MARK KIESLING: Baggage can sink the ship, but then again maybe not

2012-11-06T21:30:00Z 2012-12-20T21:25:33Z MARK KIESLING: Baggage can sink the ship, but then again maybe not
November 06, 2012 9:30 pm

The captain of the H.M.S. Titanic had his iceberg, and the Indiana Republican Party had its Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed Indiana state treasurer who had his sights set on the Senate seat lost by Dick Lugar, might instead be dragging the Indiana GOP's to the bottom.

Injudicious remarks a few weeks back about God's role in rape and abortion angered even many middle-of-the-road Republicans.

Rather than correctly assess the fast-disintegrating support for not only him, but the whole ticket, Mourdock stood on the burning deck, and now his feet are being held to the fire.

Barring circumstances unforeseen, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., will be headed to the national capital.

Candidates once considered somewhat of a shoo-in were fighting for their lives Thursday night.


Controversy dogged Lake County Surveyor George Van Til and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, D-Ill., but both appeared to have pulled out victorious.

Van Til had federal agents come to his office and seize boxes of materials and computers. He lent his son a county-owned SUV, and when that was taken away, he was seen pumping county gas into his private car.

No worries, mate. His Republican challenger, BP engineer Eric Krieg, saw that as a rare opportunity for a Republican to unseat a countywide Democrat.

After all, Krieg must have reasoned, Republican Hank Adams, the long-time St. John Township Assessor was able to beat Dem Carol Ann Seaton in the race for county assessor last year.

Krieg apparently failed to factor in that Seaton was not the choice of the Democratic Party (Ross Township Assessor Randy Guernsey was) and that Adams was a long-time local politician while Krieg is a basic newcomer.

Jackson, meanwhile, was caught up in the attempt by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sell the vacant Senate seat left by Barack Obama's election to the presidency.

Jackson was named as "Candidate Five" in the bidding for the seat, and he later confirmed it.

But his dad is still Jesse Jackson Sr., and carries a lot of clout in certain neighborhoods necessary to his son's re-election.

So Mr. Blagojevich goes to the federal pen in Terre Haute, while Mr. Jackson goes to Washington.

The opinions in this column are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 933-4170.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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