Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heavyweights At War: Reason #147 Why Indiana Won't Elect A Democrat Governor From Lake County Until 2036

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott is at war with Lake County Sheriff and fellow Democrat gubernatorial aspirant Roy Dominguez, whom McDermott publicly called "a weasel."

Here's what happened.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office arrested a strong McDermott ally, David Woerpel, plus his wife and two sons, after Indiana State Police discovered marijuana plants growing in his backyard. Woerpel is the Democratic precinct captain for Hammond's 5th District.

The Post story states that ISP went to the home and interviewed Woerpel's 25-year-old son who said his younger brother planted the marijuana and everybody in the house knew about them. Woerpel's wife was arrested at the Hammond Recycling Center where she works.

McDermott called Dominguez to accuse he and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter of playing political tricks with the arrest. Dominguez promptly released the voice mail to the media.

How many more must be burned before "public" people learn the lessons? NO voice mail, text messages, e-mails, or correspondence, and definitely nowhere that you can be taped eating a cheeseburger drunk on the floor, m'kay? People are human, so we know you might think it. But if you don't won't it on a billboard, don't write it, say it, or do it.



Anonymous said...

IPOPA, you are the greatest. And I read your headline as a sign of frustration with the facts of this particular fracas, rather than a general statement about Lake County.

That said, is it helpful to give credence the folk wisdom that any person from a certain geographic area might as well give up the dream of statewide office (at least until 2036)? I would hope that the right guy or gal from Any County, Indiana, could test the waters without being declared dead by insiders or pundits -- 3 years before the general election.

Now, as to the facts of this situation, consider the following: 1) Controlled substances are openly cultivated at the home of a party member or close acquaintance, and 2) law enforcement somehow knows about it. So, the Sheriff should forestall an arrest and deal with it "intra party?" Would the Republicans (or other Democratic contenders) give Sheriff Roy a pass if they found out that he had chosen such a course of action?

Next, the Sheriff receives an angry voice mail from another Democratic politician ... should he scuttle the prosecution to help out the friend of a Democrat? Keep the voice mail? Delete it? Release it to the press before other stuff hits the fan? Hmmmm. He is a public official ... but he should deal with McDermott's broadside "intra party?"

Agreed, Mr. McDermott's voice mail shows that he lacks the discretion necessary to survive an extended Statewide campaign. He first lashes out based upon speculation, then he minimizes the issue ("5 little marijuana plants" and "mom and dad had NOTHING to do with it. Really? How does he know?). Then he almost seems to make a plea for the accused. It just sounds bad, and that recording will never go away.

Too bad that for BOTH the Sheriff and the Mayor that a person of Mr. Woerpel's position allegedly had the banned plants on his property, and allegedly knew about it too.

BUT, the simple fact that McDermott and Dominguez are from Lake County ... maybe relevant, maybe not. I hope not.

The argument that any resident of Lake County has no future in statewide politics is perhaps akin to the argument that no African American has a future in the White House. We all heard the pundits repeating that little piece of folk wisdom less than one year ago. Of course, a significant percentage of Lake County wasn't buying it.

Chris Worden said...


You offer a great analysis of the "how DO you play this right?" for both Dominguez and McDermott. Thanks for contributing.

But I have to stand by my belief that these kind of incidents enhance an impression shared pretty much everywhere (including IN Lake County) that Lake County politics is dirty.

Were it restricted to ONLY being dirty, maybe this wouldn't be a problem. But Lake County is also strongly synonymous with corruption. This is not because of black folk, by the way. In fact, most of the corruption is by white pols.

If anything, Lake County is an illustration of why I say it's so critical to pluck bad apples early.

Do you know the Indiana Democratic Party made Lake County attorney Peter Manous it's chairman in 2001, and before 2004, he was pleading guilty to bribing the Carpenters Union to invest its pension funds with a relative of Bob Pastrick, whose entire administration was seemingly indicted over the "sidewalks for votes" scandal.

Sure, AG Zoeller's legal action is political, but there are a lot of prosecutors playing politics, and yet East Chicago is the only city in the entire country that's ever been charged by anybody at any level of government for racketeering. Bob Pastrick was a man we sent to the National Convention repeatedly. And now, one of the most historically revered in our party, Congressman Peter Visclosky, is under a dark cloud. Show me another county where there is this much dirt or sense of untouchability and entitlement by the elected officials?

That's before we start talking about unaccounted for state grants ending up in the hands of members of the Lake County statehouse delegation or Gary Mayor Rudy Clay's use of a taxpayer funded credit card to pay for an $800 dinner at St. Elmo's in Indianapolis or the inexplicable delay in Gary ballot counting on election night.

Sorry, but when you see this constant barrage of illegality and just plain absurb abuse of the public trust, it's easy to envision a culture of corruption that is deeply ingrained, it will spill over everybody that is anywhere near anybody who gets in trouble.

The ONLY way you will get a Lake County Democrat elected Governor anytime soon is if (s)he comes out of a U.S. Attorney's Office, has NO connection to any existing party leaders and (s)he goes on a Rudy Guiliani-type jihad against political corruption to show (s)he won't tolerate even the slightest impropriety. That man or woman WILL be Governor some day.

But I don't see that person yet. Trust me when I tell you, I take no delight in saying this, and I don't want to run down one of our best Democratic strongholds. But truth must be stated, and there is a guilt-by-association corruption odor, and it will take decades of clean conduct to air it out completely.

I would give Todd Rokita (R-Munster born) a better chance of being elected Governor in 2012 than I would give any Lake County Democrat of getting elected in 2012, 2016, or 2020.

sizzlerguy said...

What a bunch of arrogant Dimwits. Especially from the Dimwitted Mayor of Hammond Indiana. Mayor Thomas McDermott jr. McDimwit is so Dimwitted that he even leaves a voicemail acknowledging the existance of those pot plants at his close political allys' home. The Dimwit esentially left a "confession" on tape. LOL,,, And on top of that, his hi-ranking cops and fire chief are "dispatched" to inquire and to bail out this criminal marijuana grower. HEY,. better check out the Hammond parks, and recycling department grounds too, the Woerpel syndicate probably has the green stuff growing there too. LOL. Typical dimwitted arrogant behavior from the Hammond's mayor, the Dimwit and his "above the law" cronies.

Buzzcut said...

Hey, just found this post while searching google for "Peter Manous"... who is my son's basketball coach!

I knew he was a felon, I just wanted to find out what it was for.

He's a total douchebag. The kind of coach who's totally in it for his kid only. Not even a pretext of caring for anyone else.