Posts Tagged ‘Indiana primary’

Puckett wins; Zirkle gets thousands of votes

May 7, 2008

It will be interesting to see how many thousands of Democratic voters chose not to cast vote for incumbent Rep. Joe Donnelly who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Certainly, some of this “under vote” can be attributed to Limbaugh’s “Operation:Chaos” that had Republicans voting in the Democratic Primary for Hillary Clinton in order to prolong the Dems’ nomination process and, at least theoretically, damage the party’s chances of winning the White House in November.

However, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that many Democratic voters just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Donnelly who has disappointed so many with his voting record that has undermined his party’s ability to move forward with vital legislative action on issues ranging from the War in Iraq to comprehensive immigration reform.



(The following comes from the South Bend Tribune)

Puckett to face Donnelly in November
GOP nominee criticizes incumbent during acceptance speech

Tribune Staff Writer

This story was originally posted at 10:11 p.m. on May 6, 2008.
SOUTH BEND — Luke Puckett will try to unseat U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in the fall after sailing to an easy victory in Tuesday’s Republican Congressional primary.

With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Puckett had secured 48 percent of the vote. Culver resident Joseph Roush earned 36 percent of the Republican vote, and South Bend attorney Tony Zirkle brought in 16 percent.

Puckett focused on Donnelly, D-Granger, during both his campaign and his acceptance speech Tuesday night, criticizing the first-term congressman and the Washington establishment.

“What our current leadership in Washington lacks is the vision, the courage and the leadership to demand common-sense solutions to the challenges facing us today,” said Puckett, a Goshen businessman.

He focused a large portion of his remarks on Donnelly’s efforts to lower the price of gasoline.

Donnelly has called on the Bush administration to release 20 million barrels of oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Puckett calls it “a one-day solution,” but Donnelly said Puckett isn’t focusing only on the release of 20 million barrels from the reserve.

Donnelly is co-sponsor of a bill that would stop the purchase of oil for the reserve, which would increase the supply on the market, he says. He’s also calling on the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on price gouging at gas stations.

“There’s short-term things we can work on and long-term things we can work on,” Donnelly said by phone from his Washington, D.C., office Tuesday night. “Apparently Mr. Puckett forgot to mention those things.”

South Bend attorney Tony Zirkle issued a concession statement on his Web site, saying he had trouble getting his message out but now he can enjoy his summer.

It included links to videos on the Web site YouTube, including one of Elvis Presley singing “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha.”

Joseph Roush could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.


It’s Primary Election Day!

May 6, 2008

Advance Indiana suggests Clinton will carry Indiana’s 2nd District.


The South Bend Tribune reports on 2nd District candidates’ fundraising status:

Donnelly has fundraising advantage
Puckett only Republican to receive contributions so far.

Tribune Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly leads his Republican challengers in the fundraising game — something that will change soon, said a spokesman for Donnelly’s likely fall opponent.

Donnelly, D-Granger, had $849,812.30 on hand as of April 16, according to a report from the Federal Election Commission.

Luke Puckett, the party-backed Republican who is one of three people seeking that party’s nomination, had $155,266.65 on hand as of April 16.

But if you’re looking for a barometer of support (or a sign of momentum), check out the net contributions received by each since the beginning of the year.

Puckett, who didn’t start fundraising until mid-February, received $33,000 from about 20 donors.”It’s a little bit lower than what we hoped for,” said Kyle Bailey, Puckett’s campaign manager. “But not surprising, just because of, honestly, the lack of attention the congressional race is getting right now.”

Most of the campaign money comes from $150,000 Puckett loaned to his own campaign, said Kyle Bailey, Puckett’s campaign manager.

“This is nothing new,” Bailey said. “He felt he wanted to be more invested in his own campaign before he went out and asked anyone else to invest in it.”Donnelly, on the other hand, records $223,558.28 in donations from Jan. 1 to April 16, from hundreds of donors.

It’s a sign of the incumbent’s momentum, campaign manager Andrew Lattanner said.

“We’re going to have the resources we need, and more importantly, the record we need to run a strong campaign,” Lattanner said.Puckett’s numbers are lackluster despite the fact that he’s the party-backed candidate, Lattanner said.

“(Puckett’s) demonstrated that he’s not able to raise the kind of money it takes to compete in this district,” he said. “You combine that with the fact that he’s running against a moderate Democrat who has the resources and the record — it puts him in a tough position.”

But Bailey, of Puckett’s campaign, said the numbers will change soon. Puckett just started appearing on TV news broadcasts and has bought some television commercials.

“You would not believe the amount of calls our office is getting,” Bailey said. “Our fund-raising operation is really getting up and going now.”

On their ownBoth Tony Zirkle and Joe Roush, the two Republicans who will face Puckett for the GOP nomination for Congress, are self-funded and don’t have reports on file with the FEC.

Candidates are required to report contributions when their total receipts exceed $5,000.

“We haven’t broken the $200 limit,” Roush said.

Roush, who said he’s trying to put a poor man — himself — in Congress, hasn’t had a lot of expenses.

“Other than paying for a little bit of gasoline to run around, I’ve printed up 5,000 business cards that have information on both sides of them that cost about $157,” Roush said. “That’s it.”Zirkle just shelled out $14,701 of his own money for a television commercial airing on Fox News Channel, CNN and WNDU-TV.

“It wiped me out for a couple of days,” Zirkle said in a statement. “If I have a good work week, I’ll add channels 22 and 28; however, I’m a bit busy right now.”

Zirkle doesn’t accept contributions to his campaign. Without donors to please, he’s more free to speak his mind on controversial issues, he said.

“On the other hand, honestly, it’s probably better for me if I don’t accept them,” he said. “Because if I only raise $100 or $200, then the other guy gets $600,000, it looks like I don’t have any support. That’s really the honest answer.”

Donnelly accepts contribution from Obama

April 15, 2008

Rep. Joe Donnelly has thus far remained an uncommitted superdelegate but has reportedly accepted $7,500 from Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign while not yet accepting any funds from Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Does this demonstrate Donnelly’s support for Obama?

For a list of contributions to superdelegates from the Obama and Clinton campaigns, please go here.

Dyngus Day: Donnelly remains neutral on Dems’ presidential race

March 26, 2008

Check out a series of reports, including photos on the Dyngus Day festivities over at

For his part, Rep. Joe Donnelly chose to withhold an endorsement for Sen. Hillary Clinton who was being represented by her husband (you know who) and daughter. He claims he will remain neutral in the race but will fully support the eventual nominee no matter who he or she turns out to be.

Let’s just hope that given his  “independence” of the Democratic Party that he doesn’t wind up joining “independent” Joe Lieberman in support of John McCain.