I apologize for the stagnant blog. From time to time things come up in life that simply cannot wait. That being said I have a few articles already to go for the site.
The following was obtained by a fella I call Don of Indy. I think it is a good read for a couple of reasons. 1. It gives you insight into the current apathy in our country; 2. It gives encouragement to those who are attempting to make a difference. Enjoy JP:
I attended the Townhall meeting today at the White River Branch of the Greenwood Library. State Rep (R) David Frizzell was also in attendance with Burton. Other than Tea Party events, this was my first attempt at politics since I moved back to Indiana in Sept 06. There were 12 – 15 of us in the audience. I was surprised at the small turnout, in my estimation. But, that bubble was busted immediately, by Burton’s and Frizzell’s opening remarks, “In at least 7 years, this is the largest turn out for a Townhall meeting that they had seen; usually only two or three people show up.” I though to myself, “no wonder this country is in such bad shape with so little public interest and apparent apathy.”
I found the meeting to be interesting, enlightening, and educational. I would recommend all of you to start attending future townhall meetings. They really do listen and inform. The meeting lasted about an hour, but, seemed longer. That is not a negative, a real positive point. So much was discussed in such a short time that it seemed much longer. I came away refreshed and encouraged, because even outside of our Tea Party groups, there is a lot of similar sentimentality.
Now to some specifics of the discussion:
The start off subject was the State Budget. They laid out enough background to help me understand the infighting that went on in the State House and to give me a better feel of how things (generally) operate between the four caucuses (Reps and Dems in House and the Reps and Dems in the Senate). We should congratulate ourselves because we are one of only eight states to pass a balanced budget. [You have probably seen the national discussion of “bailout” for states that cannot budget for themselves.] This led to an explanation of the troubles in coming to a compromised bipartisan agreement on the budget.
I’m sure that all members of our group know that the Indiana House is run by a one man rule, Speaker of the House, State Rep (D) B. Patrick Bauer (South Bend). The Dems (read Bauer) wanted to add lots of unfunded items and to raise taxes. But, and this is an important point, both Burton and Frizzell made a point of congratulating us, the audience, for causing a change to business as usual. And, I want to pass this on to all.
When the Special Session was convened and was stalemated by Bauer, as a result, the House was deluged with emails, phone calls, and faxes to the point that the systems had to be shut down. All of it directed to individual reps and mostly directly at Bauer. So overwhelming was the mail, plus a couple of editorial in the Media, caused Bauer to realize that he was pissing off too many people so he recused himself from the budget discussion. His stepping aside allowed the Rep and Dem members of the house to come to a compromised budget that was balanced and had a $1 billon reserve, and not new, or raised, taxes.
I make this point, not just because Burton and Frizzell thanked us, but, because I personally hope that all of you understand that enough voices can make a difference. So if you were one of those who spoke out, pat yourself on the back.
This discussion about Bauer, led to my shinning moment, in my opinion. As a follow-up, I asked both of them what they, and the other Republican members of the House, and the State Repub Com are doing to unseat Bauer and to regain control of the House? I must admit their answers were more than a tad disappointing. Both agreed that winning majority control at the next election was a given, and both talked about what “they” will do when they win. They plan to redistrict the state along geographic areas, not along political affiliations, as is the current districting, which was done by the Dems. Even after pressing, I was left wondering at to ‘how’ they plan to win the majority.
$823 million of the new State budget goes for education, but, most of audience discussion concerned the out of control school board in Center Grove and Franklin. Building Taj Mahal’s was the main issue. But, changes which require school boards to get public approval thru referendums are supposed to solve the problem.
Property Tax cap was discussed, and both promised to push for a State Constitution amendment to limit property taxes to 1% of accessed value. Both pointed out that the Dems are trying to make pools, decks, gazebos, etc, separate and taxable separately.
Increased benefits for Vets was discussed, and I, as a Vet, am pleased.
2nd Amendment was endorsed by both.
Most of the remaining discussion centered on individual/local issues. i.e. extra curricular activities at schools should be self funding.
I did make a point to both Burton and Frizzell, that there are 18+ Tea Party related groups in Indiana. We represent an untapped resource and many members are ready and willing to help take back our state and our country.
One last note, this meeting reinforced my opinion that it is the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. Speak out and make your voice heard. They really do listen, even when they do not answer you mail.
Don of Indy
“One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” Charles A. Beard (1874-1948)
….To answer the question of “how will we get the majority back?” … it will be through good and decent people who have common sense about them… they will show up to the polls and escort some of these folks out of office. JP