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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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May 3, 2008 9:51 AM

From Indiana, finding a Bush in Clinton country

Posted by David Postman

UW Seattle Politicore bloggers are in Indiana for the upcoming Democratic primary. You can read all their reports at their site. Here's a dispatch from Meghan Peters and Will Mari:

FRANKFORT, IN — While driving down Clinton Avenue in Clinton County, we thought passing a Clinton lawn sign would be the icing on the cake. It’d make for a catchy title to our first post in Indiana, something like “Clinton in Clinton on Clinton.”

But there was no such luck in Frankfort, Indiana.

The 16,000-person town is the reddest part of the traditionally red state — and few are concerned with the upcoming Democratic-dominated primary.

“It’s such a Republican-dominated county that sometimes there’s no Democratic candidate on the (local) ballot,” said Janis Thornton, managing editor of The Times, Frankfort’s 128-year-old community newspaper, which has a circulation of about 6,000.

In addition to supporting the GOP, Clinton Avenue’s signs weren’t presidential — they were almost exclusively local. The county’s primary election next Tuesday for Clinton superior court judge (there are four contenders, three of them Republican) took precedence in front of the humble Frankfort homes.

Sidewalks and illegal immigration are the hot issues in town, and many Frankfort residents won’t follow the presidential election until the fall, said retired teachers Carla Clemens and Carol Montgomery, who work at a children’s clothing store in the historic downtown.

“There aren’t many Democrats around here,” Montgomery said with a bit of a chuckle.

In “Old Stoney,” the renovated high school building that serves as offices for local government, Jim Davis and Bev Bush hold the fort at the Clinton County GOP HQ.

Davis, a self-described “old party man,” is a retired state representative and former GOP chair. Bush is the current chair.

“Right now, Obama’s fair game with his minister,” Davis said. His biggest concern, however, is what he calls “crossover” — Republicans voting Democratic on purpose, in an attempt to shore up whichever candidate they feel would make a weaker opponent come November.

“If you get too much crossover, you might upset the apple cart” and lose Republican votes in critical primary elections in more contested southern counties, Davis said.

Clinton County, and, by extension, big chunks of Indiana, have traditionally voted Republican since Eisenhower. The state went “blue” briefly under FDR and Truman decades ago, Davis said, but has consistently voted red since.

“The Democrats don’t get involved in the primary (in Clinton County),” Bush added.

And even if people voted Democrat, they voted (or rather still vote) for “a more conservative brand of Democrat,” Davis said.

The ex-Marine said he wishes he could “de-annex” northwest Indiana (i.e. Gary). That’s where all the real Democrats are, he said with a smile.

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Posted by JimD

4:21 PM, May 05, 2008

Oh please, David. Why don't we just give Hinton and Bothsides a one-way ticket instead wasting space to soft-peddle your obvious objective here. Even the dig at (the heavily minority) Gary is clearly intended to market to the angry and bitter GOP old guard. Did the Frankfort Chamber Of Commerce pick-up your expenses, or did you write this advertising copy for free?

Posted by Bothsides

7:03 PM, May 05, 2008

What's the matter JimD, you can't believe there's a place where Republicans rule, The whole country isn't a liberal haven like Seattle and King County, some places like this actually have their heads on straight.........

Posted by JimD

8:42 AM, May 06, 2008

And I think they're adorable in their natural habitat.
So long as they stay with their own kind in places like Frankfort, and don't attempt to infest more advanced civilizations with their primitive culture, I don't have a problem with them. In fact, I visit such places regularly and find their backward ways quite charming.

Posted by Bothsides

11:49 AM, May 06, 2008

I can accept a liberals views, don't agree with them but I can understand them, problem is, you can't accept or recognize anything outside of your "view", the tolerant left rears it's head once again.....

Posted by JimD

1:18 AM, May 07, 2008

Oh no, you completely misunderstand. Some of my best friends are republicans. We talk and laugh and I don't have a problem with them at all as long as they don't get uppity and start complaining - you know the type.
Take my friends Stu and Deb. You'd never know they were republicans by lookling at them. They're just like normal people with jobs and a clean house, and Deb even has an Associate Arts degree in drafting or gun repair or something - but they're very smart for republicans and I treat them just like everyone else. their kids go to our local school with the other kids and we're all hoping they graduate. They even invited me over to their house to listen to some Christian music, once. And the plumber we called last year to fix the drain was a republican and we let him work for us anyway. He didn't steal anything and was very nice. I'm not the least bit prejudice against those people and I think it's wrong to judge all of them by the bad ones.

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