Indiana and National Issues Update

From the Bloomington Herald-Times, July 15 (no link, subscription required):

Monroe County Democrats want an investigation into U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel’s allegations of vote fraud during last year’s election.

The request for an investigation comes eight months after a heated and prolonged congressional race between Republican Sodrel and Democratic incumbent Baron Hill.


“If an ineligible person voted, the Democrats want to know,” said Matt Weber, secretary of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

Weber delivered a request for an investigation Wednesday to Jack Davis, president of the county election board, and Monroe County Clerk Jim Fielder, board secretary. Both said that the allegations will be looked at.

Representative Mike Sodrel (IN-9, millionaire) has yet to comment, although his spokesman “said that Sodrel welcomes any effort to encourage open, fair and accurate elections.”

In Terre Haute, reaction to the Ellsworth fundraising numberscontinues.

From the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, July 18:

Having said all that, however, this is the biggest number a prospective opponent to Hostettler has raised in years, which is an indication that either his opposition is galvanized for a run against him, or there’s more money around to finance a campaign.

Pete Ciancone, “The Spectator”, is a columnist for the paper. He’s known to be a fairly astute observer of state and local politics, so hopefully he’s right on.

Here is a letter I sent today to my Senator, Evan Bayh:

Senator Bayh,I am writing to encourage you, in your role on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to remind your colleague Senator Roberts of his promise to further investigate the intelligence on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It is imperative that there be an investigative record of the political influence, if any, on the gathering and use of intelligence used to convince the country to go to war. If any member of any party influenced the process, it should become a part of the public record. As Americans, we believe — red state or blue, conservative or liberal — that war should be waged on legitimate grounds as a last resort. America needs to know that the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was not fixed around pre-existing policy, and that our leaders genuinely believed there was a threat from the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. This is not a matter of partisanship or politics, or even the past; this is about honesty and the future of our country and its people.

I would like to ask you to further encourage the honorable Mr. Roberts to stop recklessly spreading demonstrable falsehoods in the media. He has been repeating Ken Mehlman’s talking point that Ambassador Wilson’s wife, Valerie Wilson (Plame), was not actually a covert agent. However, it seems clear that her superiors at the CIA thought she was, otherwise they would never have referred it to the Justice Department. It seems clear that former Attorney General Ashcroft’s office thought she was, otherwise it would never have been referred to the special prosecutor. It seems clear that the special prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, thinks that she was indeed a covert agent; otherwise he would not have continued with the investigation. Unless Senator Roberts has some evidence that Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Ashcroft’s office, and CIA leadership have engaged in a conspiracy to smear a few Republican aides, please ask him to stop trying to confuse the American people. I don’t have any degree of high-level clearance, and I don’t know all the facts in this case. What is clear, though, is that this investigation is about the rule of law and national security, and not about politics and public relations.

Senator Bayh, I do not believe that “the truth will out” of its own accord. It requires the assistance of honorable men and women who put honesty above ideology and politics. I encourage you to speak for the citizens of Indiana, and to choose to act in the name of truth and posterity. While I have many specific policy disagreements with both you and Senator Lugar, I have always been proud of Indiana’s Senate delegation and the way they represent the state to the country and the world. I can’t think of another state in the country that has two leaders with a higher caliber of intelligence, honesty, and honor than our Hoosier state.

I wish you and your family good luck and health in your future political endeavors, and encourage you to continue to act in the good name of the people of Indiana.

I’m still working on following up on the Ellsworth campaign. I’ve also been doggedly pursuing interviews for an article for Bloomington CultureWeek (website soon to come) about the reaction to the arson at the Islamic Center here in Bloomington. I will post the text of the article when it is published. I am also developing a new feature for the paper about political involvement — I did my first interviews for the feature with representatives of the Emily’s List Political Opportunity Program (and some of their local trainees).

As Drudge would say, “developing…”