Monday, February 28, 2005

What's the Matter with Julia?

District 7 US Representative Julia Carson was slightly injured Saturday afternoon in a car accident at 25th and Talbott. She was relatively unhurt but still stayed overnight in at Methodist hospital for observation. The police reports have been unavailable but the state Democratic party was quick to issue a statement emphasizing it was the other driver's fault (because with Julia, it always is.)

First elected in 1996, Carson's health problems have been on of the few highlights of her career on Capitol Hill. She's had major absences during every one of her terms mainly for health reasons, but also for family issues. She was out a good deal of last summer's session due to an unknown ailment she described as general tiredness, and in October she was hospitalized for what she said was a "bad reaction to a flu shot." Her health was a taboo issue during the 2004 campaign as Republican opponent Andy Horning will tell you. He was viciously attacked (verbally and practically physically) when he dared raise the topic during the debate she actually showed up for. We'll see how long how many votes she can stretch this into missing.

It's time for District 7 to elect a representative who can be a credible voice in Washington. We need a rep who can travel, attend sessions, participate in votes, and chair committee meetings. We need a representative who can not only attend as a functioning representative but also bring a strong measure of credibility and respect to one of Indiana's most important districts. I understand the sentimental attachment parts of the district have to a plucky black woman who made herself from nothing into a US congresswoman. But sentimentality is no reason to mortgage our future. We need a leader who can be effective in Washington for the betterment of Indianapolis and Indiana. In 2006, we need to let Julia take a good long rest and put someone else in DC who can get some work done.

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