Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank You, Rahm Emanuel...

for running for Mayor of the city of Chicago. Not because I really care, but because it inspired this fake Twitter account, which is awesome.

Just a little bit of humor for those in the doldrums at work.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

County GOP's At-Large Candidates (finally) Revealed

A very reliable source told me who the Marion County GOP will be nominating for their At-Large candidates. Barbara Malone will be running for re-election. She's the only one that was elected in 2007 that is still sitting on the council. Angel Rivera was elected by caucus to replace Kent Smith, who resigned due to his duties in the National Guard. Jackie Cissell and Michael Kalsheur round out the At-Large slots.

The source also tells me there are two candidates who have filed to replace Robert Cockrum, who was first elected in the late 1990s. Those two candidates are Rom Byrum and Jason Holliday.

The county GOP will be holding their slating convention February 12, 2011 at Brebeuf Jesuit High School.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gov. Daniels' Job "Realization" Numbers Still a Fraud

Bob Segall of WTHR continues his award winning investigation into the job numbers that public officials such as Governor Mitch Daniels and Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob often trot out in an attempt to impress the public.

Do read the entire article, or the entire series if you haven't been keeping up. Segall and his team have dug deep into the numbers and have had to fight Roob and Daniels every step of the way to get this data. It's worth keeping in mind that Roob, who has been in Indiana politics since the administration of former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith, is not much of a people person. If you didn't already know that before, you'll certainly find out after reading Segall's reports.

Also, what in the hell is a "realization"? City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn used this same term when defending the water deal. It sounds as if "realize" means jobs or financial savings just magically fall from the sky. It sounded like nonsense then, and it sounds like nonsense now.

I've voted for Daniels twice, and I'm generally supportive of his overall agenda, but he has made some awful appointments to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. If this is the calibre of appointees we can expect in a Daniels' White House, there's no way he'll be getting my vote.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Political Grab Bag

I have several stories that are developing and researching. Among them:

I'm hearing some rumblings that a major supporter of Mayor Greg Ballard's 2007 campaign (and a very public critic of former Mayor Bart Peterson) is switching teams and will be supporting Melina Kennedy's campaign for mayor of Indianapolis. I'd like to have some more substance as to why this individual is "switching teams", so to speak, before publishing anything else.

The so-called North of South Deal, which would issue $98 million in city-backed bonds so Lilly could build a new campus area in town, is going to be put before the City-County Council in the near future. Hopefully our council, especially the Republicans, will remember that the free market has spoken and no private lender would back this deal. I'm sure Pat Andrews will be covering this extensively over at Had Enough Indy?

Speaking of Pat, she is hosting a fund raiser this Thursday at 4pm. Details can be found here. Andrews is campaigning to become one of the four slated Democrat candidates for the City-County Council At-Large nominations. Zach Adamson, who is currently uncontested in his bid for slating, is also hosting a fund raiser as well. Details can be found here.

I've been hearing some complaints about difficulty in finding out who is your precinct committeeman in the county parties. I'm going to find out for myself, and hope for the best.

Finally, the heirstraub user has posted a new video. This one names a few names. And I've got to say, this isn't the first time I've heard about these types of antics.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, I am 100% of the identity of the individual I refer to in the first part of this blog post. However, I want to know why he/she is switching sides before I publish anything else.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shame on WISH-TV

WISH-TV has hired former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi as a consultant/talking head on legal matters.

This is both interesting and disgusting on several fronts.

I certainly don't fault Brizzi for taking this job. His reputation is tarnished in the county Republican Party, and I'm certain that goes for the legal profession as well. Man's gotta eat, right?

But I can fault WISH-TV for this. He's been out of office for all of 13 days, but there are several matters on the horizon that he had a hand in and will likely be asked to comment. He'll be able to control his message exclusively through WISH-TV on matters such as the Officer David Bisard case, and the ongoing federal investigation involving Tim Durham.

I just thought that the media in this town knew better. But they always seem to surprise me.

Okay, So There's One Less Clown

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a press release today clearing the air about the controversy surrounding Representative Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) and possible legislation that would ban the use of Sharia in Indiana courts. Borders says he was merely discussing a "wish list" of legislation, and one of those items was proposing the banishment of "foreign law" in Indiana courts. Borders says he was specifically asked by the reporter about Sharia, the holy law of Islam, and Borders said that could be included.

Part of the press release reads:

“I regret being pulled into this issue because I never had the intention of targeting Indiana’s Muslim constituents specifically,” said Rep. Borders. “I believe all Americans have the right to freedom of religion and that Muslims should not be targeted for discriminatory measures.”

“We welcome the opportunity for open dialogue and are happy to help Representative Borders clear the air on the issue of the reported anti-Sharia bill,” said Rehab.

Rehab noted that current legislation ensures the supremacy of federal and state laws and that an anti-Sharia bill would have been redundant.

Kudos to Borders and CAIR for getting this mess cleaned up. Now we can move on to more pressing issues.

More At-Large Candidates Pile on in Democrat Party, Where is the GOP???

My colleague Jon Easter over at Indy Democrat has compiled two interesting posts (here and here) on the upcoming slating convention here and here.

The first post explains how slating will work for the nominations for At-Large City-County Council seats, of which there are four. Previously, all candidates ran in one category and, if I understand correctly, the top four vote getters in slating would be the "slated"/party endorsed candidates for the May primary.

Marion County Democrat Party Chairman Ed Treacy had concerns over the aforementioned method. He believes there are precinct committeemen who would only vote for one candidate, thus possibly making it harder for lesser known but still qualified candidates to even have a shot. So instead of running in one big pile, At-Large candidates can file in four different slots. Then, during slating, everyone votes for one candidate in each slott.

Currently, Zach Adamson and Joanne Sanders are in their own slots and thus uncontested. Adamson is a downtown business owner of Just Hair. If nominated, he'd be the first openly gay candidate for the City-County Council. Sanders is the only Democrat At-Large councillor and currently serves as Minority Leader of the Democrat caucus.

The two slots that are contested are between Pat Andrews and John Barth, and Annette Johnson and Leroy Robinson. Andrews has served in various community groups such as the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Association (MCANA). Barth has worked within the non-profit sector for several years and also serves on the board of Project Home Indy. Johnson sits on several Democrat organizations based in Pike Township and previously ran for the 7th district City-County Council nomination in 2007, which ultimately went to Maggie Lewis. Robinson is the most recent candidate to file, and I honestly know little more than what's displayed on his Facebook page.

Jon Easter keeps saying that the field for At-Large is going to "blow up", and so far, he's been right.

The question that sits in my mind is that three of the candidates (Barth, Johonson, and Adamson) have been running for the seat for the better part of 2010, and Sanders is the incumbent. Does that put Andrews and Robinson at a disadvantage?

And if more candidates file, which slot will they file under? I find it interesting that the two candidates who are African-American are in the same slot. Will Adamson or Sanders also face a challenger?

And while all this activity is going on in the left side of the isle, what's going on with the right?

Frankly, I haven't a clue. I've talked to several insiders within the Marion County GOP and I haven't heard a peep. Either my sources are being sly, or they have as much of an idea as I do. I can only presume that Barbara Malone and Angel Rivera, the two sitting Republican At-Large council members, will be running. Malone won election in 2007, while Rivera was appointed via caucus after Kent Smith resigned from the council to attend to his duties in the National Guard.

Maybe they'll employ the same "winning" strategy they used in 2007 and 2010. While the county GOP slated four At-Large council candidates in 2007, the only one that received significant party support after the primary was Kent Smith. Smith even appeared in some of then-candidate Greg Ballard's political commercials, as seen here. In 2010, the only candidate to get significant party support after the primary was Mark Massa, the candidate for prosecutor. Despite support from the county party, state party, and Governor Mitch Daniels, he lost to now-Prosecutor Terry Curry. All other county-wide GOP candidates in 2010 lost.

The third Republican to win election to the At-Large seats in 2007, Edward Coleman, later bolted and became a Libertarian. Coleman is arguably the highest elected official in the entire Libertarian Party nationwide, and one can imagine that the national party will support the state and county party in his effort to retain the seat he holds.

While the Democrat field seems to be very active, with several At-Large and district candidates for council announced, the GOP field seems to be stone cold. And in a town/county with demographics that lean Democrat, the GOP needs to hit the ground running and soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here Come the Clowns

With Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly (including a quorum proof majority in the Senate), the state Republicans and Governor Mitch Daniels are likely going to have a very successful final two years. Of course, with that success, some of the crazies come out.

State representative Bruce Border (R-Jasonville) plans to introduce legislation stating that the state of Indiana does not recognize Sharia. Sharia is the sacred law of Islam. In several theocratic Islamic countries, a form of Sharia also dictates civil laws as well as religious laws.

Outside of those theocratic countries, Sharia as a form of civil law isn't widespread. From what I've gathered, there's some civil court set up in the United Kingdom in areas that have a large Muslim population. But people who go to that court do so voluntarily, so what's the big deal?

The big deal is that there's a good chunk of powerful Republicans who are stroking imaginary fears of the paranoid, and just so happen to be using the religion of Islam to fear monger. However, the Republicans know that they can't flat out outlaw Islam, so they craft these pieces of legislation to show their paranoid base "Hey, we did something!"

So what can the Republicans do?

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Lawrence/Fishers) can refuse to assign it to a committee, and his counterpart in the Senate can make sure that similar legislation isn't also introduced. The General Assembly has a lot on it's plate, including crafting a 2011 budget with declining revenues and reforming education. They don't need to waste time on pandering. Save that for the campaign trail.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doctor Director Straub vs IMPD Continues...on the INTERNET!

There is a new video from the heirstraub YouTube account that contains several stunning accusations in regards to the Good Doctor Frank Straub. Among them was that one of his sons came to visit, but he wasn't available so he had one of his security detail officers take him out on the city's dime.

It seems like whoever is behind the heirstraub account is also disappointed in recent actions by the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, William Owensby. Owensby recently sat down with Straub and other officials from the Department of Public Safety and reportedly had a good conversation. The heirstraub user is taking that as if Owensby and the FOP are now going to roll over.

I don't buy that. I spoke to Owensby when the City-County Council committee was hearing public comment on Straub's re-confirmation. Owensby spoke passionately on his position that Straub is not the right man to lead the charge on any type of reform within the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Just because the very public war of words is over doesn't mean Owensby and the FOP have compromised their position.

On another note, I've noticed the heirstraub video uploads refer to Greg Ballard as Mayor Marine. It seems to be a common nickname for those who have been let down by the Ballard administration.