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:

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.