13 December 2004

An Eye for an Eye

Now I may upset some of you, but I expect as much. Just 40 minutes ago, a jury of his peers recommended the death penalty for Scott Peterson. I agree with that decision for him. I know that a lot of it was circumstantial evidence, and there was no murder weapon, but there were just too many coincidences for it not to be, in my opinion. I know my faith preaches for me to turn the other cheek, but how could I do that when a man kills not only his wife, but his unborn son as well.

For the most heinous crimes, the most heinous punishment is necessary. I don't believe necessarily in an eye for an eye, but this is a definite exception to this rule. I couldn't justify what he did to anyone, and I don't think many people could. His life should not be spared, but I have a gut feeling he wouldn't last long in the hole (see Jeffery Dahmer).

I believe in live and let live, but in this case that rule goes right out the window. Scott Peterson is getting what he deserves.

08 December 2004

Channeling Our Frustrations

In today's media, there are numerous sources of entertainment. It's a 500-channel digital world, with something for everyone it seems. ESPN, CNN, Discovery Channel, the list goes on and on. What irks me is that there is a group that is responsible for seemingly every "outrage" over what's considered indecent on the air. The Parents Television Council (PTC) goes up in arms over every little tidbit they consider wrong. Now I understand Nipple-gate at the Super Bowl was a bit much, and some action needed to be taken about it. However, I don't think that gives them the right to tell the general public what should and shouldn't be broadcast over the airwaves.

My parents always told me, if I don't like something on television, buy my own TV, or simply don't watch what's on. So I did just that. Besides, if I don't watch a show, that's one less viewer, which means less money spent for advertising on said program. That in turn could lead to a show going off the air. If you've seen Field of Dreams, you understand. If you watch it, they will come. They being the advertisers. Conversely, if you don't watch it, they won't come.

As I said on Abdul in the Morning, it's really simple. What's good for you may not be good for me, so don't make that choice on my behalf, because I may not agree with it. It's a very simple free-market idea that involves personal choice. Hmmm, how libertarian of me! If you want to watch Sex and the City, Sportscenter, or the Crocodile Hunter, that's cool. I'll be here, watching my Law and Orders, and totally content with the fact that I have the ability to do just that. That's my choice.

07 December 2004

Bureaucracy in Baseball

That's right...the federal government gets in your pocket, wants to get in your bedroom, now it wants in on the national pastime. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), considered one of the more moderate Republicans in Washington, wants to form legislation cracking down on steroid use in baseball. I think that's a bit much considering they have more of a time passing legitimate intelligence reform or a balanced budget.

If Barry Bonds wants to inject himself full of roids, so be it. It's his body, he is the one dealing with the consequences of his choices. Also, Senator McCain should focus on more pressing issues, such as the issues I mentioned earlier. It's not the government's job to interfere in a private venture, unless the greater good was being infringed upon. People still pay big bucks to see Bonds, fellow juicer (ALLEGED) Jason Giambi, and others play a child's game.

If baseball wants to let their guys blow up like Goodyear blimps, that's fine. They're doing it to themselves. The best way to send the game a message is simply not to watch them play.

06 December 2004

Lefty Libertarians???

A misconception about libertarians is that they're pissed off Republicans, far right wingers. That may be a group within the party, but there are others like myself who come from the left side of the aisle. Those that abhor the Patriot Act, hate seeing the destruction of what government control does to the very Earth we live on. I despise the war in Iraq because it was initiating force to achieve a socio-political objective. If two people of the same sex want to get married, it's not my time or place to say it's wrong. It's your private decision, as long as you don't infringe on the rights of another person.

Friends of mine who are liberal in their beliefs look at me and think I'm a kook, but when we're sitting down over a beer (which we usually are), and I explain that I'm more socially accepting than most Democrats, they look at me with a newfound respect. What this boils down to, is if you think that Democrats are more and more out there, and won't support your personal choices, look to libertarians. It's your life, your choice.

Where Do We Go From Here??

Right now is the political hangover season. The election's over, and the decisions are being made for the next term. In the 24 hour world we live in where you can instantly get information (like the blog you're reading), there is a risk of overload. Ignoring the situation will get it out of the mindset of some, but the situation is still there.

Currently, Gov.-elect Daniels is putting together his team for the next four years. I think he has his heart in the right place, and I think the results will be better than the previous administration. I don't think that he'll achieve everything I'd like to see, but the challenge before him and the General Assembly is very intimidating. Legislators will be making tough decisions on how to compensate for the $800 million structural deficit facing Indiana.

If my family didn't have the money for extras in our life, we simply tightened our belt and made do. That could have meant no vacation, but looking back, it was the right thing to do. If that means no porkbarreling for a couple of years, a legislator can look back and say, "I did my part to shrink the size of the government for my constituents." I respect that. Legislator X stood up and realized these are indeed tough times, and sacrifices have to be made for the greater good of the state.

I understand that Indiana did suffer worse than the nation when the recession hit in the early part of the decade, and we're just now recovering. In order to keep the recovery going, the General Assembly, and Gov.-elect Daniels are going to have to make the tough choices necessary to show the people of Indiana that they made the right choices November 2.

On the federal level, with Republicans in the White House, and in both chambers of Congress, federal spending increased domestically 7-10% in Bush's first term. Let's see if My Man Mitch, Speaker Bosma, and the Republicans in the General Assembly can give our state a 7-10% reduction in spending. That is my challenge to the Indiana GOP. You say you're the party of small government, so put your money where your mouth is.

20 November 2004

Brad and Mike in the Morning

What a day! Abdul on WXNT called in to see the dentist, but it was Klop and Kole to the rescue!! Libertarian radio all morning in Abdul's stead, and it was fun, informative, and definitely interesting. Notable libertarians on all morning, from presidential candidate Michael Badnarik (who I finally realized is a kook), former congressional/mayoral/gubernatorial candidate Andy Horning, LaPorte County Chair Greg Kelver, as well as Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita, and others.

Mike Kole, LP Hamilton County Chair, and Brad Klopfenstein, LPIN Executive Director were on the air from 6-9 this morning talking politics, and having a blast on the mic. They took all calls, chatted with guests, even had time to poke fun at themselves. Hell even "President Clinton" called in to talk with the guys.

I think the end result of the guys getting on for three hours was a good thing, expressing good values of the party, and promoting us in the "we're just like everyone else" light.

On a non-political note...the Pacers-Pistons game was a trip!!! I couldn't believe that happened tonight!!!

17 November 2004

A New Era

Hello everyone, I'm back. A self-imposed moratorium on virtually all politics for 15 days is definitely a good thing. Most of the election dust has settled, and people have made their choices. Indiana is now a one-party state, electing Mitch Daniels, and giving the House back to the GOP. For years, the Republicans have said that if we elect them, they'll make it happen, it being shrinking the size of the state government. I find this hard to believe.

An $800 million budget deficit has to be dealt with somehow. During the campaign, the evil phrase "tax increase" was rarely uttered. It was "cut this, cut that." Now that the election is over, the "cut this, cut that" mentality is switching to "all options are on the table." Now, as a idealist living in the real world *sigh*, I would rather them raise the sales tax 1% with a sunset provision on there that would end in either 2006 or 2008, that way it falls in an election year, holding the entire legislature accountable, be it Democrats or Republicans. That money collected would have to go towards paying off the state's debt, not for some pet project.

Enough about taxes. Another subject picking up steam as the General Assembly reconvenes is the issue about Daylight Savings Time (DST). I personally think that Indiana should be on Central Standard Time (CST), or Chicago time. We are geographically and culturally closer to Chicago than that of New York, Boston, or Washington, DC. I realize that there are several counties on the Ohio River and in southeastern Indiana that observe Eastern time year-round, and that would not change. This just puts the state in line with the rest of the country. My rationale on this is I have family on both coasts, and they forget that Indiana does not "change their clocks."

The issue of gay marriage will likely come to the forefront of Indiana politics again. I just don't think that marriage should be an issue in government. To me, marriage is a sacred and holy institution officiated by an ordained minister of faith. If that denomination accepts two men or two women in matrimony, so be it. A personal choice shouldn't be left to government to decide. To me, it's the same as saying that certain people should not be allowed to have children. It also reminds me of the "black codes" I've studied in American History, including the one where no free-black could marry a white person because they were "inferior." Nowadays, it's common, so what's the big deal???

Remember this, in the first debate between Gov.-elect Daniels, outgoing Gov. Kernan, and Kenn Gividen, Daniels agreed with Gividen five times. He now has four years to prove he won't maintain the status quo for the state.

03 November 2004


Man, am I beat!!! Yesterday was the biggest day in my young life, as I was a candidate for the very first time. Getting to my home precinct at 5:45 AM, I was welcomed with a line that wrapped around the firehouse, and pouring rain. I jumped out and proceeded to convince people to vote for me for County Council. It was fun, talking with voters, handing out palmcards letting voters know where I stand, yada yada yada. I was there with two people from the GOP side. We talked and joked, and I think that it made the morning go fairly quickly.

I finally voted at about 9 AM, after waiting in line 30 minutes. I was so busy at the precinct that I ran out of palmcards to hand out. Thankfully, LPIN Chair Mark Rutherford was coming from another precinct, and he gladly picked up more for me. At 6 PM, I packed up, tired and water-logged and made my way to Indy for the post-election party.

In Indy, it was a who's who of libertarians. We all kicked back, ate and drank, watching poll numbers come in statewide and nationally with the presidential race. I found out that I pulled 6% in a 5-way race for three seats. Usually a Libertarian candidate pulls 2-3% in a 3-way, but I did much better than I ever dreamed of doing. I joked if I received 10%, I'd do an Irish jig, but everyone was spared of my Riverdance routine (thankfully).

I want to especially thank Phil Miller, for his guidance and support, as well as showing me one year ago that there are people like me that believe in personal freedom and small government. I want to thank the support from a lot of great people, so numerous I'll probably forget one or two. Brad Klopfenstein, Mark Rutherford, Sam and Jame Goldstein, Rebecca Sink-Burris, Sheri Sharlow, Mike Kole, Rob Place, Margaret Fette, Paul Ehrstein, the list goes on and on, thank you very much for believing in me this year. I plan to win in 2006.

27 October 2004

It'll Be a Cold Day in Hell When....

Right now it's a little chilly down there, considering Boston just won the World Series. I think that was the 7th Sign of the Apocalypse, so if you hear horsemen, RUN! Sports can be such a release for people (like me right now) that have all this political drama in their life. One state, two state, red state, blue state. I'm glad that something as simple as a child's game can give the nation a well-deserved reprieve from the frantic, often chaotic week before a presidential election.

I know I'm supposed to talk about Libertarian news and views on this, but it was an amazing feat. Now, it'll be a cold day in Hell if I win on Tuesday!

21 October 2004

Debate Drama

Today I had a couple of candidate forums. Being the novice in this arena, I expected to vomit on my mic. Thankfully, that didn't happen, but I was extremely nervous to those who witnessed it. The topics were simple and easy, and I did my best to stay on message. I was most concerned with the little red light on the camera glaring at me. According to others (who are very friendly) I came off very well, with just a hint of the jitters. I wanted to just puke everywhere. Politics is a strange game, you think you know how something will pan out, and BAM, you are a deer in the headlights!

I did enjoy myself, the other candidates were extremely nice, especially one of the incumbents, Walt Waitt. He reminds me of my grandfather, firm but exceptionally friendly. He always had a little joke for me, just to keep things light. It is county council, not ruler of the known universe. We discussed the fairgrounds, I stated my message that I don't think penny one of the taxpayers' money should be spent on a private project. The government is a referee, not a player when it comes to the private sector. I did state that roads are of paramount importance to the well-being of the county, and should take priority when it comes to spending. I know I've said it before, but YOU HAVE TO HAVE ROADS.

I said that while a comprehensive plan for the county is a good thing to have, private property owners' rights should come first. Bond issues are not an option when people have been taxed to death, one citizen told her story of how property taxes are breaking her financially. It is a sad day when the government takes someone out of her home in the name of "progress."

All in all, a good day, an interesting day, but another day in the life.

18 October 2004

Gone Muddin'

Last night at the gubernatorial debate at IU-Southeast, Mitch Daniels and Joe Kernan were just slinging the mud all around. No topic was really sacred. IPALCO, prescription drugs, jobs, the economy, property tax, etc. The two weren't jabbing each other, they were going for the KO. In the middle was not a referee, it was Kenn Gividen.

Kenn was honestly sick of the personal attacks, making that clear numerous times. He took the high road, commending the other two candidates on their character and integrity. It boiled down to if you're sick of hearing the D's and R's point fingers and blame each other, don't vote for them. Vote for someone who wants to get the state back on track, with good jobs and less intrusion, vote Libertarian.

14 October 2004

Crunch Time

It's 19 days out from an election. The most critical times will soon be upon us. Debates on the local level will start to wind down. Yard signs will be going up like weeds. Last minute meetings, shaking hands and kissing babies, the whole nine yards. Before we know it, November 2 will be upon us.

It brings a smile to my face seeing people walk into the precinct and cast a ballot. That means they care enough about their futures that they want a say in it. That is why people run for office too. I care enough about keeping spending down, I'm trying to do something about it. It breaks my heart to hear, "Oh Chris, you're a Libertarian. You'll never win." If everyone who said that pulled the lever by my name, I'd win in a landslide.

The point is, don't vote for the name next to the name. If you believe in a candidate, vote the candidate, vote your conscience. But don't let others vote for you. It is then that you've truly lost.

13 October 2004

A Day in the Life

What a whirlwind! I apologize for not posting that regularly, it's a very busy time for me. School full-time, work full-time, my campaign, plus helping with Our Guy Gividen is really an exhausting task. The past 48 hours has been an absolute roller-coaster of emotions. I found out about 8pm on Monday that Kenn Gividen, Libertarian candidate for governor, was to be excluded from the debates this Sunday in New Albany.

I wake up yesterday, on my way into class, all I hear on WXNT is how we (LPIN) are getting the shaft on the debates. It was basically a three hour pulpit to show how R's and D's were picking on the little guy. Each side was tripping over each other, but that's politics sometimes. Kip Tew, state Democrat chair, said it was Mitch Daniels' side. Bill Oesterle, Mitch Daniels' campaign manager, said it was Kernan's camp keeping Kenn out.

I got out of class, grabbed lunch, and met up with other libertarians on Monument Circle. LPIN Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein went on offense completely, with many prominent people standing up and believing that, "YES! WE CAN!" put Kenn in the debates. From there, it's lunch time (for everyone else), while I just grab a Diet Coke. The press came out for this one, WISH, WTHR, WXNT-AM, Network Indiana, and the Indianapolis Star, plus others sent reporters to hear our polite outrage over this.

By this time, it's now about 1:30 in the afternoon. I met a local pizza shop owner at the City Market. Really nice guy, he believes that it's time for a change, and the LPIN is the best option for that change. I gave him some yard signs, bumper stickers, literature, etc.

Time for the roadie :)....LaPorte here we come! Riding in the Kenn-mobile, I got a first-hand look at how busy this man really is. Before we even get from the LPIN offices to the interstate, he's doing a radio interview for a station in Chesterton. Kenn knows his stuff inside out! Along the way, he did an interview with the Indy Star, plus got confirmation that he would be in the debate! YAY!

When we got to LaPorte, I couldn't have been any happier, or so I thought, since Kenn was back in the debate. But we got to LaPorte for the opening of the new county party HQ there, and I see this big sign in downtown LaPorte that says VOTE LIBERTARIAN! That floored me! Greg Kelver LPLP Chair, Doug Barnes, Jack Lemley (who lets us use this building, thank you Jack), and others have really invested a lot of time, energy and care into making LaPorte County a thriving Libertarian stronghold.

Brad was there along with LPIN Chair Mark Rutherford, LPIN State Secretary (and Secretary of State candiate for 2006) Mike Kole, and Justin Kempf . We brought the heat from Indy along with us. Greg put on a great show, with ribbon cutting from the mayor, a live remote from a local radio station for 90 minutes, good food, good people, and a great cause!

What a day! I couldn't even stay awake on the ride back. I got home safe and sound and went right to sleep. Just another day in the life.

04 October 2004

The Debate about Debates

One thing that makes America great: the right to choose. Coke or Pepsi, paper or plastic, white or wheat. One thing that isn't great is the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates. They say only Democrats and Republicans can debate. The only way another party gets on there is if the candidate is polling 15% nationwide on a consistent basis. The last time that happened was in 1996 when Ross Perot participated, and that was when the non-partisan League of Women Voters ran the debates.

This is supposed to be the country where freedom of choice is supreme. Why doesn't the League of Women Voters reclaim the debates or make the rules a bit more relaxed. If a candidate is on enough state ballots to theoretically claim the White House, then the candidate is in. That would include Michael Badnarik (L), Michael Peroutka (C), and Ralph Nader (I). David Cobb (G) would be on the outside looking in, along with Roger Calero, the Socialists' Workers Party. Calero cannot even be President according to the Constitution, simply because Calero isn't even a citizen of the United States.

This would give citizens the opportunity to hear all of the candidates, not just a joint press conference as I like to call it. But I got a better chance of seeing Johnny Cash in concert tomorrow than I do of seeing this debate commission come to its senses.

30 September 2004

Alex, I'll take SnoozeFest for $1000, please.

Blah Blah Blah. Yada Yada Yada. The "wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa, wa wa" sound that the teacher made on the Peanuts show. The sounds I just referred to were very similar in nature to those made by President Bush and Senator Kerry tonight. In Miami, those two gentlemen took the stage for the first of three debates; this one focused on foreign policy.

Bush really has no foreign policy other than the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which basically says, if you don't like 'em, send in the Marines and run 'em out. Very statist if you ask me. He said that the bi-lateral talks with North Korea that lasted successfully for nearly 50 years were a bad idea. Bush wants Congress to renew the Patriot Act, that curtails privacy and personal liberty. Compassionate conservative my ass.

On the flipside (no pun intended here), Kerry wants to continue the war in Iraq, but with a more international flavor to the cause. He wants to get involved in recouping missing nukes from the former Soviet Union, and end multi-lateral talks with North Korea. Kerry didn't really flip-flop (Bush never used that phrase, rather saying Kerry "changed positions."), which was to his credit. He looked like the more legitimate candidate on foreign policy, but I digress.

All of this reeks of statism. Not once did either candidate say, "Let's get our men and women back at home with their families." Not once did they say, "I have an exit plan for Iraq." Hell, Bush 41 didn't go past Basra in 1991 during the first Gulf War because he knew he didn't have a solid exit plan then, and his son doesn't now. Their logic now is that it's a huge shit sandwich, and everyone's gonna have to take a bite. That's not right, and it's not fair to those soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen that put their lives on the line so W. can play war. I pray that citizens see past these two men as big-government candidates in a world of small government.

29 September 2004

Decisive Debate

Last night, Kenn Gividen looked like the real man with the plan. For those who missed it, the only debate scheduled went on at Franklin College between Gov. Joe Kernan (D), Gividen (L), and Mitch Daniels (R). The debate almost looked rough, as Kenn was battling a stubborn sore throat in the opening remarks segment, but the voice kicked in, thank God.

Kernan stuttered and stammered his way through the debate, going ugly on Daniels, not really making an attempt to veil his swipes. His education plan means raising taxes (BOO), I-69 means re-allocating money from other counties (BOO), and his economic policies are subpar. In summary, the Dems have had the governor's seat for 16 years and have managed to squander $2 billion and run a deficit of another $2 billion. Kernan even slumped his shoulders when Daniels called him out for flip-flopping on re-importing prescription drugs from Canada. Also Kernan didn't hardly mention Kenn, just once, and then referring to Daniels, excluding Kenn.

Daniels was much more programmed in his responses...he did commend Kenn an amazing five times for the programs suggested by the Libertarian candidate. Every time My Man Mitch opened his mouth, it sounded like a sound byte from a campaign ad. He was more polite in his criticism of Gov. Kernan, but still negative nonetheless. Daniels offered the same thing he's been offering for over a year, the same rhetoric he's stated since he got on RV-1. But it's still a big-government guy, creating a Cabinet-level post (Sec. of Commerce), more tollways (double taxation), among other ideas.

Kenn entered the debate with really nothing to lose. He's consistently polled 3-5% depending on the source. He is the margin of error in this election. The Indianapolis Star hardly ever mentions him, and isn't a household name statewide, unfortunately. A quick rehash on his positions, he's anti-property taxes, wants to turn every school into a charter school, is the only candidate against the new-terrain I-69 and tollways, wants to slash the size of the state government, make Indiana a distribution center for the country because of the geographic location of the state, wants the government out of the drug business, and wants a return of Hoosier Hysteria.

He never went negative, and had many people chuckling with his wit, or nodding their heads with agreement in his ideas.

I would say My Guy Gividen won the debate, with Daniels a close second, then Kernan trailing. Many people didn't know who he was at 5PM last night, but they know who he is today.

22 September 2004

The Choices Everyone Makes

Six weeks. In six weeks, citizens will head into the voting booth and make their choices on who will represent them, from township and county boards, all the way to the President of the United States. Now that may not seem like a long time, but this is a new day and age in which we live. Bloggers, like myself here, can call out the longtime face of a network news program, and make him blink. Information is no longer told to us, we discover it for ourselves. The Internet has opened a door to people that no one could have dreamed of 25 years ago.

Were it not for the Drudge Report, no one would have known of Monica Lewinsky. Were it not for factcheck.org, people wouldn't know where a candidate TRULY stood on positions. Heck, type in someone's name on Google, somewhere you'll find something about that person they didn't want you to know. People are empowered to learn about their interests, with the click of a mouse.

This ramble boils down to one thing: do your homework before you vote! Just because your family has always voted a certain way doesn't mean you agree, too. My own mother is a bleeding-heart liberal, and she'll admit it (I think she secretly has a picture of the Bill and Hillary stashed in the house somewhere.) My father, is very independent minded, I think he's a small "L" libertarian, although I don't know where he stands every issue, and I think it's just better that way. I am libertarian because I want a small government, but I value personal freedom. Basically, it's my money and my life, let me do with it as I please, as long as I don't cause harm to another human being.

So come November 2, do the one thing that makes you equal to even the richest man in this country: VOTE.

14 September 2004

Rock the Vote

Man, was today exhausting...a lively discussion with the village idiot (See Informing Voters post below) in State and Local Government, then a power lunch with a who's who of local libertarians, then it was time to Rock the Vote. All 4 parties (Libs, Greens, D's, R's) were there in one way or another.

Our tables were in the GOP sandwich. On one side we had Dr. Marvin Scott, GOP nominee for US Senate, and the other side was My Man Mitch. Dr. Scott was really not supported nearly as well by the GOP in my estimation as he only had one volunteer the whole time, where as Mitch had numerous student volunteers. Anyway, the Greens had a table, and the Dems had a few tables themselves.

We did steal a little bit of thunder because we did have Kenn there the whole time, plus the Quiz was very freely distributed among students. Plus me being a young Libertarian, people were interested. There were young Dems and GOPs, but I was the only Lib in the college bracket. That, and knowing old friends from IUPUI, brought a lot of folks over to our area, talking politics.

I was assigned to be Kenn's "body man." For those not familiar with the term, when Kenn had to be somewhere today, it was my responsibility to make sure he was there. Basically, in Sam's words, I was his flunkie. Maybe, but I was a flunkie with VIP credentials :).

Basically, the sticking point was to get out and vote, although we really want you to vote for us. We didn't have T-shirts or a surprise visit from the governor (whom I met today) but we did have good people (Sam Goldstein {Marion County LP Chair}, Dan Drexler {7th District CentCom Rep}, Brad Klopfenstein {LPIN Exec. Director}, Rob Place {Libertarian Party of Hamilton County}, and Barry Campbell {LP 7th District Candidate}) talking to students about the beauty of liberty.

13 September 2004

Road Trip!

I am always one for a road trip. Especially when it involves promoting a worthy cause. Nick Blesch, president of the Indiana University College Libertarians, asked me yesterday to come back to Bloomington to talk to the group. It was a nice, small gathering of like-minded individuals, discussing libertarianism and the impending election. We took the World's Smallest Political Quiz, talked policy, and all in all, had a blast.

I met many good young libertarians tonight. Very true to the cause, all scored almost, if not, the North Pole on the Quiz (inside joke). Anyway, they were all very interested in the party, and I also got a much-desired hookup, a Gmail (Google Mail) account :). We talked about the importance of voting, telling friends there is an alternative to the two-party BS that is going on in this country, yada yada yada. I kinda got on a soapbox a little bit, but that's me being me LOL. Overall, the trip definitely worth the travel. The group has great leadership and will flourish as time passes on. If only every campus had a group of people, big or small, as committed to promoting the party and what a small government can do....man, that's scary :).

12 September 2004

Campaign Update

I hit the ground running full steam ahead this past weekend. The New Palestine Lions Club Fair and Parade occurred this past Thursday through Saturday. Armed with information and volunteers, I talked to more than 300 people about my candidacy.

The topics were pretty much the same. Taxes, fiscal responsibility, and bond issues were the main thing. A few folks wanted to talk about the possibility of the Colts getting a taxpayer-funded stadium, which I replied, "Peyton Manning just signed a $98 million contract. I think he could make a friendly donation towards construction." One gentleman asked me what I thought about gun control. I explained I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I also added that my idea of gun control is whether or not you hit your target, to which he beamed and thanked me.

Saturday morning was pretty much the big day. LPIN Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein came with the Jeep to the parade, with gubenatorial candidate Kenn Gividen (link on right), congressional candidate Rick Hodgin, and Hancock County LP Chair Phil Miller also walking the route with me, passing out flyers, chucking candy at waiting children, and talking to voters. It was a good time had by all. US Senate candidate Al Barger (link also on right) joined us at the fair after the parade, and we talked to many people about the beauty of liberty, namely in the form of smaller, more efficient government that stays out of your wallet and out of your personal life.

Al is a quote machine, reminding voters he's facing popular incumbent Senator Evan Bayh, then asking if they thought he could take them in a cage match. Rick was talking mostly about bringing the federal government more in line with the Constitution, which we are straying from more and more with each passing day. Kenn was passing out books about how to get the government out of education, and talking about what he would do if elected governor. I did my spiel, and Brad and Phil just stood back and watched the candidates work the crowd.

For my part, I got a lot of compliments from people, as far as being not only 23 and a voter, but 23, voting, and running for office. A lot of the compliments and respect came from Republicans, which made me feel good, considering I want to take one of their jobs. If I just keeping talking to people, I will get that seat on the council.

Anyway, I will probably be off to IU tomorrow to talk to the college Libertarian group. It's headed by a senior by the name of Nick Blesch. He's 23 as well, and running for the State House in the Bloomington district. He's great for the party, and will continue to grow our name on a campus full of left-wing "intellectuals."

Oh well, I must digress, gotta get up early for that 8:00 A.M. class I have myself. Time to log off here and get some shut-eye.

31 August 2004

Conventions....blah blah blah

First, Boston, now NYC. It's convention time, boys and girls! Time for the donkeys and elephants to parade around in something more choreographed than a Britney Spears video, touting the greatness of either liberalism or conservatism. Also it's done at taxpayer expense. $40 million each. Wow, my hard earned money going to a key program that benefits the nation as a whole.

Something else is going on in NYC right now too. Just down the street from Madison Square Garden, where every possible moderate Republican is making George W. Bush look like the leader he isn't, there is a presidential debate. No, John Kerry didn't leave Nantucket, but Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), David Cobb (Green) debated, with Ralph Nader (Independent/Reform), and Michael Peroutka (Constitution) also invited to attend, along with Bush and Kerry.

I'm sure this debate would be much livelier and make for better TV, just because it isn't a game of repeater. If you don't know what the repeater is, watch Super Troopers. Cobb and Badnarik differ on many different issues, and aren't afraid to say that. No waffling here, no rhetorical run-around, just two candidates expressing their beliefs and that's that.

27 August 2004

Bizarro World

I figured I'd humor myself and run a Google on my name and politics. Found out, I'm a state rep in Michigan. Same name, different person. Interesting I thought.

Anyway, this fairgrounds proposal is picking up major steam. Recently, I received a postcard addressed to "Occupant" stating Councilman Bill Bolander, who is a Republican, but also my neighbor. This person stated that Mr. Bolander favors the project, listing his home phone number and it seemed a bit underhanded. Now I may disagree with something in this county, but I will put my name behind it...count on that. It is an act of shame that someone is doing this without identifying himself.

I hope Mr. Bolander will be in attendance at the Lions Club Fair in two weeks, so I can ask him if this is really what he wants to see happen. I hope it isn't. Just because he can afford to raise his taxes for a private enterprise, it doesn't mean other property owners are able or even on board with it. If this goes through, and new fairgrounds are built, believe me, I will make a stink about it and run against in him 2006 for raising taxes. We may need new fairgrounds, but there are more pressing issues in this county (ie: the condition of the roads) that have to be dealt with first.

26 August 2004

Informing Voters....One Citizen at a Time

I recently started school again, and I am taking a State and Local Government class. The room is pretty evenly split as far as political views 50-50 Democrat and Republican. Then there I am, sitting in the corner with a wry smile.

We started discussing urban renewal, and some of the folks that live there talked about eminent domain laws, then a girl started talking about how white folks are the ones with money who can afford the new housing. Keep in mind this is a 20 year old student that had been in an all girls boarding school in Colorado previous to this, born with a silver spoon, the whole nine yards. That boiled the blood of a lot of people. She said we're a democracy, so it's OK. I went on a tirade that would have made Neal Boortz sound like a gentleman. I told her to tell me where it says in the Constitution that we're a democracy. She said the Preamble. WRONG. The Bill of Rights. WRONG. This girl just kept digging and digging and digging herself in deeper holes.

People have blind beliefs in politics and, as in this case, no facts to base their statements. If you're gonna go out and make a bold statement, have facts to back it up. It makes for a good debate and makes you look like you're educated. By the way, democracy is a group of 51 people that you're in and 50 want to see a hanging. Guess who's swinging?

23 August 2004

When Is Too Much Government Good???

One reason I'm a Libertarian is because I believe in staunch fiscal responsibility. Unlike my Republican counterparts, I will stick to my guns when it comes to being fiscally conservative. Here in Hancock County, the County Council is considering a bond issue of $18 million for new fairgrounds. This is coming at a time when there isn't even money for roads. Small government, indeed.

People complain about a wheel tax of $25 per vehicle. It brings in approximately $800,000 for the county, but $2 million is needed for annual upkeep of the roads. The wheel tax is a necessary evil right now. It boils down to "you gotta have roads."

Small-government Republicans want to add more layers to the Statehouse as well. My Man Mitch wants to create a Department of Commerce, with the Secretary to receive salary, staff, benefits, etc, etc, etc. He wants to keep spending money while we're at a $2 billion deficit. Fiscally conservative, eh? Keep in mind, this is the same man who helped write the federal budget. I'm sure that's really reassuring.

When it comes to spending, with a Democrat president and GOP Congress, it's gridlock, which is good, keeps spending down. But when Gunslingin' George has Congress in his back pocket, the bank is open for business. He's spent more than Clinton, whom Republicans despise for his fiscal policy. Oh well, the American citizens (taxpayers) suffer most of all, because we get footed with the bill.

Another reason to embrace libertarianism. We let you decide how to live your lives.

19 August 2004

Up in Smoke??

It has been a known fact that Mitch Daniels, the Republican nominee for Governor, was arrested in 1970 for a disorderly persons complaint, for smoking marijuana. Hoping to capitalize on this, the Democrats held a press conference to push the issue about it.

Turns out, the press conference went up in smoke. Many prominent Democrats, including Governor Kernan, Senator Bayh, State Representative Ed Mahern, and City-County Council Vice President Joanne Sanders all admit to smoking the reefer. Kip Tew, State Democrat chairman, came clean on pot as well, saying, "Yes. But that's not the issue here."***

If one decides to do something of their own volition, let them do that. That's liberty. The Democrat idea to turn Daniels into Stoner X backfired tremendously on them, as they turned into their own version of Cheech and Chong.

Isn't it interesting that Libertarians, the only party on the ballot in Indiana with a pro-drug decriminalization stance, has a candidate for governor that never touched the stuff???

Just some food for thought.

***-Indianapolis Star, August 19, 2004

Welcome to My World

You are now a Ward of the State. I'm Chris Ward. I'm the 5th District Representative for the Libertarian Party of Indiana. This will be a forum for me to inform people on the beauty of liberty.

Right now, people are so used to having the political duopoly it's just nauseating. They either want small government, which is great, or they want personal freedom, which is also great. What people don't see is that there is a group of people who embrace both, the libertarians.

Most people I know think of us as the "legalize it now" folks. That may be one of the many beliefs libertarians have, but there is also cutting the size of government, lowering taxes, getting the government out of people's lives, more or less. That is what our Founding Fathers had in mind when the colonial Brits had offices for everything, controlling everything. Nowadays, we're realizing that the government is living our lives for us. We have been assimilated. "Don't challenge the government, resistance is futile."

I will comment early and often if the government is doing something to rob individuals of their God-given rights. If you disagree, write me back, that's the beauty of this nation, disagreement is not only allowed, but shined upon.