18 November 2005

Consolidation Chaos

Sherron Franklin is a marked woman now. In 2007, she has the biggest bullseye on the City-County Council. Not from Republicans, but her own party. Standing up for what you believe in can be a big pain sometimes, but that's the price of integrity. She voted for her job, not her party. Have to respect one with principles, I say. Her victory in 2003 was only by a handful of votes, and you have to imagine Ed Treacy is looking for someone in her district to slate that will spout the party mantra, rather than one's own convictions.

I applaud Councillor Franklin for her integrity and honesty. It's a trait that's long lost in politics, and hopefully I'll see more of it in the future as I move to Indianapolis.

On another note, State Sen. Murray Clark (R-Indianapolis) is resigning, looks like City-County Councillor Isaac "Ike" Randolph (R) wants the job. I think he'd do a good job for his district, but some in the district, which stretches into eastern Hendricks County say Ike isn't "conservative enough." Governor Daniels hasn't taken sides, but has inferred through his people that he'd like Ike.

All in all, 2007 shapes up two years early, and you and I get front-row seats. Will Peterson run for a third term? Will he win a third term? Will the Democrats maintain their razor-thin 15-14 margin?? Will a Libertarian get on the Council, throwing the balance of power out the window?? Only way to find out is to get involved!!

29 October 2005

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

The Democrats are trying to fix the federal budget woes. The Democrat Leadership Council (DLC) is proposing ways of cutting excessive spending from the Republican-controlled budget. Now I didn't think it was possible as the Republican Party is the party is that of "small government." Fiscal conservatives have been suffering through tax and spend policies similar to the ones the Democrats have pushed in previous administrations.

Only the Libertarian Party will talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to economic matters. It's been proven time and again that people in power only care about one thing...more power. Libertarians want to return your power back to you.

On a side note, I'm on the road for the next week and a half for work. I'll try to post as often as I can.

18 October 2005

Getting Its Money's Worth?

The first report of the food and beverage taxes from the doughnut counties came in yesterday. According to the Indy Star article, about half of the expected $300,000 came in since the taxes were enacted over the summer.

Johnson County had the highest number, bringing in nearly $70,000, with Hamilton County disclosing $50,000 in collections. The state thinks that businesses aren't paying their taxes, or monies due are in transit (Check's in the mail). I have a gut feeling that people are avoiding going out to eat, or just aren't going as often simply because of the subsequent government-mandated increase in dinner checks. I wonder how much business increased in Morgan County restaurants?? After all, they are the only county that did not enact the tax.

In an interesting twist, the BMV has authorized a Colts license plate. Read here. It looks like it's in the final stages, ready for an early 2006 debut. Now this is an idea I support, because it's personal choice for a project. It's not government-imposed, no dog and pony show, it's very cut-and-dry. Now if this were the initial proposition for the stadium, I'm sure it would have been more warmly received than, "We're authorizing the counties to levy taxes." The counties then say, "We'll 'listen' to constituents before we 'decide' on whether or not we want it, considering we keep half."

The government says it's a minimal tax and no one gets hurt. I disagree with that statement whole-heartedly. Restaurants suffer because of the government-imposed higher prices. Servers make less because people have less money to tip. Trust me, I know firsthand. This does not stimulate an economy that is sluggishly improving at best. What happens if the money does not come in as expected?? What will the liberal Republicans and Democrats do then? Double the tax? Triple it?? Libertarians do not believe in excessive taxation, nor do they believe in limiting the free market. Voting for Democrats and Republicans only means more taxes, fewer freedoms.

15 October 2005

Why Republicans Are Losing the War at Home

My friends, everyone talks about what Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have to say, yet those words are similar to what Hannity calls "Clinton Kool-Aid drinkers." Republicans simply are long on rhetoric, short on delivery. That sounds eerily similar to the Democrats of the past.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich offered citizens the Contract with America, a simple way to limit government. The Republican Revolution happened that year, taking both houses of Congress. In 2000, then-Governor Bush campaigned as a "compassionate conservative", which to me means he'll give me a handshake and take my wallet with the other hand.

Many conservatives were thrilled with George W. Bush's election in 2000, with the Congress, Senate, and White House under Republican control. However, it was a short-lived honeymoon. Yes, President Bush did cut taxes (I got my check for a little over $100), but he failed to slash the budget. The federal deficit is nearly $8 trillion now and growing.

On the local level, Republicans have long held the State Senate, and reclaimed the State House of Representatives in 2004, along with the Governor's Mansion. Conservatives that voted for "My Man Mitch" thought voting for Daniels would be the end of the tax-and-spend days of O'Bannon/Kernan. Not even ten days into his new administration, Governor Daniels proposed raising taxes. At the end of the most recent legislative session, he signed off on the $1 billion project to publicly finance a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, a private entity, and the Indiana Convention Center expansion.

After the session, Governor Daniels went on a dog and pony show, talking of the benefits of being over-taxed. He sold out his County Councils, who almost (thank you Morgan County) all approved the measure, some unanimously. And they call themselves fiscal conservatives.

All in all, Republicans can huff and puff about what they're doing for the world, much like Democrats huff and puff about what they're doing for the children, but are they really keeping your individual rights and personal freedoms in their best interests?? Probably not. Only Libertarians have been able to do so.

14 October 2005

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

More and more, President Bush has talked liked a conservative, acted like a conservative, yet he hasn't delivered like a conservative. He enacted tax cuts, which is a GREAT thing, yet he hasn't delivered the spending cuts that are requisite. He talked of bringing the government under control, then bloated the domestic (non-military) budget 7-10% annually, with now Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at the helm of OMB. He says he's a "compassionate conservative," yet he continues to increase the scope of government. Neither compassionate nor conservative if you ask me.

Now he's pushing for Harriet Miers, a well-qualified attorney, to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court, replacing Sandra Day O'Connor. Some conservatives are upset, after taking the Medicare bill, after taking No Child Left Behind, after spending over a quarter of a trillion dollars in Iraq, because Bush has chosen to go down the road of cronyism. Appointing his personal attorney as a Justice merely diminishes the gravitas of the Court.

President Bush wanted a woman, a well-qualified woman at that, to serve on the Court after Justice O'Connor. There were other well-qualified conservatives that have a better record than Ms. Miers. Simply put, this was supposed to be under the radar, but is turning out to be all over the darned thing.

10 October 2005

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes

Governor Daniels is at it again. Another liberal tax and spend policy from a "fiscal conservative." Click here for the story on how he wants to give cities and towns the ability to levy income, sales, and food/beverage taxes on individuals.

Now he says he's for the idea if property taxes truly go down, but that's like giving an alcoholic a case of beer. It's been my experience that people in power only want one thing, more power. I highly doubt that property taxes would decrease as a result of other tax increases. That would be the right and decent thing to do of a governmental body.

The only way this law would work is if the municipalities were to concurrently reduce the taxes, not make that an option, but a prerequisite to enacting the other taxes. That would not make it nearly as palatable to legislators because of the zero-sum game principle.

Another way of thinking is the FairTax principle. Make the Indiana tax system consumption based vs. income based. I don't like Uncle Sam or the State of Indiana getting into my wallet before I do. If there is one entitlement program I like, it's that your entitled to your entire paycheck.

Republicans have learned how to govern like Democrats. If you're a voter that believes government should live within its means, the Republican Party will only feed lip service, and waste a vote. Voting Libertarian will ensure your vote is not wasted.

06 October 2005

Government Gone Wild

I know that big government is taking over the country, much to my chagrin. But the most blatant example has unfolded over the week. State Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) suggested a ban on medical assistance to unmarried couples. What's she really meant was "Keep the gays and single folks from having babies!!" I realize that there are some who think that child-rearing should be in the "traditional" two-parent family that is married with one man and one woman.

My point is I buy into that belief myself, but who am I to stop someone from having a child?? I am a Christian, and have my own personal views about child-rearing, but that does not give me the right to impose my views on others! If two men or two woment want to have a child, then let them. Don't tell them they can't because you don't necessarily agree with it.

Another point, what about the single parents we already have?? What do we do with them?? Do we sterilize them?? Obviously not, because they're doing it naturally! My point is this, we are NOT China! If people want to have children, let them do it, but don't tell them they can't because you think it's immoral. Don't play God, that's His job.

05 October 2005

Smoke em if you got em....for now

Greenfield is trying to mimic Indianapolis. Sprawling commercial sites right off the interstate. A Wal-Mart Supercenter and Home Depot within walking distance of each other. A Starbucks, an Applebee's, and a smoking ban. Wait a second, did you say loss of property rights??

It looks like the Greenfield City Council is proposing a smoking ban on par with that of the one introduced by the Indianapolis City-County Council earlier this year. A sweeping ban, that would ban smoking in private businesses as well as public places.

Now I understand that some of the land in Greenfield is city-owned, and they have a right to say what will and won't happen on their property. But for the City Council to tell a private businessman, such as a restaurant or a tavern owner, how to run his business, well that's socialism.

What worries me more is that "small-government" Republicans are seriously considering this measure. This ordinance would only increase the role of government in Greenfield. My grandfather gave me some sage advice, if you don't like what someone is doing, get away from it. In a nutshell, if you don't like going to restaurants with smoking, don't go there, or order the food to go and enjoy it at home.

Property rights have been rapidly eroding, and the Democrats and Republicans are doing nothing to protect homeowners (Kelo v. New London) or businesses (smoking bans). Only Libertarians protect citizens from ther overreach of government.


To the relief of myself and Beth, hockey's back!! I was tempted to drive north to see my Blackhawks take on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, but I have to work Dine for America night, which is definitely worth it. Goto http://www.dineforamerica.org and find a list of participating restaurants that are donating their profits tonight to charities benefiting hurricane victims. Beth will be watching her beloved (to me: despised) Red Wings face off the St. Louis Blues with her family.

02 October 2005

Why I became a Libertarian

Many ask me why I'm not a "moderate Republican"....here's why.

Why I became a Libertarian...good question. I was raised "politically homeless" and split my ticket for several years. Growing up in the Clinton era, I was a big proponent of social issues, protecting civil rights, etc. My mother is very liberal (self-admitted, I'll have you know) and instilled that in me. But at the same time, I despised how he spent money like a drunken sailor. My problem with Republicans was that they spoke of fiscal responsibility, yet failed to deliver, and moral values, but did not exhibit such.

Conservative icons like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have fallen from grace a bit to me, with the scandals that have enveloped their personal lives and turned them into hypocrites, in my eyes. I liked their stance on fiscal issues, but I didn't like how they thought the government had the right to tell people how to live their personal lives.

I had heard of the Libertarians mostly due to hearing the name Andy Horning every election, and heard him speak a couple of times and he made a lot of sense. I thought, it's a good idea, but will never win, it's a wasted vote.

In 2003, I wrote a paper on the Libertarians as a Sociology project, and met Phil Miller. Down to earth, then-incumbent City Councilman in Greenfield. We chatted, he gave me the book Libertarianism in One Lesson. It opened my eyes completely. I agreed with almost everything (nothing's perfect) in the book, and I joined shortly thereafter. I ran for Council as the only legitimate fiscal conservative on the ballot. I've been very involved, but now I'm scaling back my activities a bit as I prepare for my wedding in April, and enjoy the soon-to-be married life.

29 September 2005

Major Moves in the Wrong Direction

This week, Gov. Daniels proposed the Major Moves program. He wants to make the I-69 extension from Indy to Evansville a toll road, raise the rates of the Indiana Toll Road and privatize interstates.

I like the privatizing interstates, but if we're raising rates of the Toll Road and making I-69 a toll road, where are the reciprocating spending cuts? To me, it sounds like more of the same rhetoric by Gov. Daniels. He's forgotten it was fiscal conservatives that put him in office, thinking it was the end of tax and spend. All he's done since taking office is raise the taxes in Indianapolis and the surrounding counties, basically cornering the County Councils (all Republican majorities), saying raise taxes and keep 50% of the windfall.

Building a new Colts stadium and expanding the convention center does nothing for my bottom line but shrink it. Increasing taxes on the Toll Road and proposing taxes on the I-69 extension does nothing for my bottom line but shrink it. Anyway, if I'm driving to Evansville, there's always the established route of I-70/US 41 via Terre Haute. It's 12 minutes longer, as well as toll-free.

Republicans have proved once again that they do not care about fiscal responsibility. Liberal tax and spend policies are not the way to balance books. Holding government accountable like a citizen would bring it back in line. Libertarians realize that budgets in government are like those in private life, preset and if the expenses are too great, cuts are made. Republicans have not learned how to say no.

20 September 2005

Why One Should Vote Libertarian

Now I could rant and rave as to why one should vote for a Libertarian candidate, but there isn't enough tea in China for that post. What I do have to offer are very compelling statements as to why one would check the "L" instead of the "D" or "R".

-In one party counties, Lake and Hamilton counties come to mind quickly, the other "major" party doesn't have a real voice, leaving Libertarians as the primary voice of opposition to the current powers that be. This was the case in Fishers, as the all-Republican Town Council didn't even vote on a motion to raise a one percent food and beverage tax because of a major Libertarian response.

-Smaller, less intrusive government. If you voted Republican because they said they were fiscal conservatives, they lied. If you live in the doughnut counties around Indianapolis, you know that first hand, seeing those one percent taxes popping up like weeds. If you voted for Mitch Daniels because he said he would trim the budget, that was a half-truth. He cut education budgets to create new Departments, thus growing government.

-Individual rights. Libertarians respect that your house is just that, your house. You should be allowed to do what you want in there, so long as you don't infringe another's rights. You should not worry that Wal-Mart will get in the pocket of government and condemn your house for a new SuperCenter. If you're a business owner, Libertarians will let you make decisions about your business, not let the government do it for you.

-More responsibility in government. A Libertarian would work within the confines of what is given to him. No talk of property tax hikes or cuts in public safety. A Libertarian would work in the most efficient manner to make sure the taxpayer gets the most bang for the buck, not how much bucks could be banged in governmental bureaucracy.

These are a few of the many reasons to vote Libertarian. If you want more information, visit http://www.lpin.org and find your county affiliate.

18 September 2005

More Katrina Rhetoric and Relief??

President Bush said basically the buck stops here, but whose buck is it that he's spending? Right now, the estimates are $100-$200 billion, depending on what "expert" you talk to. $200 billion for new homesteading and rebuilding "infrastructure." The spending could reach the trillions if you let the government do it for you!! I understand we help those who can't help themselves, but $200 billion with no spending cuts or tax increases worries me. How can we talk of working in a "fiscally conservative" manner when those who write the checks have no idea what that means??

Right now, Tom DeLay needs to review that highway bill, find that missing pork, and send it squealing to the Gulf Coast. That is what needs to be done if there is to be a federal response.

16 September 2005

Hurricane Relief and Rhetoric

Last night, President Bush addressed the nation from New Orleans' Jackson Square. He says the federal government will do whatever it takes to restore the Gulf Coast. My question is at what cost? $50 billion has already been approved for relief, with potentially billions more on the way. Congress has reconvened after their vacation, with over a quarter of a trillion dollars "earmarked" for their home states. $400 million for two bridges in Alaska to connect a handful of citizens stands out greatest. Why can't they shift the focus of bringing home the bacon to helping those who need it most??

Some say that the government dragged their feet. I say they are correct. The failure was at the local and state level initially, then it snowballed into the federal level. Mayor Ray Nagin (D) of New Orleans asked where the federal government was. I ask where was he when everything began?? He had the opportunity to help his citizens, but decided to sit on his hands as a Category 4 storm barreled into the Big Easy.

New Orleans is slowly rising from the waters to become the booming area it was, with the French Quarter bustling, and businesses reopening, but still, there are over 100,000 displaced from their own homes. Nearly $1 billion has been raised in private donations. The effort on the private charities continues next month too. October 5 is Dine for America night. Restaurants across the country will donate their profits that evening to the American Red Cross.

Even sports is realizing the magnitude of the disaster. Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, well-known in charitable arenas for building houses for low-income families, has challenged every NFL player except those on the New Orleans Saints to donate $5,000 to the Red Cross. That alone would raise over $8 million, more than the NFL offices donated.

The purpose of this is simple: everyone can say one thing and do another. I encourage you to say and do the same thing.

American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org 800-HELP-NOW

Salvation Army - http://www.salvationarmyusa.org 800-SAL-ARMY

Catholic Charities USA - http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org 800-919-9338

13 September 2005


The closure of the BMV branch in Gary is a bit peculiar to me. Gary is the state's fifth largest city, as well as in the center of Lake County, the most Democrat-controlled (and corrrupt, in some eyes) county in the state. The lease is expiring on the main BMV there, and the state isn't renewing it. Many conspiracies and racial divisions are coming forward, but I don't see it that way. I see it as a failure to provide a necessary piece of infrastructure to a broad constituency. Imagine if Joel Silverman said close a BMV office, just one BMV branch in Indianapolis. The outcry would be insane!

I realize that only Texas and California have more license branches than Indiana. I know it's a matter of convenience, but there shouldn't be two license branches in Hancock County. The one in Greenfield is consistently overworked and undermanned. Centralize one branch in each county instead of multiple branches with multiple buildings and staffs. Put it in the county seat for each office, and cut excesses. Now with bigger populations, there should be more offices, I get that. I'm just offering another solution than just throwing darts at the wall and hoping for a bulls-eye every time.

07 September 2005

Logistical Nightmares

I'm taking a moment away from politics to talk of another passion, sports. Right now, two major sports leagues have had their schedules thrown into a state of flux, to be generous.

The New Orleans Saints were to have opened their home season in the Superdome on the 18th against the New York Giants. Now, the Superdome is nothing more than a leaky pile of squalor surrounded by a toxic moat. The Giants are now hosting the game, moved to Sept. 19th. The Giants are being gracious hosts, donating money and time to the relief efforts of the Gulf Coast. But the problem does not end there. What of the other seven home games scheduled in the Big Easy?? The Saints are temporarily setting up shop in San Antonio, Texas, which is about 500 miles, or 9 hours, west of N'Awlins. There is also talk of them playing at LSU in Baton Rouge, or at the Houston Astrodome. Worst case scenario, 16 road games, making the Saints the NFL version of the Montreal Expos, a team without a home city.

The New Orleans Hornets play next door at the New Orleans Arena, surrounded by the same toxic moat. The Hornets are based in Houston temporarily and holding training camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Fortunately, they have about six weeks to plan ahead, versus just days. Oklahoma City has stepped up to the plate with a NBA-caliber facility, also LSU is a possibility. I doubt they'll play 82 games on the road.

I just feel bad for the fans of these two teams. I find it hard to root for the home team when they don't have a home.

06 September 2005

What It Takes to Win an Election

As I have found out in the past, it takes more than a message to win an election. I tried that approach last year, and did shockingly well. Earning six percent in a five-way race is quite a feat! But it wasn't a victory. Lessons learned, indeed.

I spent a sizable amount of money (to me at least), nearly $500 in donations from various friends and my own pocket. The Lions Club Fair in New Palestine, walking the 4-H Parade, participating in candidate forums and various meet-n-greets, walking neighborhoods were all part of trying to get my name out. But I didn't really have a name recognition to everyone in the county. Sure I got some attention from the local paper as a "third-party" candidate. I got attention because I was 23. I got attention because I was forcing the Republicans and Democrats to give my words serious consideration.

Right now, serious and legitimate local Libertarian candidates should start their campaigns (e.g. County Council/Commissioners). Get those fundraisers going. Start knocking on doors. Talk to people about the issues that are affecting them most, then offer them a libertarian solution to the problem. We need to move from a position of promoting the party, to going out and showing people why we should be in office.

Taxes/Budgets - With a Libertarian in office, cutting spending, NOT increasing it is the first order of business. Taxing restaurants an additional 1% is not a good idea, as the town of Fishers has found out. Bond issues would not be a dime a dozen. Spending should be limited to necessities, such as public safety and sewers, not administration buildings that look like college campuses.

Property Rights - A Libertarian would work with local and state bodies to make sure that Kelo v. New London doesn't happen in your backyard. A Libertarian would allow the small business owner to make his own rules in his business, not let the government dictate what can and cannot go on inside said establishment.

Also, when talking to voters, take this bit of advice:

Be Brief - You only have really thirty seconds to a minute to get someone's attention. Remember three key ideas, and hand the voter a palmcard that describes your platform. There is no need to hand them a manifesto the size of a small phonebook. That's just a new doorstop.

Be Polite - Offer a firm handshake and introduce yourself.

Be Memorable - I'm not saying make a mockery of yourself, or show up in a clown suit. I'm saying be professional, be presentable, realize your audience. (Walking the neighborhood: golf shirt and khakis, Fundraiser: shirt and tie minimum)

Find Common Ground (if time permits): In my experience, I got a lot of support because of my neighbors. When I told them of what I was doing, first they asked, "Are you serious??", then asked, "Why?" When I told them, they could relate to what I was talking about.

This is just some ideas from a guy who has been there before, and wants to do it again sometime.

02 September 2005

Waxing Poetic

My friends, one cannot help but see what has happened and is currently happening in the Gulf Coast. I myself, along with many others, have been to New Orleans. I remember it very clearly, in 1999.

My sister's club volleyball team advanced to the National Championships at the New Orleans Convention Center, and I was a team chaperone. It's a huge building, making the Indiana Convention Center look like a popsicle stand. I remember walking the French Quarter with the parents, going into Pat O'Brien's and drinking the world-famous Hurricanes they made, along with the beer stand called simply "Huge Ass Beers."

I am simply writing of my fond memories of The Big Easy, and on Saturday, at the LPHanC Tax Freedom Rally, we will have a donation site for the American Red Cross. All monies collected will go to the Red Cross for relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.

I ask everyone of all walks of life to pray for the refugees who have survived, and help our fellow Americans in their darkest hour.

http://www.redcross.org - American Red Cross

http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org - Catholic Charities USA

26 August 2005

FairTax Thoughts

I bought and read Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder (R-GA)'s new book, The FairTax Book, and was impressed for the most part. It detailed the history of the income tax and withholdings, as well as the "embedded" taxes consumers pay on everyday items.

It showed how by removing withheld taxes (ie: Social Security and income), prices will go down, plus with the FairTax of 23%, prices will remain almost constant, plus monthly "prebates" for necessities of life (food, shelter, etc.)

Overall, I think the FairTax is a good idea for both business and consumers because everyone's on a level playing field, whether you make $10,000 or $10 million. Not only that, it's a consumption tax, so if you don't want to spend your money, you're not going to be taxed. I like that :).

For more info, go to www.fairtax.org

25 August 2005

NCAA Nonsense

All of this garbage over a mascot??


Illinois Fighting Illini, Central Michigan Chippewas, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Florida State Seminoles. Which three are most offensive??

Well, according to Myles Brand, yes that Myles Brand, Illinois, Central Michigan, and Florida State could not use their nicknames in NCAA postseason play or hold any type of postseason tournament games, because their nicknames are offensive to Native Americans. What about Providence Friars, does that embarrass American Catholics, or Notre Dame, saying all Irish-Americans are looking for a brawl with someone??

This type of buffoonery is typical of a City Council, saying whether or not you can allow smoking in your business. Now what happens if Illinois takes their men's basketball team to the Final Four again?? It's not the Fighting Illini anymore, just the University of Illinois.

Florida State threatened legal action against the NCAA, saying that the Seminole tribes in Florida endorsed the nickname. The NCAA concurred, and that issue was dropped. Some tribes, such as the Illini are extinct. The state was named for them, why can't they be honored in a matter such as this??

The real irony is that the NCAA is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. How apropo is that? Myles Brand should have more important things to do, such as root out pay-for-play schemes, than tell a school what they can and can't name their mascots. If schools don't want to be named for something, they'll change it on their own. The decision should not be made for them.

Fiscally Conservative in Fishers??

Looks like the town of Fishers is next on the chopping block for a 1% food and beverage tax increase. Seeing as I now work in Fishers in a restaurant, I'm looking at an approximate 14% increase in the amount that is taxed on a guest check, or a 33% increase since the beginning of the year, depending on how you want to look at it. All of this so Fishers can continue to have their what I consider "extras". Those include designer lightposts, over-sized administration buildings, and custom signage. Granted, some may say, well it's Fishers, they can afford to pay more. My question in return is, why should they have to pay extra when they're already being overtaxed in the first place??

24 August 2005

Throwing the Book at Them

It never amazes me. The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library is asking for a tax increase to pay for the overrun for the renovation of the Central Branch downtown. Originally to reopen this year, at a cost of $103 million, the library will now be projected to reopen two years behind and $40 million over budget. Kudos to City-Council member Isaac Randolph for questioning the audacity of the Library Board to ask for a tax increase when the current budget proposed by Mayor Peterson has cuts in public safety.

Louis Mahern, the library board president, said that without the tax increase, major cutbacks will occur in the library renovation. He said that either the renovation is suspended or outlying branches are closed. Property tax increases keep the library in business. The annual budget is listed at $44 million, with over 75% coming from property tax monies. Mahern notes that the increase results in an extra $5 on a home with a value of $100,000.

Another solution would be to sell the library to private investors, let them deal with the renovation, thus taking taxpayers off the hook for another white elephant in the name of progress. How about shrinking that line off the budget completely to boot? It's just a thought.

22 August 2005

Hancock County LP Tax Freedom Rally

I'm proud to announce that Saturday, September 3 is the first Libertarian Party of Hancock County Tax Freedom Rally. It's from 1-5 at Greenfield's Riley Park pavilion. Secretary of State candidate Mike Kole is the featured speaker. There will be charcoal provided by LPHanC, everyone brings the rest. For more information, call 317.709.3179, or email cjharrison@iquest.net

19 August 2005

Apologies Are Necessary

I know I haven't posted in many months, that is due to a major shift in life. I'm getting married next April, and this summer has been murder on my schedule. New job, vacation, wedding planning, plus school's back this week, so it's insane to say the least.

In the past few months, the food and beverage taxes went up like weeds in my backyard, now it's time to hold Republicans accountable in both rhetoric and cold hard facts. Seven of the eight counties involved implemented, with only Morgan County holding out. That after the "let them eat soup" comment from Mayor Buskirk of Martinsville, a Republican.

Mayor Peterson's budget is another laughable attempt at being a fiscal conservative. Cut public safety and keep the parks?? Where is the rationale?? Then to charge citizens when their lives are in danger to the tune of hundreds of dollars!! He says that people's medical insurance will cover it. NEWS FLASH MAYOR!!! Not all of us have medical insurance right now!! Making pools more important than human life proves you are NOT fit for office, and I for one cannot wait until next year to see who runs against you.

Electing Libertarians will result in logical public safety, fewer taxes, more efficient spending, and more accountability. Tell me who else can do that??

26 May 2005

Let Them Eat Soup

Indeed, let them eat soup. Republicans in Martinsville has enacted a food and beverage tax of one percent. So when you go to Martinsville drive through and get a Big Mac, an extra tax is tacked on to that tasty treat. Mayor Buskirk, when asked about it, said if people don't like it, they can stay at home and have a can of Campbell's Soup. That is indeed, a case of grande huevos. The tax is egregious enough, then to insult the citizens?!?! If people don't want to pay stupid taxes, stay at home and eat the soup!! Who knows, maybe we could have a Soup Revolution on our hands in Morgan County. A Libertarian, with donations from Progresso or Campbell's, could repeal this ridiculous tax and focus more on infrastructure, like the courthouse.

Republicans don't care about small government or individual rights, they just care about cramming their beliefs down your throat while they take your money incrementally. Democrats want to protect everyone from themselves and take your money hand over fist. Libertarians want to protect your wallet and your life from the government. Remember, there is always Option C.

05 May 2005

Time to Reload

It's been a month, I know, my friends. Finals were this week, and I had to prioritize. Sorry. I realize a lot has happened in the past month, mostly on the state level. Legislature is adjourned till 2006, and many new proposals went through. I have a bit of a report card on them.

Budget: D-. This is because the budget did increase, more tax increases were put in, especially with the Colts stadium downtown. More millionaire welfare. Fiscal conservatives, my ass! The GOP is "fiscally responsible", which is a buzz term for "I'll balance the budget, but taxes are going up as a trade."

DST: A+. IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!! As my friend Abdul from WXNT said, HALLELUJAH!!! I don't care if we're on Eastern (New York) time or Central (Chicago) time, I'm just glad my family on the coasts know what time it is here.

Education: D. I realize that Hoosier children are constitutionally guaranteed a free education, so my problem is with taking money from poorer districts (ie:IPS) and re-distributing it into wealthier districts (ie: Hamilton Southeastern). A simple formula could solve this. Take all the students in the state, and the amount of money appropriated for education, divide it, and BAM, equal money for all. That, and maybe eliminate some educational bureaucracy, focus on education, not athletics, or a $136 million bond issue (That means you, Mt. Vernon {Hancock} Community School Corporation.)

Voter ID: B+. I say it's a good idea and that the law is meant to prevent identity theft, which is more and more prevalent each year. You have to show ID to write a check at Kroger, so what's the fuss about showing it to cast your ballot every November??

I also want to say congratulations to the Mt. Vernon Taxpayers (http://www.mvtaxpayers.org) who remonstrated against the bond issue that would have raised property taxes 60-85%!! A job well done to all involved in the school district!!!

Keep your eyes and ears open, hope to post soon!!!

01 April 2005


Mayor Bart Peterson is in a bit of a pickle. Late last year, he announced that the Colts would stay for 30 years with a new stadium that won't raise income, sales, or property taxes. HOORAY!! A new casino would be built downtown to pay for the stadium. Faster than you could say interception, new House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) shot that idea down, saying he wouldn't allow a new casino in Indy. Alternative ideas pitched by other GOP legislators involving gambling were also shot down. Instead, Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) suggested a 1% tax on all services in Marion County. Taxation without representation indeed! Now, the governor has weighed in on how to finance the stadium/convention center expansion. Raise taxes!!

The governor has pitched the idea of a 1% food and beverage tax for seven of the eight surrounding counties to fund the stadium. When the current RCA Dome was built, a "temporary" 1% tax was enacted on restaurants to pay for the dome, with the tax to be eliminated when the dome was paid off. The interest rate must be horrible on the loan, because that tax is still here, over 20 years later.

Point is, nothing's changed that Republicans are in control. Citizens' tax dollars are still wasted, and the Libertarians are the still the only ones looking out for your life and your wallet.

19 March 2005

St. Patrick's Update plus My Bracketology

Hello one and all, hope everyone had a great St. Patty's Day :). My day was pretty fun, did the Shamrock Run in the morning, limped my out of shape butt around five miles in about 52 minutes. It's not a good idea to run five miles and rehydrate with stout. I digress. A fun lunch with my friend Brad, talking politics and relaxing, watching the NCAAs. Stopped by my friend Dan's new house he bought, had more beer, and more politics LOL. Now it's poker time, finished 12th, saw my friend Mike, talked more politics, and had a blast.

It was a great day, even though my legs felt like cinder blocks, and a few upsets were had with March madness. Illinois will win the tournament I think, but if they don't I want Duke.

Talk to you soon.

11 March 2005

Congratulations Are in Order

I usually quibble over stuff most people find disinteresting. I'm going to take time out to congratulate some of the top brass in the LPIN. Don't mistake my kindness for brown-nosing (this means you Mike LOL).

In 2000, a major change was made in the infrastructure. Brad Klopfenstein became Executive Director, and Mark Rutherford was named LPIN Chair. In those five years, the name Libertarian became something more than "fringe". We now hold the Democrats and Republicans accountable for their actions, and give voters a true, legitimate option to the two parties. Most of that credit goes to Brad and Mark.

Brad is the public face for the party. As president of the Indianapolis Press Club, he talks with reporters on a regular basis for the libertarian position on an issue. Five years ago, that would not have been possible. Mark is a quiet man who captains the ship, for lack of a better term. It's with his guidance and rationale that keeps the LPIN on a course that is true.

OK, enough kindness/brown-nosing. I'm still pissed off at the fact that the Republicans spend like Democrats, the Democrats only care about themselves, and that neither one of them offers an ideology that promotes personal freedoms and individual responsibility.

08 March 2005

Two Birds with One Stone

Sunday was a good day at the office on some fronts. Although Duke lost to UNC, and Illinois lost to Ohio State, the message of liberty was spread not once but twice.

As I was waking up Sunday morning, I opened the Focus section as I always do, and read the op-eds. I was published about how the Dems walking out failed the state. I then turned the page and saw my friend and fellow Libertarian, Mike Kole, talking about how the city of Indianapolis shouldn't be spending taxpayers' money to lobby the Statehouse. If even 100 people read both of these letters, it should have a ripple effect I only dream of :)...good dreams LOL.

Anyway, if you like what you're reading go to http://www.helpuswin.org and join the club!!

03 March 2005

Finally, an Update!!

Greetings, one and all!! It's been a little bit since my last post, but that's not from lack of information or frustration. Going to school, working two jobs (again), being a pseudo-politico, plus a personal life is a bit...laundry is almost not an option LOL. But I digress.

This week has certainly been an interesting one. I was named new Chair of the Hancock County LP on Monday. This will be an interesting leadership :). I look forward to working with fellow libertarians and others from both sides of the aisle to move our county in a more libertarian direction.

The big kahuna this week was the walkout of House Democrats on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday, all bills on the House floor either had to pass into the Senate or die. Frustrated on two bills, one requiring ID at the polling places (good idea), and the other creating a post of inspector general (also a good idea). House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) decided it would be a good idea to pull the ranks and lose quorum in the chamber.

What Bauer did was kill 132 bills, including some his own party was pushing, like the bill that gave public money to the Colts (grr), the DST issue (good idea, FINALLY), and capped caseloads for social workers (a GREAT idea). All of this because he wants to protect "poorer people" who couldn't afford ID cards. Republicans amended the bill to provide free ID cards to those who couldn't afford them. As for the inspector general, I'm afraid to see what he would have turned up after the BMV fiasco.

My point is, is that Democrats put their faith in a man who is a hypocrite. Last year, as Speaker, he refused to bring up the issue of gay marriage at the request of House Republicans, who then walked out. He said that was not the way for legislators to act. My question to Rep. Bauer, is it the way for them to act now?? I say it is not. A Libertarian legislator would work with the GOP and the Dems to find a reasonable middle ground on the issues. In 2006, when you walk into the booth to vote, remember Democrats don't care what you want, it's what Pat Bauer wants. Libertarians care about what you want, because it's your choice.

18 February 2005

Statehouse Shenanigans and Some Other Stuff

It appears as if the legislature is frozen from the budget to work on cell phone bans and Indianapolis Works. First, the cell phone ban. Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) wants to ban using a cell phone without a hands free device if you're driving unless it's an emergency. It didn't get out of committee *sigh*. Does an officer know what constitutes an emergency to me?? I doubt it.

Next, about Indianapolis Works. Mayor Peterson's proposal to further merge under Unigov. It would combine the fire departments between IFD and the townships, the Sheriff's Department and IPD, eliminate township government, etc. It's shrinking government, which I like. Granted, I'm not a Bart Peterson admirer, but the plan received high marks from Beurt SerVaas, the former Republican president of the City-County Council. Right now, I'm thinking it's a ploy to have the Republican legislature make Mayor Peterson, a Democrat, look bad two years out from the mayoral elections in 2007.

I'm posting this to show you what the General Assembly is doing right now as well: IGNORING THE BUDGET!!

On a side note, I've been getting involved in a poker tournament at Barley Island in Noblesville every Thursday. LPIN Secretary of State Candidate (and Hamilton County Chair) Mike Kole is there as well. It's a good time, good beer, and the best part is...it's free! No buy-in!

15 February 2005

Stupid Solutions for a Simple Problem

Ladies and gentlemen, Mayor Bart Peterson looks like a fool, the House Republicans are trying to make him look like a bigger fool, and will try to take the citizens of this state as fools as well. All of this fooling around is due to the failure to secure funding for a new stadium to house the Indianapolis Colts. Late last year, Mayor Peterson and Colts owner Jim Irsay announced they had a deal to keep the Colts in town for 30 years. Money for this would come from a downtown casino, which has to go through the legislature. Looks like Peterson forgot to talk with the General Assembly about it.

New House Speaker Brian Bosma said that there would be no new downtown casino on his watch, because of the moral reprecussions, more or less. That led two prominent Republican lawmakers Reps. Mike Murphy of Indianapolis, and Luke Messer, to offer alternatives. They looked to expand the gaming at the state's two horse tracks in Anderson and Shelbyville. Those proposals failed to get out of committee or generate any support.

Upon the failures to get any type of gaming going, now it looks like Murphy wants to penalize those that commute to Indianapolis for work. People like myself, would be facing double taxation and taxation without representation. The money would be removed from my paycheck, like my county taxes (double taxation), and then be used in Marion County, where I don't live (taxation without representation).

Irsay should be taking a page from his neighbors to the north, the Green Bay Packers. In 1997, they sold shares of non-voting stock for $200 apiece in an effort to raise funds for renovations to Lambeau Field. The team raised $80 million in a month. Imagine the possibilities, Irsay sells say, 1 million shares, similar price, BAM!! $200 million for a new stadium's construction! No tax increases, no gambling, no welfare for a multimillionaire, all privately financed! Scary proposition, the free market working!! It's not fair for the gun to be put to taxpayers' heads to finance a private entity. That's a simple libertarian solution that won't affect the lives of people that don't want to pay for a new stadium. For more ideas like this, click some of the links on the right.

10 February 2005

Social and Fiscal Responsibility

President Bush said in his State of the Union that the government must spend more wisely, showing fiscal restraint...HOGWASH!!! All the president is doing is spending slightly more than last year, and putting the money into white elephants, mostly the war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on protecting our citizens with police grants (money to help local departments hire more officers), he's investing in discretionary (ie: defense) spending. All in all, it's $2.5 trillion for the year, and that doesn't even include the $80 billion he has asked for the Iraq war.

Now don't get me wrong, democracy in Iraq is a wonderful thing. On March 15, 2003, I blared "Bombs Over Baghdad" (a killer OutKast song, BTW), but the toll is enough. Over a quarter of a trillion dollars has been spent there, when he could have better used it inside our borders. Bush's legacy is foreign policy, no doubt about it. What worries me though, is how can he "help" other countries when there is so much to do here??

The war on terror is just like the war on drugs to me. Lots of money spent, lots of rhetoric, but little, if any, concrete results. President Bush should focus more on crony capitalism, protecting the lives of Americans, and not be a man that focuses on imperialism. Under Bush's watch, the USA Patriot Act stripped citizens of the civil liberties. Now he's for a Constitutional amendment on same-sex marriages. What's next, he's gonna tell me when I get married, I'm only allowed one child, and it must be male??? This does reek of authoritarianism, and it disgusts me. The only good things he's done (in my eyes) was the tax cuts (but without the necessary spending cuts), trying to reform the tax code, and privatize a portion of Social Security.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talked of the "shock and awe" strategy in Iraq. Send a shock and awe to the government by standing up for personal freedom and fiscal responsibility in the voting booth. You ask "how?" I say: VOTE LIBERTARIAN!

03 February 2005

State of the Union

My friends, last night President Bush told Congress the State of the Union. He is pushing for reform on the tax code and Social Security. Both are long overdue. The tax code is hard to understand to Joe Schmo (ie: me) and goes on worse than a Democratic filibuster. But I digress.

Social Security is in need of a major overhaul now, or we're all screwed. The figures do not lie. In 2018, SS will pay out more than it takes in, and according to figures, will be completely bankrupt in 2042. I'll be 61 then (God-willing), but still it's an out-dated system in need of a modern makeover.

Democrats say all is well with SS, that the "trust fund" will be there for Americans. The "trust fund" is nothing more than a shoebox under someone's desk that has a load of IOU's in there. President Bush is using the political capital he won to push for the reform of SS. Democratic Congressional Leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, say that they will block the reforms. Reid and Pelosi, both as long on rhetoric as W, have no legit solutions.

People need to realize that it's their money being legally taken from them. We want our money back!!!

31 January 2005

Monday, Monday...plus a Super pick

Whoo, what a day! Getting published, doing homework, talking politics, and getting a new cell phone all in one day can cramp one's style. I must move on.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in attendance for the "Talk of the Town" meeting at the Statehouse last week. I was frustrated at the lack of talk over shrinking the state government. So like any reader who wants his side heard, I wrote a letter to the editor, and it was published...link here:


Tonight was the monthly Hancock County LP meeting, and we were joined by LPIN Political Director Brad Klopfenstein and Secretary of State candidate Mike Kole. I have formally endorsed Mike in the race, because I believe if he can serve Libertarians well, then the state should be just as fortunate to have him serve them.

Anyway, I digress...the Super Bowl is on the way and I'm calling for *sigh* another Patriots win. I don't know what it is, but Bill Belichick has a plan for everyone. Catch you on the flipside.

27 January 2005

Open Forum, eh??

Two days ago, a local TV station and the local newspaper hosted a town hall meeting at the Indiana Statehouse, inviting all to attend to present their thoughts to some of the state's legislators. Many pertinent topics were discussed, mostly the new terrain I-69 and Medicare/Medicaid.

My friends from the Green Party were the muscle behind bringing I-69 to the immediate forefront. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, the state is going to spend $3 billion to extend I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville through Bloomington, which will save only 12 minutes. TWELVE STINKING MINUTES!!! Currently the route is I-70 west to Terre Haute, then US 41 south onward to Evansville. Money to pay for the project would be diverted from the state, so counties would be left high and dry to maintain their own roads.

Medicaid was also brought up, with potential waivers being eliminated. A ten-year old girl talked about her autistic brother, and it reduced me to tears. The state has a responsibility to help those that cannot legitimately help themselves, and should not eliminate this program that helps middle-income families. However, I do not advocate increasing spending on this program because right now, the state's fiscal situation is a huge shit sandwich, and everyone's taking a bite.

Gay marriage was also mentioned, and the libertarian solution to that is removing the government from marriage altogether. I know Dan Carpenter of the Star called that issue the slab of red meat sitting in the fridge for the GOP, but people need to realize, that once again, morality cannot be legislated.

A libertarian solution, which I've said all along, involves a current flatline of the budget, no new taxes (income or sales), staying away from the gay marriage issue, and upgrading the I-70/US 41 for Evansville at a savings of almost $2 billion to the state. If you agree with this, I suggest you go to the next Libertarian Party meeting. The link to the state site is over on the right, and you can go from there. Talk to you soon.

19 January 2005

State of the State

Ladies and gentlemen, Mitch Daniels has been governor for eight days. In this week-plus he's been in office, he's created more layers of government, cancelled collective bargaining contracts with state employees, visited flood-stricken areas of the state, and now, proposed a tax increase.

The way I understand it, Gov. Daniels wants a one-year, one percent increase on income taxes of individuals and businesses making over $100,000 a year. Some of you are thinking, they're rich, they can afford it. My question is, what about the small-business owner who's struggling to meet government regulations as it is, and now will have to pay at least an extra $1,000?? That could mean that Small Businessman X goes out of business, and the economy suffers. Gov. Daniels says that the money generated from this temporary revenue adjustment (don't ya love the spin on that) will balance the books for the state and he can begin his economic plan.

Once again, a "slash and burn" Republican is acting like his "tax and spend" Democrat counterparts. A libertarian solution, flatlining or a uniform cut in spending (ten percent is a good start), is much more palatable to everyone versus raising taxes. I hope Governor Daniels realizes this isn't a budget spread over 295 million people, but only five or six million, so the effects of his plan will hit home a lot harder. 27 lawmakers, 25 of them Republican, signed a no new taxes pledge. It will take more than the Republican name to push this legislation through a GOP Assembly. Let's see if those 27 can make the stand they said they would.

14 January 2005

What a Week!

The title sums it up right there! A new governor, school's started again, and there's a new affiliate in the LPIN!!

Mitch Daniels was finally sworn in as Indiana's 49th governor, and true to his word, got right to work. He signed 13 executive orders on his first day, and toured flood-stricken areas yesterday. Between now and then, he also rescinded the Executive Order providing for the collective bargaining agreement with state employees. Another hot-button issue was the DST situation we have, and it looks like we'll be switching our clocks (FINALLY!!!)

As far as school goes, it's 15 hours....GRRR

A new member came into the LPIN family tonight. Madison County (Anderson) was affiliated this evening by three Libertarians who are as committed to the cause as anyone! I look forward to the good things to come from my neighbors to the north!

05 January 2005

Think Big

My Man Mitch becomes My Governor Mitch on Monday, January 10. Gov.-elect Daniels has a big challenge ahead of him, mostly on the budget, but also how to run one-party rule. As a Libertarian, my wish list of his administration has potential of happening, only if he sticks to his "small-government" roots.

-Shrinking the deficit and actual spending in the Statehouse.
---The $800 million deficit is staggering to anyone, and a flatline/10% reduction in spending is necessary to make this state financially solvent again. Daniels says that nothing is off the table...I don't like the sound of that :(

-Adopting Daylight Savings Time (DST) across the state
---As I mention time and time again, my own family doesn't know what time I'm on here in the Hoosier State. Putting us on Chicago (Central) time puts us on a clock that makes more sense culturally and economically. Daniels has already pledged this :)

-Avoiding the gay marriage issue
---We don't need to legislate morality, PERIOD. If they can legislate that, then they can turn around and take away my rosary and Bible, no frickin way!! The government does not need to be in an individual's bedroom. Daniels is against gay marriage, so it's kind of : on this

-Charter schools
---Mitch agreed with Our Guy Gividen about charter schools. Charters are out of government control, and in control of the parents. It also doesn't cost government because the money is private. :)

-Crane Naval Warfare Center
---One of the largest military installations in the world is headquartered about 30 minutes south of Bloomington. This brings in jobs, and money for this area in southwestern Indiana. The federal government is considering closing it and I hope Daniels fights for this key base to remain open as much as his predecessor did. Closing Crane would further depress southwest Indiana, right as I-69 is being built (BOO) :(

That's my wish list for Mitch Daniels. Some of it is pipe dream, some of it can become reality. Let's see if he truly represents all Hoosiers.

04 January 2005

Up in Smoke (Part 2)

As some of you know, Morgan County, located southeast of Indianapolis, enacted a smoking ban on all restaurants and bars on January 1st. This is another form of government control if you ask me. I don't think it's necessary for government to legislate morality on any level. It's simply a matter of personal choice. I voiced my opinion and was published in the Indianapolis Star today. The link is as follows:


I was short and sweet, to the point really. It takes taxes away from businesses and forces them back on the individuals. Kind of unfortunate really, seeing that Morgan County is mostly Republican, supposedly the party of smaller government. Seeing this, true conservatives can only look one way for a government that trusts them with their personal choices, that being the libertarian way.

03 January 2005

What Do I Look Like...a Bank??

Hey everyone, hope we had a good Christmas season and a safe and happy New Year! The tsunami has everyone around the world focused on southeast Asia and the aftermath that continues to unfold. Jan Egeland, the United Nations (there's an oxymoron) Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that the USA's initial pledge of $10 million was not enough! So Bush upped the ante to $35 million, and there was still grumbling, then outgoing Secretary of State Powell said it was now at $350 million. That appeased the world. It doesn't appease me. If the government is going to spend $350 million, why not take care of the problems in their own country??

It has always been America's "duty" to help those that can't be helped, but I find it easier to stomach donating $20 to the Red Cross to help (which I did), rather than see money I work for taken from me involuntarily to help someone else. What if I needed that money to feed myself or pay for my shelter?? The US is not the world's ATM, contrary to popular belief. Can I apply for federal aid when I get a flat tire on my way to work?? Will I get money for running out of gas?? The answer to those two questions is obviously no.

Private charities come into this equation immensely, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. It's those organizations that specialize in emergency support and aid dispersal, not some bureaucrat in Washington, DC. When 9/11 happened, millions of dollars in private donations came into the coffers to help those traumatized. Now money is re-entering those coffers, not because people are forced to give via the government, but through the goodness of their hearts. Get the government out of foreign aid, and get it back to getting this nation on track.