See also the newspaper's coverage of last week's candidate forum with Clere and challenger Kevin Bailey.
It has been only a few hours, but my guess is that last evening's Fakebook revelations will do nothing to affect the Nov. 4 balloting. It hasn't gone viral like Bank Street Brewhouse's heroic frozen weenies, most of us have long suspected local identity chicanery anyway, and those most enthusiastic in sharing the news so far have been the usual Democratic supporters and functionaries.
Supporters of Clere likely will excuse his wife for over-zealousness, nothing more -- and really, was there any volatility within the partisan cadres in this race to begin with? There hardly exists a dynamic fit for alteration. Mid-term election realities, and Floyd County's blatant vote-suppressive polling place swaps should assist both Clere and Ron Grooms.
But if the latter is feeling threatened by Chuck Freiberger, there remains time for an October surprise, by which I refer to information leaked to the Green Mouse to the effect that Grooms might seek to claim credit for state INDOT funds ostensibly slated for use in implementing the Jeff Speck street conversion plan in New Albany. It's always been a problematic rumor, albeit one emanating from an impeccable source. It depends on Grooms possessing any passable working knowledge of contemporary urban street grid strategies as well as viewing them as somehow helpful within his stodgy 70-year-old voting bloc (both unlikely assumptions).
It also posits a partisan City Hall in New Albany willing to acquiesce in a tactic designed to cripple a fellow Democrat. The odds are better on this side (after all, Freiberger is a county, not city politician), but it still seems far-fetched, primarily because of the implicit suggestion that Mayor Gahan sees quick and decisive street grid reform as helpful to his re-election campaign -- and this decidedly has NOT the case to date amid the rote prevarications, obfuscations and foot-dragging.
I suspect that in the evening on November 4, as we consider the election results, the Lennon/McCartney conclusion from "Eleanor Rigby" will yet again be restated: "No one was saved." So it goes in Nawbony, and after all, that's why we have $2 pints on Elector Day.
Are these two items in the Indy Star newsworthy? Yes. Were Rep. Clere's travel expenses egregious? In my view, no. They pertain to his co-chairmanship of an entity (the Council of State Governments) that clearly bears a strong connection to his position as an elected official. Other examples cited here just as clearly do not.
Indiana lawmakers travel on taxpayers' dime, by Tony Cook (Indy Star)
How would you like to check out some of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world? Or visit the White House with a championship basketball team? Or take an all-expense-paid trip to Alaska?
Indiana lawmakers have traveled across the country to do all of those things — and Hoosier taxpayers have picked up the tab.
An Indianapolis Star review of lawmakers' out-of-state travel records found that taxpayers have spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars during the past two years to send state lawmakers everywhere from Alaska to Florida.
Here's the rest of the story.
Gallery: Which Indiana lawmakers spent the most on travel?
No. 7: Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, spent $5,341 on six trips. All of them were related to his involvement with the Council of State Governments. He is a co-chairman of that organization's training institute for new Midwestern lawmakers. Destinations included Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Cleveland and St. Paul.