Friday, January 29, 2010

David O(ver) Running; Massa Definitely In!

David Orentlicher has withdrawn his candidacy to be Marion County Prosecutor and endorsed fellow contender and frontrunner Terry Curry. On the GOP side, Mark Massa is definitely running.

Getting out of the race was a smart move for David O., as his candidacy hinged on convincing the electorate that the office is a policy center for crime prevention, not just a law enforcement arm intent on bustin' heads.

The problem is that the general public doesn't look to their prosecutors primarily for programs. The "policy" approach has been tried by candidates with limited criminal prosecution experience in the past, and it always fails if the opponent has it. The same applies when candidates try to argue that the office is about being a good manager. Sorry, but Hoosier voters want a Jack McCoy, not a pontificating (and always seated) Adam Schiff.

The fact Republicans had no candidate for some moments created some intrigue because if the policy argument would ever work it would be where a D-leaning county's D candidate was running against a weak or GOP opponent. David O. certainly showed he had friends who would dig deep to help him.

Of course, a GOP weakling is not what we have now. Mark Massa will be formidable, and the Governor will make sure he has money. Word on the street was that Massa was very reluctant, but he won't tell the Governor no.

I would have loved to be a fly on the world. If you were a Governor worried about a Democrat getting into your business before you go national, what might you offer a guy to get him to run for prosecutor to protect your flank? Can you envision a conversation about U.S. attorney if that Governor became GOP chair or (Lord help us all) President? What about an Assistant A.G. post? Or maybe an even higher number of boards to serve on to rake in dough for little work. Maybe all of it.

Massa will be formidable, and all Democrats owe David O. for not taking this one to the tape. Next time you see him, give him a pat on the back for putting party first. Also, ask him if he minds sharing say, oh, $180,000 with Curry or the Marion County Democratic Party. Now that would really be putting party first.



Anonymous said...

Massa is not confirmed Chris. dont make shit up.

Chris Worden said...

Anonymous: I'll wager a dinner on this. Send me an e-mail to If he doesn't come in, I'll buy you dinner at the steakhouse of your choice. If he does, you buy. I like Ruth's Chris. Also, I'll have a whole separate posting talking about how I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Chris - you said "Massa definitely in" that is untrue.

That is YOUR opinion, and while it MAY BECOME TRUE, it is NOT TRUE right now.

Many many things can happen in a very short time which may or may not influence the man's decision. Such as things in his past, his background, who he has socialized with and been romanticly linked to. Also does he want to be percieved as a puppet of the Governor, hand picked to provide prosecutorial protection as Mitch continues his climb towards national politcs? Does he really know where the DOJ and FBI and (not confimed but widely believed to be) Grand Juries will land and who will be implicated and indicted? Or, like Marchal, can he stand the heat of being in the same office that dirty Carl Brizzi soiled up so bad? Does he want to be seen as raising money straight from the Guv and his cronies, positioning himself, again, as the protector and paid defender of all things Mitch Daniels?

I think it is, at this point, likely he does it. Politics and the promise of local celebrity can cause people to make stupid, stupid decisions (see: Marchal, Helen) that they deeply regret later. If I'm Mark Massa, I tell the Guv no. I have nothing to gain, and everything to lose, running in a now heavily Democratic County, with a proven GOTV machine. The Democrats have congregated around Terry Curry, and accomplished and ethical attorney, with direct MCPO experience. The Carson & Center Township faithful will be inspired to see this race as a step toward the Mayors Office, likely to be campaigned by a very well funded Melina Kennedy. And if I'm Mark Massa, I would look at all that and still come up with a "what have I really got to win here?" as opposed to "this could end really, really bad".

Ed Treacy hasn't had a good fight with the R's yet, and he's chomping at the bit. He's relentless, smart, and mean.

Again, if mark Massa is as smart as I think he is, he tells mitch he's had enough.

and oh yeah. no need to buy me a steak dinner, just please continue your finacial support of Terry Curry.