One of the more vivid advertising images left over from the 2006 campaign for Indiana’s 8th District congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is the cheesy direct-mail flyer showing liberal Rep. Nancy Pelosi holding the puppet strings on Democrat challenger Brad Ellsworth.
The implication was clear. If Ellsworth were elected, despite his proclamations of being a conservative Democrat, he could be beholden to the so-called liberal leadership in the House. That notion, of course, was dependent on the Democrats taking control of House.
The Democrats did take control for the first time in more than decade, and Pelosi, who has been the House minority leader in recent years, is now set to become the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history when the next Congress convenes in January.
But those Pelosi puppet strings the GOP campaign geniuses imagined on Ellsworth seem to have been a little harder to pull than was anticipated.
During this week’s Democratic Party caucus in Washington, D.C., in which Ellsworth participated, Pelosi was chosen Speaker, as expected. But her recommendation for House majority leader was Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, whom she favored over rival Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
Ellsworth did not vote with Pelosi on the selection of the majority leader. Instead, he voted for Hoyer. In fact, he went so far as to announce his intentions in advance.
“I have enormous respect for both candidates,” Ellsworth said in a press statement. “We’re blessed with two people who could do the job well, so a lot of us are faced with a tough choice.
“Rep. Hoyer was very helpful during my campaign, and I am honored to lend him my support.”
Ellsworth won’t officially take the oath of office until January. But this vote indicates that he will not be the Pelosi rubber stamp that his GOP detractors wanted us all to believe during the campaign.
— Max Jones, editor
• To all those who took the time and made the effort to participate in Veterans Day observances around the Wabash Valley last weekend.
• To the Republicans in the Indiana Senate who pledged this week to phase out state retirement health benefits for legislators. The perk had been a controversial issue in the recent election and may have contributed to the primary election defeat of longtime Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton.
• To the student council at Terre Haute North Vigo High School for its donation of 100 fire extinguishers for use by the Terre Haute Police Department. A fund-raiser by the student leaders will now allow every squad car to be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
Sunday: Let Hoosiers weigh in on daylight-saving time through a statewide referendum.
Will it really take poison to exert some control over the wintertime crow population in Terre Haute? See Perspectives, Page D2
You can say that again
“There is definitely an increase in need. Several families have never been here before.”
— Julie Edwards, Salvation Army director of social services, commenting on the rise in requests for holiday food baskets this year