IN-Sen: Please, for the love of God, don't help Tamyra D'Ippolito get on the ballot

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 14:54


Just in case anyone out there was thinking about helping Tamyra D'Ippolito get on the ballot for Indiana Senate, please consider my plea for you to not provide that help.

On the surface, Tamyra D'Ippolito has a story that might appeal to some people.  She appears to hold some left-wing, if vague, positions, is the first woman to run for Senate in Indiana, and was willing to mount a primary challenge to Evan Bayh.  And, if she gets on the ballot, it will severely complicate Evan Bayh's parting plan of allowing the Indiana state Democratic Party, sans primary, from likely anointing a right-wing Democrat as the nominee.

However, even a cursory look at D'Ippolito's campaign and background shows that she is a really, really bad choice for Democrats in Indiana.  Consider:

  1. She worked on Wall Street for 20 years, including for Lehman Brothers: From the front page of D'Ippolito's campaign website:

    At 25, I moved to New York City where I lived for the next 20 years. I worked on Wall Street for Salomon Smith Barney and later for Lehman Brothers.

    Ooooo... now there's a winning background for 2010!  She worked on Wall Street for 20 years, including for the company that was the immediate cause of the financial collapse in September of 2008!  That should play well.

  2. No grassroots support. D'Ippolito appears to have been running since at least November 5th.  And yet, despite this, she does not have enough of an organization to get the needed signatures to make the ballot:

    So how's D'Ippolito doing? She's collected 3,500 of the 4,500 signatures, 500 in each Congressional district in Indiana, which are needed by noon tomorrow in order to qualify. D'Ippolito said that she's particularly short in IN-08, in the Terre Haute/Evansville area of the district. Her campaign manager has contacted all of the heads of the county Democratic parties asking them if they would help her get on the ballot.

    She isn't going to even collect enough signatures to make the ballot on her own?  And she is particularly weak in Terre Haute where, according to her website, she went to college?  That is a severe lack of organization.

    But wait, it gets worse!  D'Ippolito has all of 23 Twitter followers, despite receiving a mention on Keith Olbermann's program.  And then there is this bit:

    She is very earnest and liberal, but one of her Facebook posts from 3 days ago says "I am having trouble with my computer so I am going to the library every day."

    Really feeling the off-line and online grassroots with this campaign.  She is ready to take on the establishment party, and then win the general election.

  3. No Money  Some people decry the amount of money in politics, and don't like ti when candidates are dismissed because they can't raise money.  However, D'Ippolito is bad at fundraising even by the standards of Arizona's public financing system, which requires candidates to bring in several small donations before receiving public funds.

    D'Ippolito has three donations on Act Blue, for a total of $60.  One of those donations came in today.

    Further, she has not even filed a report with the FEC, which means she is either flouting campaign finance laws or raised less than $5,000 in November and December combined.  I am going to assume it is the latter.

Right now, if I were a Republican activist, I would be working to help D'Ippolito get on the Indiana primary ballot as a Democrat.  If I was in the Indiana state Democratic Party, I would be hiring lawyers to challenge her filing when it is submitted.  This is because D'Ippolito would be a disastrous Democratic nominee in Indiana.  At best, she would get thumped by 30-40%, and we would never hear from her.  At worst, she would get thumped by 30-40%, and we would hear about how another Democratic Senate nominee has ties to banks that caused the financial crisis (ala Giannoulias Illinois.

Republicans are inching closer to retaking the Senate.  Indiana is a winnable seat--and we can get someone more progressive than Bayh, hopefully--but we throw Republicans a further lifeline if we help D'Ippolito get on the ballot.  Please, please, don't help her.

Update: Given the three candidates who are being floated--Rep. Baron Hill, Rep. Brad Ellsworth, and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel--I'm with David Dayden.  Mark me down for Weinzapfel.  He appears more liberal, and he isn't holding office in D.C. right now.

Chris Bowers :: IN-Sen: Please, for the love of God, don't help Tamyra D'Ippolito get on the ballot

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You should get on the phone and talk to Jane and D-Day (4.00 / 2)
about their front page post on FDL.

John McCain won't insure children

Nothing against the enthusiastic folks of FDL... (4.00 / 3)
...but they really obsessively jump on any allegedly progressive bandwaggon. If only they would first check if there are at least four wheels attached to it...

[ Parent ]
New post by D-Day (4.00 / 3)
saying "Put me down for Weinzapfel, though I'm not in a back room."

Weinzapfel is the very popular Evansville mayor with no ties to DC.

He sounds like someone viable to rally around.

John McCain won't insure children


[ Parent ]
was my story (4.00 / 4)
at all different than Eric Kleefeld's at TPM?  Like him, I talked to the lady, didn't make a value judgment on her candidacy, and noted that she claims to be 1,000 signatures short to qualify for the ballot.

Ringing endorsement!

Insert shameless blog promotion here.


[ Parent ]
I apologize (4.00 / 1)
In my mind, FDL is more af an advocacy site than a site I go to for information, so I attributed a motive to your post that was not fair.  

John McCain won't insure children

[ Parent ]
Jame Hamsher in the comments on your post sure sounded like she was considering it. (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
How exactly do you propose (0.00 / 0)
to get a candidate "more progressive than Bayh" out of the Dem Party apparatchiks/DSCC? Like I said in an earlier thread, maybe we should look at this situation as an opportunity to run a credible third party/independent left-populist. It seems about 98% certain that the honchos will pick somebody without a chance.  

This doesn't make me think highly of D'Ippolito (4.00 / 3)
A user comment on TPM:

I live in Bloomington, Indiana-where this new candidate is from. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this woman will be CRUSHED in a general election. She would have been crushed in a primary even if Bayh had not been a factor. She is an amateur to the 3rd degree and is a bit of a laughing stock around town. She owns an Italian Restaurant that is basically open when she feels like it and the business (surprise, surprise) is going under. I have spoken with her on the phone (trying to learn more about her restaurant when it first opened) and she is a complete flake. Last Christmas eve, I called to ask her if they were going to be open, we had a brief extremely confusing conversation in which she basically said, "Maybe" and then later that day she called my house TWICE to find out why I had called. She's currently being evicted from the building that houses her restaurant for not having paid rent in several months. Businesses fail, which is completely understandable in this economy, but to try to run for public office even while you are fighting an eviction for not paying rent? That is beyond questionable. As a long time Bloomington resident I can honestly say that I do NOT want this woman representing me. I'm sure she has some big ideas, but I just do not believe that she can follow through (as demonstrated by trying to open up a restaurant in a building without a parking lot.) I would have a hard time voting for her and I think she is a poor choice at best.

The commenter has a scant posting record, but the claim that she is being evicted (while illegally living in an upstairs appartment) was easily verifiable and makes her look like the artsy small-business equivalent of Carly Fiorina.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


Carly Fiorina? No, That reminds me of Laura Silsby. (4.00 / 1)
You know, that businesswoman who is in jail in Haiti now.  

[ Parent ]
What Bunk (0.00 / 0)
So she's unable to stay in her apartment. Big deal. I'm sure any of the wealthy candidates Rahm picks will have a lot of money.  

[ Parent ]
Have you ever seen a homeless person elected to Senate? (0.00 / 0)
Yes, that would really be a BIG DEAL. But I doubt D'Ippolito will be the first one to manage that.

[ Parent ]
What Makes ANYBODY Think This Seat Is "Winnable?" (0.00 / 0)
Indiana is Rep. +5. In this election even entrenched incumbent Dems are going down to defeat. What chance does any Democrat have in an open seat in a Red State?

You got it: NONE WHATEVER. This seat when from 80% sure to "No Hope." When Nate Silver runs the next numbers it will show Indiana up there with North Dakota as 1-2% chances for Democrats: basically because nothing is statistically 100% sure.

It's now in the "Snowball's chance in Hell" category. Harry Reid may be dead in NV, but he's got around a 1/4 to 1/3 chance of winning, which is a hell of a lot more than any Dem who jumps in right now will have in IN.


Obama did win it in '08 ... (4.00 / 1)
so it is winnable .. it's a matter of getting voters to the polls and voting for you

[ Parent ]
And Weinzapfel was re-elected after supporting Obama.. (4.00 / 1)
After I've read about him this guy could be a rising star in the Democratic party.

While Ellsworth and Weinzapfel are both Catholics,  Ellsworth didn't support stem cell research.  While I can't find any statements of Weinzapfel actively supporting it, he did actively support Obama and his platform from the get go, unlike Bayh or Ellsworth, and became an even more very popular figure.

Indiana seems to appreciate strong and honest Democrats, contrary to what Rahm or Bayh have led us to believe.

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
IIRC from 1996 (0.00 / 0)
Weinzapfel campaign against abortion rights.  

[ Parent ]
What Makes ANYBODY Think This Seat Is "Winnable?" (4.00 / 1)
You mean other than the fact that Evan Bayh won it? He is a democrat, of sorts.

[ Parent ]
Good Grief (0.00 / 0)
First Bowers said she's worked for Wall Street and then he says she has no money.
No wonder Progressives don't get elected. With friends like (insert name here), who needs enemies?
I'll give anyone a try except a DLC hand-picked candidate.

based on the limited information I agree with you (0.00 / 0)


Not first woman (4.00 / 2)
As Dave Weigel points out, d'Ippolito's claim to be the first woman to run for the Senate in Indiana is wrong: Jill Long Thompson was the Democratic Senate candidate in 1986.

Weinzapfel is out (4.00 / 3)
Darn:

Weinzapfel, who is considering a 2012 run for governor, immediately withdrew himself from consideration, saying in a statement he is honored to be mentioned, but "not interested in pursuing this opportunity."


Insert shameless blog promotion here.

Someone begs to differ with statements you made. (0.00 / 0)
http://seminal.firedoglake.com...

She wasn't gathering petition signature since last November, nobody was. The petition period didn't begin until Jan 1st. So, in only 6 weeks, with zero support from her party -- and if you believe her, active opposition from the party bosses-she managed to get at least a reported 3500 signatures. That's evidence of grass roots support and resource organization.

You can find the relevant Indiana Election law here.

You appear to have made statements that are not true.  What have you got to say for yourself?

"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time." -- Harry S. Truman


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