This was a much more difficult piece to write than I had counted on and will be shorter than envisioned for reasons I'll share later. But first, let's look into the background of John Gregg Indiana's Democratic candidate for Governor.
“John is a lifelong Hoosier who was born and still lives in the town of Sandborn in Southwest Indiana. His devotion to business and public service began at an early age. At 15, John purchased a local soda shoppe in his hometown, and not long after he became a local committee precinct person. In 1986 he decided to run for the Indiana House of Representatives. Four years later, he became the House Majority Leader, and in 1996, with the House evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans for the first time in Indiana history, John became Speaker.”
Gregg left public office in 2002 to spend more time with his family noting to colleagues that “I think I’ve been a pretty good Speaker, but I want to be an even better father.” Though he did take time to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and to act as an honorary chair of the Hillary Clinton for President, Indiana Campaign. From 2003–2004 he was interim president of Indiana’s oldest college, Vincennes University.
As probably is necessary to hold office in Indiana, he is on the conservative edge of the Democratic party being both pro-life and pro gun rights. Gregg is known for his friendly demeanor, has few vocal critics and even counts his opponent, U.S. Rep Mike Pence, as a close personal friend. While not in agreement with most of Indiana's current Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, he has spoken positively about Daniels' character as a leader.
He would also appear to be a strong contender for governor with State Rep. Winfield Moses Jr noting “He will probably have the greatest depth of knowledge of state government since Otis Bowen.He knows everybody. He knows the results. He has a good idea of where he likes to lead. He’s got rapport with all the people who were there. There aren’t too many Speakers who actually come out and do this: Bowen was the last one. The legislative background saves you years of learning the minutiae of the bureaucracy. He knows FSSA, environmental department, public resources, state parks.” He knows everybody. He knows the results. He has a good idea of where he likes to lead. He’s got rapport with all the people who were there. There aren’t too many Speakers who actually come out and do this: Bowen was the last one. The legislative background saves you years of learning the minutiae of the bureaucracy. He knows FSSA, environmental department, public resources, state parks.”
Now we come to my difficulties. I very much wanted to be a Gregg supporter. I knew that almost any viable candidate would be somewhat to the right of what I would prefer, but let's face it, almost anyone would be an improvement on Mike Pence. So what's holding me up? Gregg worked as a lobbyist for two Fortune 500 coal companies. He believes in clean coal technology. He's bought into the fairy tale.
I have no doubt that I'll end up voting for John Gregg, as I said before, the alternative is even more distressing. It will be without the enthusiasm that voting for a truly progressive candidate would bring though. The Daily Kos is for more and better Democrats and this is one time I would surely appreciate the “better”.