Friday, March 25, 2005

A Banner Edition of The Ledger

Today's Noblesville Ledger included my letter that sums up a lot of my postings here in recent weeks and months. Simply put, the Republicans in Hamilton County are more of the Keynesian, Richard Nixon mold than of the Ronald Reagan mold. Here's the letter:
Letter to the editor: County GOP schemes show need for 3rd party

To the editor:
Hamilton County is quickly being overrun by liberal Republicans who seem bent on showing how unnecessary liberal Democrats are by concocting new schemes for expanding the size and scope of government so quickly it can barely be charted. They are showing how necessary Libertarians are. To

Republican leaders from across the county have endorsed an $800 million light-rail boondoggle that would decrease traffic on Interstate 69 by a mere 4 percent on its best day.

County and Fishers town officials are gearing up to remove a perfectly good, popular airport in a useful location in order to build one from scratch.

Noblesville is expanding City Hall, which doesn't expand unless government is growing. The city is risking chasing a prominent retailer away over so crucial an issue as the size of a sign.

Carmel has floated bonds for everything from road projects that fail to significantly expand capacity to a $55 million park and an $80 million concert hall.

Carmel and Westfield are engaged in an annexation war that offers the residents virtually nothing except the promise of municipal taxes.

State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, has taken the lead in the legislature to craft a bill for socialized football that would tax service industries in Marion County -- for now. Critics within Marion County point out that the residents of the region, including Hamilton County, enjoy the Indianapolis Colts team and therefore should share the bill. A compromise that imposes taxes on services provided in Hamilton County does not seem too far fetched, especially since Kenley is open to the idea.

It's hard to draw any conclusion other than the fiscal conservative is a constituent the GOP is no longer interested in.

One of the most common things I hear from people who believe in limited government goes like this: I didn't leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me. These people are joining the Libertarian Party.

Mike Kole
The inclusion of the letter would have been nice enough, but there were two other gems that made it all the better.

The first is an article on the $800 million light rail boondoggle I mentioned in my letter. It includes the wonderful headline, "County not ready for rail. Traffic isn't bad enough to warrant transit line; more uproar, outcry needed." From the article:
The head of the new Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) doesn't think local traffic is bad enough to warrant building a rapid-transit line from Indianapolis to Hamilton County.

"The bottom line is we don't have the numbers of people who will utilize it," said Nathan J. Feltman, vice president and general counsel for the IEDC. "There needs to be more of an uproar, more of an outcry for it."
I couldn't have asked for better timing than this, to have the first public soft-peddling of the plan by a public official to coincide with my comments. So- who's on record in favor of the suck-hole?
Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear reminded the chamber audience that the first rapid-transit corridor will travel from Indianapolis to Hamilton County, and Noblesville, Fishers and the county own the right of way to the Nickel Plate line.

"That is just an incredible asset," he said.
The under-used rail corridor is an incredible asset. However, light rail is hardly the best use of the asset, which should always drive public policy. The best use would be a trail and greenway, which would raise property values in the area and make the area more attractive aesthetically. The light rail would do the opposite.

The next item to make me smile was a letter from the Executive Director of the local GOP, Laura Campbell. Useful excerpts, below:
As executive director of the Hamilton County Republican Party for the past 31/2 years, I disagree with the allegations made by Commissioner Steve Dillinger in your March 22 article, "Dirty politics claimed."


Steve Dillinger has decided to publicly vent his accusations in a blatant attempt to hurt his own party. Despite Dillinger's efforts, the Hamilton County Republican Party will proceed forward more unified than before.
I don't know. Are her comments about Dillinger, a long-time elected Republican County Commissioner, really any different than his? If he chose to "publicly vent" against the actions of one Republican, didn't she do it, too? The comments remind me of those Monty Pyhton gags from the old TV series. "I'd like to complain about all of the letters of complaints run on this program...".

In a way, it's incredible that the Republicans get as much of the vote around here as they do, considering what a mess they are. It shows the average observer how predisposed the Hamilton County resident is to vote for the things they think Republicans represent. I'm banking on the public noticing how they are not fiscal conservatives. It's pretty hard to miss.

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