Saturday, July 31, 2010

Currypalooza Tonight

One of the most unique fundraisers that I can remember is tonight as Democratic candidate for Marion County Prosecutor, Terry Curry, holds "Currypalooza" tonight at Radio Radio in Fountain Square.

The event even got named one of the best live shows of the evening on Metromix. Tickets are $20. Radio Radio is at 1119 E. Prospect Street in Historic Fountain Square.

Here is the line-up of the performers.
7:15 – 8:00 Hazelwood String Band (outside of Radio Radio)
7:00 – 7:45 DJ Rusty Redenbacher
8:00 – 8:30 Blue Monkey Sideshow
8:45 – 9:30 Joey Welch, Nancy Moore, & Mike Graves
9:45 - 10:45 Tad Armstrong Band
11:00 - 11:45 Hot Jimmy and the Charred Remains

For more information, visit Terry's website.

Saturday Humor: Daily Show Takes on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and PBS Ombudsman "Defends" Palin

It's a Saturday double.

In the first clip:

I don't know how they do it, but the Daily Show finds some really stupid people who obviously haven't seen the Daily Show or that don't know what the Daily Show is about. Just watch this hilariously scary and scathing report filed by Jason Jones on the opponents of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gay Reichs
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

In the second clip:
Unbelievable as it might be, someone can find a way to "defend" Sarah Palin's butchering of the English language.

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

The Blog Turns Two

While we have a moment, I want to thank you for your continued support and readership of this blog. Today marks the second anniversary of the blog. This crazy thing started on July 31, 2008. You can go back and read my first entry here as well as what we were discussing on July 31, 2009, here.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your support, your comments, your feedback, and your time. I know you are all busy, and it honors me that you would spend five minutes a day or a few minutes each week here with me on the blog. Thank you all, and, yes, I mean ALL of you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

House Defeats Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers

Congressional shenanigans have buried a U.S. House measure called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in health care for 9/11 rescue workers suffering from the effects of working in the toxic environment at Ground Zero. Zadroga was a NYC Detective that likely died as a result of the effects from working at Ground Zero in 2006.

Apparently, the disagreement and the reason why the bill didn't pass has its roots in partisan politics. Democrats sealed the process to Republican amendments to the bill, they say, in order to prevent Republicans from adding on political items. We can debate that all night long, but the fact is that 94 percent of Democrats and only seven percent of Republicans voted in favor of the bill that required a supermajority or 276 of the votes cast to pass.

Incidentally, the line broke straight down party lines in the Indiana delegation. Republicans Steve Buyer, Dan Burton, and Mike Pence voted against the bill. Democrats Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth, Pete Visclosky, Andre Carson, and Joe Donnelly voted for the bill.

Each Congressman and Congresswoman that voted against the bill, regardless of party, should remember this moment following 9/11 when President George W. Bush grabbed a bullhorn and said what needed to be said. When the President put his arm symbolically and personally around the neck of that firefighter, America was saying that we were with those rescue workers in that important work.

That vote last night did the opposite. It said, we care more about procedure than we do about you. It's sickening. To every Republican that voted against this measure and the four Democrats that did, too. They should watch this video.

No Congressman has spoken out as forcefully as Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has in the last two days. Last night, he was visibly angry when he found out the Republicans were going to try to game the system. His speech, which exhibited great frustration at the state of the debate over the bill, drew applause from the chamber.

Then, this morning, as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) tried to pin things on Democrats, Weiner put it right back in the Republicans' hands.

Let's pass this bill. Let's pass it now.

When NOM Supporters Attack

Last Monday, the National Organization for Marriage came to town and staged a "rally" on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse. The "rally" only drew about three dozen people. LGBT activists came out in force and, though loud, were peaceful.

Unfortunately, it seems to have been too much for some. My friend, Alice Hoenigman, took a punch to the gut by one of the NOM rally attendees. In true Alice fashion, she brushed it off and even credits Maggie Gallagher, the NOM founder, for shaking her hand.

There is now a movement by NOM supporters to vilify the LGBT activists. This one got several details wrong in his letter to the Indianapolis Star. There was no "portable sound system" (other than a megaphone) on the scene, and I don't know how anyone can watch video or look at pictures of the rally and protest and see anything but a loud but peaceful counterprotest. It would seem to be that the NOM supporters were the ones that couldn't handle the heat.

I don't care where you stand on the issue. I believe that there should be marriage equality if the government is going to be in the marriage business, but this kind of conduct by supporters of NOM or people who attend their rallies just can't be tolerated, and the attempts to re-write history on events can't go unchallenged.

Here's Alice's account of the gut punch incident, reported by the NOM Tour Tracker.

Let Us Always Remember

It’s July 30, 1945. You are a sailor on board the USS Indianapolis.

You have just delivered parts for the atomic bomb to the US Air Base in Tinian and are steaming out in the open and deep waters of the Pacific. It’s 12:14 a.m. and you feel and hear an explosion. Two Japanese torpedoes have ripped through the vessel. Somehow, you have survived, but, now you are facing another challenge: staying alive in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean while dealing with the death all around you for nearly five days.

The above survivor’s story is imagined, but you can read the real thing here. It’s the story of Woody Eugene James, and it’s harrowing, gut wrenching, and remarkable all at once.

In all, 317 men out of the original 1,196 aboard survived. Over 880 went into the water, but many died due to injury, exposure, and sharks.

Today, about 26 remaining survivors are expected to gather here in our city to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. All totaled up, about 58 survivors are believed to be still living, according to news reports. More and more of our Greatest Generation veterans are passing on. Each passing year brings fewer and fewer veterans to events commemorating World War II. However you feel about war, the important thing is to honor the sacrifice these men made for their country and the sacrifices fighting men and women are making today.

I honor the survivors and those that did not survive the sinking USS Indianapolis on this solemn 65th anniversary. Some who claim they are not heroes. They are too humble. Let me assure you, you are more!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grandstanding...Gotta Love It!

Grandstanding has been a part of politics for years, and it is something underdogs do all the time. When you’re the underdog, you can say almost anything you want to get attention and the bloggers, the media, and your supporters will sometimes cry bloody murder.

That’s what is happening right now in the 9th Congressional District. Todd Young sent Baron Hill a letter trying to engage the Congressman in seven town hall-style meetings between now and the election. On the face of it, it sounds very reasonable, but, peeling back the onion, it’s nothing more than grandstanding raring its head. Young knows that Hill cannot possibly agree to the terms that he has set. Here’s the letter:

The Honorable Congressman Baron Hill
Member, U.S. Congress

Dear Congressman Hill,

As you know, the general election is just over three months away. Our nation faces challenging times and this is a critical election. I hope you agree with me that it is important for us to meet jointly and directly with voters so they can hear our views. It is even more important that we take time to listen to the opinions and views of residents of the 9th District.

As you know, the district encompasses a large geographic area. Because of this, I am open to your suggestions of when and where we should meet but I would like to offer the following for your consideration:

I propose that we meet jointly at least seven times.

I recommend that we meet in the following areas: Jeffersonville-New Albany, Columbus, Jasper, Paoli, Seymour, Madison, Lawrenceburg and any other areas you suggest.
We have a moderator to ensure that each of us has an equal opportunity to speak.
We take questions directly from 9th district voters.
I recommend that we meet in the evening when most people are home from work or school, but we could consider Saturday afternoon events as well.

I hope this proposal meets with your approval. Would you please contact me at 812-250-6446 as soon as possible so that we can get the dates on our calendars?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Todd Young

See, Young knows that Hill cannot meet seven times. He knows that he cannot do seven evening sessions with a full Congressional schedule. That would be next to impossible given his campaign responsibilities and responsibilities as a Congressman.

So, he has said up the proverbial straw man. If Hill ignores him or comes back with anything short of the demands he has set up, Young will cry bloody murder to his supporters, the bloggers, and the media. It’s an effective strategy in a close race.

Of course, Hill also has helped Young by his conduct in town halls previously. No need to rehash that mess again, but I think Young may be actually trying to open up a bit of a wound here on Hill that may cause some damage.

It’s political grandstanding, and, like I said, both parties have done it. David Sanders used it in the 4th District against Steve Buyer. As you can see below, he's using it again against Todd Rokita (totally different than challenging a sitting Congressman to seven town halls, btw).

Carlos May was trying to use it in the 7th against André Carson (before he was upset by Marvin Scott).

It’s textbook politics, and Todd Young is playing it. Set your watch for the “Hill doesn’t want to talk to voters” message coming from Todd Young in the next couple of weeks.

It didn't take long! Todd Young was Greg Garrison's guest on his WIBC program this morning. That was the topic. Young let Garrison carry the water, but let's face it. Garrison is just Rush Limbaugh without the national audience.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NOM Silenced by Monday Counter Protest

The National Organization for (discrimination in) Marriage brought its "Badyear Blimp" bus tour to Indianapolis on Monday for a rally on the Statehouse steps. A well-organized counter protest by members of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats and others interested in marriage equality drowned out the hate in the interest of the freedom to love.

The NOM tour has featured people speaking in tongues in other cities and rolled out this gem yesterday. An apparent local individual showed up with this horrible sign that pretty much makes it clear where supporters of the NOM stand. The Bilerico Project published this picture and has full coverage of the rally and the counter protest, as well as an interview with the guy that brought the sign.

It's time for this wedge issue to come off the table. I have said it before, and I'll say it again. All marriages should be considered civil unions in the eyes of the law. The government should get out of the marriage business altogether. To me, marriage is a "church" thing. I just don't believe that government should be telling folks who can enter into the bond of "holy matrimony" any more than the NOM is.

With that said, until that day comes where the government is no longer the arbiter of who can get married and who can't, it's time for equality. You should be able to get married if you're gay or straight. It's a human rights issue. Other countries and other states do it, and the sun still comes up in the morning. The world did not screech to a halt. Everything is fine.

The biggest threat to marriage is not same sex marriage; it's divorce. A protester at the NOM rally pointed this out. It's a purely hypocritical position to not point out this truism. I am not advocating the end of divorce. Unions just don't work out sometimes, but it is a threat to definition. Failing to allow same sex marriage is a threat to human rights.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The (Potential) Tough Road Ahead for Three City-County Councillors

Many people have very strong feelings about the proposal to hand over the city's water and sewer utility assets to Citizens Energy Group in exchange for one or two or three different amounts (depending on the day, the night out, or who's talking) Mayor Greg Ballard says he will use for infrastructure repair.

Unscientific polling in the Indianapolis Star has run against the plan by wide margins, and the general consensus of the people I've talked to is that it just doesn't make a lot of sense. Many will concede that something must be done to fix our roads and streets, but the plan is short sighted because this doesn't tackle even the majority of the problems. Some have gone so far as to say that this is a pig in a poke and creates some sort of slush fund for the Mayor and the Republican-led Council.

Council Democratic leader Joanne Sanders has been a strong and consistent voice against the plan. She went head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Republican Council President Ryan Vaughn in a Fox 59 Faceoff segment, and, by most accounts on both sides of the aisle, wiped the floor with Vaughn's weak defense of the plan. She has provided strong, compelling, and consistent leadership for her caucus.

Herding Democrats for a party leader is a difficult job sometimes, and this proposal was no exception. There were three key defectors in the caucus. Councillors Paul Bateman, Mary Moriarty-Adams, and Jackie Nytes decided to back the Mayor's plan and that hands over the city's water and sewer assets for the one-time quick fix amount to fix a part of the city's infrastructure. It's a plan even the Indianapolis Star has questioned as a back door tax increase as it's pretty clear that ratepayer dollars will be paying for the infrastructure repairs.

Proponents of the plan will say that the Democrats were just being the "Party of No" here. They say that the Dems should provide some sort of alternative to counter the triple digit increases in rates and fix the roads and streets. Well, with all due respect to those plan backers, isn't that what we still have right now? We are faced with, what everyone concedes are, triple digit rate increases in the future as well as many infrastructure projects that won't even get done WITH this plan. Now, we don't have the assets anymore, and we likely can't ever get them back. How is our position that much better now?

That brings us back to politics.

For the three Democrats that voted for the Mayor's plan, sledding can get tough for 2011. I have already heard rumblings within the party (from no one in any official party capacity, mind you) that Nytes and Adams may expect an opponent in the primary based on their previous votes on the preliminary proposals to get the plan moving. Bateman's late defection from the party line has not really been cussed and discussed yet, so it remains to be seen what will happen.

Many believe that some sort of back door deal had been struck between the Mayor's Office and the Democrats that voted for the plan. I don't know if it's true or not, but that is currently out there.

I have contacted all three Councillors and I have invited them to respond to Democrats in explaining their votes here on this blog. I told them that I would publish their comments unedited as a guest blog post. I want to be fair to them.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to go against your "party line" because sometimes your party is on the wrong side of things. Still, it's unclear to me as I see the evidence why the Democratic position was the wrong position and why these three Councillors left the party bus.

It's complicated. No question.

Turns out that if some back door deal was struck, the Mayor didn't need their votes. 15 Republican votes were enough to do the deal and all voted in lock step. Libertarian Ed Coleman voted with the Republicans. That left Democrats with just 13 votes. Maybe seeing that the votes weren't there to overturn the plan, Nytes, Bateman, and Adams decided to vote the way they did.

I can't get inside their brains. What they did was either incredibly brave or incredibly bad for their chances of being unopposed in the primary. Votes have consequences, and, if they voted for what they believed was best for their constituents, then they can sleep soundly at night. If this was their justification, I'm never going to criticize a politician for doing that because too often it happens the other way.

One thing is clear, an already compelling 2011 election season might have just gotten a little bit more compelling.

Sheriff for Senate

Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson is ramping up his campaign to be the next Indiana State Senator from District 31 against powerful Republican Jim Merritt. It's going to be a race to watch between Merritt and Anderson in a district that lies entirely in Marion County.

I've been talking to Democratic sources, and they say the numbers look very good for Anderson considering that he carried the district for election in 2002 and re-election in 2006. If he can bottle that same support for 2010, he should be able to sweep into office.

Anderson could also have coattails in Lawrence Township for its township office ticket of incumbent Russell Brown for Trustee, Constable candidate and fellow blogger Terry Burns, and Small Claims Judge candidate Judie Conley. Anderson's coattails could also help in Warren Township where Garland Graves is running for Judge and incumbents Paul Tuttle and Jeff Bennett are up for Constable and Trustee, respectively. The influence could help pull in votes in the other Marion County races as well.

The coattails are a major reason why Democrats were happy to see the Sheriff jump in the race with both feet. It appears, too, that Anderson isn't going to be content to rest on his laurels. His campaign was out walking the neighborhoods in Lawrence just this past weekend.

Anderson's success should spell doom for Jim Merritt, the longtime Senator and Republican caucus leader. Anderson's entry into the race forces the Republicans to spend money on defending Merritt.

I'm sure that Republicans will try what they can to attack Anderson. He has some perceived negatives that Republicans will try to exploit, but I doubt that it will be enough to take him down that many notches. Things seem to roll off the Sheriff, and he remains a very popular figure in the community.

His compelling personal story and the excellent job he, Col. John Layton, and others have done turning a jail that was on court order for overcrowding eight years ago into a really big success story is a major accomplishment. The food stunk, and the conditions were even worse than anyone could imagine when Anderson took office. Anderson didn't gripe. In fact, he would often say, instead of pointing fingers at previous Sheriffs, that when he raised his hand and took the oath that the problems became his. He solved them, and here we are today.

Anderson should help win elections in 2010, and, in the process, send home one of the Republican Senate leaders.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Water Utility Transfer Approved by Council

By a 19-10 vote, the City-County Council passed the sweeping water and utility transfer deal.

All 15 Republicans plus Libertarian Ed Coleman voted for the measure. Democrats Mary Moriarty Adams, Jackie Nytes, and Paul Bateman joined the majority.

Voting against the proposal by district include Democrats:
District 1-Jose Evans
District 2-Angela Mansfield
District 7-Maggie Lewis
District 8-Monroe Gray
District 10-Bill Oliver
District 15-Doris Minton-McNeil
District 16-Brian Mahern
District 18-Vernon Brown
District 19-Dane Mahern
At-Large-Joanne Sanders

Now, the IURC will get its chance.

IDP Hits Coats Hard on Lobbying

The Indiana Democratic Party has released the following web ad on the sketchy and shady lobbying past of Dan Coats. Again, I think it's only a matter of time until these ads start to get through Coats' armor a bit and actually make a difference.

Curry Campaign Finally Rolling

Terry Curry's campaign for Prosecutor has heated up these past few weeks and is now rolling with that momentum I previously called for in other blog posts.

Curry's campaign has knocked on thousands of doors (including mine in Decatur Township) so far, and they have been making thousands of phone calls while the candidate himself continues to raise campaign cash for the fall. Caught at a recent fundraiser, Curry says that his message is about to roll out and that he hopes to continue to get some traction with earned media as well.

It appears that Curry intends to make his message about his accomplishments as a Deputy Prosecutor. He is out and talking up his record of getting convictions in all different sorts of crime. Of course, this is in sharp contrast to the current prosecutor who continues to underwhelm even his former friends.

His opponent, Mark Massa, has also had his campaign out and about, but I have heard from sources that are as reliable as Abdul's are sometimes (hehehe, sorry big guy) that Massa seems disinterested in the campaign. There are reports from some sources that Massa was less than enthused about running but felt bad about turning down the Governor Daniels' direct request for cover...I mean to run. It will be interesting to see where Massa lands after the campaign ends.

It seems like the campaign for Prosecutor is beginning to ramp up towards the crescendo in November.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maddow Again...on Bill O'Reilly and Fox News

Rachel Maddow was on fire last week. In this episode, she takes the gloves off after Bill O'Reilly went after her on his program for criticizing the blatant politization of the Shirley Sherrod story non-story by Fox News.

If this were a Pokemon battle, O'Reilly tried bravado to win the battle. It had no effect. Rachel used the truth to chop O'Reilly down into itsy-bitsy tiny little bits that still probably have a bigger ego than most normal men.

Anyway, here goes. Enjoy.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Today: I Turn 35

Well, it's my 35th Birthday today, and I couldn't help but think back over the first 35 years of my life and try to remember those moments that really and truly stand out.

Ok, I'm not going to bore you with that.

I am going to treat you to 35 things that I am older than. Feel free to add in your own in the comments.

1. Tiger Woods (Dec. 1975)
2. Peyton Manning (1976)
3. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-California (1976)
4. The Ink Jet Printer (1976)
5. Roller Blades (1979)
6. MRI Tests (1977)
7. The Atari 2600 (1977)
8. The Cell Phone (1979)
9. The Walkman (1979)
10. MS-DOS (1981)
11. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois (1981)
12. Britney Spears (1981)
13. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) 1983
14. Cabbage Patch Kids (1983)
15. Windows for your PC (1985)
16. .com web domain (1985)
17. The disposable camera (1986)
18. Doppler Radar (1988)
19. Prozac (1988)
20. HDTV (1989)
21. HTTP and www (1990)
22. The Pentium Processor (1993)
23. Justin Bieber (1994)
24. The Brickyard 400 (1994)
25. The DVD (1995)
26. eBay (1995)
27. Viagra (1998)
28. South Park (1998)
29. MySpace (1999)
30. Family Guy (1999)
31. The iPod (2001)-Still don't have one
32. The Hybrid Car (2003)
33. YouTube (2005)
34. The iPhone (2007)
35. The Tea Party Movement (2009)

Tennessee's Next Governor??

What is it about the south? First, Alvin Greene in South Carolina, now...this guy: Basil Marceaux. Mr. Marceaux is interesting to say the least, but, at least he got his entire platform condensed and out there in about a minute and get a plug in for his website at the start of this local news broadcast clip. Bravo for the local TV station for including Mr. Marceaux.

Interestingly, he's not expected to win the GOP Primary, but no one expected Alvin Greene to win in South Carolina, either. Knoxville Mayor Paul Haslam is the frontrunner in both the GOP Primary and in the General Election polling over Democrat Mike McWherter. Term-limited Phil Bredensen, a very popular Democrat, cannot seek a third term.

For more interestingness, visit good ole' Basil's website.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Humor: Don't Take on Rachel Maddow and Not Expect a Response

We're talking to you Marco Rubio, candidate for Senate in Florida!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

30 Reasons Why Marvin Scott Thinks He Can Beat Andre Carson

Marvin...Marvin...Marvin. Dear Marvin. If you were not Marvin Scott, I would smile and laugh and admire how cute some of the things your campaign is doing are. Unfortunately, Dr. Scott has already decided to play the religion card on André Carson and has hooked his wagon to the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Tea Party star.

Each week, there's something else. Now, his campaign has now released, via the candidate's website, 30 reasons why they think they can beat André Carson.

It fits right in with Saturday Humor. I couldn't get through the first 10 without laughing.

Here goes (with my comments in parenthesis), enjoy:

30 Reasons Why Dr. Marvin Scott Will Defeat André Carson

1. Dr. Scott is the perfect candidate vs. extreme liberal André Carson.
(In the 7th District? Not likely.)
2. Dramatically better organized, better staffed and better funded campaign than previous Republican candidates. Dr. Scott has the best, seasoned, and connected political advisors.
(Hmm...I can't speak to this one exactly but knowing who is working for him, I doubt it.)
3. The campaign team has put together a winning campaign plan and strategy.
(Not that I've seen.)
4. Tremendous name recognition of our candidate.
(He has name recognition, but I'm not sure it's "tremendous".)
5. Dr. Scott has very high positives in the district.
(Show me the poll.)
6. High Republican voter intensity in 2010 vs. low Democrat voter intensity.
(This remains to be seen. I would say that he might have a point here, but I think there are people on the ticket that will bring Democrats to the polls on November 2.)
7. Dr. Marvin Scott is a black candidate, negating the “race” card.
(Why bring this one up? Just odd.)
8. 2010 is an off year election & the strongest candidate in Indiana is Senator Dan Coats who is leading by 30 points.
(The most recent Rasmussen poll shows nothing like a 30 point lead for Coats, and most political advisers believe that the race will tighten. I doubt Coats will carry the 7th District.)
9. Independents are leaning Republican by a 2:1 margin.
(I have not seen this polling, so I don't know what they are quoting.)
10. Dr. Scott won the primary even though he was not the slated Republican party candidate and was outspent by 9:1.
(I can't speak to the accuracy of the claim, but he did prevail.)
11. Dr. Scott has a long & proven record of leadership, success and service to the district.
(Dr. Scott has a long & proven record of losing elections.)
12. Our opponent is far to the left of the vast majority of the constituents of the 7th District.
(I would ask to see the poll and the documentation on this.)
13. Indiana’s voter ID law will reduce voter irregularities.
(The voter ID law has been in effect since the 2006 election cycle. No wins for Republicans in the 7th District.)
14. ACORN will not be as active in the past.
15. Our website is a tremendous tool and asset.
(The website shows Marvin Scott might be a tremendous tool and ass-et. Sorry, that was low.)
16. Our TV network allows us to get our message out effectively.
(Yeah, Stan Soloman...what a guy!)
17. Tea Party support is very substantial.
(Finally one I can agree with.)
(I'll take the next ones as a whole...)
18. Support from the Jewish community is much larger than ever before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
19. Support from the black community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before.
20. Support from the Catholic community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
21. Support from the business community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
22. Support from the Indian community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
23. Support from the Pro-Life community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
24. Support from the Pro-Second Amendment community is much larger than any Republican candidate has received before based on our opponent’s positions and votes.
(I would ask the campaign to please cite specifics on each group for numbers 18-24.)
25. An ever growing army of volunteers.
26. Dr. Scott has a clearly defined set of principles to articulate during the campaign.
27. Success of Governor Mitch Daniels in 2008 in the district.
(Not sure it carries over here.)
28. Success of Mayor Greg Ballard in 2007 in city of Indianapolis.
(The 7th District is not the entire City of Indianapolis.)
29. A national campaign fund raising mail campaign strategy.
(I don't have a problem with this, but Carson is doing the same thing.)
30. A national campaign fund raising email campaign strategy
(See Above.)

I can make a list of one reason why Marvin Scott will not beat Congressman Carson besides the fact that mathematical analysis, common sense, and most indicators would back up a Carson win.

1. Congressman Carson has been an involved, effective, and excellent representative for his constituents in the 7th District.

Enough said.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Friday Hodge Podge: Lugar Takes Heat, Stays in Kitchen; Locke Calls Out Berry; Ballard Misses Point of Smoking Ban; Scott Silent on Satellites

Lugar to Support Kagan
The old saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Well, Richard Lugar, the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator currently seated in office, can clearly take the heat. State Senator Mike Delph sounded more like a potential 2012 primary challenger this week when, according to the Star, he used his Facebook page to criticize Lugar’s statesman-like support of Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. I doubt Lugar will raise a bushy eyebrow at the young whipper snapper’s challenge. It’s not his first time at the rodeo here.

Lugar understands how the Senate works. It’s a long-standing tradition (until recently) that the President usually gets to nominate who he wants for Supreme Court service. Elections have consequences. It’s why Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed 96-3 in the Senate in 1993. Of course, the days have changed.

Look for Delph or someone of his ilk to challenge Lugar in the 2012 Primary if he runs.

Auditor’s Race Heats Up
As reported on several other blogs, Sam Locke called out Tim Berry on some quizzicalities (did I just coin a word…I’m pulling a Palin!) on his campaign finance report. From the Locke campaign:

Auditor of State Tim Berry’s recent campaign finance report reveals much about his campaign. Despite listing dozens of campaign stops on his campaign website and Facebook page, he lists no travel expenses on his quarterly financial report.

This exclusion means that Auditor of State Tim Berry has either (1) filed an incorrect financial statement with the Secretary of State or (2) used resources available to him as a public official (car, mileage reimbursement, etc.) to make campaign stops.

Our campaign immediately calls upon Auditor Berry to either file an amended financial report with the Secretary of State or to reimburse Hoosier taxpayers for the public resources used for campaign appearances.

I bet Tim Berry never thought he might have to actually raise a finger to keep his career in state government. As you might remember, Berry took office in 1999 as the Treasurer of State. He served two terms there before moving over to the Auditor’s Office in 2007.

Here’s to hoping he moves back to a nice, private sector office when Sam Locke takes office in January 2011.

Ballard Flip Flops His Flip Flop While Flip Flopping on Smoking Ban
Depending on the media outlet, Greg Ballard is either amenable to a compromise in the proposed total smoking ban OR he likes the current city ordinance and wants to help people stop smoking to begin with.

Wait…if we pass a comprehensive air ordinance in this city, might that not help people stop smoking?

Personally, I’d just like to be able to go to a bar, have a nice Diet Coke, and not come home smelling like I rolled around in an ashtray while not being able to breathe the next day.

No Word from Scott
There’s another Scott running on the Republican ticket in 2010 other than Marvin Scott. Jana Scott is running for Marion County Clerk against incumbent Democrat Beth White.

Given the Republican Party’s apparent stance against satellite voting, I decided to send Ms. Scott a query through her website on the issue. So far, I have yet to receive a response.

Absent that response, you have to assume (and, yes I know what assuming does) that she must agree with Republicans on the blockage of satellite sites to cast your vote on Election Day. Yay for voter suppression (sarcasm intended)!

Well, that’s it for the hodge podge! Enjoy your weekend.

You Want Honesty in Government? Look to Newark?

Mayor Cory Booker posted this YouTube video of him explaining, in grim detail, the City of Newark's awful budget situation.

It's on one hand extremely scary when you think about what he's saying, but, on the other hand, it's incredibly honest for a politician to post this on his own YouTube channel and on his own Facebook profile.

You see, saying things like raising taxes, public safety layoffs, and "Draconian" budget cuts are typically not something a Mayor would say. Then again, Cory Booker is not your ordinary Mayor.

Watch the video and be amazed at the honesty and the passion. This is leadership. The ability to stand up and take responsibility for what needs to be done even if no one really likes what has to be done. In Newark, NJ, there are no winners under this budget, but it's a bit of fiscal medicine that the city is being forced to swallow thanks to revenue. There is no smoke and mirrors at work here.

Being a Mayor is something I don't aspire to be, and I salute anyone that wishes to be in that role, regardless of party.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sanders Arrested in Protest

The Indy Student blog covered the Unite Here! protest at the downtown Hyatt Regency. The blog reports that City-County Council Minority Leader Joanne Sanders and 40 others were arrested at the protest. The protesters were standing up for the rights of hotel workers to unionize.

Indianapolis has no union hotels downtown.

Read the Indy Student account here. Wilson Allen took the photo above.

How Can You Tell Someone's Been in Congress Too Long?

Answer: Watch Charlie Rangel.

NBC's Luke Russert went toe-to-toe with former House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Charlie Rangel over charges that he violated House ethics rules and will now face a trial in the House over the charges.

Rangel clearly did not like the nature of Russert's simple question (Do you ever worry about losing your job?), and, instead of dismissing it with a simple yes or no, tried to expose Russert as a wet-behind-the-years neophyte.

Russert didn't back down. Here's the exchange as broadcast on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It was not a stupid question. The last person to face trial in the House, Rep. Jim Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, was expelled from the body over ethics charges.

Time to Say Goodbye

Well, I knew this day would come, and it's very bittersweet for me.

My friend and fellow blogger here, Chris Jackson, heads off to Michigan State University Law School today. Chris says that he will not be able to continue to blog here, but he hopes to start up his own blog on issues.

I'm going to miss Chris. We became very fast friends, and I want to wish him the best as he heads off to this next chapter in his life. He had better come back to Indiana, though! Otherwise, I'll have to come find him.

Anyway, thanks buddy for all you've done here on the blog. Thanks for all the strategy talk, the rides here and there, the Rock Band battles, the late night beers at Applebee's, the ear to vent into, the shoulder to cry on, and pretty much for just being you, and I'll miss you terribly. I wish you the best at MSU Law!

I still blame IU for this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Going Rogue

Sarah Palin made news this week by utilizing her Twitter account to ask Muslims to "refudiate" the planned mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.

We can sit here and debate about why the former Vice Presidential candidate and Governor of Alaska thinks it her business to butt in on Big Apple affairs (it's not), but the idea that she is ok with building skyscrapers back on top of Ground Zero is probably a little more to the point.

The World Trade Center complex prior to 9/11/01 was a bustling hub of business in lower Manhattan. The Twin Towers themselves were, stacked on top of one another, a half mile high. The entire complex had its own zip code and it dominated that area of the skyline.

We all know what happened there on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The entire complex was destroyed by terrorists. If you didn't know that, then you're a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. There's plenty of you out there.

Following the clean-up, the 16 acres of land in Lower Manhattan has sat open like a deep wound. Only in recent years has a plan to redevelop the land into a mixture of memorial and office space actually come to fruition. And, pardon me, but it's garish and ghoulish, and just flat out nasty.

To think that we should put office space right back in that area where nearly 3,000 people perished bothers me. Apparently, the mosque two blocks away bothers Governor Palin more than that.

But, there's an entire movement to turn that area into a park memorializing the innocent people and the first responders that got ignored just to return the area to some semblance of a bustling business hub.

I think a grand memorial if office space were necessary would have been to rebuild the Twin Towers exactly to the same height somewhere on that property and to preserve the original footprints of the original towers as part of a memorial. It would have been a great compromise and a fitting tribute to the victims.

Instead, we now have a plan in motion for a museum and memorial to 9/11 coupled with a group of uninspiring and cringeworthy office towers. The biggest...1 World Trade Center (formerly known as the Freedom Tower) will only have 94 floors and a 400 foot spire to top it out at 1,776 feet. The new office complex will have, according to estimates, some 3,000,000 square feet less of space than the previous complex of seven buildings.

I mean, is it really necessary to rebuild these buildings on that site? Look at what Oklahoma City did when its Federal Building was bombed by a terrorist. They developed an absolutely stunning memorial that serves as a proper reminder of what happened on that land.

Shouldn't we be more worried about commemorating what happened at Ground Zero than about some mosque two blocks away?

And, for the record, Muslims have every right to put a mosque in where they want to put them. Every religion was touched on 9/11 by loss, including Islam, and I'm not talking about the terrorists or the hijackers. Here's a what is termed a partial list of Muslim 9/11 victims from

Samad Afridi
Ashraf Ahmad
Shabbir Ahmad (45 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and 3 children)
Umar Ahmad
Azam Ahsan
Ahmed Ali
Tariq Amanullah (40 years old; Fiduciary Trust Co.; ICNA website team member; leaves wife and 2 children)
Touri Bolourchi (69 years old; United Airlines #175; a retired nurse from Tehran)
Salauddin Ahmad Chaudhury
Abdul K. Chowdhury (30 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Mohammad S. Chowdhury (39 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and child born 2 days after the attack)
Jamal Legesse Desantis
Ramzi Attallah Douani (35 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
SaleemUllah Farooqi
Syed Fatha (54 years old; Pitney Bowes)
Osman Gani
Mohammad Hamdani (50 years old)
Salman Hamdani (NYPD Cadet)
Aisha Harris (21 years old; General Telecom)
Shakila Hoque (Marsh & McLennan)
Nabid Hossain
Shahzad Hussain
Talat Hussain
Mohammad Shah Jahan (Marsh & McLennan)
Yasmeen Jamal
Mohammed Jawarta (MAS security)
Arslan Khan Khakwani
Asim Khan
Ataullah Khan
Ayub Khan
Qasim Ali Khan
Sarah Khan (32 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Taimour Khan (29 years old; Karr Futures)
Yasmeen Khan
Zahida Khan
Badruddin Lakhani
Omar Malick
Nurul Hoque Miah (36 years old)
Mubarak Mohammad (23 years old)
Boyie Mohammed (Carr Futures)
Raza Mujtaba
Omar Namoos
Mujeb Qazi
Tarranum Rahim
Ehtesham U. Raja (28 years old)
Ameenia Rasool (33 years old)
Naveed Rehman
Yusuf Saad
Rahma Salie & unborn child (28 years old; American Airlines #11; wife of Michael Theodoridis; 7 months pregnant)
Shoman Samad
Asad Samir
Khalid Shahid (25 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald; engaged to be married in November)
Mohammed Shajahan (44 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
Naseema Simjee (Franklin Resources Inc.'s Fiduciary Trust)
Jamil Swaati
Sanober Syed
Robert Elias Talhami (40 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Michael Theodoridis (32 years old; American Airlines #11; husband of Rahma Salie)
W. Wahid

When we talk about healing, let's not forget those folks too.

I'm sure everyone will marvel at the new buildings when they are all done, as one estimate says, in 2037. I just don't think it will ever properly commemorate that horrible day in September, 2001. It would be nice to hear Sarah Palin argue for a more proper commemoration of 9/11 instead of against the First Amendment rights of a religion to build a place of worship.

Brad Ellsworth's Second TV Ad

Here's the second ad from Brad Ellsworth in his run for U.S. Senate. It highlights his working-class Hoosier roots.

Fundraising Numbers Looking Good for Dems So Far; Poll Concerning for Ellsworth

In this year of anti-Democratic Party sentiment (at least that's what the right would have you believe), you would believe that the political fundraising would be troublesome for Democrats. Perhaps Dems and their supporters might not be as enthused about things, right?

Well, that doesn't appear to be the case. The Indianapolis Star reports that four Democrats are winning the cash race right now, and that could cause problems for the Republican dream of taking back the Indiana Congressional delegation majority.

In the 8th District, the Star reports that Trent Van Haaften is leading his Republican opponent in money $360,479 to $206,593. Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill is wiping the floor with Republican challenger Todd Young with his $1.1 million war chest. Young has a little over $259K. Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly is slightly under $1 million in campaign funds raised while his challenger, Republican State Rep. Jackie Walorski, has nearly $308K on hand.

Most surprisingly, Democrat Tom Hayhurst leads Republican Marlin Stutzman in the 3rd Congressional District fund race. The figures there put Hayhurst at nearly $280K on hand with Stutzman only raising $41K thus far.

Even Democrat David Sanders leads Republican Todd Rokita in cash on hand. Sanders has over $100K on hand to Rokita's $63K. Much of that comes from a personal loan to his campaign, but it's still significant to see over $100K in the bank for the 4th District Democratic nominee.

Statewide, the fundraising battle between Brad Ellsworth and Dan Coats for the U.S. Senate seat is almost a dead heat. While Coats raised more money than Ellsworth in the quarter, Ellsworth has $1.5 million cash on hand to Coats' $1 million.

That's the good news, but a poll has tough cause for pause for Brad Ellsworth.

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Ellsworth has a lot of work to do with Coats leading him by 21 points. The poll was taken right before Ellsworth launched his ad campaign, however. Rasmussen is also known for leaning conservative. I wouldn't ignore it totally, though, if I were Ellsworth.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Channel 13 Reports Mayor Ballard "Undecided" on Re-election Campaign

Even though he's raised a boat load of campaign cash and has some campaign materials making the summer fair and festival circuit, WTHR reports tonight that a spokesperson for Mayor Ballard's Office informed the station that Ballard is undecided on running for a second term. Channel 13 approached the Mayor's Office after getting their hands on an invitation to what they termed, "a campaign-style event."

I don't know if I believe the denial or not. About a year ago, I thought it was likely that Ballard wouldn't run. He's not a very good public speaker, and he can come off as unfriendly at times in a room with a lot of people. Still, I find him a fairly engaging guy one-on-one with voters. He took a picture with me at the Decatur Central Lions Club 4-H Fair while I was wearing buttons and stickers for Democratic candidates. He is a pretty good sport about that stuff apparently.

It makes you wonder if the Marion County Republican Party is pushing their Mayor to run, and he may be having second thoughts. Who knows? Probably just the Mayor and his wife, Winnie, at this point. Everybody knows Ballard owes the party very little. He got elected on his own and due to circumstance. Even he's smart enough to know that.

If not Ballard, then who? That's a great question for the Republicans. If Ballard doesn't run, then whichever candidate or candidates do will find themselves way behind Democratic hopefuls Ron Gibson, Jose Evans, and Melina Kennedy. Waiting too long may open Ballard up to a Primary Election fight he would likely win but probably doesn't want to take part in.

As WTHR said, keep an eye on this story.

IMPD Deserves Heaping Loads of Credit in Downtown Shootings Case

After tough weeks of questions about the conduct of a few officers, IMPD proved on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday why we have, overall, a great police department here in town.

It's not a perfect department. It has its bad apples, but the far vast majority of IMPD officers and employees are committed to keeping this city safe and keeping criminals off of our streets.

The speed at which IMPD removed a suspect with allegedly no regard for human life from the streets of Indianapolis was break-neck. The shootings happened at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night. By 3:00 p.m. on Monday, the department had tracked down their suspect and was putting him behind bars.

This excellent police work comes with stories of heroism as the bullets flew on Saturday night. Tales of officers covering young people and moving others out of the danger zone are now coming to light. We should all be proud of these efforts regardless of political party.

Now comes the hard part for Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana Black Expo, IMPD, clergy, families, politicians and other agencies as they try to crunch the facts and continue to ensure that every night of the Summer Celebration continues for the next 40 years and beyond without violence.

This is not a political issue.

Indiana Black Expo is a primarily peaceful event that adds so much to the culture of this city. We cannot lose it as some knee-jerk reactionaries would suggest as a solution. It's too important. We can, as a community, fix this. The important thing is not to close your mind because of the alleged acts of one or two or three individuals. Let's keep the lines of communication open. That's the only way to solve it for the future.

Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus Officially Has a Caucus

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has a friend in her new Tea Party Caucus. It's Indiana's 6th District Representative Mike Pence.

Pence, a member of the House Republican leadership, said he would join up with Bachmann's group if asked telling Talking Points Memo:

My hope is that this Tea Party caucus...will be an avenue for bringing some of the energy and the enthusiasm and the focus that I've seen, from the National March on Washington where I spoke on 9/12, to traveling around Indiana and all around the country, deeper into the well of Congress.

Having such an accomplished Representative in their ranks really gives the Tea Party Caucus a big recruiting tool. I mean, let's list all of Pence's accomplishments since he's been in Congress. There was that...and the...and He's done a lot of interviews!!!! :-)

Pence has been pretty much an empty suit in Congress so far. He has carried water for the Republican leadership and former President George W. Bush. Joining the Tea Party Caucus will position him well for a 2012 run at the Republican nomination for President. Pence is conservative enough and evangelical enough to survive the Republican Primary process. This Tea Party Caucus thing will look really nice to those voters on his resume.

Let's face it, he's good at politics, and, when the Tea Party folks are your constituents, it just doesn't take a whole lot to wow them. I mean, they still think Sarah Palin's amazing and look to Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint for leadership.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Star: Patton In Custody In Shootings

By Jon E. Easter

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Shamus Patton has been caught and charged in connection with two of the three shooting incidents downtown on Saturday night. He is charged with wounding nine of the 10 people who were shot in three separate incidents.

No word on the third shooting that IMPD has said was likely unrelated to the two previous incidents.

IMPD Seeking 17-Year-Old in Downtown Shootings

By Jon E. Easter

The Indianapolis Star reports that IMPD is seeking 17-year-old Shamus Patton in connection to two of the downtown shootings that wounded nine people.

Here is WTHR's report.

The local news stations are reporting an arrest has been made in the case.

Despite Stormy Forecast, Daniels Inexplicably Remains Chipper on Budget

By Jon E. Easter

Like a category five hurricane waiting in Lake Michigan, the state's bad budget situation continues to churn, but Governor Pollyanna...whoops...Mitch Daniels still remains somehow chipper about the situation.

The forecast is dire. Indiana closed the books on a budget that found state revenue $1 billion below what was expected. That budget caused mass layoffs at the state level as well as the deepest cuts in years for education. Public school districts and charter schools found themselves in the same boat for the first time arguing for the cuts to hit elsewhere. They didn't.

Schools are closing. Class sizes are rising. Teachers are being laid off. It only figures to get worse. With much else in state government getting cut to the bone, education would seem to be next.

You would think the prospect of losing more teachers and schools might make a guy a little bit upset. According to the Indianapolis Star, you'd never know it if you talk to Daniels. The Star writes:

Daniels, however, took a rosier approach Friday.

In a statement, he touted Indiana's fiscal standing compared with other states, most of which have had no savings to tap. He also pointed to steps the state has taken to reduce property taxes.

"Staying in the black when most states are broke, and cutting taxes while they are raising them is the best way to help Hoosier families through this recession and out-compete other states for the new jobs we need," Daniels said. "Thanks to our agency heads and state employees who are helping us find new ways to stretch tax dollars and do more with less every day."

In fact, 48 percent of the state's $957 million revenue shortfall was covered by spending cuts -- 61 percent of which came from state agencies, despite the fact that those agencies only receive 32 percent of all state funding.

The cuts to agencies, Ketzenberger noted, have spared deeper cuts to K-12 schools and universities. Daniels ordered a 3.5 percent cut for K-12 and a 6 percent cut for universities earlier this year.

Kind of brings up the image of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, doesn't it?

It's the narrative on Mitch Daniels. The mismanagement of the budget by allowing frivolous lawsuits by Richard Mourdock (Chrysler) and Greg Zoeller (health care) as well as phony job numbers have brought down Daniels' image a couple of notches. Still, the Governor is a master at message. He never gets off it unless you tick him off. He's going to stick to this, "It's bad but it's better here than elsewhere," message as he continues to build his record for a potential 2012 run at another higher office.

I get that the Governor has a tough job, but I certainly wouldn't be anything but worried with the way this landscape looks. Also, looking at the facts, the budget situation would have been a lot worse if not for stimulus funds taken by the state.

As the Star rightly points out, this will be a very contentious budget for the General Assembly to put together, and it's in an election year, too.

You just have to hope that all sides do what's best for Indiana in what could be, as Pat Bauer put it to the Star, the toughest budget "since the Great Depression."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mayor Ballard, Jose Evans Respond to Downtown Shootings

By Jon E. Easter

Greg Ballard talked to channel 8 on Daybreak (in an earlier version, I was unfair and said the Mayor had not responded.) Here is his interview:

Democratic candidate for Mayor Jose Evans has spoken. Here is his statement:

Last night’s incidents were tragic. Tragic for the 10 victims injured, tragic for the parents further emphasizing that all parents need to exercise personal responsibility for their children, and tragic for the image and success of this year’s 40th Anniversary of the Indiana Black Expo.

I commend the first responders, emergency personnel, and the men and women of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department who had to respond to this tragedy.
I am running for mayor to make a difference. As mayor, we will start planning and working with all parties involved in Indiana Black Expo to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again. Not only will we work with city officials, IBE staff, and the police force, but also we will involve the most important group…PARENTS… in this process.

My prayers are with those who were injured and their families.

Here is channel 13's write up on this afternoon's news conference with Mayor Ballard and IBE officials.

Abdul Gets It Right This Time

By Jon E. Easter

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz and I go round and round often in a good-natured way about our political opinions and blogs. He has given this blog and me plenty of good words, and I actually appreciate his friendship, believe it or not. Still, I do feel the need to point out things on his blog when he's actually just making stuff up. Today, though, I point out an awesome piece of work that he did this morning on the craziness that ensued downtown last night.

Ten people were injured in two separate shootings last night downtown. Many were under the age of 18, and one was 10 years old. Abdul hits many of the right notes in this piece on his experiences downtown last night. I can't say that I agree with everything, but I think I agree with much of what he says. I will excerpt only a portion. The entire post is well worth your time and your read.

This is going to sound really bad, and maybe it’s just the anger talking, but as far as I’m concerned after Saturday night, if an officer has to use excessive force to keep young people like the ones who did the shooting under control then so be it. That is not my problem and I frankly don’t care. There is a 10-year old who was shot because somebody decided to demonstrate they have no home training.

And that sentiment is being shared by a lot of people I spoke to this evening. The good work of Black Expo is going to be tarnished because a bunch of people don’t know how to behave. This is behavior is totally uncalled for.

And for those of you think this is about race, it isn’t. It’s about people being taught how to act in public.

The post continues after. I will not be taking comments on this post unless you use your maturity.

Young in Trouble

By Jon E. Easter

Marion Superior Court Judge Bill Young has found himself in some hot water over his work as the Traffic Court Judge here in Marion County.

The Indianapolis Star published this article about Young and his allegedly questionable conduct on the bench that has resulted in FOUR misconduct charges from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications.

The Star's John Tuohy writes:
The commission found fault with Young's comments toward Christian Hollinsworth when he sentenced her for driving with a suspended license.

Young "exhibited impatience and frustration with Hollinsworth and her attorney and made sarcastic remarks" at her court hearing, the commission found.

On June 3, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed Hollinsworth's conviction and ordered a new trial, saying Young's behavior fell short of judicial code ethical standards.

Among other complaints against Young, the commission found that he imposed tougher sentences against defendants who chose to go to trial, gave out a standard sentence to defendants who lost at trial instead of considering their cases individually, and tried to coerce defendants into admitting guilt, sometimes with misstatements about the burden of proof.

According to Tuohy, Young will now face a three-judge panel in a public hearing and could be tossed from the bench by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Young isn't the only Marion Superior Court Judge to face trouble in the last few years. Judge Grant Hawkins received a 60-day unpaid suspension last year after it was determined his office botched the release (for almost two years) of a man who had his conviction set aside by a commissioner in Hawkins' court.

Both cases aren't the same, and they, in fact, would seem to differ wildly. In these two cases, in my view, the separating factor seems to be the conduct of the judges.

While Hawkins' poor handling of that release is inexcusable, it appears that it was just an awful logistical error. Young appears, to me, to have other issues.

Whatever the case, the public's trust of the judicial system isn't probably the best, and these charges against Young do nothing to restore it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Breaking News: Downtown Shootings Mar Otherwise Peaceful Summer Celebration

By Jon E. Easter

Fox 59 is reporting several shots fired downtown tonight and at least six people wounded outside the Steak & Shake at Maryland and Illinois and another person wounded at the intersection of Georgia and Meridian. This, of course, on the penultimate night of Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration on an evening that caters to teenagers.

Of course, there is no motive or any suspects mentioned in the Fox 59 report, but it does, unfortunately, reflect on one of the city's marquee events. IMPD was on the scene within seconds. They are advising staying away from the area unless you have information.

Channel 13 is reporting one suspect is in custody.

Now, 13 is reporting eight people shot and no one in custody. Richard Essex, a reporter for channel 13, reports this perhaps being the chaotic IBE night in his eight years of reporting.

Comments shut down this Sunday a.m. after several ridiculous ones were received.

Here is the full story from the Indianapolis Star.

Saturday Humor: Barely Political Imagines President Gravel

By Jon E. Easter

One of the more entertaining candidates in the 2008 Presidential Election Cycle was former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel.

Gravel came off as truly odd during debates and made a decision to switch parties from Democratic to Libertarian in an effort to win the nation's highest executive office. He failed and endorsed the Green Party candidate, Cynthia McKinney, in her unsuccessful run.

Gravel was also famous for his extremely odd campaign video where he stares into the camera for a little over a minute then turns, walks a few steps, grabs a large rock, and tosses into the pond with no explanation. He then walks away while his website address stays on screen. The picture above is a screen shot from the video. You can watch it here...if you have three minutes to waste.

Well, Gravel has resurfaced in a video on the Barely Political internet comedy channel looking fit and great at the age of 80. Here's the video from YouTube. It's pretty funny. There is some salty language. You've been warned.