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Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
In Indiana Buzz, reporter Tim Vandenack blogs on politics, immigration, elections, taxes, errant geese and more.



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Bill Maher has his eyes on U.S. Rep. Walorski as he seeks a House district to target for flipping

The liberal commentator’s Flip a District campaign aims to unseat a Republican incumbent in November elections.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 1:24 p.m.

Liberal political commentator Bill Maher has his eyes on U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski as part of his Flip a District campaign, meant to unseat an incumbent in elections later this year.

Maher has yet to select the finalist, the U.S. House member who’ll eventually be the target of the comedian ahead of the Nov. 4 election. But the north-central Indiana rep, from the Jimtown area, is among 16 candidates, all of them Republican.

In singling her out on the June 25 edition of his HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher”, he alluded to the new boundaries drawn for the 2nd District after the 2010 census count that made it more conservative. Walorski narrowly lost in 2010 to Democrat Joe Donnelly in her first bid for the U.S. House, but won a tight election in 2012 to her first term, after redistricting.

"That’s right, she is a gerrymandering queen, and don’t forget, this is what we are fighting against,“ Maher said on his program. Scroll down to see the YouTube video of the segment on Walorski.

I’ve heard a lot of critics sound off on Walorski, but I’ve never heard her called a ”gerrymandering queen.“ Maher didn’t delve much more into Walorski, her votes or her actions as a lawmaker. The Republican, vying for her second term, faces Democrat Joe Bock as well as Libertarian Jeff Petermann in voting this fall.

"WINNING ’LOSER’” NAMED ON SEPT. 12

Maher’s Flip a District effort formally started on March 27, when the first of the 16 candidates for targeting were unveiled. He’s now in the process of narrowing the list of 16 to four, the ”Flippable Four.“ The first two to make it from the pool of 16 to the final four are Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, with the other two yet to be picked.

The ”winning ’loser’“ is to be named Sept. 12, according to Maher’s blog on the campaign. ”Then we will periodically look at the district, get to know the entrenched incumbent and the people they’re supposed to serve, and generally do our level best to flip that district,“ the blog says.

Maher has been pushing the public to use social media to bolster candidates for the campaign and an anonymous blogger has been pushing to get Walorski targeted via a WordPress blog.

"Will it work? Who knows,” wrote Politico’s Dylan Byers back in January, when Maher first started publicly talking about his plans. “But it will probably make for great TV.”

Reps from the Walorski and Bock campaigns didn’t immediately respond to queries seeking comment.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.


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