Friday, June 6, 2008

Oy! No Roy!

The gubernatorial LG field for Jill Long-Thompson among "traditional political figures" dwindles. Former Indiana House of Representatives Speaker, John Gregg, the guy I thought should be number two if Evansville Mayor Weinzapfel said no (he did), took himself out of the mix last week.

While there could certainly be somebody else in play who hasn't been mentioned publicly, of the reported short list, we have only State Representative Dennie Oxley and Lake County Sherriff Roy Dominguez. I'm praying JLT has a third option.

The likelihood that Oxley's work for an Indianapolis engineering company did construction projects that increased SOMEBODY's property taxes is undoubtedly high. As JLT crushed Jim Schellinger with this argument, I suggested she would see it revisited on her running mate by Mitch Daniels. Also, Oxley's Indianapolis-based employment could negate any comfort to be drawn from his Southern roots.

I also said it would be a huge mistake for JLT to select Dominguez. In fact, I can't think of a single reason TO pick him, beyond he's the only one who said yes.

For your consideration:

(1) Jill Long-Thompson got slaughtered in Southern Indiana in the primary. She needs somebody from down there to compete in the battleground counties (the ones where they tend to vote D gubernatorially when you have an O'Bannon, but not otherwise).

(2) This campaign is about jobs and the economy. A sheriff doesn't help you on that, even if he was the director of the Worker's Compensation Board. Handling injuries is diffrent than job-creation, folks.

(3) Lake County is a Democratic stronghold. The only reason you would pick somebody there is because you believe you have the chance to (a) increase fundraising; or (b) increase turnout, or (c) both. With Obama on the ballot, Gary and East Chicago WILL turnout without much prompting (translation: not as much "walking around money" will need to be doled out to the city precinct organizations). What about the rest of the county? Well, for them to work hard, you'd need somebody around whom they can all coalesce.

But read the story in yesterday's Post-Tribune about Dominguez reversing himself on his policy about employees being able to take home their squad cars, and you'll see that Roy ain't that guy.

From the story...

The decision (by Dominguez) was a victory for county Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Schererville, who complained the sheriff was in violation of the Board of Commissioners' policy, restricting take-home cars to police officers and a limited number of government officials of their choosing.

The dispute was triggered by recent public complaints of after-hours use of vehicles, including one by a neighbor of Patricia Van Til, the sheriff's administrative deputy chief, who said her county vehicle was frequently parked in her home's driveway. Sheriff Rogelio "Roy" Dominguez said Van Til did nothing wrong because he gave her and other civilian employees permission to occasionally take home their vehicle when conducting department business after hours to avoid having to pay the employee overtime to drive the vehicle back to the county government center in Crown Point.

Scheub said Wednesday, "We are going to cut our liability and vehicle cost and if the sheriff can't handle that, we will take the license plates away."

If the sheriff can't handle that?!?!?!?!?!?"

Does it sound to you that Dominguez is even on good terms with his Democratic County Commissioners? And don't forget that Dominguez was thrown out of the Lake County Fraternal Order of Police, largely because he has alienated so many supporters of former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich. Talk with Lake County folk, and they'll tell you Dominguez isn't even able to get good word of mouth out of all of his line deputies.

I promise you that if JLT selects Dominguez, she will regret it because the diplomacy she will have to engage in to make warring factions tranquil will exceed any benefit she could possibly gain from having somebody from Lake County on the ballot.


No comments: