Saturday, November 12, 2011

Indy Star Decides Rupert is not a Candidate Worth Mentioning


Rupert Boneham
(image credit: rupertforgovernor.com)

The Indy Star's Mary Beth Schneider had an article in today's paper about a candidate for Indiana Governor.  It started of with a lengthy discussion about how this candidate refused to shave his trademark facial hair despite pressure to do so.

There was even a quote from the gubernatorial candidate defending his position, as Schneider puts it, as not just a personal, but a political statement.

"If I shave this off," (he) said, "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."

If I didn't know better, I'd swear this article was about Rupert Boneham.  It's not, though.  The article is about Democratic candidate John Gregg, who has decided to embrace his mustache as a trademark of his campaign, even including it in his new campaign logo.

In fact, the article conspicuously fails to mention that Rupert Boneham is even a candidate in the Indiana Governor's race.

Gregg's Campaign Logo
(image credit: greggforgovernor.com)
Mike Pence?  Check.  Jim Wallace? Check.  John Gregg?  Obviously, check.  Schenider even mentions Gregg's primary "competition," J. Robert Casko, who, according to the article, has only raised $206.

But Schneider fails to include Rupert's name in any way as a candidate for 2012 Governor.  Boneham's absence from the article is especially notable since Schneider spends a significant portion of her article discussing Gregg's unwillingness to get rid of his facial hair.  Boneham - whose candidacy has brought national and international news stories - also has trademark facial hair that he has stated he will not get rid of.
Both candidates have obviously received pressure to do so.

In most races, I don't get to wrapped up in the fact that Libertarian candidates get ignored in media articles.  Often, the Libertarian candidates are poorly funded and do little campaigning. When a Libertarian candidate steps outside of that typical circle, though, they are just as worthy of coverage as any other candidate.

This is especially the case with Rupert Boneham.  He is on the path to running a well-funded, high-profile campaign.  For the Star to already begin heading down the path of failing to mention him goes beyond normal oversight of a Libertarian.  It is simply poor and sloppy journalism.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

VOTE!

Yes, I stole this pic from the Indy Democrat blog.
Today is Election Day.  I hope you will take advantage of your right.

Of course, I'd like you to vote for the same people I do.  Mostly, though, I'd just like you to vote.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ed Coleman Again Attacked with Lies by Sandlin Campaign.


Councillor Ed Coleman
(one of his infamous new suits?)
 Jack Sandlin's at it again.  I wrote on Thursday about Jack's neagative mailers; one attacking Ed Coleman with lies about an "attack piece" that didn't exist, and another with Jack taking credit for 4 years worth of Council votes while having only been on the Council for 11 months.

(To be fair, the Marion County Libertarian Party did send a less-than-positive piece on Sandlin.  It was sent, however, after Sandlin claimed to be attacked.  The only pieces that I am aware of having been sent before Sandlin's claim are the incredibly positive pieces I showed in the blog.)

Now, there's another mailer floating around on Sandlin's behalf attacking Ed Coleman.  This one, paid for by the MCRCC, makes claims that Coleman illegally used campaign funds to buy fancy clothes, and fly to Vegas for a night at a casino.

(On a personal note, I don't know what Sandlin considers to be a "Wild" night in vegas.  Frankly, I don't think that a $108 hotel room bill qualifies.)

New ad attacking Coleman
The fact is that Coleman made a trip to Vegas to go to Freedom Fest, one of the largest Libertarian festivals in the country, to seek fundraising.  Considering that his networking there may have been a significant step towards his campaign receiving a $50,000 donation seems to make the trip very worth while.  And the $108 casino expense that Sandlin implies was gambling?  That was Coleman's hotel room.

Fellow blogger Paul Ogden covered this earlier today.  It appears he has been in touch with Coleman's campaign. Coleman's response, via Ogden's blog:

"Freedom Fest is a large gathering of enthusiastic libertarian individuals every year in Nevada. The campaign invested a small amount for Ed to make the trip, because we saw an opportunity to fundraiser and receive attention on a national level.


The investment paid off and eventually helped Ed raise over $60,000 for his campaign, allowing us to spread Ed’s message of Lower Taxes, Balanced Budgets, and Public Safety."

Coleman's response goes on to say that Ed has focused on his health this year, a focus that has lead to his losing almost fifty pounds.  That weight loss lead to Coleman's need for new suits, a need which campaign contributors recognized and specifically donated for.
 
So, for the second time in days I have to wonder why Jack Sandlin has to resort to lies in his attempts to defeat Ed Coleman.  As I said in my previous blog, Sandlin is obviously scared.
 
I guess I should just be clear.  An $1,100 trip for the purpose of raising more than $60,000 for your campaign is not the misuse of campaign funds, even if that trip happens to land you in Vegas.  Another $880 on suits after losing 50 pounds is not a misuse of campaign funds, especially when money was specifically donated to your campaign for that cause.  There was no "Wild night in Vegas." There was a fundraising trip just like candidates everywhere take part in.
 
Jack Sandlin and the Republicans are turning to lies in their negative mailers simply because there just isn't anything true to be said about Councillor Coleman that would piss anyone off.
 
And Jack Sandlin and the Republicans are turning to lies in their own Vote for Jack mailers simply because there isn't anything true to be said about Sandlin that would entice anyone to elect him.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sandlin Acting Scared on the South Side

If you haven't yet noticed, I hope you take a minute to turn your attention to a very interesting Council race that has been developing on the South Side.  Marion County's 24th district, located at the due-south side of town, along US 31 from I-465 to County Line, is shaping up as one of the more interesting races in this year's election.

Ed Coleman
The "battle of the mustaches" is between Libertarian Ed Coleman, currently an at-large councillor representing all of Marion County, and Republican Jack Sandlin, the current District 24 representative, appointed to fill the position last December after Mike Speedy left for his State House seat.  There is no Democrat running in the race. The word is, though, that Marion County Democrats are apparently making it clear through their inner circles that any Democrat who does not vote for Coleman is, in their view, essentially voting for Republican Sandlin.

Both have been out spreading the word about their campaigns and have sent several pieces through the mail.  Coleman has sent two or three mailers out so far and has thus far remained positive.  Sandlin has sent several mailers (mostly sent on his behalf from the Republican Party) which have been misleading at best.

This issue was tackled on Monday by fellow blogger Paul Ogden.  In his article "Mailing Brags About Councilor Jack Sandlin's Support of Mayor Ballard's Agenda BEFORE Sandlin Took a Seat On the Council" Ogden talks about how Sandlin, a councillor for a mere 11 months, takes credit for years worth of votes on the Council.

One of Sandlin's first misleading ads

I assume Sandlin is trying to play into the fact that most voters do not even know who their councillor is.  By making claims that are not even possible, Sandlin hopes to capitalize on the votes of voters who simply do not know better.

From Ogden:

"The only problem is, Sandlin did not take a seat on the Indianapolis City-County Council until late 2010. Bragging about Sandlin's support of the Ballard agenda when he wasn't even on the council seems to be at worst dishonest and at best sloppiness by party officials.


It is also a stretch to say he was "elected" and now should be "re-elected." Sandlin received his position when he won an unopposed precinct committeeman caucus vote to fill a vacancy when Councilor Michael Speedy was elected to the legislature."
Ogden is right on both points.  Sandlin's mailer starts by asking for you to "re-elect" him.  Simply, you cannot re-elect someone that was never elected in the first place.
 
Second, Sandlin takes credit for passing honestly balanced budgets each of the last three years.    Simply, again, you can't pass budgets that you were not part of the Council to even vote on. (I won't even get in to the "honestly balanced" statement, except to say Indianapolis does not have an honestly balanced budget.) His mailer, as you can see, is full of similar points that are simply impossible for an 11-month councillor to have achieved.
 
Sandlin's newest mailer, the first one I've seen actually paid for by his campaign, directly attacks Coleman for having "attacked" him unfairly.

Sandlin's recent "I was attacked" mailer

The first line of the mailer indicates that Coleman is trying to deceive the 24th District voters.  An interesting statement from someone claiming credit for 4 years of votes during 11 months on the Council.
 
The mailer also refers to Coleman's mailers as an "attack" on Sandlin.  If you look at the samples of Coleman's mailers that I have included, I am sure you you find that they are free of attacks on Sandlin. In fact, Coleman's campaign ads have been very good about staying centered on Coleman's achievements.
 

Back of one Coleman mailer
Front of both of Coleman's mailers
Back of the other Coleman mailer
I'm not going to get up on a pedestal and say that Ed Coleman is without flaws.  One thing that he is, though, is honest.  On more than one occasion I've heard members of other parties, even when disagreeing with him, refer to Coleman as one of the most consistent and principled members on the Council.  To suggest that Coleman is lying or being deceptive in his campaign materials is, as I show above, simply not true.
 
In fact, if there's a deceptive candidate this year in District 24, it's Jack Sandlin.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WISH TV Poll Shows Ballard with 11-Point Lead

WISH-TV just released a poll showing Mayor Ballard with a 44%-33% lead over challenger Melina Kennedy.  Libertarian Chris Bowen comes in with 2%, and the undecided vote comes in very high at 21%.  The poll had a 4.9% margin of error.

This poll very closely resembles the poll that Fox 59 received from the Ballard campaign.  I covered that poll and other aspects of the race in my Tuesday story "Kennedy Will Win...er, wait...No, Ballard Will Win...um, hold on..."

While this poll is not too far outside of the margin of error, especially when you add in the undecided votes, this is obviously horrible news for the Kennedy campaign.  Such an enormous apparent margin this many days before the election has the ability to possibly cause some Kennedy supporters to give up and not bother coming to the polls on Tuesday.

While I disagree with his position on this, that very possibility was something that Paul Ogden blogged on earlier Wednesday.

It will be very interesting to see how both campaigns react to this poll in the final days of what, before tonight, appeared to be a very close campaign.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Problems with Early Voting at the Clerk's Office Today?

I voted today. I went downtown to the Marion County Clerk's office to do so. There were a lot of people down there to vote, probably because of the GOP early voting rally taking place across the street in the City Market property.

I would like to say that my experience was without any problem or confusion, but that was not the case.  Unfortunately, the problems were not mine alone. Several people voting while I was there seemed to have at least one, if not several problems.

Before I begin to delve into exactly what all went wrong, I'll explain the steps that were involved in the early voting process.

First, by entering the building through the Delaware Street entrance, you are able to proceed directly into the Clerk's office and bypass the line for security. Actually, you bypass security altogether which I find somewhat amusing.  But, the Clerk's office is right inside that entrance, and a path is set up so you can only go to and from that office if that is your need.

Once inside, you go to a front desk with several of the early/absentee voting envelopes set up. At this point you fill out the highlighted sections of the envelope, and then are instructed to take the envelope into the next room and have your ID ready.

When you enter the next room, your first step is a person that identifies your proper voting precinct and labels your envelope as such. You present her your ID, she looks you up in her computer, and she prints off a little label with your name and precinct on it and sticks it to your envelope.

Next, you take a couple steps down to another person that looks at your newly acquired sticker and prints out a proper ballot for you.

You then take a couple steps more down to a couple of ladies who now check your ID, your ballot, and your envelope to make sure that all three properly match each of the others. Then, they both initial off on your ballot, tell you to complete your ballot in one of the many voting stalls crammed into the room, fold your ballot in half, and take it to the ladies at the other side of the room.

When you get there, the ladies again confirm that you do indeed exist and are, in fact, in front of them. They turn the open end of the envelope to you, ask you to insert your folded ballot, and then seal the envelope yourself. Then, you sign the envelope stating that you have been checked, rechecked, and checked yet again, and place your sealed envelope into the ballot box.

Now that you know what the process is like, let me explain the two areas where there is problems and/or confusion.

The first problems lie at your first stop, the entry desk where you complete the information on your envelope.  See, the areas of essential information you need to fill out have been highlighted for you. The problem is, many (if not all) of the envelopes in use are left over from the primary. The problem with that is that the section asking for you to declare a party for your ballot are highlighted.

I'm knowledgeable enough about politics that I am aware that declaration does not occur in a general election, only in a primary. I asked why it was highlighted, the gentleman said it was a leftover from primary and to ignore it. Then the gentleman to my right asked why he had to declare and was told the same thing. The person to my left did not ask, and checked the box for a political party.

It makes me wonder his many people didn't bother or know to ask, and just checked a party. If there, God forbid, was a nefarious election worker, they would then have clear indication of what ballots to "misplace" on election day.

The next problem came in the 4-step voting room, although the problem may have been included on the left-over-from-the-primary envelopes, I did not confirm which.

You see, on the back of the envelope where you sign after sealing, there's a little mini-affidavit that says you are who you say you are, and that you live where you say you live, and that you believe you are properly allowed to vote in the election you are voting in. The envelope has boxes to check whether it was a primary or a general election, and a blank line for the date to be inserted. For convenience, they placed a sticker over the section that was pre-printed with which election and date the envelope was for.

The problem here is that many, if not all, of the stickers were also leftovers and read, "Primary Election, May 2011."

I wasn't sure what was happening at first. When I first entered the room there was a voter that was very upset because of the sticker on her envelope. The election workers assured her it was OK, that the sticker would be ignored. Correctly,  the lady stood up and said it wasn't OK with her. She wanted to be sure that there were absolutely no irregularities with her ballot so that it definitely got counted. She was offered the chance to start from scratch. While that annoyed her, it appeared that is the path she took.

As I said, though, as that was going on I was unsure of the issue. When I got to the first set of ladies that signed off on my ballot is when I first started to put it together. The first lady looked at my envelope, smirked, and showed it to her counterpart, saying, "see, they're all for the primary."

I asked if there was a problem, and was simply told that the other ladies at the other side of the room probably had stickers to replace it with.

Remember, at this point I'm only aware that there is some problem, but not aware what it specifically is. This response did not help me understand the issue, and when I asked I simply got handed my ballot and envelope, along with a "thanks for voting."

So, I voted. Then I took my ballot and envelope to the other ladies at the other side of the room. By this time I had examined my envelope and found its primary 2011 designation. The ladies at that end of the room ignored my sticker until I pointed it out and asked about it. The lady on the left indicated that the lady on the right had the proper stickers. The lady on the right interjected, "well I only have two more. What am I supposed to do then?" The first lady just told her to not worry about it if they weren't brought more stickers.

My old sticker was then peeled off, leaving a huge tear on the surface of the envelope's paper, and the new sticker was affixed. I was told to place my envelope in the ballot box, and go about my way.

These problems all appear associated with the reuse of envelopes set up for the 2011 primary. That reuse is, albeit small, a taxpayer savings and I support it. For next time, though, I wholeheartedly suggest the following:

A) if you're going to reuse ballot envelopes from a primary that are highlighted asking for party declaration, reuse them in the next primary election. Do not use them in a general election where party declaration does not and should not, even accidentally, occur.

B) If you're going to affix stickers to a ballot envelope to easily identify what election that envelope belongs with, then for heaven's sake change the damned sticker if the envelope gets used in a different election.

C) if A and B are too difficult to achieve, then all prepared ballot envelopes need destroyed after the election they were originally intended for.

Easy enough?

Kennedy Will Win...er, wait...No, Ballard Will Win...um, hold on...

I was fully prepared to post my 2011 Indianapolis Mayoral prediction today.  My initial post was to declare my belief the Melina Kennedy would win the Mayor's race with 49% of the vote, Ballard coming in at 47%, and the remaining 4% going to Libertarian Chris Bowen.

With the lack of publicly available polls, I had to base my prediction on other things. First, the tone of the campaigns.  The Kennedy campaign seems to have gotten progressively nicer, while the Ballard camp seems to have gotten angrier lately.  Second, the lack of polls being released by the campaigns seemed to be an indicator of a tight race that neither side was willing to give up too much info on.


Third, there's a bunch of Republicans pissed off at Greg Ballard for things like the water company, the parking meters, the back-scratching of political buddies, etc.  While Bowen has ran a relatively quiet campaign and was excluded from most debates, I fully expected to see many Republicans either vote for him or take a pass on Mayoral voting altogether, rather than vote for Ballard or Kennedy. This, of course, would push Bowen's percentage up a bit.


There's been a sequence of news in the last day or so that has made me reconsider my position.  Twice.

First, word spread Monday of a couple of internal polls that Fox 59 had gotten a hold of.  One poll, from the Ballard campaign, was said to have been taken within the last week and indicated that he had a double-digit lead, 51%-39%, with Bowen coming in at 2%.  A second poll, from the Kennedy campaign, indicated that she had a 2-point lead that was within the margin of error.  Kennedy's poll was said to have been taken about two weeks ago.

Of course, both campaigns are likely to release polling information that shows them in the best light.  The fact that Kennedy's best shot at this was a two-week old poll that has her in a statistical dead heat with Ballard can't mean good news for the Kennedy campaign.  Abdul-Hakim Shabazz was quick to point out on his Indiana Barrister blog that those numbers are the exact same numbers released by Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy on September 23rd.  That coincidence is strong enough to make one doubt the validity of the Kennedy campaign statement that the poll given to Fox 59 is only two weeks old.

So, I began to rethink my initial prediction.  In light of this new information, I was willing to now say that Ballard was going to win re-election.  My new guess, based on that polling, was 52%-47%-3%. Ballard with a strong but not enormous win over Kennedy, and Bowen's numbers a little lower because of it.

OK, so I'm ready to run with this story now.  Right?

But wait...

This morning, Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana wrote that early voting numbers are through the roof this year. According to his story, early turnout numbers are almost twice what they were at this time in 2007, and almost as high as last year's Congressional election year.

Traditional thinking would tend to indicate that is an incredibly strong sign for Kennedy.  Early voting is, as a rule, a Democratic stronghold.  While Republicans are now, at the last minute, trying to push their people for early voting, the Marion County GOP has been opposed to any expansion of the process this year.  It's all about votes when it comes to decision making for parties, so that opposition would lead you to believe Republicans are sure Kennedy and/or other Democrats favor strongly from early voting.

So let's sum this up.  Lack of polling results being released seems to be a slight favor to Kennedy.  But then some polling results are released but they are questionable but they seem to indicate a strong favor for Ballard.  But early voting results are through the roof which seems to be a good thing for Kennedy. (You get that?)

I guess I'll just split the difference and predict the race as 48%-48%-4%.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see a recount necessary on this one.

Mayoral Candidate Bowen in Serious Accident


Chris Bowen
 Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate Chris Bowen (L) was in a serious car accident overnight, and considers himself lucky to be alive.  From a Facebook post from him this morning:

"Someone cut me off on the exit from the freeway. I rolled my car twice and totaled it. I am lucky to be alive. Spent the night in the E.R. Not looking forward to the coming pain, but hey, I am alive."


I consider Bowen a friend and am relieved he is already out of hospital care.  I wish him a speedy recovery from whatever injuries he may have sustained.

Ron Paul and Republicans: It's Decision Time

Dr. Ron Paul
(image credit: paul.house.gov)
There's been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere and the news lately about whether Ron Paul may abandon the Republican Party and choose to run for President on a third party ticket.  It's not exactly a surprise to be hearing these rumblings.  However, as the first presidential primaries draw closer, it is time for both Ron Paul and the Republican Elite to make a decision on how they want to proceed.
 
The first decision needs to be made by the Republicans.  It's time to answer a question: Is it more important for a Republican to win the presidency, or is it more important for Barack Obama not to?  That's the decision the GOP may be making when they decide to support or not support Ron Paul.
 
Let's break that down.  First, don't give me that "third party candidates steal votes" crap.  It isn't true.  Our votes do not belong to candidates, they belong to us.  If I vote for a third party candidate it's because they earned it.  If a major party candidate loses by a margin smaller than the amount of third party votes, then that candidate did not earn a win.  The winner wins because they earned the most votes.  The loser(s) lose because they were not successful at earning the number of votes they need.  That is fact.  You would be unable to convince me otherwise.
 
Next, Ron Paul is doing pretty well.  He is raising a ton of cash.  He is obliterating the competition in straw polls.  In head-to-head comparisons, he fares extremely well versus Obama.  The only people that don't seem to like him are the Republican Elite and the media.  Hell, even the media is slowly starting to come around.
 
But, as noted, the Republican brass don't seem to care for Paul much.  No matter how well he does, they just can't come to embrace his libertarian ideals.  More, I believe that they dislike him because he does what he believes is best rather than simply falling into line.
 
Now, though, the Republicans are going to be faced with a major problem.  There is growing belief that Ron Paul will be unable to earn the Republican nomination for President.  Because of that, the calls for Paul to run on a third party ticket get louder and louder.  On Saturday, ABC news reported that the director of the Manhattan Libertarian Party had specifically called for Paul to run for the LP. (Because of his libertarian ideals, and his 1988 run for president on the Libertarian ticket, the LP seems to be the most likely spot for Ron Paul to land if he ran as something other than Republican.)
 
The problem for Republicans has to do with Ron Paul's enormous popularity with those outside the Republican Establishment.  If Paul ran on a third party ticket, he would most certainly earn a huge number of votes, including a part of the Electoral College. If the votes are split three ways, there is little chance that a Republican candidate will earn enough votes to win the Presidency.  In fact, because of Paul's attraction to people on both sides of the aisle, a Third Party Ron Paul could quite possibly earn more votes than the Republican counterpart.
 

(image credit: wikipedia.org)

So, the Republican Elite have themselves in a pickle.  Their choices are: A) Suck it up and throw their support behind Ron Paul, a candidate they don't seem to care for but that has a real shot head-to-head versus Obama, or; B) Risk Ron Paul running on a third party ticket, in which case the GOP has no chance of 2012 victory.
 
That being said, I doubt that the Republican Elite have the intestinal fortitude to give enough support to Ron Paul to give him a shot at the nomination.  That would require conceding.  Conceding anything is not something the two major parties are known to do.
 
This brings us to the decision that needs to be made by Ron Paul.  He could wait for the Republican Elite to make a decision, but that decision is predictably a negative one for Paul. The problem is, if he waits for the Republicans to decide then they could stall.  My understanding of sore loser laws is that if Paul loses a GOP primary, then most states will not allow him to run for the same office on a different ticket in the subsequent general election.
 
That means Paul must decide about a third party run before the primaries, which gives him precious little time to do so.  Thus far his answers to questions on this issue have been relatively vague, but seem to lean heavily towards not doing so.  Of course, he's still running for the Republican nomination, so acting like he's considering defecting would be a sure-fire way to end any shot he has at an R nod. So, for now, it makes complete sense that Paul denies any third party rumors that are out there.
 
If, though, Ron Paul is serious about his intentions to be President, and all indications are that he is, he and his campaign team have to be seriously looking at the Third Party possibility.  Within a month, unless polls show him much stronger among likely Republican voters, Paul will need to decide whether to hang up his hat or to run for another party.
 
Paul's decision about a third party, though, will mean he will need to consider many of the same things that the Republican Elite will need to consider while thinking about him. If he runs as a third party candidate, there is little chance that the Republican candidate will earn enough votes to win the Presidency.  Paul, on a third party ticket, may earn more votes than the Republican, but will have a difficult time earning more votes than both the Republican and the Democrat.  In that case, it would appear that the Presidency remains under the grasp of Barack Obama. So, is it more important for Ron Paul to win, or for Obama to lose?
 
The Republican Elite and Ron Paul are both nearing the zero hour for a decision to be made.  I'm sure there are Republicans everywhere begging Ron Paul to not run third party.  I'm sure, also, that Ron Paul is using that to apply some leverage to his fellow Republicans.  "If you don't want me to go, you'd better get out there and start supporting me." The GOP probably won't offer that support, thinking they are calling Ron Paul's bluff.
 
Historically, though, Ron Paul is not known for bluffing.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if Paul announces a third party run within the next month.  If so, it's just one other story that's going to make 2012 one hell of a ride.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Time for "Indiana Week in Review" to Add a Libertarian to the Panel

Indiana Week in Review has had a wonderful discussion on Indiana news and happenings, mostly of a political nature, for twenty years now.  The show is moderated by Jim Shella, and uses four panel members to interject their point-of-view on the goings-on of the Hoosier State each week.  The current regular panel members are: Mike McDaniel, former chair of the Indiana Republican Party; Ann DeLaney, former chair of the Indiana Democratic Party; Jon Schwantes of Dispatch Broadcasting; and John Ketzenberger of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.


Jim Shella
(from IWIR website)

Last Monday, Shella posted a blog commemorating the 20th anniversary of the show. The same day, Rupert Boneham's campaign issued a statement that Rupert would be announcing his gubernatorial decision on Saturday (my story here). The combination of these events reminded me of a conversation that was held on the first IWIR episode after Boneham announced he was forming an exploratory committee for the Governor's race.

On that episode (You can find audio of that episode here. The Rupert coverage begins at 13:02,) a few things really stood out to me.  First, the discussion it received seemed to laugh off the (then) potential candidate.  Second, it felt like the panelists, for one reason or another, were scared to tackle both the Rupert subject and the viability of the Libertarian Party.  Third, the members of the panel showed very little knowledge of how Indiana law works in respect to parties other than the Republicans and Democrats.

(You see, everything from party conventions to ballot access to primaries...everything, really...works vastly different if you're not an R or a D.  Little tricks the two major parties have made laws on to keep it so they are the only likely players in most races.  Even in races where a third party candidate is present, the laws make it very difficult for the non-major candidate to have a fair shake.)


Because of Rupert's (then) potential candidacy, I decided to comment on Shella's blog, asking him when the show planned to add a Libertarian to the panel.  Shella replied,
"We have no current plans to add a Libertarian. It is a statewide show and without a Libertarian challenging seriously for any statewide offices that would be difficult to justify."
I don't know, of course, if Shella had yet received word of Boneham's Saturday announcement.  If he had, even as predictable as the outcome of Saturday's press conference was, he had no way to know for sure what Rupert was going to say.

Well, guess what, Mr. Shella...you know now.  As of two days ago, there is a Libertarian challenging seriously for a statewide office.  And not just any statewide office, but THE statewide office...the race for Indiana Governor. For at least the next twelve months, Indiana's Libertarian Party and Rupert Boneham will be constant fixtures in the news of Indiana's politics.


Chris Spangle
Executive Director
Libertarian Party of Indiana

So now I resubmit my question to Jim Shella and the others at Indiana Week in Review:  when will you add a Libertarian to your panel?  The time to do so is now, and I challenge you to accept that.  I encourage you to take steps to very quickly have a voice of the state's third largest party represented on your show.

If you are looking for suggestions, I have a few.  At the top of that list is the current Executive Director of the Indiana Libertarian Party, Chris Spangle.  Spangle is well-informed and well-spoken.  Add in Spangle's current role in the state's Libertarian Party, and his fit for a IWIR panel position seems clear.

Sean Shepard
Aside from Spangle, other options should include the Libertarian's State Chair, Sam Goldstein. Yet another option would be former Congressional candidate and regular speaker for Libertarian ideals, Sean Shepard.

Things just changed for the Indiana Libertarian Party. Every discussion of Indiana politics, especially the 2012 Governor's race, will now mention Rupert Boneham and the Libertarian Party. It's now time for Indiana's political news show to change as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So...Who is Rupert Boneham, Outside of Survivor?

Now that Rupert has made an official announcement that he will seek the Libertarian Party's nomination for Governor of Indiana (see my story here), I decided to delve a little bit more into who, exactly, is Rupert Boneham...other than the guy everyone knows from Survivor.

Really, you don't have to go any further that Rupert's late September interview with Mike Ahern on his show One on One.  In the interview, all bases are covered.  Rupert's humble Kokomo beginnings.  His move to Texas to begin his adult life.  His return to Indianapolis to take care of his adopted grandparents.  His time on Survivor, and why he feels he is ready for Indiana politics.  Ahern does a great job of getting us all of the information we need about where Rupert's been up till now.

The interview came in 5 segments.  Each is embedded below. (Sorry for the size, if it looks weird.  I used the embed code from the show's page.)














Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rupert Makes It Official: He's Running For Governor

The wait is over. After speculating since August, Rupert Boneham made it official in an afternoon press conference today at the American Legion Post on Holt Road. Rupert is, in fact, going to be seeking the Libertarian Party's Nomination for Governor of Indiana.

This comes as no real surprise to people who have been following the story. Most indications since Boneham formed his exploratory commission in August have been that this would be his decision. When the announcement was made almost a week early that today's press conference would be taking place, it left little doubt. The local news even covered the story as fact as early as yesterday.

Rupert was introduced by his campaign manager, Evan McMahon, and by Indianapolis City-County councillor Ed Coleman, who represents more constituents than any other Libertarian in the nation.

In his press conference, Rupert stated he is dedicated to bringing jobs to Indiana by creating a level playing field for all businesses, be they large, small, or home-based. He stated he is a believer in unions, is currently a union member himself, but also supports right-to-work legislation.

State Libertarian chairperson Sam Goldstein stated he was "excited about the announcement, but will wait to offer any official endorsement until after the final choice is made at our April convention. "

Because of the way state laws are written, Libertarians are not allowed to participate in the primary process. Instead, they choose from their candidates at party nominating conventions each spring. As of now, Boneham is the only person who has announced they are seeking the Libertarian's gubernatorial nomination.

Boneham's campaign released a campaign poster at the well-attended press conference (so well attended that it felt more like a "Go Rupert, Go"! rally than it did a press conference.) The poster, shades of blue with a semi-circle of gold stars above gold flames that almost seem like a tightly cropped shot of the top-half of of Indiana's flag, contained the word's "It's Our Time," and "Rupert for Governor," felt like it was a poster not only for the campaign, but for the Libertarian Party itself.

There's going to be tons more coming on this story, I'm sure.

You can check out Rupert's website here, although it is not yet updated to reflect the news in today's announcement.  Boneham said to expect updates on the page within the next couple of days.  He said there is also going to ba an official Rupert for Governor Facebook page.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bill Levin Puts Out Straight Forward Commercial

At-Large City-County Council candidate Bill Levin (L) has a new commercial hitting th airwaves. A link to it has been making its way around Facebook.

In it, Levin takes a simple and straightforward approach. Tired of the way the Republicans and Democrats are acting? Tired of crime? Vote for me.

Levin is a well-known and popular person around town. Between his higher profile and commercials like these, he's bound to really shake up the Council race next month.

Check out the commercial here

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rupert Will Announce His Gubernatorial Decision Saturday

Word just came from Rupert Boneham's campaign that this Saturday he will announce whether he will choose to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination to be their gubernatorial candidate in 2012.  Boneham formed an exploratory committee for that race in late August (see my story here,) and put up a Rupert for Governor web page. At the time, he said that he would spend the several weeks visiting with Hoosiers around the state. He indicated that he knew he was ready for the Governor's race, but wanted to spend time with Hoosiers to see if they were ready to consider him a viable candidate.

It appears that decision has been made. This Saturday afternoon, Boneham has announced he will face the media and publicly announce what his decision will be. Rupert's press conference will be held at 2:00 at American Legion Post 64 on Holt Road in Indianapolis.

According to Boneham's campaign manager, Evan McMahon,
"Over the past couple of months, Rupert has been visiting with everyday Hoosiers and small business owners from all across the state. After hearing their stories and concerns and weighing those of his family and supporters, Rupert has come to a decision."
I fully expect we'll hear Rupert announce his intentions are, in fact, to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination, and McMahon's statements sure don't lead you to think otherwise.  If Boneham had other thoughts, I can't imagine there would be a press conference announced this many days ahead of time.  It seems like today's announcement of the upcoming press conference is well-crafted to allow plenty of time for the media, both locally and nationally, to grab hold of the story and build some anticipation.  (Of course, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently did just that in his announcement that he will not be running for president, so anything is possible.)

Rupert is, of course, famous for his appearances on several incarnations of the reality TV show Survivor.  In his personal life, Boneham is well-known for his youth mentoring program, Rupert's Kids, which, according to their website, is an
"organization dedicated to serving an easily overlooked population of youth: those that have become too old for the youth social service system, but are not old enough for the adult social service system. We teach these youth valuable skills and trades, while also empowering them to discover their inner strengths, passions and interests."

In the spirit of self-sufficiency, Rupert's Kids has never accepted any government funding (a fact that I'm sure is very popular among the Libertarians Boneham is seeking the nomination from.)

The big question since Boneham filed his exploratory committee has been whether his potential candidacy was serious, or if it was a publicity stunt.  When asked whether Rupert feels the media and the Hoosier voters are ready to take Boneham seriously, McMahon stated,

"This truly has been a tough decision for him. He has struggled with the unknown impact this will have on his family and community work. He's also been faced with a few hostile members of the media, that have done everything they can to discredit not only his potential campaign but also the legitimacy of other Libertarian candidates. But, he has also had a great deal of supporters calling and emailing the campaign. He gets stopped everywhere he goes by people encouraging him to take this stand for Hoosiers. It has been a rough couple of weeks."
Again, it sure sounds like Rupert's going to announce he's giving the green-light for a full campaign to start immediately.  Saturday's the big day.  I hope he runs.  It's going to make for a very fun and exciting 2012.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

December Presidential Primaries? It's Time for Consolidation of Dates

"You're vote counts!"     "I vote. I count."      "No vote is a wasted vote."

Are these statements still true?  In most cases, I am a firm believer that they are.  In the case of presidential primaries, though, it may be becoming less of a fact.  If you are a primary voter and live in a state with a later primary date, it is becoming more and more likely that many, if not all, of your choices are going to be mathematically eliminated from victory before you can even cast a ballot. In that case, you either vote for who is left, or you vote on principal for who has been eliminated.

There's a recent surge among the states to be the first state to hold presidential primaries.  It's been a trend over recent years, a trend has been accelerating exponentially throughout recent months. Florida moved up its primary to January 31st.  Nevada is heading to the polls January 14th.  South Carolina is shooting for January 10th.

And now there is New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is now saying they may hold their 2012 presidential primary on December 13th.  Maybe even December 6th. Yep, in 2011.  A couple weeks before we even get to Christmas.

States need to feel important.  They want the attention the media gives them for being the first to cast an official presidential ballot.  They like the fact that their votes...well, count.

But this rush to be number one is now getting out of hand.  Every state wants to be first, and every state will change their primary dates to make it happen.  Do you think December 6th is way too early for a primary?  I do, too.  I promise you, though, that in 2016 there will be a state, or probably states, that will move their primary even earlier.  It's ridiculous now, it'll be even more ridiculous then.


"No one state is more important than another."   Except in the case of choosing major party presidential candidates, it would seem.



So what's the solution?  Alas, there is only one. (Okay, there's two, but the second will never happen as long as two parties maintain control.)  That solution is a constitutional amendment requiring all primaries for the office of President of the United States to be held on the same day.  No more super-early primaries.  No more late primaries where votes truly don't count.  Everyone votes the same day, and neither a person nor a state is more important than another.  It is the only way.

("The only way?  But, Josh, you mentioned a second possibility!"  That second possibility is that the major parties assume control of their own candidate selection.  You see, you think your vote for who you want the presidential candidate from your party to be really counts, but it doesn't.  The parties themselves pick their candidates at convention.  To make you feel all warm and fuzzy, they select the candidate the people picked in primaries.  But, a few state laws easily pushed aside and they wouldn't have to.  Candidate selection is private party business.  The Rs and the Ds just passed laws to make the taxpayers pay for an very expensive and unnecessary primary system so they can make you feel important to the selection process, to gain brand loyalty, and to maintain the image that they are the only real players in town.  It's done very well for them over the years, but it's cost you an I an assload of our money.)


So, let's do what we can to end this craziness before it is so far out of hand that we are voting in a presidential primary in the even-numbered years between presidential elections.  This is a bad trend, and it is one that will continue to occur.  Let's call on our federal government to focus some of its power on the things it should: federal issues.  You won't hear me calling for the feds to reign in the states on too many occasions, but this is one issue that the states will continue to go crazy with until that intervention occurs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Charlie White Going After Bayh: Proper Complaint, Improper Reason

"Huh-uh, YOU did!"

Charlie White
Yep, Indiana politics has turned in to a game of childish finger pointing. The entire local blog world (Advance Indiana, Ogden on Politics, Indiana Barrister, et al) and the entire local news world (WRTV, WISH, WTHR) is reporting that Secretary of State Charlie White has filed a complaint against Evan Bayh, charging that the former Indiana Senator has committed felony voter fraud by lying about his primary residence when voting.

Hmmm...sound familiar?  Let's see, an Indiana politician being charged with lying about his primary residence when voting....gosh, I swear I've heard that before.  Oh, yeah!  Those accusations have been made against Charlie White!

In an interesting turn of events on the Charlie White saga, White himself decided to file a complaint with Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry asking Curry to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate whether or not Bayh committed voter fraud by lying about his primary residence for May's primary. (Indiana Barrister has the whole complaint, thanks to Abdul Hakim-Shabazz)

Evan Bayh
And this is where this whole thing will go sour.  You see, White has a legitimate complaint about Bayh.  As Paul Ogden points out, White could also easily make this same complaint against Dick Lugar, but since Lugar is a Republican, White took a pass. I mean, White is clearly going to great lengths to prove that the Democrats are after him, and you make that point by turning the tables against Democrats, not against fellow Republicans.

But White's choosing to only go after Bayh is exactly what is going to make everyone snicker about this.  By going after only the big-name Democrat, you turn this mess into a piece of children screaming "Well he did it first!"  Trying to spin it that way makes White look like an idiot, and will make this whole thing be a news story for, oh, about as long as it takes you to finish this blog.  This is all going to be gone that quick.

And what's really sad is Charlie White had a point.  We all know Evan Bayh hasn't lived here in years.  Most of us are too young to remember when Lugar lived here at all.  Yet they continue to claim Indiana residences, and they continue to vote in our precincts, and Lugar still claims to be a Hoosier when he represents us in D.C.  This is a major problem with Federal politics, and it is one that needs some serious attention drawn to it.

Richard Lugar
Charlie White, despite all his problems, actually had the opportunity to draw our attention to this the right way.  He could have stood up and said, ' You know what?  I did it.  You are all right, I lied and I did it.  It's time for me to accept my wrong doing, and time to be punished for it.  And I think it's time we took a hard look at the other politicians around here.  Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar have failed to live in this state for years and years, but continue to claim residence.  I agree it's time I took my punishment, but it's time they took their punishment, too."

But, of course, Charlie White didn't do that.  Instead, he just pointed the finger at Bayh.  In doing so, he turned this into just another political mess that we'll all ignore.  Just some more finger-pointing across party lines.  Just some more of the typical political hypocrisy...."it's OK when I do it, but it's a horrible injustice when they do."

I do find it ironic that, by pointing out the Bayh situation, White all but admitted guilt himself. According to White's Attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, in the WISH-TV article:

Carl Brizzi, White's defense attorney, said White was trying to make a point that the charges against him were politically motivated when he had done the same thing as Bayh, a former Indiana secretary of state and governor.


"The case is just intended to show the similarities in their two situations," Brizzi said. "This whole thing started because of politics."

Guess what, Carl...you just said your client did it.  White presented truly damning evidence against Bayh, and you just said White did the same thing.  You said the two cases are similar.  Oops.

So now we're left with what will soon be yesterday's news.  Charlie White accuses Evan Bayh of doing what Charlie White is accused of doing.  Charlie White's attorney, who says that Charlie White is innocent, says that Charlie White is proving a point by showing the hypocrisy involved by Democrats by not charging Evan Bayh of what is clearly illegal, and that that illegal thing is the same thing that Charlie White did. And since Charlie White chose to only point fingers at Evan Bayh, and not at Dick Lugar, this all looks like a big bunch of political finger-pointing and we'll all forget about it tomorrow...when instead we should truly be investigating them all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Coleman Goes Prime-Time

City-Councillor Ed Coleman, seeking re-election in the Southside's 24th District, has released a couple of commercials.  If you live on that side of town, you may have already noticed it hitting the airwaves, most notably during the last couple of Colts games.

Coleman is possibly the best-funded individual District Council candidate in Indianapolis' history.  His going to TV, especially in high-viewership prime-time spots, is a uncommon thing to see out of local district candidates.  It is especially unusual for a Libertarian, and is yet another indication that the Libertarians are becoming a real force in Marion County politics.

Coleman may not be an unfamiliar face to those on the south side.  Ed has been out in his neighborhoods knocking on doors and meeting constituents in the district for several months.

Here's Ed's full-length commercial, and the 30-second ad you may have already seen.


Indianapolis City-County Councilor, Ed Coleman from Ed Coleman on Vimeo.



Ed Coleman 30sec Spot from Englehart Group on Vimeo.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Council Says "Keep it Georgia Street!"

At tonight's City-County Council meeting, the Georgia Street proposal was introduced and went straight to a rare same-day vote. Unanimously, the CCC voted to recommend that one of Indy's original street names remains unchanged.

I don't know if it's the councillors falling in line with public opinion less than a month before all of their jobs are decided. It probably is.

But it's also a big sign to Mayor Ballard. For the incumbent mayor to not get one single vote from his own party on an issue that, until just days ago, he was a huge proponent of has got to be a blow. Even after conceding an immediate change, Ballard seemed to be a fan of still changing it later (presumably when the election was behind him.)

I doubt we'll hear anything more about Ballard on Georgia Street for now. Just before an election and in light of tonight's vote, the topic can do him too much damage to the mayor. It shows his unwillingness to listen to the will of the people of his city, even when it comes to things as simple as the name of a street.

Here's the Star's story on tonight's vote.

City-County Council: Leave Georgia Street name alone | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ballard's Georgia Street Press Conference Doesn't Make Any Sense

The Mayor held a Friday Georgia Street press conference, one day after reports began circulating that he had asked for the name Georgia Street to, for now, remain unchanged. In it he announced the plans to erect pillars honoring thirty great Hoosiers.

Ballard also said that this great plan is why he was such a big supporter of changing the street's name. He said he just didn't feel right building an honor to history's great Hoosiers on a street named after another state.

On the surface, I think the Mayor's claim seems to make sense...but I don't buy it. Why would the mayor wait until after he conceded to keep the name to say why he had wanted it changed? Wouldn't announcing grand plans such as these be the first thing you did in the face of complete public disapproval over the issue? And definitely be something you did BEFORE backing down?

"Hi folks. I know there's a lot of people curious why I want to change the historic name of Georgia Street, a name that has been part of city since its inception. I wanna be clear to everybody that it has nothing to do with the Super Bowl or any of the NFL's wishes. We are proud today to announce that the incredible new look of Georgia Street is going to also serve as an honor to the lives of thirty of history's greatest Hoosiers.

"I would like to help add to the honoring of these great Hoosiers by also changing the name of Georgia Street to something more Indiana related. While Georgia Street is an important part of Indianapolis' long history, it just doesn't seem right to have this honor take place on a street named after another state. So, today I am asking for your support in changing this street's name to Hoosier Boulevard!"

That's all it would have taken. You present a plan and you support it with a reason. I'm not saying there would not still have been dissent, but there would have been a lot less of it.

By presenting the name change as an important part of a huge plan to honor our own, the mayor might've just been able to make it happen.

But that's not even close to what Ballard actually did. He promoted name change without rhyme or reason. We heard of Peyton Place and Hospitality Boulevard...cheesy names that Indianapolis doesn't feel represents its personality (and in hindsight do nothing to further the honoring of thirty great Hoosiers.)

Then, in the face of public outcry, the mayor finally backs down. And only then, after he concedes, does the mayor state what his thought process supposedly was from the beginning.

I just don't buy it. It doesn't make sense.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Georgia Street's New Name Will Be...Georgia Street!

It appears that Mayor Greg Ballard can actually listen to public input on a topic. Well, at least he seems able to a mere 39 days before an election and when his side of things is horribly unpopular. Today, the Mayor kinda conceded to leave the name of Georgia Street unchanged when it reopens after its facelift. (See the Channel 6 Story here.)

Why kinda? Because the Mayor said he would leave to option open for name changes in the future. Ballard seems to think that, after seeing all the exciting awesomeness of the new Georgia Street, the public is somehow going to suddenly flip its opinion and want a name change put in place. He has even announced a press conference Friday to announce a "significant addition" to Georgia Street.  Apparently the Mayor thinks his opportunity to sway our opinion might be now.

Um...what? Does Mayor Ballard actually think that's how public opinion sways in Indianapolis? Does he really think this city will look at the completed project and say, "Ooooooo, look at the pretty lights! We should call this Hospitality Way!"

If that's really Ballard's opinion, he has a lesser view of the Hoosier State's capitol than sitcoms and late-night talk show hosts seem to. His insinuation is insulting.

There's a large part of me that thinks that after election day, when Ballard's a lame duck, suddenly the name change will go through anyway. It won't matter what we voters think. (As Ballard's history shows, it rarely does.)

So, way to go Mayor Ballard. You finally made the right decision, and you finally paid attention to the outcries of your constituents. I find no surprise, though, that in one of your tries of doing what the voters demand, you also manage to insult us all.

Ballard can even find a way to screw up finally making the right decision. Yet another reason Republicans all over the city will be pulling the handle for Melina Kennedy or Chris Bowen on election day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Renaming Georgia Street...

There's been plenty of discussion on the renaming of Georgia Street.  It has been one of the heated topics currently circulating Indy politics that I have thus far been silent on.  Sunday the Indy Star's Matthew Tully and Erika Smith offered a unique "he said, she said" on the topic that I felt made it easier to address the issue.

Why?  Because both "sides" of the issue basically said the same thing. You see, neither seems to be a fan of any of the current suggestions to change the historic name of Indianapolis' "Georgia Street."

Tully immediately fills his role of "Keep it Georgia Street" supporter.  And many of his points feel valid.

First: Why bother changing the name?  Because of the Super Bowl? That's just silly.  Even if you are updating the street for the sake of the upcoming NFL Championship, that shouldn't mean you have to change the name.  As Tully points out, do you think another major city would change a major street name for a Super Bowl? Of course not.  This is just another case of Indianapolis bending over to seem super-cool and awesome for their upcoming seven days of NFL visitors.

Says Tully:
We need to stop sounding puzzled as we ask newcomers from the coasts: "And why did you move here?" We need to stop treating every major convention or event that lands in our city as some sort of miracle worthy of leading the 6 o'clock news. We need to stop playing small ball on issues such as mass transit and education. We need to stop thinking that marketing strategies -- and, in this case, goofy name changes -- are what make us special.


Some advocates of the change have said it's problematic that Georgia Street, which will soon become one of the city's premier spots, is named for another state. Can you imagine such skittishness coming from the residents of Chicago (Michigan Avenue) or Washington, D.C. (Pennsylvania Avenue)?

News flash: This is a damn good city. A uniquely livable city. Enough of the self-conscious knee-shaking.

Smith offers her own perspective.  She doesn't sound convinced, though, that name change is such a great idea.  She more offers the perspective that name change isn't horrible if the name chosen isn't horrible. Early in her writing, she says:

I'm not opposed, that is, with two important caveats.


No. 1: City leaders have to make a real effort to solicit and then vet suggestions from residents about potential names. And I'm talking about a lot more than putting a survey on the Web for less than a week, and counting on bloggers and media outlets to promote it. That's lazy, arrogant and shortsighted.

No. 2: Once a new name is selected, most residents can't think it's stupid. (And yes, the suggestions of "Hospitality Way" and "Peyton Way," or any variation on those themes, count as stupid. I'll speak for the community on this one.)

In theory, if caveat No. 1 is handled correctly, then caveat No. 2 shouldn't come to pass. But if for some reason it does, then I vote for letting the Georgia Street name stand.

As Smith is well aware, one of the "stupid" suggestions she mentions here seems to be leading the way for potential new names.  The chance of some new suggestion being offered at this point having the ability to become the new name is slim.  If Georgia Street gets renamed, it's probably going to be one of the "stupid" names that Smith point out.  She later suggests putting off the name recommendation to some later date, but with both the Super Bowl and the election looming, that seems unlikely.

So, I guess it's time where I finally submit my perspective on all this.  First, I wonder about the City's (read: Ballard administration's) point-of-view on renaming the street to begin with.  With all the other changes the City has been willing to make for the Super Bowl, many without local residents' support, I am forced to wonder if renaming the street wasn't part of some hush-hush promise made to the NFL in the bid to get the Super Bowl.

Even if that is not the case, I must admit I find the Ballard administration's commitment to name change curious.  Some issues are worth fighting for, even if they are political suicide.  A street's name change does not qualify.  For the current administration to be so adamant about proceeding, in the face of enormous amounts of public outrage and just before an election, is confusing.

If changing the name for the sake of the Super Bowl was so important was so necessary, then why not make a temporary change like they have for NCAA events in the past?  I clearly remember street signs downtown getting changed to things like "Final Four Blvd" for the duration of the city's events.  Why are such changes out of the question for Georgia Street in this case?

Mayor Ballard, there is no good reason to change the historic name of this downtown street.  The citizens of your city have made it clear that they vehemently oppose such a name change, even with the massive face lift that is underway and even with the upcoming Super Bowl.  Leave the name the way it is.  Georgia Street can be just as impressive a name as Championship Boulevard or Hospitality Way or whatever other stupid name you want to consider.  Please, Mr. Mayor....just leave it be.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Perry Right to Call Social Security a Ponzi Scheme; Cato Breaks it Down

I'm a big fan of The Cato Institute. They tackle a lot of stories and often take complex government-sized math and break it down into something easy for Joe Blow and I to understand.

While this particular issue isn't all about hard-to-understand numbers (at least the "is it a Ponzi scheme?" angle of it...SS itself is obviously enormous), it's still government and it's still numbers. I was going to write on this myself, but after starting my research and looking back on this article I realized I probably couldn't have written anything better than Michael Tanner did in the article linked below.


Yes, It Is a Ponzi Scheme | Michael D. Tanner | Cato Institute: Commentary

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Morgan Freeman Plays the Race Card on Piers Morgan; Can We Please Stop Doing That?

Can we stop playing the race card?  Please?

I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist in America.  It absolutely does.  It is, however, much better than it was in my parents' and grandparents' generations.

Today there's a new thing fueling racism: claims of racism.  You see, many people today make claims that any opposition to any member of a minority on any topic must be fueled by racism.  I'm growing tired of it.

This phenomena is not new with the entrance of the Obama administration.  It is, though, amplified immensely by it.  So many people are out there making claims that any person who does not support Obama's agenda lack that support, obviously, because Obama is black. Give me a break.

Did everyone who disagreed with the agenda of every other president disagree because they can't stand white people?  Of course not.  People disagree with the agendas of political figures and political parties because they don't believe their ideas and programs work to better our nation in the best way possible.

Are there some people out there that hate Obama because he's a black president?  Sure there are.  But the vast, vast majority of people who don't like Obama don't like him because they do not care for the policies he has put in place, the policies he is advocating, the campaign promises he broke, the campaign promises he made, or any one of thousands of other political reasons.

Claiming racism at every turn makes people scared to publicly proceed on statements or ideas, for fear of being wrongly labeled a racist.  That causes people to keep their ideas to themselves or within a tight circle of trusted friends and peers.  And when fear of racism makes groups hide their true face from the public or people of another racial make-up it breeds, well....racism.

The race card hurts America.  Let's put it away.  Let's stop pretending every disagreement is racially motivated.  Things aren't perfect here in America, but crying "foul" every time someone makes a statement of disagreement only makes things worse.


Here's actor Morgan Freeman on Piers Morgan.  He adamantly states he believes the Tea Party wants Obama out of office because of racist reasons.  It doesn't make sense.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhdPr_RvSQ