winner (Second Place): Speaker Brian Bosma was also a strong competitor for this award. Not only did the Republican victories propel Bosma back into the Speakers' seat, it came right before redistricting, allowing Republicans to draw the new district lines.

State Politician - Winner (Third Place): Tony Bennett, State Superintendent of Public Instruction wasn't on the ballot in 2010, but his education reform measures won a huge boost with Republicans taking over the House.

State Politician - Loser: The award goes to former Speaker of the House, Pat Bauer, for losing 13 seats in the House, a 26 vote swing against Bauer's Democratic Party.

Local Politician - Winner: Marion County Prosecutor-elect Terry Curry. Although Republicans recruited a big name and government contractors and the State GOP poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign, Republican Mark Massa lost by 4 percent.

Local Politician - Loser: Former Marion County Chairman GOP Tom John takes this award. Under his leadership, the Republicans lost every county office in 2008 and 2010. It may turn out to be unfortunate that John vacated the office early, allowing another insider, Kyle Walker, to take the helm of the GOP. That might allow Walker to escape the housecleaning that should be coming after the 2011 election debacle.

Non-Politician - Winner: President Russ Simnick of the Indiana Public Charter School Association takes this award. Democrats in the Indiana House were always a roadblock to new charter school legislation. Now instead of needing four Democrats to cross over, Simnick and other reformers only have to worry about not going so far with their reforms as to lose ten Republicans. Quite a difference. (Disclaimer: Simnick is a friend of mine. However, I have called him a "loser" in the past and won't hesitate to do so again when the label fits.)

Non-Politician - Loser: While there were a lot of candidates for this position, Dr. Eugene White, IPS Superintendent, takes the award. Republican legislators believe the money should follow the student. Although the district has been losing tens of thousands of students per decade, IPS has managed to increase its funding from the General Assembly due to additional assistance it receives to offset the harshness of a strict per student funding formula. That safety net may be gone with 60 Republicans in the Indiana House.

Blogger of the Year: I have to hand it to Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana. Welsh is tireless at rooting out corruption and dishonesty in our politics. He doesn't care which political party - he exposes all the shenanigans taking place behind the scenes. He has a phenomenal memory and an eye for detail that I can't begin to match. The importance of Gary Welsh was demonstrated when he was off for nearly a month this year due to illness. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders trying to help fill his absence. Although some County GOP leaders claim that Welsh and my blogging efforts are aimed at tearing down the local GOP, instead the effort is aimed at making the local GOP more honest and appealing to the general public, a direction the party needs to head in if it's going to have chances to win elections in Democratic Marion County.

Blogger of the Year (Runner-Up): Although she doesn't post that often, when Diana Vice of Welcome to My Tea Party does, she's almost sure to ruffle feathers. She exposed several scandals this year, stories that the mainstream media missed or only picked up after she reported them.

Reformer of the Year (Politician Category): I have to give it to Sen. Mike Delph. Sen. Delph and I don't see eye to eye on immigration, but he does push a reform agenda and did so before it was popular. Sen. Delph was re-elected this year in a tough campaign and may have aspirations for U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar's seat.

Reformer of the Year (Non-Politician Category): The award goes to Julia Vaughn, President of Indiana Common Cause. I have to admit, earlier in my political life I thought Common Cause was some kooky left-wing organization. Vaughn, who hails from my hometown of Madison, Indiana, has blown away that perception by pushing a reform agenda that is common sense and truly aimed at what is in the best interests of Hoosiers. With Republicans taking over the legislature, it is time to to enact some of these reform measures that House Republicans have paid lip service to in recent years.

Tomorrow I will look into my crystal ball and see what is going to happen in 2011.


M Theory said...

Great post, Paul. I found myself agreeing with all your picks.

Diana Vice said...

Thank you very much, Paul. I'm honored to have made your list.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks, Paul, for the kind comments.

Unknown said...

I don't want to sound like a whiner, but why does Lake Co get left out? I have been GOP Chairwoman for just over 1 year in a heavily democratic county and on Nov 2nd we won our first county office in over 60 years, retained all elected officials and picked up 12 new seats in cities and towns including getting 1 more seat on the county council. We swept Dyer and Cedar Lake Council seats, picked up 1 seat where we had none in Lowell, retained a majority on council in Schererville, had 2 elected democrats defect over to our side from Cedar Lake a couple weeks ago. I think our team under my leadership deserves some sort of award! Kim Krull, Lake Co GOP Chairwoman :)

guy77money said...

Hey it's good to see the Lake County GOP is smart enough to put a intelligent hard working woman as the Chairwoman! Now if the Marion county GOP would only stop the good old boy network and choose someone who could energize the GOP base. Well maybe after the next election.

As for blogger of the year I would have to cast my vote for that Ogden guy, the law suit against the most of the Indiana Prosecutors was stroke of genius. Thanks for keeping it 'fair and balanced!' Looking for more fun from Gary,Diana and Easter (hey he's a Democrat but a good guy) and of course yourself in 2011.

Just had a thought. Didn't the Republican Party in Marion county go broke back when Peterson was in office. I could see the same thing happening in 2012. Of was that farther back, dang it tough to get old the memory is not what it used to be.

Paul K. Ogden said...


You bring up a very good point. I made a mental note when I heard of the Lake County R gains. Thank you so much for giving more detail. That is an impressive performance.

Since we're floundering so badly in Marion County, even in the midst of a Republican tsunami, it's good to hear that Republicans are making such spectacular gains in Lake County, which has long been a Democratic stronghold.

I'm going to take a close look at your performance up there and write a separate column on that. I want to study the numbers some. I love looking at election stats and I'd like to see how Lake County has increased its R numbers over the years.

dcrutch said...

With thanks for your past & ongoing work, Mr. Ogden, I don't know of another forum to ask this: Is Gary & Advance Indiana on a planned hiatus beyond the Christmas/New Years? Please. Thanks.