Breaking Away - Not the Movie - Indiana Politics

I lived the first 58 years of my life in Indiana. While I don’t claim to know all about Hoosiers, I’m not talking out of my hat or making things up as I go along. On Tuesday, May 8th, Indiana holds its open primary with the new redistricting in place. I applaud Indiana for improving on the previously drawn districts by putting together more compact districts and splitting up fewer cities and counties. You can judge for yourself with the side by side comparison below.















Cross-posted at Unified Patriots

Let me first suggest what are the unimportant votes on May 8th, and my prediction for these offices on November 6th in Indiana.

  • President– I predict Obama will lose Indiana’s electoral votes to the Republican nominee on November 6th. In my lifetime the only time the Democrats won Indiana was when the Republican nominee was from Arizona. Coincidence? Heh, maybe but in 2012 the Republican nominee is not from Arizona. On the night of November 6th the first state to be called for the Republican nominee will once again be Indiana.
  • GovernorI predict Republican Mike Pence will be elected Governor, and he has no primary challenger.
  • IN-1I predict Democrat incumbent Pete Visclosky will be reelected, and he has no primary challenger.
  • IN-3I predict Republican Marlin Stutzman will be reelected, and he has no primary challenger.
  • IN-4I predict Republican Todd Rokita will be reelected, and he has no primary challenger.
  • IN-9 I predict Republican Todd Young will be reelected, and he has no primary challenger.

For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, Breaking Away, the rest of my political analysis is somewhat about this movie. The plot of the movie: four friends are snobbishly looked down upon by the Indiana University college students in their frat houses known as “cutters,” since they were born in Bloomington and their parents worked in the local limestone quarries that built the university. Dennis Christopher’s character Dave wants to be a champion bicycle racer and he idolizes the Italian racing team–so much so that he speaks, thinks, and acts Italian, all to his father’s (Paul Dooley) forlorn exasperation. Dave falls for a college girl (Robyn Douglass), but is ashamed to admit he is a cutter and poses as an Italian exchange student to impress her. Dave is particularly excited when his heroes–the Italian racers–come to town for a race. But they are even more snobbish than the college students and rely on dirty tricks to keep Dave from winning a race against them. After that ordeal, Dave throws away his false identity and convinces his friends to enter the University’s “Little 500” bicycle race against the college students.
So with this movie in mind …

US Senate Treasurer Richard Mourdock is the local, and incumbent Republican Senator Richard Lugar is the snobbish frat. I am cheering for Mourdock. I just wish the 79 year old Lugar had chosen to retire after 36 years just like the 75 year old Dan Burton did after 30 years. No matter who wins the primary, either one of these Richards will win in November for a GOP hold. If Richard Mourdock does win the primary, then major shockwaves will be felt by the Washington establishment.

IN-2 This district is currently served by Democrat Joe Donnelly who is retiring to run for Governor. Jackie Walorski is more like the local cutter who enrolls at Indiana University and becomes a pledge to a sorority house. Many of my previous pieces read as if I only support the citizen legislator who had no previous elected public office experience – this is not true. It takes people from all across the spectrum to put together a winning team, and this includes those career politicians looking for an upgrade in serving the public. I predict Jackie will win both the primary and general election for a GOP gain.








IN-5 In this congressional district currently served by retiring Republican Dan Burton there are no local cutters running who have a shot at winning. Susan Brooks is like a pledge to a sorority, and David McIntosh is like an establishment fraternity snob. Susan Brooks has served as deputy mayor of Indianapolis and Pres. George W. Bush appointed her US district attorney of the Southern District of Indiana. David McIntosh served from 1995 until 2001 when he retired as a member of the US House. He was succeeded by Mike Pence. McIntosh ran for Governor in 2000 and lost to Democrat Frank O’Bannon. I am cheering for Susan Brooks. This congressional district includes a lot of wealthy Hoosiers living in Zionsville and Carmel. I believe this Carmel housewife (pictured above) can win the primary and the general election for a GOP hold.










IN-6 For this congressional district currently served by retiring Republican Mike Pence, the local cutter pictured on the left, Don Bates, is challenging the fraternity pledge pictured on the right, Luke Messer. Luke Messer is like Jackie Walorski in some respects. He nearly defeated Dan Burton in the 2010 primary. Don Bates has more tea party support, but I am cheering for Luke Messer to win the primary and the general election for a GOP hold.










IN-7 I am embarrassed to say that this is the last congressional district I lived in before I retired and escaped to a better place here in west Texas. The lady pictured above is the ultimate underdog local cutter and a complete political novice. I suspect she will not fare well, but how could I not like her name, Catherine “cat” Ping. Here is an excerpt from this website:

I am a long-time resident on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Me and my husband Jeff have been at our home for the past 24 years. I am the owner of a small IT company, Data Dudes of Indy, LLC., which my husband operates in my absence. I also served in the United States Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.

I know what it means to serve my country and to dedicate myself to a cause…28 years and still going strong.

I know what it means to work hard to get ahead, even when it means working two jobs while putting myself through college and doing without some of the nice things in life…just to have good credit and a small retirement and savings account. I don’t know what it means to be rich, but I certainly know what it means to be poor.

I know what it means to take responsibility for my own actions and to own-up to mistakes that I make. I also realize that mistakes happen to the best of us and should be used as an opportunity to excel, not snivel excuses.

I know what it takes to be a leader. Someone who genuinely cares, has goals and objectives, and then works hard to make a positive difference, regardless of self sacrifices made to accomplish the mission. A leader always knows that they can’t do it alone, but that it takes the effort of others that follow their lead to get things done. And a leader knows that when things seem their darkest and the odds are overwhelming there is still one soul they can count on to help them carry on…and I give thanks to Him every day for blessing my life in so many ways.

The man pictured above is the ultimate snobbish member of the fraternity, Andre Carson. I despise the way he used his deceased grandmother’s political name to get this seat in the House. He has absolutely none of the political skills in retail politics and GOTV that his grandmother, Julia Carson possessed. He has three opponents challenging him in the Democrat primary. There are seven GOP candidates for this seat. The primary for this seat is worth watching just for comic relief. I am cheering for Cat Ping, but I am predicting that in the general this seat will be a Democrat hold.











IN-8 The lady pictured above on the left, Kristi Risk, is definitely the local cutter, and the man pictured above on the right is the snobbish fraternity member, incumbent Rep. Larry Bucshon. The 2012 primary is a repeat of the 2010 primary. Larry Bucshon, a Newburgh-based heart surgeon, survived the 2010 primary election with 16,262 votes to Risk’s 14,273. In 2012 the votes may favor Kristi Risk. The shockwaves felt in Washington by Risk defeating Bucshon will be slightly less intense than Mourdock defeating Lugar.

Kristi Risk and her husband, Dave Risk, live on their 12 acre farm in Owen County, Ind. The Risks and their four children eat food grown in a basketball court-sized garden and raise chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys and rabbits. “They’re 4-H projects,” Kristi Risk said with a chuckle.

Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette, an 18-year veteran of Congress from Ohio and close friend to House Speaker John Boehner, said

Many freshman lawmakers have “grown into the job,” and have become more than simply reflections of the Tea Party’s no-compromise argument.

Two-thirds of House Republican freshmen now realize you have to compromise to get things done. But there are about 20 who don’t have very little flexibility and that’s why we are having problems. If it smacks of spending, they will vote against it.

Larry Bucshon is the poster child of those who have “grown into the job.” They don’t call this district the “bloody eighth” for no reason. This congressional district more than any other in Indiana will vote the incumbent out of office if he is more responsive to the fraternity than he is to them.

Kristi Risk recently said:

There may be times where Larry needs to go against (Republican House Speaker John) Boehner. I don’t think that he would do that, but we need somebody that’s willing to go against the party if what the party is doing is not in the best interests of the nation.

I am cheering for Kristi Risk, and I predict that if she wins the primary she will win the general election for a GOP hold.

If my predictions come true this could make 2012 another “Year of the Woman.” Indiana is one of 20 states with no women in its congressional delegation, and the percentage of women serving in the U.S. House dropped after the 2010 elections, the first decline since 1978. The last and only Republican woman from Indiana to serve in Congress was Cecil Murray Harden. She served five terms starting in 1948, and she was defeated running for her 6th term.