Thursday, November 4, 2010

No, Unfortunately, We Can't Stop Them

Indiana Democrats, the political weatherman has spoken. Hunker down, it's going to be a long storm.

The Republican statewide hurricane that swept a man accused of voter fraud into the Office of Secretary of State and a Washington lobbyist into the U.S. Senate has also swept in a huge Republican Indiana House majority and has shrunk the Democratic caucus in the Indiana Senate so much that now Democrats are not needed to do business at all in the Senate.

All of this means that lame duck Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels can pretty much run roughshod over anyone that has opposed him over the last six years. Fit him for his crown. He's now Napoleon.

Sure to be in his sights are the House Democratic caucus, public school teachers and administrators, organized labor, and minority groups. If you don't think he will, just wait.

Expect the Indiana General Assembly to end collective bargaining and make this state a “right to work” state. Expect the Indiana General Assembly to try to pass Arizona-like immigration legislation that will be discriminatory to minorities. Expect the Indiana General Assembly to do everything in its power to dissolve the Indiana State Teachers Association and to make public schools suffer so that more people go the private school direction. Expect the consolidation of local government so that townships no longer exist and small school districts are forced to consolidate with larger ones.

The voices of dissent will be there, and they will be strong, but there’s now nothing stopping Governor Daniels. For all intents and purposes, if it comes out of his mouth, and he wants it done, it will be law.

Even more insidious is what Governor Daniels can now do in redistricting. In many years, if reforms didn’t work, the opposing party could be ready to gain back the seats it lost in the next election. This time, Republicans will be drawing the Indiana House maps and the Indiana Senate maps. There will be no control of the General Assembly for Democrats in the foreseeable future if those maps are drawn correctly. Forget all this talk about fair redistricting. That’s done.

Indiana’s Republicans already had the right to draw the Indiana Congressional Districts. It looks like reapportionment will not take any seats from the state, but it does look like districts like the 2nd District and the 9th District can be redrawn in a way that Democrats will never control them. Republicans can also play defense in the 8th District where it looks like Brad Ellsworth could conceivably give it a go in 2012 against the newly-elected Larry Buschon.

The best Democrats can hope for in 2012 is that a strong candidate for Governor emerges. I’m not so sure that candidate is Evan Bayh. Bayh’s blueprint of a Blue Dog caucus in Indiana is not producing results anymore. Voters have strongly rejected it.

It’s time for a reboot at the state level, and it’s going to require a new mold to figure out things. The same old same old same old with the same old characters leading the way won’t work. I have a feeling the growing pains aren’t going to be pretty as old guard vestiges hang on for dear life. Voters already handed control of every state office and the General Assembly to Mitch Daniels. You can’t get much worse than that.


varangianguard said...

Continuing to snap at those who are closer to your viewpoint than those who consider themselves Republicans will continue to marginalize the Democrat party statewide.

It is the same mindset that caused the retrenchment during the midterms this week. DINOs and "Blue Dogs" are not your enemies, and treating them as either worthless, or as second class liberals will not ever get you what you are looking for.

You want some increases in Democrat representation? Then save your efforts for the Republicans. I don't especially care for Evan Bayh as a politician, but lukewarm support by you "real" Democrats is going to guarantee another Republican administration.

Which would you really prefer? If it's Becky Skillman, for whatever reason, then I really feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with the K-12 industrial complex is that they claim everything they do is "FOR THE CHILDREN!" I live in are area under Mt. Vernon schools. I voted against allowing them to raise property taxes, above the caps, to raise upto $1M a year for the next seven years. Why? The attitudes I see from K-12 teachers and admin have made me angry. I went to a small suburban Indy school district and graduated in the mid-90s. We didn't have a pool. We didn't have a fancy stage for plays and what not. We didn't have a second gym. We didn't have lots of things. That school district now has that, and guess what, nothing much has changed.

Maybe a few more kids get some college help since they now have a swim team, but it isn't taxpayers job to pay for the possibility of a sports scholarship. The taxpayers should pay for EDUCATION, not BLING BLING. The folks at MV said that I didn't get a "well rounded" education, because back when I was in high school, I didn't have all the bling-bling. Funny, plenty of my classmates went on to do very well in life.

When I read the minutes from school board meetings, many employees said they had made cuts, but those cuts weren't to pension plans, wages, etc.. There was nothing about the $1 healthcare for admins making $65K+/year. What I took away from those comments: "Don't you dare take money out of MY pocket, but you should take it out of your pocket." More of the "me, myself, and I" attitudes.

Lastly, the main problem facing this country is public pensions. As a member of PERF, I have to say that I don't know why we have like five different PERFs. Various groups get their own special pensions based on their jobs. It is time to place all public employees under one plan, the basic state PERF. The idea of a lifetime pension was based on folks not making much in government. We have cops now making $55K-$60K/year, plus take home car. We have judges and prosecutors making over six-figures. Folks, the state can't afford to base these pensions on these wages. If you want to save the state financially, reduce the pension plans drastically for new hires.

guy77money said...

Oh boy Jon where do I start? Your boy Obama forgot to lead. First off he made the health care bill his number one priority in the midst of the worst recession in modern history. People want jobs not health care reform that won't go into affect for a couple of years. Instead of making health care his priority he let Nancy Plosi be the voice of the Democratic party. The last time I looked the people wanted the President to lead not that nut job from California Plosi!
Then to top it off most of the health care bill doesn't even kick in for a couple of years. It's called politics! If you are going to pass a controversial bill so close to an election year you need to generate lots of positive political capital in the short term. The health care bill did very little of that. It actually back fired big time on the Democrats.

guy77money said...

I honestly don't think Daniels is stupid (the guys not stupid) enough to pass a immigration law like Arizona. If he is truly running for president that would be a truly a terrible idea. He will have to leave the immigration silliness to the do nothing feds and move to the middle.

I agree with you on the schools, leave the teachers alone and focus on the over supply of bad administrators and over spending decisions on buildings and sports. I tend to be pro school teachers but there must be some sort of reform in the system that doesn't reward bad teachers and administrators with automatic job security. State and federal government needs to stop passing unfunded mandates on the school corporations.

As for township governments it is not a bad time to whack them all. Most of them spend a load of money and give out very limited services. Town constables could easily be taken over by the sheriff departments of each county.

New school teachers, administrators, staff, fireman and police officers (to name a few)and any federal and state government workers will have to start funding their own retirement accounts with some sort of matching funds akin to the 401k accounts that most businesses now have. There will not be enough money to fund these retirement funds especially with all the early retires (a huge benefit) most teaches, fire fighter and policeman enjoy . These retires are living into their 70' to 90's and it unrealistic to think taxpayers can fund their retirement funds for the next 30 to 50 years.

guy77money said...

Cutting the property taxes of businesses and rental owners and home owners was insanity. Using referendums to pay for the funding of schools is the next ridiculous idea on my agenda. Here's a perfect example. My next door neighbor has three kids (Franklin Twsp Resident here) who take 3 different buses to school. Both his wife and him earn upwards of over $100 grand a year with Lilly benefits thrown in. Lets say his house if worth about $150,000 grand in the present environment. So he is paying $1500.00 a year in property taxes. Let say it cost the township schools $3.00 per day for each kid to use the (a truly low ball figure) the bus. That comes out to $1,620 dollars a (180 day in a school year?) year! A hundred and twenty more dollars then he pays in property taxes! My neighbor get his three kids a world class education for free! He gets the free use of all of the other services that property taxes pays for free!!!! Guess what he is opposed to the referendum to generate money for the schools. He states he pays to much money in taxes. That in essence is why referendums don't work. They tend to work in only truly wealthy (Carmel and Fishers come to mind)Republican strong holds. People who are smart enough to see that a $100 to $200 a year is a pittance to pay for a good education. I pay more money then my neighbor does in property taxes a year to send my youngest to a private Christian school. Did I mention that he is a Democrat with only a high school education (his wife does have a degree). Did I also mention that he drops at least $20 dollars a week on the lottery. There is the essence is why referendums don't work. California is the poster child of why referendums are bad news. Most people don't understand (hey politicians head my list! can you say CIB!) how to rank their priorities in life and of course we let these people vote.

guy77money said...

As for the schools they need to start thinking outside the box. They need to form a collective to purchase buses, fuel and large ticket items in bulk to save money. My sister helps to purchase computers and software for all of the schools in Butler (the county just north of Hamilton (Cincy) County in Ohio. Two people purchasing between 2,000 and 3,000 computers and software in bulk at the beginning of a school year compared to how many different data processing people and companies in Marion County saves a ton of money.

Daniels needs to leave organized labor alone. Most of the big unions that are left are slowly withering away due to high labor costs and poor adaptability to changing labor conditions. The teachers union would help themselves immensely if they would push their own reforms. Not holding my breath on Daniels or the teachers unions doing the right thing on this issue.

Lastly the Democrats screwed up! They had it all on the national level and didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Take heart Jon in politics there is always another day for the underdog to triumph! Under the terrific leadership of Tom John and Mayor Ballard in a gale force Republican wind they ended up losing just about every electable office in Marion County. It took real exceptional talent to screw that up! ;) It's nice to know the Democrats have such intelligent comrades when it comes to political stupidity! :) Have a great day at school, next year is going to be hell!

Anonymous said...

YES WE DID! Si se puede!!!!

Anonymous said...

The answer to the problems of the Democrats in Indiana is NOT Evan Bayh. The name of the game is not to see who can run the most republican thinking candidate. The voters deserve a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It is amusing to hear those who want Bayh to run for governor state their reason is that he is not Mike Pence. He is not far from him. Too close for me to ever vote for EB, the quitter.

Anonymous said...

This blog is unreadable. It's so biased it's hilarious.

Jon E. Easter said...

Well, it is the "INDY DEMOCRAT" blog.

Akla said...

i am deeply disappointed in the democratic effort this year. Instead of running on their record of accomplishment, they ran against it and against their leadership. We need new leaders here in Indiana and we need some new candidates. Who is that? No idea. We have had some real losers of late. We threw away an opportunity and it will be a while before we get another chance.