IBJNews

EDITORIAL: Jacobs bestowed valuable lessons

IBJ Staff
January 4, 2014
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Editorial

Had Andy Jacobs not fulfilled the duties of his congressional office so unusually during his nearly 30 years in the House, the outpouring of memories following his Dec. 29 death might have been more mundane.

But he did behave and serve differently than so many other politicians. And that style earned him respect both before and after his passing at 81.

The Jacobs way, though quirky at times, was refreshing then and seems downright quaint by today’s norms of antagonistic relationships and packaged, slash-and-burn campaigns, and it’s why Jacobs continues to have much to teach politicians and the political process.

Jacobs, who represented Indianapolis in Congress from 1965 until 1973 and then from 1975 until his retirement in 1997, operated by a personal North Star that allowed him to work across the aisle and within his Democratic Party. But he stopped short of venturing into many of the extremes that undermine the democratic process.

That conscience kept him at arms-length from the sordid dances with campaign financiers who would dominate his votes. He rebuffed donations from political action committees, and won his 1986 campaign despite being outspent nine to one.

Jacobs, who in retirement was a columnist for IBJ, ran a compact, efficient office and resisted the spoils so often enjoyed by those in elected office.

That fiscal conservatism spilled over into his refusal to accept disability compensation for wounds suffered as a Marine infantryman during the Korean War. Why, Jacobs asked, should he accept the money when he was paid well as a congressman?

He bucked the expansion of the Vietnam War by fellow Democrat Lyndon Johnson and came to be known for saying that more politicians should position their children in the front lines of the wars they start.

A gentleman comfortable in his own skin, Jacobs refused to see politics as a blood sport, preferring to befriend opponents and would-be opponents. He famously became close to Bill Hudnut, who beat Jacobs to serve one term in Congress before leading Indianapolis as mayor for four terms.

Jacobs represents so much of what citizens want in their political leaders. Someone who is down to earth. A leader who spends hard-earned tax dollars prudently. A campaigner who recognizes that winning is less important than treating opponents with respect. A lawmaker who moves legislation forward with others but who doesn’t compromise deeply held principles.

Aside from the Voting Rights Act, which he helped write, Jacobs didn’t rack up a long list of big legislative victories. But he might have left a greater legacy in the way he handled his life and the office he stewarded.

That’s worth celebrating.•

__________

To comment on this editorial, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT