Friday, February 7, 2014

After Years of Being MIA Former Senator Richard Lugar Wants to Tell Indiana Republicans Who to Vote for in State Treasurer Convention Contest

During the primary contest between Senator Richard Lugar and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, I met with a formerly-high ranking Republican state official.  He had been for years a supporter of Lugar.  No longer.  He voiced a complaint I had heard for years from Indiana Republicans about Senator Richard Lugar.  Lugar refused to endorse other Republican candidates.  He refused to help them or the state party raise money.  He refused to even let his name appear on signs jointly with other Republican candidates.  But it just wasn't individual candidates. The state official said he hadn't been back to a state GOP Lincoln Day dinner for decades.

Former Senator Richard Lugar
A former Republican candidate for prosecutor told me the story of meeting Lugar and having his picture taken with him.  A few days later he received a letter from Lugar's office saying that the candidate was prohibited from using the photograph in political materials.  Not sure the legal authority the Lugar people had to issue such a proclamation, but they weren't above threatening Republican candidates.

In a meeting with another Republican official, I heard the story of GOP state party officials meeting with Lugar at a hotel and being shocked to find that was where Lugar was living on the rare occasions he would come back to Indianapolis.Then of course it came out that Lugar was, illegally, using a home he had sold approximately 25 years earlier as his residence for voting.

Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold
The story of the 2012 primary is that the tea party wing of the GOP tossed out a statesman who had served Indiana with dignity.  What it should be instead is the story of a Senator who became arrogant and out-of-touch with Hoosiers, a politician whose hubris caused him to shoot himself, repeatedly, in the foot. If Senator Lugar had taken any steps to remain in contact with the state and to even lend modest assistance to the Indiana Republican Party and its candidates, he would never have been beaten by Mourdock. In fact, Mourdock probably would never have ran.

In light of Lugar's history, I find it the height of chutzpah that Lugar announced this morning he is endorsing Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold for State Treasurer.  Now, after all these years, Lugar has finally decided to help out a Republican candidate, this time by telling Republican convention-goers they should support a Republican insider over two other Republicans for State Treasurer.  Republicans should tell the good Senator thanks but no thanks.


Anonymous said...

Shocking - you'd think the Republicans would screen carefully who's allowed to voice opinions about candidates...

Paul K. Ogden said...

Goodneighborsam, good thing I don't impose a requirement on my blog that people make rationale, thoughtful comments. People like you deserve to have your comments published too.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps so does Lugar?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Sure Lugar can post on my blog anytime he wants. I don't require that people reside in Indiana to post.