Monday, July 28, 2008
First, many Obama supporters are indeed first time voters, and as they get into the news feeds and are watching the process more closely, he will lose some of that support. It's just a natural outcome of a celebrity running for office, and then people finding out what he stands for. "Change" isn't an issue ... but some of the things he may want to change will be.
Second, with state level issues affecting all of us this year, I think residents are more prone to vote on local issues. The property tax caps being one of the bigger issues. HB 1001 put circuit breakers in place, and added sizeable homestead deductions for higher priced homes ... this also put a chokehold on many cities and towns, even in conservative Porter County, to cut their budgets. Are you happy your city or town is going to have to cut? Are you going to miss some key services and wish taxes had been allowed to stay higher?
Third, Mitch Daniels although roundly denigrated by those against the Illiana and the South Shore Extension ... is surging in the polls. His opponent isn't faring well with any group, with unions still undecided being a major problem.
More voters means more communication, less apathy, and a reason to show up in November. That's all good news.
"If we really want to stimulate job creation in this country, take the same approach to small business with 25 or fewer employees that we take to Internet taxes. Outlaw them.
No taxes of any kind on small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. No employer payroll tax. No state or local taxes. No taxes on earnings. Nada. The business owners will pay income taxes on their personal income they pay themselves, but not corporate earnings "
Read the entire article entitled How to Jump-Start the Economy
Sunday, July 27, 2008
While most people are very nice and ask questions or talk about local current issues there were that few that were verbally abusive and felt that it was their “right” to walk over an unload on whom ever was working the booth.
I was most struck by people that stopped by the booth and asked for popcorn and when I asked them if they were registered to vote their reply was no and I don't want to be. Wow imagine in these times people that don't want to take their right to vote. Then there were the ones that said yes but I am voting for Obama (very few said this by the way). These were my favorite because then the next question to them was why. Each of them gave the same answer as if written on a slate in their head. “We need change”. My response always followed with what change is he going to bring. Funny thing when I asked them this they had no idea. Time and time again no answer. Once in while you would get “you know the war thing”.
When are these people going to do the research and really find out who they are planning on voting for and not some idea that the media is using to sell newspapers and commercials.
From the Post:
But before a shovel hits the ground, Bengel has an axe to grind with some of Porter County's development ordinances.
And he has a list of issues that he'll likely bring up at the next Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Aug. 20 at the county administration complex.
The hope is that Bengel and his business partners, a family from California, who moved to Valparaiso about 10 months ago, will be granted variances.
Bengel owns The Courts of Northwest Indiana, 127 E. U.S. 6 in Valparaiso, which opened in 2006.
The privately owned facility sits on his 29 acres of land.
He plans to add a 90,000-square-foot facility for gymnastics and tennis as well as a 12,000-square-foot batting cage.
And he's working to get the franchise Pump It Up developed on his 29-acre-lot.
Steven and Anne Brandt moved to Valparaiso from California with their two boys nearly a year ago to bring the 12,000-square-foot Pump It Up facility to the county.
However, the county's requirements on architecture and landscaping are unreasonable and even unnecessary, he said.
Bengel said the anticipation was to have the facilities opened by the fall. But now, the timetable is unclear.
The Brandts said they came "armed with data and numbers" on the county's demographic and the marketability before initiating the franchise venture.
"We're both very committed, passionate financially for this development," Anne Brandt said.
"We're trying to make it in earnest."
Architectural requirements, based on a outlined formula, including one on the steepness of the building's roof, would be awkward for his facilities, Bengel said.
He said he would need to commit to a roof that has a steepness of almost 20 feet, according to the ordinance.
Another frustration is the requirement to have corners for every 50 feet of the building.
Other disagreements he and the Brandts have with the county planning standards imposed on the privately owned projects include the number of windows, construction materials and bushes. He said he would need 1,500 bushes around the parking lot.
just asking wrote: (In typical Porter County "we don't want your ideas or your jobs fashion)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I received an email from a friend, who has an acquaintance serving in Afghanistan at present. This soldier is giving his first hand account of Senator Barack Hussein Obama’s visit to Afghanistan.
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to ‘The War Zone’. I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle , got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram.
As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn’t say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service.
So really he was just here to make a showing for the American’s back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you.
I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don’t understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.
If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.
[Note: All misspellings are from the original email. Crossposted to the DFB]
Cross Posted on NWI Connect, Indiana Hardball Conservative, Hoosier for McCain
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I’ve written a (long) academic article showing how compensated calling could be easily incorporated into the current “do not call” regs — so that you could even set
whatever price you wanted to listen to telemarketing calls. (I’ve also published
OpEds on the idea here and here.) Instead of making an all-or-nothing choice about whether to block all telemarketing calls, a lot of consumers would prefer to set an intermediate price and just block those calls that aren’t willing to pay their price.
He goes on in the quote above to suggest that this could also work for telemarketing and beyond.
We’re used to thinking of Paypal and Google checkout as micro-payment services,
but they can also become micro-compensation services. If you watch a commercial
on Google TV, Google could credit your account.
Now, parlay that thought forward to political campaigns. If a political campaign were to sign up for this service. Would they be breaking the law disallowing a politician from offering money in exchange for a vote? Is the law antiquated and need to be changed? Would you click more ads in return for a small payment?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Frugal Hoosiers has the story about Standard & Poor’s new ratings for Indiana’s issuer credit rating — a super AAA rating — because of the state’s sound fiscal management and predicted budget surpluses!
Mitch Daniels keeps on doing a great job keeping the state in the black.
Grabbed from: Christopher Hedges
6 p.m. at On Site Computers in Crown Point
Northwest Indiana Bloggers
First time, that I know of at least, that bloggers from multiple niches are getting together to discuss ways to work together. The owners of 219.com will also be there to propose that we write on their site too, to increase traffic and conversations about our Region.
If you can make it, it would be great to meet in person.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Mark Reshkin, Valparaiso resident and scientist and regionalist, wrote in his editorial today that we need to confront the following challenges, some will cost billions ... others would require northern Lake County communities to actually work together ... possible? Desirable?
The following are just a few of such necessary developments. Some have already been identified, some have begun, and others are needed:
* Extended commuter rail service to Lowell and Valparaiso to accommodate both existing and future growth. (Briefs: proposed and supported by NW Indiana Forum, RDA, and most area mayors. Opposed by Dems running Porter County and Lake County state reps who wanted to combat Governor Daniels - Cost $1 Billion with all but $200 million covered already)
* The originally proposed Illiana Expressway starting in LaPorte County to spur the intermodal facilities -- opportunities for both northwest Indiana's and northeast Illinois' future roles in the growing American commercial rail and truck transport system. (Proposed to run from Illinois along southern area of Region through Lake County, Porter County and LaPorte county in a half moon. Supported by Governor Daniels and opposed by farm community and Ditch Mitch types. How about a tollway operated by a private group, run far enough south that we don't have to do it again in this century)
* Merger of the Indiana and Purdue regional campuses into a regional university better organized and financed to meet the specific educational and research and service needs of this Great Lakes region.
* Public access to Lake Michigan as called for in the Marquette Plans 1 and 2, extending from Illinois eastward, reaching to the border with Michigan. (Supported by both parties, pushed by Democrat Rep. Pete Visclosky strongly. Great idea provide properties are purchased, cleaned up, and some are re-privatized to create an economy in addition to a cosmetically beautiful beach area)
* Expansion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport. (Is is possible to create a intermodal hub at this site? Rail, bus, air, water, and road? Extend the ditch? Amtrak, small airlines, semi-trucks, South Shore commuter, South Shore and other freight hauling. I don't know all the limitations, but why not?)
* Northwest Indiana needs a system of natural area preserves similar to the Illinois forest preserve system. (Toughest of the bunch, can easily become government taking property. If they purchase property fine, if they take it ala "green space" ordinances ... no go)
Mike recently traveled with Congressional candidate Luke Puckett from Indiana's 2nd, a small portion of our own Porter County is in the 2nd, to ANWR in Alaska to look at opportunities for drilling more oil. As near as I can tell, he like many other republicans is supporting more drilling, an increase in oil supply capacity, as one of the ways to handle the gasoline price issue. I missed the blogger conference calls last week, bummer.
Business owner and strong conservative, even supporting the flat tax theory, we need men like Sodrel in Congress representing our state.
He was beaten in 2006, when Republicans nationwide were destroyed by Democrats and control of the house reverted to Nancy Pelosi. IMHO it's time to take this seat back for conservatives in southern Indiana.
Here are some links so you can show your support:
Mike Sodrel for Congress Facebook Politician Page
Mike Sodrel for Congress Website
Meet Mike Sodrel - with photos and blogs by Mike and his daughter
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Ok, so now Andre Carson has an opponent.
The Marion County GOP made it official Friday night during a Party caucus, selecting Gabrielle Campo to run for the 7th Congressional District seat in November.
No surprise here; most people figured Campo would walk away with the win. I mean, the GOP needs to choose someone to fall on the sword.
Campo, an Indianapolis social worker, will replace state Rep. Jon Elrod on the ballot. Elrod dropped out in June to focus on retaining his Statehouse seat... or at least that's what he wants to do right now. It could change in a few weeks, no one really knows except Elrod.
"Gabrielle is young, energetic and capable of waging a spirited challenge against Andre Carson," district Republican Chairman John Hammond said in a statement.Cannot disagree with Hammond. But really, do we all think that the GOP is going to through everything they have into Campo's race? They missed their chance back during the special. All they did Friday night was fill the ballot because there was many people who wanted to run.
Would they have selected anyone if not one candidate had come forward to volunteer to run?
Look at the Visclosky/Leyva race in `da Region:
Mark Leyva has one this primary many different times, including last spring. But has the state/county Party thrown all they have into this race? Nope. And I can tell you from experience in Congressional races against Visclosky. Opponents against Pete have never been taken seriously.
Ask Andy Horning.
Ask Dr. Marvin Scott.
Both ran good races against Julia Carson, but never had 100% financial support from the GOP.
Now comes Gabrielle Campo.
Obviously someone with a future in the Party.
But a serious candidate for Congress? In my opinion, no.
Her website (http://www.campoforcongress.org/) isn't even up and running.
Is Campo running, using this as a spring board/name id improver for another race down the road (maybe even a second run at Andre in 2010)?
Will Tom John and Co. turn out 100% for Campo like they "did" for Elrod?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Most days, all we hear about is out of control spending by Congress or state legislatures.
But this is Indiana.
What? Haven't you heard?
Mitch Daniels has done it again. It seems our Governor has turned a massive deficit into surplus once again.
Can't wait to read JLT's response to this one...
State has $1.4 billion surplus
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 17, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS — The state has ended the latest fiscal year with its third consecutive balanced budget.
State officials closed the books on the fiscal year that ended on June 30 with revenues exceeding spending by about $321 million. That was in part due to spending restraints ordered by Gov. Mitch Daniels that included some agencies not filling vacant positions and delaying some capital projects.
The state ended the year with nearly $600 million in its main checking account. That combined with savings accounts left the state with a budget surplus of about $1.4 billion.
State Auditor Tim Berry said Thursday that Indiana is on firm financial ground, while 29 other states — including the four surrounding Indiana — are facing fiscal woes.
Monday, July 14, 2008
GABRIELLE CAMPO ANNOUNCES BID FOR CONGRESS
Social Worker declares for 7th District race against Andre Carson
INDIANAPOLIS—Social Worker Gabrielle Campo announced her candidacy for Congress in Indiana’s Seventh Congressional District.
“I am proud to announce today that I am a candidate for Congress because, as someone who works for families every day, I know we need a Congressperson who offers real hope for change and truly represent all Hoosier families,” Campo said.
Campo makes her announcement in front of the City Market, a symbol of urban renewal that Campo pledges she would bring to Congress. “The City Market, much like Indianapolis, has a rich history, but in recent times, has been neglected. However, community leaders and local government worked together to enable the City Market experience a new revival. It is the type of collaboration I want to bring to Washington and the type of leadership we need more of in the Seventh District.”
“I am running because I believe this district cannot stand for status quo. I will fight for policies that keep money in your hands, create jobs for your families and improve education for your children. I offer you a new type of leadership; one driven with passion to empower individuals, families, and communities.” Campo said.
Republican Greg Zoeller, fresh from a convention floor win at the Republican state convention, announced last week that Mayor Jon Costas of Valparaiso has not only endorsed his candidacy but will chair his campaign. Yes, the same Jon Costas that Mr. Zoeller beat at the state convention. And in addition the campaign unveiled their new website: Z4AG
Greg Zoeller for Indiana Attorney General
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Once again, the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson opened his mouth, forgetting a camera was running.
In a spot caught on tape by Fox News, Jackson said he wanted to "cut his [Barack Obama's] nuts out" and he accused the fellow Chicagoan of "talking down to black folks" by giving moral lectures to African-Americans.
Yep, that is what he said. Check it out:
A source said Jackson's quotes were picked up by a hot mic before an interview about health care in Fox's Chicago studio last Sunday.
Jackson, of course, spoke with reporters about his comments:
"Well, they were hurtful and wrong, that's the whole point," Jackson said of his words. "And when you make mistakes you should not equivocate. You should be quick to go into offensive and not try to be evasive. And if it was said to him personally or in some public forum it would be even more hurtful. In this case, my error was responding to a question before a live mic. And so when he does hear them they will not be helpful; they will be hurtful. We have a relationship that can survive this."Rev. Jackson Wednesday afternoon issued a formal apology for his remarks.
"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," Jackson said in a statement. "My support for Senator Obama's campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.It gets better...
"My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility.''
Jackson's own son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., released a written statement in which he described his father's recent comments as "ugly rhetoric."
"I'm deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson's reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee -- and I believe the next president of the United States -- contradict his inspiring and courageous career," the younger Jackson said.
The statement goes on to say: "Revered Jackson is my dad and I'll always love him. He should know how hard that I've worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself."
Gotta love the "keep hope alive" drop Junior put in there...
Jesse Jackson: once again, making this blogger's job a bit more easy tonight...
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
From the Post
Visit helps Valparaiso restaurants celebrate Bastille Day
July 8, 2008
By Daniel Human Post-Tribune staff writer
VALPARAISO -- Two Valparaiso restaurateurs are preparing to celebrate Bastille Day, as well as accommodate Mayor Jon Costas and a French delegate Friday for France's national holiday Monday.
Costas and Jean-Baptiste de Boissiere, consul general of France for the Midwest, will dine at Bon Femme Cafe where owner George Nissan will have his second Bastille Day celebration. The pair will then go to Bistro 157, which has partnered with Bon Femme for the celebration.
De Boissiere is France's highest-ranking consul in the Midwest. He has been stationed in Chicago since 2007.
Dennis Hodges, who's served as a liaison for the meeting, said the arrangement could lead to possible commercial opportunities between France and Northwest Indiana.
"I think this is an opportunity for not only Valparaiso, but all of Northwest Indiana, to become more engaged in a global arena, both in terms of culture and commerce," Hodges said. "Now it is a global society as everyone talks about. This is a sign of the 21st century."
Nissan said he began the Bastille Day celebration in Valparaiso last year after seeing its success in Crown Point. "We're a French accent restaurant, and last year we thought that Valparaiso deserves a little upscale happening instead of just the Popcorn Fest," he said.
"The whole thing really started last year when (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy was elected. The year before, I never would have considered it with (Former President Jacques) Chirac."
Wasn't the Mayor in Africa working with orphans a couple years ago? Wasn't he suggesting a potential sister city relationship with a Chinese city that has a working relationship with Valparaiso Universtity?
Monday, July 07, 2008
A public hearing will be held Tuesday for the proposed $120 million train station in Gary. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District wants input about the Adam Benjamin Gateway Station project. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed in 2011.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
Multi-Million Dollar Development Proposed for Downtown Gary
Hearing Set For New Train Station in Gary
The development company Gateway Partners LLC says the plan will replace a current train station with nine-acre development includes a 60,000 square-foot train station, parking garages, retail development and a walkway to a convention center.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. CST at the Christ Baptist Church in the Miller section of Gary.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Participants were putting their finishing touches on their floats. Businesses, individuals and political parties were all working hard to make a great Fourth of July parade. It was then that I glanced over at the democrats float which was right next to us. They were busy tacking up all their candidate’s signs when I spotted one of their candidates putting up two signs on each side of their float. Ditch Mitch! I am curious why they could not just run on their merit why the negative campaigning? Are their candidates so weak that they cannot run on their own merits?
I have to say I was really surprised to see one of Judge Chidester’s volunteers carrying one of these signs. I would think that a judge’s race would be held with more integrity.
I challenge the democrats to run on their own merit instead of negative campaigning. I look forward to a positive campaign season. I think both the Republicans and Democrats should tell us what they can do to improve our lives instead of telling us what the other guy can’t do.
Friday, July 04, 2008
We've all read them time and time again.
But none of us know what is true about what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.
So, instead of dealing with rumors and hearsay, Indy's Hardball has decided to remind everyone of who the 56 men were.
Regardless of the accusations, speculation, and controversy of what actually happened to them, we should all keep in mind that at the moment they committed their name to the document, they knew it could mean their lives were forfeit.
They were basically declaring war on what some would easily argue was at the time the greatest nation on the face of the planet throughout history. The sun did not set on the United Kingdom in the 1700s. At its peak, the UK was greater than the Roman Empire ever was.
These fifty-six men were taking a slingshot like the shepherd David aiming at the giant warrior Goliath, when they signed this petition. At the time they had only their own accumulated resolve, and faith in their God, that what they did that day would mean something. Their names should be remembered.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
We should never forget what these 56 men did for us... especially today.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
From the Republican County Treasurer Jim Murphy is the proposal to "give" money to the cities and towns and municipal entities from the interest being earned on the hospital sale money, this in return for delays in property tax billings the last two years which caused these entities to borrow over and over while they waited for the county to send out tax bills. The caveat being that all would have to agree to implement the 1% cap on property taxes against assessed values immediately instead of waiting for another 18 months. Solid conservative proposal that forces budget tightening now, but smacks a bit of politics since Jim Murphy is running for county commissioner this year. The floating of this proposal put Democrats on the defensive, and scrambling for new proposals.
From the Democrat County Councilman Mike Bucko is the proposal to "loan" money at 2.26% to these cities and municipals ... this idea supporting the fact that the county is not primarily responsible for the tax bill delays, but that the assessment world was complicated by the state. Mr. Bucko suggests that giving money away isn't the best approach for government. The Indiana bond bank will loan at rates similar, so his proposal would match those rates but surely cost less in fees. Again a conservative proposal but one that does not force the municipals to move up the 1% cap, but again is political since Mike Bucko is running for County Treasurer (the job Jim Murphy has now) this year.
Dan Whitten, candidate and current county council member says he'll be bringing another proposal on July 22, with the following quote "It doesn't take into consideration several factors, such as trending and new growth," Whitten said. "These municipalities are telling us -- are estimating -- how much money they'll need to continue spending outside their means and we're supposed to just write them a blank check? I don't agree with handing out checks like Santa Claus." (describing the Murphy Plan)
Now the cities and towns and municipals are awaiting some kind of solution, with many having been pleased about the Murphy Plan, but the county council is 4-3 Democrat so that plan won't make it through unless a Democrat crosses over and sides with the Republicans. From Portage:
PORTAGE | City Council members don't care whose plan is adopted to give them relief from paying interest on loans to keep the city running this year, they just want something done.
City Councilman Ted Uzelac began the discussion at this week's council meeting saying he took exception to comments in a newspaper article this week quoting Porter County Councilman Mike Bucko as saying he was opposed to "just giving away" interest from the proceeds of the sale of Porter hospital. Bucko was promoting his own tax relief plan.
"I don't believe it is giving money away," said Uzelac, adding that the city and its residents are being penalized because property tax bills are continually going out late, causing late collection of tax money and forcing the city to borrow funds that city officials could be using elsewhere to provide services.
"It is through no fault of our own," he said.
Council member Liz Modesto agreed, saying there are apparently three or four plans being proposed at the county level. Porter County Treasurer Jim Murphy also has floated a tax relief plan using the interest earned on hospital sale funds.
"Let them fight it out," she said about which plan should be approved, suggesting the city should draft a letter to the County Council supporting the idea of reimbursing the city for interest paid on loans.
Last year the city paid about $260,000 in interest on loans it has secured because of the late receipt of property tax money.
"We had a meeting a year ago and I mentioned to them that we should use the (hospital sale interest) money and they ignored me. This has been going on for a long time," said City Council President Ed Gottschling, suggesting the plans are being floated now because it is an election year.
Mayor Olga Velazquez said more information on the plans and the issue in general needs to be sought before the council takes any action.
"We need to get more information. The county is pointing (fault) at the state, too," she said, suggesting the council ask the city attorney's office to do some research on the various plans and prepare a report for action at next month's council meeting. Council members agreed to delaying action on supporting any particular plan.