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