"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Monday, December 31, 2007

INDIANA POLITICAL ACTIVISTS' 2008 RESOLUTIONS

1) Demand accountability of our representatives’ words and decisions.

2) Demand transparency of our representatives’ agenda.

3) Demand of ourselves to raise our voice in active participation on issues affecting us, our family, our property, our neighbors, and our inherent rights.

4) Demand to safeguard and defend our rights as guaranteed by the US. and Indiana Constitutions.

5) Demand to our local city county council, legislators, mayor, and governor to observe and enforce the rule of law without discrimination.

6) Demand restoration of the previously lost moral ascendancy with respect to fair taxation and representation.

7) Demand fiscal restraint and responsibility with taxpayer funds.

8) Demand openness of process and fair speed of progress.

9) Demand incumbent public officials resign, be recalled or be voted out for failure to adhere to the will of the people and flagrant disregard for the rule of law.

10) Demand that we will condemn miscarriage of fairness and unite behind those ideals written in our Constitution that ‘power is inherent in the people’

Submitted by Paul Wheeler

Tax protestors to ILLUMINATE plot by senator to kill SJR 0008

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDIANA STATE HOUSE
(northside parking lot)
January 3, 2008, 5:30 pm
Media Contacts:
Dave Bond 317-446-6435
Max Katz 765-409-6669


"Votives to expose their motives"
THE ILLUMINATION OF PROPERTY TAX
Senator Long will not get away with quietly killing SJR 0008 in rules committee


Property tax protestors will rally with candles at the State House on Thursday January 3rd to bring illumination to the plot of fervent anti-repeal Senator David Long (R) to kill SJR 0008 in the Senate Rules Committee without a hearing by the public and their elected representatives. Citizens are aware that this is a political ploy used against the taxpayer in attempt to take property tax repeal out of the discussion for the 2008 legislative session thus making it impossible for legislators to vote for property tax repeal according to the demands of Indiana's citizens.

Citizen tax protestors understand that property tax is collateral used without consent of the taxpayer to guarantee many municipal bonds for municipal construction projects. This runaway government spending, in turn, is causing many homeowners to face the real potential of losing their homes and a lifetime of security.
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Protestors will assemble on the northside of the State House with signs, patriotic costumes, candles, flashlights, and other illumination devices to demand that SJR 0008 is heard on the legislative floor by the elected state representatives of The People who expect property tax to be permanently abolished in the State of Indiana.
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Ballard's Inauguration details

What: Mayor Greg Ballard and City-County Council Inauguration Details

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 1 p.m.

Where: Pershing Auditorium, Indiana War Memorial, 431 North Meridian Street


The media area will be on the second floor balcony. Special lighting, a mult box, and electrical power strips will be provided. No tables will be provided as you will be sitting in theater style seats.

A security sweep will commence at 10 a.m., so we respectfully ask that you have all your large equipment and cables in place by 9:30 a.m. Individual members of the media covering the Inauguration are encouraged to arrive by 11 a.m.

There will be a table in front of the Pershing Auditorium for members of the media to retrieve their credentials. We ask that you have these credentials on you at all times.

Parking for media trucks will be available on Meridian Street on the War Memorial Plaza. Free regular parking is available at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Free shuttles will run from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and will run continuously in a loop and pick up/drop off under the awning at the rear entrance of the Scottish Rite.
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The doors of the Indiana War Memorial will open to the public at noon. Limited seating is available to the public in the Pershing Auditorium and in two overflow areas on a first-come basis. Handicapped seating is available in the Auditorium.
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The ceremony is scheduled to last approximately one hour. There will be a brief reception in the MacArthur Room following the ceremony.

ACTIVIST MAYOR’S THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS

Original Strategy Map
Created on July 27th and 28th 2007
by Melyssa Donaghy & citizen activists


Newly elected Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard sponsored a thank you party for volunteers, property tax and accountability activists in appreciation for their efforts that catapulted him into office in the biggest revolt and upset ever seen in Indy. Held at the Firefighter’s Union Hall on a Saturday afternoon, scores of enthusiastic supporters sat at white festive table clothed tables and feasted marine style on an unending supply of chili, pizza, salad, cookies, soft drinks and beer. Activists were pleased with the appointment of Greg Wilson as Director of minority business development. This follows another reform activist, Kent Smith, newly elected by the people in November for a 2008 city county council seat. The mayor took the opportunity to formally announce his new public safety director, Scott Newman, who was not timid about his goal of lifting the morale of the previous police merger debacle along with concerns for the fire department.

Of note, Activist Melyssa Donaghy, just returning from the Sam Adams Alliance meeting in Chicago with a $5,000.00 Sammy Award of the year for her activist efforts in Tea Party rallies, presented the Mayor with the framed original plaque of the protesters’ strategy planning map that worked to everyone’s advantage. Included was a laminated “Taxpayers’ Declaration of Rights”.

Pinned onto the Mayor’s lapel by Patriot Paul was the Revolutionary War Betsy Ross Freedom Flag, representing freedom from unfair property taxes and freedom for accountability and transparency in government.

Indianapolis has never seen an activist Mayor, until now, but judging from the initial support, this marine will carve a lean machine to guide the city forward, and those sitting on a status quo cushion are justifiably on notice that this is not business as usual.

Patriot Paul

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Taxpayers' Night Before Christmas

NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS REVISITED

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Indiana

Not a public official was stirring; not even jolly Santa;

Property owners’ stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that relief would soon be there.

Politicians were nestled all corrupt in their beds,

And citizens with their assessments; waste deep in debt,

Had just settled their foreclosures with much regret.

When out in the streets there arose such a clatter,

Leaders well knew what was the matter.

Away to the tax protests I flew like a flash,

Tore open the state waste and there was the cash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

Favoritism, patronage, corruptness; no cheer.

To the rescue they came: governor, lobbyists, special interest galore.

To Daniels and legislators, you robbed us poor.

To the top of the statehouse to evict them all

A stampede of legislators into free fall.

No sleigh full of goodies and no St.Nick

Legislators played what was a trick.

But then in a twinkling I had to remember,

Good citizens of Indiana would speak in November.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight.

by Paul Wheeler
Indiana Resident

(317.625.3549)

Legislative Alert from STOPIndiana.com


Dear Fellow Hoosiers:
The only bold, major moves solution to Indiana's property tax crisis, is the complete elimination of property tax, and replacement with a transparent, blended method of revenue collection that doesn't require a handbook, public official and court to understand. We know clarity when we see it, and current proposals to keep the property tax system don't make the grade.
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Several polls, including a recent poll by Advance America , show that a majority of Hoosiers favor the elimination of property tax, which REQUIRES open discussion and debate on the floor of the respective chambers of the PEOPLE'S HOUSE! An open discussion and exploration of this issue will add to this informed majority, so what are legislators afraid of and who does their fear represent? Is the legislative "process" the lesser of that which is the legislators' fears, or greater of that which is the citizens' hopes?
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A King Herod Act is likely brewing behind the scenes, where members of the Senate Rules Committee are planning to kill the hope for a meaningful solution to Indiana's property tax crisis. While the committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, January 8th; as of this writing, they're keeping the time and location a secret, which is hardly transparent or good government.
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Does "reform" exclude an open discussion of the elimination of property tax? Make certain that Senator David Long and his cohorts don't shirk their responsibility by leaving property tax elimination off the very table that belongs to YOU THE PEOPLE.
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The word is that there's a move afoot to kill SJR8 (Senate Joint Resolution 8 to eliminate property tax: ) in the rules committee, giving Senators Long, et al, the future excuse that they've "already voted on that," to dismiss the genuine interests of citizens and their inquiries about property tax elimination, for the entire session. How, if that's the case, is that a recipe for progress? Hint: back room butchering of the people's interests to feed special interests isn't progress.
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If citizens lose representation and the opportunity to have an open debate on the property tax issue, it's logistically a two year setback for true reform and economic progress. Members of the legislature who deny Hoosiers an open debate or referenda on the elimination of property tax, should be voted out of office for dereliction of duty. If members of the legislature are secure in their knowledge and beliefs, they'll have no trouble exposing them to the light of open debate where they can exercise the courage of their convictions.
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If Senator Long and Representative Crawford choose to limit open debate and kill by committee, the citizens option to eliminate property tax; Hoosiers will find themselves living Chavez style, in a place more like Venezuela than Indiana.
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Get the word out and take action! It's time to once again, write and call the people who are supposed to represent us, and insist on open debate of the property tax issue, on the floor of both houses! Stay tuned for updates and mark Tuesday, January 8th on your calendar, to visit the state house and voice your concern.
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“One of the difficult lessons we have learned is that you cannot depend on American institutions to function without pressure. Any real change in the status quo depends on continued creative action to sharpen the conscience of the nation.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, December 21, 2007

URGENT MESSAGE FROM STOP INDIANA: Warning of ploy by Sen. Long & Rep. Crawford to block transparency in legislature

Please email this link and the message below to everyone you know and urge them to take action by contacting their elected representatives at the State House, including the Governor! This is dirty rotten scoundrel politics at its lowest and most immoral! The People are not having it!
-- HFFT editor

Dear Fellow Hoosiers:

Does "reform" exclude an open discussion of the elimination of property tax?

Make certain that Senator David Long and his cohorts don't shirk their responsibility by leaving property tax elimination off the very table that belongs to YOU THE PEOPLE.

The word is that there's a move afoot to kill SJR8 (Senate Joint Resolution 8 to eliminate property tax ) in the rules committee, giving Senators Long, et al, the future excuse that they've "already voted on that," to dismiss the genuine interests of citizens and their inquiries about property tax elimination, for the entire session.

How, if that's the case, is that a recipe for progress? Hint: back room butchering of the people's interests to feed special interests isn't progress.

If citizens lose representation and the opportunity to have an open debate on the property tax issue, it's logistically a two year setback for true reform and economic progress. Members of the legislature who deny Hoosiers an open debate or referenda on the elimination of property tax, should be voted out of office for dereliction of duty.

If members of the legislature are secure in their knowledge and beliefs, they'll have no trouble exposing them to the light of open debate where they can exercise the courage of their convictions. If Senator Long and Representative Crawford choose to limit open debate and kill by committee, the citizens option to eliminate property tax; Hoosiers will find themselves living Chavez style, in a place more like Venezuela than Indiana.

It's time to once again, write and call the people who are supposed to represent us, and insist on open debate of the property tax issue, on the floor of both houses! Stay tuned for updates and mark Tuesday, January 8th on your calendar, to visit the state house and voice your concern.

Stopindiana.com

ServeIndy.com: Send your most personal information to Ice Miller for screening




The broadcast on Channel 13 interviewing Melissa Proffit Reece from Ice Miller showing how to apply online for a job in the Ballard administration, is causing individuals who fought against Peterson's administration to take pause.

Why are city applicants required to turn over their most confidential information to Ice Miller?


Ice Miller was the law firm that worked on what some say is the theft of the Lawrence Water Utility. Ice Miller has had it hands in suspect deals at the Airport through Lacy Johnson, Carl Drummer's corrupt governance of Center Township, and other questionable deals that Peterson has engaged in, including the Veolia Water deal hatched by Peterson and Servaas behind closed doors with zero public scrutiny or input.


We are hearing of immensely qualified candidates who are reluctant to apply for a job because they do not want their confidential information to ever be in the hands of Ice Miller lawyers.


According to WTHR, Ice Miller is the first stop for all city positions. That means if you don't pass Ice Miller's muster, you don't get in front of our new Mayor no matter how good you are. That means Ice Miller, via their agent Melissa Proffit Reece, has total authority to block any well-qualified candidate who they might think might threaten their very lucrative taxpayer funded gravy train.

We are wondering if Ice Miller will let anyone near Greg Ballard that will work hard and passionately to provide transparency and accountability of exactly how the city spends its money and who gets what contracts. We wonder that perhaps Ice Miller wants to keep the status quo of no-bid contracts in place so that the insiders continue to get paid.
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As a footnote, several emails and a phone message to John Cochran regarding our recommended candidates for Ballard's administration have not been returned or acknowledged in spite of the fact that we asked John for confirmation.

The activists want to know that our qualified representatives have an opportunity to interview with Ballard in the new city administration which is promised to be transparent. We worked hard for this election, afterall.

Is Ice Miller and/or John Cochran blocking qualified candidates who are advocates for tax dollar spending transparency?

We recommend you carefully read these news archives.

NUVO'S EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATION
OF VEOLIA WATER / US FILTER DEAL SERIES
Includes information on Indy law firms and huge campaign donations

May 28, 2003
(Burt Servaas & Bart Peterson connection)




CLICK HERE TO READ NEWS ARCHIVES ON THE LAWRENCE WATER DEAL






Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jon Elrod's Position: Permanent Abolishment of Property Tax

Thanks to Digital Farmers for taking the time to scan this flyer he received from Jon Elrod. Rep. Elrod clearly states that he favors complete property tax repeal! Click the image for enlarged viewing.

Bart Peterson's world class city is in terrible condition

Abdul is reporting that Ballard's team is finding out that the city is in far worse shape than anyone imagined. All kinds of waste and neglect. Thankfully, we got the problem out of office.

We hope Ballard will hold a press conference soon after he gets a full scope of the problems to tell the citizens just how bad it is. It's likely this whole city will pitch in to help clean it up.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tell Congress to Obey The Rule of Law

On New Year's Day your petition demanding our politicians in the capitol obey The Rule of Law, the U.S. Constitution, will be delivered by the truck loads by the volunteer activists who work with ObeyThe Constitution.com . Go here to print out your petition and mail it to the address on the bottom of the page.

If we don't take control of our Government immediately, she will be lost to us. All we demand is The Rule of Law!

The REVOLUTION is now and your country needs you.

(Andy Horning should be quite happy about this!)

What to say when told Ron Paul and his supporters are "kooks"

If you live in Indianapolis and paid attention to the last election, you know that the rules of politics are changing. While arrogant professional insiders like Jenn Wagner, communications director for the state democrats will disagree, a power shift is happening and all the arrogance their elitist machines can muster only makes the power shift happen faster.

And the internet is driving the power to The People.

Read this essay about Ron Paul's life and achievements. Then the next time you hear someone say Ron Paul and his supporters are "kooks", then you'll know how to respond with facts that should dazzle them!

RON PAUL: TIME MAGAZINE

RON PAUL, PERSON THAT MATTERS
A most excellent choice
We agree!

Your property tax bill won't change much. Your bill to mailed in April

Over at Indiana Barrister Abdul writes about ASSESSING THE REASSESSMENTS. Basically I hope you all have some money saved because your mortgage payments are going WAY UP if you escrow. If you don't escrow your property taxes, you are going to have to write a BIG CHECK to Marion County Treasurer Michael Rodman. Now, keep in mind the bills are going to be sent right around the time you have to pay the feds your taxes. Or if you get a refund on your taxes, you might get enough to pay your property tax.

Did we mention that the administrative costs of the reassessment is costing Marion County taxpayers more than a million dollars?

By the way, how many of you have read the Fair Tax book by Congressman Linder? If you haven't you need to. And you should start thinking about getting active in America's Revolution if you aren't already.

We intend to take back our Government and put her square into the hands of The People, where she belongs. Our Government does NOT and never has belonged to the politicians. The politicians literally STOLE America from The People. And we let it happen because we didn't do our job of properly overseeing things by throwing out the thieves.

Plan for massive street protests come spring when those bills are mailed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Williams, Morgan & Welsh: Persons of honor the activists request be given cabinet level positions with Ballard's administration

The People have every right to have a say in who runs our city. Afterall, we pay the bills and the city belongs TO The People. We ARE the boss, the dominants, the controllers of our Government. Therefore, we feel it is duty to make recommendations for mayoral appointments. We also feel it is our place to offer opinion regarding individuals who we suspect may be self-serving over working passionately toward the interests of The People.


Let's talk about honor.

KEN MORGAN
One person is Ken Morgan who founded the PAC, Indiana Voters League. Ken is a guy who got involved only because his neighbor knocked on his door in a state of fear and shock when she received her tax bill. THAT is the mark of a person with compassion. He has an awesome resume and quite a bit of executive level experience with the Federal Government. His resume is published here. Ballard is in need of an executive level press secretary and we feel that's the perfect place for Ken to start. Of course Ken has a multitude of talents to offer The People of Indianapolis in addition to his communication and PR skills. If something happened to the Mayor, Ken is the kind of guy who can keep things running and keep people calm. He is an unusually brilliant, grounded, and balanced guy.

GARY WELSH
Another guy we really like is Gary Welsh, the attorney that writes Advance Indiana , who had a lot to do with Ballard getting elected. Not only did Gary interview and get to know and promote Ballard's platform, but he was a watch dog for us inside the Peterson administration.

Now, it is no lie that Gary has enemies out there. Anyone who calls out lies and hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle as much as Gary does is bound to make them. He weathers it well too. Gary is a sharp and capable lawyer with lobbying and bond experience; a skill set useful in any city government. He also knows where a lot of the bodies are buried in city hall.

At any rate, Gary doesn't have a problem calling out political shenanigans on both sides of the aisle. The TAXPAYERS (the ones that pay the bills) need someone inside city government who has the backbone to tell it like it is and not play politics. We like Gary as corporate counsel or perhaps on the CIB. We think he'll keep the political snakes honest. And that's exactly why some do not want him there. Ballard can trust Gary.

DARLA WILLIAMS
We also like attorney Darla Williams for a role to oversee MBE/WBE contracts. Darla is another person we have observed that cannot be bought or sold. She has strong experience as a bond attorney and worked on the Colts Stadium deal. We have also seen her passion first hand to elevate the black community so that a platform is created where ALL have an opportunity to participate, not just insiders. To this end, she is passionate. And while Darla may have her critics, like Gary, it is because she calls out the problems on both sides of the aisle and is a passionate person. We want passionate people working for our city!

Gary Welsh, Darla Williams, and Ken Morgan will make EXCELLENT cabinet level members of Ballard's administration. And not one of them is too good to pick up the phone to talk to a citizen. That is something we have not been used to for the last eight years.

Cocktails & Conversation with WXNT talk show host Abdul Hakim Shabazz

Join Abdul and WXNT Insiders
Wednesday, December 19th
5:00pm - 8:00pm
McCormick & Schmick's
110 North Illinois Street
(At the corner of Illinois and Market)

Senior Fair Tax strategist Dennis Calabrese answers questions




CLICK HERE FOR DENNIS CALABRESE'S FAIR TAX FAQ'S


Try out the new Fair Tax on line tax calculator


The Fair Tax, once implemented, will make America great again. America -is weighted down under the heavy burden of taxation. Our current taxation system (the IRS) is both expensive and complicated to comply with. It's causing much of America's weath to move off shore. Not only that, but it is making it very difficult for American companies to compete in the new global economy. If you have not yet read the Fair Tax book, we highly recommend that you do so.

What will happen when America moves to the Fair Tax? Well that's a good question!
The new calculator at FairTax.org allows you to find your tax savings under the FairTax system -- in just 5 minutes.

Imagine a tax system that rewards work and saving and does not punish investment. Well, we don't have to imagine any longer, the online calculator will show you exactly how much you can save under the FairTax.

Don't take our word for it -- run the numbers yourself. The calculator allows you to work all the variables (investments, savings, charitable giving, etc.) and get a direct comparison of the FairTax vs. the current federal income tax.

Melyssa wins national "Tea Party Prize" awarded by The Sam Adams Alliance & Foundation



CHICAGO--The Sam Adams Alliance & Foundation are pleased to announce the six winners of their inaugural Sammie Awards. The awards are designed to recognize outstanding citizen leadership and creativity nationwide, and are being given this year to individuals and groups from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.


"We are proud to see so many citizens participating in the effort for greater government accountability and transparency," said Bob Costello, Sam Adams Foundation president. "We hope the Sammies can highlight their efforts and encourage them-and others-to continue working to advance the ideals of liberty."


Melyssa Donaghy of Indianapolis won the $5,000 "Tea Party" award for staging numerous creative protests around the state in response to Indiana's increasing property tax burden.


Sal Costello of Austin, Texas won the $5,000 Best Short Satire Film award for his animation highlighting the "double taxation" associated with Austin's highway toll rates.


Leon Drolet of Macomb, Mich. won the $5,000 Best Short Documentary award for his video footage of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance spreading the word about State Representative Marc Couriveau's 3,000 percent tax increase on local garbage disposal.


Stefan Sharkansky of Seattle won the $5,000 Sunshine award for his work investigating the government with Washington's Public Records Act and exposing cases of government waste, incompetence, and malfeasance on his blog, Sound Politics.


Ben Cunningham of Nashville won the $5,000 Local Blogger award for his blog, Taxing Tennessee, which gets on average over 2 million views weekly and covers topics on taxes, freedom, and individual rights.


Finally, the "We Demand A Vote Coalition" from Hamilton County, Ohio won the $10,000 "Modern-Day Sam Adams" award for its work to defeat an $800 million sales tax increase through grassroots mobilization.


The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in Chicago on December 20, and details for next year's Sammie Awards will be posted on the Sam Adams Alliance & Foundation website-http://www.blogger.com/www.samadamsalliance.org in the coming months.


The Sam Adams Alliance aims to revive the principles of our namesake by connecting and supporting citizen leaders who are working to defend liberty, hold the government accountable, and protect the rights of taxpayers starting at the state and local level.The Sam Adams Foundation strives to educate and inform citizens about the important political issues necessary to maintaining a free society, including government accountability, government transparency, property rights protection, fiscal responsibility, free speech, and citizen initiative and referendum rights.


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CCC- OUT WITH BANG OR WHIMPER?

Editorial by Paul Wheeler

Three items of note at Monday’s CCC meeting:

Democrats, claiming they heard citizens’ protests, proposed a ‘non-binding’ resolution for rescinding the controversial 65% local income tax passed earlier this year for the council to review, but had ‘no-shows’ in their majority and couldn’t pass it. Whether by design or not, it does not embarrass anyone but themselves for a transparent last attempt at posturing for 2008. If they had listened to their constituents sooner and paid attention to protesters who filled the council room including those shut out during a city county building lockdown, this debacle would not be in discussion.

Union in order to work? Hardly fair and equal treatment.

The Democrats’ final parting shot was to extract a higher fee for copying paperwork and give to the poor. If you are buying a home, now you have to pay even more at closing, as if property taxes and foreclosures weren’t bad enough. Forcing home buyers to pay into an undercover welfare system at property owner’s expense is a sad commentary on this outgoing Council, who claims to hear the people, but still doesn’t get it. Please stop spending in clever ways that hit your employers; the public. Thank goodness that was your last night. This should give caution for the new council. Unless you want to add your name to the flush list in November, start following the peoples’ wishes; not your personal agenda.

We are watching.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ron Paul: Tea Party 07

Ron Paul did it! He raised more money yesterday than any other presidential candidate in history. His supporters did it for him via the internet.

This YOU TUBE is a must watch if you long for hope in America.


Presidential candidate, Ron Paul raises $6 million in just one day

Americans "LOVE" Ron Paul


Q: What presidential candidate receives the most on line searches?
A: 45% of all internet searches for a presidential candidate are for Ron Paul.


Yesterday Congressman Ron Paul, candidate for president, raised over $6 million in a single day on December 16th and broke a new fundraising record.


And Paul's campaign donations are not coming from big corporate interests or wealthy donors either. Oh no! His campaign donations are coming from hundreds of thousands of normal folks like you and me who want small, accountable government that obeys the Rule of Law.

Ron Paul has grass roots supporters unlike any other presidential candidate. They hold regular meetings, rally frequently on his behalf, and blog and You Tube like mad to heighten awareness of this fiscal conservative and socially liberal and very ethical candidate. He is not to be underestimated. Should Paul win the presidency, he will close the doors of the IRS forever. Yep, that's right. No more income tax!

If you haven't checked out Ron Paul yet, please do. As a true conservative congressman he:

--never voted to raise taxes
--never voted for an unbalanced budget
--never voted to raise congressional pay
--never voted to increase the power of the executive branch
--voted against regulating the Internet
--does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program
--repeatedly been named the "Taxpayers' Best Friend" in Congress
--is serving his 10th term in the US House

Reason Magazine: Free minds and free markets

"Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.” It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.
Reason Online is updated daily with articles and columns on current developments in politics and culture. It also contains the full text of past issues of the print edition of Reason.
Reason Online is entirely free.

Reason and Reason Online are editorially independent publications of the Reason Foundation, a national, non-profit research and educational organization.

Want to know more about The Fair Tax? Come to tomorrow's Indianapolis Fair Tax Meet up.

The Indianapolis Fair Tax December Meetup
Tuesday, December 18 at 7:00PM
Borders Book & Music
8675 River Crossing Blvd.
Indianapolis IN 46240
317-574-1775

FAIR TAX.org

Paul Wheeler's IBJ letter to the editor takes on conventional thinking and calls for an "uncommon departure" to fix property tax crisis

Letter to the editor IBJ re: property tax-Mike Hick’s article


No reasonable person can give this article a pass.


Claiming the repeal of property taxes is ‘too bad, because that would be an uncommon departure’ from our wisdom is precisely why we need thinking outside the cocoon of moving numbers around in a failed and broken system. His three reasons: “inequitable, unstable and inefficient” is exactly why our current system, including most proposals bandied about by the Governor and legislators, are symptomatic of a larger problem stemming from the horse and buggy days, compounded by mismanagement and overspending.



Sounding like another special interest, ISTA or school boards, who claim without stability of taxing people’s homes, they can’t survive, he should ask those who have their property for sale about the economics of surviving. Nothing is mentioned about privatizing snow removal and other services, or the ‘inefficient’ and expensive method that got us into this fix. Nothing is mentioned how to correct the economically devastating and morally reprehensible practice of government intrusion into one’s home by the annual threat of seizure and foreclosure for failing to pay into an unfair system, leaving abandoned homes to druggies who peddle their flesh and drugs, turning areas into an economic blight.


It’s about time we had some ‘uncommon departure’ to permanently fix this problem. There won’t be businesses here without people to run them.



Submitted by: Paul Wheeler

Indy resident.

Libertarians invite everyone to enjoy their Holiday Party tonight!

click image to enlarge
Everyone knows the Libertarians know how to have a good time!
Please feel free to join in the fun!

EDUCRATS: Check out One Tax Bill From Homeless blog today

There is a You Tube post today on One Tax Bill From Homeless today that nails the lies told to us by educrats like Dr. James Mervilde and Washington Township School Board president, Don Kite. You've got to hear it. It's George Carlin, so don't watch if the "F" word offends you!

While Carlin thinks this is hopeless, we don't believe Americans will remain willfully ignorant and we believe they are finally waking up!

Our Country's Debt should make you worry

Truth in 2008 tells you the unpleasant truth that our nation's debt is mounting by $1 million a minute!

We say big government has no business attempting to govern social concerns, our morality, our religion, and even our marriages. On top of it, our local governments think they are in the real estate development business and most of the time they do it badly. Just look at Union Station, the Marion County Library debacle, or the City Market as examples.

We added TRUTH IN 2008 to our permanent links today.

--The HFFT editor

Andy Horning sends open letter to Governor Daniels to request he enforce the rule of law in Indiana


Anyone who knows Andy Horning will hear him adamantly declare that the problem with our legislature and city government is that politicians do not obey the rule of law. Andy says the failure of politicians to follow the rule of law and the failure of the people to hold them accountable to obey the rule of law is THE problem. In the letter below to Governor Daniels, Andy asks the governor to perform the duty of his position to enforce the rule of law and obedience to the Indiana Constitution. Andy's point is unmistakenly profound.
--HFFT Editor



Dear Governor Daniels,
I don’t blame you for the ungoverned, lawless state of our society. But I’ll cut to the chase and make what should not be astrange request – I’m asking that you do your job and obey and enforce two written constitutions, as written. (All the following in gold is from the Indiana Constitution)


“Article 15., Section 4. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering onthe duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and alsoan oath of office.”


Every politician, policeman and soldier in this country is both authorized and limited by constitutions, both state andfederal. Why the limits on politicians? Because just as un-policed police are dangerous, un-governed government is fatal.


This is unequivocal. So politicians cannot break the laws that authorize their powers, or those powers are null and void.“Article 1, Section 11. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, againstunreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported byoath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.”


So both the federal and state constitutions would have to be amended to allow the politically mandated searches andseizures that happen by the minute at the Indianapolis International Airport, or the government’s searches of email or phonecalls now acknowledged to happen all the time. Ditto the right to arm and protect yourself, ditto the right to religious expression, ditto many, many other rights Americans once protected with their lives:

“Article 1, Section 2. All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to thedictates of their own consciences.
Article 1, Section 3. No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, orinterfere with the rights of conscience.”
“Article 1, Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”


These are not vague or equivocal. These have not been altered, abridged or removed by subsequent amendments, so theyare still the law.


Article 1, Section 25, which is something like the federal constitution’s 10th Amendment, inarguably limits the power of politicians to written law:
“No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in thisConstitution.”


This means that no law can contravene the constitution. No authority exceeds it. No state authority exists, in other words,outside what’s written into the constitution. So it doesn’t matter what a judge or Governor or Mayor says about the law.The constitution can be amended, but the constitution is to be obeyed, as written.

And what about “interpretations” from the bench?


“Article 3, Section 20. Every act and joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding, as far as practicable, the use oftechnical terms.”


“Plainly worded.” No decoder required. The constitution that expressed this sense for all laws is itself intended to be readwith the same clear common-sense approach to human language. How else can you read what follows?


“Article 1, Section 19. In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.”


This written law means that citizen jurors (not judges, not lawyers, not politicians) determine what the law means, andhow it applies to the case at hand. This is the opposite of what we have been told for years, isn’t it?


“Article 1, Section 12. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial;speedily, and without delay.”


In other words, law is like education (see the wording of Article 8, Section 1); paid for with tax money. In fact politicallymanaged schooling is less sensible than politically managed courts. We shouldn’t have legal arms races in the courtroomwhere the most money wins. Imagine it. “…Without purchase.” Truly equal standing before the law. No special deals forspecial people. Poor people could actually seek justice. You can’t be turned away, and there’s no stalling allowed.


“Article 1, Section 22. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized bywholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale, for the payment of any debt or liabilityhereafter contracted: and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.”


Isn’t a home one of the necessary comforts of life? If so, a home cannot be legally seized and sold to pay any state tax.This means that an awful lot of Hoosiers have had their homes stolen by politicians breaking the laws that gave them theirjobs. That should never, ever happen again. We should be very, very sorry that it ever happened at all.Article 8, Section 1 mandates “…a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be withoutcharge, and equally open to all.”


Before the Indiana Constitution was rewritten, Horace Mann argued that “Common Schools” should be the “GreatEqualizer,” and that politics must intervene to provide this identical “ladder of opportunity” to rich and poor alike. WhatIndiana law mandates, in other words, are lots of identical schools all across the state where nobody gets a palace, nobodygets a dump. The constitutional way would be much, much better than sending kids on long bus rides to be a tiny fish in ahuge ocean without the opportunities (in both education and sport) that kids had in years past with more, smaller schools.


“Article 8, Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, butshall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, andto no other purpose whatever.”


We’re supposed to pay for Common Schools with an endowed fund. Of course there is no Common School fund now; butlegally there is supposed to be an inviolable one. And in all the specific maintenance funding mentioned in Article 8, Section 2 you’ll see that personal property tax is not mentioned. Only “…Taxes on the property of corporations, that maybe assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.”


So only corporate property tax is to be used for the Common School system.


I’ll let others talk about the constitutionality of our personal property tax, but Article 10, Sections 5 and 6 would lop off alot more income, sales and property tax:
“No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casualdeficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities bethreatened, provide for the public defense.”


“Section 6. No county shall subscribe for stock in any incorporated company,unless the same be paid for at the time of such subscription; nor shall any county loan its credit to any incorporatedcompany, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, onbehalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever.”


No more money to the Colts, Pacers, mall builders, foreign auto companies or any other campaign contributors. In otherwords, much of what government now spends our money on is illegal spending…not just immoral spending.


If that isn’t clear enough, how about Article 11, Section 12?
“The State shall not be a stockholder in any bank; nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of anyperson, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association.”


Indiana’s original constitution was really quite good. It was replaced in 1851 only because the state went broke investing inthe public transportation craze of the early-mid 1800s (canal building). So those 1851 Hoosier politicians carved into law some very clear prohibitions against what today’s politicians are doing to our wealth, property, rights and lives.


Article 1, Section 1: “…all free governments are, and of right ought to be, founded on their authority, and instituted fortheir peace, safety, and well-being. For the advancement of these ends, the People have, at all times, an indefeasible rightto alter and reform their government.”

How are people to reform their government assuming government is unwilling to be reformed?


Consider how harsh and potentially frightening Article 1, Section 32 really is. “The State” is defined and literally authorized by the Indiana Constitution, not by those who disregard it. The “State” is our people and our agreed-upon socialorder, not politicians. And while it’s understandable to protect oneself against a petty crook who steals the TV but leaves the house; it is that much more understandable that citizens must protect themselves against politicians who take half ourwealth, take our homes, deny us our liberties and even kill us when we disobey “laws” not authorized by constitutions!

This is not a joke, and these perilous times warrant serious thought about what we’ve become and what we’d rather be.At the beginning of this letter I’d asked you to do your job. Your job is to execute the Constitution of Indiana. But I alsonow appeal to you in your role as the “Cop of the Indiana Constitution.” What else can you call what’s happened to ourrights, property and lives but a continuous, organized and heinous crime?


I am asking you to stop the crimes against citizens, and to keep your oath of office to protect us from politicians (executive,legislative, judicial and bureucratic) and other government agents (military, police, mercenaries, spies) who do us harm.And I’ve only brushed the surface of the harm done to us. Breaches of law and subsequent harm from monetary policy,trade restrictions, political meddling in interpersonal relationships and in fact every aspect of our lives are easily proven.Of course I would be happy to discuss this at your convenience. But please make it soon, as many people are hurting, and Imust not wait too long before I take the next steps in our need of remedy.


Sincerely,

Andrew HorningFreedom, IN

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ballard on Julia's passing

The following is a statement from Mayor-Elect Greg Ballard:
"The citizens of Indianapolis have lost a true friend with the passing of Congresswoman Julia Carson, and I extend my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to her family, friends and supporters. Congresswoman Carson made sure her voice was heard even when others' were silenced. May God grant her everlasting peace."

Indeed she did give voice to those without one. May Julia Carson rest in peace and her strength serve as inspiration to others for years to come.

Patriot Paul's letter to editor in Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette

Higher sales tax is lesser of evils

“Scrutinize sales tax hike” (Dec. 6) is another stale editorial citing old news about the supposed detriment this would cause our economy. I challenge you to consider this as the lesser of the evils when compared to an unfair creeping property tax system never overhauled from the horse-and-buggy days that can drive families from their homes and from Indiana. If you want to talk about improving the economy, try luring people to remain in Indiana without annually threatening them with seizure, eviction and auctioning of their home for failure to pay into an unfair system. When you get that solved, then we’ll think about creative ways to invite new business. We’ve had enough scare tactics and overkill from school boards, the teachers union and lawmakers more concerned with re-election than people’s welfare. Our Constitution says we must first secure our blessings of liberty. Power is inherent in the people, so please flush these stale scare tactics where they belong.

PAUL WHEELER Indianapolis

Paul and others might be surprised to learn that there is thought out there now among the Libertarians that property tax can be repealed without raising other taxes.

No one is studying the economic stimulation of tax policy without property tax. But we know this, it will take care of the real estate crisis very quickly, it will spur investment in homes, create jobs, and spur on retail growth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Corruption & insider politics -- The Paul Jacob Story

For more info: FreePaulJacob.com


We, the Oklahoma 3
by Paul Jacob
Sunday, October 7, 2007


My car died this week. It needs a new motor. Unfortunately, that costs more than the car is worth. But I don’t really even care.


You see, as this week’s bad news goes, that’s nothing. I’m much more focused on my felony indictment in Oklahoma.


Texas Longhorns wide receiver Jordan Shipley (R) pulls down a touchdown pass as Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Reggie Smith runs defense during the first quarter of their NCAA football action in Dallas, Texas, October 6, 2007. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES) On the one hand, my car misses pretty badly and could cook an omelette on the hood.
On the other, I was placed in hand-cuffs and leg-irons before my release on bond, and am threatened with a ten-year prison term for that oh-so-violent crime of helping others petition their government.


I wasn’t alone. I was cuffed to the other two bewildered citizens that make up The Oklahoma Three, my alleged co-conspirators, Susan Johnson and Rick Carpenter.


Susan is a mother and grandmother who lives in Michigan. She’s also the president of a petition management firm called National Voter Outreach. She started on the streets as a petitioner many years ago, learned the business and is now at the top.


Seeing this sweet lady (and I mean “lady”) in leg-irons as we were being processed is something I’ll long remember—whenever I think I’ve had enough, whenever I doubt that my extra effort is needed or wonder if freedom can be guarded without personal sacrifice.


Rick Carpenter of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the head of Oklahomans in Action. He was the legal proponent of two Oklahoma initiative campaigns launched back in 2005, neither of which amused the political elite. One was designed to end eminent domain and regulatory abuse by governments and the other measure would have capped the rate of government spending growth, allowing greater spending only with voter approval—a measure similar to Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights.


Oklahoma’s version of TABOR, the Stop OverSpending measure, quickly found itself the subject of an all-out “blocking” effort by the public employee unions and a vast coalition of alphabet soup groups that seem to really cherish overspending. People opposing the initiative were encouraged not only to complain to store managers to have petitioners denied access to store entrances and parking lots, they were instructed to prevaricate for their cause: blockers have publicly admitted to lying to store managers about the behavior of citizens petitioning outside stores.
This wasn’t merely a few renegades. Jeanne Berg, a liberal labor activist from Oregon, was hired to run a campaign of harassment. Blockers were hired from throughout the country and paid as much as $100 a day. Their function? Swarm around anyone out circulating the petition and create enough street theater and mayhem to chase away citizens who, since the measure was overwhelmingly popular, would otherwise be likely to sign.


Soon the petition drive’s prospects looked bleak. The harassment made it very difficult to retain petition circulators. The only avenue to complete the drive successfully would be to find additional manpower, especially experienced petitioners.


Unlike most initiative states, Oklahoma has a residency requirement allowing only Oklahoma residents to circulate a petition. But when the petition company checked with state officials to determine what constituted a resident, those officials said that a person could move to Oklahoma and immediately declare residency—and begin petitioning.


Just to be safe, since sometimes simple law can be made amazingly complicated, I asked for any relevant legal precedent. The ruling in a recent challenge to an Oklahoma petition to ban cock-fighting seemed clear: residency was determined by an individual’s intention to be a resident.
A number of petitioners moved to Oklahoma, declared residency, and proceeded to gather signatures on the various petitions. Ultimately, both the spending cap and the property rights measure garnered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.


Then, the various forces of big government that had worked so hard to block the vote, joined by a who’s who of corporate CEOs and the heads of energy companies and banks (can you say “daddy welfare”?), challenged the petition. And the Oklahoma Supreme Court came to their aid, providing a much different standard for residency than in the past. The judges now equated residency with a “permanent home.”


How permanent was “permanent”? One petition circulator, who moved to Oklahoma in September of 2005 and was still living there in July of the following year, was ruled not to be a resident.


The court thus struck enough signatures from the 300,000 gathered to deny the people of Oklahoma a vote on the spending cap measure.


Yes, it was a terrible injustice. But it was trumped this past week by further injustice, the indictment charging Susan Johnson, Rick Carpenter and me with conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma for allegedly “willfully” violating the state’s residency statute. For this alleged crime Attorney General Drew Edmondson seeks to imprison us for up to ten years.
Susan says she can’t even remember ever getting a speeding ticket. Rick and I have both admittedly sped before… but our occasional automotive misadventures did not quite prepare us for the current prosecution.


While I keep pinching myself to wake up from this nightmare, you might be wondering what on earth is going on?


You see, stopping the people from voting to cap spending wasn’t enough. The people who run the state of Oklahoma want to make certain that upstart reformers like Rick Carpenter don’t dare attempt any future initiatives, and that professional petition managers like Susan Johnson or “outside agitators” like me quickly think better of providing any assistance to such citizen-initiated efforts.


The goal is to scare, to intimidate, to silence; it is happening more and more in Oklahoma at the hands of Attorney General Edmondson—and throughout the country as our politics becomes increasingly regulated, controlled, and criminalized. Politics has lurched off the highway of democracy, off the curb and back into the old insider system, the gutter method of accumulated power.


Once upon a time you could participate in politics without a battery of attorneys. Once upon a time you could lose an election without fear that one’s opponents would use the power of their office to imprison you. No more.


Well, it is definitely scary. Personally, it’s not fun to think of what impact this legal truncheon to the head could have on my wife, kids, grandchild. But we’ll not allow our rights to be bullied away. Nor will we stand idly by while the one process capable of reining in corrupt politics—citizen initiative and referendum—is threatened into non-existence.


We, the Oklahoma 3, didn’t conspire to break the law. Instead, we sought to understand it and abide by it, even as we sought to change other laws. We now face the full onslaught of the state of Oklahoma. It is apparent that this retaliation is not for any crime, but for our political beliefs and our audacity to put them into action.


Maybe it’s time for all Americans—conservative, liberal, populist, libertarian—to “conspire” together to take back our political system from the gutter.


Before it’s too late.

No plan to return property assets to taxpayers: Washington Township to close two schools

Sign from vandalized & neglected White River School
Closed more than 10 years
.]
Last night the Washington Township School Board voted 4:1 to close two schools. Superintendent Jim Mervilde did not offer an appraisal to demonstrate the property's worth or estimates for demolition costs. No other plan for the buildings' use or sale after closure was offered. In fact, the school board admitted they do not know the value of the land, the building, or its furnishings. They seemingly feel no responsiblity whatsoever to return this asset back to the taxpayers who bought and paid for it! Nor did the board offer any assurance to the neighborhood that the building would not become another abandoned eyesore which will bring down the value of surrounding properties.
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See the WTHR video and note the "DROWNING IN DEBT" sign. The creation of bold clear signs is effective activism for news media, for they will often focus camera time on signs to perpetuate the message.
This spend-and-tax-to-pay-for-spending has itself to blame for its alleged fiscal crisis. Money must not be too tight because they have not even begun to locate a buyer for the two assets they will quickly abandon. In fact, the properties aren't even scheduled to go on the market.

Meanwhile plans will move forward to give lucrative 10 year contracts to Jim Schellinger's CSO Architects and build the Taj Mahal of swimming pools fit for the Gods complete with a $2 million dollar locker room.

Ironically, school board President Don Kite believes Washington Township school system will attract new property owners and younger families to the neighborhood through lavish, irresponsible spending. This is not likely as Marion County's population is decreasing. Property taxes, which comprise 50% of their tax bills, are too high to attract many buyers and young families.
Real estate sales are at a stand still. It came to a halt the day the tax bills arrived.




Governor Daniels reacts to struggling Indiana economy by ordering 5% budget cuts

Indiana flag shown in state of distress



Evidently the economic news, under the leadership of our legislators, is grim. No wonder. They spent the majority of the last general assembly arguing about gay marriage which is really about Republican far right wingers wanting votes from homo-haters. They even go so far as to bring children into their arguments for banning gay marriage.
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We even have a politician who owns CSO Architects getting rich by setting up a political machine around a school system to spend exhorbitant amounts of money with their firm. Money we don't have to waste.
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On the other hand, there are families who cannot afford their mortgages or to keep their homes because of property tax hikes. Protection of a homeowner's property rights also protects children, as it is inside our homes where children are protected from the world.
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The day after property tax is repealed our state's economy will sky rocket. People will line up to buy property (even our city's 15,000 abandoned, blighted properties). Money will be spent to rehab these properties and new life will spring forth from the ashes.
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For those with mortgages, they will see their mortgages go down significantly. In turn they WILL spend the money. They will improve their properties, perhaps buying windows or new furnances or other much needed home improvements that in turn give jobs to contractors and retailers, who in turn circulate the money they receive.
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Right now most of Indiana is in a state of fear and with good cause. We don't trust our politicians and our collective worry and fear is being directly reflected in the economy. As evidenced by where we are now and who got us here, the politicians are not qualified as the experts to lead us out of this mess.
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Cutting department budgets by 5% is good. Don't raise the budgets when the skies clear again.
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Listen to the citizens and the experts WE say should be calling the shots to lead us into reform.
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Our state needs to repeal property tax and we need to lead the nation into tax reform with the Fair Tax. Property tax repeal IS the answer. And most Americans want The Fair Tax which will make us competitive again within the global economy and free our people opressed by taxation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bill of Rights Press Conference with Andy Horning

Horning to Have Press Conference at State House on Bill of Rights Day

Andrew Horning has organized a press conference to recognize Bill of Rights Day. It is Saturday, December 15th at 11 am EST in the Rotunda of the State House in Indianapolis. Andy reports he's heard from people from Cincinnati, Lafayette and Terre Haute who will be there. He also reports that next week he has a taping with the Bloomington NPR affiliate on Bill of Rights Day.

(Thanks to Mark Rutherford's Electing Libertarians blog for the heads up)

tsk tsk tsk...those pesky tax activists!

PIGS GET FAT & HOGS GET SLAUGHTERED

We warned you that the educrats willl not be pulled away from the feeding trough without a fight. Earlier today we were leaked this "time sensitive" plea for their troops to come out tonight for the school board meeting to DEFEND THE BLOATED SPENDING that mostly will benefit CSO Architects, Cid McNeilly (her hubby is exec at CSO), and their hired gun with a taxpayer funded lavish office and private bath, James Mervilde.


The letter below is a plea for everyone to come out and defend against those mean old tax activists who are threatening "our children". You think we got to them? They think it is distrurbing that the tax activists (you know, those bothersome homeowners who write the checks) have the NERVE to recruit fiscally responsible school board candidates who see value in academics over $2 million dollar locker rooms.


If this school board wants to be controversy free as they claim, may we recommend that someone in your group take a good hard look at Schellinger and CSO Architects and consider the morality of ramming lucrative construction contracts down unwilling homeowner throats!

Let the fireworks begin at 7:00 p.m. tonight.
Dean Evans Community & Education Center
8550 Woodfield Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis
--HFFT editor



HERE'S THEIR EMAIL PLEA FOR BACKUP
(yes, we've got spies with eyes everywhere)


Dear Parent Council Members:

CALL TO ACTION
The TIME IS NOW to make a difference. Please read this
message carefully. I am asking you to attend the
School Board meeting Wednesday night (TONIGHT by the
time most of you read this) in support of the
excellence we all desire for our children's
educational experience and the future of this
district.

BACKGROUND
It seems the Washington Township Concerned Citizens
has a new name---Citizens for Education with Penny
Bigelow as their leader. They have decided to use the
school board meeting for a tax rally with the true
purpose being to "create effective memories in the
form of media footage for May elections. That's when
we throw the bums out of office...just like the
taxpayers did to Bart Peterson." The quote is from
their website.

MY RAMBLINGS
I believe our children's educational experience, the
future of our district, and the future of our
neighborhoods is too important for us to allow these
people to politicize the educational experience of our
children just so they can see themselves on the 11:00
news, perpetuate their anti-tax propaganda, deliver
misinformation, and get coverage for their slated
school board candidates. And even more upsetting is
the fact that they are using the proposed closing of
Harcourt for their political gain. On that subject,
THANK YOU HARCOURT PARENTS for being so optimistic and
positive throughout this process.

Personally, I'm getting a bit weary of people at work
and friends from other districts associating
Washington Township with dissent and controversy
instead of the excellence that our children, teachers,
administrators, and staff achieve each day!

WHAT CAN WE DO? DETAILS BELOW
Place/Time: CEC WED 12/12 @ 7:00 PM
Robin Minturn is at work on a “presence” project for
tomorrow night at the school board meeting. She has
produced some cards that spell out W-E S-U-P-P-O-R-T
M-S-D-W-T. We need 14 people to hold the cards at the
back of the room tomorrow evening. She has also
produced 60 buttons that say, “I SUPPORT MSDWT”.
These can be worn by any parent who supports the
schools, not just a PC member. Way to go
Robin...THANKS!

We are asking that you wear orange at the meeting.
Those who participated in the recent Great North Run
already have an orange shirt. The Foundation has a few
extras that will be available on loan for the evening,
but anything orange (scarves, t-shirts, coats) will
work just as well.

There will also be 20 minutes of public comments
allowed. For fairness, those against the plan and
those for the plan will have equal time to speak. I
encourage you to consider speaking. Simply introduce
yourself, the grade/school of your children, and your
school volunteer activities (with "member of parent
council" being one of those activities). It's
important for the media to see how parental
involvement is the cornerstone of this district. If
you don't feel comfortable speaking, that's
understandable and please know YOUR PRESENCE SPEAKS
VOLUMES!

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION.
Another disturbing issue is the call for candidates
from this group.
"If you want to run for Washington Township School
Board…The tax advocacy activists will help your
campaign and help you get elected. School board is a
paid position and requires attending 1 – 2 meetings a
month."

While Parent Council has spent 16 months developing
characteristics, an application, and screening
requirements for the important job of being a school
board member, it seems this group's only requirement
is to be a mouthpiece for the "tax advocacy
activists."

While I do not want to perpetuate the propaganda of
this group, being informed is critical. Therefore, the
link to the web site and pertinent text is pasted
below.

THANKS FOR READING THIS LENGTHY EMAIL. I CERTAINLY
APPRECIATE YOUR PARTICIPATION and WANT THE REST OF
INDY TO SEE HOW SPECIAL MSDWT IS!!!
See you tonight!

Maggie

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thoughts from a Harcourt parent shut out of the process

Dear Denise, Thanks for your courage sharing your letter to publish here. Believe us when we say we know how it feels to be shut out of the process by the arrogant "machine" that is controlling our money. Please know that your letter is going to make big waves. And trust us, they are NOW listening! You see, we can track them hitting our blog from their school computers! Help us hold the thieves' feet to the fire! A lot is at stake, including CSO Architect's Jim Schellinger's gubernatorial bid this May. Don't expect them to go down without a fight. However, have faith it is a fight The People will win!
--HFFT editors

From: Denise Mosteller
To: jmervilde@msdwt.k12.in.us (James Mervilde)
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007
Subject: Harcourt Elementary

Dr. Mervilde (and school board members):

UPDATE: Denise wrote us and (and copied James Mervilde) to ask that her letter be removed. Although we asked permission before publishing, as we always do, we have honored her request and removed the letter. We suspect that Mervilde may have intimidated her in some way which caused her to ask us to pull the letter. People get snippy when so many millions of your dollars are involved. --HFFT editor

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Fox59 WXIN to cover Washington Township School board battle

Harcourt School news conference to be held tomorrow morning at 7:15 am at 7535 Harcourt Road.

Taxpayers, teachers, and parents are welcome to attend. Bring signs in support of the neighborhood and the school that will play well on the news.

Broadcasts on this issue will run at 7:30 am, 8 am, and 8:30 am on WXIN Fox 59.
Zach Myers is covering the story. We think McNeilly, Mervilde, and Schellinger are squirming. We wonder if they'll be available for an interview.

Connecting Dots: CSO Architects, Cid McNeilly & Washington Township School System Spending

Washington Township Superintendent
JAMES MERVILDE
JAMES MERVILDE'S CONTRACT
(the signature page)
.
PIGS GET FAT & HOGS GET SLAUGHTERED
,

This is the back page of Washington Township School Board Superintendent James Mervilde's contract. We noticed a curious signature on it today and did some digging.

That signature belongs to a Mrs. Cid McNeilly. Isn't she part of the team that came up with the spending plan to present to the State Tax Board? Isn’t she the wife of a CSO Architects executive? Does this have anything to do with Washington Township continuing to use CSO even though their reports may be conflicting and perhaps “flawed”? Did Cid McNeilly negotiate Superintendent James Mervilde's bloated contract too?
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Since declaring his candidacy for governor, Jim Schellinger, the "S" in CSO Architects has taken a back seat in Washington Township's school business. But boy oh boy, it sure does appear that he's got hired gun James Mervilde, bribed with big salary and private office bathroom on the taxpayers' dime, to do his dirty work.
x
We We also noticed that a whole lot of hits are coming to our blog from the Avon (Hendricks county) school system. Could Mervilde be looking for a new employer in Avon or are their administrators starting to become gravely worried about public exposure too? We just find it odd how many Avon school district people keep googling Mervilde and landing on our blog.

Are we connecting the dots wrong?

We warned everyone after we cleaned house at city hall, that we are going after the school board's bloated spending habits. We are just getting started. Tax advocates from any school system are welcome to complain to us by email or by by posting comments. It is time to make education about reading, writing, and arithmetic, not fattening the pockets of educrats and construction interests. -- HFFT editor

MERVILDE RELATED LINK #1

MERVILDE RELATED LINK #2

MERVILDE RELATED LINK #3

Ballard Says Report Establishes "Buck Stops Here" Government

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PRESS RELEASE FROM MAYOR-ELECT BALLARD:
Ballard Applauds Governor Daniels, Kernan-Shepard Commission
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Indianapolis-Indianapolis Mayor-elect Greg Ballard today said, "The recommendations of the Kernan-Shepard Commission are good news for taxpayers. The Commission's reforms establish a "buck stops here" framework for local government. I applaud Governor Daniels for establishing this group and encouraging them to be bold and innovative."
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Ballard continued, "The report includes two important principles that I fully support. First, it calls for changes to make government more accountable, transparent and less costly by reducing its size, including the number of local elected officials. It also contains a recommendation I heard over and over again on the campaign trail and that is the power to tax should be limited to elected officials."
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"These recommendations still allow us to carry on the important work of local government, but advocates the streamlining of local government, eliminates the outdated layers and gives us a real chance to reduce taxpayer costs. Even more important, these recommendations give taxpayers a greater voice because local government will be more accountable and easier for the average citizen to navigate. The work of Governor Daniels and the Kernan-Shepard Commission represents a bi-partisan step in the right direction."

Open Question for the Governor's Reform Commission

We're curious. Did the commission crunch numbers to estimate the taxpayer dollars that will be saved by implementing their 27 recommended changes to local government? This would give us a starting point to begin to see property tax repeal as a definite reality.

How much are these extra layers of government actually costing the taxpayers in real dollars?

The number being tossed around is $6 billion to replace property tax revenue. It looks like from an early analysis of the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) that the state actually collected more than $7 billion in property tax in 2006, which means they took more money than what was actually needed to meet the current demand of running government as it sits now with all its layers.

We know that politicians do not want to let go of property tax because it is the ultimate collateral to guarantee the bonds; bonds of course being the municipal loans required to funnel money to architects, construction companies, and the water companies that sleep so cozy with our politicians.

Is it moral for our government to over-collect property tax and keep the money? And is it moral to for them to spend our money without our expressed consent?

It looks like the Governor's plan is getting a cold response from The People according the Courier Journal.

Let's start talking numbers and the big picture so Hoosiers can see transparency in what dollars are collected, how it is spent, and what will be saved by adopting the commissions 27 recommendations.

We appreciate the Governor's commission. We finally feel we're off to a good start.

INDIANA GOVERNMENT INDICTED BY CHIEF JUSTICE; OTHERS

Editorial by Paul Wheeler

What a colossal indictment from the blue ribbon panel composed of Indiana’s
Chief Justice Shepard and former Governor Kernan, among others, with a 46 page analysis and recommendation, subtitled “We’ve got to stop governing like this.” Gushing with disgust over an antiquated 1800s horse and buggy system to present day mismanaged, layered inefficiency, their revolt against the status quo reflects the persistent cries from Hoosiers for lawmakers to stop the madness, bleeding, convoluted and unrepresented methods perpetrated on its citizens. Reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party, the report wants the tea thrown overboard and a new beginning: “Only elected officials should have the power to levy taxes”.

Just as various property tax plans are bandied about with various reactions from lobbyists, legislators, and citizens, this will have its share of meat that many cannot or will not digest, especially those who have participated and find no where to run for cover. What a horrible indictment of our current system. No wonder the activist last sentence of the preface states “It will only come to pass if the PEOPLE of Indiana insist on it.” Welcome to the call to activism 2008 with a new Tea Party.

Patriot Paul

27 Recommendations by Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform

Download a PDF of the entire report.

Counties:
Create a clearer, more accountable structure with fewer elected officials. Better coordinate public safety services.

1. Establish a single-person elected county chief executive.
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2. Establish a single, unified legislative body for county government. Expand legislative membership to ensure sufficient representation for included rural, suburban and urban populations.
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3. Transfer the responsibility for administering the duties of the county auditor, treasurer, recorder, assessor, surveyor, sheriff and coroner to the county executive. Transfer the varied duties of the clerk to the courts, to the county election board and to the county executive. Establish objective minimum professional qualifications and standards for certain county administrative functions.
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4. Retain a local government role for property tax assessment under a county assessor who is required to meet professional qualifications and appointed by the county executive.
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5. Create a countywide body to oversee the provision of all public safety services.
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6. Consolidate emergency public safety dispatch by county or multi-county region. Require that new, local emergency communications systems be compatible with the Project Hoosier SAFE-T statewide 800 MHz communications system.
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7. Transfer the responsibility for all funding of the state’s trial court system to the state, including public defenders and probation.
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8. Move the funding of child welfare from counties to the state.
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Townships: Transfer all present responsibilities to the county executive.
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9. Transfer the responsibility for administering the duties of township government for assessment, poor relief, fire protection, emergency medical services (EMS), cemeteries and any other remaining responsibilities to the county executive. Establish a countywide poor relief levy.
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10. Transfer the responsibilities of the township small claims courts in Marion County to superior courts.
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Schools:
Establish districts that are large enough to provide high-caliber education at a lower cost and enhance fiscal accountability.
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11. Reorganize school districts to achieve a minimum student population of 2,000. Establish state standards and a county-based planning process similar to that established in 1959 legislation.
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12. Require that school corporation bonds be approved by the fiscal body of the municipal or county government containing the greatest proportion of assessed value in the school district.
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13. Prompt joint purchasing by schools.
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14. Conduct all non-partisan school elections during November in even years.
Cities and Towns: Strengthen accountability of elected officials, and eliminate the costs of separate elections.
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15. Allow the city council to appoint the city clerk in second-class cities.
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16. Move all municipal elections to an even-year cycle.
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17. Transfer the responsibilities of municipal health departments to the county health department.
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Libraries and Special Districts: Establish library districts that are large enough to provide high-caliber services to every Hoosier at a lower cost, and improve fiscal accountability.
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18. Reorganize library systems by county and provide permanent library service for all citizens.
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19. Require that the budgets and bonds of library and all other special districts be approved by the fiscal body of the municipal or county government containing the greatest proportion of assessed value in the unit seeking approval.
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20. Strengthen the current joint purchasing infrastructure for libraries.
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All Local Governments:
Encourage additional voluntary action to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
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21. Expand voluntary coordination and consolidation of units and services. Strengthen the power of voters to compel consolidation.
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22. Allow local governments to establish service districts with differentiated levels of service and corresponding tax rates.
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23. Facilitate local improvement efforts using best management and business practices. Strengthen state mechanisms that support these activities, particularly for collective purchasing. .
24. Prohibit employees of a local government unit from serving as elected officials within the same local government unit.
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Support and Monitoring:
Facilitate the implementation of these recommendations.
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25. Assign the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to monitor progress toward these recommendations and conduct additional research as needed. Produce an annual report on progress through 2011.
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26. Establish a statewide benchmarking system to provide the public and policy-makers with current information about local government productivity and progress.
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27. Designate a state office to provide technical assistance to local government.