- Pushed through Indianapolis City/County consolidation, for possibly political or racial reasons
Richard Lugar is by almost all accounts, one of the candidates with the best character and fewest skeletons of anyone running for President. He's a former Eagle Scout and Rhodes scholar who is still married to a strong women he met in college, and he even served in the military (Navy).
Politically, he's more conservative than the moderate image he is projecting, but he is an open minded man of apparent principle, who opposes his party's positions on banning assault rifles, cutting back school lunches and affirmative action. There are far too few politicians who have the guts to oppose their own party mates on one or two issues just because they feel it's the right thing to do, and Lugar seems to be one. In fact, we are hard pressed to report anything negative on him. If you have any tips, click here to send us the information or a lead.
Perversely, the press -- which gets so incensed at the minor scandals they dig up -- seems to be ignoring Lugar in part because he is so squeaky clean. He won't make good news copy, and so reporters spend more time with Forbes, or Buchanan, or Gramm.
The only negative things we've heard about Lugar were two emailed tips from readers -- one liberal, one libertarian -- who didn't like his effort to push through a consolidation between Indianapolis, Indiana (of which he was mayor at the time) and the county it was in. The more liberal reader passed on an oft-stated opinion that he led consolidation to prevent Blacks from taking political control of Indianapolis, as whites moved out to the suburbs. The Libertarian didn't like the big government aspect of it, and the name Lugar gave the new combination - Unigov - is a little creepy.
That said, we just don't believe Lugar had any ill intent on race. He has a strong supporter of racial integration throughout his career, including defusing potential race riots after Martin Luther King's assasination, and his current support for affirmative action, which certainly isn't winning him any votes. We can't see much evidence of racial bias in his career.
And combining city and state cuts both ways. Segregated cities and suburbs work out badly for both sides. Blacks don't have as much power in the city under consolidation, but they have a voice in the suburbs -- and the schools. Don't forget that conservative Republicans pushed the racial gerrymandering of Congressional Districts in the South, which led to a handful of additional Black seats in Congress - and scores of guaranteed white seats, almost all held by Republicans.
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