Freedom on the Fourth Rally. Why?

Andy Horning and Dave Bond were on the show this morning. They explained why there will be a rally tomorrow at 10 AM at the Governor’s Mansion. They explained why people are so upset with our government, and what we can do to change it. You can listen below, or read this from Andy’s blog:

It may rain. This is Indiana, after all. But don’t doubt that I’ll be driving all the way from Freedom, Indiana to be at the Governor’s Mansion on North Meridian just north of 46th Street at 10am. I’m bringing my family and a box of Horning For Governor T-shirts.

No, this rally isn’t about my candidacy. It’s about you and your choices.

Let’s be clear on this: You cannot delegate your life to politicians. You have choices to make. You tried letting politicians handle the “Property Tax Reform” issue, and look at what happened. Political spending is up, taxes are up, prices are up, and you are still, in the minds of politicians, serfs.

If you want change right here, right now, you have to vote for it. There is no shortcut, and no other way. You must change what you’ve been doing if you want a different result.

What other choice is there?

Well, I suppose you can send me money J

Anyway, I’ll be there tomorrow. I know lots of others will be there too. I’m not going to say very much, since over the last fifteen years, I’ve already said what I have to say. And, I am happy to report, reinforcements are here at last, fighting the same fight.

So others will speak, and you can speak out too.

I think we’re finally coming to a consensus.

The priced of oil by itself is not the issue. Tax policy isn’t the issue. Public funding to the Colts or mall builders or foreign companies isn’t the issue. Illegal immigration isn’t the issue. Rising crime and poverty and imprisonment and loss of homes aren’t the core issues either. They’re all just symptoms.

The problem, the disease, the issue at hand and the heart of the matter is ungoverned government. Power without limits. Anarchy in an $800 suit.

And it’s time we put a leash on that monster.

Join us. What better way could there be to honor the sacrifices of our forefathers?

Democratic Convention Recap!

1 PM Update:

Ran into Dr. Woody Meyers. He is a delegate. His only future Political plans were to come into the convention and vote as a delegate.

Spoke to Congressman Joe Donelly. He had no public comment on Tony Zirkle… 🙂 Hear that interview Monday.

We are in the Marriott. The room here is much smaller then the large hall the GOP had for their convention. Lunchtime is nearing an end, and folks are streaming into the hall. The crowd is a lot smaller then I figured it would be. It is also much youger then the GOP. Average age of attendee is 45. The GOP convention: 60. There are many more young people here then at the GOP convention.

I am sitting next to Amos. He wants to know who in the world would marry Abdul?! lol

About 1,000 delegates are here for the convention. I believe that is on par with the GOP, altough it does not look it.

1:30 PM

I thought Democrats had all this enthusiasm and energy. This is like sitting at a boring lecture. Maybe it will hit when Jill speaks around 3.

Andre Carson spoke. We won’t have that due to a mult-box issue. I promise that this time, it was not my fault, lol.

The organization here is weak. Twice in 15 minutes, people were called to speak, and they never showed up. People, pay attention!

The Democrats have officially nominated Richard Wood for Superintendent for Public Instruction. His slogan is “Experience, Dedication, and Results.” He is proud to be a party that looks to the future with vision and courage. At the end, the entire 8th district did not stand for Wood. There was a standing applause in the middle of the room (Districts 9, 2, 3, and 1.) The other districts (7, 4, 6 and 8 ) did not stand. Laziness or is there a meaning to this?

Wood had a power point slide show. Linda Pence has a video detailing how smart she is, and her accomplishments. It started with her fighting Shell Oil on behalf of a small town gas station owner. I think it’s clear they think they can win that race, and will pump a lot of money into it. Maybe they think the GOP will neglect Zoeller because he is not the “chosen” candidate.

More disorganization. Instead of bringing Pence right up after the video, and carrying on momentum, they went to a Louis Armstrong song, and then the chairman cam up and talked about how great life is. Then he finally announced Pam Carter, after a long speech on how long he’s know Pam Carter. Pam Carter was the first African-American and Female to be elected Attorney General.

Pam Carter forgot to nominate Carter, but the Chairman of the convention (Sherrif Dominguez from Lake County) quickly stepped up and officially nominated her.

Pence walked out to the theme of Law and Order. Andre Carson walked out to Stronger by Kanye.

2 PM Update

No mentions of Mitch, Bush or Cheney yet. You’d think in an hour, there would be more GOP hate-mongering.

About 1/4 of the room did not stand and cheer for Pence. Three-Quarters did not stand and cheer for Bauer. Where is the energy, people?

Bauer is the first person to hit Mitch Daniels. “Four years ago, a dark cloud came over Indiana. THEY SOLD OUR TOLL ROAD! I like Australians. I love Kangaroo Dundee. I just don’t want them to have our money.”

Bauer says Mitch raised property taxes a Billion Dollars. Bauer was apparently there to nominate Oxley. That was not expressed. Oxley had 3/4 of the room stand and cheer for him. He came out to Mellencamp’s Small Town.

Oxley thanked Bauer, and called him a “close confident.” I wonder how he spells “potato?” He also says Hoosier incorrectly. He says, “Whooysher.”

Oxley hit Mitch. He might be the heavy in the campaign. He went on with a list of Mitch Daniels uaccomplishments. One that stood out was that many Whooyshers die because Mitch Daniels doesn’t care about them, and does not give them health insurance. He made fun of the island in a sea of despair commercial by saying Mitch is on “Fantasy Island.” While speaking, someone in the crowd yelled out, “Privative Mitch!” That got a healthy laugh.

2:40 PM Update. Convention on time, to the suprise of the IDNC staff.)
JLT video is running. BATHROOM BREAK! Birch Bayh received the biggest applause pop, until Evan came on-screen. No sighting of Evan Bayh, Brad Ellsworth, Bart Peterson, Andy Jacobs, Frank Anderson or Baron Hill yet. They may be here, but will not speak and I have not seen them.

JLT is right in front of me, waiting to walk up the center aisle. She is taking a lof of deep breaths, and looks nervous. I don’t blame her. The crowds are more energetic with the sight of JLT, but the level is not the same as it was for Mitch. It is not as intense as the Obama crowd at Plainfield, or the crowd at Ben Davis for Hillary.

JLT is clearly standing on a box. (Mitch, while JLT’s same height, did not.)

None of the speakers, with the exception of Bauer, is particulary energetic. The crowds politely clap. The speeches are clearly memorized and rehearsed.

There are almost no mentions of Obama, Bush or McCain. This is clearly a convention focused on Change in the Governor’s Mansion. JLT only mentioned Mitch once in her speech, with a few slight digs. Her speech was focused on her strengths. The words “fighter” and “change” were mentioned a million times.

Biggest applause was that JLT will reinstate collective barganing for unions. Click this link: http://www.howeypolitics.com/2008/06/21/democratic-convention-uaw-wont-endorse-jlt/

She says she will get our economy moving again. ? She will give tax breaks to companys WITH health insurance benefits. No more free rides under JLT when it comes to business. Indiana will also become a national leader in the Green economy. She will also “stop the Daniels obsession with privatization.” She also told the crowd how much she loves them. The entire crowd went, “Awww.” I felt like I was at Sex in the City!”

This speeach, which can be heard on A.I.M. on Monday or podcast, is one of the most uninspired speeches I have ever heard. I am so bored. She could not be more droll or monotone. She has no central message. It is just the standard platform that Democrats ALWAYS bring foreward. There is talk of change and progress, but then she offers up the same ideas that O’Bannon and Kernan brought forward! How do the 1,000 delegates here not see that? She even walked off stage to Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down!”

As soon as she was done speaking, people headed for the door. Many didn’t stay for the balloon drop.

More Democratic Lunacy…

From the Failed Policies of the Past File:

Mike O’Connor may step down later this summer as Marion County Democratic Chairman. His replacement? Ed Treacy!

Obama laid out his economic plan for the Wall Street Journal:

“Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. “Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers,” he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably.”

This sounds familiar… Hmmm… Where have I heard this before?

“Many of you are well enough off that…the tax cuts may have helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

And maybe a few other political thinkers… I’ll let you look those up.

From the CHANGE!ing my mind file:

Obama to Break Promise, Opt Out of Public Financing for General Election. Only Obama could be a normal politician and go back on a promise, all while making it seem like a great moral victory.

From the “Is this from the Onion?” File:

Obama’s ‘Key’ Foreign Policy Adviser: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security”:

“Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton and is tipped to become National Security Adviser in an Obama White House, told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”

He spelt out how American troops, spies and anti-terrorist officials could learn key lessons by understanding the desire of terrorists to emulate superheroes like Luke Skywalker, and the lust for violence of violent football fans.”

There is a lot in that statement that we can understand about an Obama administration.

Tim Russert and the Decline of Journalism

The passing of Tim Russert is a sad event in American Government. The media’s job is to challenge politicians on their words. No one does that better then Tim Russert. In fact, few do what Russert did. We are entering a dangerous age of journalism, and therefore, politics and government.

The pace of media has quickened. I am in radio, so you’d think that all I’d need to do is confer with sources and read as much as possible to prepare for the show. But as we enter this age, I need to write blogs, post podcasts, record and edit video. They all have to be different, and the content needs to be fresh. All of this takes time. It takes time to create, organize and promote YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook pages. It takes time to map things out, write out bits, record and edit them. The uploading takes forever.  But it all is necessary because other news outlets do it. You have to compete to remain relevant.

There are less people to do these things, because the media business sucks. A reporter, radio personality, or TV producer has more and more to do. As a result of all of this, the more time a media person spends on the content delivery, the more watered down the content becomes.  The pay is shrinking, so the quality of person behind the reports is lessened.

Today’s media will have less time to prepare for interviews. There are fewer reporters with less time to ask hard questions.

Because of the large amount of work to do, and the amount of information to process, many members of the media choose the angle of the story based on their conversations with the other members of the media, not the subject of the story. That is why you hear the same story angle in almost every major media’s (TV, Newspaper, Radio) report. The reporters all fish for a good sound bite. Some members of the local media don’t like that Abdul and I play the entire press conference. Guess Why? It exposes the lack of tough questions, and shows the fishing they do.

The subject (Politician, Movie Star, Sports Figure) are happy to oblige because they want to get on with their life. They don‘t need to prepare for any sort of tough question, because the reporters will all ask the same thing. They just need different versions of the sound bite. If they flip-flop, who cares! The reporters won’t notice, and the listener/reader/viewer is too busy to care.

So you turn to blogs and other forms of “new media” for a different point of view. They are advocates for their cause, and tailor their information to the message.

In fact, Advocacy Journalism will start to dominate the old media because it’s different. There is something that resembles humanity in their reporting. It doesn’t insult the listener/reader/viewer’s intelligence.

I’ll let you comment on the end result of all of this. (Actually, aren’t we seeing it? Isn’t our government dramatically failing us?)

Tim Russert was loved because he was a human being. He didn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. He was prepared. He was everything a journalist should be, and something modern media should aspire to be.

My Thoughts on GOP Shenanigans

Ronald Reagan did not believe in third parties. He believed that a person should choose a party that most closely identifies with a person’s beliefs and values. For myself, that is the Republicans. But what happens when a party loses its way? The Republican sins of big government are too numerous to mention for the last eight years. The largest sin is hypocrisy. Because while they commit their sins, they admonish and preach.

Ths occurs in two ways:

1. Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and David Vitter. Enough said.

2. “We are the party of limited government.” Then they vote on every spending bill they possibly can. Bush did not veto a bill until it was time to protect the unborn.

Then came Ron Paul. A person who walks the walk in addition to talking the talk. But because he opposes the war, he is considered a radical and his supporters kooks. But many Classic Liberals, Libertarians, and thinking Conservatives flocked to his message. They are hungry for their party to actually do what it says.

Freedom is the buzz word of the Bush administration and the current Republican Party.

But try to open debate on the party platform or the party talking points, and you are immediately shut down. Try to vote for a candidate that is not the party’s chosen candidate, and they will remove you ability to make that choice. Delegate status removed. Party Chairmen replaced. Rules illegally changed.

Freedom.

So what is a grassroots or regular member of a party supposed to do when their party loses its way? There are a couple of things they can do. A member of a party is punish it by sitting out elections. Large-Scale losses in a party cause a purging of the establishment. When John Kerry lost big in 2004, many of the Clinonistas were tossed out of the DNC. They were replaced by the more radical Howard Dean section of the party.

Or they can switch to a third-party. To you disillusioned Republicans, take a look at the Libertarians. There are more of us moving to a party that actually will practice what it preaches. Third-Parties aren’t as much fun as the big two. There is not as much free pizza, the signs are not as flashy, and the T-Shirts aren’t as nice. But maybe democracy and good government are not about those things.

P.S. The Democrats have the same shenanigans going on.

How the GOP kept the Pauliacs Quiet on Monday

I’ve been sent an account that sheds some light on a few different issues at the Republican Convention this past Monday. First, the changing of the delegate election rules to keep Ron Paul sleepers from being delegates to the National Convention. The other was why Greg Zoeller was chosen over Jon Costas. I will post a second post with my thoughts.

This is from a Republican Delegate from South Bend named Eric Rowe:

I was one of around 400 conservative Republicans who had been involved in the Ron Paul campaign who attended this year’s Indiana Republican primary as a delegate (out of a total of 1900+ in attendance). We went intending to make sure that there was a conservative voice there representing the values of limited government and constitutionalism that Ron Paul champions. We called ourselves The Conservative Republican Statesmen Caucus (hereafter, CRSC), a group which we hope will continue to have a role in Indiana politics.
We began planning for this event months in advance, getting active in and working to prove our value to our county parties, recruiting members, organizing ourselves, and carefully studying the rules of the national and Indiana Republican committees.

One of our goals was to make an honest effort to send members of the CRSC as delegates to the Republican National Convention, where we could continue to deepen our influence in the party. The delegate slots we would have been most likely to fill, if any, would have been as congressional district delegates who would attend as delegates bound by the rules to vote for John McCain, and thus would have no potential to cause any trouble to the nomination process. The only way any of our group would have been able to go in that capacity would have been by winning a majority vote in our district caucuses, where we were outnumbered more than 3 to 1. Despite all of this, the leaders of our state GOP took deliberate steps to make sure we did not have a role in our caucuses other than as yes men for them, and they broke their own party rules to do so.

According to rule 15(e)(1) of the Republican National Committee, every state party was required to adopt their procedure for selecting delegates to the Republican National Convention by the 2nd Tuesday of last September (see here: http://www.gop.com/About/Rules11-20.htm ). The rules for the state party of Indiana have been available on their official website, at least since I began to inquire into this whole process months ago. They always said that nominations for delegates to the national convention would be accepted from the floor of our caucuses and that the meetings would follow Robert’s Rules of Order. That is until the day before our state convention, where we found a revised set of rules where the former ones had been. According to the website, the revisions to the rules were made on May 30th, 3 days before our convention, and long after the national party’s required deadline for adopting procedures for delegate selection (see esp. the note stating the day of the revisions and rule 9-31 here: http://www.indgop.org/rulesrevision06.pdf). The revised rules stated that the district committee would preselect a slate of all the delegates and alternate delegates that they want representing their district at the national convention, and that this entire slate would be elected by a simple up or down vote in the district caucus without nominations from the floor.

We were fortunate to have noticed this illegal change of procedure in time to come up with the appropriate way to address it according to Robert’s Rules. In my district, the 2nd, one of the other members of the CRSC stood up to request a point of information immediately after the speaker asked someone to move that we vote on their slate of delegates. He was going to request that the speaker state for all of the delegates in the room what the basis in the rules was for voting for his pre-selected slate of delegates, and when the rule governing that procedure was adopted. Doing this would ensure that all of the delegates in the room were aware that they were trying to follow a rule they had just cooked up last week. After that information would have been given, I was going to make a point of order stating that the national committee rules required that we follow the procedure that was adopted prior to the second Tuesday of last September. Then another CRSC member was going to move that nominations be accepted from the floor, at which point in time we hoped that enough of the delegates present would agree with us that the original rules should be followed that the majority would vote along with us on that motion. Had that happened, there were two CRSC members whom we were planning to nominate. Speaking only for myself, I intended to vote for one of those two individuals, an older gentleman with years of active participation in the party whose politeness is only surpassed by his convictions, and I intended not to vote for the other one. Quite frankly, I have my doubts that either one of them would have won, but I see no reason that they shouldn’t have been given a chance.

As it happened, when the CRSC member stood up for a point of information, even though he did so prior to the motion for a vote on the anointed slate, and even though we all saw and heard him, the speaker flat out ignored him (breaking Robert’s Rules, which our state party rules claim he was obligated to follow) and moved on with the vote. He did this very quickly, reading a pre-written script, calling on a pre-chosen person to make the motion, then a pre-chosen person to second it, and then a vote, at which time the county chairs (including mine), obviously in on this whole scheme, all instructed all of us that we were supposed to stand up and vote yes along with them. Needless to say, the great majority did as they were told, even though many looked confused and at the time of the vote didn’t even know what they were voting on. Immediately after that I rose to make the point of information that the other CRSC member had unsuccessfully attempted. When I did this, my county chair turned around and told me to sit down, which I did not do until I had a chance to ask for my point of information. This was futile. The vote had already been cast, and they were not required to answer the question, since it pertained to a motion already passed. Needless to say, since they were not obligated to answer the question, they didn’t. I only take slight consolation in knowing that by doing that I allowed the other delegates to see that we were being railroaded. Several of the older ladies sitting next to me, although they were not part of the CRSC became disgusted at what they saw. After the meeting another older lady, one who had previously been our county chair for years, approached me to apologize profusely for behavior on the part of our district committee that she said made her ashamed. I am hoping that the CRSC can count some of those people who witnessed that as our friends as we continue to do our part in trying to purge the GOP of dishonesty, hypocrisy, and Marxism.

From what little debriefing I was able to do between then and now, I believe that essentially the same thing happened in all 9 of Indiana’s congressional district caucuses.

Those caucuses occupied Monday morning. In the afternoon was our general session, in which we voted up or down on a pre-written state party platform and for the unopposed nominees for various offices. Since the platform was essentially a list of big government solutions to a series of problems, combined with boasts about previous Republican achievements in increasing the size and scope of government, a large part of the CRSC (though not more than half, from what I could tell) voted against it, and were overwhelmingly defeated.

There was only one contested race in the general session, the race for the Republican nominee for Attorney General. One option, John Costas, was a tall, good looking, youthful, progressive (to use Governor Daniels’ label for him) mayor, who plays guitar in a rock band, who is gifted at answering questions without really answering them, who had proudly brought about one of the state’s toughest laws banning smoking in privately owned establishments, and who used the authority granted by the Kelo v. New London ruling to purchase a shopping center from its owner at less than a previous offer just to sell it to another owner to continue as a shopping center. If you fork out the money to buy a piece of property in the city where he’s mayor, your name may be on the title, but he considers himself its owner. Costas had the overwhelming majority of endorsements from party leaders, who saw him as someone possessing the Clintonesque qualities that they believed would play well in the general election. There’s also a widely held belief that Governor Daniels was grooming Costas to be his replacement.

The other candidate was Greg Zoeller, current deputy AG, a genuine conservative, who opposes smoking bans and disagrees with the Kelo ruling. He’s kind of short, gray haired, and not a fancy speaker. His only major endorsement was from the current AG, based not on any political strategy, but on his estimate that Zoeller, a man whose qualities he knows intimately, would excel at being AG, a job whose demands he knows intimately. Of all the Republican leaders I dealt with at or leading up to the convention, Zoeller was the only one who treated the CRSC respectfully. He attended a meeting we had the week before the convention, with about 200 of us in attendance, at some risk to his reputation, considering what we now know the party thinks of us, gave a speech and answered any questions we had. He wasn’t eloquent or showy. But he was knowledgeable, honest, and respectful. Congruent with the name of our caucus, he’s a statesman, not a politician. I can’t speak for all voters—and I honestly don’t know if maybe the rock star type really does play better in general elections—but when I have a rare chance to vote for someone like Zoeller, I find it refreshing.

As far as I could tell, all of the 400 members of the CRSC voted for Zoeller. Zoeller won 1,061 to 707. So, despite the efforts of the party leadership to make sure we had no impact on anything, we did. Hopefully we will continue to.

Eric Rowe
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=16140037814

Newt, Burton, Term Limits…

Ten Years ago today….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/burton050798.htm

There’s an article from the Washington Post from May 7, 1998, referring to events from May 6, 1998. Newt Gingrich calls Dan Burton an embarrassment:

”This contrast was evident during the GOP’s closed conference meeting yesterday, when Gingrich apologized to his colleagues for how staffers distributed the tapes on Friday. When Burton shot back that he was not embarrassed, according to members who attended the meeting, Gingrich responded, ‘Then I’m embarrassed for you, I’m embarrassed for myself, and I’m embarrassed for the conference at the circus that went on at your committee.’”

Hopefully the voters of the 5th District will agree with Newt today, even if it is delayed by a decade.

Now, why do I feel this way? There comes a point in time where a politician or leader stops working for reform, and starts working to retain power. Bart Peterson was this way. Julia Carson was this way. Dan Burton is this way. Steve Buyer is this way. And I find this attitude towards the job of Congressman disgraceful. This is special honor. It is not yours. It is ours, and it should be treated with respect.

The Founders of our Country were concerned with Public Servants being disinterested, meaning no other interest than serving the people.

I can stand Republican. I can stand Democrat. I can stand Libertarian, but I can’t stand comfortable and entitled.

Operation Chaos

Mike Kole, former Libertarian candidate for S.O.S., has a good blog on Operation Chaos.

Read it here: http://www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com/

Here is a taste:

“OK, so it’s no dilemma for those who refrain from participating in Primary Elections on the basis of these elections essentially being the private business of the political parties, and not a genuine public function. The basis for this position in some areas?

All Indiana primaries are closed primaries. This means you have to choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot. For instance, there is no Libertarian ballot. There is no independent or non-partisan ballot. The “offices” being voted on include Precinct Committeeman and Delegate to the Party Convention. Primary info from the Secretary of State’s office.”

Obama versus Hillary – Indy Style

Indiana has the pleasure of actually mattering in this Election year. Earlier in the month, Barack Obama visited Plainfield High School. Hillary Clinton visited Ben Davis High School this past Saturday. WXNT producer Chris Spangle covered both and here are his impressions:

Both gyms are of equal size. Both Schools opened space for overflow. Senator Obama filled the entire gym and the auxillary gym used for overflow two hours before the event. Senator Clinton did not have anyone in the auditorium used for overflow. She did not fill the entire main gym. There were at least 50 seats empty out. I’d estimate that 3,000 showed up for Obama, and 2,000 for Clinton.

Both candidates brought a proportionate amount of Indianapolis’s ethnic make-up. There were members of all races, colors, creeds, and religions at these events. Economically, Obama brought more middle-class and upper-class listeners. Clinton had more working-class and union members.

Crowd Reaction: Both crowds were very enthusiastic for their candidate. Surprisingly, Hillary’s crowd cheered more intensely. Could be the building, but they were louder and more fervent. The crowd leaving Obama’s event was more positive on the Senator, and more upbeat. I heard a mixed reaction from the crowd exiting Clinton’s event. Some were inspired, some were calling B.S.

Message: Obama was more a message of hope and unity. It was meant to inspire. Hillary’s was more intellectual. The speech was mostly that the G.O.P. has left the country a disaster, and asking the crowd to remember how wonderful it was under her husband. The job will be hard, but she is the only one to fix it. Obama was more upbeat, saying that while we have problems, they aren’t anything Americans can’t overcome. I won’t say Clinton wasn’t positive, but I did have a looming sense of doom if I didn’t take her advice and elect her.

Campaign Staff: The Obama event was very structured. Press had to register online the day before. Clinton had open press. Obama had three press agents there greeting the press, helping them set up. They also had student ambassadors to keep the press in their spot, and to assist with questions about the school. The two or three hours that I was there, I didn’t meet one member of the Clinton team. No one introduced themselves or asked if I needed assistance. Now, in fairness, the Clinton Camp is doing a lot of stops in a short amount of time, which needs a lot of logistical support and planning. That could have been why there seemed to be a lack of staff wandering around.

P.S.  Superdelegate Andre Carson spent a few moments with Barack Obama when he visited earlier this month. He also attended Obama’s speech. Congressman Carson was not present at Senator Clinton’s speech.

The Real Reason for Reform

Forget the politics, although it seems as though the General Assembly can’t. Government is by the people, and for the people. So where did Indiana and the U.S. go wrong? This is the real reason for reform:

Hi Abdul,

My story is just one example of why you can’t just take the purchase price and figure a property tax. My house was built in 1870- an historic Irvington home. The purchase price left enough money to start working on it, too, to try to return it to its former glory. Then came the court decision, and then the reassessment. Now the taxes are $420.00/ month. Now there’s not enough money left over for improvements- do you know how big a second mortgage I could have gotten for $420.00/month? So now I can’t fix it up, and I can’t sell it- who would pay what I did for a fixer-upper under the new tax structure? Of course, if enough of my neighbors get repossessed or take the bath selling when they’re upside down, the prices will drop and the taxes with it… but then the neighborhood will be distressed and the loan would cost more. Yes, in ten years or so, the fluctuations will even out, and one could use a sales-based tax system- too late for me.

Thanks,

Joel

In Defense of Beth White

I am taking some heat because I defended Beth White this morning. I remember hanging around the Election warehouse during the counting of the Scott Keller ballots (who won by 3 in a recount in 2003), and watching Doris Anne Sadler cry because of the shady dealings of Ed Treacy and his crowd. We can debate all that some other time, let’s focus on this election day. Most polling places opened on time, and fairly smoothly. There were about half a dozen polling places that did not open on time, but were operational after an hour. I would say that is a pretty successful election. Why? Let me share a note I recieved this morning:
Chris:
It’s chivalrous  of you to defend Beth White in stating that she can’t be responsible for many of the snafus of this morning-such as the individual poll workers not showing up. I beg to differ.  As Abdul commented, she is responsible.  It is her job to make sure that those working for her-election office workers, party and township officials, down to precinct committeemen and poll workesr, all understand their duties and make sure that they and those under them, are ready to fulfill them.
Why were ballots missing when other supplies were available?  That should have been noted and reported last night when inspectors prepared their voting locations, and taken care of by this a.m.  Poll workers didn’t show up?  Each committeeman, having been prodded by their ward chair, who was prodded by their township chair, etc., etc. should have been making phone calls the night before, had contingency plans for last minute problems,etc.
Buildings weren’t open?  Calls are made not once, but twice, to make sure that keys for buildings are available or emergency phone numbers for building supervisors are known.
The magnitude and type of the voting problems under Beth White’s term are avoidable and are being repeated. Yes, we all make mistakes and some are out of our control.  But this should be the absolute last time that any excuses or defense can be made of Beth White and her organizational abilities.
Christine

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I agree that perfection should always be the goal, but this is an imperfect science. Beth White once promised perfection as the clerk, and has not delivered. The GOP candidate for her job in the next cycle will promise a perfect election, and if elected, will not achieve it. I am not saying that these mistakes are ok or right, I am just trying to be realistic. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to organize a few hundred volunteers, but it’s like herding cats.  Anything is better then last May.
Chris

A Note to Rupert Pupkin

First Read this: http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2008/03/abdul-hakim-shabazz-has-hit-rock-bottom.html

Now here is my response to him, posted on his comments page. He probably will not post it, but Just in Case.

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1. You can hear the discussion in question here: http://wxnt.radiotown.com/3-4-08_GWBSGD.mp3

2. The only thing muslim about Abdul is his name. And for you to insinuate that Abdul is passively supporting Carson because they are both muslim is a ridculous statement. Abdul and Carson are opposed on most issues. If you paid attention to Abdul’s actual words as opposed to your fictional subtexts, maybe at least ONE of your pieces of analysis might be correct.

3. That conversation was started by me this morning. So if anything, I am the one supporting Carson. I am sick and tired of people spreading rumors on blogs about a person’s sexuality who are over 25 and not married. Elrod has had a girlfriend for at least more then a year, but because he is 29 and not married, people spread the rumor that he is gay. That lead in to the discussion of why American society thinks that people over 25 whom are not married are either homosexual or damaged goods.

The goal was not to spread the rumor, because if you listened this morning, we mentioned Elrod once, maybe twice to steer clear of the exact reason that you mention. The goal was to get those who want Elrod or other singles to define his sexual preference. It just is not that important, and should not be an issue, just as Carson’s Muslim faith or skin color shouldn’t be an issue either. The only issue should be their policy issues.

You of all people should agree with those statements. But you have this weird Rupert Pupkin-like fascination towards Abdul that is unbecoming, and clouds your judgement.

4. Abdul’s parents were never members of the Nation of Islam. Beware of the black helicopters 8:40AM.

The Repeal Point of View

I’ve asked Dave Bond of STOP IN to explain their effort to repeal property taxes, as well as bond debt:

Repeal:  The real dealProperty taxes are a feudal holdover from old Europe (barons, serfs, Bayou Tapestry, Battle of Hastiness, imperial crap), in diametric conflict with free market economics, due to the absence of any transactional standard.  There is no market value system other than the market itself.  Buyers and sellers are the only legitimate arbiters of value, which is a transactional reality (an actual sale) and not the guess work of any illegitimately imposed, non-risk bearing, disinterested party (government).

Municipal bonds are a debt instrument or funding mechanism, frequently used to collateralize public development or expansion projects, like sewers, libraries, schools, etc.  Indiana law has established caps on the amount of bond indebtedness, to protect tax payers from an undue burden.  However, niche law, banking and development, routinely work around these protections; by creating essentially fictional but related entities (school building corporations, etc.), engaged in funky lease arrangements to elude the spirit and purpose of these caps (law).  In Marion County for example, an estimated 10% of the bond debt is leveraged directly against the cap, while 90% is lease related.  Ain’t that some shift !?!  It’s bull shift if you ask me.

It’s also useful to do a search of: Indiana bond debt limit, case law and you’ll find several articles that illuminate the problem.

Please Pay Here

You work at Burger King. It’s pay day Friday. Every two weeks, you earn $500. This BK pays in CASH. No withholding! That doesn’t mean you won’t be paying taxes. As you exit the building, there is a small booth where the IRS will look over your Cash, and take what it needs. Luckily, they have a fancy formula so you won’t get screwed more then the other BK Lounge workers. They need $100 from your pay. Now they hand you back your money, all $400 of it.

If this is how we paid taxes in America, there would be a revolt. But lucky for us, our politicians gave themselves the gift of Whithholding. You can learn more about withholding here: http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj14n3-1.html

Pay attention to that pay stub! And make sure your W-4s are in order!

For All My Tax-Protestor Friends

This was passed along to my by my good friend Dave Bond… Check it out:

Dear Fellow Hoosiers:

It’s time again, to rally and converge upon the Senate Rules Committee, scheduled to meet this Tuesday, in Room 431, to discuss SJR8 (link), at 5:30PM.  The word now is they’ll vote to KILL repeal by studying it to death, in a summer “study” committee.  If the committee moves forward with SJR8, as they KNOW citizens want them to do, they’ll have four years (!!!) to study repeal and adopt one of several, viable replacement plans.  If that’s the case (and we hope it’s not), how out of touch can these folks be?

The first major ramp in property taxes (100 / 300 / 500%+) was nearly five years ago (yeah, it was 2003), during which time, an entire class of college freshman has graduated and some have earned graduate degrees.  More time to study…?  If these folks need more time to study it’s time for them to drop out, just go, and get an early start on a summer committee of their recreational choice.  Thanks, but we can’t take any more of that style of public “service.”

Abdul is reporting that the Senate Republican Caucus voted 2-to-1 last Thursday (by a process CLOSED TO CITIZENS), against moving SJR8 to the Senate floor for an open vote.  This latest misstep by Republicans is reminiscent of last year’s, pre-election city council meetings in Indianapolis, where citizens were shut out- this citizen shutout is no different!

Committee members who deny citizens the right, to an open discussion and vote on the floor of the Senate, should be unelected in May or November.  Members of the Rules Committee and other legislators, have openly acknowledged, that SJR8 would pass, if brought to the Senate floor for a vote.  So, what does it mean if they choose to kill SJR8 by any means?  Let’s see, Senators, who routinely face election challenges, shrinking violets that they are, would vote for SJR8, because they’re afraid not to, or, could it be they know, that it’s what their CONSTITUENTS WANT THEM TO DO?  Hint:  Constituent is another word for employer.

We may well have a crop of legislators who are tired and don’t care about reelection.  But why should that become the citizens’ problem?  Indiana needs bold, proactive leadership; not mediocrity, by default of a limited range of special interest reflexes.  Indiana can rather than follow, but that will take leadership.

Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, is the champion of an elimination plan in his state’s legislature: http://www.thegreatplanforgeorgia.com, developed in consultation with Economist Arthur Laffer.  Some have suggested that because other states haven’t eliminated property taxes, that it can’t be done; never bothering themselves, to exercise a calculator and demonstrate their vast knowledge of “can’t.”  Several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Washington, Oregon and Vermont, also have repeal efforts underway.  The day is coming when a citizen centered legislature will demonstrate that property taxes “can” be eliminated

Let’s meet Tuesday evening (1/22, 5:30, Room 431), to review the state of our representation.  Be sure to check the following link for any “last minute” updates: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?request=getCommitteeMeetings&chamber=S&year=2008

Indy Undercover’s Identity and Abdul

Sorry if this is too inside baseball for some. If you aren’t sure what’s up, check out Advance Indiana.

I am sitting here reading all of the blogging going on about the demise of Indy Undercover and Abdul’s involvement. To be honest, a lot of the stuff I am reading in the posts or the comments are so dumb. It’s like watching an episode of The Hills, only the people in this show aren’t as good looking.

Abdul is probably not going to comment on it since there are important things going on, and he has some class. I have none.

Since I actually know the truth from Abdul’s perspective, I’ll fill all you gossip-loving blog readers in on the truth from this side of the mic:

I sit across from Abdul every morning, and he spends the entire show blogging. In the 8 months I’ve worked closely with Abdul, I have never seen him log in to Blogger. We’ve had conversations of the nature of IndyU, but Abdul has never once hinted that he is the author of, or affiliated with, Indy Undercover. If Abdul has influence or has accomplished something, I am usually the first person he brags to, lol.

Plus, I’ve met a couple people who have contributed to Indy Undercover in my travels. Any person who’s truly connected in local politics right now should have met a couple of contributors to Indy Undercover over the last few months.

Now, I am considered “Abdul’s sidekick” by most. I am not just someone who pushes buttons on the show anymore. He has put up with having someone inexperienced and nagging on trips to his “important” meetings and gatherings. I have earned the ability to do this over the last 8 months by gaining Abdul’s trust, and the trust of those he runs with. I am lucky enough to meet a lot of interesting people, and I am able to hear many interesting side conversations. I am smart enough to keep those to myself. If Abdul had told me, or hinted to me, that he was IndyU, I wouldn’t be posting this. (That’s a preemption for all the “Wilsons” out there that will just comment that Abdul wrote this post, lol. (Seriously Wilson, you need to get your own blog.))

A thought for the bloggers still writing about this:

We are discussing changing the government structure in Indiana. We are discussing changing the way we collect taxes. We are talking about amending the Constitution of the State of Indiana. We have a Governor that has radically changed Indiana in less then 4 years, and may still lose his seat. We are looking at a possible unseating of dozens of State Representatives and Senators. We are less then a month away from a new Mayor and City Council from taking control of Indianapolis, and no one knows if this team can pull it off. We have Julia Carson stepping down, and there are a dozen people on either side of the aisle wanting to run. A possible civil war in the Marion County Democratic Party. And if all of this isn’t enough, we have 20-some people running for President of the United States in both parties. It’s a political junkies dream year.

And we are all talking about a probably illegal search warrant concerning a blog that now no longer exists.

I’d honestly rather talk about The Hills.

I was IndyU?

A local blogger, the Scribe, has named me as a contributor to IndyU. Alas, no. I wish I were that connected. I am truly honored to be mentioned. I am just not that discreet. Trust me, If I had done something as effective as Indy Undercover, I’d be giving myself credit for it. That goes for some others I know, lol.

On Checks and Balances

One of the most wise elements of the American system is the concept of Checks and Balances. Most people only apply this theory to the three branches of government.

But let’s look at it through the paradigm of yesterday’s post:

(Please strip yourself of prejudicial thoughts on the words lobbyist and special interest.) Every person has a special interest. Every person in the United States is currently enjoying a benefit of the United States Government. And most likely a lobbyist, or a representative of a special interest, helped bring you this benefit of the collective passing of the hat. One man’s special interest is another man’s pork barrel spending.

Lobbying is a lucrative business for corporations, guilds, unions, and lawyers. Sometimes, a lot of times, the people get saddled with A LOT of stuff they don’t need to be paying for.

But can you blame a business or person for protecting their interest? Can you blame blame a person or business for trying to get as much “free money” as they can to further their cause? Maybe, Maybe not. You’d probably do the same. You probably benefit in some way from this cycle of grants, loans, and pork barrel spending.

So what benefits do you take away from the Government? What are your special interests? Global Warming? AIDS? Abortion? Gay Marrige? Student Loans? Please comment.

So this brings us to checks and balances. How do the citizenry protect themselves from being forced to pay for other people’s special interest?

PAY ATTENTION! You are the checks and the balance to special interest and the politicians they love.

Start at the smallest level of government. Go to City-Council meetings. Watch Channel 16. Call your local politicians. Figure out the basics of your local city or town. Then move up to the General Assembly and Governor. Then move on the the Senate and Congress.

It’s complicated. It shouldn’t be that way. It should be easy. But it isn’t. They’ve done it to keep the average person from figuring out the scams. But if you ask questions, and if you get to know your representative, you can make a difference.