Monday, August 29, 2011

Jennifer Pearsey joins Wallace for Governor Team

A reliable source has told me that Jim Wallace, campaigning for the GOP nomination for Governor of Indiana, is adding a new person to his team. Jennifer Pearsey will join Wallace's team as director of fundraising. Pearsey previously worked on Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's (R) campaign committee as a political director, and worked on the 25th floor as an executive assistant. She joins Jeff Howe, who is acting as Wallace's campaign manager.

As fellow blogger Paul Ogden warned recently, Jim Wallace should be treated as a serious candidate. There's no shortage of people, both in Indiana and nationally, who thought they had a nomination sealed and ended up losing.

UPDATE: I've uploaded the press release to my Google Docs account.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Political Potpourri: National Edition

Classes at Ivy Tech started last week, so I'm still trying to find the right balance between work, school, and free time. In the mean time, here's a mishmash of political tidbits that either I've picked up or read about elsewhere:

  • At-Large Libertarian City-County Council candidate Bill Levin has had his commercial up online for about a month now, but it received relatively little attention until Advance Indiana posted it on his blog. AI's author, Gary Welsh, noted that the gentleman Levin was chatting up in City Market was none other than Carlos May. May ran in the 2010 GOP primary for the 7th Congressional district nomination, which he lost to perennial candidate Marvin Scott. May is now back on the 25th floor working for Mayor Greg Ballard, and according to Welsh, May appearing in a Libertarian's video didn't sit well with Ballard. The video is now back up with a disclaimer saying that "Carlos May does not endorse Bill Levin."
  • Speaking of Levin, Melyssa Donaghy is hosting a fundraiser at her house on behalf of Levin. The fundraiser will be Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6pm. Contact info is available via her Blogger profile.
  • I had a very nice chat with the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police concerning my City-County Council candidacy. It was an absolute honor to be able to sit down with them and be considered for their endorsement.
  • I'm hearing Jim Wallace, who has been campaigning for the GOP nomination for Governor, is about to add a pretty high profile staff member next week. More on that later.
  • Abandoned and neglected buildings have been one of my interests that got me back into the political scene. Keystone Towers, a condemned apartment complex that was taken over by the city in 2008, is set to be imploded at 8am Sunday. If you want to see it for yourself, get there a bit early. City-County Councilor Christine Scales (R-District 3) will be present, and the Towers fall in her district.
  • And as to what makes this the "national edition", several GOP POTUS candidates either have or will be making their way through central Indiana soon. Herman Cain spoke at the Columbia Club not too long ago, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is set for next week, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is scheduled as well. I highly doubt Indiana will be "in play" as far as the GOP POTUS primary goes, but it shows how organized the GOP is at the state level that they're able to get candidates away from Iowa and New Hampshire for a few hours to spend time in a very red Midwest state. I'll be at the Huntsman event and if anything interesting happens, I'll let ya'll know.

That's all for now. I hope to attend some candidate forums (both for myself and to report on) in the near future, and if I do, I'll make sure to post about them. If you have any tips on stories or think there's a political event I need to attend, drop me an e-mail via my Blogger profile.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libertarian National Party Donates $50,000 to Ed Coleman's Campaign

The Libertarian National Committee recently announced that they'll be donating $50,000 to Edward Coleman's re-election campaign for the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. Coleman was originally elected to the council in 2007 as a Republican, but bolted and became a Libertarian after a series of disagreements concerning the Capital Improvement Board, among other issues. Coleman was originally and is currently serving as an At-Large councilor, but is running in his south-side district for re-election.

Most major party candidates for council only have a few thousand dollars in their campaign coffers (you can see financial statements with the county clerk's office here). Only a handful have more than $10,000, and most will be heavily relying on either the county and state party to support them, and/or their mayoral candidates. As of April, 2011, Jack Sandlin (Coleman's Republican opponent) only had a bit over $4k with over $1k in debt. Sandlin was appointed to the council recently after a vacancy opened up in that district.

No one is saying it won't be an uphill battle for any Libertarian candidate in any campaign, but this certainly puts District 24 in play.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Can Gay Bars Move Anymore? Trouble in Tippecanoe and NYC.

Over in Lafayette, Indiana, the town's only gay bar closed back in April, 2011 due to new ownership of the building that had new plans. The owners of Zoolegers, Dick Nagel and Wayne Applegate, wanted to move it to a new location that is currently vacant. It's only a few blocks away from the old location.

Now maybe it's because Lafayette, IN is so small, or maybe it's because it's near a riverfront, but they have to go before an Indiana board to get their liquor license for the new location rather than a county liquor licensing board. A common part of the process is to get a letter of support from the neighbors in the proposed site. That isn't happening, and the mayor of Lafayette, Tony Roswarski(D), has refused to sign a letter of support due to an anti-LGBT petition he received:

Roswarski reacted after receiving a petition that was circulated among property owners and businesses in the area of Sixth and Main streets, including people who live directly to the north in The Cracker Factory condominiums.

"Part of the application process is to get a letter from the mayor. It's an important part. Without the letter, they won't get the license," Roswarski said. "I chose not to send the letter. I don't think it's the right fit for people who live next door.

In the comments section of the linked article, some commenters said that Roswarski has betrayed promises made to the LGBT community. I'm not intimately familiar with politics in Tippecanoe, so take it with a grain of salt.

Bill Browning of the LGBT blog The Bilerico Project (and a native Hoosier) picks apart the article a bit more, since it never actually says that Zoolegers is a gay bar. Previously, Browning compiled a post that cited Lafayette, IN as the 5th highest concentration of same-sex couples, in terms of percentages.

A similar, but far more complicated, situation is arising in New York City in Greenwich Village, ironically only a few blocks away from The Stonewall Inn where it's largely accepted that the modern LGBT equality movement started.

So I guess gay bars just can't move anymore, huh? And these are in areas that are generally accepted to be LGBT friendly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dan Burton is Fucking Nuts

The Indianapolis Star's columnist Matthew Tully attended Representative Dan Burton's (R-5th) recent town hall meeting. It seemed pretty typical until I got to this tweet from Tully:

One voter just called for the suspension of most government regulations, "including the ADA." ... "I agree with you 100%" Burton said.

So I did some research. Turns out Burton did vote against the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. It was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. But apparently, ol' Danny had a change in heart because, in 2008, he voted for an ADA expansion signed by President George W. Bush.

And hey, maybe I took it a bit personally. I have a cardiac pacemaker, which means I can't go through the metal detectors found at security checkpoints at places like airports, some government facilities, and banks. I've had government officers try to deny me access to public buildings. Other times, employees or business owners try to kick me out when I try to bring my service dog into their place of business. So to hear Danny Burton that he wishes to repeal the law that enables those with disabilities to go about their lives without being discriminated against, well, it really only shows how privileged Danny is. He's spent a few decades working in government and has long ago forgotten what it's like to live among the people he supposedly represents.

And before I hear about how I'm able to patronize another business, yes, that's true in my case. However, someone who isn't as able bodied as me, or who lives in a small town that only has one grocery or pharmacy or what have you, well, being told you can't shop there kind of leaves you in a tough spot.

I can only conclude that Danny Burton is fucking nuts. When are you 5th district voters going to send this shameless man back home?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Herman Cain: Pokemon Master!

Basically, POTUS candidate Hermain Cain ended the Ames Iowa debate with a quote. It sounds all poetic and shit, but really, it's your basic pop song from a Pokemon movie soundtrack!

Mediaite has the full story.

On another note, I'll be seeing Hermain Cain on Monday at the Columbia Club hosted by the Indiana Republican Party. Any readers have questions that they'd like me to ask, feel free to submit them via the comments section, Twitter, or Facebook.

Let's ride the Cain train!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sinking Ship Back To Liquor Licensing Board

I've obtained a press release from the Englehart Group, a local consulting firm. It gives details on when the Sinking Ship's hearing will be held.

If you haven't taken the time to voice your support for The Sinking Ship, please consider e-mailing one of the owners at If you can't make the hearing, these letters of support will be shown to the Marion County Alcohol Licensing Board. Even though this is a fringe group of a handful of "neighbors" (most live several miles away), they can still do harm. It's no secret that if a bar loses it's liquor license, it'll go out of business.


For Immediate Release

August 12, 2011

Contact: Ray Volpe, 317-602-3620,


The Sinking Ship, a bar and restaurant in a revitalized neighborhood south of Broad Ripple in Indianapolis, has acquired the professional public relations counseling services of The Englehart Group to address the concerns of a small group of area neighbors.

“A few members of the Meridian-Kessler Neighbor Helping Neighbor Association have objected to The Sinking Ship receiving a renewal on their liquor license,” says Blair Englehart, President of The Englehart Group. “Their objections, as we understand them, primarily concern the clientele of the establishment – a concern which is completely baseless and unfounded and, quite frankly, seems to border on discrimination and harassment.

“The Sinking Ship is an outstanding corporate citizen that contributes significantly to the community,” Englehart adds. “They have invested approximately $750,000 in renovating the old Steck Plumbing Building, which had been abandoned. They employ 25 people and provide them with a substantial benefits package. And they maintain a peaceful premises, with appropriate rules, regulations and security.”

The Sinking Ship will next appear before the licensing board on Monday, August 15, at 9:00 a.m. to discuss their liquor license renewal. The public is encouraged to attend the session at the City-County to support the restaurant. Please join The Sinking Ship’s Facebook page for updates.

The Englehart Group is a Strategic Marketing Communications firm located in the historic Mass Avenue Arts District in downtown Indianapolis. The agency provides experienced, expert consultation, development and implementation in the areas of advertising, public relations and marketing. The Englehart Group is a division of Next Wave Systems, LLC, an engineering and technology company that specializes in alternative energy products and integrated defense and security systems based in Pekin, Indiana, with offices in Bloomington, Indiana; Merrillville, Indiana; Huntsville, Alabama; and Washington, DC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Abdul Is Out at WXNT: Let's Hear Your Conspiracy Theories!

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has said this coming Friday will be his last day as morning show host for 1430 WXNT-AM. Let's have some fun and guess what job(s) he'll be moving onto:

  • Working for the Melina Kennedy campaign to coach her in a debate, playing the role of Greg Ballard.
  • Working for the Greg Ballard re-election campaign on how to effectively run against Bart Peterson...again.
  • A 2 year sabbatical so he can get started on his authorized biography of Governor Mitch Daniels, tentatively titled "My Man Mitch: The Book"
  • A 1 year sabbatical to travel with his buddy Thomas John on the latest Phish reunion tour.
  • Finally getting that coveted 8pm-10pm slot on WIBC

Let's hear your thoughts. Where do you think he's off to?

(On a serious note, I hope Abdul is leaving WXNT only for the best of reasons and that he's moving on to a pasture that's just as, if not more, green. I'm not into kicking a man when he's down)

UPDATE: The Featherstone on Government blog is claiming a source is telling him that WXNT ended Shabazz's radio show so that they can bring in a syndicated show (IE cheaper). WXNT is already packed to the gills with syndicated radio programming except for a few hours on the weekends. I certainly hope this isn't true. It's becoming all too common for radio stations to resort to syndicated programming on both the AM or FM dial, and it really causes our media to lose a bit of local flavor when that happens.

Sometimes radio stations try to go even cheaper than syndicated broadcasts and just pre-record the bits from out-of-state and try to pass it off as live, local radio. I remember a few years back, WRZX-FM, the "alternative rock" station, fired one of their popular afternoon hosts, Nigel. They replaced him with an out-of-state DJ that would pre-record the little bits FM music DJs do between songs and before commercials. In the promotion of this new DJ, they claimed he was locally based, but listeners of the radio station discovered it was impossible to call in to make requests. After a few weeks, WRZX dropped the act and fired the out-of-state DJ and had one of their weekend filler DJs take the spot until a permanent replacement could be found. Money saving schemes like this are pretty common at Clear Channel owned radio stations, including WRZX. It'd be harder for an AM radio station to pull something like this, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised by anything. The Indianapolis Star also talked about this incident here.

UPDATE II: Abdul announced this morning that Entercom, the company that owns WXNT, will fill Abdul's time slot with the Wall Street Journal Report. I'm sure ratings are already quite low, but I can't imagine this will actually help.

C&W: Roads Are a One-Time Expense

Over at the conservative blog Capitol & Washington (the successor to Frugal Hoosiers), Mike O'Brien talks about the difference between mayoral nominee Melina Kennedy (D) and incumbent Mayor Greg Ballard (R). Specifically, he focuses on the differences in how they'd use the money from the water utility sale (you know, the money that just magically fell from the sky):

In 2006, during the toll road debate, when Democrats weren’t opposing Major Moves outright they were trying to spend the money on everything else. In the years since – especially since 2008 when state tax revenue collapsed – Democrats have recommended that road money be spent on everything from Medicaid to education. When I was working for the governor in 2006 during the toll road debate, he had a simple response to these proposals: we spend one-time money on one-time expenses.

If you spend one-time money on on-going expenses you’re going to run deficits when the money runs out.

I actually agree with O'Brien on that. One-time money, revenues that aren't part of an ongoing revenue stream, should be spent on one-time expenses. The Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council recently approved the use of a federal grant to level the blighted, vacant, city-owned properties where Keystone Towers and Winona Hospital now stand. That's a good use of one-time funds. They aren't paying salaries of an ongoing employee, it's just money used for a specific task, and that specific task won't ever be needed again because...well, you can't destroy the same building twice, right?

But last time I checked, roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes are not one-time expenses. When you build a road or sidewalk (and yes, new sidewalks are being built with the water utility money), you have to then also maintain them after they're built. At some point, this money is going to no longer be there. So what will happen when, 5-10 years down the line when these roads and sidewalks will need work on them again, and this money is long gone, what will be done then?

This one-time money should've gone into an expense that would last for a while. Roads tend to go over well for about 10 years, tops. An updated water infrastructure could last a lot longer. Sure, it's not as visible as paving roads, but it'd make progress on our EPA-mandated updated, and maybe we wouldn't have water shortage warnings every summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rick Perry Has a Google Problem

Man, that's one hell of a Google Problem. Especially in a Republican primary. Particularly "gay", "secession", and "bilderberg".

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bike Courier: Road Rules Aren't For Me

I often complain about motorists who thrust unjustified vitriol upon cyclists. But every now and then, I find exactly why these motorists hold these views.

This well written article from The Indianapolis Star (also via Indy Cog, which re-published the entire article) profiles a bicycle courier service, whose site I won't link to and whose company I won't identify. In the article, one of the owners of the company says he blows through red lights, goes in and out of traffic lanes at random, and doesn't have brakes on his bike. It's this type of behavior that ruins the reputation of cyclists who advocate for sharing the road and following all the rules that any other user of the road has to follow.

I'm all for pulling over and ticketing these assholes just like you'd pull over and ticket a motorist who weaves in and out of lanes, blows through red lights/stop signs.

Also, one of the things that pissed me off about the article was this particular passage:

Most of the couriers ride bikes with a single gear that causes the pedals to spin at the same rate as the wheels. Typically, the only way to stop is if the rider reverses the pressure on the pedals and skids to a halt or uses his feet to slow the bike. Jamison has been riding a fixed-gear bike since 2005. He described his two-wheeler as “bare bones,” with no cables, levers or extra parts to weigh it down. But it’s the collection of parts — a Fuji bike frame, a rare fork from Japan, an Italian seat — that makes his bike perfect.

This passage makes it sound like that single-speed and fixed-gear bikes are interchangeable terms, but they aren't (I don't quite understand the differences, but I'm assured by more knowledgeable gearheads that there are). It also seems to imply that a defining feature of fixed gear bikes is the lack of breaks. In fact, breaks can (and should) be put on a fixed gear, or any, type of bicycle that's going to be used as a mode of transportation.

I actually was at the downtown Circle Starbucks a few nights ago, and a couple of police officers were sitting at the table next to me. One of them asked me if my bike had breaks, and I responded "Yes sir, my bike is fully up to code." I don't think he was intimately familiar with the Indiana Code section that regulates bicycles, but he mentioned that "the article in the paper said some courier group doesn't put breaks on their bikes". Unbeknownst to me, he was probably referring to this article that I'm now writing about. I explained to him that just because a bike is a fixed-gear bike, it can still have breaks, and I told him my dad's fixed gear bike has breaks, and I showed him where my bike's breaks were located on my non-fixed-gear bike.

So for once, I'm with my motorist friends. These guys are assholes. Let's hope they either change or are out of business soon enough.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Goldsmith Out as NYC Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor Steve Goldsmith, who was largely blamed for two horribly managed winters in New York City, recently announced his retirement from "public service." That is if you believe the spin coming from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office. If you read what local New York City media are saying, it's a much different story.

Gary Welsh compiled several stories in this post, so I'll just direct you there.

Surprisingly, this story is making the rounds outside of the blogosphere. Several of my family members awoke to see an e-mail from my uncle this morning, linking a New York Post story talking about Goldsmith's "resignation." Goldsmith was Mayor of Indianapolis when my grandfather, Gordon Gilmer, retired from the City-County Council in 1999. Despite both being Republicans, they did not get along and didn't see eye-to-eye on many issues. It's funny how some things change, the more others stay the same.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Black Spider-Man and Roles of Race in Comics

Marvel Comics, one of two major publishers of superhero comics, recently pushed a big story in it's Ultimate Universe. They killed off that universe's Spider-Man. Peter Parker, unmasked, was brutally beaten by the Green Goblin while his Aunt May and neighbors looked on. The entire city of New York mourns and thousands show up at his funeral. And even though all this suffering is going on, Spider-Man's death inspires someone else to pick up the mantel.

Most of the characters in the Ultimate universe are versions found in Marvel's main universe. There's a Nick Fury, a Captain America, and so on. But the new Spider-Man is not a previously established character. It's a completely original creation by writer Brian Michael Bendis. The new Spider-Man is a young man named Miles Morales. Morales is the son of an interracial couple, making him half hispanic and half black.

This has set off a discussion in comic fans on why this is being done. Several media outlets had Bendis talking about how great this is since those of racial minorities will have a major character to look up to. Some fans have countered why does the color of a hero's skin matter?

And I was thinking about how someone's skin color isn't just...well, a color. It often means they are raised differently. In a different neighborhood, with a different type of family, different religion, different challenges. Could you see a white, middle class Peter Parker, living in a suburb, dealing with gangs or drug dealers (outside of beating them up as Spider-Man)? No. It just wouldn't be a problem. But could a black Spider-Man living in a more urban part of town? Most certainly.

Now could this be a cheap ploy for publicity? Sure. But I'm optimistic. This could be a real good chance for Marvel to tell some unique stories to a mostly white, 20-50 something male audience.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

The Washington Post is looking for the best political blogs, state-by-state. And they haven't received a SINGLE NOMINATION for an Indiana-based blog.

So um, go to that link and make a comment. The URL for the blog is! You can log in via your Facebook account or just make an account at the Post's website. Similarly, you can also do a @reply on Twitter to TheFix's Twitter acocunt with the hashtag #fixfavorites. Also my Twitter username is @IndyStudent

I mean, I might just go ahead and do it myself, but still, one of you could do it as well.

Transgendered or Transsexual?

I'm putting this out to my readers because, I'll be honest, I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to the "T" in LGBT. So after reading all this, what say you?

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that the city, working with the Department of Code Enforcement, is cracking down on prostitution using the recent Brickyard 400 event as an attempt to prepare for the likely increase in prostitution during the 2012 Superbowl.

In the main story, there's a picture of the alleged prostitute getting arrested on the street by a Marion County Sheriff's Deputy. The caption on the picture identifies the person as a transsexual. The person is dressed as a woman, appears to have the physical features of a woman, and has a name typically associated with women. Sidenote: This picture also appeared on a TV news outlet's print version of their story as well, and their caption also identified the alleged prostitute as transsexual.

The Star's picture gallery has further pictures and more captions. Several of the captions in the picture gallery identify the alleged prostitute as a "transexual male".

Wikipedia has a page for trans man, which has the following:

A trans man, transman, trans guy, or FTM is a transgender or transsexual man: a person who was assigned female at birth, but who identifies as male.

The label of transgender male is not interchangeable with that of transsexual male although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender males identify with the male gender identity, transsexual males may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender male is someone whose gender identity is male, but who does not necessarily change himself physically.

So readers, what are your thoughts? I'm initially inclined to say "transgender male" would be the most appropriate terminology with my secondary thoughts being "why identify the person's sexual orientation or gender identity at all?".

UPDATE: Somehow, Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana showing the alleged prostitute hanging around with Mayor Greg Ballard. I'd sure like some context on that.