(Jack Colwell, columnist for the South Bend Tribune and former host of WNIT’s “Politically Speaking” weighed in on Rep. Donnelly’s Republican challengers in a column published March 2.)
When Tony Zirkle said my column inspired him to add an f-word in the acronym he wants for his middle name, I was a bit concerned. No worry. Zirkle reveals that the word is “fluke” and that he uses it in a description of himself as a “homeless vet fluke.”
However, the former U.S. Naval Academy student uses the naval definition of “fluke” as the pointed part of an anchor or a harpoon.
Zirkle initially filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in Indiana’s 2nd District with “Hvfvgpd” as his middle name. He deleted it in a changed filing to avoid a challenge to his candidacy. But he plans to go ahead with court proceedings to add the acronym officially as a middle name describing his campaign effort.
The middle “v” stands for “versus.” Kokomo Tribune columnist Scott Smith figured out from a clue about a Bill O’Reilly TV tirade that “h” is for “homeless” and the first “v” is for “vet.”
Zirkle gave me a clue revealing that “f” is for “fluke,” a word I used in a December column saying Republicans should seek a credible nominee to challenge Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly rather than risk nomination of some “fluke.”
In a certain way, Zirkle said, he could be described as a “homeless vet fluke,” with naval definition of the f-word, versus whatever the rest of the acronym stands for.
Luke Puckett, the candidate found by 2nd District Republican leaders as their credible challenger for Congress, joined in efforts to put Donnelly on the spot in the controversy over extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Efforts included TV ads by an organization called Defense of Democracies. Its listed directors and advisers include a preponderance of well-known Republicans and conservatives, including Newt Gingrich, Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Bill Kristol and Jack Kemp.
The group urged district residents to ask Donnelly to vote for the extension that President Bush seeks and the Senate has passed.
An ironic aspect is that Donnelly and some other members of the moderate House Democratic group known as the Blue Dogs have called for an extension with the immunity the president wants for telecommunications firms facing possible suits for illegal intercepts.
Donnelly was one of only seven Democrats to vote last week to consider the Senate version. The effort failed. Now a compromise is sought between those who claim the immunity goal is a cover-up of Bush administration wrongdoing and those who contend the objective instead is profits for trial lawyers.
The Defense of Democracies president, Clifford May, issued a statement praising Donnelly “for his principled stand — for resisting political pressures and supporting the much-needed terrorist surveillance bill.”
Puckett certainly wasn’t ready to join in praise of the man he hopes to defeat. He said Donnelly “must make it clear to the public that it is his Democratic Party that is making us less safe.”