Saturday, November 26, 2005
Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate the time you will spend reading my thoughts.
I know that many of you would have something other than politics on your mind right now if it weren't for the Town of Fishers' attempt to forcibly annex you and your neighbors into the Town. The Holidays are upon us, and we would all rather think of our families first. But politics matters most when it hits close to home, and there is nothing closer to home than your home itself.
It has always been my position, and the Libertarian Party's position, that forced annexations are wrong. This was my position when Carmel was trying to forcibly annex Southwest Clay and Home Place. Voluntary annexations are perfectly acceptable, and there is no reason that the Town of Fishers could not have made overtures directly to Geist residents to ask if they wouldn't like to be annexed. If the people wanted to be a part of Fishers, there would be no need for a fight. So, it is distressing that my Town went straight for a hostile takeover approach.
I support your right to self-determination. The Town Councilors do not appear to respect that right.
Most of the effort in fighting a forced annexation has to happen from within the community defending itself. Outsiders cannot legally carry the petitions, for instance. However, you can count on me to do everything within my power to defend the people of Geist, and to assist their efforts towards self-determination.
I will assist when you are petitioning by running hot coffee and cocoa to the petitioners. I will make sure you have meeting places for before and after "door-to-door" days, with refreshments for the petitioners. I will be sure that rides are provided for those who need them, to get to meetings or other activities.
One important thing I offer is political pressure. It is important that I am a Libertarian candidate for office, because I can provide a consistent voice of political support.
Keep in mind that one of the Town Councilors is Charlie White, the Republican County Chair. It is a political risk for any of the Town Councilors to take a position contrary to his, so you cannot expect them to do so. Likewise, your Township Trustee, who should be very much on you side, might be be reluctant to oppose the County Chair who signs the papers that allows them to run for that position. The threat of the unelection of the Trustee and replacement with a Libertarian who backs the residents of Geist, who are Fall Creek Township residents and voters, can be key in breaking the uniform Republican position.
As we all know, it's all about money. So, if you want to put pressure directly on the Republican County Chair, you could make a statement he could really understand by transferring your local political support from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party. See if he doesn't become more receptive to your point of view.
I am a reluctant politician. In a better world, it wouldn't be necessary to try to bring public policy back to where our nation's Founding Fathers began, where the consent of the governed was an unquestioned American guiding principle. The two major parties, and the Republican Party here at home, have strayed far from principles such as self-determination, smaller government, and lower taxes. But they have strayed, so I am a Libertarian, and I am a candidate for office.
I have supported the residents of Geist from the beginning. I will be with you throughout your effort to resist forced annexation, until a successful conclusion. You can count on me.
Interestingly, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will be addressing the Hamilton County Democrat Club next Wednesday. Noblesville Ledger report.
I suspect that the first blush reaction is that a talk given by the Republican mayor to the Democrats would be a recipe for fireworks. However, Brainard will be speaking about public transportation and the Carmel cultural arts initiative, and I have to believe that there will be a majority of Democrats nodding their heads in approval as he speaks. Brainard has previously spoken in favor of broadening the tax dollar sucking mass transit, and has used copious amounts of tax dollars to fund the arts initiative.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Indy Star cartoonist Gary Varvel posted a real winner recently. Link. (I'd copy the image here, but don't wish to run afoul of the Star, or of copyright laws.)
It features a gigantic turkey on the dinner table stuffed with US currency and "$200 million tax amnesty" stamped on the bird. Governor Daniels leads eager diners wearing business suits in prayer- "Thank you for this bounty we are about to receive".
Varvel nailed it. There are two ways to balance budgets. To cut spending or increase tax receipts. Lacking the stomach to even cut the budget a measly 1%, the tax amnesty program was hatched. Now, gleeful Indiana Reps and Senators can proceed with plans for spending without having to worry about pesky cuts.
Bottom line: Republicans won't cut the budget in any meaningful way- not even 1%. Libertarians would be delighted to do the job.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The residents of the Geist area are working quickly to get organized. There will be a meeting Tuesday evening at Fall Creek Elementary School, at 6:30pm in the school cafeteria. Item on the At Geist website. The school is located at 12131 Olio Road. Mapquest link.
This meeting is an excellent first step for concerned citizens to begin networking with one another. If they are to oppose Fishers' attempt to forcibly annex their communities, they will gain strength in working together.
I will attend this meeting, and will look forward to meeting more Geist residents. I was delighted to be so warmly received by so many of them at the Fishers Town Council meeting tonight. The room was overwhelmingly opposed to a forced annexation, and expressed gratitude to me for my letter to the Noblesville Daily Times and Fishers Weekly.
I support the right to self-determination. The residents should choose and chart their own course, not the Town. To that end, it was exciting to hear some talk about the possibility of forming their own municipality- Geist, IN. Whatever Geist residents choose, it is that choice that matters most.
While Carmel entertains a second reading of an ordinance to restrict the rights of business owners setting their own policy regarding patron smoking, the Town of Fishers will entertain the first reading of four ordinances that would provide for the forced annexation of neighborhoods in the Geist Reservoir area. Both meetings, tonight, at 7pm. Carmel meeting info. Fishers meeting info. The Carmel meeting features the opportunity for public comment.
I really love Fishers' divide and conquer approach. It's as though they learned something from Carmel, which tried to devour all of Southwest Clay in one big gulp. No, Fishers breaks it down into four ordinances that correspond to four neighborhood regions. Great strategy! If one or two of those neighborhood regions have strong oppositional leadership but the others don't, the chances are that at least some of these annexations will pass. Strong leadership over the whole process could defeat the whole thing, don't you know. I'm glad to see our elected officials are putting their energies into such productive endeavors. If only we could get them to think about reducing the size of government and shrinking empire. Alas. Map of proposed annexation area.
I will be at the meeting to network with residents and business property owners who oppose the annexation. This can be defeated.
In the meantime, if you would like to leave feedback for the Town of Fishers on forced annexation, follow this link.
Update: The Noblesville Daily Times printed my letter on Geist annexation, in Saturday's edition.
Annexation is all about money
By Mike Kole
The all-Republican Fishers Town Council has just reinforced what we learned from the all-Republican Carmel City Council: it's all about grabbing tax dollars.
It is clear that the Town Council would benefit from the addition of the affluent addresses, the higher assessed value and the greater population numbers. It all results in more money for them to spend. But because Geist residents currently have less expensive Fall Creek Township fire protection, county sheriff protection and county highway service, it is unclear how these residents and business owners would benefit from more expensive town services and why they would want them. They certainly haven't been filing petitions asking to be annexed. They knew what they were doing when they chose township government.
The burden is on the Town Council to show Geist residents that there is something more awaiting them than a higher tax bill. Better yet, the burden is on local Republican officials to show that there is more to their thinking than entertaining schemes for raising taxes and bonding capability.
Annexation of residents who want it is fine and dandy, but the Libertarian Party will be glad to assist Geist residents and business owners who aren't interested in being annexed for the pleasure of paying higher taxes in exchange for no real benefit to themselves.
Kole, of Fishers, is a Libertarian Party candidate for Secretary of State.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
I was delighted to speak to a gathering of Libertarian leaders and strategists yesterday in Fort Wayne, on the invitation of Allen County Chair Mike Sylvester.
Simply put, the Libertarian Party's "Small Business Initiative" is brilliant. The LP has long lacked a core constituency akin to the ones the Republicans and Democrats have. Consider:
Abortion foes will vote Republican no matter what policies the GOP advances in other areas, because so many anti-abortion voters are single-issue voters, the GOP gets these votes.
Where is our single-issue voter? The small business owner.
Conference speakers. From left: Jason Shelley, Indiana Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses; Mike Kole; Ron Reinking from Indiana Policy Review; Mark Schreiber, former Marketing Director of the National Libertarian Party, and developer of the LP's Small Business Initiative.
While the Democrats champion big labor and the Republicans claim big business, the small business owner is devoid of high-dollar lobbyists. They're busy plowing profits back into the business. They can't afford to pay lobbyists $150,000/year to represent them in Washington or in state capitols. So, policy works against them.
Readers of this blog are familiar with how my campaign has been an implemetation of the Small Business Initiative. I have reached out to business owners in the hospitality industry in particular, showing them how the other two parties are killing them, while only the Libertarian Party speaks up consistently in defense of them, against higher taxes, and in favor of their property rights.
Explaining how championing small business owners helped defeat a tax in Fishers.
I have every confidence that this program will begin to spread rapidly throughout the region, to the great benefit of the state affiliates that pick it up. Libertarian representatives from Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri were in attendance.
I urge our County Chairs here in Indiana to get on board, and to always look for small business owners to defend and to promote. After all, issues devide, but constituencies unite.