Wednesday, July 29, 2009

City County votes against citizens, Constitution; for millionaires and taxes

My grandfather, Gordon Gilmer, used to represent most of Pike Township on the Indianapolis City-County Council years ago. This was the first time in a long time I’ve been inside that room for a council meeting, and arguably the first one I attended where I had enough knowledge to recognize what was going on.

During this meeting, the city-county members and the selfish supporters of the resolution took up the vast majority of a four hour meeting. They presented their figures about how much the CIB, and moreso, the convention industry, does for the city. The hotel management even dragged their workers to this meeting, which took up the back half of the public meeting space. In uniform. Just as Mr. Ogden predicted on his blog.

Only two were not blatantly biased in favor of the bill. A professor put together a quickly done study, ordered by Robert Lutz, that showed only 7,300 jobs are produced as a result of the convention business and the money visitors spend during those conventions. This figure is drastically different than the 66,000 jobs that the proponents cited, but Don Welsh managed to spin the professor’s independent study so it’d go along with his presentation. As for the second, a representative of the Libertarian Party was called forward to give some testimony. But he got off topic during his time, and it’s clear none of the representatives bothered to listen.

After all of that, Lutz strictly limited public input to two minutes per person. Apparently, 3 and a half hours into it and having only heard one side, he had all he needed, and didn’t need to hear about stuff like what the public thinks, or what the Indiana Constitution says, or any of that pesky non-sense.

Over at Hoosiers for Fair Tax, they mention the part of the Consitution I read during the public's two minutes per person. Article 10, Section 6, which clearly prohibits the county from using tax payer money to support what the CIB does, which is prop up the Colts and Pacers. And don't be fooled, just because the $15 million wasn't in the specific budget NOW, doesn't mean that the money won't be used for it.

But that isn't the only part of the Constitution that this violtes. Article 10, Section 12 says "nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association."

Clear as day.

But the committee voted 5-1 against the Constitution. Against the will of the peope. And probably against a good number of no new tax pledges too.

Hooisers for Fair Tax has more about the two council members who didn't bother to show up.

A new entry will link to all the blogs covering this event, as they'll surely be updated soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Traffic Court, my experience

About three weeks ago, I was driving home from IUPUI's campus, avoiding the highway and just going via Lafayette Road. To get there, you have to go across a bridge on Michigan and turn past some railroad tracks, a hotel, and a school. As I was between the hotel and school, two state troopers pulled me over on their motorcycles.

I had noticed them already and knew I wasn't speeding.

But after "license and registration" (at the time, I couldn't produce my registration), I ended up with a ticket for "Improper wearing of safety belt". They could see how I was wearing it through my car because, well, they were really close.

Only after some looking at the law did I learn that "Click It Or Tick It" is very misleading, because it doesn't inform you on how to wear a seat belt (it's according to some federal manual) or about one of the 13 exemptions to the law, which I was under.

I have a cardiac pacemaker and the regular use of a seatbelt could be harmful to it. I've been wearing it under my arm while still strapped around my waist. Sometimes it's re-done by a plastic sealt belt adjuster.

Either way is illegal without a written doctor's note confirming it.

After remembering Paul Ogden's various entries on the traffic court, I decided to just pay the $25.

As Ogden has reported the traffic court blatantly violates the US Constitution and Indiana Constitution. Open courts and, under Indiana's, the right to not have unreasonable fines associated with a court case, are broken regularly. Multiple signs posted say that nobody besides the defendent is allowed in the court room. Other signs say that, if you lose the court case, in addition to the ticket and court fees, up to $500 can be added.

The Traffic Court's website says $1,000.

Neither are constitutional, and probably violate other laws and regulations too. Not to mention just plain common sense. In a regular day's activity, it isn't uncommon for someone to accompany you. Might be for business, for social activity, or something completely beyond your control. There's no reason to exclude them from what should be a public courtroom.

But that's not what I wanted to concentrate on, but rather, the building itself.

Nevermind that it's in an area not easily accessible by highway.

The parking situation is horrible. In the main entrance, two handicapped spaces are available. A third appears to have originally been placed in the lot too, but has almost completely faded and is now reserved for police.

As you enter, it's not clear which of three lines you should actually get into. Unless you ask, the only signs posted to explain the process are, coincidentally, by the cashier window, which would be the last stop.

The hallway is fairly small and I'd hate to see it if someone with a service dog or a wheel chair had to get through there.

And to top it all off, the first line I had to stand in ended right by a metal detector. Fortunately, it didn't appear to be on, but that's a clear violation of ADA. A building must be readily accessible to patrons, regardless of disability. It was only by luck that I was able to walk by it without my pacemaker malfunctioning.