Saturday, February 8, 2014

After Years of Being MIA Former Senator Richard Lugar Wants to Tell Indiana Republicans Who to Vote for in State Treasurer Convention Contest

By Paul Ogden
As a guest for The Lafayette Citizen
Originally posted at Ogden on Politics

During the primary contest between Senator Richard Lugar and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, I met with a formerly-high ranking Republican state official.  He had been for years a supporter of Lugar.  No longer.  He voiced a complaint I had heard for years from Indiana Republicans about Senator Richard Lugar.  Lugar refused to endorse other Republican candidates.  He refused to help them or the state party raise money.  He refused to even let his name appear on signs jointly with other Republican candidates.  But it just wasn't individual candidates. The state official said he hadn't been back to a state GOP Lincoln Day dinner for decades.

Former Senator Richard Lugar
A former Republican candidate for prosecutor told me the story of meeting Lugar and having his picture taken with him.  A few days later he received a letter from Lugar's office saying that the candidate was prohibited from using the photograph in political materials.  Not sure the legal authority the Lugar people had to issue such a proclamation, but they weren't above threatening Republican candidates.

In a meeting with another Republican official, I heard the story of GOP state party officials meeting with Lugar at a hotel and being shocked to find that was where Lugar was living on the rare occasions he would come back to Indianapolis.Then of course it came out that Lugar was, illegally, using a home he had sold approximately 25 years earlier as his residence for voting.

Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold
The story of the 2012 primary is that the tea party wing of the GOP tossed out a statesman who had served Indiana with dignity.  What it should be instead is the story of a Senator who became arrogant and out-of-touch with Hoosiers, a politician whose hubris caused him to shoot himself, repeatedly, in the foot. If Senator Lugar had taken any steps to remain in contact with the state and to even lend modest assistance to the Indiana Republican Party and its candidates, he would never have been beaten by Mourdock. In fact, Mourdock probably would never have ran.

In light of Lugar's history, I find it the height of chutzpah that Lugar announced this morning he is endorsing Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold for State Treasurer.  Now, after all these years, Lugar has finally decided to help out a Republican candidate, this time by telling Republican convention-goers they should support a Republican insider over two other Republicans for State Treasurer.  Republicans should tell the good Senator thanks but no thanks.

About the Author:
I have been an attorney since the Fall of 1987. I have worked in every branch of government, including a stint as a Deputy Attorney General, a clerk for a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals, and I have worked three sessions at the Indiana State Senate. During my time as a lawyer, I have worked not only in various government positions, but also in private practice as a trial attorney handing an assortment of mostly civil cases. I have also been politically active and run this blog in an effort to add my voice to those calling for reform.


  1. Very good Paul. It is so interesting that the things you were describing about Lugar seem all too familiar with our current 'Republican' US Senator, Coats. We do see Coats when he visits Indiana, but only on the nightly news before a hand selected group of citizens. I have been on the Coats news letter e-mail list for years yet have never been for warned of a local visit. Anyway, yes Lugar still is presuming on the Indiana voters, not much changes. By the way, was the "by line" on the Lugar News release on the treasures race "Washington DC" ??

  2. Isn't Paul Ogden the dude who hated Lugar so much he made sure that Joe Donnely got elected..Nice move Ogden,

  3. You give Paul Ogden too much credit. There are thousands of Hoosiers who didn't vote for a man who hasn't lived in Indiana for decades. If you want to lay blame for a Democrat being elected to Congress, place it at the feet of RINOS who refused to vote for Murdock, a man of integrity and honor and a true statesman.

  4. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was his endorsement of the last two supreme court justices. Neither one should have been confirmed to the court.