Monday, January 31, 2011

Moore Family Cancels Funeral Procession, Burial Due To Storm...Funeral Still On at Conseco

Channel 8 is reporting that Mother Nature has changed the funeral of Officer David Moore again. The service will still begin at 10:00 a.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse, but the funeral procession and burial have been canceled. Channel 8 reports that Moore will be buried in a private ceremony.

Major Winter Storm To Effect Area

State officials are urging Indiana residents to be prepared for the worst case scenario as a major winter storm continues to barrel towards Indiana.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Governor Mitch Daniels has placed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in charge of coordinating storm response efforts and preparations.

You might also want to take some time and make plans to weather the storm without power for, what the National Weather Service calls, a "long duration." IPL is telling people to report power outages immediately should they occur at (317) 261-8222. Hospitals and other priority locations will have power restored most quickly.

I could not find much on the city's website about preparing for an ice storm. That certainly needs to change. The Indy Star's Gregg Montgomery wrote this article including 10 tips to survive the storm should it get really bad.

We have not experienced anything like this in Central Indiana for at least 20 years, so it's time to be prepared. Even if you don't need the preparations this time, who knows what you will need in the future?

Indianapolis Says Goodbye to Officer David Moore, Today and Tomorrow

From the city's website

IMPD North District Officer David S. Moore was shot after stopping a vehicle on Sunday, January 23, 2011. Officer Moore succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, January 26, 2011.

Friends and public visitation will be at Crown Hill Funeral Home, 700 West 38th Street, on Monday, January 31, from 1400 hrs until 2000 hrs.

Funeral services will be conducted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 1100 hrs at Conseco Fieldhouse, 125 South Pennsylvania Street.

Interment will be in the Heroes of Public Safety section at Crown Hill Cemetery.

NOTE: Due to the severe winter storm, the time has been changed to 10:00 a.m. at Conseco.

Out of respect for Officer Moore's memory, there will be no Tuesday post.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Humor: Bush to Recover Aminimity?

Oh, our former Commander-in-Chief striking a great political match and then blowing it out while trying to sound smart. He should have just stopped after he said, "I don't wanna do that."

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years Ago: The Challenger Disaster

The nurse's office at Chapelwood Elementary...that's where I was when I heard about the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Our principal elected to not show the entire school the launch. Instead, I learned about it when I went to use my inhaler. The nurse's assistant told me something had happened to the Challenger, but she didn't tell me what.

I learned more when I got home that night. I sat and watched the coverage with my grandmother and then with my parents.

There's still no better tribute to the Challenger Seven and the dangers of our space program than President Ronald Reagan's. Here it is in almost its entirety.

We still look at space with wonder and amazement, and, for a 10-year-old that loved astronomy like me, this moment in history is forever etched in the mind.

Perry Township Meeting Provides Forum for Democratic Candidates

Last night's Perry Township Democratic Club meeting played to a near full house of good Democrats who ignored the cold and a slightly snowy forecast to hear from the assembled candidates and Democratic officeholders.

From the Grove
Beech Grove City Councillor Buddy Templin announced he was the only candidate expected to seek the Democratic Party's slating nod for Beech Grove Mayor. Templin spoke about his time on the Council and the battles with former Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright and his Republican colleagues on the Council. Simply stated, "The Leadership is not leading," said Templin, a security company owner whose business employs about 40 people.

Templin said that he, Ed Bell, and Mary Stewart, the Democratic caucus on the Beech Grove City Council have been proven right again and again as Mayor Wright and the Republicans spent money the Grove didn't have. "We voted down two budgets and pay raises for city workers not because we wanted to, but the money just wasn't there," said Templin. "It's a shame we were right."

The city coffers will be about half a million dollars short in a city with a budget of around $7 million, according to Templin. Dennis Buckley is also seeking the office, but he was not in attendance.

With Templin was Bell, Council At-Large candidate Debbie Springer, Clerk/Treasurer candidate Dan McMillan, and Judge candidate Barbara Bell. Mary Stewart was not in attendance at the meeting.

Council Hopefuls Square Off

The Indianapolis City-County Council candidates also took center stage during the meeting. As has been previously mentioned a few times on this blog, the At-Large race is heating up with six candidates filed for slating and another filed with a committee to run at-large but not filed for slating as of yet. Slots A and C have candidates that are unopposed so far. That's Joanne Sanders in A who was represented at the meeting but not in attendance. But, there were five candidates at the Perry meeting.

Slating Slot C has Zach Adamson and no other candidates. Adamson talked about his two main issues for his campaign, jobs and economic development. He pointed out how the Southwest District of the downtown area was thriving with lots of parking choices but that areas in the northeast quadrant are continuing to show empty storefronts. "It comes down to parking," said Adamson. "All you have in the Northeast are parking meters and garages which charge $15 for three hours. Parking is a major issue." Adamson talked about how abandoned housing is a black eye for the city as well and that he would work on this issue as a Councillor.

Slot B has Pat Andrews and John Barth running for slating position.

Andrews centered her talk around the nuts and bolts of city government. She cited her experience as a past Vice President of the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations and as the former Land Use Chair of the Decatur Township Civic Council's Land Use Committee. She displayed her knowledge of the area by talking about issues that have effected the Sunshine Gardens neighborhood in Perry. Andrews also said that she has been in charge of reviewing and understanding the last four city budgets for MCANA and its membership. She criticized the Ballard Administration and the Republican Council leadership for making deals to make people richer while ignoring neighborhood issues.

Barth stated that his qualifications for sitting on the Council come down to three things: family, community, and career. For family, Barth said that his family goes back six generations in Indianapolis and that when he and his wife had a chance to move to Washington, D.C., they chose to stay in Indianapolis. For community, he cited his leadership in the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association having served as its President. He said he worked on neighborhood issues and participated in clean-ups and other activities. For career, Barth cited his management of the Hoosier Healthwise program under Governors O'Bannon and Kernan. He said he was responsible for a $1 billion budget which is close to the Indianapolis budgetary figure of $1.4 billion.

Slot D has Leroy Robinson and Annette Johnson filed for slating.

Johnson gave one of her best talks yet as a candidate. She talked about how, as an eight-year-old girl, she caught the political bug from her mother as she walked on a picket line outside Wishard Hospital. Johnson talked about her 12 years of involvement in Pike Township politics and government where she now serves as President of the Pike Township Democratic Club and on the Pike Township Advisory Board. Johnson cited her experience in dealing with budgets while on that board.

Robinson said he is a proud resident of Pike Township and that he tries to instill the passion he has for his community in his government students at Pike High School, where he teaches. He said he lives in Pike; he shops in Pike; his kids go or have gone to Pike, so he hopes to take that same passion he has for Pike and apply it to the eight other townships in the county. Robinson cited his service on the IPS Board of School Commissioners as a part of his qualifications where he helped manage a $500 million budget. He said education was a key component in his platform.

The lone At-Large candidate that has yet to file for slating, Sherron Franklin, was not there nor was she represented by anyone.

One thing is clear, the Democrats have some great candidates for office.

Other officeholders, dignitaries or candidates in attendance included:
Marion Superior Court Judge Jose Salinas
Marion Superior Court Master Commissioner John Boyce
Center Township Advisory Board Member Larry Ryan
and Former State Representative John Barnes

Marion Superior Court Judge Steve Eichholtz and Indianapolis Mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy were represented by surrogates.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pence Ends Possible White House Run; Leaves Wiggle Room

According to the Indianapolis Star, Mike Pence is not running for President in 2012. The Star reports that Pence has chosen to serve Indiana, as Pence put it, "in some way."

Quizzically, Pence didn't just announce that he wasn't running for President, and that he was going to run for Governor. There's some wiggle room left there. Pence told the Star he will make a decision about his next step "sometime later this year"

Pence isn't losing any time in fundraising. I heard this morning on channel 13 that new state ethics rules prevent Pence from raising cash for a statewide run until after the General Assembly ends its long session. That should be sometime in April, if all goes well.

Osili Brings Certain "Star Power" to Council Race

As you know by now, Vop Osili has declared his candidacy for City-County Council in District 15. Osili did things right by talking to Doris Minton-McNeill (who had not declared her intentions to run or not to run) and to Blake Johnson (who agreed to leave the race and support Vop) before just barging in. Osili also clearly struck all the right chords by talking about his willingness to serve.

In Marion County, Osili has become a true political star. While his statewide campaign did not go well, Vop did very well here in this county beating Charlie White by over 20,600 votes here. Given those results and a strong local push, people had him running for everything from State Party Chair to Governor to Mayor to Dog Catcher...ok...not Dog Catcher.

His talents as a businessman and community member will be needed on the Council.

Hats off to Blake Johnson who was running a fine campaign in the 15th. I know that his youthful enthusiasm would have served the district well, but I know he knows that he's leaving the Democratic nomination in good hands.

As far as Doris Minton-McNeill is concerned, she had an extremely rocky beginning that was more than well-documented. We don't need to rehash. Over the last few months, she has been much better. Had she re-upped for reelection, she would have had a tough run to defeat Johnson, but she had the power of incumbency.

Moving forward, it's hard to believe the Republicans will even attempt to put up much of a fight against Osili in the 15th. Osili's going to do a great job.

Chris Matthews Rips Tea Party Leader Sal Russo for Defending Nonsense from Bachmann

Other than his reference to Michele Bachmann as "this woman" which came off as condescending, Chris Matthews absolutely guts Tea Party Express leader Sal Russo after confronting him about Bachmann's ridiculous comments in Iowa that our founding fathers somehow worked to end slavery when most of them were slave owners. They wrote it in to the Constitution for goodness sakes.

Bachmann also says that John Quincy Adams was a founding father who worked to end slavery. He was the sixth President of the United States and died some 15 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. Anyway, enjoy this skewering on MSNBC's Hardball.

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A City Mourns...

As you are well aware by now, Officer David Moore passed away this morning after a brave fight to survive.

Officer Moore protected this community for six years, and he gave his life doing his job. No words can express the sorrow I feel for Officer Moore's family and friends as well as everyone in the IMPD family.

The wonderful thing is that Officer Moore's organs will give life and a second chance to several other families. While it won't bring him back, his legacy of defending and protecting the lives of the people he has helped goes on. To Officer Moore, we thank you for your sacrifice, and we honor your service to this community.

Below is a heartbreaking tribute from WTHR, Channel 13.

State of the Union Takes Backseat to Local Tragedy

If you came here expecting my State of the Union reaction, that will have to wait for a day or two. Our community has been rocked by tragedy.

Word came yesterday evening from an emotional IMPD Police Chief Paul Ciesielski that Officer David Moore, the 29-year-old officer that was shot on Sunday, will likely not survive his injuries.

Now, I think all can understand why Mayor Ballard postponed the State of the City Address scheduled for this evening and called for the city to come together in the wake of this senseless tragedy.

Marion County Democratic Party Chair Ed Treacy released this statement:
"The thoughts and prayers of all Indianapolis residents go out to Officer Moore and his family, not only those to whom he is related to by blood, but also his brothers and sisters in uniform. I encourage all Indianapolis residents to pray for Office Moore and his family tonight. Anyone able should consider donating blood or volunteering some time. As always, I respect and honor the men and women who serve and protect, one of whom Officer Moore is just one shining example."

My thoughts and prayers are also with the Moore family as well as the entire IMPD family.

Here is the statement from Chief Ciesielski.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ballard Postpones State of the City Address

Just a few minutes ago, I received an e-mail stating Mayor Greg Ballard has postponed his State of the City address.

The e-mail from the West/Southwest Outer Region Neighborhood Liaison, Suzanne Rothenberg states:

Mayor Postpones 2011 State of the City Address
In light of this weekend’s shooting of IMPD Officer David Moore, Mayor Greg Ballard is postponing the State of the City Address. We look forward to having you join Mayor Ballard at a later date which will be announced in a few weeks.

Statement from Mayor Greg Ballard:

“I believe in the power of prayer and I would ask the people of this city to use the time that I was going to speak tomorrow night to pray, attend blood drives or volunteer in support of Officer David Moore, his family and his extended IMPD family.”

Breaking News: Osili Running for 15th District Seat

It's official! More reaction to this later on.

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2011

Community Leaders Issue Call To Osili To Serve

Indianapolis - Indianapolis business owner and architect, Vop Osili, announced that he will file to be a candidate for City-County Council District 15. Osili, who was contacted by various community leaders who asked him to run after City-County Councillor Doris Minton-McNeill indicated she would not seek another term, is being endorsed by Minton-McNeil and others.

Marion County Democratic Party Chairman welcomed Osili to the race. "Once they get to know Vop, the people of Council District 15 will learn what we know - that Vop is a man of integrity and honesty," said Treacy. "We are delighted that he has agreed to bring his many talents to the Democratic team."

Minton-McNeill also expressed her delight that Osili is a candidate. "The seat on the council I leave behind is important to me, and I am delighted that Vop has agreed to become a candidate," said Minton-McNeill. "Whether it be creating new jobs, making our neighborhoods safe, promoting diversity, or educating our children, we have much work to do and I believe that Vop Osili is the right person to lead those efforts and to offer new solutions."

Osili issued the following statement:

“After much encouragement by many community leaders, retiring City-County Councillor Doris Minton McNeill, and my family, I announce today my candidacy for City-County Council. It is my desire to serve my community, and I promise the constituents that I will serve them with honor, dignity and a commitment to public service that includes creating jobs and working for safe neighborhoods. I am ready to offer new ideas to get our community’s economy and neighborhoods moving forward."

The other candidate in the race, Blake Johnson, issued this statement earlier today.

Dear Friends,

I hope this message finds you enjoying the beginnings of this new year. I want to first say thank you for all of the support and kindness that you have shown me throughout the early stages of my campaign for the City-County Council. We came into the race as underdogs, and at times it seemed that we would never be able to accumulate the support necessary to be taken seriously. Despite these extraordinary challenges, though, we were able to raise significant amounts of money and gain the support of individuals from all over the city. I have had the opportunity to work with other great candidates throughout this process, and I have had the rewarding experience of meeting people throughout the city who have shared with me their deep love for this place we call home.

When I jumped into the race for the Indianapolis City-County Council 8 months ago, I did so with a vision for how our city ought to look. I stepped forward because I felt that it was time for a new way of doing business, particularly in the 15th district. In every conversation I had, I spoke of my commitment to ensure that citizens in the 15th would be represented with passion and conviction, and perhaps most importantly, that when my neighbors near and far had concerns, they would have a responsive and invested individual to which they could turn.

That vision has been unwavering, and it continues to drive my work in the classroom and in our community. After recently speaking with my friend Vop Osili and hearing his interest in seeking the nomination as well, I have made the decision that I will step aside and work with Vop as he seeks our party’s nomination. Many of you will remember Vop as the recent Democratic candidate for the Indiana Secretary of State. He is an individual of immense talent and conviction, and while his recent campaign came up short, his desire to serve has never been stronger. I believe strongly that the stakes are too high to work against one another now, to spend money and human capital against friends in the party when we should be focused on taking our city back from the bankrupt policies and practices of the last four years.

Vop brings to the table the name recognition, experience, and commitment necessary to not only hold this seat on the council, but to inspire voters as we seek to elect Melina Kennedy to the Mayor’s Office next fall. I do not make this decision lightly. I have put countless hours into this race, and many of my dear friends have done so as well, but in supporting Vop, I continue to see my vision for this city realized. His strength as a candidate is undeniable. In Vop, we will have a councilor in the 15th district that will be responsive and committed to act as a voice of the people. I rest assured that as I look to the future, my time of service to the great city of Indianapolis is just beginning, and I am eager to discover in what capacity I can work to make this community stronger as we move forward.

Thank you again for your support.

My very best,

Talley Nails Down AFSCME Endorsement

In his effort to win back his old seat on the City-County Council in District 11, former Council President Steve Talley won the endorsement of AFSCME Local 725.

Here is the release from the Talley campaign:
Friday, January 20, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 725 (Indianapolis) today endorsed former Indianapolis City County Councilor Steve Talley election bid for City-County Councilor District 11. AFSCME President Steven Quick cited Talley’s responsiveness to the needs of the employees, as a key factor behind the union's endorsement.

"During your administration there were no grievances filed and morale was at an all-time high. You were responsive to our members needs with your style of management which in this day and age is unheard of and we appreciated it” President Quick continued by saying “You also have went above and beyond the call of duty by helping the employees and their families outside of the regular working hours”.

Talley thanked President Quick, and praised AFSCME Local 725’s dedication and invaluable work on behalf of the citizens and visitors of Indianapolis.

“AFSCME Local 725’s commitment to Indianapolis, and its future, is inspiring. Quite literally, they have kept this city running sometimes under some very challenging circumstances," Talley said.

Paul Bateman currently sits in the District 11 seat. Bateman, who has had his own outside-of-council problems, has yet to announce his intentions formally. Bateman voted for Mayor Ballard's unpopular (among Democrats and reasonable Republicans) parking asset transfer deal that raised parking rates, changed hours the meters operate, and gave control of the assets to ACS.

Incidentally, Bateman has nothing in his campaign account.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicago Shocker: Emanuel Thrown Off Ballot

An Illinois appeals court has ruled by a 2-1 decision that former Congressman and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cannot (at least temporarily) continue his run for Mayor of Chicago because he did not meet the residency requirement.

This comes after a local election board did find that Emanuel met the requirement. The Emanuel campaign will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. That ruling needs to happen quickly because ballots will begin to be printed next week for absentee voters. The election is Tuesday, February 22.

While Emanuel is off the ballot, former Richard Daley Chief of Staff, Gery Chico, and former Illinois Senator and Ambassador to New Zealand, Carol Moseley Braun, are battling it out in a neck-and-neck race.

Officer Down...

Every once in a while, we are reminded why police work is something that deserves our respect. About 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning, Indianapolis got another reminder.

Officer David Moore was shot and critically injured while making a routine traffic stop. He was doing his job.

Like teaching and many other professions, Officer Moore gets police work honest. His parents are both police officers. Moore's mother, Joanna is an IMPD Sergeant, and his father is Spencer Moore who has been well-known for years as the public face of Crimestoppers.

Right now, a "person of interest" is in custody on unrelated charges. Sixty-year-old Thomas Hardy was caught and jailed for allegedly robbing a Dollar General Store 45 minutes after the shooting. Hardy has a rap sheet that is very long. That, as well as the inevitable discussion about gun control, belongs in another blog post.

Today, we take time to honor Officer Moore who was shot, again, doing nothing more than his job. My thoughts are with the Moore family at this terrible time.

Right now, Officer Moore and his family need all of our hopes and prayers.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At-Large Non-Democrats Short on Campaign Cash

So far, three of the four incumbents on the City-County Council have filed some pretty thin campaign finance reports.

While there are some district races that look promising for the D's, the focus of turning the Council will be on the four At-Large seats. Two Republicans and one Libertarian currently hold those seats. Democrat Joanne Sanders sits in the fourth At-Large seat.

Republican Angel Rivera raised over $10,500 last year, but he has just $1,096.97 in his campaign account. What did he spend his cash on? Well, as far as I can tell, it went to Printing, PAC contributions, attorneys fees, and campaign contributions. Read his campaign report here. Republican Barbara Malone raised no money, had no expenditures, and carries over a $1,487.50 balance. Ed Coleman has $1,248.00 on hand.

That means, taken together, the Republicans and Ed Coleman have $3,832.47. The top three money-raisers on the Democratic side, Zach Adamson, Joanne Sanders, and John Barth, have a combined $32,294.70 in the bank.

I'll let you do the math from there.

Indy's Gun Crime-riddled Weekend Continues with IMPD Officer Shot

On the heels of the news of last night's downtown shootings comes the word of IMPD officer David Moore shot this morning near 34th and Keystone.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these shootings and the the officer shot this morning.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Hodge Podge: Fundraising Numbers

Just some news and numbers here. Hope you enjoy.

At-Large Dems
I thought this might interest some of you. The numbers are in. Here's what the six At-Large candidates on the Democratic side have raised.

Zach Adamson, $18,623.54 (on hand $13,225.13)
Joanne Sanders, $15,094.11 (on hand $10,026.83)
John Barth, $12,530.51 (on hand $9,042.94)
Pat Andrews, $3,433.19 (on hand $1,938.77)
Annette Johnson, $1,477.00 (on hand $1,477.00)
Leroy Robinson (Did not file committee until 1/13/11)

The numbers say it. Adamson and Barth have been out raising money. Andrews has a good start and is planning fundraisers. Annette Johnson has raised little for running as long as she has been running, and Leroy Robinson gets a pass for now though his numbers should post soon.

Poulakidas Knocking It Out of Park
District 4 candidate for City-County Council, Kostas Poulakidas, a Democrat, is pulling in amazing fundraising numbers. The man who is running against incumbent Christine Scales reported over $33,500 on hand! (SEE NOTE BELOW...)

Watch this race! Kip Tew is Poulakidas' Treasurer, and Kip can raise cash!

Dane Mahern Draws Well-Known Opponent
Democrat Dane Mahern has an opponent. George Stergiopoulos, the proprietor of the Greek Islands Restaurant, has filed a committee for Council in District 19. Mahern is running for his third term on the Council, and it has been two tight runs for him. Mahern knows how to win tight races, and, while Stergiopoulous is a well-known name, Mahern enters with the advantage of incumbency.

At the end of '10, Mahern had $7,310 on hand. Stergiopoulous had $8,662.29 on hand. It's going to be competitive again in 19!

Farber Takes on Vaughn
Len Farber filed on January 3 to take on City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn. Farber is a longtime loyal Democrat. He faces a fight against Vaughn, but he would make a great City-County Councillor. Should be an interesting race to watch.

Gibson's Fundraising Numbers: Laughable
Ron Gibson's campaign for Mayor shows, on the face of it, a fairly decent balance. Right now, Gibson's showing $14,577.33 raised and $11,612.60 on hand. Of that, $11,709.67 was transferred from his Council re-election campaign. The rest of the money comes from just six individuals. One of those people lives outside of Indianapolis, and the fifth person is Gibson, himself.

So, how many people living in Indianapolis gave Ron Gibson money? Four. By any measure, that's disappointing for a person that wants to be your next Mayor.

It's clear that I goofed in the original post when I listed Ginny Cain as Kostas Poulakidas' opponent. I have fixed that error. The point is still the same even though it's Christine Scales who is the incumbent in that district. Scales has $4,450 cash on hand that's not even close to what Poulakidas has raised. My apologies for this error.

Also, today's filings show Sherron Franklin, a former 12th-District City-County Councillor, has filed a committee to run for At-Large City-County Council as a Democrat. Franklin, who was with IPD at the time, drew the ire of her own party when she voted against the Mayor Bart Peterson-pushed police merger between IPD and the Marion County Sheriff's Department. She was appointed by Mayor Greg Ballard to run the city's abandoned housing reduction initiative. I can't imagine that Franklin will have many loyal Democrats lining up behind her to put her back on the Council, At-Large. It will be interesting to see if she runs at slating.

Franklin's old seat, now represented by Mike McQuillen, also had Regina Marsh file as a Democrat to run against McQuillen. Franklin won that district by 13 votes in 2003, but she lost in a landslide in 2007.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Next Mayor Would Do Well to Take Note of Booker

As Indianapolis faces another rather pedestrian snow storm, there is sure to be a number of accidents on the road and shovels and snow blowers at work. When over a foot of snow blanketed Indianapolis a couple of years ago, Mayor Ballard was out of town and relied on a spokesperson to say, "You're on your own Indianapolis," when it came to digging out your cars and your driveways.

Well, that's just not acceptable in Newark, New Jersey.

Last month when a major snowstorm hit his city, Newark Mayor Cory Booker went to work. He scoured Facebook and Twitter and personally answered many of his citizens' pleas for help. He pushed cars. He slung snow, and, most of all, he pushed forward the idea that, "We're all in this together." On his YouTube account, the Mayor filed this report to his residents on how his city pulled together. That's Booker himself that appears around 1:40 in shoveling and pushing cars.

It's a new type of city leadership, and that's why Booker is at the head of the class when it comes to being a 21st century Mayor. He has an active Twitter account, and a vibrant Facebook page. That certainly is nothing new for a politician, but do you see things like this on a Mayor Ballard YouTube page?

No, no, no, and no!

There are scores of these types of updates, and things seem to be working. Despite Booker's city making huge cuts in their budget that have adversely affected public safety and a rise in violent crime, Booker is tied with Governor Chris Christie in a recent poll for a hypothetical 2013 New Jersey Gubernatorial race. In fact, he trumpeted the cuts on YouTube.

City size is certainly different, and Booker is clearly a one-of-a-kind. I'm just saying that when Melina Kennedy becomes Mayor of Indianapolis, she would be wise to look to Newark for some help when she sets up her administration. Transparency is one thing, but Mayor Booker takes openness and accessibility to a new level.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pence May Not Run for Governor, After All

The plot thickens for the 2012 Gubernatorial Race as Mike Pence’s star rises nationally. For the first time, I think there’s a reasonable chance that Pence spurns his home state and launches a national campaign for President.

It makes sense for Pence. He embodies everything a GOP primary voter wants. A Christian conservative record without much of the apparent wingnut fringe that some of the other candidates have. He’s a better-looking Mike Huckabee without the concerning liberal streak of Mitt Romney, the loose tongue of Sarah Palin, and the questionable views on race of Haley Barbour. Pence, like Barack Obama before him, would also have the ability for conservatives to make him into a blank canvas to put all their Ronald Reagan-fueled hopes and dreams behind. Ignore the fact that he has done little in Congress, he is almost the perfect candidate for the right.

Besides his obvious allure to right wing voters, Pence is also really really good at the media game. He seemingly never turns down an interview, and he has proven that he can speak easily to the masses. Unlike Mitch Daniels or other potential outsider candidates like Herman Cain, Pence comes across well on television. The full head of white hair gives him a statesman like look while having the face of someone much younger than his age.

It’s no wonder why the right is knocking at Pence’s door and begging him to run for President. Their current candidates clearly haven’t made much of a dent in President Obama if you believe the polls. In fact, some indicators right now show that Obama is on the comeback trail. A Gallup tracking poll has him back over a 50 percent favorable rating. Clearly, Obama's new play-to-the-middle strategy has been a winner thus far. Obama's got his groove back for the moment. Whether or not that will continue remains to be seen.

While it would be easy for Pence to come back to Indiana and run for Governor, sometimes the national allure only calls once or twice. Just ask Evan Bayh. At one time, Bayh was seen as a national power instead of the role he took on after passing on runs for President in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. Pence is certainly young enough to pack it in and return home, but who knows what the political landscape will look like in 2016? One need only look at how things changed between 2004 and 2008 and even 2008 and 2010.

Should Pence duck the Governor's race in favor of a run for President, then that leaves things WIDE OPEN on the Republican side. Expect Becky Skillman to resolve her health issue and several others to jump into a Republican free-for-all on the right. Should be interesting to see what Pence does. I think he loves the national stage, but does he think he can raise enough money and interest? I guess we shall see!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Memoriam: Sargent Shriver (1915-2011)

Sargent Shriver passed away today at the age of 95. It was a long, good life, and it was a life that touched many.

Shriver was a founder and the first director of the Peace Corps. Founded in the Camelot spirit of the Kennedy Administration, the Peace Corps has done much to spread what's best about the United States across the globe. Shriver was also a Vice Presidential candidate with George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential Election. They ultimately lost to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in a landslide. After a failed Presidential run in 1976, Shriver resumed a life of activism.

For the last several years, he has suffered from Alzheimer's Disease. Shriver lost his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, in 2009. The Kennedys also were struck by the loss of Edward Kennedy last year. Shriver is the father of Maria Shriver, the former First Lady of California.

Mike Delph Working...for the Tea Party

Voters in his Indiana Senate district sent Mike Delph back to the Senate in November, but he has already gone to work...for the Tea Party.

Delph filed a bill that will make many Tea Partiers potentially select between an "In God We Trust" or a "Don't Tread on Me" motto, if it passes. Delph wants to turn the Tea Party rallying call into a governmentally-issued license plate. I think if the Tea Party gets its own plate, then the GOP and the Democrats should petition, too. That's just one piece of junk Delph has filed. Another one is potentially more dangerous and damaging to our rights (especially if you look Latino).

Yes, Delph has filed an Indiana version of what is now law in Arizona. Senate Bill 590 has been introduced by Delph. I've seen the bill. The provisions look familiar to those familiar with the Arizona bill. Among the most concerning taken from the digest of the bill...

Requires the use of English only in most public documents and public meetings.

Requires law enforcement to "verify the citizenship or immigration status of individuals in certain situations."

Allows law enforcement to "arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe the person is an alien who meets certain criteria."

If Indiana passes this legislation, it is sure to end up in federal court. For all of the bluster of the Tea Party about the Constitution, you think they would understand that it's the federal government that regulates immigration.

So much for Mitch Daniels' plea to stay away from wedge issues! I guess maybe old Mitch doesn't have the kind of control he thought he did over his own caucus. Delph probably doesn't care anyway. Whether this passes or not, he's likely getting his record in order for a run at Dick Lugar in 2012, and he's going to need the Tea Party to do it. To his credit, though, Delph was Tea Party before being Tea Party was cool.

Monday, January 17, 2011

City-County Council in District 22 Not in My Future...For Now

After careful consideration, I have decided to stay with my initial decision not to run for City-County Council in District 22. I enjoy teaching, blogging, and being a loyal Democrat too much. It has been flattering for people to approach me about this, but I just don't think the time is right for me now. This doesn't mean that I will never run for anything...just not this time around.

Celebrating Dr. King

A video celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Celebrating the man and his life of service.

So, if you can, do something for someone today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

YouTubers Sing Tribute to Victims of 1/8/11

As I was driving home today, I heard conservative radio host and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley arguing that the tragedy in Tucson last weekend didn't rise to the level of 9/11, the Challenger Disaster, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and other tragedies along that level. My answer to her is that why should we be debating this? Should we be talking about how this tragedy isn't as bad as others?

That would have been enough, but Crowley then tried to turn it into a political argument saying, essentially, that no matter how good Barack Obama's speech was at the memorial service for the victims that it wouldn't redefine his presidency because the stature of the tragedy didn't rise to the level of a 9/11.

To me, it kind of turned my stomach and signified that folks like Crowley aren't really getting the point of what the President and others have been saying.

So, I was in that state of mind...pissed off...when I logged in to my YouTube account and I found this beautiful tribute to the victims of the attack. It's truly beautiful, and I think it totally proves everything that Crowley said wrong. This tragedy may or may not have risen to the level of a 9/11, but, for some, it did. For the victims, it did. For their families, it did.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Abdul May Be Making Stuff Up Again III

My friend, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, is out stirring the pot again. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. In this blog post, he accuses Ed Treacy of all sorts of things and says that Adam Kirsch, the Executive Director of the MCDP "berated" March of Dimes volunteers in the "parking lot" at the party.

I guess I should have known better when I clicked in to a post called "a Particularly Partisan Post."

Abdul claims that Treacy has been removing appointed PCs without letting them know or without telling their Ward Chairs. I haven't heard anything about this. I do know that the MCDP has been trying to get its house in order and has been trying to get effective PCs who will do the job of a precinct committeeperson in place. I have not yet heard of the phenomenon that Abdul speaks of, so I will say it's plausible but not entirely likely and Abdul or others may be misunderstanding something.

Abdul also claims that Treacy sent out a letter threatening PCs with their jobs if their areas didn't go Democratic. Again, I haven't seen the letter, and, as a Ward Chair I never received it. None of the PCs in my area have received anything like that, and none of my friends countywide have said anything. I believe I probably would have heard of it had it been done on a wide scale.

As far as the parking lot deal, there is a fairly small parking lot across the street from the new Democratic HQ at 148 E. Market St. It's not open for public parking, and I believe that it's actually shared by everyone in the building. There is no public "parking lot" at the new headquarters. If someone was parked there, they likely didn't belong there. Perhaps that was the reason someone was "berated" by Kirsch. I honestly have never heard Adam raise his voice for any reason, and I have had pointed conversations with him before.

As I commented on his blog, I think it sounds like Abdul is probably making sh*t up again to stir the pot or at least making a bigger deal about things than they truly are. He needs better Democratic sources, that's for sure.

I keep waiting for the expose on what happens on the other side of things since he claims not to be partisan.

Saturday Humor: Peyton Manning's Secret Language

Kenny Mayne did a report on Peyton Manning for his segment on Sportscenter quite a while back. Since some of you might be missing Colts football as much as I do, I thought you might enjoy this for Saturday humor.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daniels Sending Mixed Signals on Presidential Race

Governor Mitch Daniels continues to send a wide range of signals regarding his intentions to run for President.

On Tuesday, he gave a very state-focused State of the State address. As Matt Tully points out in the Indianapolis Star, it had no soaring nationally-focused rhetoric, but it was a nuts and bolts speech that laid out the Governor's plan for education and what he might push for during this session of the General Assembly. Pretty much no hints were given there.

Now comes word today that Daniels will be the speaker at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, D.C. Channel 6 reports he will be the "Republican speaker" at the event. Daniels is also scheduled to speak in front of the CPAC later this year as well. Those would seem to signal that he is running.

I frankly don't know what he's doing, and there really is no reliable rumors out there on the subject. What I do know is that if I were the Governor, I would flirt with the idea as long as people think I'm viable. Heck, I might even dip my toe in for a moment. Governor Daniels' star is probably never going to get higher in the right's universe than it is right now, so I would continue to get every last ounce of shine out of it.

If Daniels were to jump in though, I don't know how far he could go in the Presidential race. He doesn't have the war chest that a Mitt Romney would have, and he certainly doesn't have the profile that Sarah Palin has.

I'm going to give the Governor some credit. He and I disagree almost at every turn on policy, but I believe he is a moderate on many social issues. That may or may not get him votes on the right, but I believe that Daniels is very principled and that he believes in his agenda. I can't say that for all Republicans (or Democrats for that matter).

The agenda, of course, has been bad in many ways in my opinion, but Daniels has manage to iron out the rough spots and mask the problems. Would those wrinkles re-appear in a national bet they would. Pretty soon, Mitch would have to be answering for some of the problems that have occurred under his watch. If there's one thing Mitch Daniels doesn't like, it's answering tough questions and being challenged.

Overall, I think Mitch is a very smart politician, and he knows his chances in the 2012 Presidential race are slim, but he's smart for taking the opportunity to put his name continuously in the national lexicon on the right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Curry Restores Bit of Trust in Prosecutor's Office

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry broke in a major way yesterday with his predecessor Carl Brizzi and re-filed DUI charges against IMPD Officer David Bisard. The K-9 officer was involved in a fatal accident back in August that killed one motorcyclist, Eric Wells and seriously injured two others.

As you may recall, Bisard’s blood alcohol test showed that he was over the legal limit at the time, but Brizzi threw out the charges because he thought they would not stand up in court because of the way the blood was drawn.

During the campaign, Curry promised to review the case and re-file the charges if elected. He delivered yesterday.

In response, Brizzi seemed to acknowledge the charge as part of the process. He told the Indianapolis Star, “Terry Curry made a campaign promise. I don't know if politics is playing into this, but he said he was going to do it, so he has to do it."

I would argue that Curry is probably not playing politics but more doing the job he was elected to do. It’s Curry’s job to review the case and determine what charges are necessary. It’s the court’s job to decide if the Prosecutor’s Office made the right case.

Brizzi became notorious during the last few months of his term for refusing to charge people even when the cases seemed to be slam dunks. It contributed to the trust erosion between the public and one of its chief warriors for public safety.

Curry’s decision to re-file the charges helps to recover some of that eroded trust and now, at least, Bisard can have his day in court to find out his fate and the families of the victims of the accident can also see justice served one way or another.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Slating Slot Machine Has Another Player in City-County Council At-Large Race

The slating slot machine continues as the rumored candidates start to become real candidates.

On Monday, Leroy Robinson added his name to the crowded field of Democratic At-Large City-County Council candidates and filed in slot "D" for slating. He becomes the second candidate to file in that slot.

As you may remember, Chairman Ed Treacy and the Marion County Democratic Party Central Committee devised a method to slate the four At-Large City-County Council seats by slot rather than by field. Last week, I blogged on the subject. Each candidate must select one of four slots to file in. So far, to my knowledge, the candidates are, by slot:

Slot A-Joanne Sanders
Slot B-Pat Andrews, John Barth
Slot C-Zach Adamson
Slot D-Annette Johnson, Leroy Robinson.

It certainly will make things interesting as more rumored candidates come out of the woodwork. Where will the next person file?

While some party loyalists, political pundits, and others are crying bloody murder over the controversial nature of this decision to slate in this manner, I think it makes things very interesting. The political strategy is off the charts.

Will someone decide to file against the incumbent in Sanders?
What will a three-person (or more) race mean in slot B or D?
Will someone make it a two-way (or more) race in slot C?
When is the right time to file?

All of these questions, and I'm sure more, will be answered between now and the close of slating. Slating is February 12 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Accountability...for Daniels?

The State of the State is over.

In the 30-minute speech, he hit all the expected points. Daniels touted his trumped up job numbers. He talked about the budget, spending cuts, Indiana is better than blah've heard it before.

Daniels spent the most time on education. It's something near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, teaching is not only my job, but it's been a passion of mine since I was very little. I always wanted to be a teacher, and I've gotten the chance to do it since 1997.

Unfortunately, we have entered a period of time that is as hostile to public schools and to teachers as any that I can remember. Governor Daniels and State School Superintendent Tony Bennett have decided to sell out public education to business and move it away from our students, and they're doing it in the name of the students and education reform.

Of course, the Governor can't say that. He has to say the right things, and he talks a great game. Governor Daniels can sell ice to eskimos when it comes to education because we truly need reform. I don't deny that, and I don't think any teacher worth anything does. I just tend to think that some...not all of the reforms are misplaced.

I like some of the things that Governor Daniels and Superintendent Bennett are proposing. I think some of the changes in teacher licensing are right on target. No longer do teachers have to waste money on college classes just to renew a license. Rules implemented last year makes professional development count as a path to renew. Sure, you can do the traditional Master's Degree or CRU credits, but teachers can also now get points for going to conferences, attending seminars, and participating in in-house trainings.

I don't, however, like the idea of merit pay or vouchers.

Merit pay will not work because teachers will stop collaborating with each other. If my pay rises or my evaluation gets better based upon me being better than you, then why should I share anything with you. Why should I serve as a mentor to a teacher? Why should I take on a student teacher? This will destroy the spirit of collaboration among teachers.

I also have not heard a cogent plan about how merit pay will work with elective teachers. The last rumor I heard was that elective teachers would be aligned with English or math. 51 percent of your evaluation would then be determined by students you may or may not be teaching and certainly something that's not being taught in your classroom directly. If we're going to do merit pay, do we now have to develop End of Course Assessments for every class taught in an Indiana school? That seems to be the only way we can fairly pay teachers in a merit pay system.

As far as this idea of teaching to a test, it seems to be something totally antithetical to what schools should be about. Teaching to the test is not teaching students to think. We are further standardizing education when we should be activating creativity and individuality. That's the key to making education work, I think. Please click here to go back to my Monday blog post and watch an excellent video on educational reform in a way I believe would be a step in the right direction.

As far as vouchers go, I hope that they would come with a caveat that any school that takes in students that are paying tuition by voucher would be held to the same standards as public schools. Same thing for charters. If we need more of them, let's force the charters to have open enrollment in the same way public schools do. Let's compare apples to apples.

There are other ways to do education reform, but I truthfully don't think Mitch Daniels or Tony Bennett want to go that route. These are ways that would have possibly worked in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010. Instead, Mitch waits until he has a 40 mile per hour wind at his back here. He's going to get his reform, and he's likely going to get it in almost any way he wants it. Elections have consequences! I keep saying it.

Daniels should not be calling this agenda pro-student. It's not. It's not pro-teacher or pro-school. This is a business-created model, and schools are NOT businesses. Students are not products, and I hope that some members of the General Assembly agree.

If this doesn't work, can we reduce the Governor's pay?

Rhetoric from Left Now Needs Cooling

Listen folks, Sarah Palin was not responsible for what happened on Saturday in Tucson. Neither was Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or the Tea Party. Jared Lee Loughner was the one who allegedly pulled the trigger, and there are no other suspects.

Details are starting to emerge that show that Loughner was a very disturbed young man who apparently had a plan to assassinate Congresswoman Gabby Giffords long before the world ever heard of Sarah Palin.

So, let's tone down the rhetoric a bit.

What Sarah Palin did in using crosshairs on her SarahPAC website to target Congresswoman Giffords' district and that of 19 others was in bad taste from the start. It seemingly had little to do with the way the shooting went down and little to do with the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords. It is more of an awful coincidence than anything.

Right-wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh are using the actions of the left to push forth their own agenda. He said that the entire "Democrat" Party is "running interference" for Loughner.

That's ridiculous and in bad taste, Rush, but let's not respond to his ludicrous comments with more craziness.

The real problem is that it's way too easy to get a gun in this country. That's something that's not going to change any time soon. No one has the guts to take on the NRA lobby. Even Congresswoman Giffords in her public statements has been someone who is very pro-gun. Until we get a handle on how easy it is to get a gun here in the United States, we are going to see these violent shooting incidents repeat.

No, I don't want your guns, either. You can keep them. I know it's not the gun's fault. It just seems like the everyday, run-of-the-mill citizen should have to go through some extraordinary measures to get a gun that can kill a lot of people at one time. It's just way too easy for a crazy man (or woman) to get hold of a weapon that can do damage to other people. It's certainly not the days of the old musket ball rifle anymore like it was in 1789. I don't have an answer, but I think that's the direction the conversation should go here.

In the meantime, let's keep the truth in focus. Congresswoman Giffords is one remarkable human. To have survived a headshot and to now be, according to reports, responding to commands is a near miracle. Studies say only about 10 percent of the people that are shot in the head survive. She's still in critical condition, but she is clearly fighting hard to be that one person in ten. Let's keep Congresswoman Giffords in our thoughts and continue to send our best wishes to the families of the six people killed.

Let's drop "the Sarah Palin is guilty and the Tea Party is her accomplice" rhetoric. It only adds to their ability to distort reality. Instead, let's hope justice is served to the alleged perpetrator, Jared Lee Loughner.

Kennedy Draws Major Support at Kickoff Event

If a kickoff crowd is any indication, Mayor Greg Ballard may have a lot to deal with in November.

After being told by close staffers as she was en route to her kickoff event that only four people had shown up, Melina Kennedy was shocked to see over 600 people in attendance at her official campaign announcement yesterday. It sends a clear message that people are fired up about Melina as a candidate and ready for Democrats to re-take the 25th floor of the City-County Building.

I did not attend the event because I was working, but she spoke briefly about Ballard and the campaign last night at the Decatur Township Democratic Club. She went after three things specifically.

She said that in the 2007 campaign, Ballard talked about creating jobs, lowering taxes, and getting a handle on public safety. She cited a study that said that Ballard has lost 35,000 jobs. She said that he failed to repeal the county option income tax (that he said he would), and that he has raised more fees than "any mayor we've ever had." She also cited the problems in public safety that continue to plague the Ballard Administration. It's a message still in its infancy stage, but she delivered it with conviction and ease.

It's going to take more than words to be Mayor of Indianapolis. These are just the opening time trials of what promises to be a very expensive and very long race. This will not be a sprint. It's a race that will take a long distance runner, and that's what Kennedy is.

She's ready for the run!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Educational Reform: What is Appropriate?

Education reform must happen. This is such a true statement, but I wonder if we are making the right decisions for reform.

Will the state's new education agenda get the job done? I don't know. I like some of what Governor Daniels and State School Superintendent Tony Bennett have to offer, but the idea of merit-based pay makes me wonder how this system will be equally applied across disciplines, electives, and school districts. I also wonder...what truly is the agenda here?

In response to concerns, Superintendent Bennett has sent out several e-mails to teachers, school administrators, and other school officials to mollify the masses and address the rumors. He claims that he and Governor Daniels have no intention to reduce teacher salaries, wipe out collective bargaining, end tenure, or fire effective teachers. The question is, do I believe him?

Well, education is something that goes to the very heart of our society. This video on educational change hits so many of the right points. It's an important piece that I believe takes the idea of true educational reform in the right direction. Teaching to tests or making education about some number that a student achieves isn't what is going to make things better, in my opinion.

Please watch this important video featuring Sir Ken Robinson, a creativity expert. It's about 12 minutes long.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What is Congress on Your Corner?

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to fight in a Tuscon hospital in critical condition this morning after being wounded by a deranged gunman yesterday. She was shot while holding an event called "Congress on Your Corner" outside of a Safeway grocery store yesterday. Some constituents including a nine-year-old girl, U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, and Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman were killed in the gunfire.

So, what is this "Congress on your Corner" event. I wanted to find out more information, so I went to YouTube. Here is a news report on the subject from April of 2009.

Let us hope that the attempted assassination of Giffords does not deter our representatives from meeting with rational constituents. This event is the kind of event that should happen in our country. No appointment necessary...just talk to your representatives.

Unfortunately, Rep. Giffords nearly paid with her life for being accessible, and others were killed exercising their right to meet with their representative. Senseless.

Reneged Township Library Deal Could Signal Interesting Times Ahead in Wayne Twp

On his way out the door, former Wayne Township Trustee David King Baird passed a deal through the Wayne Township Advisory Board to utilize $200,000 in surplus funds to restore hours to some popular Wayne library branches that had been cut due to budget shortages. It was an 11th hour deal for Baird that was praised by many.

Well, hold the phone just a second.

New Wayne Township Trustee Andy Harris has decided to play Chris Christie and renege on the deal. He is not authorizing the funds transfer, and he is asking the Township Board to revisit the issue, according to an Indianapolis Star report. Harris told the Star that Baird could have signed off on the deal before he left office, but he did not. The "interlocal" deal was passed by the tally of 6-1 by the board, but Harris told the Star that he doesn't believe it lives up to the statutory requirements of township government.

This could just be the first of many battles between Harris, a Republican, and his Township Advisory Board which is dominated by Democrats. Harris is a former Ballard Administration official and longtime city and county official in many capacities. Needless to say, the battle lines may soon be drawn.

I know Andy Harris, and I believe he is a competent public official (even if he is a Republican). There are some good people also on the Township Advisory Board, and I know many of them. The question will be, can these two entities work together? It's going to be a test of township government and a very interesting dynamic to watch.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rare Joint Statement from GOP, Dem Chairs Underscores Senselessness of Arizona Shooting

Marion County Democratic Party Chair Ed Treacy and GOP Marion County Chair Kyle Walker have just released a joint statement in light of the recent shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and U.S. District Court Judge John Roll among others in Tuscon, AZ earlier today.

Indianapolis--Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker and Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy released the following statement in the wake of the tragic shooing in Arizona:

We join all Americans today shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Arizona. Politics is often the business of disagreeing. But it should never descend into violence. One of the hallmarks of this great American experiment has always been the peaceful transfer of power. Violence has had no place. Violence and the rhetoric that incites it should have no place in our politics. We condemn these actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and injured and their families tonight.

Police have taken in 22-year-old Jared Loughner into custody. He is a suspect in the shooting, and, according to the Associated Press, says he acted alone in this.

Rep. Giffords Shot

If you ever wonder why Congresspeople are leery about meeting in public with constituents, this might be a worst-case example.

Motives are still not clear, but Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ 8) was shot in the head while at a public meeting outside a supermarket in Tuscon. Several others were wounded including members of her staff. President Barack Obama just announced that five people were dead in the shooting including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old child.

Congressional representatives, senators, and really officeholders in general serve us at great risk sometimes. That risk extends to their families, staff members, and others around them. They are truly special people that...even if you don't agree with them...deserve our respect and admiration.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims of this senseless tragedy. MSNBC reports that Congresswoman Giffords is showing good signs and responding to commands. I certainly wish her a speedy recovery as well as a speedy recovery to everyone injured in this attack.

May those responsible be brought to justice.

Daily Show Takes on New Republican Majority

Jon Stewart's and Samantha Bee's take on the new Republicans from the Daily Show:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Republicans 2: The New Batch
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gibson Delusional

Can I preface this by saying that I like Ron Gibson as a person. I have found the former City-County Councillor to be a very nice guy, and I have shared many cordial conversations with him.

That said, as President of the Decatur Township Democratic Club, I don't believe I recall seeing him at one of our club meetings since March of 2007 when he spoke to our club. I could be wrong, and, if I am, I apologize to him.

Somehow, with very little campaigning, fundraising, or really any effort, he still thinks he can put up a competitive Primary battle with Melina Kennedy. I don't get it, frankly.

Ok...that's the prologue.

Here's the kicker. He's not dropping out of the race for Mayor. Gibson released this statement late today after hearing about Jose Evans' decision to leave the Mayor's race, endorse Melina Kennedy, and focus on a Council reelection fight.

"I thank Jose Evans for his service. Today, I still stand for working and middle class families who deserve a voice, for the thousands who have been unemployed for months, and for the future of our children. I look forward to a competitive primary race", said Mayoral Candidate Ron Gibson.

Let's analyze the statement:

First of all, Ron Gibson has not been campaigning for the job. Not at all. For someone that wishes to stand for the middle class and working class, you have to set up some sort of reason why Melina Kennedy does not. He does not here and has not on the campaign trail.

Secondly, he thanks Jose Evans for his service. Evans isn't going anywhere. He's going to continue to be a strong voice for the residents of District 1.

Thirdly, he said he looks forward to a competitive primary race. If that is so, these would be my questions to Gibson. What does he bring that Joe Hogsett, Kathy Davis, Kip Tew, Brian Williams, Jose Evans and others did not that he thinks he can be more competitive with Melina Kennedy than those that have dropped out? Can he raise over $900,000 between now and May because that's what Melina Kennedy has? If the answer is nothing, no and no, why continue the delusion? Gibson will be obliterated by Kennedy in the Primary. It won't be close. Why not just drop out of this thing and let Kennedy go free and clear after Greg Ballard?

I guess he figures he has nothing to lose. Can somebody stop him?