Honda wants IndyCar officials to find new engine suppliers

October 14, 2013
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Honda wants at least one more engine manufacturer in the IndyCar Series. And you can be that series officials will try to comply with the Japanese auto maker’s desire.

After Lotus pulled out following last season, Honda and Chevrolet became the only engine makers left in the open-wheel series.

Supplying engines for half the IndyCar field is more than Honda officials bargained for. Series officials limit the amount Honda and Chevy can charge for an engine lease at $695,000. Honda and Chevy officials say that’s well below what they spend to design, develop and make the race engines.

“When you’ve got seven or eight cars and you’re subsidizing them, that’s one thing. But when you’ve got 12 or 13 or 14 and you’re subsidizing them, that’s completely different, and it’s hard for all of us to continue to maintain that level of subsidy,” Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths told Autosport.

Honda officials said they’d stay with the series another two or three years while IndyCar officials search for another engine maker or two. But after that, they’re not making any promises.

Losing Honda would be a huge blow to the series, not only due to their role as a quality engine supplier, but because they spend millions of dollars annually to promote IndyCar racing. Honda has been one of the pillars of the series since it began supplying engines for the series—then known as the Indy Racing League—in 2003.

Griffiths told Autosport that adding a third or even fourth engine maker to the series is “critical” to the long-term health of IndyCar racing.

Series officials are reaching out to potential new engine suppliers, said Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of operations and competition. He added that it’s important that they don’t make hasty deals, but only sign on with quality engine makers. Lotus provided engines for the 2012 season, but those were severely underpowered.

Walker credits the good on-track racing this year in large part to Honda and Chevy, and said the addition of any engine makers would be done in consultation with those two series partners.

  • Other priorities loom for Honda
    Translation here from Honda is "we're coming back to Formula 1, so given the financial commitment that will require, we can afford to participate in IndyCar, but not foot the bill for half of the entire shooting match."
  • More Engines = Great
    Dear Honda, Ganassi has reduced your engine count. As a fan I would like to see one or more other engine suppliers/brands as well. What does the brass at 16th and Georgetown say?
  • The Truth is....
    Honda can't stand the low TV ratings. 0.10 and 0.09 respectively at Houston where one of their engines almost made it into the grandstands. The IRL concept has failed, and so is the iZod-less Indycars. Subsidizing 14 cars is losing Honda major $$$ jack. Pack up and LEAVE HOnda if you don't like how HULMAN Racing is running things now. Look for clay court and grass tracks popping up next year. Mark Miles knows racing and if he could exhume Bobby Riggs he'd be in the second car at Dragon racing. HaY Honda, look at it this're down 40-love in the 3rd set and losing 2 sets to none. The Hulman's throw are done.
    • More Mindless Gabble
      How long will it take for Chief to get over being fired from porta potty maintenance at IMS?
    • Say What?
      Chief, another remarkable job getting most of the off-topic hater 'points' out there again for no apparent reason other than rampant pollution of yet another IndyCar-related thread. You covered A) TV ratings, B) a bad wreck, C) Continuing use of the obsolete acronym 'IRL,' D) Projection of the failure that befell cart twice onto IndyCar, E) The end of IZOD's sponsorship at the conclusion of the original term, F) a Mark Miles tennis reference, and finally G) Irrational hated of everything Hulman. Your presence here makes no sense, as well as most things you attempt to type.
    • Let me write REAL Sloooow
      I write real slow so you old timers can follow along. Honda wants new engine suppliers so they don't have to handle 1/2 of the series engine supply. They are sick of subsidizing 12 to 14 cars because they LOSE money. Just like everything else HULMAN RACING related, it's a money loser. So, yes, TV ratings count...why? Return On Investment...Honda doesn't see it. While Mark Miles is busy securing 2014, the series rots from within. Instead of "more engines for all" speedway propaganda, I prefer to post the reasons why Honda is urging Indycar officials to find new engine manufacturers. Why? Because Indycar sucks, that's why.
    • Pow Wow
      Hey Chief. You think everyone on this blog is so below you on the intelligence barometer I can't believe you waste your time here. Don't you have a Mensa meeting to get on to? Honda is simply asking for help. I don't think that necessitates your usual banter that nothing is right about owr
    • I don't think that at all
      Gee Lone Star, I don't think that at all. Some here only want you to see the glass as full even though it's shattered into a thousand pieces. Or, some folks here want you to think the Emperor has clothes on, even though he don't. I speak the truth Lone know it's true, I know it's true. They only folks that believe their (IMS) drivel is IMS. So, don't shoot me...I'm only the piano player.
    • Briggs & Stratton
      wouldn't waste its time on the league that never has
    • Only your Truth
      Chief. Again you think you are the only answer. The supporters of IndyCar on this blog generally like the series because they believe it is the most exciting form of racing today not because they are drinking the Hulman Kool-Aid. Does racing need some help in this day and age? Sure it does. This is why many new ideas are being brought to the forefront to help generate interest. Your constant banter about everything negative and nothing being right is simply tunnel vision at its highest order
    • What new ideas?
      What new ideas do you speak of Lone Star? Let's discuss them point for point. No one ever said they weren't trying, it's just everything they have tried has failed. What are these ideas and what is there hoped for outcome?
    • Failing Effort
      Honda wouldn't have a problem subsidizing half the league, if the TV ratings were constantly decent. However the investment dollars are going to HAVE to be left low, if they continue to have 0.1 (Houston TV rating). With only 163,000 viewers tuning in, sponsors such as GoDaddy are packing up. Honda's instance that Indycar lower their investment costs in another example of this.
    • Good point
      Great point OWR...but, the racing allegedly is the best it's ever been here in year AOW2013. So, why the bad TV ratings? In season and without competition from anything, the iZod-less carz are barely pushing 0.2 TV ratings. NBC Sports Network is available on at least 77MILLION pay television households (68% of all households with a TV in the USA). Can some one give me an idea as to why 76MILLION 839THOUSAND pay TV households REFUSE to watch? It can't just be marketing...the best racing ever won't draw them in?
    • Offy
      Burl here, to point out that a few years ago HulmanCar arrogantly refused to even respond to Offenhauser's inquiry into manufacturing engines for the series. That is fact. My oh my, how they wish now they had not been so drunk (and delusional) with superiority. They better call Lee Brayton and see if he can hammer some old blocks together and get this thing done before Honda grenades their motor involvement in HulmanCar. Is Lee still alive? Lee? Lee? Can you build us some of those detonater specials so's we can keep Honda around to beat up on you> Bbbwwwwaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Why don't you HulmanCar Kool-Aid guzzlers se this for what it is? Bbbbwwwwaaaaahhaaaaaaa!!!!
    • Waiting For Substantive Content
      Perhaps I have missed the official 'Honda is leaving' announcement. Could one of the obsessed Mensa members in residence kindly link me to the press release? Thanks in advance.
    • Discipless....
      ...shouldn't you be installing those Atlantic-Scientific's today. media mogul man? Bbbbwwwaaahhaaaaaa!!!!!! BTW, see you at Fontana, Cable Boi. Burl will be there with wisdom for all who will line to listen.
    • Yes, the marketing matters
      To touch upon Chief's comment about marketing, there are numerous products that have failed over the years, even though they were superior to their rivals. Indy Car may have the best racing ever right now, but only the diehard fans know that. I don't even know the race schedule and live in Indy. If the marketing team isn't getting more butts in the seats and eyes on the TV, no one will know about the top notch racing. I grew up going to the Indy 500 each year and could easily attend if I wanted, but I'm bored with the slow speeds from the 90's and the spec series car. But hey, that works for Nascar. Problem is that while Nascar was old tech, it made up for it with personalities. Now that Nascar is so commercialized, it has lost part of that, along with a lot of it's fans. Indy Car was always about speed and technology when I was growing up, something it completely dropped. And let's be honest, the Indy 500 was always a big party. Bring back the infield party, and not the $20 DJ in a fenced in area type, and hopefully get those people hooked on the racing. It would be a baby step, but some sort of step is needed right now. And yes, the die-hards will grumble, but someone can't become a die-hard fan if they don't first know about the product.
    • Street 'crud
      This guy thinks the Indycars should hang it's hat on being fastest, most diverse. Hmmm, like Defenderer says that was twice dead 18 years ago. There'll be no street 'cred' when thw world knows the IRLseries is full of street 'crud'. Read up here..
    • Good idea!
      Yes, bring back the Snake Pit. That will solve all the problems for Indy Car! Hundreds of coked up, drunken, uneducated Indianer carnie trash, sloshing about in the mud, throwing things, setting ash cans afire, having carnal relations with each other on van tops in twosies and threesies, fightning, smoking pot, throwing up, making dookie cake in their drawers, piling up chicken buckets, breaking beer bottles onto the track, and generally not smelling the freshest in the process, why that will certainly get more people into watching Tristan Vuatier and Simona Pagenaud going side-by-side into T1 chasing down Takuma Sato. Bbbbbbbbwwwaaaaahhhaaaaa!!!!
    • An Idea!
      What if all the lanes I-465 north/east bound had Pontiac Azteks and all the lanes of I-465 south/west bound had Pontiac Azteks too? the only thing that separated them was various paint colors and alleged sponsor stickers like Hartmoor Polio Water etc.? Holy cow, that would get boring, huh? Well, the DW12 is going into it's 3rd year without a new body kit...and it looks like it may be 2015 at the earliest before someone might tend to the body kits. That's a long time to wait. Will the 0.09 and 0.10 TV audiences stick around? Here's an IDEA for Mark Miles: CHANGE the monotonous UGLY cars bodykits. Fans hate them. Every year the DW12 parades around like Pontiac Azteks is one more second/minute/hour/week/month/year that fans turn away in droves. Why don't you listen to and do something about this? Every second you waste just makes the ICONIC committee's decision that much more IDIOTIC. See Lone Star, there's an idea to get this drek back on it's feet...but IMS would rather dig up the Speedway banking on a $10Million dollar upgrade for a road course prep race than to fix the REAL problems. Honda, run, don't walk....
    • Must agree with Chief...
      ...Honda needs to vacate the pemi pronto-quick. You are who you hang with. This HulmanCar association makes Honda look hoodlum.
    • Here is another idea
      Respected journalist Marshall Pruett sez in Road and Track that the fences at Houston were improperly installed. Here's an idea....FIRE the chief steward of the Indycar Series NOW. The actually smells of Brian Barnhart's work. Read for yourself....
    • Ooops here's link...
    • They are all lilinked, Chief...
      ...Herb, bad fences, bad, cars, bad officiating, bad races, bad decisions, bad ratings. HulmanCar is all just so Jon Herb isn't it? Bbbbwwwwwaaahhaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!
    • What does the Indycar Series get for sanction fees?
      Robin Miller sez that CART used to get $8MILLION per race back in the day....what did the IRL get for New Hampshire in 2011? Or Las Vegas back in 2011? How much will the series get for the INDY GP? How much will the series accept for Milwaukee for 2014 and 2015?
    • Whatever it is
      it isn't nearly what they wish they could get. Ft. Lauderdale told them to go pound sand and there is alot of it around FL
    • 2014 and Beyond
      Hey, when do they announce the cart schedule? Oh. That's right. Never mind. Meanwhile back on topic, Andretti Autosport is going to Honda. Perhaps the resident Mensa members could let them know Honda is leaving. LOL.
      HaY IRLDEFENDER, you old timers better hold on to yer hollyhocks and strap up your sock tethers with comments like that! This new schedule the IRL...errr..faux Indycar has released for 2014 is OUTSTANDING! It's everything CART (now dead twice) was but with moar doubleheaders, more strret racing, MORE Hulman Racing fingerprint and LESS SANCTION FEES and 0.09 TV Ratings! Love is all around! With a schedule like that you should be singing..."We're gonna make it after all!". BWAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHA! (Now with same UNIMPROVED ULGLIEST car in AOW existance! And it flies!)
    • Disciple
      You keep bringing it up means you really must miss CART, huh? The Hulman George family really stepped in it this time.
    • Has the Dipsicle
      heard Honda's new F1 Motor? It sings bye bye mIndy. From the OC CART Wannabee's 2014 Schedule March 30th St.Petersburg C^RT April 13th Long Beach CART May 25th Indy 500 CART May 31st/June 1 Detroit CART June 28th/29th Houston CART July 6th Pocono CART July 19th/July 20th Toronto CART August 3rd Mid-Ohio CART August 17th Milwaukee CART August 30th Fontana CART 10 CART races (13 with double headers) and 4 IRL races for the oaf, in order to be gap toothed you have to have 2 teeth Chicagoland, Nashville, Pikes Peak, Charlotte, Dover, Kansas, Kentucky, Richmond - IRL race schedule
    • 25/8
      Those key metrics in targeted demographics must really be up. Let's review for those who have had their heads buried in the sand since 1996. HP just announced they are gone, Go Daddy is bye bye. Baltimore is gone but just temporarily (wink), Brazil is gone but hey just add another double header and a "race" on the Mickey Mouse IMS* infield. At this point why not bring back Gene Simmons?
    • Grate News For Indycar
      E.J. Viso out for FOntana due to Venezuela government corruption / phoney overpriced sponsorship deals. BIG NEWS on heels of Honda announcing it wants MORE engine participants...HONDA pulls sponsorship of Indycar St. Pete. OUCH...0.09 TV ratings mean nothing, huh? Bwahahhahahhahaha! Mark Miles, you are doing a GRATE JOB!!! LOL, please suspend ALL Indycar operations until you guy's read the CART instruction manual. Hahaaha!
    • LOL
      For 'people' who claim not to watch or pay attention to Indy Car these kids certainly seem to know a lot about it. That sort of primitive behavior seems odd.
    • The only people making money
      off the IRL these days is the carbon fiber people and Dallara. Wreck those crapwagons guys and gals
    • LOL Laugh it up
      - HP pulls sponsorship from Schmidt Hamilton - Go Daddy sponsorship gone from Andretti - Honda suddenly pulls sponsorship from St. Pete GP - Justin Wilson fractures pelvis, 2nd bone breaker in 2 races - Brazil race is toast - New DW12 flys for second straight year - Same ugly body kits - Houston fencing disaster - Indy road race to detract interest from 500 - IMS has faith in BCG marketing report, not fans opinion - Fontana attendance lower than 2012 Yeah, there's lots to laugh about.
    • LOL x3
      Oh yeah...Firestone has officially pulled out from Indy Lights sponsorship. These are all positive developments, especially in light of IZOD now officially gOne from the IRL CARz title sponsorship. Those are REALLY REALLY big blue chip sponsor losses. This is where Don Merideth used to sing "Shut out the lights" to Howard Cosell. LOL @ Mark Miles....and the Disciple / Defender nation. Bwahahahaha, Death blow 2014 or bust!
    • ADD is a Horrible Affliction
      Quick questions for the IBJ comment section Mensa club: Why would Firestone sponsor a series that will use Cooper Tires? That would be like McDonalds sponsoring Burger King. And are fans not thrilled car safety has improved from 1999 to the point where we have no more Greg Moore-type accidents? Those of us in attendance at Fontana thoroughly enjoyed the racing, and there were more of us there this year. That is something the track really appreciated. That track was built for Indy Cars.
    • Fontucky
      I heard from a media insider that Schmidt has already replaced HP with Acorn chair lifts.
    • Track built for us
      You mean Fontana, the track that has seams or grooves, that caused the multicar wreck that broke Justin Wilson's pelvis in 3 places? The track that used to sell every seat for CART (84k), yet in 2013 the IRL Indycars barely can draw 8,000 fans? Bwahahaha....come on D, you are lying again.
    • 30K
      Who would you rather this morning after racing at Fontana..Justin Wilson or Greg Moore?
    • Disgusting
      It is really disgusting that anyone would use tragic racing accidents to make their racing political points. A few little things changed one way or the other and maybe you wouldn't be asking Justin Wilson, Oriol Servia or Tristan Vautier about Greg Moore. Some of you are disgusting.
    • 30K, thats funny
      Ontario Motor Speedway...187,000 attendees California Speedway CART Fontana 1999 - 90,000 attendees IRL MAV 500 2013 - ~15,000 (30K alleged by known IRL progandist liars)
    • Fontana Attendance was up
      Th wife, daughter, son-in-law, and I attended the event and had opportunity to run elbows with some IndyCar folks and AutoClub Speedway management Saturday night in the swanky-swank. Chief will be disappointed to learn the ticket sales were higher than last year and the estimated attendance was 30,000. Meanwhile, E.J. Viso was said to have pooped pant when he learned of the Venezuelan investigation and therefore, turned over hsi machine to Carlos the Crazy. So there was good and bad this weekend. Mostly good. Fontana was IndyCar racing at its finest and I do hope it has a strong future. It looked positive from the suite
    • wILSON'S CAR SPLIT IN half
      That's what he said. Split in half, from steering wheel to behind the seat. "The whole side of the car, it broke," Wilson said. "The tub was broken, right where the steering wheel is, in line with where the steering wheel is, vertically, all the way down the tub and then the same behind the seat, so that whole section is caved in."
    • Dallara Did Its Job
      ....but Greg Moore is still dead after racing at Fontana. I do not suspect your outrage was as pronounced then, provided you were born yet.
    • Living in the past
      Great comeback Wise Old Sage! Justin's hit wasn't that big though, but it split the car in half. In fact, Tristen Vaultier's cars nose cone didn't even deform that much after hitting Justin. The car was designed to be too rigid so in all the crashes the car doesn't come apart to dissipate energy....which gets transferred to the driver. The DW12 is an ugly piece of crap that flies and splits in half.
    • 30K, really?
      I was at the race the other night and, fortunately, I didn't have to pay for entry due to a sponsor VIP pass. It was a very pleasant evening for racing and as I am not a "regular" fan I have to say that my first impressions of the IndyCar series are not favourable. Dozens of cars started the race and due to the prolonged carnage starting midway through the race, I have to admit, I am not pleased to see so many needless, or more correctly, careless shunts causing wreck after wreck. It pains me to see so many beautiful carbon fibre chassis reduced to veritable garbage. What is the point? If I wanted to see so much "wreckin'" I'd watch the mindless trash that is NASCAR. As I was actually there to witness this debacle, I can assure you, there was most certainly NOT more than 13 to 15,000 fans in the seats or in the infield, as some have made erroneous claims of such! Listen, I have no dog in this fight and it is meaningless for me argue one way or another. I only know what I saw and due to the substandard, in my opinion, quality of the racing. I thought it was very curious that the cause of the largest accident of the evening was caused by one of the cars sliding on a seam in the track, go check the YouTubes if you question what I saw with my own eyes. I think IndyCar has a considerable amount of work to do to catch the attention of people like myself that would return as a paying customer in the future if and when they make a trip to the track worth my time as a sports fan Simple really and I didn't even slam anyone's opinion! Sorry to say, IndyCar didn't measure up to my expectations Respectfully Jacob B
    • Different Strokes
      Curious as to what, specifically, would have held your interest in a somewhat more 'favourable' light Jacob. I flew all the way across the country to attend, paid for a seat, brought some friends, and was mesmerized the entire night. The multi-car 'shunt' was unfortunate but I don't go for the crashes. I go for the action on the track (which was fast and plentiful) and pay attention to strategy, focusing on two or three teams on their frequencies. My biggest disappointment involved overheating issues in the normally reliable engines. Given the dwindling number of ovals in the IndyCar Series and the oval reluctance of many of the road racers hired to drive IndyCars this kind of racing seems compromised and that is a real shame. I am happy to have made it to all the oval races (and multiple non-ovals too) this season and hope to do it again next season. With regard to attendance, anyone who claims 10,000 to 15,000, with all due respect, is willfully ignorant. There were at least 30K, the track is happy, and the race (and my group) is returning next season.
    • Good crowd
      I was at the Fontana race. I sat in the General Admission seats, near the Starter Stand. When I looked about the stands during the race, I saw a hearty, excited crowd, enjoying themselves. There were far more than 15,000 people in attendance. There had to be more because the section that most of the fans occupied holds approximately 40,000 of the Speedway's assigned seats. I would say the crowd was close to 30,000 in those seats. Including those viewing from the infield, I will say a reasonable estimate for attendance was 32,000, give or take a couple of thousand. That is a solid crowd and it was more than last year. The Fontana event is a very good one. The cars are much faster and the racing more exciting than NASCAR. I have atteneded their races at Fontana, too. They are mind-numblingly dull after the intitial 10 laps or so in the beginning. One can get into the pre-race festivities at a NASCAR race, stay for the pace laps, and then the first 10 laps or so of racing, then quite literally leave and go down to the fanzone and meander about, exploring all the commerical elements made available. It is far more entertaining to do that than watch the slow cars just go about. Toward the end, one can return to their seat and watch the closing 25 laps or so of the NASCAR event and have seen all they need to see. All the middle laps are banal, bland, boring, and just plain silly. The cars are just going 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round, lap after mind-numblingly dull lap, wasting fossil fuel. It seems silly, almost. Such a waste of time. With the IndyCar race, one feels as though they cannot leave their seast for fear of missing something. There is constant action, breathtaking racing, and the speeds! My goodness! The speeds! It is very compelling. Each lasp features some sort of contest on the track, front to back, cars inches apart at over 200 miles per hour, driven by real athletes, not NASCAR drivers masquerading as such. I enjoyed this Indy Car race from start to finish. I understand crashes occur. That is part of racing, especially since they are racing so hard and the danger is so readily apparent each, heavily contested lap. Amazing. Truly amazing. NASCAR, I think, is just popular like a TV sitcom or comic book. It is for show. Made for TV, if you will. Big, sluggard cars, slowly going around is just the necessary theme or backdrop, if you will, for soap opera-type, personality-driven script drama. Not really sporting, if you ask me. I see why it is sinking in popularity after watching what are surely real race car drivers as you would imagine them, fit, brave, dashing, contesting an amazingly colorful, exciting event like the one in Fontana. IndyCar racing, too me, seems quite authentic. NASCAR, to me, seems quite contrived.
    • So, why isn't it popular?
      If it's that exciting...why did only a handful of folks turnout to view in person and on TV? What's happening? Those stands at Fontana used to be FULL for AOW at that track. What has gone wrong with this sport?
    • Actual Reality Trumps Foolishness Every Time
      The seats for any form of auto racing used to be full. Concerts used to sell out. So did baseball, basketball and hockey games. So did every NFL game. It used to be impossible to sit in your house with a wall sized HD screen and theater quality sound eating and drinking from your own fridge for free. 32,000 folks is more than a 'handful' and for that track (which lost a second Cup date over crappy attendance) is great. The sport seems fine to me, and us actual fans look forward to another great season in 2014.
    • Read my blog
      An Indy Car finale where no one is killed is alway a success!
    • Indycentrics not allowed
      Stop looking at it from "i'm the center of the universe" standpoint. Why is it not popular? It used to be...what happened? If the spec ugly car DW12 and spec engines are going to be here until at least 2016...and the same for the NBCSN and ABC tv deals....who is to argue that it's going to become popular again? How can it? If nothing changes and it just stays the same how can ya justify it's existance anymore? Think about it...
    • It's Time
      It's time for Ford or Cosworth to make a return to American open wheel racing. Maybe even Ford-Cosworth if they're smart. Perhaps Toyota and Mercedes can make a return too.

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    1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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    4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

    5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.