I just got back from the Americans for Prosperity (aka Koch Brothers) bus tour stop in my hometown of Madison, IN.
The "rally" started at noon. This was the scene when I arrived at 12:05.
And this was the scene when I left 20 minutes later.
There were four staffers and one "attendee" there when I arrived. I parked by the bus and then took my dog for a walk down the river. As I came back towards the bus, the man who I thought was an attendee pulled his minivan up along the curb. I thought, "Oh boy, what does this guy want?" Then I noticed he and I were wearing the same t-shirt: Hoosiers for Obama!
He said, "You should have come over. We could have gotten our picture taken together."
He said he just wanted to hear what they had to say.
He said they claimed to be non-partisan.
He replied, "Yeah but you're anti-Obama!'
"No," they claimed. "We're not anti-Obama. We're just opposed to his policies."
He and I shared a laugh about the Koch Brothers-funded bus tour pretending to be non-partisan.
Ironically, the location they chose had a terrific view of the new bridge being built over the Ohio River. So as I walked back to my car, I stopped to make a few smartass comments to the guy who appeared to be in charge. First I "congratulated" him on the turnout. Then I pointed out the bridge to him ("stimulus in action" as I described it). I explained to him how we had needed a new bridge for a very long time. It was very narrow and scary to drive across and was recently limited to 3 tons which is a real pain for trucks trying to get to and from the factories in Madison and I-71 in Kentucky. Anyway, I told him the bridge never got approval until federal stimulus funds helped fund it. I asked him to be sure and point that out if anybody showed up to their rally.
If they had gone a few miles down the road, they could've seen the recently completed work done at the coal plant that has been fouling our air quality for longer than I have been alive. Not only did EPA regulations force them to improve air quality, it also put hundreds of construction workers back to work.
In the second photo, on the right, there's a girl with her back turned. She was wearing a Purdue University sweatshirt. I wish I had thought to ask her if she had actually attended that public university, and if so, had she used any Pell Grants to help pay for it and/or was she benefitting from the lower interest rates on any student loans she might have taken out?
Look, I'm not under any illusions about my hometown supporting President Obama. Even when Obama carried Indiana in 2008, my hometown still went to John McCain. I do have some hope that people here will have enough sense to reject Richard "God's intention" Mourdock. Joe Donnelly is going to be more conservative than I would like, somewhere between Evan Bayh and Ben Nelson. But he is certainly a better option than Richard "Washington needs more partisanship" Mourdock. All that said, I was glad to see the American's for Prosperity bus tour was an epic fail in my hometown and hopefully in other towns around the country too.
Funny update: Apparently they took out a 3/4 page in the local newspaper to advertise the event. Unfortunately they ran it in today's paper. Not sure how long the bus stayed around but it might have been gone by the time most people even got their paper, which gets delivered in mid to late afternoon. Hmmm, might have been a good idea to run the ad in yesterday's paper?
Since this diary is getting some attention, I think it's only fair that Liberty gets some public acknowledgement for her role. Here's Liberty!