Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Message from the President and First Lady

Judge Says Vop Osili Should Be Secretary of State

Just in time for the holidays, the long-delayed case of Secretary of State Charlie White has heated up. Marion County Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled late Thursday that White was ineligible to be on the 2010 ballot, and that Democrat runner-up Vop Osili should, in accordance with state law, instead be declared the winner. The Indiana Attorney General's Office immediately indicated that it would appeal the judgement to the Indiana Supreme Court, and this earned a stay on his ruling by Judge Rosenberg's ruling until this Thursday when a hearing will be held.

Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, White will still face a criminal trial in Hamilton County on seven felony counts of voter fraud, perjury and theft. Read about the ruling here and the stay here.

To heighten the drama, someone has posted anti-Semitic remarks about Judge Rosenberg on White's father's Facebook page, which you can read about here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Iraq War Officially Ends

In his weekly address, President Obama expresses gratitude for the historic achievements of the brave men and women who have served in the war in Iraq -- and welcomes our troops home as we mark the official end to the war.



And here is the President and First Lady welcoming the troops home at Fort Bragg.



Promise kept.

Governor Backs Right to Work Legislation

Governor Mitch Daniels has made it official--he's backing right to work legislation in the upcoming session. In this WLFI video clip objections are voiced by local union electrician Brent Green.

Gov. Daniels backs Right to Work bill: wlfi.com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What to Do With Budget Surplus: Refund or Restore?

After severe cuts to schools and local governments, state government is apparently rethinking the law it passed in the last session requiring the state to return any budget surplus over 10 percent of operating funds to citizens as a tax rebate. Given the slight rise in state revenues collected and the fortuitous discovery of $320 million in overlooked drawers of the state treasury, every Hoosier taxpayer is in line for a $50 windfall. But lawmakers are thinking there may be better things to do with that money--namely a partial restoration of funding for our state's struggling public schools. Both local Democrat Sheila Klinker and Republican Randy Truitt think that some reconsideration is in order and favor making education the chief beneficiary. Journal and Courier articles on reconsidering the refund are here and here.

Kids Go Christmas Shopping with Mayor Roswarski

Twenty kids got to go one a $100 Christmas shopping spree with Mayor Tony Roswarski in the eighth annual Shop with a Mayor program. Here is coverage from WLFI.

Shop With a Mayor provides Christmas to 20 kids: wlfi.com

Monday, December 12, 2011

Right to Work Townhall Illustrates Problems

At a townhall meeting on right-to-work a young carpenter recalled his early career as a time when he had "nothing to speak of." Then 11 years ago he joined the IBEW: "Now 11 years later, I've got a house ... a wife ... two kids ... I have health care, I have a pension. That's what the union has meant to me." And to a lot of workers, union and nonunion, the presence of unions has meant an opportunity to take off sick days, have health insurance, and even to own a home. Read more about this important discussion from the J&C here.

State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker Stepping Down

Dan Parker is stepping down as Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party after seven years in that role this coming Saturday. When Parker assumed the office, Mitch Daniels has just been elected governor, and there were concerns about whether the party could stay competitive, but Parker kept Democrats in the game. It is no accident that Indiana went blue for the first time in decades on Parker's watch. Tippecanoe County Party Chair Heather Maddox said of Parker, "I am extremely grateful for Dan's service and dedication in what I am know cannot be the easiest job. Politically, Dan and I are cut from a similar cloth so we related right away, though, as with anyone, there were a few times we didn't agree. Even in those times we remained dedicated to the cause, and our friendship and mutual respect remained solid. I wish him the best in his future endeavors." Here is the statement from the Party announcing Parker's resignation, and here is coverage by the Indy Star.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Appeasement

A reporter at a recent news conference asked President Obama what he thought about the charge by some Republican opponents that he has engaged in a policy of "appeasement" toward terrorists. That question was answered. Definitively.

Occupy Movement Surfaces at Purdue

There was a demonstration by the Occupy Purdue group outside of Mackey Arena on Saturday afternoon, timed to expose fans streaming in for the 4 p.m. game to the questions raised by Occupy. According to the Journal and Courier, about 50 people participated, but the Occupy Purdue Facebook group has 175 members. Read more here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Important Speeches in One Day

Yesterday two important speeches were given by the Democratic leaders of the country. You can view them both below.

One, President Obama, delivering remarks in Osawatomie, Kansas said, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what's at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. This alignment with the middle of America will likely become the theme of the President's 2012 campaign.



Two, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to a UN human rights commission in Geneva and presented a new American human rights position to the world: "Gay rights are human rights." It will be the policy of the United States to punish nations who abuse their gay citizens and to help countries to overcome their prejudices. Here's Secretary Clinton:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Daniels Administration Finds $300 Million in the Couch

Today Governor Daniels announced that $300 million in collected taxes never made it into the state's general fund and, consequently, was never accounted for in the state budget. Republican Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Luke Kenley, normally a bulldog on matters fiscal, says he hasn't thought about how the money was misplaced: “I was so glad to see the money I guess I haven’t worried about that part much." Democratic Senator Vi Simpson gets it right: “This wasn’t just an accounting error. Children got hurt by this, families have suffered. And it all could have been avoided.” In a sad coincidence, $300 million is the amount public schools have been cut in the past two years. Read more from the Washington Post here.

Holidays Light Up Downtown

Here is video of Lafayette's kickoff of the holiday season with the premiere of the holiday lights.

Annual lighting ceremony at Riehle Plaza a warm success: wlfi.com

Monday, December 5, 2011

Union Leader Reminds Governor of His Earlier Oppostion to Right to Work

Brian Buhle, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 135 and international vice president, recalls that Governor Daniels was not a fan of right to work in 2008 at an appreciation dinner for union stewards: "You stated that you were not in favor of right-to-work legislation. You stated you did not want to tip the balance of power between labor and business. You were comfortable with the labor laws currently on the books and that tipping the balance would be unfair to the hardworking men and women of the labor movement." Now, he says union members "can't help but feel betrayed." Read Buhle's complete op-ed in the Journal Courier here.

Right to Work Townhall Meeting

On December 11 there will be a townhall-style meeting on the dangers of right-to-work legislation, which is at the top of the priority list for the Governor and the Republican leaders in the Indiana House and Senate. Please plan to attend to become better acquainted with this issue because it will be a hot one! For more information, see the program flier here.

Team Lafayette Sworn In

Last Thursday Mayor Roswarski, Clerk Cindy Murray, and the Lafayette City Council were sworn in during a low-key ceremony in City Hall.  Video from Channel 18 is below.

Lafayette Council, Mayor sworn in: wlfi.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Outgoing Lafayette Superintendent Speaks Out on School Reform

In his last school board meeting before his retirement, Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Ed Eiler provided a detailed critique of the reforms that have been visited upon Indiana schools in the last few years.  Eiler is one of the plaintiffs of a lawsuit seeking to halt the Indiana school voucher program implemented this year.  "Education is a very complex system. A whole lot more complex than machines, and we didn't tweak the system. We didn't make just one major change, but multiple major changes with absolutely no idea whatsoever of the impact these changes are going to have on our education system," Eiler said.  You can read more about Eiler's presentation here and in this profile by the J&C's Dave Bangert.

House Speaker Runs TV Ads for Right to Work

Republican Speaker of the House Brian Bosma is sponsoring a 30-second TV ad promoting the anti-union "right to work" legislation that he and Governor Daniels will make the centerpiece of their legislative agenda for the upcoming session.  It is highly unusual for a speaker to be running ads, especially this far out from the session.  Bosma said the ads are to create "awareness for the issue. . . . I believe this is something critical that has to happen for Hoosier families and for our economy. We want people to know about it."  Democratic party chair Dan Parker offers another view: "It sounds to me like (Bosma) has to drum up support for an issue that doesn't have any.We don't need to, because we have support for our position already."  This is going to be a real fight.  Read more from the Indy Star here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Hoping you all enjoy the holiday. Here is President Obama's Thanksgiving message.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Impact of Automatic Spending Cuts on Indiana

Thanks to unwavering intransigence by Republicans, the Super Committee charged with reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion failed and automatic spending cuts will begin in 2013. What will their impact be on Indiana? Maureen Groppe of Gannett writes that local and state funding for transportation will decline 14 percent, and for education anticipate 19 percent cuts. Medicare reimbursements for Indiana hospitals will be cut $927 million. Defense cuts will likely cost Indiana $783.5 million in 2013, as well as a projected 13,273 jobs. Read more about the impact here.

Let's do everything we can to reward the Party of No in 2012 as they have rewarded our state!

Protests Start at Capitol Over Right to Work

As legislators gathered at the statehouse for Organization Day, where the agenda for the upcoming legislative session is set, union members and supporters gathered to protest the "right to work" legislation that Republicans are placing high on their agenda. In the video below local Republican representative Tim Brown says, "It is a jobs bill. . . . we're here to talk about putting people back to work," and Randy Truitt says, "It's about personal freedom. It's about America."  Democrat Sheila Klinker has heard it all before: "We've addressed this issue many times, over a period of time. I mean, it's not a new concept. It's not a new discussion."

You may recall that Republicans tried to push "right to work" through in the last session, but in the light of the Demcrats walkout, the Governor backed away from it.  This year several states are considering it, and Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right To Work Committee, says Indiana is "probably our highest priority . . . [because] they've got the votes there to do it." House Speaker Brian Bosma wants to get it done early in the session so that protests don't disrupt the Super Bowl (first things first).  Read more about the coming battle royal here.
 

Organization Day peppered with protests: wlfi.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mark Halperin Breaks Down 2012 at Purdue

Last week Time magazine and MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin broke down the 2102 presidential election.  He thinks President Obama is the favorite today and notes that the Obama team is very confident of the President's chances.  He thinks Romney is the likely Republican nominee, and that a race between him and the President would be close. 

Here is a link to the the Exponent story and here is some video footage.

"Right-to-Work" Protested in Lafayette

Lafayette union members and representatives of the Indiana Rebuild the American Dream Coalition demonstrated against so-called "right-to-work" legislation that the Governor and Republican legislators are planning to introduce during this year's session. Last year similar legislation caused union members to pack a Statehouse hearing on the matter, and the legislation was only derailed by the Democrats depriving the House of a quorum. "Right-to-Work" has been adopted in 20 states and, says Sheila Rosenthal of the American Dream Coalition, wages for all workers, union and nonunion, declined in those states.  Mike Bennett, president of the UAW Local 2317 in Lafayette, said the legislation would allow some workers to receive the positive effects of union negotiations while not having to pay for those benefits.  Read more about the protest from the J&C here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bullet Dodged: No Concealed Weapons at Purdue

With the country's economy floundering and unemployment at more than nine percent, House Republicans addressed the pressing problem of permitted carriers of concealed weapons not being able to legally go adequately armed into every state of the Union. The House voted 272 to 154 to correct the situation.  There are no plans to consider the bill in the Senate, so the House can get on with fixing the economy and creating jobs.  Read more here.

Meanwhile, an almost identical piece of political theater played out this week in Purdue Student Government with Senator Zach Briggs proposing a resolution for a policy allowing Purdue students to carry concealed weapons. "The only people being hurt by [Purdue's no weapons] policy is Purdue students," argued Briggs.  It seems highly likely that most of the people who would be hurt by introducing concealed weapons to the campus would also be Purdue students, and the hurt would not be the metaphorical kind.  Happily the resolution was defeated 15 to 7. Read more about the Purdue gun debate here.

Gregg Visits Lafayette

John Gregg brought his mustache to Lafayette today, touring Purdue's Discovery Park and meeting with Democratic leaders and other supporters in the Downtowner restaurant.  He promised to "have some fun" in the race because Hoosiers are tired of  "doom-and-gloom politicians who take themselves too seriously and wear their pants too tight."  Shiela Klinker and Mayor Roswarski also praised Gregg's skills at actual bi-partisanship. Read the Journal and Courier's article on Gregg's visit here and listen to WBAA's more extensive profile here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Gregg's Mustache

Regarding his trademark mustache, gubernatorial candidate John Gregg says he'll be keeping it: "If I shave this off, people would say, 'What else is he going to change to be governor?' I'm not changing anything to be governor. I am what I am." Classic John Gregg. Ever the pragmatist, Gregg figures that Hoosiers have tired of partisan gridlock that prevents anything from getting done: "People are pretty scared. They're pretty fed up with all that fussin' and fightin'. I'm hoping that that will be a major distinction. That people will realize I don't have much of a reputation of being a fighter for fightin's sake. Nobody compromises on their principles, but we need to collaborate. We need to work together." Read more of Mary Beth Schneiders' profile of John Gregg here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Little Reminder

As the Governor and Republican legislators start talk about reviving anti-union "right to work" legislation in the next session, a little reminder may be in order.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gov. Sees No Connection Between Ohio Pro-Union Vote and Indiana

As Republicans gear up to push "right to work" legislation through the next session, Gov. Daniels says the massive rejection of Ohio's law blocking collective bargaining for public employees a.) relates only to the public sector and has nothing to do with "right to work" in the private sector and b.) was a result of massive spending, apparently not genuine voter sentiment. He expects to successfully resist such efforts with cool logic: “Calm reason and frankly the courage of one’s convictions would be the right way to respond to all the millions of dollars and likely intimidation tactics.” Read more here.

John Gregg's Campaign Kickoff

Gubernatorial candidate John Gregg officially launched his campaign this weekend with events at the War Memorial in Indianapolis and in his rural hometown of Sandborn, south of Terre Haute. He contrasted the way political business is done today to how it was done when he was Speaker of the Indiana House: "We didn't act like the fate of the western hemisphere hung on every decision we made. We just did what was right and just tried to get things done. We had a big table, and everybody had a seat at the table. That's not the way things are working in government anymore."  He also observed that Republican candidate Mike Pence had contemplated a presidential run before deciding to run for governor. "The job of governor is too important to be a weigh station or a place-holding job," he asserted to loud applause.  Here is the AP coverage of his announcements and below is video coverage from a Terre Haute station. 

Gregg kicks off gubernatorial run: wthitv.com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kickoff for Gregg Campaign for Governor

Please join us this Saturday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the North Steps of the War Memorial, 431 E Meridian St, Indianapolis, as the next Governor of Indiana, John Gregg, makes his formal announcement of his gubernatorial bid!   Then later join us at Loughmiller's Pub and Eatery from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. for a campaign kick off fundraiser.  Contribution levels are $25/Individual, $50/friend,  and $100/supporter.   If you can't make this one, we have plans to get John up here soon!

Heather Maddox

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Good Day for Democrats

Lafayette's Mayor Tony Roswarski wins 79 percent of the vote on a ballot he had to fight to be on.  The Lafayette City Council loses just one seat to a Republican, but remains Democratic by an 8 to 1 margin.  All Lafayette's at-large seats, targeted by Republicans, remain in Democratic hands.  West Lafayette City Council holds its Democratic majority, and though Democrat John Polles is unable to defeat a popular and noncontroversial Republican incumbent John Dennis for WL mayor, he runs a civil and thoughtful campaign that was generally admired; under the category of "promises fulfilled" the editors of the J&C write: "John Polles, Dennis' Democratic rival, promised a clean campaign. And he delivered."

Nearby Democrats are elected as mayor in Delphi and Monticello.  Around the state, Fort Wayne's Democratic incumbent mayor is re-elected.  Muncie has its first Democratic mayor in 20 years. South Bend elects 29-year-old Democrat Pete Buttagieg as mayor; the Rhodes scholar is a spectacular young talent who will be around for many more elections.  In Indianapolis Republican mayor Greg Ballard holds on against challenger Melina Kennedy, but the City Council goes Democratic.  In neighboring Kentucky a Democratic governor easily wins re-election, and in Ohio a nasty anti-labor law passed by Republican Governor John Kasich and a Republican legislature is defeated by a shocking 22 points; this vote holds promise for Democrats nationally in 2012.

Thanks to all the candidates, Republican and Democrat, winners and losers, who made the personal sacrifice to run for public office.  Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers without whom there could be no political campaigns.  Thanks to the volunteer election workers who gave up a day to perform a civic service.  And thanks to the 11,816 citizens who cared enough to vote.

Here's the J&C's coverage of the Lafayette City Council election, and West Lafayette coverage is hereHere's Dave Bangert's flattering post-election profile of Mayor Roswarski. . Here is the J&C editorial board's view of the general implications of the municipal elections, and their salute to those who fought to get on the ballot is here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where to Vote on Election Day

Lafayette

St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 1916 Meharry Street

Jenks Rest Senior Center, 1915 Scott Street

Lafayette City Hall, 20 N 6th Street

Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, 1404 Teal Road

Lafayette Fire Station #5, 750 N Creasy Lane

Brady Lane Church of Christ, 2701 Brady Lane

Evangelical Covenant Church, 3600 S 9th Street

The Outpost Catering, 2501 Old US Hwy 231 S


West Lafayette

Federated Church, 2400 Sycamore Lane

Calvary Baptist Church, 310 Kalberer Road

Covenant Presbyterian Church, 211 Knox Drive

Morton Community Center, 22 N Chauncey Ave

Purdue Memorial Union, 101 N Grant Street


Other Communities

Clarks Hill Christian Church, 9510 Pearl St, Clarks Hill

Dayton United Methodist, 7201 Wesleyan Dr, Dayton

Battle Ground Fire Station, 112 North St, Battle Ground


Don't forget your ID!

Need a ride? Call 765-210-0603

Sunday, November 6, 2011

WL Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions

Today the Journal and Courier published an extensive question-and-answer session with the two candidates for mayor of West Lafayette You can see it here.

Polles Questions Fire Station

Mayoral candidate John Polles has raised questions about the new fire station West Lafayette is building on Kalberer Road. He's questioning the cost ($2.5 million) and the fact that the primary contractor was not selected. He also questions why the project's development firm was not selected by a public bidding process. Read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Did Gov. Daniels Visit West Lafayette Five Days Before the Election?

Governor Mitch Daniels stopped by West Lafayette today, five days before the election, and said nice things about Mayor John Dennis. Mayor Dennis played down the importance of the visit, saying that it was only to encourage people to continue voting. Challenger John Polles sees it differently: "When I found out he was coming to town, of all the municipalities of Indiana they decided to come up here to West Lafayette, Indiana. You can read in to that what you wish, but to me it's encouraging news actually." Read more from WLFI here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lafayette Passes Reduced Budget

For the third year running, the Lafayette City Council has passed a budget that is lower than the previous one. Through the leadership of Mayor Roswarski, the 2012 budget is $18,000 lower than last year's, despite a 14 percent increase in health care costs. The cuts, according to the Mayor, will not seriously impact city services. In addition, city employees were awarded a 1.5 percent pay increase, something they have not experienced in several years. Congratulations to the Mayor and the Council for a job well done! Here is the Journal and Courier coverage of the new budget.

Interview with John Polles

Below is a full 17-minute interview with John Polles, Democratic candidate for mayor of West Lafayette. This is a great vehicle to learn what Polles is all about. Thanks to WLFI for posting this thoughtful interview.

Dennis and Polles face off for West Lafayette mayor: wlfi.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Turn Out for Early Voting

More than 1,000 local citizens have already cast their votes for the upcoming municipal elections. Read more from WLFI here.

Mayor and City Clerk Tour New Chatham Square Apartments

Last week Mayor Roswarski and City Clerk Cindy Murray toured the new Chatham Square apartment complex that is going up on the site of the former Bridgeway Apartments. Mayor Roswarski says Chatham Square represents a new dawn for the site, which was blighted and crime-ridden before the Bridgeway Apartments were demolished in 2009. The $18 million dollar project benefited from $1.5 million in city tax-increment financing money. The project is designed to fit in with the architectural style of the neighborhood. Rent is adjusted for tenants' income. Read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Challenges of Running for City Council in a Campus District

Using Democrat Eddie VanBogaert as his prime example, the J&C's Dave Bangert writes about the challenges of running for city council in a campus-based district where constituents have little knowledge of the issues and where only 110 votes were cast last year. Read more here.

Charlie White on Bayh Charges: "Never Mind"

“We’re not going to have anything else to say about the Bayhs. There’s no ax to grind there.” said Carl Brizzi, an attorney for Charlie White, who last week asked Prosecutor Terry Curry to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Bayhs.

Today Curry said no. “At this point based upon the allegations, yeah, it would be our position that the Bayhs did nothing wrong. If we were to undertake an investigation of every single person in Marion county who owned a property here in Marion County and a property somewhere else that’s the only thing we’d ever get done.”

Read more from WISH-TV here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lafayette's Entire Democratic Slate Attends Forum

All nine Democratic Lafayette City Council members, the Mayor, and City Clerk, as well as four Republican Council candidates participated in a forum at Bethany Presbyterian Church.  The J&C quotes Martha Allen on the event: "I think it's nice that they are willing to get out there and speak to the public and give us a look at who they are beyond just a name on the ballot."  Here is the J&C coverage of the event.

WL Mayoral Debate on Campus

Last night's mayoral debate focused on Purdue-related issues.  Here is WLFI coverage.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Questions and Answers with the Candidates

The Journal and Courier has published a question-and-answer series for the candidates in each municipal race. Here are the Q&A's.

For Lafayette City Council:

District 1 featuring Councilman Rick Cornstuble

District 2 featuring unopposed Councilman Ron Campbell

District 3 featuring unopposed Councilman Perry Brown

District 4 featuring Councilwoman Lauren Ahlersmeyer

District 5 featuring Councilwoman Melissa Weast-Williamson

District 6 featuring Councilman Bob Downing

At-Large Seats featuring Councilmen Lon Heide, Kevin Klinker, and Steve Meyer

For the mayor's office, unopposed Mayor Tony Roswarski answers questions here, and unopposed City Clerk Cindy Murray answers questions here.

For West Lafayette 

Mayor featuring challenger John Polles

Clerk-Treasurer featuring unopposed Republican incumbent Judy Rhodes


District 1, featuring challenger Eddie VanBogaert

District 2, featuring unopposed Councilman Peter Bunder

District 3 featuring unopposed Councilwoman Ann Hunt

District 4 featuring challenger Diane Damico

District 5 featuring challenger Rod Forbes

At-Large Seats featuring Councilman Gerald Thomas

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jobs Rally Outside Rokita's Office

About 50 people demonstrated for action on jobs, and in favor of President Obama's jobs bill, outside the Lafayette office of Rep. Todd Rokita. Organizers of the rally included the Rebuild the American Dream coalition and the Occupy Lafayette movement. According to reporting in the Journal and Courier, the next Rebuild the American Dream Coalition meeting is October 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the West Lafayette Library. Both Occupy Lafayette and Occupy Purdue have Facebook groups. Read more here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guess Who's Charging Who with Vote Fraud

Talk about throwing stones in your glass house: Charlie White, Indiana's Secretary of State, who is awaiting a criminal trial on vote fraud charges, is charging former Senator Evan Bayh and his wife Susan with vote fraud. He claims they they voted in May's Indianapolis municipal primary while primarily living in another state. White said, "I take no joy in filing this complaint,but the Democrats have opened themselves up for this and many future filings." Does that sound like fair and objective execution of the duties of his office, or a vendetta against a political party?

White says in a news release that he filed the criminal complaint against the Bayhs to point out the discrepancy in the way that he and the Bayhs are being treated: "After the vicious attacks by the Democrats and those in local media that refuse to report the whole story, I have to defend myself, my wife and my children's future from . . . Indiana Democrats as they attempt to disenfranchise nearly 1 million Hoosiers who voted for me in 2010."

If White using the powers of his office to act out a political vendetta, then he has become our Richard Nixon. Today a J&C editorial asked why Charlie White is still occupying a state elected office. Good question.
Here is the Journal and Courier article.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wall Street Protest Comes to Indy

The anti-Wall Street movement that has inspired a three-week long demonstration in New York and similar demonstrations in other cities has now come to Indianapolis. About a thousand protesters gathered at Monument Circle on Saturday. The event was organized largely through Facebook, and a Facebook page called "Occupy Lafayette" has led to speculation that such a protest could occur here. You can read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Economic Development and the WL Mayoral Race

The Journal and Courier's Dave Bangert offers an analysis of the role economic development may play in West Lafayette's race for mayor. You can read it here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Judge Issues Injunction to Keep All Candidates on the Ballot

After a short hearing, Tippecanoe County Circuit Court Judge Don Daniel issued an injunction preventing the removal of the names of uncontested candidates from the ballot. Judge Daniel concluded that removing uncontested candidates cause irreparable damage, and that the public interest would be best served by granting the preliminary injunction. The suit that led to the injunction was brought by Mayor Roswarski, West Lafayette Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes and two voters. Judge Daniel will determine if new absentee ballots will be printed and mailed; 69 have already been submitted without the uncontested candidates. You can read more from WLFI here.

West Lafayette Mayoral Candidates Stage Second Debate

Below is WLFI's coverage of the second debate between the two candidates for mayor of West Lafayette, incumbent Republican John Dennis and Democratic challenger John Polles. You can see video of the entire debate here.

West Lafayette mayoral candidates face off in forum: wlfi.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gov. Bill Richardson Speaks at Purdue

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson will speak on The Challenges of U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in the 21st Century tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 5) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center. The event sponsored by Purdue Department of Political Science, and is free and open to the public. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Grant Street and Marstellar Street garages.

Governor Richardson will offer a perspective from his wide political experience on how common global concerns, which may may include migration patterns, global energy needs, and climate change, are affecting both international and US politics, and how the US can use its influence effectively in the UN and other global arenas. Bill Richardson has served as Governor of New Mexico, Energy Secretary, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Congressman. He has frequently acted as a global trouble-shooter -- in negotiations for release of Americans captured abroad, the easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula, and diplomacy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Glenda Cornstuble

Our sympathies go out to Councilman Rick Cornstuble for the loss of his wonderful wife, Glenda. She was a woman of accomplishment and kindness, a light to all who knew her.

Meet the Local Candidates

The League of Women Voters will host two Meet and Greet events for candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. The first will be tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 5) at Ivy Tech Community College from 6 to 8 p.m. This will feature the Lafayette candidates.

The second Meet and Greet will be Thursday, October 6 at Morton Center from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature the West Lafayette candidates.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

House Walkout Complaint Against Dems Dismissed

A complaint alleging campaign finance violations during the House Democrats' five-week walkout in the last legislative session has been unanimously dismissed by the state Election Commission. Last March an unnamed constituent of Rep. Greg Battles of Vincennes emailed a complaint alleging that Battles acceptance of a cost-of-living stipend from the Democratic Party constituted an in-kind campaign contribution. Legislators are prohibited from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions during the long budget session. Here is how the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette described the allegation:

The Indiana Democratic Party paid about $95,000 in Urbana expenses, according to its campaign finance report.

Some Republicans during the walkout said the state party’s payment of those expenses should be counted as an in-kind campaign contribution.

“(Battles) came across this money somehow. The question is did he solicit?” [Republican Commission Chair Chairman Dan] Dumezich said. “And unless the Indiana Democratic Party plans to give legislators a 1099 or W2 for the amount of money spent on vacation in Illinois, it had to come from somewhere.”

Democratic officials contend they financed a caucus – not campaign activity.

The complaint was dismissed on largely procedural grounds and will likely resurface in January when Democrats file campaign finance reports.
Read more from the Journal Gazette here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Democrat Dale Grubb Won't Seek Re-election

Rep. Dale Grubb of Covington will not seek re-election to his seat in House District 42 which covers all or portions of Warren, Vermillion, Vigo, Fountain and Parke counties. He had held the seat since 1988. He had a reputation as a legislator who could reach across the aisle. Sheila Klinker said of Grubb, "He was one in a million and he was a very sincere, honest man with a real desire to help people. We are going to miss his integrity and his care."

Here is coverage of his retirement from the J&C.

Indianapolis Mayoral Candidates Debate

Incumbent Republican mayor Greg Ballard and Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy held their first of four debates on Wednesday night. Jim Shella thinks Melina Kennedy put Ballerd on the defense came out ahead; read his analysis here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Suit Filed to Restore Full Ballot

Yesterday a lawsuit was filed to countermand the new law that prevents unopposed candidates from appearing on the ballot. In Tippecanoe County eight unopposed candidates in Lafayette and West Lafayette municipal races would be excluded from the ballot (county and state races are not covered by the law).

The suit was filed on behalf of filed suit on behalf of Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, West Lafayette Clerk-treasurer Judy Rhodes, Tippecanoe County Republican Party Chairman Bob Hicks, Tippecanoe County Democratic Chairwoman Heather Maddox and voters Mike Smith and Tracy Walder. The suit follows an unsuccessful petition of the county Election Board to include all candidates. "This is our only remedy left to try to get it corrected in time for our election, so the voters of Lafayette are not disenfranchised ... because of where they live," Mayor Roswarski said. Tippecanoe County Circuit Court Judge Don Daniels will set a date for the hearing.

Lake, Monroe, Allen and Wayne counties have already taken action to include all candidates on their ballots. Leaders in both state legislative branches have said they will seek repeal of the law in the next session, but that will occur long after the November election.

Local voter Mike Smith, a party to the suit, asks a fundamental question about the law: "How can someone be elected if they are not on the ballot?"

Read more from the Journal and Courier here and from WLFI here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Republican Leaders Vow to Roll Back Ballot Law in the Next Session

The Republican leaders of the Indiana House and Senate both concede that the law is a poor one (which begs the question of why they let it become law). Senate President Pro Tem David Long told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette “I think names ought to be on the ballot whether or not you have an opponent, period. People ought to know who they are electing. The intention (to save money) was good, but voting is a fundamental responsibility. It goes to the heart of our republic.”

Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said, "We need a historical record of elections. It’ll be on my list of things to remedy next year.” (That would be after this November's elections.) He admitted the provision "slipped by people; it certainly did me. It was tucked in a big bill." Oops. Is it appropriate to suggest that legislative leaders were asleep at the wheel on this one?

Read more from the Journal Gazette here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elections Board Opts Not to Vote on Ballot Banishment of the Unopposed

The county Elections Board blinked today and didn't bring a vote on a proposal to include all candidates on county ballots, ignoring a law passed by the last legislature apparently preventing unopposed candidates from appearing on the ballot. Evidently the proposal could not find a second, so no vote was held.

Mayor Roswarski is not giving up resisting the law: "I think it's one of those things that's so egregious that you stand up and you do what you think is right." Which in this case means filing to seek an injunction with Tippecanoe County Circuit Court for a ballot that includes all eight unopposed candidates. The mayor expects to file by Friday. Read more about the Mayor's plans here.

In the meantime Rep. Randy Truitt indicated to WLFI that those who voted for the provision in an election reform bill weren't fully aware of all the bill's provisions. (Is that really okay? Shouldn't legislators actually know what their voting for?) Truitt and Sheila Klinker both expect the provision to be removed from Indiana law in the next session. WLFI's coverage is below.

Lawmakers likely to address new ballot law: wlfi.com


Back at the paper, Dave Bangert writes a wonderfully angry column about the confusion that will ensue among voters and the Election Board's unwillingness to act:
The new law, they said, is the new law. No matter how off the mark it is. No matter how it tosses another bucket of sand on a fizzling fire of reasons for voters to care. No matter how such a fundamental change to our elections passed the General Assembly with barely a mention, let alone a debate. No matter how many legislators said they screwed up and planned to fix the surprising rule next year. No matter how many other counties -- four so far -- have decided the law is too vague to trump an Indiana Constitution that demands "all elections by the people shall be by ballot." No matter how a judge in Wayne County scoffed at the provision and told the election board there: All skate.
Read Bangert's entire column here.

You get the impression this one is a long way from over.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Today was the day that ended the policy called "don't ask, don't tell," which for nearly twenty years allowed gays to serve their country in the armed services only if they concealed their true nature. About 14,000 gay and lesbian Americans were removed from the service under the provisions of the rule.

Today that is finished. In a statement President Obama said, "As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. . . . Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals."

Today was a good day, like any day in which freedom is enlarged, human dignity is affirmed, and justice is enacted.

You can read the President's entire statement at the Huffington Post here.

New Scanning Technology Will Speed Voting Lines

Tippecanoe County's Board of Elections has announced the addition of some new scanning technology that will help speed voting and reduce waits.  Here is WLFI coverage.

New technology will make voting easier: wlfi.com

Sunday, September 18, 2011

J&C Editors Support "Sidestep" on Ballot Law

The editorial board of the Journal and Courier has come out strongly in favor of Tippecanoe County Democratic chair Heather Maddox's request to the county election board to, as the editorial puts it, "sidestep a misguided state law that nixes the names of unopposed candidates on ballot."  And it supports her appeal to her Republican counterpart, county chair Bob Hicks, to join her: "If Bob Hicks, Republican Party chairman in Tippecanoe County, doesn't sign on to this effort, voters will have a right to ask: Why not?"

The editors call this a "no-brainer" for the election board:
"At least four other counties - Allen, Monroe, Wayne and Lake - are putting all candidates' names on the Nov. 8 ballot. In Wayne County, a judge found what election boards in the other counties figured out: The new law is ambiguous at best, despite state election officials' insistence that it constitutes a mandate. Tippecanoe County should be on that leading edge of telling the state just how off base it is this time."
You can read the entire editorial here.

Analysis of Polles vs Dennis

J&C columnist Dave Bangert offers an in-depth analysis of the challenges facing Democrat John Polles in running against Republican incumbent mayor John Dennis.  Bangert quotes Polles' own assessment of his situation:

"He almost seems to me by design or by happenstance to be completely noncontroversial, above the fray. And he's a really nice guy. People say, 'No controversy. The city's running just fine.' And that's the issue: I don't think the city is running just fine. I think part of that is that the administration isn't engaged. You avoid controversy by not being involved."
 Or, as Bangert puts it, the incumbent mayor "has been particularly good, on heated issues, at leaving vapor trails that tend to fade."

You can read Bangert's entire column here.  Kudos to the Journal and Courier for assigning Dave Bangert to write in-depth on local issues.  We look forward to his reporting.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Indiana 48th in Voter Turnout

This piece appeared in the Journal Courier today:

INDIANAPOLIS - A new study of civic health finds Indiana ranked 48th among the states in 2010 voter turnout.

The Indiana Civic Health Index says the turnout rate in last year's midterm election was 39.4 percent, 6 percentage points lower than the national average. The study measured midterm election turnout as one gauge of civic health.

The study released Wednesday found Indiana's voter registration rate was 43rd, at 61.2 percent. That compares with a national voter registration rate of 65.1 percent.

This is probably no accident.  Republicans have installed some of the country's most restrictive voting laws designed to discourage certain voters who tend to vote Democratic--when they're allowed to.

Democrats need to approach these statistics as a challenge to turn out the vote!

Lively Debate Between WL Mayoral Candidates

Last night's debate between Republican incumbent mayor John Dennis and Democratic contender John Polles was a lively one, with Polles challenging Mayor Dennis on such issues as lack of mayoral involvement in the Wang Hall controversy and filling the space left by Borders in Wabash Landing. Polles also criticized the way money has been taken out of dedicated city accounts to meet operational costs, such as funds from the redevelopment commission being used to purchase city vehicles. You can read more about the debate from the J&C here. Sadly, there was no audio or video recording of the event itself, but the J&C did offer a running commentary which is available with the story on its website.

Monday, September 12, 2011

West Lafayette Mayoral Forum

Don't miss the West Lafayette Mayoral Forum sponsored by WALLA and the Greater Lafayette League of Women Voters, this Wednesday, September 14, at Morton Community Center, 222 N Chauncey Ave, West Lafayette, in the Multi-Purpose room. It will begin at 7 p.m. The forum will feature Republican Mayor John Dennis and Democratic Mayoral Candidate John Polles and will be moderated by Jeff Smith, news anchor/director of WLFI-TV 18. Questions will be submitted by the audience to a joint panel. These two groups are known for putting on an excellent, informative, forum-you won't want to miss it!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

On this tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States we look to our elected leaders for solace, direction, and inspiration.

President Obama marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and pays tribute to the first responders, those serving our nation in the military, and those who lost their lives on that tragic day.



President Obama reads Psalm 46 at the Ground Zero ceremony in New York this morning.



Vice President Biden speaks at Pentagon memorial



Vice President Biden honors the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.



President Obama speaks on American resiliency at "A Concert for Hope" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 9, 2011

President's Address to Congress on Jobs

In case you missed it last night, here is President Obama's address presenting the American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

President's Labor Day Address

Here is President Obama's Labor Day speech at a GM plant in Detroit in front of a union-friendly crowd. This is what he said about the contributions of organized labor:
"I also want to talk about the work you’ve been doing for decades: Work to make sure that folks get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Work to make sure that families get a fair shake. The work you've done that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. I’m talking about the work that got us a 40-hour workweek and weekends, and paid leave and pensions, and the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare -- the cornerstones of middle-class security. That's because of your work. If you want to know who helped lay these cornerstones of an American middle class you just have to look for the union label. That’s the bedrock this country is built on."
It's good to see the President Obama in full campaign mode, sounding very much like Candidate Obama.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

In a year when labor's rights to collective bargaining are being challenged across the nation and right here in Indiana, let's be sure to celebrate this Labor Day in its true spirit: honoring the men and women who are the backbone of this country. In Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana we have seen that challenges to workers rights have served as a wake up call to all of us and a rallying point for the upcoming elections cycle. Labor, and its unions, have created the middle class in America, and we must vote,and encourage others to vote, to ensure that the interests of workers remain foremost for this country.

You can read the J&C's coverage of the picnic here. Below is Channel 18's coverage of the annual Labor Day picnic in Columbian Park.

Union workers have Labor Day picnic: wlfi.com

Presdient's Weekly Address, 9/3/2011

President Obama calls on Congress to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep America moving and avoid costing nearly one million workers their jobs.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Bearded Guy in the Tie-Dye Wants to Be Your Governor

The latest potential gubernatorial candidate, Rupert Boneham, says that the current field of candidates doesn't understand the problems average Hoosiers face.  And what is his source of insight into average Hoosiers?  Well, he's been a contestant on Survivor.  Not just any contestant, mind you: he was voted fan favorite in 2004's "Survivor: All-Stars," also demonstrating his electability.  A Libertarian, Boneham did donate a significant portion of his Survivor winnings to create Rupert's Kids, a charitable foundation that provides mentoring and job-training to youths.

Indiana Democratic Chair Dan  Parker welcomes Boneham's candidacy: "It'll be nice to have someone else on the campaign trail who spends all his time in Indiana, not in Washington, D.C."

If the major candidates decide it would be advantageous to have Boneham share the stage with them, perhaps he could negotiate a debate conducted in tie-dyes.  That would be a debate Mike Pence couldn't possibly win.

Here's the AP story on Boneham's candidacy.  And here's his campaign website   

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

State Board of Education Approves Takeover of Four Indiana Schools

Indiana's state Board of Education has unanimously approved a plan presented by the Tony Bennett-led Department of Education by which the administration of Indianapolis four schools will be taken over by the state.  These include Manual, Arlington, and Howe high schools and Emma Donnan Middle School. Two other high schools would receive help from consulting firms. Indiana law allows the state to take over schools after six years of academic probation.

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White objected that the state has based its analysis based only on one grade and argued that four of the six schools had actually improved over the last six years.  To give you a flavor of the dialogue, the following was reported by the NPR-affiliated StateImpact:
“And I really resent the fact that people can sit there and pretend that we’ve done nothing to make an effort.  We’ve made tremendous efforts and respectively, I want those particular efforts recognized."State superintendent Tony Bennett says the time for such complaints has long been over: “Well, very bluntly, Dr. White’s had two years to talk about fair shakes and share transparent information.  So to come to the board today and say, ‘I’m not getting a fair shake,’ is disingenuous.
Bennett defended the takeover to the Huffington Post: "We are talking about seven of the worst schools in the state of Indiana. These schools have not served children, and it is imperative that the state step in. The answer to meeting accountability metrics is to educate your way above the accountability metrics -- not to litigate your way out of it."  (Can there be any doubt that if this plan were being implemented by Democrats that Republicans would condemn it as a "big government takeover of local schools"?)

Last week the Indianapolis school board voted 4-3 to sue the state if the takeover is approved. Read the Huffington Post coverage here.

In addition the state will take over Roosevelt Career and Technical Academy in Gary; read more about that here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mayor Supports Coleman Cable Abatement: "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs"

Mayor Tony Roswarski spoke in favor of a tax abatement being requested by Coleman Cable at a meeting of the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission, which unanimously recommended that the City Council pass.  The plant's expansion will create about 25 new jobs, and, as the Mayor observed, "it's about jobs, jobs, jobs."  The mayor continued "We are very excited about this project and what it means for Lafayette's workforce, and also for the future of Coleman Cable in our community." Read more here.

Sheila Klinker Will Propose Bill to Allow Unopposed Back onto Ballots

Rep. Sheila Klinker wrote an op-ed for the Journal and Courier praising the paper's editorial stance in opposition to the law preventing unopposed candidates from appearing on ballots. Klinker reveals that cost savings on paper ballots were the stated rationale for the bill. She notes that every Democrat in both houses voted against this provision. And she reveals her plan to introduce a bill to counteract the ban on unopposed candidates:
"I plan to sponsor a bill to change this provision when the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes. I invite my Republican colleagues to join me in changing the law so that all candidates are listed on the ballot to enable every voter the right to voice an opinion on who will represent them in government."
Read her entire editorial here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CitiBus Energy Initiatives Praised at Turbine Dedication

Sen. Richard Lugar was inspired by the three 150-foot wind turbines that are helping to power CitiBus's operations in Greater Lafayette. "This is not just an experiment, but a reality. It's not just rhetoric, but action," said the senior senator. The turbines, coupled with CitiBus's pioneering use of hybrid buses make it one of the state's most innovative public transportation system. In addition to Sen. Lugar, the dedication also featured Mayor John Dennis of West Lafayette and Lafayette Councilman at large, Ron Campbell. Read more about the dedication of the Citibus wind turbines. here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

West Lafayette Mayoral Forum

The League of Women Voters and the Wabash Area Lifelong Learning Association (WALLA) will host a forum featuring the two candidates of mayor in West Lafayette, Republican incumbent John Dennis and Democratic challenger John Polles. The forum will be on September 14. Click here for details on the event.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

News Sentinel Editorial Opposes Removal of Unopposed from Ballot

The Fort Wayne News Sentinel has taken an editorial stance opposing the new law that removes unopposed candidates from the ballot. And they quote Heather Maddox in doing so:
One possible effect of the new law is that it “is going to cause a lot of confusion for voters” and puzzle them to the point that turnout might be affected, says Heather Maddox, chairwoman of the Tippecanoe Democratic Party.

Maddox and a lot of other people – including the election officials who have to deal with this change – are more than a little annoyed with the General Assembly for not keeping them abreast of the situation. They should be – they're the ones who will have to answer all those questions from surprised voters.

It goes on to cite the rationale presented by the bill's sponsor Rep. Kathy Richardson, R-Noblesville: “to cut costs and create more efficient ballots.” News Sentinel editors scoff: "Really? The only costs that might be saved – and not that much in savings – would seem to be in places that still use paper ballots, and then only if there are enough uncontested races to reduce the ballots by at least a page."

The editors conclude that legislators must address problems but that it is also important "to know when something is working and to simply leave things alone. This may not be the dumbest piece of legislation to come out of the General Assembly last session, but it will do until the real thing comes along."

Read the whole editorial here.

TSC Teachers Get a Contract--Finally

Tippecanoe School Corporation teachers and the corporation school board have voted on a contract for the county system's teachers, who have been working without a contract for two years. Though accepted almost unanimously by teachers, the contract appears to reflect the current difficult situation of Indiana public schools. It is the first contract negotiated under the new rules of the road established by Senate Enrolled Act 575, which limits negotiations for teachers to issues of compensation, effectively removing such issues as class size from contract negotiations. "It's very much more of a streamlined process due to the limited scope," said TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback.

Don Thompson, UniServ director for the Indiana State Teachers Association, noted that many issues, such as the number of days worked or RIF procedures, will now have to be worked out in other contexts, and perhaps lawsuits: "There are going to be a whole lot of issues we used to have resolved which now may not be resolved and will be put into question again. That means we may have to revisit issues that might have been contentious 20 years ago."

Read more on the contract and negotiations from the J&C here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011-12 School Year Starts with Vouchers in Place

The start of school this year is the first time in which the Republican voucher program has been draining tax payer dollars away from public schools into religious and other private schools. Democrats and educators sought an injunction against the law arguing that it undermines public schools and illegally supports religious institutions. Their injunction was rejected by Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele, who wrote that the law is "religion-neutral and was enacted 'for the benefits of students', not religious institutions or activities." The J&C reports that 57 students in Tippecanoe County have left public schools in favor of religious ones. All but six of the 247 schools that are participating in the voucher program statewide this year are religious. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with religious education, but is shifting tax dollars away from public schools to support it the best way to advance education in Indiana? Read more about the voucher program here.

Outfest Celebrates Lafayette Diversity

The fourth annual Outfest celebration last weekend was a testament to diversity and acceptance in our community. About 6,000 attended a wide variety of events designed to to raise awareness of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community in an atmosphere of fun and sharing. Tippecanoe Democrats participated with a table setup, and, chairperson Heather Maddox spoke briefly. You can read more about Outfest here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

President's Weekly Address, 8/20/11

From a farm in the Midwest, President Obama talks about the determination and integrity of the American people and calls on Congress to put aside their differences to grow the economy.

J&C Editorial Says Ballot Should Include Unopposed

The editors of the Journal and Courier voiced their opinion that unopposed candidates should continue to appear on election ballots. They ask the obvious question raised by the law: "How can a mayor -- say, Lafayette's Tony Roswarski -- be re-elected if he receives no votes? Shouldn't he at least have to face the voters?" They observe that the percentage of votes cast that an unopposed candidate receives says something significant about about the candidate's support. The editors suggest that if this is a cost saving measure, the state could find more effective means than leaving people off the ballot. You can read the entire op-ed here.

You can also see a J&C Rapid Response of local people on this issue here. County Party Chair Heather Maddox is quoted: "This is something that should be left up to local election boards to decide -- yet another case of a one-size-fits-all approach when there should not be one." Most of the opinions are in favor of including all candidates.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Law Keeps Unopposed Candidates Off the Ballot

Mayor Tony Roswarski and City Clerk Cindy Murray will not appear on the ballot this November--not because they've changed their minds about running for re-election, but because a new state law says that no election will be held for uncontested offices.  Somehow most everyone seems to have overlooked the passage of this law dring the last session.  Election officials fear that denying people the opportunity to vote for their favorite office holders will depress turnout.  Mayor Roswarski speculates on the WLFI video below, that some unopposed candidates will stop campaigning altogether. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

White's Criminal Trail Delayed, Again

Secretary of State Charlie White has won a second delay in his criminal trial on seven felony counts related to voter fraud. This time it's because he's added a new attorney to his team, Carl Brizzi. So how long can White keep on deferring the judicial process by adding or subtracting lawyers? State Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker considers White a "laughingstock" and said White should have resigned so his office's reputation wouldn't be tarnished: "All of this has impacted the functioning of his office because he has no credibility. The secretary of state's office is not going to be taken seriously until Charlie White is out of it." The trial is now scheduled to start January 30, which, as the Indy Star observes, "would be more than a year after White took office under a cloud of allegations of voter fraud, theft and perjury." Read more from the Star here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

President's Weekly Address, 8/13/2011

The President used his weekly address to turn up the heat on Congress to set partisanship aside, put country before party, and to do whatever we can to create jobs.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

French Lick Gathering

Indiana Democrats annual get-together in French Lick starts Thursday, August 26 and runs through Saturday, August 28. There are golf outings, a 5K run, caucus meetings, and lots of hanging out with Democrats. You can see a schedule of events here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lafayette Mayoral Campaign Makes USA Today

USA Today thought that Lafayette Republicans' decision not to run an opponent against Mayor Roswarski was significant enough to run it in their state news section. You can read the USA Today coverage here.