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