Posts Tagged ‘Jack Colwell’

Donnelly takes $5K from Wal-Mart

August 3, 2008

You may have heard or read about the accusations that Wal-Mart has been lobbying its employees to vote Republican, in part because of their opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to organize and is co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama.
the article here.

What you may not have heard is that our 2nd District Representative to Congress, Joe Donnelly, has taken $5K from Wal-Mart towards his re-election campaign. A column by Jack Colwell in today’s South Bend Tribune entitled “Donors put their bets on perceived winners” reports that Donnelly is ahead of his Republican opponent, Luke Puckett in total campaign receipts — $1,580,631 to $203,850 a gap of more than *7 times.* Colwell also reports that “Neither party at the national level is likely to regard the district as a battleground this fall.”
the article here.

Now, why does Donnelly feel the need to take money from Wal-Mart, a blatantly anti-union retailer that refuses to offer its employees decent health care, has had numerous charges of discrimination, and continues to act against the strengthening of labor laws and standards in other countries?

Donnelly doesn’t need this money. He should give it back and stand up for “working families” here and abroad.


Colwell illustrates ineptitude of 2nd district challengers

March 3, 2008

(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.”

Drama building in several primary races

February 11, 2008

From the South Bend Tribune:

by Jack Colwell

Tony Zirkle, once laughed off as “the guillotine guy,” says he read here last Sunday that Republican leaders had found their candidate for Congress in Indiana’s 2nd District — Luke Puckett — and decided then to file on Monday for the GOP nomination.

He did. So there will be a race in the May Republican primary: Zirkle vs. Puckett.

Puckett, a Goshen businessman, is indeed the choice of party leaders to oppose Congressman Joe Donnelly, D-Granger, in the fall.

Kyle Bailey, a young but experienced regional political director for the Indiana Republican Party, is moving in as campaign manager for Puckett.

And Bailey says the Puckett campaign is prepared for any primary challenge as well as for a fall campaign in which Donnelly will have more funding.

It’s smart politically not to just laugh off Zirkle.

In the 2006 Republican congressional primary, Zirkle captured 30 percent of the vote in challenging Congressman Chris Chocola, the Republican incumbent. This was a sign that Chocola would be vulnerable in the fall. He was, losing to Donnelly.

Bailey, 23, a LaPorte native who knows the territory, having worked on Chocola campaigns and with GOP mayoral candidates in northern Indiana, says Puckett will hit the ground running after formal announcement of candidacy on Feb. 11. Puckett plans campaign events in Cass and LaPorte counties on the 11th, in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties on the 12th.

Zirkle has been kind of a barometer for prospects of Republican incumbents. He also showed that Chris Toth was in trouble in seeking re-election as St. Joseph County prosecutor by getting an impressive percentage against Toth in the 2002 Republican primary. Toth lost big that fall.

Zirkle says he sees a chance this time to enter a race in which he has better name recognition than his opponent. And he’s not backing away from some of his controversial statements of the past, including his call for use of the guillotine. He points out that he proposed it only for use on someone convicted of multiple child rapes.

He says he doesn’t come up with such things just to get attention or laughs. Strange as some of his proposals may sound, he didn’t leave Toth or Chocola laughing.