Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Hodge Podge of Politics

I'm sure you all have read about how our state legislature accidentally repealed the Family and Social Services Administration, the state's largest office. To correct this mistake, Governor Mitch Daniels issued an executive order...which probably isn't constitutional, but I doubt anyone will challenge him.

If you're interested in HOW this actually happened, Marci Oddi over at the Indiana Law Blog has a great post that is worth reading.

The talk of blog-town, or at least over at Jon Easter's Indy Democrat, is the case of Bill Levin. Levin is running for City-County Council At-Large as a Libertarian. He's been seen at several public events in the last several weeks, and certainly would make the dull events that are council meetings entertaining.

Levin is also affiliated with Re-Legalize Indiana PAC, which is a pro-marijuana group that is advocating legalization of the drug. And, not surprisingly, that's one of his big issues, and he's pretty much the only candidate talking about it.

I think the baseline for the Libertarians in Marion County is a bit screwed up at the moment due to the 2010 elections. In 2010, the Republicans put two poor candidates in the form of now-US Senator Dan Coats (perceived to be an in, from outside of the state) and now-Secretary of State Charlie White (who is under investigation for voter fraud). While obviously these two candidates won their races, it's not too hard to find a handful of Republicans who either skipped voting those offices, or cast votes for the Libertarian candidate. So I don't believe the baseline for Libertarians in Marion County is 5.54% or 4.86% (respective percentages for the LP candidates for Senate and Secretary of State). I think the baseline is somewhere around 3%, which, coincidentally, is just about what their candidate for the 7th Congressional District received.

So that means, beyond those 3% of voters, a Libertarian like Bill Levin is going to have to work for people to vote for him.

So can he do it?

Several comments on Easter's blog suggest that he's registering "every pot head" in Marion County. The problem with that is unreliable voters are well...unreliable. Just look at all the failed campaigns to get out the vote among the 18-22 year old adults. Despite massive funding, promotion on MTV and pimping by celebrities, they've all failed. People aren't going to vote unless they're self-motivated to do so. And Levin won't have MTV promoting his campaign.

But Levin is quite a character, I'll say that. He's a very tall man who is instantly recognizable, very social, and seems to be in touch with a segment of the population that most politicians avoid.


  1. getting out the youth vote isn't necessarily a failure -- after a lot of effort the youngins might not be voting at the same rate as old geezers but the real question is what would the youth vote be like WITHOUT some efforts? most likely: abysmally lower.

  2. Matt, Just ask yourself thsi question.How many people do you know that smoke weed or have smoked it . Probablythe answer is someplace between 7 or 7 out of 10. If he can get to that base,he could make a slash.No other CCC candidate is running on issues. Yes, Matt I know you are but I cant remember what the issue is.

    The point is that Levin is running on an issue that 75% of the poeple in Marion county have experience with. At lease we know where he stands on thsoe types of things and that we will not be the Mayors Voice onthe CCC like Angel and others.

    Can you even imagine Bill Levin on the CCC.It woudl be a three ring circus

  3. There's 3 years of blog entries to know exactly where I stand on the issues, Wurst.

    Levin is running on more than that, but again, it's an unreliable voter base. You say 7/10 would get out and vote based on that issue, but I say most people who have used pot don't define themselves by it and don't prioritize it as a voting issue. There are many people who support legalization across all political stripes, but they support it to varying degrees and often place other issues above it.

    I think the key to Levin at least becoming a spoiler is to both introduce new voters AND expand on issues to take votes from both sides.

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  5. I'm more concerned with Bill as more than a one-issue candidate, and I don't think people are looking beyond the "pot issue." He has some concerning views on things like zoning regulation. He thinks people should have carte blanche to do what they want on their property.

    Zoning laws and developments protect our neighbors from bad things and help preserve what little property value our homes in Marion County still have. If my neighbor wants to build a 25 foot steel wall around his house, I would hope that, as a neighbor, I'd have a say in what I want in my neighborhood.


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