"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

INDY STUDENT: 23 year old counsels City Council on Indiana Constitution and Rule of Law

"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 incorporated company, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, on behalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever."
-- excerpt read from The Indiana Constitution

There's a new blog in town published by 23 year old student, Matthew Stone, that I would like you to bookmark and add to your blog rolls. His grandfather, Gordon Gilmore once sat on the city council. The kid blew me away last night when he stood before the city council committee and read the rule of law to them directly from the Indiana Constitution, which he studied upon reading Andy Horning's blog.

The entire room listened to him. I could hear them absorbing it as if it never occurred to them that what they are pushing with the CIB bailout is in direct violation of the Indiana Constitution.

Now, they voted to violate the law 20 minutes later anyway, but I'm perceptive and something sunk in just a little bit with the city's suits and the councilors in attendance. I realized that no one Matthew addressed ever bothered to read The Indiana Constitution that is their job to uphold.

I hope Matthew will continue to show up to public hearings and read the Indiana Constitution, for they are stealing the Rule of Law away from our children and it is immoral, let alone unprincipled.

We owe something to these kids. We owe them The Rule of Law and we have a moral obligation not to leave them with this mess that was started back when I was younger than Matthew.

I would like you to read his take on last night's council meeting over at the new blog, Indy Student and leave a comment or two to encourage him to keep blogging. He's got talent and moxy that is uncommon.

INDY STUDENT: City County votes against citizens, Constitution; for millionaires and taxes

--Melyssa for HFFT

Councilor Sanders absence at last night's meeting explained

I got a short email today from Adam Kirsch, Executive Director of the Marion County Democrats to explain why Joanne Sanders was not at last night's city council committee hearing decide whether to send the contentious CIB bailout to full council. I think it sounds entirely plausible considering city councilors almost always have regular jobs too. It does not surprise me that the Republicans switched the meeting time. In a separate email, Adam Kirsch stated on the record that Ms. Sanders vote would have been "NAY". He offered no excuse for another democrat city councilor, Monroe Gray who was also absent. Here's the letter:

Councillor Sanders was out of town on responsibilities with her full time job that evening, and couldn’t attend. She was going to be back for the originally scheduled committee meeting, but the Republican majority changed the meeting time, and she could not attend. Councillor Sanders is on record as not supporting the Ballard CIB tax increase.
Adam Kirsch
Executive Director
Marion County Democratic Party
(317) 637-3366 (o)

Had Enough Indy?

From the new blog Had Enough Indy? The blog is exceptionally well written. The post below is a summary of last night's horrible council committee meeting for the CIB bailout. I think Had Enough Indy gave the best in depth coverage from the perspective of The People.
--Melyssa for HFFT

Warning: Rant ahead

Last night, the City-County Council Rules & Public Policy Committee voted 5-1 to move Proposal 285, 2009, to the full Council with a do pass recommendation. Aye votes were from Councillors Lutz, Cockrum, Plowman, Malone, and Pfisterer -- all Republicans. The lone nay vote was from Councillor Mansfield, the only Democrat Committee member present.

The meeting, Chaired by Councillor Bob Lutz of Wayne Township, was a grueling 4-ish hour affair that was an orchestrated parade of 'invited witnesses' with unlimited time to disgorge all of their thoughts, followed by a brief public comment period where speakers were limited to 2 minutes (more on that below) but who were 'graciously' allowed to dribble over that time limit in 5 second increments. Of the parade of maybe two dozen 'invited witnesses', all save three had a personal financial interest in more money being thrown at the Capital Improvement Board and all save two were in favor of the Proposal.

At the conclusion of the public testimony, Councillor Lutz feigned a let's get this over with and let the chips fall where they may attitude, fully knowing he had the votes to get this out of committee. Why did he know he could accomplish his goal? Because two Democratic Councillors, Sanders and Gray, were no-shows. Lutz had indicated he would likely not take a vote last night, but re-convene in a week to give the Committee members time to mull over the testimony they had heard. This probably was because the Committee is composed of 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats; certainly the Committee most likely to produce a positive outcome for the Proposal. Even so, Lutz could not count on Councillor Malone to vote do pass. With all three Democrats present, that could have caused a tie vote which would leave the Proposal in Committee. But, with the two MIAs, the math moved in his favor and he was guaranteed that his reliable 4 votes would serve his needs.

Some random thoughts:

The public deserves an explanation from Councillors Joanne Sanders and Monroe Gray for their absence on this critical Committee meeting and vote. I see that the blog, Indianapolis Times, which is the mouthpiece of the County Party, remains silent on the hearing, in contrast to their seeming interest leading up to last night (see here, here, and here). This makes me to wonder if Sanders and Gray are holding their aye votes in the wings for a last minute save of Prop 285 at the full Council. Politics as usual - play 'smart' at the public's detriment. But, I don't know why they were not there and maybe there is an explanation - we deserve one.

The public was done a disservice, as is usual when more than two people show up, in the public comment period. Chairman Lutz' should have given the public the same time limit as his parade of invited witnesses. His handling of comment time may have been generous by Council Committee standards, but that bar is set very low. In all of these committees it is as though the public point of view is not as worthy as that of proponents of a proposal. From my perch in the cheap seats it often seems as if the attitude of the Chairmen is that the problem with the public comments is that they drag the meeting out too long. While the Council does the public's business, I believe they need to be much more accommodating of the time in which they give the public to express its views. As I mentioned in a comment to Paul Ogden's blog, I challenge Committee Chairs to try to speak to an issue for 2 minutes with buzzers going off every 5 seconds thereafter.

The proponents of Prop 285, save one or two, hid behind the skirts and aprons of the service workers in order to shill for more tax money for the CIB. As I mentioned earlier, these folks have a personal financial interest in the ever increasing investment of more and more tax money into the sports/convention business. Folks like Tamara Zahn of IDI, Susan Williams of ISC, Barney Levengood of the CIB, and Bob Welsh of ICVA are even more outrageous, as they haul down fat salaries derived almost exclusively from tax revenues. As reported by Paul Ogden, Zahn makes around $200,000 a year while IDI has squirrelled away over $7M in savings living lavishly off the public dole, and Welsh makes about $350,000 in salary and benefits while the ICVA had 'only' $4M in assets in 2007. Meanwhile Williams makes over $130,000 (poor thing) with ISC holding assets of nearly $7M in 2007, and Levengood makes $221,000 per year while the CIB takes in over $100M in taxes each year. These folks are pulling down the more than generous salaries from the public trough and have little real accountability for how well they do their jobs. Compare that to the maids who average a mere $15,000 a year in Indianapolis. To pretend that this CIB bailout is for the little guy, is bold faced lying. Its to keep the good times rolling for a select few living large off taxpayer largess.

There has been and will be NO examination of how the CIB got into this mess. Each Councillor is apparently quite content to believe it is the Mayor of the opposite political party, or the Governor, who caused this supposed catastrophe. This attitude will never identify the problems with the CIB in its fiscal and policy structure that will continue to bleed the taxpayer. The Councillors all acknowledged last night that this is only a two year 'fix' and ignored the obvious conclusion that it is therefore not a real fix of the real problems. Only Councillor Malone expressed an opinion that indicated that a real fix was important to her - enough to influence her vote at the full Council.

There is no interest in doing the public a service and creating a plan to make the sports/convention/tourist/hospitality industry self-sufficient. Speaker after speaker tossed around numbers in the range of hundreds of thousands to billions of dollars. I kept thinking - so why aren't we rich already and why are these guys back begging for more tax revenues?

Passage of the hotel tax and acceptance of the state loan, if successful at the full Council meeting on August 10, will trigger the necessity to increase two more taxes, car rental and ticket, in 2013. This is putting the onus on the next Council. Quite irresponsible in my view and it smacks of politics. The public good should count for something and it never seems to be weighted very high when elites have their hands out for the public dole. The public good is all the rage as a foil when the discussion is more money to help those who struggle to put a meal on the table or clothe their children or what to do about those pesky panhandlers who inconvenience us at stoplights. It takes the EPA to force Indianapolis to fix the sewer overflows that push human feces into our river and streams like some third world cesspool. But, all it takes for the wealthy overseers of our sports empire to get more, is to claim a need for an additional $47M on top of the $100M they already get and the only topic for discussion among our elected officials becomes how to land that money for them. Again, no request for an examination of what the CIB did wrong to put it in the position it is in now. That is the only way you can determine what to fix.

Blame decisions past and push problems forward seems to be the name of the game. But, make sure you get the CIB all the money it wants.

I hope the significance of the August 10th Council meeting is not lost on the Councillors. Mayor Ballard will present the 2010 budget proposal with something like $30M in cuts. Proposal 285 will be voted upon with its increase of $12M of tax revenues and a $27M loan from the State to add to the $100M in tax revenues the CIB already gets. Contrasting what City services are to be cut with the bailout of our sports empire, will shed a clear white light on what is really important.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Angela Mansfield...the lone "nay" vote opposing the unlawful CIB bailout by taxpayers

City Councilor, Angela Mansfield

This lady citizen and your representative was the only "nay" vote at yesterday's critical CIB bailout committee hearing. Remember her name because she alone stood up for you tonight against all the fancy suits at City Hall there to shake you down for even more money to put in the deep dark hole of your money known as the Capital Improvements Board.

Noticebly absent from the meeting were CIB Chair Bob Grand and Joe Loftus. They know the heat is too hot on them. They can't operate in the light of day and conveniently left the begging to the other board members and the city's schill's in suits.

The ICVA president, Don Welsh, for instance makes $350,000!! That is THREE TIMES what Governor Daniels earns for his service to us. Welsh is not even from Indiana! He's a damned hired gun paid for with YOUR money!

Don Welsh's suit was very expensive. No wonder he wants that bailout. We are funding his lavish lifestyle! We had to listen to him and his boring power point presentation for nearly a half hour after four tedious hours of endless pleas by the game's insiders to get you to buy into their Ponzi scheme.

Finally the taxpayers, The People footing the bill, got a measly two minutes each to speak out against the bailout at the very end of the night when the media (except for WXNT's Abdul) was worn out and went home.

There was not one single private citizen at last night's meeting who spoke in favor of the CIB Bailout.

One 23 year old student during his two minutes even read the part of the Indiana Constitution (Article 10, Section 6) that specifically states that:

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 incorporated company, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, on behalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever.

Every other councilor at last night's meeting voted to violate Indiana's Constitution and continue to borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in a company...the CIB is a corporation, folks.

HFFT will keep you posted of the full council vote on the CIB bailout which is coming up. It's not over yet.

HAT TIP to Andy Horning! I learned that the young man who read the Indiana Constitution to the assembly said he found Andy Horning's "Indiana Constitution Explained" link here on HFFT. Those Andy Horning seeds keep popping up everywhere! He's missed, but left us a great legacy.

SHAMEFUL! Democrat Councilors Monroe Gray & Joanne Sanders failed to show up for critical CIB Bailout Vote

Democrat Councilors Monroe Gray & Joanne Sanders

Politics in this town is filthy. I hate it. Few of our politicians put The People and the long term health of our city before party or their insider interests.

Tonight's city council committee meeting to vote whether or not to move the proposed CIB bailout was a 5 hour dog and pony show orchestrated by Republican Councilor Lutz, who as talk show host Abdul so aptly put, held his nose and voted for more tax, borrow, and spend madness that landed us in this mess in the first place.

Indiana Barrister, Ogden on Politics, and Advance Indiana offer detailed summaries of the night's proceedings.

Democrats Monroe Gray and Council Minority Leader Joanne Sanders did not even show up for this critical vote which will direct literally millions of tax dollars every single year. I guess they don't think you are worth their time. Insiders say they chickened out because they want to make this possible tax increase look like the Republicans fault come election. So in other words, they put party politics ahead of the future of your city.

Remember, that we the taxpayers, PAID for Sanders and Gray to be at this crucial meeting tonight. I don't think they even called in sick. SHAME ON THEM BOTH!

We will not forget their failure to show up tonight to stop the CIB bailout proceedings. There will be no mercy from the taxpayers on this matter. And you can bet, our memory is long.

One lone councilor, Angela Mansfield, was the only "nay" vote. She had the courage of her convictions to stand opposed. You can bet we'll remember Councilor Mansfield too.

This is offensive ....Tom John GOP tattoo on woman's rear end

Good grief. Is this what the Marion County GOP under Tom John's chairmanship has come to? It is in very poor taste and it certainly objectifies women. To be fair, we have no idea where the photo came from or who made it. It appears to be doctored in photo shop and does not look like a fresh tattoo, as the picture would lead you to believe. It was published by Paul Wheeler who often poses as a patriot in costume.

Fortunately there exists an alternative for the adults in the Republican Party who want better government. And you are invited to participate.

The Republican Liberty Caucus is forming the Marion County charter for those individuals who want to remain inside the Republican Party and embrace the values of a small limited government, individual freedom, and liberty.

Sunday, August 2nd @ 2pm
RSVP by Saturday @ Noon, please

(College Avenue & Kessler)

(317) 722-8888
5902 N College Ave

The Republican Liberty Caucus exists to promote individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise within the Republican Party by promoting these ideals among Party officials and its various organizations, identifying and supporting candidates sympathetic with these ideals, and promoting Caucus membership among Republican Party registrants, officials, and

Republican Liberty Caucus
RLC Marion County Facebook Page
RLC Indiana Facebook Page

In order to be a founding member, and a Regular members, dues must be paid to the Indiana Republican Liberty Caucus. Please bring a check to the meeting if you have not already paid. Dues are $30 a year for single membership, and $45 per year for couples.

To Learn more go to: http://www.inrlc.org/

Shock: Inside the Healthcare Bill

Monday, July 20, 2009
Shock: Inside the Healthcare Bill

Following the mad recommendations of Peter Singer made in NYT's Sunday magazine, it pays to take a look at what is actually in the healthcare bill.

It's worse than you can possibly imagine. Somehow, it manages to be Singer on steroids. Who wrote this bill. It has Singer's footprints all over it.

Peter Fleckstein (aka Fleckman) is reading it and has been posting on Twitter his findings. This is from his postings (Note: All comments are Fleckman's)

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided 2 ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill - Govt will have real-time access 2 individuals' finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 ur banks accts 4 elect. funds transfer

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan 4 retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange 2 bring priv HC plans under Govt control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs 4 priv. HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration ur Healthcare!

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Govt mandates linguistic approp svcs. Example - Translation 4 illegal aliens

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps 2 sign up indiv. for Govt HC plan

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - U Health care WILL b rationed

-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Indiv. will b automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monop

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what u can make.

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into pub opt plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay 4 HC 4 part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Emplyr w payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesnt prov. pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesnt have acceptable HC accrdng 2 Govt will be taxed 2.5% of inc

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from indiv. taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access 2 ALL Americans finan/pers recs

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician svcs 4 Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, doesnt matter what specialty u have, you'll all be paid the same

PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr's time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans.

PG 265 Sec 1131Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries

PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals 4 what Govt deems preventable readmissions.

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admiss that results in a readmiss-Govt will penalize u.

Pg 317 L 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand

pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have oppt to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!!

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Govt mandates estab. of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority 2 disqual Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing peeps in2 Govt plan

Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs ppl! WTF. My sis has down syndrome!!

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Cmtte. Can u say HC by phone?

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides apprvd list of end of life resources, guiding u in death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program 4 orders 4 end of life. The Govt has a say in how ur life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "adv. care planning consult" will b used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 "adv. care consultation" may incl an ORDER 4 end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment u will have at end of life

Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment 2 a community-based org. Like ACORN?

PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt in2 ur marriage

Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those svcs

Here's the full Health Care bill that sits in the House.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200 ih.pdf

Open letter to City County Councilors on CIB bailout committee

Open letter sent today to:
(R) Robert Lutz, Chair rlutz@indy.gov 241-4020
(R) Bob Cockrum (no published email address) 856-5549
(D) Monroe Gray mgray@indy.gov 327-4242
(R) Barbara Malone barbara_malone@sbcglobal.net 291-4359
(D) Angela Mansfield angelamansfield@aol.com 872-3306
(R) Marilyn Pfisterer cpfist1061@aol.com 244-7156
(R) Lincoln Plowman lincolnplowman@comcast.net 557-7594(
D) Joanne Sanders jmsanders@msn.com 283-6040

Greetings Councilors,

Here we are, the whole CIB mess is dumped into your laps. I feel for you. However, I've learned that every batch of lemons has opportunity to make lemonade. And I'm here to help you turn this into a positive for your political careers if you vote against the bailout. Because I will not forget the councilors that vote against this bailout and will help publicize that you stood with The People against tax increases.

The CIB has operated as a secretive dark hole of our money long enough. Throwing additional hard earned taxpayer dollars at this mess is not going to fix the problem. It makes it worse and it won't be long until the CIB comes back to the taxpayer trough for yet more of our money.

Raising hotel taxes to among the very highest in our country is not going to save hospitality jobs. First of all there aren't 66,000 hospitality workers downtown. That figure is from central Indiana. And furthermore, if our hotels have to lower rates to compensate for yet another tax increase, that is going to hurt their bottom line and their ability to keep everyone on the payroll. We need to give convention planners a reason to come to Indy...not a reason to steer clear!

In the words of Mayor Greg Ballard, "We have Had Enough!"

Before we authorize giving the CIB another dime, we need a complete forensic audit of the CIB. We need to shine a light on every penny of our money to understand how it is being used and where there is waste.

Taxpayers know from studying the 2007 IRS statements of just one of the organizations funded by the CIB, the "not-for-profit" Arts Council spends 57% of our money on administrative costs. There's got to be plenty of other places the CIB funds that is also wasting our money. We will find the waste only with a thorough audit.

Taxpayers will not relent on this issue. We will beat this drum constantly between now and your next election. We will beat the drums even harder when you are campaigning for re-election.

Conversely, taxpayers will have your backs if you do what is in our best interest and open up the CIB to the light of day so that we can fix what is wrong without spending more money.

I hope I can sing your praises to people when they ask me what's going on instead of giving them a list of the councilors we want removed.

Do the right thing for the long term health of our city and stop this CIB mess dead in its tracks by ordering an independent forensic audit. That will send a clear message to taxpayers that you are serious about protecting our financial interests.

Best Regards,
Melyssa (publisher)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Citizens to oppose CIB bailout at Tuesday's public hearing

Come to the CIB bailout public hearing on Tuesday night (7/28/2009) at City Hall on Market Street across from the City Market. It starts at 5:30.

We know that several city councilors are against the bailout. Those good guys on the council need plenty of public support and encouragement.

When you arrive, sign up to speak (they usually give you 2 minutes) and let it be known that the prudent thing to do is to order a forensic audit of the CIB that has operated in near secrecy with our money for at least a decade.

Thanks to relentless bloggers like Gary Welsh who went head-to-head with CIB chief Bob Grand at the last meeting, everything is set up for the party bosses to fail to get their bailout money for his client, The Pacers. And contrary to what you hear the mayor say over and over, 66,000 hospitality workers are not going to lose their jobs. That's a bold faced lie. Downtown workers might lose their jobs, however, if we end up with the highest hotel tax and lose convention business or the hotels have to lower their rates to make the room rates affordable.

All we need is for citizens to show up to give the final punch that knocks down their game.

Sign ideas:

Never forget that the biggest fear of the party bosses is public exposure. All we need are citizens to show up and we can knock this tax increase out because the city councilors know it is political suicide to vote for it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

City Council Republicans Want Panhandling Left To The Professionals Only?

(crossposted from ShepardPolitics)

Last night the Indianapolis City County Council was presented with two proposals to vote on that I found of particular interest, especially given that they were to be considered in back-to-back to votes.

The first was a proposal to grant $1,000,000 (one million dollars) of taxpayer money to "the arts". When I think of arts organizations I think of people producing a product that they either need to figure out how to sell or charge money for. Tickets to the museum or symphony are good examples. I find it abhorrent that the brute force of government is so often used to pry loose money from taxpayers and private organizations can then go "panhandling" at the City Council, State House or Federal legislative chambers.

The second was a proposal that would have essentially banned holding signs or panhandling within 50 feet of an intersection (measure how, nobody was sure). The target of the bill was, indeed, panhandlers and was prompted by one Councilor who indicated a few bad interactions with panhandlers. Personally, I find them generally standing on corners, holding their signs minding their own business unless money is offered; but, I do note the many private security people who actually step out in the roadway to direct traffic for business parks, eating establishments or parking garages.

There are laws already on the books regarding panhandling in roadways, blocking or impeding traffic or pedestrians and, certainly, accosting or assaulting somebody. The point was made quite clear, largely by Council Democrats, that these laws existed but were not necessarily being enforced.

Instead of tabling the bill and trying to come to some better solution or evaluate options to strengthen the current laws or get increased enforcement, the Republicans pushed ahead. The Democrats even offered up concern about Constitutional issues regarding free speech in public places (I'm sure they would not have brought up the Constitution if this had been a "right to self defense" issue). Fortunately, the measure narrowly failed 14 to 12 (with 3 councilors not in attendance - it otherwise would have likely passed).

It will likely be brought up again at the next meeting and I'm hoping at least one of the Republicans will realize how wrong this is and what kind of unintended consequences there could be. Oddly, NONE of them seemed very concerned about unintended consequences. Seriously, what is the hurry? If you're going to do something, do the right thing properly not just rush through a bad proposal.

Bringing a handful of chuckles from the crowd, Councilor Pfisterer actually commented, "This is not a restriction on free speech, this is a restriction on where you can have it." Huh? I guess everyone eventually has a "I voted for it, before I voted against it" moment.

At the end of the day two core principles were under assault. The are as follows and politicians need to learn and understand these concepts:

(1) People have a natural right to their property. Stealing their property to transfer it to private organizations that should be privately funded is inappropriate. If one of those people mugged someone in the street to subsidize museum tickets or something it would be a crime, it should also be a crime when legislators do it their behalf just because they put on a suit and came begging. The "good intentions" or perceived improvements to livability in the community do not matter, if those things are legitimate and important than private donors should give to the cause and/or legislators should promote the idea and help them raise funds for such purpose without using taxpayer money.

As Bastiat wrote, once the government (the Law) is used as a tool to transfer from one group to another unjustly, it opens the doors to it being a free for all. You lose all moral authority to challenge other similar arrangements. I'll give legislators a pass for roads, police and fire protection but not on private arts organizations, government operating what should be private businesses (like stadiums and convention centers) or subsidizing sports teams.

(2) People have a natural and Constitutional right to free speech. Your rights exist to the extent that you do not harm or violate the rights of others. Just because a couple of bozos were "unprofessional panhandlers" doesn't mean you can just set Freedom of Speech aside and ban people from standing roadside or on a corner with a sign. This is ill considered legislation and without meaning to, comes across like jack-booted thugs trying to recklessly stomp out something just because they are annoyed by others' behavior. Personally, I'm annoyed by the "elected class" more than anything these days.

Besides. The panhandlers downtown are great when I need parking meter change. Give 'em a dollar and ask for 75 cents back and good for an hour.


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - In back to back votes, a majority of Council Republicans voted to transfer $1 million of taxpayer money to private "arts organizations" and then immediately moved to restrict the freedom of speech of panhandlers who may be passively seeking VOLUNTARY contributions.

Tim Maguire, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Marion County said "There are already significant laws on the books regarding panhandling that perhaps just need better enforcement, but this fell on deaf ears as Republicans worked to rob taxpayers on behalf of private arts organizations and then, immediately following, tried to tell poor people they can't even hold a sign asking for money."

"We had a room full of people seeking to panhandle by using the force and power of government to extract money from citizens while, at the same time, a motion to restrict those who might seek voluntary contributions by denying them their rights to free speech was next on the agenda." said Sean Shepard, Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Marion County.

"We are proud of Councilor Coleman, the sole Libertarian on the council, for voting against both of these terrible proposals." Maguire added.

Laws against standing in traffic or otherwise impeding the progress of traffic or pedestrians already exist. New laws against passively holding signs will accomplish nothing other than to restrict unpopular speech.

Councilor Coleman (L) noted during debate that it is not reasonable or appropriate to try and ban every little thing that annoys people.

Maguire also noted that, "Perhaps the Council should make laws against solicitations in the City-County Council chambers so private companies and organizations don't come begging for tax money."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

1934 Chicago Tribune

Remember, it was a war that got America out of the Depression and not spending. The People have learned from the past and are fighting to not repeat it. Our politicians are not listening. They must WANT the past repeated.

Indianapolis City Council decides Bailout vs. Forensic Audit of the CIB

It is easy to make your local politicians do your will. Do not ever forget that fact. The People of our city proved it in 2007, when together, we overturned the city council and put a new mayor in charge.

A terrifying decision will soon rest in the hands of the Indianapolis City Councilors. They will have to decide whether or not to increase a combination of hotel, beverage, and car rental taxes to fill the unending deep and secretive black hole of our money known as the CIB (Capital Improvement Board). The CIB funds and operates the stadiums, the city's convention arm, the Arts Council and lots of other quasi government/private endeavors without oversight or audit whatsoever by elected officials.

Mayor Ballard promised us no new taxes and he promised us transparency of all of the city's money, yet he purposely blocked every effort made by a few prudent city councilors who suggested an audit the CIB. Sadly, Mayor Ballard follows the lead by Barnes and Thornburg attorneys Joe Loftus and Bob Grand who control the CIB and are the legal representatives of the Pacers instead of The People who made his election possible. The mayor broke a solemn promise made to the tax activists to make all of the city's money trails transparent.

In the fall of 2008, city councilor at-large, Ed Coleman, started to try to open the records of the CIB and he was punished by the Marion County GOP for doing so. After months of trying, and subsequent punishment by party insiders, he officially joined the Marion County Libertarian Party.

The men that now control our mayor, for their own financial interests, want you to believe that our professional sports teams will leave Indianapolis. They also want you to believe that our "66,000 hospitality workers" will no longer have jobs.

This is a lie. There is no city in America in this economy that can afford to take on a new professional sports team.

Further it is certain that our hospitality workers will be laid off when convention planners do not book Indianapolis because we are a landlocked city with the highest hotel tax in the country! Our convention business is not tied to the Colts or the Pacers.

Keep in mind, we get the Super Bowl no matter what happens, even if the Colts pick up and move again like they did when they left Baltimore for Indy.

Our city councilors need reassurance of the fact that The People's power supersedes any political fallout risked at the hand of corrupt party insiders and the two law firms that get most of the city's business.

Our city councilors win only when they do what is best for the future our city's children will inherit.Right now our city councilors need political cover that only We The People can give them. They literally stand between us and more taxation to these millionaires, billionaires and thieves.

Now is the time for us to empower our city councilors and take control of our local government. Our city councilors need to hear from us and know that We The People have their backs, as long as they say NO.

The blind funding and tax increases to feed the CIB beast has been going on a very long time with no public oversight. Consequently, no one seems to know for sure what the real numbers are. We are led down one rosy path of promised prosperity after another only to find out that we were mislead down a path of thorns and unending debt at the hands of the city's multi-millionaire sports team owners.

We are at a turning point, a fork in the path of our city. Do we continue to blindly throw money at our CIB and trust the politicians who are controlled by the boys at the top of the game, or do we TOGETHER stand up to end it?

We have the power, for it was given to us each long ago when this country was authored and the rules were set up to empower the individual to control our government. All we have to do is claim the power that is already ours.

Our city councilors are scared right now because it is been put on them to do what even the state legislature could not figure out how to fix. They are in difficult political waters that you can make easy for them to navigate simply by reminding them that YOU have their back if they make the sensible decision to vote against any further tax increases to fund the CIB until we see details from a forensic audit.

All you have to do in the next day is email every councilor from the email links below and tell them, "The People have your back if you oppose tax increases for a CIB bailout."

Time is of the essence. Write your letters now and make sure our city councilors know you have their back, because this time, their party doesn't.


Feel free to email all of them at the addy's below:





























Sunday, July 12, 2009

Naughty Washington Township School Board shenanigans and what you can to stop it

Mervilde is still bucking to increase his already massive compensation package and the school board has even more wanton spending planned if you don't stop it. They scare the public when they threaten to cut teachers. Anyone notice that they NEVER threaten to cut administrators? Activist extraordinaire, Penney Bigelow sent us the following shameful details about the school board and what you can do about it! --Melyssa, for HFFT

The new MSDWT Board President, Cheri Harris, has announced that there were be an Executive Session Board Meeting by the end of July (closed doors, no public allowed by law, since they will be discussing personnel – Mervilde -- issues), with the goal of placing the raise for Supt. Mervilde on the August 12 regular Board Meeting Agenda (public allowed to attend, but will they be allowed to comment?

This Mervilde salary increase issue is NOT DEAD.

Here’s what you can do NOW:

1. Please email the entire School Board (see list below). Send more than one email to the Board, each one on a different topic – or repeatedly on the same topic, as you wish… If you only send one now, please make about the first topic – the Superintendent’s salary increase.

Addtional suggested topics:

1) The public MUST see details of the Superintendent’s contract BEFORE the Aug 12 meeting and the public MUST have public comment on this issue specifically at the Aug 12 meeting (or whenever they bring this topic up again). Do not forget to mention your views of Mervilde’s salary and pension increase!

2) Your views about the number of administrators in MSDWT while they are cutting teachers’ aides and teachers (see info below).

3) Your views about the use of PR firms, paid for with taxpayer money, to convince taxpayers to pay more taxes (see info below).

4) Your views about the management (or mismanagement) of tax dollars for schools by the Supt. and the complicit School Board. Ask yourself if additional funds (e.g., the 2011 referendum for $250 million) are needed for construction instead of instruction. Ask yourself if you want MSDWT to emphasize education over athletics. Ask yourself if you believe that there is too much money spent in some areas other than DIRECTLY on education.

Here is the list of School Board members and their emails:

President Cheri Harris charris@msdwt.k12.in.us

VP Don Kite dkite@msdwt.k1.in.us

Secretary Tony Dzwonar tdzwonar@msdwt.k12.in.us

Member Wanda Spann Roddy wsroddy@msdwt.k12.in.us

Member Greg Wright schoolboardgreg@att.net

For the Board’s phone numbers, see the list . Please note that Greg Wright prefers to be contacted at a different email address schoolboardgreg@att.net, which affords both the sender and Greg privacy.

Does Washington Township School Board serve Superintendent Mervilde or does Mervilde serve the school board?

And by the way, WHY is Supt Mervilde listed at the top of the BOE list? He is the primary employee of the Board, not an elected member of the Board. He should not even be on this page! You will also find this oddity in the Board picture, with Mervilde in the center!

Does this tell you how Mervilde and most of the board view his position and power? During school board meetings, I have also seen him interrupt then-President Don Kite numerous times; Kite not only permitted it, but deferred to Mervilde in the most ingratiating manner AND paid rapt attention to him – unlike the way Kite treated the public.

2. While you are at it, why not send copies of your emails to all the legislators who represent MSDWT?

NOTE: Please list the legislators in the cc: area of the email, NOT the bcc: area. This way the Board knows that you are letting our legislators know your thoughts, also. Believe me, this will get the attention of the Board Members and the Supt.


Jeb Bardon

Edward DeLaney

Cindy Noe

Brian C. Bosma

John Bartlett

Gregory W. Porter

Vanessa Summers

Michael A. Delph

Teresa S. Lubbers

Greg Taylor

Jean Breaux

1. Greg Wright, the lonely fiscal conservative on the School Board who consistently votes against excessive spending, has written an article which appeared in the Opinion section of Saturday’s (July 11) Indy Star -- online:

Trying to contact Greg through this link is impossible. First, they had his author’s name listed as Gary Wright. Then, they had an incorrect link for his email address. Be sure to read the Comments under the article – and leave your own, if you are so inclined. The number of comments an article receives is an indication to the Star of the interest in that topic and whether or not they will cover it more intensely.

The Indy Star’s coverage of MSDWT and Mervilde has been one-sided, at the least, and could be described as fawning over the Supt and Board… For this glowing coverage, Indy Star reporter Gretchen Becker has been granted special privileges and access repeatedly. On two separate occasions that I personally can verify, she received advance copies of reports before the meeting.

The latest incident was her receiving a copy of the Investigative Report hours before the June 24 meeting. No copies of the report were given to the public at that Board meeting. The poor taxpayers were only allowed to read it when Greg Wright released it after the meeting; it was attached to my last email.

Only when Greg complained about the latest unbalanced Star/Gretchen Becker coverage of the Spring Mill investigative report did the Indy Star tell Greg to write his article--and then published it late and with incorrect info about Greg.

2. As part of his increased compensation package, Mervilde had requested ANOTHER administrator – which he has already received. See the Star article , which details this new position. Also note that there is a “Superintendent’s Cabinet”. Thus, Mervilde has another level of administration, which further removes him from the students and teachers. What does HE do, besides think of ways to feather his nest and increase OUR taxes? Oh, yes, he also makes public/government appearances in support of his spending plans. And he has two public relations firms to help him do this. Is this what you want to pay the Supt. to do?

3. Speaking of public relations firms, Mervilde has plans to hire a THIRD, out-of-state PR firm to help convince WT taxpayers to support the two referendums that are planned for 2010 and 2011. Not surprisingly, this coincides with his request to extend his contract for another year, -- just enough time so he can shepherd (“sheep” -- that’s US! – “herd” -- us into paying more taxes) these two referendums. With THREE PR firms, who needs Mervilde?

Penny Bigelow, WT activist
1424 Sandi Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46260-2729
Email: pbigelow6@comcast.net

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Are we left to the mercy of last-minute deals, spin doctors and fast-talking lobbyists?

"Indiana government has grown so complex there are not enough reporters or even informed activists to stay with its twists and turns. There is simply too much going on. We are left to the mercy of last-minute deals, spin doctors and fast-talking lobbyists."

If Indiana's Tea Party activists would work toward the goal of reform of local government, I believe we could get Indiana's government under control with the help of a handful of good politicians who are doing all they can to serve us well. It's time to take the tea parties to school board meetings, city council meetings, and the state legislature. --Melyssa for HFFT

Town Hall to discuss downtown ICVA & CIB

Jose Evans, CityCounty Councillor, District 1

Invited: All members of the public.

Future of the Convention Center, Downtown & Proposal from the Special Session of the General Assembly

Don Welsh, President & CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association,
Barney Levengood, Executive Director of the Capital Improvement Board
Craig Huse & John Short, members of the CIB

WHEN: Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Reception at 6:00 pm
Program at 6:30 pm

Opportunity to comment and Q&A to follow.

Public input & feedback is vital!!!

WHERE: 4925 S. Shelby Street Perry GovernmentCenter
(Behind Fire Station on Thompson Road near Northwest corner of Madison Ave. & Thompson Road)

Contact: Mike Speedy, 317-786-6689

Friday, July 3, 2009


We will win if
we fight at the school board meetings,
city council meetings, and
make our Indiana state representatives and senators do our will,
while we hold their feet to the fire to burn if they disobey.

We will never win our attacks against Washington
as long as our own local political backyards are filthy.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FREEDOM IN MARION COUNTY: What it looks like

Got an email that said Wheeler was whining I didn't publish the photos of the Libertarian Cigar Roll he submitted with his assault on personal freedom. He finds the photos above to be shocking. Wheeler is likely too uncultured (uneducated) to understand that smoking flavored tobacco via a hooka or cigar spans many centuries and many cultures.

Someone needs to tell the patriot in costume only that people can freely choose in America whether to place themselves in smoky places or not. We can choose what we want to do on our own property. Next thing you know he'll be crying to the government to outlaw auto races because the sport is "dangerous" to the health of the drivers and sometimes it is dangerous to the health of the bystanders who can get hit with flying debris!

Wheeler seeks to limit your freedom while making you think he's a patriot. As someone said earlier, he's a bored old man with too much time on his hands. It's time someone said so publicly.

The sport of racing kills and seriously injures employees of race car teams every year and the noise will make you go deaf!

The Anti-Patriot: Paul Wheeler

This is Wheeler in Ft. Wayne at the 2007 Ft. Wayne Tea Party.
I branded him Patriot Paul by encouraging an unsure and nervous newbie activist to continue to show up to protests in costume.

Recently I discovered this message written by the so-called "patriot" Paul Wheeler, in response to a Libertarian outing that supports small business owners' rights to choose to allow smoking in their establishments. While Paul claims to be anti-smoking, he never once said a word that cigarette smoke offends him as he attended countless activist meetings as I puffed away on cigarettes earlier this year.

I specifically asked Wheeler if he minded if I had a smoke in my own house, to which he replied (as always) that he did not mind. I'm not sure what Wheeler's overall problem is, but I do know one thing. He's a hypocrite in a costume. The inside doesn't match the outside, folks.

--Melyssa for HFFT

Wheeler writes:
Do Libertarians Need a Facelift?
Desiring to take a stand for business owners' rights in the field of smokes, local Libertarian Party members and like-minded went on a 'Cigar-roll' on Saturday in Indianapolis. Yes, we all want business owners to be in charge of their own property, but at what risks to others and to what extent? A man's home is his castle, but even the Constitution directs the government to enter, albeit with a warrant. One cannot hide behind his doors and do anything he wants. Without a full
fledge debate, the matter becomes presentation and emphasis. What message is sent by published pictures of the event showing LP members and such imbibing toxins? While it seems there are as many brands of libertarians as cigars, there are just as many causes to fight for. The question of emphasis becomes whether ingesting poisons is the best way to promulgate the cause of freedom. Fighting for the 'right' to poison others and call it a business seems a strange way to highlight the Libertarian Party, when basic freedoms affecting and transcending both smokers and non-smokers are far more plentiful, given the breathtaking national issues besetting us during the last several years and aggressively thrust upon the American people during 2008-9; the Fed, fiat money, taxes, bailouts, banking. The question is not whether the LP has a right to ingest poisons, but whether it wishes to be seen as extremists in perpetuating an addiction to others by example. It's one thing to take to the streets with signs for freedom and another thing to participate in something knowingly harmful to yourself & others under the guise of liberty. The means don't justify the ends. Patrick Henry wanted liberty or death; not liberty as a means to death.Bottom line: can libertarians get away from these displays and define itself on broader issues confronting Americans and be relevant. Donny Ferguson, communications director of the national LP, wrote recently that 2 items, guns and legalization of drugs, are worthy causes. The latter is exactly what has marginalized the LP. The LP needs to rise to the issues of immigration and abortion, among others (even libertarian icon Ron Paul is against abortion on libertarian grounds, based on not using force to effect change). For 30+ years, the LP has done instant replays of fringe antics. Take a look at the pictures and ask yourself if this is the message of hope or hopelessness. Is this the direction of the LP? Will the real reformers please stand up. Would you vote for these people for public office to represent you?

Here is a well-thought response to Wheeler I was emailed today. It states what I continue to hear from people who interact with him. Paul is a guy in a costume with a mighty overblown ego.

It is Ironic that Patriot Paul is reading the Declaration of Independence at the 4th of July Tea Party. I say ironic because Patriot Paul is a statist. He believes in government intervention not only in your personal life, but in how one can run his own small business. While movements often feel the need to have some kind of mascot, Wheeler has not distinguished himself in the area of pro-liberty ideology or in demonstrating any understanding of things. He has mostly relegated himself to some kind of critic who just likes to throw rocks at people wiser than himself.

Patriot Paul called those opposed to the forced government smoking bans on private property "murderers" and "baby killers". His comment alienated many people and will certainly not earn him a spot amongst Indiana's great statesmen. Patriot Paul is a staunch supporter of Smoke Free Indy's campaign to eliminate smoking in cigar bars, hookah bars, clubs and pubs. This of
course would cause many small business owners to lose their life's work, all in the name of government saving people from harming themselves. Patriot Paul believes that others should not be able to smoke on private commercial property, even though an individual has a choice whether or not to patron an establishment. Patriot Paul believes that choice should not exist. Suffice to say that places like Indy Cigar Bar, by the Keystone Fashion Mall, would be forced to close if Patriot Paul, Smoke Free Indy and the local statist politicians get their way.

By the way, Smoke Free Indy is a government funded special interest group that lobbies local government to adopt legislation that forces their ideals and views onto the general population. Anyone see the conflict of interest in a government funded special interest group? If someone was to support an organization like that, then they don't deserve the title of Patriot to me, nor should that person be reading the Declaration of Independence at a rally denouncing government intervention. It's just an insult to the founding fathers and to insult them on the 4th of July is unfathomable.

But, hey, some people will cozy up to any group or organization or even throw their former friends under the bus if they think it will get them some form of minor notoriety. There are far better advocates around Central Indiana that could have been tapped for this, insulting everyone with someone just because they have a nice costume to wear wasn't necessary. It's time to start paying to attention to who the smart, principled and ideologically grounded folks are not just who is vocal and flamboyant.

In Liberty,
Travis Zellers