A look at Joe Donnelly and IN-2

 A poll taken today might very well show Democratic challenger Joe Donnelly a few points ahead of incumbent Chris Chocola in Indiana's 2nd district congressional race.  Bolstered by Chocola-fatigue, anger over the policies of Gov. Mitch Daniels, mistrust of President Bush and, most recently, a series of ads in the district by MoveOn.org, Donnelly has come on strong after the May primary as a very clear and present danger to Chocola's incumbency.  

 Chocola has responded with a pair of ads designed to paint Donnelly as a conservative Republican's worst nightmare: a "tax and spend liberal".  As old and tired as that charge continues to be (I think that charge has been levelled at every Democrat since Jefferson), what was surprising was just how early the ads began to air: May 31st.  Chocola is no stranger to the practice of saturating the local airwaves with ceaseless attack ads, but this year that old habit may very well bite him in the...

 Karl Rove was recently profiled by a piece on MSNBC.COM by Howard Fineman.  Specifically, his strategy for countering the Republican Controlled Congress' dismal approval ratings was outlined.  Rove plans to sidestep the question of whether or not President Bush has broken any rules or laws and paint a picture of what Rove believes a Democratic controlled Congress would look like.  To him, the Democrats would immediately mire both chambers in impeachment proceedings and investigations, begin a humiliating withdrawal from Iraq and roll back the President's tax cuts.  These images are designed to appeal to those conservative Republicans who may (or may not) be disappointed or disinterested enough to consider staying home this November.  With the spectre of two years of Democratic control hanging over their heads, Rove figures, his base will come out in droves to keep their movement alive.  Not to mention the hot button issues of flag burning, immigration and gay marriage.

 The night of May 2nd (when Donnelly and Chocola won their respective primary elections) Chocola reportedly said that Donnelly would "raise taxes and raise the white flag".  Hence the first two ads that use Donnelly's criticism of President Bush's tax cuts as evidence that he opposes tax cuts and, therefore, must support raising taxes.  In reality, Donnelly would have broken with his party leadership and supported President Bush's tax cuts WITH THE EXCEPTION of the cut for the top 1%.  Presumably since Chocola (who, according to a recent report in the South Bend Tribune, has an estimated worth between 12 and 35 million) would be among the elite who would be affected by a tax on the top 1%, he does not credit Donnelly for this independent stance.  

 Most people in the district see Chocola's attacks for what they are: the desperate flailings of a Republican incumbent in trouble.  Northern Indiana, and Indiana in general, is not a safe haven for incumbent Republican legislators and Chocola is feeling the heat.  His ties to Bush, Delay, and fat cat lobbyists are open and clear to anyone with eyes and ears.  MoveOn has pointed out the duplicity in his voting record and the contributions he has taken, and now the district is primed for a change.  It will not be easy, but it can be done.  Indiana has the opportunity to unseat three Republican House members this fall; the 8th and 9th districts have gotten a lot of press, deservedly so, but those are races the Democrats should win.  The race in the 2nd district is symbolic of those that we need to win to take back control of the House in '06.  Rove is in the clear, indictment-wise, and looking for vindication.  Let's spoil his comeback bid and send one of the Republican's top lackeys back to the golf course!



Tags: Chocola, Congress, Donnelly, IN-2, Indiana (all tags)



Re: A look at Joe Donnelly and IN-2

Chocola has responded with a pair of ads designed to paint Donnelly as a conservative Republican's worst nightmare: a "tax and spend liberal".

Well, be it so; nowadays, the other choice isn't fiscal conservative. It's a "dont-tax,-but-spend-anyway" Republican. Like Chocola. Voters in that district (and elsewhere in Hoosierland, especially IN-08 and IN-09, need to be reminded: we had a budget surplus under Clinton. We have a staggering, historic debt, under Bush.

And what did it buy us? A war nobody wants, and threats to Social Security in a world where Bush/Chocola's corporate cronies are bailing out, right and left, on union-negotiated pension plans.

by Christopher Walker 2006-06-27 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: A look at Joe Donnelly and IN-2

Chris Chocola stands out as one of the absolute worst and most extreme right-wing rubber stamp Republicans in an egregiously terrible, extreme right-wing, rubber stamp Republican caucus. Joe Donnelly is a lot better on issue after issue. But he's a conservative Democrat and we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that this is some progressive, independent-minded hero of the people here. If I lived in IN-02 nothing would keep me from voting against Chocola (and for Donnelly) in November. But your own statement-- "In reality, Donnelly would have broken with his party leadership and supported President Bush's tax cuts WITH THE EXCEPTION of the cut for the top 1%"-- tells us a lot about what we can expect from Congressman Donnelly. My fear about Donnelly is that the leadership he'll be breaking with is Pelosi's, not Emanuel's and Hoyer's.

When it comes to supporting a broad array of progressive, truly independent-minded  Democrats who are looking to displace terrible Republican incumbents, unless you have limitless resources, there are many candidates who will stand and fight for progressive ideals and principles a lot better than Donnelly. I'll acknowledge that if he and the creeps at the DCCC manage to rid the country of the likes of Chocola they will all deserve some praise and gratitude. But grassroots resources, nationally, need to go to candidates like Jerry McNerney, Paul Hodes, Donna Edwards, Jon Tester, Lois Murphy, Coleen Rowley, Larry Kissell, Rick Penberthy, Patrick Murphy, Ned Lamont and other Democrats who go beyond just being better-- or like Donnelly, even a lot better-- than a Republican.

by DownWithTyranny 2006-06-27 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: A look at Joe Donnelly and IN-2

I guess this is one of, if not THE, question among Democrats today: which candidates do we support (progressive or not) and, if so, how much?  I agree-personally I would love to see more candidates like Paul Hackett and Ned Lamont but I also know two things: we have to win back control to start to take our country back and we have to understand each area of the country.  In our area of Indiana, I am not sure how well a "progressive" could do against a two term incumbent unless that incumbent was caught with a dead woman or a live boy.  I am concerned that the netroots community may be pouring too much money and resources into a small number of races (such as Busby in California) when a fraction of the money spent in that race could greatly benefit a moderate candidate such as Donnelly.

I am not going to come on MyDD or Kos and portray Donnelly as a progressive; he is not and would tell you so himself, but he represents the 2nd district of Indiana and it's political makeup.  I will be straight with everyone and say that he will not betray his constituents by crawling in bed with big oil, big pharma and K street as our current rep has done.  He would vote his conscience and vote as a representative of northern Indiana which may not be as "red" as is commonly perceived.  He would ask tough questions on tough issues and be a common sense politician.  What more can we ask?  I do not begrudge anyone the right to support a more progressive candidate if they have some extra money laying around, but it would not kill us to have one more Democrat in the House.  

by aguila del norte 2006-06-27 07:35PM | 0 recs


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