Gibson’s tolling needle bores into Rep. Clere’s side like the picador’s lance at a bullfight.


The Tribune’s Daniel Suddeath correctly notes that mud is flying from all quarters as the campaign nears its end. The Clere camp will note with pleasure that I concede the flying mud, and I don’t much like it, from whatever the source.

Having said that, and with two Thursday columns of my own remaining for further entertainment and embellishment, Rep. Clere’s haughty and imperious dismissal of public concerns over tolling, coming almost two months after first being asked, and dribbling into the record only after his candidacy was endorsed by the economic interest group aligned with the local power elites that stand to gain most from the largesse of a $4 billion, anti-futurist boondoggle, is plenty enough for me to be sickened without further prompting.

Tolls are my hot button issue, and the Clere camp — as always, reading from the holy scriptures of St. Daniels — hit it with a sledgehammer.

Speaking of lies, try this quote (below) on for size: “The fact is, no one has proposed tolls.”

If Rep. Clere is curious about the origins of local tolling apprehension, he might try attending meetings of the unelected Bridges Unauthority, where the taxpaying rabble whom he freely targets with populist property tax propaganda no longer has a voice. Could tolling as a topic have arisen, er, because the Unauthority has proposed tolls? Aloud? On the record? And discussed collection methods for tolls? Aloud? On the record? And suppressed dissent? Aloud? On the record?

(As the haze of disingenuous diversionary tactics fills the room, permit me to note my pride that this blog helped raise the issue of bridge tolls, and kept it on the front burner while elected officials like Rep. Clere ducked and covered. In such cases, onlookers are advised to pay less attention to what is said in response, and more to the twitching of veins that accompanies it.)

One more thing.

Although I cannot scan and republish it here because I was sufficiently annoyed to rip it to shreds, the sign of future ideological directives from Rep. Clere, who insists against all prevailing evidence that he is not an ideologue, arrived in the snail mail the other day. It was a “Clere = Right to Life” missive, making a purely ideological connection that I guarantee — guarantee — will come back to haunt us in future terms. Mark your calendars; you heard it here first.

In all this disingenuousness, it’s as the fair and balanced Clere Channel pleases, and so I say: Shane Gibson for State Representative.

This isn’t NAC’s endorsement. It’s my public avowal. Have a wonderful Sunday, and if you’re a Republican, kindly stay the hell off my porch, and away from my body. At times like this, I must remind myself that principled opposition to the GOP ethos is both an honor and a duty; bring it on, falangists. I’m not going away.

No matter who started it, Nov. 2 will finish it

… One that particularly caught Clere’s attention shows Gibson in a serene picture with his family next to a dark photograph of a highway smothered with traffic gridlock.

“Shane Gibson wants more family time” reads the caption beneath the Democrat’s photo.

“Ed Clere wants traffic jams and toll roads” are the words below the picture of vehicles backed-up on an interstate as far as the eye can see. The mailer is attempting to paint Clere — who is seeking his second term at the Statehouse — as a supporter of a $3 toll to foot the Ohio River Bridges Project.

“It’s a lie,” Clere said Friday. “I don’t support $3 tolls, I’ve never said anything that could be construed that way.”

The Indiana and Kentucky Bridges Authority has yet to submit an official funding recommendation for the project, so making statements about tolls is premature at this point, he added.

Clere said he refuses to use the issue as a means to score political points.

“There are a lot of local politicians who have come out against tolls who have no role in that process,” Clere said. “The fact is, no one has proposed tolls.”

But Gibson — who has touted himself as an anti-tolling candidate — said the criticism of Clere is based on his lack of comment on the issue. The state should be looking at whether a non-elected board such as the Bi-state bridges authority should even be making a recommendation, not simply waiting on it to reach a conclusion, Gibson said.

“He’s been asked for months his position on tolls,” Gibson said. “It’s an issue that’s obviously become one of the top discussed issues if nothing else in our community.”