Thursday, February 10, 2005

Priority Number One?

I was pretty involved with the campaigning throughout Indiana in 2004. As a county chair of a political party, I had my eyes and ears open on issues, looking for an angle to supply my candidates. As a secretary of a state political party, I often submitted letter and op-eds to newspapers across the state in response to positions taken by high-profile candidates, such as those running for governor. I even attended one of the two gubernatorial debates. Overall, I have a pretty good feel for what the candidates from any party were running on.

Here's my ranking for issues, as they were discussed on the trail.

1. State Budget.
2. Jobs.
3. Education.

These three were miles ahead of everything else. Here are the also-rans.

4. The extention of I-69.
5. Daylight Savings Time.
6. The future of the Indianapolis Colts.
7. Same-sex marriage.

Also, many legislators and legislative candidates took No New Taxes Pledges.

So, it has been fascinating to watch Governor Daniels make DST the first issue out of the gate; to watch the Legislature propose myriad new taxes; to watch same-sex marriage and the future of the Colts leap-frog jobs in terms of public discussion; to watch I-69 and education fade from discussion; and to watch the Legislature propose a slew of new traffic laws.

Traffic laws? Nobody even campaigned on this. Why is it now priority #1?

A Bill would allow the installation of cameras at intersections, designed to nab red light runners. Another would increase the speed limit. Another would ban the use of cell phones in vehicles. I'm missing some others.

Whatever happened to priorities? How about legislating in accordance with the campaigns? Is this too much to ask?

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