Regular Blogcritics readers may have noticed the absence this year of Brother Mike Kole from our virtual pages. He's not been AWOL however, but rather he's been away on detached duty. He sure ain't been slacking. For starters, he's got a year-old daughter. That'll keep you hopping, right there.
But he's also been working double and triple time — Hoosier Blogcritic Mike Kole is the Libertarian Party of Indiana candidate for Secretary of State. He was already committed to this project back during my 2004 run for US Senate. So by my calculations, he's been committed to this campaign longer than to his daughter.
I'm just saying that the dude's invested. I saw him last week at the Hurst fundraiser, and he's just put 12,000 miles on his campaign vehicle in about three months. He's not especially argumentative when talking politics (not as much as me, anyway), but he just loves kissing babies and asking for votes.
Plus, he loves scrapping like you'd have to in order to be a third party candidate, especially for statewide office. I'm prone to tease Brother Kole for being a "pretty boy," but he's also a pretty rugged piece of work. He's an old hockey player, and speaks casually of all the various broken bones, and what kind of injuries hurt the worst. Apparently, breaking his breastbone (twice) was way not his most painful injury.
I'm just saying that he's right friendly and sociable, but there's a lot of fight in that dog, and "quitting" just ain't in his vocabulary. If he's not the next Indiana Secretary of State, it won't be because he didn't go to a thousand county fairs, bean dinners, and pretty much every place in the great state of Indiana where more than two or three people were gathered together. He's just that kind of candidate.
The Secretary of State is not particularly a maker of government policy, but mostly the official vote counter and record keeper. Having someone who is NOT a Democrat or Republican in that position seems like it would be a wise move in helping to keep them both honest.
Beyond that though, Indiana election law makes specifically this race the basis of ballot and party status in the state. Kole needs a minimum of 2% to keep us ballot-qualified for all partisan races in the state for the next four years. That's our main nut we have to make, but we routinely do much better than that — even without as vibrant and committed a candidate as Brother Kole.
It would be unrealistic to think Kole could actually win the job this year, but a more realistic goal would be 10%, which would be somewhat unlikely but possible. This would make life hell for our state chair Mark Rutherford, as he noted at the Hurst fundraiser. He also noted his lack of surprise that the prospect of making his life hell drew a standing ovation from me.
The point being that 10% in Kole's race would officially qualify the Libertarians as a major party, and specifically trigger our inclusion in the primary elections. Among other things, this would make life most difficult for our poor state chair who would have to find precinct committeemen and such and jump through whole new sets of hoops. But Rutherford's a damned lawyer, so screw him I say.
The campaign's a done deal now, however it comes out. The polls are open. I'll testify that Brother Kole has put in a tremendous and dedicated effort. He's definitely earned some down time with baby and the missus.
Then we can get Kole back here to Blogcritics to discuss more important matters, such as the Hall of Fame worthiness of Lynyrd Skynyrd vs the Sex Pistols.