Marla R. Stevens

Carpetbagger Kiser: If only that was the worst thing ...

Filed By Marla R. Stevens | March 31, 2006 4:13 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, The Movement

Websters: Carpetbagger: OUTSIDER ; especially : a nonresident or new resident who meddles in politics

Some of the more politically naive members of the Indianapolis gay community have complained about the use of the term "carpetbagger" in reference to Kris Kiser, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives opposing lionesslike champion of Indianapolis' gay community, incumbent Rep. Julia Carson, in the Democrat Party primary in May.

Kiser, despite claiming that he's been living in Indy since early 2005, didn't register to vote until November of 2005 nor is his "residence" in his name.

His 'devoted husband' did not register until January, 2006 and, when registering, couldn't remember the Indianapolis address he supposedly lived in with Kris for this duration.

That should surprise no one as Kiser claimed a D.C. tax exemption for 2005 that only D.C. residents are entitled to.

At the same time, the 'husband' has maintained a residence in the Baltimore area.

Definitional of "carpetbagger", if you ask me.

Does Kiser have a right to run -- sure. Should he run is another question altogether and is more than a legit question under the circumstances.

Even his old boss, Lee Hamilton, has opined that it is not his place to tell Kiser not to run -- that any Democrat resident may run in the Indiana primary, no matter how merely titular the term 'resident' may be when applied to said candidate -- but neither is he endorsing Kris, despite the carefully constructed insinuations from Kris that he has Hamilton's support. In fact, Hamilton has quietly made it known that he wishes that Kris would more deeply question the wisdom of doing so.

This is not the first insinuated endorsement that has proven not to be true for Kiser. As mentioned on this blog, there are the 'absolutely no way' non-endorsements of Reps. Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin despite insinuations in The Word and on Amos Brown's radio show that he had their support.

In following up with a similar insinuation with the Victory Fund, there's a similar result. According to Tressa Feher, Director of Endorsements at the Victory Fund, that despite that they have looked at his campaign, any claims that that PAC is or was encouraging him to run are specious. The organization met in January in Los Angeles, where finalizing their 2006 endorsements was a substantive part of their agenda -- an agenda on which the issue of Kris Kiser was absent.

Where there's smoke, there's usually fire...

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Jerame Davis | March 31, 2006 5:51 AM

There are so many things with Kiser that don't add up that I'm left to wonder what his real agenda is. He isn't running his campaign like someone who really wants to win an election.

Either he's politically inept or has some master plan none of us has yet to divine...But he's never going to unseat Julia Carson by telling stories and claiming false support.

Linda Perdue | March 31, 2006 6:50 AM

Yep, time to move on and not obsess over Mr Kiser any longer. We'll never be privileged to know why he's running, what lapse of logical thinking overtook him to think he might unseat the Congresswoman, why he isn't running for something he could win, why he thinks half-truths and innuendos will play well with the community at large...

I am interested in who's going to oppose her in November on the R side.

Paul Connelly | March 31, 2006 10:00 AM

I don't understand all the fuss.

A man moved here with his partner, decided to run, and is running.

Homestead exemptions in DC, Indiana, and multiple other states sometimes do not require primary residence as a factor for claiming the exemption...often, but not always, part-time residency is allowed. Check local listings. And, a member of Congress, if and when elected, maintains homes in a district and in DC. Why can't a candidate? My understanding in this case, is that Mr. Kiser moved back here, bought the home his family has owned for four or five deaces, and is running for office. What's the big deal?

As for Mr. Ksier's partner...I'd be very, very careful before making these kinds of accusations. It kind of speaks to the character of the accuser, to take on someone's partner when you really want to challenge the candidate. Is this what gay candidates have to look forward to? Nonsense about a partner who did nothing more than move to support the partner?

Mr. Kiser is running because he feels he can do a good job. I've read his position papers and I like what I've read. Has the incumbent voted correctly on issues? Most of the time, yes. Do I think she's not effective any more? Partially.

Does ANY of this warrant the hateful diatribe posted on this site? No.

Issues, folks. Issues. Effectiveness. Bring on the debate on those points.

I've spoken to the Victory Fund people myself, mostly because I've donated, and I wanted to weigh in. A complete circle jerk. I know for a fact, some people involved in VF sought Mr. Kiser's candidacy, then backed away when some people put pressure on them. Their only stated purpose is to support qualified gay candidates. To me, they've swerved away from their original intent. It's a subtle point, but follow me here: VF may be the only entity in this whole thing that only has one horse they're allowed to endorse or work for. They can't give to the incumbent because the incumbent isn't gay. VF's charter and organizational intent is to encourage, enpower and support qualified gay candidates. They have one in Indiana. That is a fact. By stating that fact, no derogatory comments about the incumbent are made. Because some people got nervous, VF backed away. Their public stance on this race is: we are not involved. Shameful.

As for Mr. Hamilton: a wise and respected former member of Congress, who now directs a think tank based at IU and in DC, and I have heard from reliable sources that he encouraged Mr. Kiser to run. Or, more appropriately: if you don't like the way things are going, get involved. What mentor wouldn't put a similar challenge in front of a former pupil?

WHY does one person's candidacy have to be viewed as ANTI anything? It can be strictly PRO something, can't it?

Some things are not as clear as people make them out to be. That's the nature of politics. Can we move on to the qualifications, issues and rational discussion of same?

This election should be won or lost on issues and effectiveness, qualifications, etc. Not this garbage.

And we'll have reasonable room for disagreement on issues. That's America. And if you don't agree with me, so be it..we can agree to disagree. I promise I won't engage in hate-mongering against your preferred candidate.

In our community, we really ought to be above this, seing that we have bene the victims of it for decades.

Live and learn? I sure hope so. Win or lose this candidate has guts. I only hope future gay candidates aren't subjected to the same kind of nonsense, or, sadly, there amy not be (m)any.

I respect and admire the passion of all prior posters. I assume all are 7th district residents, and, as such, they will exercise their rights on May 2 and vote for the incumbent. I am glad as hell we still live in a nation that allows this. I will likely vote for Mr. Kiser, and hope, for his sake and the sake of gay candidates to follow, that someday, SOME day, we wil judge candidates on qualifications and issues.

Clearly, we are not there yet.

Marla, where do you live?

I agree with Paul Connelly.

As long as he doesn't degrade or defame Julia Carson, WHO CARES?

Marla Stevens | March 31, 2006 10:42 AM

Mr. Connelly, you have no idea how careful I'm being.

Hypothetical: If a self-declared gay public figure sports a husband for political effect who is not his husband in an era and place where our right to marry is in grave peril of being written out of the state and federal Constitutions, is it worse for our own people to point out the craven state of affairs or to wait for the MSM to figure it out? In such a case, is telling the truth about a notorious player whose recklessness will end up reflecting badly on us all worse than subborning that truth with silence? Is it not better for us to reveal our own dirty laundry in a way that we own and can clearly make our disapproval of known than to have it revealed in such a way that it more heavily lands on us?

Beyond that, Mr. Connelly, there's that P.T. Barnum thing.

The reason not to argue Mr. Kiser's views on issues as if his was a candidacy worth so legitimizing is that because his is, instead, less a candidacy than a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in our collective faces, it's not one worth so legitimizing.

Gary -- I owe you an apology. I knew I'd read the information about Kris' D.C. residency somewhere but could not remember where, thus I treated it as common knowledge, leaving it unattributed. You more than deserve the credit for bringing that forth. I've merely added to it with the information about the Baltimore abode in the growing laundry list of oddities swirling around this improbable candidate.

Marla Stevens | March 31, 2006 10:51 AM

Marti --

A. I'm not running for public office. Not relevant thus none of your business.

B. You would.

C. As does anyone who cares about issues that the Kiser improbable candidacy has a very real possibility of impeding progress on, I have a dog in this hunt.

The question should be why are so many in Indiana so willing to be fooled?

Marla Stevens | March 31, 2006 11:30 AM

One more thing...

As for Mr. Connelly's repetition of Mr. Kiser's claim to have purchased his family's old home to restore it as his (vaunted?) Hoosier residence, the last I checked that was news to the tax assessor. Further, Kiser claimed to have bought the Irvington house from his parents, who didn't even own the property it sits on.

I shouldn't have to say it, but apparently I do as some here have yet to figure it out: Baseline issues of character are relevant in assessing a candidate's fitness to hold office and, where Kris Kiser is concerned, I'm seeing anything but someone worthy of the public's trust.

PaulConnelly | March 31, 2006 12:00 PM

Miss Marla: I don't know you, but you sound intellegent. I'm assuming you live in the 7th and will vote for Mr. Kiser's opponent, and I am glad you're engaged and involved in the political process.

Please allow me to do the same.

As for tax records: I bought a home in 1997 that took nineteen months to get properly transferred. Mr. Kiser has told audiences he bought the home from his family. Perhaps that is the reason you cannot locate the proper information. Why automatically assume he's not telling the truth? If you're so concerned, have you called his campaign office, to talk to him, or e-mailed him, to ask the question? Or have you just posted snipey comments here?

Be sure to cast your vote for Ms. Carson, Marla. It's your right. She is a worthy opponent to Mr. Kiser.

And lighten up. You're gonna have a stroke or something.

Marla Stevens | March 31, 2006 1:31 PM

Mr. Connelly:

Why "assume he's not telling the truth?"

With his history of veracity thusfar, you seriously aren't looking for an answer to that, are you?

How could I possibly prevent you from being "engaged and involved in the political process" -- unless engaging with someone who actually is doing her homework on this one is just so off-putting for you that you are thus self-prevented from exercising your franchise or otherwise being "involved and engaged"?

Otherwise, thank you for being concerned about my health. I assure you that, while I am dealing with very serious and debilitating challenges to it related to advanced fibromyalgia/myofascial pain complex, the condition of my circulatory system is reasonably good and I'm thus free to engage in this sort of mildly heated discussion.

Paul Connelly | March 31, 2006 6:05 PM

Wow. Sad health news, Marla. Hope it is not too draining (seriously). I'm not a medical expert, but it sounds bad. Good health to you.

But, by your own definition, you're not doing too much're relying on others' work in that regard (i.e.,residency). And frankly, I didn't see too much proof of anything. The candidate has told audiences he bought his family's home. I believe him.

And yes, the question was serious. Nothing is off-putting to me...but I didn't see too much serious homework in your earlier postings. More like rantings. To which you're entitled, but let's not elevate it to the level of "homework," please. And as for questions, here's another one: do you live in the district?

Paul Connelly | April 1, 2006 5:50 PM

Cat got your tongue, Marla?

Is this bashing reserved only for Indiana's 7th, where you don't live?

Tell me,are they "springing forward" with their clocks tonight in Iowa?

Paul Connelly | April 1, 2006 6:06 PM

My personal curiosity got the best of me, so I went to official government records: Office of Warren Township Assessor:

Mr. Kiser's property was owned from 1945 until last year by Frank S. Watkins & Dorothy V. Watkins, c/o Shirley Watkins Kiser. It then transferred to Kris Kiser. I am assuming this is all family.

Parcel No.: 7008509. All taxes current.

So, again: can we RETURN to issues? Geeeesh.

Pauline Connelly | April 3, 2006 1:49 PM

The date on the deed when Kiser got the property was the 6th of February, 2006 -- a couple of weeks before he filed to run for Congress in Indianapolis. Still sounds like a carpetbagger to me!

Paul Connelly | April 3, 2006 3:59 PM

Carpetbagger? I don't think so. Reasonable people may disagree, but it shouldn't matter anyway.

Just for the record: in many jurisdictions, if you live in a property for one day, you claim the appropriate exemptions for the entire year. You can't "un-claim" it. Members of Congress, for one thing, tip-toe around this issue if they own property in DC and their home state.

And my personal property records transfer experience is, government can screw it up, delay it...

But anyway, who cares? The candidate lives here, owns property here, and filed to run. Give it up already.

Issues? How about effectiveness in Congress, the war, jobs, this miserable econbomy that's held together by chewing gum and $6 billion a month in war expenditures...just for starters. Residence isn't on my Hit Parade of issues. He's qualified to run. Move on.

Nice name. :-) Have we been married before?

Speaking on my own behalf, I don't support a candidate who moved into my district solely in order to run for public office. I want someone to represent me who actually lives here and knows what my local issues are, and Julia Carson lives a few blocks away from me. I've walked my dog past her house and chatted with her.

I also think it's highly relevant that Kiser claimed that Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank were supporting him, when they emphatically weren't, and when Frank is coming to Indiana specifically to endorse Carson as a result of that Kiser lie.