Our states -- and our municipalities -- are in fiscal crisis. They have gotten drunk on revenue from a credit bubble. As the economy deleverages to something sane, state and local revenue is, or has already, collapsed. Education budgets based on property taxes will develop massive holes when assessments reflect 40% drops in housing prices. Examples, from the NYT story above, of how bad it is: (go to full link: Take Fight to the States for rest)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Our states -- and our municipalities -- are in fiscal crisis. They have gotten drunk on revenue from a credit bubble. As the economy deleverages to something sane, state and local revenue is, or has already, collapsed. Education budgets based on property taxes will develop massive holes when assessments reflect 40% drops in housing prices. Examples, from the NYT story above, of how bad it is: (go to full link: Take Fight to the States for rest)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thanks to all of you who read, subscribe, comment, and now even guest author on our site. Happy Thanksgiving and have a great weekend Porter County.
Cities and counties across the state are slashing their budgets and will face even more cuts next year when the HB1001 property tax caps come partially into play. The property tax reforms passed in the 2008 Indiana General Assembly followed tax protests across the state in 2007 that came on the heels of the defeat of more than 40 percent of the state’s incumbent mayors that November. A number of municipalities are also preparing to seek a variety of new local option taxes to make up for some budgetary shortfalls, heeding the advice of Gov. Mitch Daniels, House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long who made that appeal in 2007 in a rare joint statement. The Lake County Council slashed its budget by $15 million on Tuesday night, cutting 112 jobs.
Gary, facing a huge budget shortfall, laid off 15 firefighters on Monday. The cuts are coming later this year after the Department of Local Government Finance extended the budget deadlines to December.
Many of you know that I personally led the search for the PCBA Exec Dir job, as President-elect in 2007, that resulted in the PCBA hiring Chris Lomaka. Chris has done a terrific job, in very trying circumstances. The builders association will have a tough time finding a replacement, especially with home builders going on their second full year of economic woes.
Exerpt from Times article
VALPARAISO | When David Lomaka became CEO of Porter-Starke Services seven years ago, the mental health agency had a budget deficit and significant staff turnover while serving 5,000 clients.
The agency is now profitable, has low staff turnover and serves 8,000 clients.
Lomaka, 48, said the time is right to tackle a new challenge. Lomaka said Tuesday he will leave at the end of January to accept the position of CEO at Directions For Mental Health in Clearwater, Fla.
Lomaka said Directions, which is similar to Porter-Starke in size, is strong in community relations and services, but needs to fortify its finances and business/community partnerships. Lomaka said he enjoys and has had success working on those tasks.
The move will also allow Lomaka to be close to family members who live in Clearwater. It will also provide better opportunities for his 15-year-old son, who plays hockey.
Lomaka's departure means his wife, Christina, who serves as Porter County Builders Association Executive Director, will be leaving her position as well.
Lomaka said he's been heartened by all the positive comments he's received since he announced his departure.
"You don't realize the impact you've had on a community," he said.
Taking over for Lomaka at Porter-Starke -- at least on an interim basis -- will be Rocky Schiralli. Schiralli, a member of the leadership team that has guided Porter-Starke's during its period of improvement, is "the guy that can continue to carry out that message," Lomaka said.
Lomaka said Porter-Starke's board will meet Tuesday to address his successor.
Board president Randall Zromkoski said the board is appreciative of Lomaka's "leadership and dedication for the past seven and a half years." He added the board is confident in the leadership of the organization and that operations will continue smoothly.
Lomaka said his successor will have work to do -- like getting the proposed 8,000-square-foot Portage office built to better serve north county residents. But he leaves knowing much was accomplished -- like opening an inpatient unit, starting a methadone clinic and laying the groundwork for the Portage office -- all the while leaving Porter-Starke in great shape.
"We're really at the top of our game," Lomaka said. "It's a wonderful time for this organization...You want to leave on top."
Monday, November 24, 2008
Myth: Some people are more “Republican” than others. The most prominent overall theme that I noticed from the comments is a general confusion about the historical swing of the political pendulum and how to deal with it. As a seasoned student of political theory, one thing that I know for sure is that, over time, a gradual trending within a political party is inevitable. Whether you agree with it or not, the goal of any political party (excluding single issue parties for the moment) must be to win. If a party does not win, it has no influence in order to accomplish its agenda, and no matter the genius of its ideas, they are moot. In order to enact these ideas, a party must gather a coalition at the beginning of each election cycle. Each time, party leaders are forced to revisit party orthodoxy anew, and decide which and how many concessions are necessary to gather a majority. As the duration of a party’s tenure increases, these concessions become more numerous and more integral, until they begin to compromise the party’s very core values, and the party is usually humiliated in the following election and forced to rebuild. I am confident that this is exactly where we are as a party in this cycle, but lest us forget that “Republicanism” is a constantly moving target.
That being said, there are two main reactions to the unavoidable swing of the pendulum. First, some simply “jump off’ (or stay off) the pendulum as it swings too far out of their comfort zone. This would describe two groups, 1) the extreme Right of the electorate who become apathetic and simply do not show up on Election Day, and 2) the tried and true purists of the third party. These are both phenomena that we as Republicans must address. As we saw in the recent election, when both of these groups do show up to vote, they will still vote for a moderate or progressive Republican candidate, even if they have large discrepancies with the concessions the candidate has decided to make in order to win. This is sometimes why they are unfortunately taken for granted.
Before I continue, and speaking of the third party purists, I would like to address one point I find worth note: ever since we began discussing Ron Paul, the Libertarian viewpoint all but disappeared. Is this a coincidence? Or, is it because Libertarians don’t know what to make of Ron Paul “sell-outs”? Or, are Libertarians simply scared that Paulers will undermine their positions (and ability to criticize from the outside) by actually participating in the political process?
A second reaction to the pendulum swing is to force the pendulum in your preferred direction. This is precisely where the Ron Paul movement fits in. I commend the effort of this faction in its approach. We have not seen such a brisk movement of our base since The Gipper, and we must capture its energy if we are to gain anything. The existing leadership in the Republican Party was startled and reacted by implementing protectionist policies to insulate their positions of power—a very human and predictable (albeit selfish) reaction. If I understand Republicans Rock’s position correctly, she represents this existing leadership that was both startled and threatened by the Ron Paul Movement, and rightly so. Those with a stake in the party who have made continual personal sacrifices of time, money, and effort in order for all of us to succeed need to be commended. Lucrative compensation is not what has lured them, and they deserve to be generously recognized and rewarded for their efforts. No matter our ideals we cannot win without them, and I assure you that Republicans Rock is the foremost of these.
I strongly agree with her regarding Ron Paul secrecy and exclusiveness. I am not sure how common or widespread this is among Paulers now, but on the statewide campaign trail this past primary season, it was at least evident. This organization appeared to function largely underground, they were closely knit, and they barred themselves from communication with the rank-and-file. While this was a strategic necessity, it clearly demonstrated the very essence of a coo. No hard feelings; this is commonplace in politics, and a healthy revolution could prove highly beneficial for our party. So, Paulers—please educate me, I am very curious. Either be clear that this was an attempt at a revolution to take over key leadership positions, or that it was an effort toward the collaborative and open reform of our party. I think evidence suggests that it was the former, but everyone within the Movement universally claims the latter. Please explain this discrepancy.
The paradox that we face is how to both preserve the continuity of the party’s leadership, and still allow fresh air and new ideas in. I think it is fairly certain that if we continue blindly down the path of status quo (motivated by personal protectionism) we will be humiliated in many elections to come. We need a breath of fresh air in leadership arguably more than ever. With this in mind, people, whether they admit it or not, need to feel important and appreciated for their hard work and sacrifice. Otherwise, we will lose their valuable initiative. Anyone with any experience in organizational leadership understands this well.
As I mentioned previously, this is a major factor in the success of the Ron Paul Movement. It was fostered in large part by feelings of disenfranchisement and neglect by the mainstream leadership. They were individuals who felt ignored and marginalized by the neo’s or progressives currently in power. They felt like outsiders, and so naturally they took their ball, went home, and formed a new team. When they came back polished up and ready to play, the leadership was stunned, to say the least. As conservatives, we would be unstoppable if we could somehow form a single team, but there are too many players who all want to feel important, respective coaches who are unwilling to compromise, and very few of us agree on who should play. This is the dilemma.
Again, thank you for all of your wonderful insight, and I encourage you to challenge me and discuss. The two worst things for reform are closed doors and closed minds.
That’s impressive, especially given the short time frame in which Steele has worked to produce this. Check out the entire site, and text your ideas to Steele, too. The next RNC chair has to start thinking out of the box, and Steele looks like he’s ready to perform.
posted at 12:00 pm on November 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Do you have a great new idea for the future of the Republican Party or just think there is room for improvement? Now you can text your ideas directly to Michael Steele. Text Steele to 66937 today!
To send a text simply follow these
steps:1 - Select messages on your cell phone2 - Dial the Short Code 669373 - Enter Message “Steele” and send4 - You will then receive a return message confirming your registration. Just repy back - Y.5 - You are now able to text your ideas to the Steele website. To do that -- Select Message and dial the short code 66937- Start your message with @Steele (and then text in your thoughts)
The Times of Northwest Indiana offers support on its editorial page for not having three people at the county level do a job that one person could do:
Having three county commissioners is like a city having three mayors.
The argument against replacing the three commissioners with a single county executive is that power will be consolidated in one person.
But that’s an argument for a strong two-party system and for the County Council to provide checks and balances, not for three people in that position.
If the county executive is an elected official, the voters could have their say in whether that executive remains in office. And voters can demand the a strong professional criteria be met in the selection process.
This restructuring of county government offers an easy way to bring down the cost of government. Why have three people in a job that one person can do?
The General Assembly should give counties the option to make this change.
Former Mayor Doug Olson had just spent the day watching his daughter play soccer for her college team when his wife, Pat, convinced him they needed to stop by the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce awards dinner on their way home.
They weren't dressed for the occasion, Olson said, but they stopped.
He didn't know then that he'd be one of the honored guests that night at the chamber's annual gala.
"I was surprised, but I was very honored," Olson said after receiving the group's Outstanding Public Citizen award. Source: Times
Former Mayor Doug Olson is 2008 Portage Outstanding Public Citizen, congratulations Doug.
Photo Credit: Congressman Visclosky joins with Sharon Kelley, U.S. Steel Midwest Plant Manager; Doug Olson, Mayor of Portage; and Tom Anderson, Executive Director of the Save the Dunes Council, for the groundbreaking of an open access public beach site in Portage that is part of Congressman Visclosky’s lakefront investment strategy known as the Marquette Plan.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Has anyone read the book yet? I'd love to read a local review, or even have one posted here. A few questions I'd love to pose to Mr. Essany:
Do you intend to run again for local office?
There's a lot of discussion on this site about bailouts and auto, banking, and now even steel industries. What do you think we should be doing?
Catch us up on what you're doing now, besides writing the book of course?
Some have suggested that the Superintendent is able to run the school system with little or no accountability by packing the board with "education" types who will toe the line. Others have suggested that appointments by definition allow very little accountability since they aren't elected and therefore feel no responsibility to the taxpayers directly.
Let's make this an open thread on Valpo Schools governance, what would you prefer? I'll hold my opinions back for commenting after we get the debate going. I know we have readers from a lot of different perspectives right now ... Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, Conservatives, Republicans, and even some elected officials from both parties who read, but never comment for some reason.
Let's hear your perspective on Good Government for Valparaiso's schools, and for that matter, for all the schools in our region.
What should our local leaders and Governor do in your opinion? Let them shut down without saying anything? Offer loans? Bailouts? Postpone property taxes? Buy a bunch of steel or vehicles? Nothing at all? We have $160 million in cash, should it sit on ice while 2,000 or more employees are laid off?
Here's the starter, ready for some lively debate on what could be whole lot more important than our normal political discourse.
BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) _ As many as 2,444 employees at ArcelorMittal's steel plant could be laid off indefinitely in January, the company said.
The company has notified the United Steelworkers and other stakeholders about the possibility of an "indefinite layoff" at the Porter County plant beginning in the second half of January, ArcelorMittal announced Friday.
The recent drop-off in global steel production and the company's previously announced plan to reduce production in North American by 40 percent played into the decision, the company said.
"Potential work force reductions are a direct result of the extraordinary economic environment we are facing, and the company hopes to return workers to their jobs as market conditions warrant," ArcelorMittal said in a statement.
Jim Robinson, director of United Steelworkers District 7, said the union is negotiating with ArcelorMittal to minimize the number of layoffs.
"Any discussion about the ultimate nature of what will happen is premature," Robinson said.
Word of the potential layoffs had spread through the Burns Harbor plant over the past few days, Robinson said.
Union leaders at the international level "certainly knew what was going on," Robinson said. "They see the fact there aren't any orders. We're not making a lot of steel."
The global economic downturn that prompted the cut in steel production calls for action by elected officials, Robinson said.
"They need to step up to the plate and quit worrying about investment bankers and CEOs and start acting on behalf of average, middle-class American workers," Robinson said.
The Burns Harbor plant is located 10 miles east of Gary.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
- Democrats are enthusiastic about their opportunity to retake the White House, to right all our wrongs, and to get us out of the War on Terror. Alas, the stock market is down over 1,000 points since Obama was elected. It's my opinion that the market was already weak and an Obama win just signalled more taxes on capital gains and income that the market really doesn't need.
- At the local level the non-election year of 2009 holds promise for change as well. The Republicans got pretty beat up on election day in both Lake and Porter Counties. Both counties leaned "blue" and the state went for a Democrat President candidate for the first time in many of our lifetimes. We'll see a new Republican chairman in Porter County, Chuck Williams has already announced he is not seeking re-election ... and if I had to guess a new chairman in Lake County too.
- This site has featured some lively debates from many conservative wings: Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, Republicans from the inside, and Republicans hoping some change will mean some new approaches.
- On Porter County specifically the issue of the RDA was raised by none other than GOP Chair Chuck Williams. Should we keep sending in $3.5 million a year? What are we getting for our investment? Did back to back Democrat landslides mean that Porter County residents have voted against the RDA?
Joel Ferguson is the organizer for the Lake County Republican Paulers meetup. I asked Mr. Ferguson to comment, and his comment was lengthy enough that I felt it merited a full post so you could all stay in the conversation. Please read through all four posts and comment on any one of them.
I would like to say I was asked to comment by Mr. Dalton and as always, when I comment on anything local, I do identify myself for I have nothing to hide.
I am Joel Ferguson, current organizer for the Lake County Republican Paulers meetup at meetup.com and the Organizer for the Lake County Republican Party meetup at meetup.com.
I would like to dispel the myth that the word Libertarian and conservative do not go hand in hand, rather they very much do.
I've always been taught and applied the philosophy of when there is an elephant in the room, introduce it, pun intended.
Elephant = Ron Paul
Through not fault of anybodies, Ron Paul has become that "elephant" in the room. We can all sit around and speculate as to why he is now that elephant, but from my own personal perspective the real reason is he embraces almost to a Tee what Ron Reagen was originally all about. What Ron Reagen was elected for in 1980. The only difference between what is described as a "neo-conservative" and a Ron Paul conservative is that we embrace the ideological philosophy of what the Party used to stand for in foreign policy. Even when the Federal Reserve took hold in 1913, it never sat well with the base and realistically, it still shouldn't. Only through years of indoctrination has the "base" accepted the Federal Reserve as a status quo fact of matter.
Is the above article insulting as suggested by another commenter? Yes, for it still embraces the "Draconian" ideal that we are not Republicans, which in turn, turns off the enthusiasm, excitement and hard working individual sovereigns that our party does need and requires for future growth and prosperity.
Problem = Republicans or conservatives by nature are not loud individuals for we all like to be left alone and generally keep to ourselves. On the other hand, Democrats or socialists are loud for they carry the promise of a "better life" for the poor and hard working and by there nature they are loud, for they have to be... for their message is nothing but a lie.
We all know that it is a flat out lie, but we as conservative fail miserably at explaining why and thus fail with the electorate in large populated cities which for the most part can and do swing elections for the evil (and i mean in every sense of the word) socialists. Not every socialist is evil, but the ones in power truly are for they are educated and should know better.
Ron Reagan said it best:
If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.
The fact that I have been scorned by my own party is insulting. When I was younger, I walked in and pushed the Republican button and walked out never knowing why I did that other than I was raised that way. As I got older, I began an exploration as to why I am conservative and what is at the heart of being conservative. Obviously, my exploration led me to Libertarianism.
Libertarians are scorned by the Party since their break away in 1972. If you go to the Cato Institute, they have polling data that indicates Libertarians not only vote overwhelmingly Republican, but at the same time they will also vote Democrat and when they do, they swing elections. Their polling data shows that 15% of the nation can be identified as Libertarian and which ever way that base swings, decides elections.
Libertarianism is at the heart and soul of being a conservative. To deny that is to deny the foundation of what it means to be Republican. If the Cato Institutes polling data is correct, and I suspect that the actual number is relatively conservative, why would Republicans choose to ignore, isolate, condemn, ridicule and scorn this most important base? The base that wins them elections. The base at the heart and soul is conservative.
Solution = The "elephant" has arrived but will the Republicans build a door wide enough for him to fit through?
Ron Paul did something that no other Republican has been able to do so since Ron Reagan or Barry Goldwater. He made the quite, little meek voices of Libertarian thinking individuals, the ones that swing elections, get loud and the Party scorned, ridiculed or flat out ignored that base.
Lets face it, and I did vote for McCain against my better judgment, McCain lost that election for one reason, he ignored that base and voted, promoted and became a cheerleader for the bailout, the one issue that would have more than likely swung that base to him.
Every so often that base swings the wrong way, attempting to remind Republicans that they are important, yet will room for the elephant be made or am I and other like me just "crazy" and are that out of touch with reality.
Obviously, I would beg to differ and suggest that Neo-Republicans are the ones out of touch with Reality for if they continue to ignore that base, we are in real trouble as a party.
Republicans are going through a phase of self examination, but I fear that they will not understand or identify their root problem which has become the biggest oxymoron of our generation, social conservatism.
Another Quote by Ron Reagan when he was asked why he had left the Democrat Party:
"I did not leave the Democrat Party, the party left me"
Thus, your base is feeling in mass numbers and has been so for the last four years for Republicans are not embracing that which has made them successful:
Humble Foreign Policy
& a True Understanding of the Blessings of Civil Liberties or the essence of Freedom which is what made this country the once envy of the modern world.
For years, we have been wrong in calling Democrats Liberals. They are not Liberals they are socialists and Republicans are the true Liberals in every sense of the word. If we fail to embrace that, then we fail to embrace the true essence of conservatism and are doomed to the moronic expression of social conservatism, that which has brought destruction to our Party.
Article facts that are wrong:
"They disguised themselves as Republicans..." ~ my friend, that is perhaps the most insulting statement in the blog, we are Republicans, and that is the greatest mistake the Party is making.
"... and used their procedural expertise to amend party rules in many states to allow open nominations from convention floors, so they could then, in turn, nominate Ron Paul insiders as state or national delegates." ~ Truth of the matter is that the State Party in violation of their own rules regarding rule changes, changed the rules 48 hours before the convention to prevent nomination from the floor. I was an "insider" so to speak. We navigated many options including seeking an injunction, but decided for the future of our involvement with the party, it was better to play "nice" and by the rules, perhaps that was a mistake since obviously the party at the top doesn't know how to play nice. No Gold Star for them. At any rate, this sets bad precedence and shame on them for we did not even have the numbers to make the noise needed to have any affect on the nomination process. WE played by the rules, why couldn't they? It is a terrible shame Nevada never got sat at the RNC.
"He invented the concept of the “moneybomb,"...” ~ no the grassroots movement invented that and to be specific, an individual supporter invented it.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I would like to first of all thank you for your thoughtful insight and articulate defense of Ron Paul. Your criticisms are fair, detailed, and well informed, and I will try to form an appropriate response. I think the issues we are discussing here are personal and can get heated; for that reason, I am encouraged that people like you and I are taking the discussion to a new level. I will try and address the points you made in chronological order.
First, I wrote that post from a marketing and strategic perspective, because (sadly) history has told us that the American people respond to effective marketing markedly more than they respond to ideology or actual differences in political ideas. That is not to be said for anomalies like you and I as well as political advocates in general. A vast majority of us have at least a basic understanding of the major issues, and choose our affiliations and fairly accurately cast our votes based upon our beliefs. What I think is a clear message from this past election, however, is that this could not be less true for the average American. That being said, I did not intend to dismiss Ron Paul’s supporters as blind cult followers, but as exceptions to this general rule. What you have to remember, is that for every you or I, there are roughly 10,000 Americans from the other category. This is a grave weakness in our democracy that I would love to discuss in more detail, but again, it is an entirely separate discussion.
Second, I honestly do believe that some—but certainly not all—of Ron Paul’s views are out of touch with the mainstream, most namely in the realm of foreign policy. For instance, Ron Paul advocates a particular brand of extreme isolationism. During his tenure in Congress as well as the proposed platform for his presidency call for withdrawing from all international organizations, the United Nations, NATO, the World Trade Organization, and others. He also advocates a rapid and sudden troop withdrawal from Iraq. While I do not have the time or space to address the merits of these arguments, some of which I find entirely legitimate and agree with, the American people 1) fail to understand the implications for the United States and our young men and women overseas, and 2) adamantly oppose such sudden shifts that would undermine almost a century of foreign policy. The drastic nature of such a proposal is exactly why I used the term “draconian.” I, and a majority of the American people, find such measures to be extreme.
The same applies to his attitude toward Washington and the Executive Branch. A radical elimination of a majority of agencies, although worth legitimate discussion, is extreme. These agencies are the backbone of what the American public understands as government, and a sudden elimination would instill fear in many voters, from liberal to moderately conservative. For this reason, such change must be continuous and gradual. I could not agree more (hence my poke at neo’s) that spending in Washington is out of control and the red tape in overlapping agencies is a gross waste of the people’s tax dollars. I, as most polls suggest of the American people, am much more comfortable with incremental change.
As far as Ron Paul’s predictions, I agree with you that they have been spot on so far. Ron Paul is an extremely bright man, and understands economics very well. Not all of his predictions have fully materialized yet, but we are definitely seeing things quickly head in that direction. I personally believe that in any quasi-free market economy that temporary periods of recession are not only inevitable, but necessary for a healthy market in the long term. And just like the era that you mentioned preceding the Great Depression, the government’s hands are certainly not clean. There are many economic changes that need to be made, and probably at a quicker pace than usual. I am not dismissing Ron Paul’s ideas as possible solutions out of the current dilemma(s).
What you and I agree most upon is the Constitution. I definitely do not include this in the list of Ron Paul ideas that I would call extreme. I am an aspiring lawyer and I read constitutional opinions almost every day. I even get upset with our favorite Justice, Justice Antonin Scalia, when he makes an exception to his steadfast commitment to originalism, strict constructionism, and judicial restraint. I am adamantly opposed and outspoken against judges legislating from the bench and forming social policy based upon sympathy for particular litigants. I believe it is not only undemocratic, but a violation of what our forefathers agreed to on our behalf. And—this is a point which I believe has the potential for great success among the electorate. Who would possibly oppose upholding the Constitution when asked this question?
I think our biggest point of contention is over the Patriot Act and the War on Terror. Well, as a United States Marine who swore to protect this country, I was forced to travel to a foreign land and carry out this promise under the sacrifice of my own liberty. I have seen what they have to offer firsthand, and I assure you that the United States is in grave danger. These terrorists don’t just hate our government; they hate each and every one of us with utmost passion. Their goal is not to send us a message. Their goal is to exterminate each and every one of us, military and civilian alike. Unfortunately, these enemies live abroad as well as within our borders, as immigrants, legal permanent residents, and yes, even as citizens. We receive tens of thousands of (credible) threats upon our national security every single day, and without the flexibility to pursue these individuals, we are all at risk. Plans thwarted as a result of the Patriot Act make September 11, 2001 look like a minor car accident. Balancing life and liberty is the toughest thing in any democracy to do, and we must constantly have this debate if we are to remain alive and free.
While you and I can debate the finer points, I believe we are going to see things get far worse before they get better in the foreseeable future. I think it is fairly clear that Barack Obama (especially with healthy democrat majorities in both houses) plans to emulate FDR in implementing a socialist agenda to attempt to pull us from this economic crisis. As well, his inexperience is beginning to reveal itself in early statements about foreign policy, and my brethren will likely be spread yet thinner as they are burdened with even greater objectives throughout the world. If we are to prevent such socialist ideas from becoming reality, we have to decide whether the differences outweigh the similarities across the spectrum of our party and our ideology. Choosing our battles and timing them carefully is the unity and coordination that we need to succeed and defeat the liberal agenda. Continuing to squabble internally among the various factions within our party will ensure democrat dominance for as long as we continue down that path of division and isolation from one another.
First, let me thank all our regular readers, can't say that I know how many of you there are, but we do now feature close to 100 RSS subscribers. If you read here often, then add our RSS feed to your readers. Here's the RSS link to make it easy. If you need an easy step by step tutorial on how to set up a google reader, go to First time setting up Google Reader.
We also feature some new and growing active writers here on the the site. During the first two years of writing we focused primarily on Republican issues in the county and state. We felt it was important to widen the diversity and debates, and thus invited the chairman of the Libertarian Party, a few Ron Paul supporters, and still searching for a couple Democrats to join us here. We did endorse Mike Bucko, a Democrat running for County Treasurer, in 2008 as well as Pete Visclosky in support of his vote against the bailout bill. In the future with so many different writers we probably won't be able to endorse as a group, but the growth of debate and interaction here has been marvelous.
If you are interested in writing, leave a comment. If you are a regular reader but don't comment, please join in and comment by using the comment link just under each post. If you do comment, but use anonymous as your name, please sign up for a profile name on blogger (easy to do) so we can get to know you. Thanks again for making us the most active political blog in Northern Indiana, and last week's #4 most active blog in the state on Blog Net News!
"I found this article interesting from a marketing perspective, but from a political and ideological standpoint it is insulting. You said:
"... although many of Ron Paul’s positions are out of touch with mainstream America to say the least, he was still able to sell this message to people of many political persuasions, most of whom felt disenfranchised or left out of politics altogether. However draconian his words may have been, they captivated people."
This dismisses everything he and his followers stood for as foolish, completely disregarding the reality that his followers had such success because they believe in his political message -- because it is the only differing political voice on the scene. He stands for the Constitution - Republicans and Democrats should try that some time.
As of yet, both parties have failed to produce even one candidate (besides Paul) who upholds the Constitution. That's why people are listening, not because of his personality cult. Sure some jumped on the popularity bandwagon, that's why Obama won, but a majority of Paul's followers faced scorn even from within their own party - he was not a popular candidate to support.
Remember Dr. Paul predicted this financial crisis years ago and has continued to be the only real "conservative" candidate, supporting less government and less spending.
Ron Paul said that if we continued to run our economy on runaway government spending, endless amounts of debt and the insanity of letting the Federal Reserve control our currency then eventually the United States economy would crash.
Did that not happen?
But neither party is seeking to end this orgy of debt. Instead both parties pushed the "Wall Street bailout" and both parties want to spend even more money.
Ron Paul said that the United States cannot police the world. If we bomb countries, invade countries and torture everyone in sight then people around the world are going to hate America.
Did that not happen?
But neither party is seeking to end the wars. Instead Obama is promising to keep troops in Iraq for at least 18 more months, and he is promising to send a lot more troops to Afghanistan and he has talked about how we may need to send troops into Pakistan and Sudan.
Ron Paul said that if we passed the "Patriot Act" and these other fascist police state pieces of legislation that we would lose our individual liberties.
Did that not happen?
But neither party is taking any action to repeal the Patriot Act.
"The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is." -Ronald Reagan (1975)
When will people start listening to Ron Paul?
Ron Paul recently appeared on FOX News with Neil Cavuto to discuss the latest bailout package.
The following are a few key quotes from that interview:
"When companies get too big and make mistakes they should fail."
"We’re propping up all the bad mistakes."
"Governments can’t make the correct decisions. They aren’t smart enough."
"This whole idea that Washington are geniuses… that they can do central economic planning. In this country we don’t call it socialism, we call it interventionism and a planned economy."
Watch this interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnrA6ewaZrw
But is anyone listening?
Obama and his advisors seem determined to take us even further down the road of big government, big spending, bailouts and socialism.
So is there any hope for the future?
What we could really use is a reformed Republican Party led by Ron Paul that would embrace a platform of smaller government, less taxation, abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning our individual freedoms and liberties and protecting our nation's borders and sovereignty.
Here is an excerpt from Congressman Ron Paul's latest "weekly straight talk":
"We will face more tough economic problems during this new administration. In fact, the worst is yet to come. A vast amount of problematic mortgages have not begun to reset their variable interest rates and go into default. We already have unprecedented deficits, spending is out of control, and more big industries are coming to government with their hands out. My hope is that this administration will handle this economic crisis better than the interventionists and big government spenders of the 1930’s, the bureaucrats that prolonged the Depression. I hope that new government programs and spiderwebs of red tape do not pop up to interfere with American productivity, and that we can quickly get our financial footing again. We have to understand that an economic correction needs to take place and the only way out of the coming recession is to go through it. Efforts to avoid it can only prolong it. I hope we can somehow find our way back to sound money and reject corporate cronyism".
If the American people will just wake up then perhaps the movement that Ron Paul has begun can give us hope for the future!"
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Although he did not win either the presidency or the Party’s nomination for president, Ron Paul was highly successful in many respects—which as it happens are the very places the Republican Party needs the most work. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I believe the GOP is in need of, among other things, urgency, energy, and appeal. Ron Paul in his run for president in 2008 provided at least a glimpse of where Republicans should go as we dramatically rebuild and reform our party.
In this past election cycle, Ron Paul and his Libertarian supporters frustrated mainstream Republicans to no end. Ron Paul’s ardent followers obstructed party activities at the local and county level, at state conventions, and they even had a significant influence upon on the national party. This past June I watched from the Indiana Republican State Convention floor and in various caucus rooms as "paulistas" cast their votes in faithfully united blocks. Thanks to their leader, they were also well-schooled in Robert’s Rules and the typical organization of state party rules. They disguised themselves as Republicans, and used their procedural expertise to amend party rules in many states to allow open nominations from convention floors, so they could then, in turn, nominate Ron Paul insiders as state or national delegates. While all of this is extremely aggravating for traditional Republicans, there is much we can learn from their success.
First, although many of Ron Paul’s positions are out of touch with mainstream America to say the least, he was still able to sell this message to people of many political persuasions, most of whom felt disenfranchised or left out of politics altogether. However draconian his words may have been, they captivated people. For instance, the campaign masterfully coined “revolution” in the call to the movement, igniting a fire in the hearts and minds of many followers. He also authored a “manifesto” that included an outline of his beliefs as well as a step-by-step guide to change history, and gave away copies to faithful volunteers in exchange for their support. This is precisely the type of urgency that we currently lack as Republicans.
Second, Ron Paul’s campaign shattered new ground in national politics by making his “revolution” into a hyper-Internet fundraising spectacle. He utilized MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube like never before to ignite an enormous grassroots infusion. He invented the concept of the “moneybomb,” which consists of a single day of fundraising rallied around a particularly historical event with the snowballing publicity of a plethora of media. Publishing the results in real time on the Internet fueled the mass media's interest, and he was able to reach an unprecedented number of supporters in a short burst of activity. He was able to net over $6 Million and $4.5 Million from more than 50,000 donors each at his two most successful events, respectively setting and breaking his own record for the most money raised in a single day by any candidate.
While I would attribute a large portion of Ron Paul’s success to the intense discontentment with spendthrift neo-conservatives over the past decade, as well as a common weariness about politics as usual, there are valuable lessons we must learn if we are to be successful going forward. For Republicans, this means a complete rethinking and retooling of our entire playbook. Libertarians, on the other hand, witnessed that staging a revolution from within the Republican Party is not only possible, but perhaps the most effective way of accomplishing their goals, instead of continuing a separate—and some might say futile—existence as a third party in a two party system.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
FORD CEO ALAN MULALLY TESTIFIES ON CAPITOL HILL
"Thank you Mr. Chairman, Senator Shelby and members of the Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to be here representing the Ford Motor Company. As you know, the auto industry has been heavily affected by the turmoil in the financial markets. Much of the recent commentary has suggested that our companies "need a new business model." I completely agree.
In fact, we at Ford are well on our way to transforming our company and building a new Ford that has a very bright future.
There are two fundamental questions today:
First, is there a competitive and sustainable future for our domestic automotive industry?
Second, is the provision of government assistance to help bridge the domestic auto industry through these difficult economic times more favorable to our nation than the costs of inaction?
I believe the answer to both is "yes."
As a relative newcomer to this industry, I have the benefit of seeing the auto business and its transformation clearly. I see parallels with what I witnessed at Boeing after the nine-eleven tragedy and the steps we took to transform commercial airplane business. I can tell you that the transformation at Ford is even more aggressive, and the progress we are making is remarkable.
Our plan for the past two years has been consistent:
Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current lower demand and the changing model mix
Accelerate the development of safe, fuel-efficient, high-quality new products that customers want and value
Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet
And work together as one team, leveraging our global assets
Our goal is to create a viable Ford Motor Company and a lean global enterprise delivering profitable growth for all.
Few companies have restructured more aggressively. We have taken out excess capacity, closing 17 plants and reducing our work force by 51,000 employees. We negotiated a new contract with the UAW to improve our competitiveness. We shifted to a balanced product lineup offering high quality, proven safety and good value. We are delivering the best or among the best fuel economy with every new vehicle.
The speed and breadth of our transformation is evident by actions just this week alone:
Tomorrow at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we will introduce two all-new hybrids. Our new Ford Fusion Hybrid beats the Toyota Camry Hybrid by at least six miles per gallon.
Today, we are submitting our application for direct loans, authorized by Congress last year, to help us speed advanced technologies and vehicles to market.
On Friday, we end large SUV production at our Michigan Truck Plant and begin converting to fuel-efficient small car production.
To fund our new products and restructuring, we went to the capital markets early and divested non-core assets. In addition, our Ford Credit business has consolidated abroad to preserve capital in support of our U.S. consumers and dealers. We appreciate the recently introduced asset-backed commercial paper funding facility, and anxiously await the Administration's term securitization facility. In the same way, the FDIC's approval of Ford Credit's pending industrial loan bank application will enable us to meet the financial needs of our dealers and our retail customers.
As a result of all of our actions, we were profitable in the first quarter of this year and well on our way to sustainable profitability before the economic and credit crisis hit. We have taken decisive action to deal with this new reality. We have cut production. We have further reduced employment. We have eliminated raises and bonuses for 2009.
We took these measures while protecting the new vehicles that will secure our future.
Now, we believe we must join our competitors in asking for your support to gain access to an industry bridge loan that will help us navigate through this difficult economic crisis. We suggest the loans be structured in a revolving format, so exposure to the taxpayer would be limited – and, if used, would be repaid with interest.
We at Ford are hopeful that we have enough liquidity. But we also must prepare ourselves for the prospect of further deteriorating economic conditions in 2009. The domestic auto industry is highly interdependent. A collapse of one of our competitors would not only affect Ford and our transformation plan, but would have a devastating ripple effect across the economy.
I am more convinced than ever that we have the right plan to transform Ford. With your help, we will create a safeguard to deal with the growing economic uncertainty, while all of us at Ford continue to deliver on our plan to create a thriving auto business for the benefit of all of us.
"Reporting on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new program to reduce monthly mortgage payments for those people who have missed at least 90 days worth of payments, The San Francisco Chronicle’s Kathleen Pender reports:
That isn't the intention, but as the adage says the good intentions aren't always the best recipe for solutions that work. I have posted liberally on my Northwest Indiana Real Estate site that the key to the entire economy is housing, what we need most are more buyers. Fixing old mortgages won't fix this economy.
Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, predicts that many homeowners who have little or no equity will stop paying their mortgage and then reduce their income to get the biggest payment cut possible. They could stop working overtime or, if two spouses work, one could quit. After the modification, they could try to boost their income again.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Schiff says. “People are going to feel like complete morons if they don’t participate. The people getting punished are the ones who never made an irresponsible decision to buy a house they couldn’t afford.”
Some things that need to happen to encourage more buyers, in my opinion:
- Reinstate the FHA down payment assistance program that President Bush and Congress eliminated foolishly this summer. This program uses "zero" government dollars, the down payment help comes from the seller's funds.
- Encourage home buying by offering a substantial tax credit to anyone who buys a home in 2009 ... anyone, not just first time home buyers, not just owner occupied, anyone
- Drop the mark to market rules that are destroying the bond market for mortgages and causing interest rates to be above 6% even while sales are low. Supply and demand would drive rates down to 5% if this rule was removed, or modified to a three year average
- Local and State governments should look to buy actual homes, not the mortgages, the homes themselves. If thousands of local and state governments worked together to buy homes, the inventories would drop.
Monday, November 17, 2008
While Democrats seem to hold a monopoly over solving this actual or perceived problem, let us for a moment visit the reality of it. First, let’s remember that the green movement is an industry, just like any other. Contrary to popular myth, the green movement is no longer about a protestation of authority and reliving your nostalgic 1960’s free love childhood. Green lobbyists are just like any others. They are typical yuppie Washington insider, suit-and-tie-wearing, white collar trust fund kids. They cut deals, manipulate legislators, and at the end of the day drive their gas-guzzling SUV’s back to their upscale D.C. apartments. The truth is, there is money to be made here, and the PACs behind theses causes are no less self-interested than any of their counterparts in the faction business.
The Democratic Party has simply been effective in maintaining exclusive access to these “clean”, “uncorrupted” green dollars for more than a decade, and as well in molding public opinion to preserve the notion that this cause remains entirely symbiotic and free of the usual Washington tricks and dirt.
That being said, as Republicans we cannot change what the public perceives, true or not. What I believe we can do, however, is match the Democrats’ effort with our own, keeping with the traditions of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and fostering a free market economy.
Consider a different alternative to a larger, bulkier governmental bureaucracy. Accomplishing environmental goals through governmental regulation alone makes about as much sense as imposing rules upon consumers patronizing your business; they will simply go elsewhere. I think we have utilized the “stick” method for far too long in this country with far too few results. If you haven’t visited Title 42 of the U.S. Code lately, the environmental regulation sections are unmanageable, to say the least. It is no wonder that companies are fleeing the U.S. In a global economy, excessive regulation sends business overseas. Period. What we need are more aggressive tax incentives for businesses who desire to innovate and make their process cleaner and more efficient, instead of more regulations and more government. Who better to head this initiative than the Party who prides itself on creating a pro-business environment to inspire investment and create jobs?
I think we had better strike this while the iron is still hot, and capitalize on the momentum this movement has already gained with the Left. This would be a great rally cry—especially to America’s youth—and it would take at least some of the wind out of the unassailable Democrats on this issue.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
While reading a post by Robert Reich tonite it occurred to me that 2009 will feature a battle of epic proportions, with the now styled Mini-Depression at center stage.
On the one side economists and the Democrat Congress, demanding quick action to drastically increase government spending on infrastructure, roads, highways and rail to create jobs and pump money into consumer's hands.
"First, understand that the main problem right now is not the supply of credit. Yes, Wall Street is paralyzed at the moment because the bursting of the housing and other asset bubbles means that lenders are fearful that creditors won't repay loans. But even if credit were flowing, those loans wouldn't save jobs ...This means bailing out Wall Street or the auto industry or the insurance industry or the housing industry may at most help satisfy creditors for a time and put off the day of reckoning, but industry bailouts won't reverse the downward cycle of job losses."
Ok, so far we agree, which is hard to believe since Reich comes from so far away to get even here. Now from my perspective he shows his true big government colors:
So the crucial questions become (1) how much will the government have to spend to get the economy back on track? and (2) what sort of spending will have the biggest impact on jobs and incomes?
The answer to the first question is "a lot." Given the magnitude of the mess and the amount of underutilized capacity in the economy-- people who are or will soon be unemployed, those who are underemployed, factories shuttered, offices empty, trucks and containers idled -- government may have to spend $600 or $700 billion next year to reverse the downward cycle we're in.
No, that isn't the only option. The biggest job creators are small businesses, who are being taxed and regulated into oblivion by the very big government that is now wanting to increase taxes to throw more money at the old business models that are cutting employees.
How about a totally different approach:
- Eliminate capital gains taxes - giving an immediate boost to stock prices
- Reinvigorate FHA and Homeownership Society concepts, we don't need to bailout bond holders who bought foolish sub-prime backed securities, we need to encourage home buyers to buy the inventory sitting in our communities. What we need are more buyers, and now. Did you know that right when we most needed buyers for homes this summer that President Bush and Congress eliminated one program that used "zero" government dollars to let buyers purchase with no money down? Why? because it made them all think they were "regulating away" risk. We need buyers now!
- Eliminate "mark to market" so that assets aren't being brutalized during this mini-depression.
- Stop the $700 Billion bailout, Paulson is already changing the plan, and it's too dangerous going into the new administration to allow Treasury unfettered ability to spend money on whatever they want.
- Where Reich is calling for $800 billion or more to build highways and bridges, much of this is already in numerous spending bills and merely marooned by regulations, red tape, and environmental largess ... call for a regulatory halt while we unwind our national economic crisis.
- Make insurance and healthcare expenditures tax deductible for all businesses and entrepreneurs. Give tax incentives to banks for loaning lines of credit to small businesses under $1,000,000. Don't go all regulatory like CRA on this, they can choose to pay less taxes or pay what they're paying now, get this "big daddy government" thing out of your heads.
- Lastly, remember the post 9-11 boom of SUV buyers, mainly because businesses were allowed to write off these purchases in full? Do the same for 2009 ... any automobile purchased in 2009 under $100,000 should be allowed a 100% write off to the business. This will create buyers, we need buyers.
Now .. That's Change. Change you can believe in. Change that creates jobs. Change that sells houses and cars. Change that gets banks to lend again or get out of the way.
Mary Harper, the judge presiding has decided she won't recuse herself, even though her ex-husband is one of the defendants as County Commissioner. Also County Commissioner Evan's wife works for the hospital. This is a mess ... a perfect example of why it would be nice to have a county administrator (elected). Even if Judge Harper rules, the conflicts may be a set up for appeals and more appeals. Anyone know who's paying all the legal fees for the land owners?
From the Post-Tribune:
The corporation that now owns Porter hospital can legally join a lawsuit brought against Porter County officials by the Liberty Landowners Association.
Judge Mary Harper also will not recuse herself from the case because her ex-husband, County Commissioner Robert Harper, is one of the defendants in the case.
Judge Harper made those determinations Friday morning in the case where the landowners association is suing the county commissioners for rezoning land northwest of the intersection of Indiana 49 and U.S. 6 so that Porter hospital can build a new facility.
However, the legal wrangling before the final hearing still isn't over.
Finally, after a long year of property tax reforms proposed by Governor Daniels and passed by the legislature, then assessments (under the new trending market based system) and the elimination of most township assessors ... a lot of reform in one year. Property Tax Rates.
Rates are down and are bills will be capped going forward at the local level, at least under current law. There are rumors that Democrats want to revise this law in the upcoming session to help some Lake County municipalities.
From the Chesterton Tribune, who incidentally have done a marvelous job covering this story ... including catching an error in the DLGF rates released a day ago, and calling in the error in time for DLGF to correct and re-issue.
As expected, Porter County homeowners will get a break -- and for some, a pretty sizeable one at that -- on their final 2008 property tax bills.
The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance has re-issued the 2008 budget order for Porter County’s taxing units. The order finalizes this year’s budgets and sets the rates that county officials will use to issue this year’s final property tax bills, which are expected to go out by early December.
Tax rates are going down in most taxing districts. For example, the total rate for Chesterton in Westchester Township has been set at 2.57, compared to 2.59 last year.
The announcement below is for a meeting in January. For those of you that will fly off the handle for a non-Republican on this site, get over it please. Republicans don't have all the answers and have shown in the last couple years a great ability to lose elections ... time to infuse some ideas, some debate, some web 2.0 networking, some discourse ...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"DANIELS SEES GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD: In Washington to accept an award, Gov. Mitch Daniels said that with an auto-industry rescue plan, Congress is “in very serious danger of sending good money after bad.” He noted that although the auto industry is a significant portion of Indiana’s manufacturing base, more Hoosiers work in the Honda and Toyota assembly plants than in the plants of U.S. automakers. Daniels said it would be “terribly sad” if GM went bankrupt, “but throwing taxpayer money at it won’t make it work.” (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)"
Rep, Mike Pence:
"Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, said he’s not an absolute “no” on a proposal to help the industry, “but I don’t believe we can bail our way out of a failing economy.” He said he would listen to the argument for a loan to GM, Ford and Chrysler, but he is “very hesitant” to use any of the $700 billion financial-sector rescue money to help the auto industry."
"The wave of $2-a-gallon gasoline that has been sweeping across the country finally hit Northwest Indiana.
Mohammed Shad, whose family has owned the Speed Mart at Indiana 130 and Indiana 149 west of Valparaiso for five years, said he lowered the price for regular grade gas at the convenience store outlet to $1.99 at 6 p.m. Tuesday night after seeing the market continue to slide downward from $60 a barrel this week."
There are actually two gas stations, the one above and the Family Express station at 130 and Tower Road, in a gas price war driving prices about 15 cents lower than surrounding areas. Next we get to the most worrisome part:
Evelyn Murchek of Portage said she was driving by when she spotted the sign and turned in for a fill-up that was 14 cents a gallon cheaper than her last one.
"At first I thought it was the price for E-85. It probably has something to do with Obama," she said.
What? Are you serious? That's absolute hogwash. If anything the price drop on a gallon of gas is 80% the economic recession, and 20% the implicit threat from the Republican Congress that they will push again this year for more oil drilling domestically. Remember the #dontgo movement during the summer? Speaker Pelosi sent Congress home without voting on oil drilling, so the Republicans stayed in the dark with no microphones or media coverage and kept debating the issue to demand that Congress return.
Barack Obama may have a lot to do with positive feelings for some, but he has absolutely nothing to do with gasoline dropping under $2.00 ... If anything his environmental policies and ideas will push oil right back up to over $100 soon. And by the way, gas prices have been under $2.00 in lots of states for weeks ... Indiana especially NW Indiana is late to drop because of foolish EPA rules that make us make special gasoline for our area, which costs more.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I would like to address one point that I have not heard discussed at any great length. The Obama Campaign masterfully planned and executed a massive, nationwide grassroots campaign to young people, and there is much to learn from its success. Republicans watched in awe and disbelief this season as crowds of youths from around the country gathered and pledged their time and money. As an amateur campaigner, you begin to understand that 18-24 year-olds are an absolutely invaluable resource in politics. They are the age group that will literally make the difference between winning and losing. They will make phone calls, walk door-to-door, walk in parades, and spread the word through their extensive personal networks. Without this presence, campaigns are forced to rely solely on impersonal and costly direct mailings, television and radio ads. Not only can they reduce the astronomical expense associated with media, young people provide a dramatically more effective way to reach people in their everyday lives.
While seemingly limitless resources make such a massive grassroots campaign possible in the first place, we must still ask the question, “How was Barack Obama so effective at reaching young people?” I believe this question can be mostly answered in three main points:
1. Message. The message of the Democratic Party was one of energy, youth, and exuberance. The message for “change” is an old political adage that is tirelessly used in times of perceived national distress or when leadership is unpopular. But, most of these young people heard it for the first time in this election cycle. It was simple, effective, and finely targeted. Many college-age or younger people echoed the mantra and eagerly convinced others to do the same. Republicans failed to put together a response to this effective message. The GOP attempted to capitalize on Obama’s momentum by borrowing a phrase of change here and there, but this was lost absent a clear and distinct difference between the status quo and what McCain would have been as president. The remainder of its message consisted of isolated character attacks and convoluted insider economic language; a far cry from the hearts and minds of America’s youth.
2. Ideal and Appeal. It is obvious that Barack Obama from the very beginning had a distinct advantage among young people simply by being twenty five years younger than his aging opponent. His charisma and zeal clearly reflected this difference, and his hopeful message and attitude reinforced it as well, making him extremely attractive to this demographic.
3. Historical Presence. Among young people that I encountered on the campaign trail, almost all of them felt as though they were part of a magnificent milestone in electing the first African American president. Although the racial sector was mobilized like we haven’t seen since the Civil Rights Movement, this activism clearly transcended race, color, and religion. The Campaign was able to unite a support network consisting of vast racial, socio-economic, geographic, and even political diversity. (Yes, sadly, the Obama Campaign was even able to capture a significant cross-section of budding conservatives.)
So, what can be said for all of this? Conservatives have not had any significant youth response since the Reagan Campaign in 1980, and the Republican leadership has been searching for an answer ever since. Many even worry that over time, the Republican Party will become extinct due to a lack of young conservatives to pass the torch on to.
While I believe this worry is not entirely without merit, in this region this past election season I was fortunate to see a highly energized and active bunch of conservatives at an uncharacteristic age. As well, I was an undergrad somewhat recently, and I am convinced that conservative ideas are alive and well among this age group. Despite an absence of conservative ideas by professors in the classroom—often even a general hostility toward them—there are many closet conservative students of this bracket across the country that I am confident will be the sleeping giant in elections to come.
While the latter two of my reasons for Obama’s youthful grassroots success are based mostly on chance at the national level, our Party can address the first; it needs to create simple and energetic messages that capture young people. The Grand Ol’ Party needs to seriously consider and include us, the next generation of conservatives, in the crafting of our message, and it lest not forget us as it becomes our time to shape our Party’s–and our Nation’s—historical moments. If the Republican leadership fails to do this within the next couple of election cycles, perhaps Republicans will fade away with the Baby Boomers and leave the tech-savvy, information-overloaded Y’s entirely to the political left.
Sorry but I don't think we need or can afford any more of these bailouts. What the entire country needs are more buyers of real estate, and a whole bunch of people in our industry need to stop talking the market down just to slam easy price cut deals. Sorry that's my opinion, I won't ever be working with an agent that slam-talked the market on the way down personally.Sign "no auto industry bailout" at #dontgo
Well that same group, of dedicated conservative activists, #dontgo movement is hosting a petition drive to say "NO AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT" to Congress, the President and the President-elect.
Go to #dontgo Movement to sign the petition and while there check out the activities and action network.
For those in our area worried about the steel business, remember the best thing that happened to that industry was when they were forced to reorganize to get leaner, to produce faster, to produce the best steel in the world!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
As you can see from the map right here, Boone Township is located in the far southwest corner of Porter County and consists of unincorporated properties as well as the Town of Hebron. The 2000 census reported 5,884 residents in this township, I'll look for an updated estimate of current population. (See City-Data for more detailed demographics)
In 2008 there were 3,916 registered voters, and a total of 2,744 or (70%) voted in the election last week. There are five precincts in Boone Township, #1 and #2 just outside of Hebron to the east, and the rest making up the Town of Hebron.
With an eye toward Indiana House races in 2010, precincts 1 and 2 vote in House district 4, and voters supported the incumbent Ed Soliday (R) who eventually won convincingly in his entire district. Precincts 3, 4 and 5 vote in House district 19, and voters supported Democrat Vandenburgh over the last minute Republican ballot filler Johnon. I have not looked at all of Johnson's Lake County precincts but on the surface it would appear to have been a name recognition vote more than anything. I would guess a solid rematch is in store in this district in two years, Johnson being the choice of many of the former Ron Paul supporters in Lake County.
The combined township supported Barack Obama and Jill Long Thompson, over John McCain and Mitch Daniels. Interestingly, Daniels' votes in this specific area of the county were much weaker than John McCain. For the most part, it would appear that Boone Township is slightly blue but had issues with the Governor specifcally. I'll hope for some comments here to explain which issue had this township voting against Mitch.
Porter County Politics: Red/Blue analysis
- Boone One Leans Red
- Boone Two Leans Blue
- Boone Three Leans Blue
- Boone Four Leans Red
- Boone Five Leans Blue
Town of Hebron Demographics
Town of Hebron Town Council Members
Boone Precinct One Map
Boone Precinct Two Map
Boone Precinct Three Map
Boone Precinct Four Map
Boone Precinct Five Map