Sunday, December 31, 2006

Busy Week

Posts have been few and far between, but I'll be catching up shortly.

Now that Alex lives with me, he takes his breaks with his Mom and/or her family. We saw him off for a flight from Cincinnati on Thursday, so much of the week was spent being with him before he left.

Alex had me playing Time Splitters for many hours. I enjoy shoot-em-up video games, but rarely get to indulge in them. With it being the single-least productive week of the year (was anybody but me working?) we had plenty of time to play. Since both of us are very competitive, we play against each other. Naturally, he's way better at the games, so I was on a huge learning curve. No doubt he enjoyed beating on his Old Man.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Election Notes #5, Precinct Results

This is just a very thin scan of the precinct results that make me feel good, in response to a comment on my Election Notes #4. I'll only post a few in detail because it takes up a lot of space. Besides, this sort of analysis is what the County Chairs are supposed to do. Anyhow, LPIN State Chair Mark Rutherford has a blog entry with links to the LaPorte, Wayne, and Henry County results.

My best numbers were in areas where we have strong local Libertarian candidates and/or strong local Libertarian Party affiliates. So, I did especially well in Wayne County, where Rex Bell ran an outstanding campaign for Indiana House, and where Susan Bell is the elected Hagerstown Judge, and where Conley Tillson was just elected to Township office. Check out this precinct result, in Wayne County, Hagerson, Jefferson 1:
TODD ROKITA (REP). . . . . . . . . 152 42.94
JOE PEARSON (DEM). . . . . . . . . 122 34.46
MIKE KOLE (LIB) . . . . . . . . . 80 22.60
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Total . . . . . . . . . . 354

TIM BERRY (REP) . . . . . . . . . 168 49.85
JUDY ANDERSON (DEM) . . . . . . . . 169 50.15
Total . . . . . . . . . . 337

RICHARD E. MOURDOCK (REP) . . . . . . 176 52.85
MICHAEL W. GRIFFIN (DEM) . . . . . . 157 47.15
Total . . . . . . . . . . 333

THOMAS E. (TOM) SAUNDERS (REP) . . . . 111 31.09
DAVID G. SADLER (DEM) . . . . . . . 82 22.97
REX BELL (LIB). . . . . . . . . . 164 45.94
Total . . . . . . . . . . 357

Thanks for the Coattails there, Rex! Interestingly, when compared to the other statewide offices, it appears I took more votes away from the Democrat than the Republican, even though I clearly drew down both of them. That certainly flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Rex took a lot away from both of his opponents, to be sure.

Here's another from Wayne County, Hagerstown, Jefferson 2:
TODD ROKITA (REP). . . . . . . . . 165 47.28
JOE PEARSON (DEM). . . . . . . . . 105 30.09
MIKE KOLE (LIB) . . . . . . . . . 79 22.64
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Total . . . . . . . . . . 349

TIM BERRY (REP) . . . . . . . . . 201 57.76
JUDY ANDERSON (DEM) . . . . . . . . 147 42.24
Total . . . . . . . . . . 348

RICHARD E. MOURDOCK (REP) . . . . . . 194 55.91
MICHAEL W. GRIFFIN (DEM) . . . . . . 153 44.09
Total . . . . . . . . . . 347

THOMAS E. (TOM) SAUNDERS (REP) . . . . 122 34.27
DAVID G. SADLER (DEM) . . . . . . . 79 22.19
REX BELL (LIB). . . . . . . . . . 155 43.54
Total . . . . . . . . . . 356

Same situation. Well, I made more than 10 campaign appearances in Wayne County, with I think six of them in Hagerstown. This is the hometown of Rex & Susan Bell. Put it all together, and you get these numbers. Here's one from Wayne County, Perry, Economy:
TODD ROKITA (REP). . . . . . . . . 86 44.79
JOE PEARSON (DEM). . . . . . . . . 76 39.58
MIKE KOLE (LIB) . . . . . . . . . 30 15.63
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Total . . . . . . . . . . 192

TIM BERRY (REP) . . . . . . . . . 102 53.13
JUDY ANDERSON (DEM) . . . . . . . . 90 46.88
Total . . . . . . . . . . 192

RICHARD E. MOURDOCK (REP) . . . . . . 107 56.91
MICHAEL W. GRIFFIN (DEM) . . . . . . 81 43.09
Total . . . . . . . . . . 188

THOMAS E. (TOM) SAUNDERS (REP) . . . . 65 32.66
DAVID G. SADLER (DEM) . . . . . . . 42 21.11
REX BELL (LIB). . . . . . . . . . 92 46.23
Total . . . . . . . . . . 199

In this area Rex still whupped 'em, but my numbers dipped a bit, and I was drawing more from Repulicans. Still, these are great numbers!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Spin, Indeed

I was listening to Bill O'Reily today, because I wanted to self-flagellate for some private guilt. It was horrible! He was talking about this wrestling match or boxing match between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. My sins were absolved, and I got to hear O'Reilly get to the essence of what he believes.

He said, and I'm working from memory here, 'the day we are for the individual instead of the common good, we are done'.

So, for those of you who thought O'Reilly anything other than the collectivist populist that he is, there it is. He was very plain. Individualism is bad. Collectivism is good. The power of the state is good so long as it serves you!
The Star Has It Wrong

The Indy Star published an opinion on annexation this morning. It's the usual Star brand of milquetoast, taking no solid position, aiming for some amorphous, gray, middle of the road.Along the way, they said some stupid things:

But lawmakers should use caution in hobbling annexation efforts. Had Indianapolis been foreclosed from annexation, it could be a Byzantine collection of tiny communities. Resistance to annexation led to the passage of Uni-Gov, effectively a wholesale annexation that many credit with helping Indianapolis become the Cinderella of the Rust Belt.

Wow, that's chock full of stupid.

For instance, what's wrong with a Byzantine collection of tiny communities? Tiny communities tend to be tighter-knit, with more common ground from one side of town to the other, and better still, with a government small enough to be responsive.

When the whole region is one municipality, many decent areas suffer being dragged down by the worst areas in town. Consider: Why do people from Lawrence, Washington, and Pike townships flee for Hamilton County? To escape the higher Uni-Gov taxes, to escape higher sales tax rates, to escape the horrible IPS schools, to escape the higher auto insurance rates, to escape the higher home insurance rates, to escape the domination of Center Township politics... just for starters.

You might consider how Crows Nest, Beech Grove, and Speedway are pleasant oases within Marion County. Yes, it's those Byzantine tiny communities, with their sense of identity and pride- and of not being Indianapolis.

Cleveland is a good counterpoint to Indy. Yes, Cleveland is one dismal city, but people there tend more to flee the city, not all of Cuyahoga County. Sure, the lousy suburban communities suffer flight, but that's as it should be. For the most part, people still happily reside in most of Cuyahoga County's inner and outer ring suburbs, embracing their schools and their communities. If Strongsville or Bratenahl suddenly became incorporated into Cleveland, you would see for sale signs spring up and wholesale flight throughout the formerly independent towns, because the well-to-do would want to get their kids out and to protect their assets. Annex Beech Grove into Indy and you would see the same thing. On the other hand, offer the Broad Ripple area the opportunity to break away and become its own municipality and you would see an amazing flowering happen there, beyond the interesting things that are already there.

In fact, Marion County would be greatly served by dismantling Uni-Gov, and creating a Byzantine collection of tiny communities. You might start to see better schools, less government waste, and less flight as people have more reasons to choose to identify with their communities. I'm proof. I fled Indy after just two years. I removed my son forevermore from IPS schools after just one semester. There was absolutely no way I would permit my family to live within the city limits of Indianapolis so long as I had children.

Indianapolis, the Cinderella of the Rust Belt? Bwaahahaha! Just check out the murder rate for a reality check on that puffery. Then, the schools.

Then, let the people decide whether or not they want to be a part of a city. They chose to live where they are on the basis of what the place is. In Geist, Home Place, and Southwest Clay, it's township living. It should be almost impossibly hard for a city or town to annex. The burden of petitioning should be on the entity that wants to gobble its neighbor, not on the defenders.

Being annexed into Carmel or Fishers is obviously not as detrimental to one's bottom line or safety as is being annexed into Indianapolis. Still, the right to self-determination should be paramount. And no matter how good a government is, the smaller it is, the more responsive it is. Thus, the urge to annex should be curbed.

(This opinion was first posted to the Hamilton County Libertarian Blog. I post there along with three other Hamilton County Libertarians. Check it out!)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Election Notes, Part 4

Immediately after the election, I was pretty down on my results. I'm not used to losing, and while I accepted going in that the overwhelming odds were against me and that I needed to take stock in the secondary objectives, I found that easier to say than to do.

Mainly, my numbers were less than our candidate for the same office the last time around. Indiana Libertarians improved in every category but one- mine. So, I found myself questioning my strategies.


I am convinced that in terms of this years results, making 200 campaign appearances made no difference. I could have done 1000, and my numbers would have been the same. I was actually advised not to run a real campaign, but to sit back and raise money exclusively. I rejected that advice, so I can't complain too stridently. In short term thinking, I was plainly wrong.

Long term, though, I believe the results will be better for future candidates because of the full-scale campaign. I was at so many events where my R & D counterparts failed to turn up that it was literally becoming front page news. We improved relationships with the media and the hosts of events, especially by turning up in Clark County, Knox County, LaPorte County, and others on the remote corners of the state.

Also, the bar has been raised up high. It will be tough for any future statewide candidate to run the way we used to, as paper candidates, and not have some scrutiny come their way. This is good, because if we are going to compete, running a real campaign is one key component. Raising a million remains the other significant one.


I also came to question my focused message. Having heard the complaints from media and voters while observing other campaigns about irrelevant candidacies (running on drug war opposition while seeking the office of surveyor!), I was determined to be germaine. I was running for Secretary of State, so I endeavored to learn about the office and to formulate policy positions aimed at improving that office to the extent I could. This means, I couldn't eliminate the office, but I could make it less wasteful, less a tool for self-promotion, more adherent to the core functions prescribed by the Constitution and by law. I could further lobby to change the law.

This bored our base and the undecided voters alike, but especially our base. While very few had enough interest in improving my campaign, or even the courage of their convictions to question my message directly to me, there was plenty of sniping going on about the boring nature of the campaign. Well, Secretary of State is a boring office. I don't think you get anywhere by turning the campaign into a circus. Some Libertarian candidates get short-term media hits by flashing part of their anatomy, but many of those hits happen on News of the Weird. Oscar Wilde was wrong. Sometimes it is better to be ignored than covered, if you're being an idiot. No, the goal was to further the growing opinion that Libertarian candidates are serious candidates and not charlatans.

You have to know that I really questioned this after seeing the results. It would have been a lot more fun for me to talk about the issues that really rile me up. Many times I said to myself, "I should have cut loose! I should have just gone off! The results would have at least been the same, but maybe a bit higher." But really, while that would have been self-satisfying, I was running for something bigger than my own short-term satisfaction. I was running to assure continued Libertarian Party ballot access as a minimum, and to build the esteem of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. This was achieved. That will give me long-term satisfaction.

Bridge Building

I began seeing this with greater clarity once Bob Barr signed on to be a representative on the Libertarian National Committee. Bob Barr is a former Republican Congressman. As it happens, the LP was instrumental in defeating Barr in his re-election attempt, as we targeted him on his drug message, running a candidate in that race and turning the district over to the Democrat. Barr hasn't entirely walked away from his position on drugs, and this has upset many Libertarians. This recalled for me the fact that there isn't a single person alive that I agree with 100%. Believe me, I've looked.

So, Barr is with us enough to become a life member with a contribution of $1,000 and to take a large leadership role. Why isn't that good enough? So, he doesn't agree with the whole platform? He is willing to advance the Party, thus, the platform and the principles that the candidates will espouse.

There was a great comment on Reason Hit & Run from a Gerry Tripwell:
Welcome Mr. Barr to the party and give him some time and slack. I became a Libertarian 15 years, mostly in response to Bush I's war in the middle-east. I accepted the party's positions one-by-one and the last one that I accepted was the oppposition to the war on drugs.

Liberty applies to the whole scope of human affairs. Is it better to embrace a man who has a 95% appreciation of liberty, or to alienate him for the 5% he can't see?

I say it's better to embrace one who even only gets liberty on one issue. Show appreciation and affection, and soon enough that person will begin to see it on more and more issues. Indeed, some of the more ardent Libertarians I know came from other parties and with reservations. Today, they are the staunchest, most stalwart Libertarians you could ever hope to meet.

I was a Democrat as a teen. I got liberty on exactly three issues. For the rest, the coercive power of the state was excellent, as far as I was concerned, especially where money was involved. In time, I came to see the injustice of state interference in every area of life. It took time- until I was 25. If a Libertarian had gotten in my face about an issue, it would have hindered my acceptance of liberty, not accelerated it.

So, I did what I thought was the respectful thing, and tried to find the area where a person had affinity with liberty, and talked it up. It seemed so entirely pointless to learn the area where we had disagreement and to zero in on that and let the person know he was wrong and stupid, and that I had the right answer. No, I worked to build a bridge on our agreement and encouraged them to seek out our positions in other areas of life.

After seeing the comments on Barr I finally got over my disappointment with the numbers. I found some peace with my campaign. I have no regrets. I believe I did it correctly, long term.

Update: Bob Barr's position on the War on Drugs is already moving towards a more pure libertarian philosophy, per Reason Hit & Run.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Glad I Fled Marion County, Part 8

The City-County Council Democrats showed where they have their priorities. From this morning's Star:
The City-County Council tabled a 3 percent pay raise for county elected officials and introduced a 2008 pay raise of 75 percent for themselves Monday night.

Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. There's the spirit of public service for all to see. But, here's the finest Allow-Me-To-Insult-Your-Intelligence line of 2006:
"I think it's long overdue," said Monroe Gray, the council president. "It's not for us; it's for the next council."

Bwaahahahaha! What a load. If you believe that nonsense, please contact me right away for the real estate bargain of the century. Meanwhile, the City-County Republican comments reflected their usual stellar best- 35% correct.
Philip Borst, the Republican leader, said the timing is not right to raise council salaries. The city already faces more than $100 million in shortages for public safety and other needs, he said.

"He's doing it the right way, but it sends the wrong message," Borst said.

Read with clarity, he means that the timing is poor because the municipal elections are coming up in 2007, and this thing could hurt them all. Doesn't Rozelle Boyd, who introduced this measure, understand that the time to do anything obviously controversial is immediately after elections? That way time passes and the people forget.

Indianapolis has a murder rate this year that makes people think well of Washington DC and Detroit, and these clowns are thinking about giving themselves raises. Harumpf!

Yessir, I'm glad I fled Marion County!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Check Your Premises

Thanks to Jeff Pruitt for offering the thought provoking response to my previous post! I disagree with him at the most fundamental level, but his comments made me think about privatization beyond it being a mere function.
I think the fundamental difference is that government is responsible to the people (directly) and private entities are responsible to the shareholders. What is good for the shareholders is not always inline with the common good.
I think that it's safe to say that along these lines, one of the common leftward criticisms of capitalism is that it creates winners and losers.

It's time for some intellectual honesty here, with regard to the "common good", and "winners and losers". But first, I will give my intellectual honesty.

Capitalism does create winners and losers. Those who offer little to employers tend to get little in the way of rewards, and are losers. Those who offer much to employers thend to be greatly rewarded. I believe that to be just. I like it. I work hard myself to be one of capitalism's winners.
I always bristle at the notion of the common good. I find it rather a falicy. For instance, stalwart Republicans would tell you that a ban on gay marriage is for the common good. The majority of Americans support a ban on gay marriage, so it must be so. At the same time, stalwart Democrats would tell you that government intervention into health care is for the common good. A majority of Americans support government intervention into health care, so it must be so.

The proponents of doing things for the common good must recognize that they create winners and losers, if they have any intellectual honesty. Certainly, gay people are the losers in the first example. Certainly, people in good health who end up paying for the health care of others are the losers in the second. Both left and right need to own up to this.

The difference is, with capitalism, you can opt out.
  • Don't like Wal Mart? No problem. You don't have to shop there.
  • Don't like American social policy? Tough. You're in the minority. Suck it up.
See the differences? What's done in the name of the common good invariably oppresses the minority.

How you like them apples, those of you on the left?

Sure, government is "accountable to the people". That's the abstract of it. Don't like public policy? Just vote 'em out! But, something for nothing is very popular. The reality is that it is virtually impossible to remove an incumbent.
  • In capitalism, a 2% market share is enormous. You become wealthy on that. You're a winner!
  • In goverment, a 49% vote share is a bitter loss. You find something else to do afterwards. Your a loser!
Besides all this, I think it's important to question those who are high and mighty enough to let you know that they represent the common good. What kind of conceited, self-righteous powermonger does it take to issue proclamations that not only is their side "the common good", but that it's so "good" that even those who don't like it have go along with it? The worst kind, as far as I can tell.

To me, the hallmark of freedom is the ability to withhold your participation. I guess that's why I like capitalism. I can choose whether or not I'll eat at McDonalds, shop at Wal Mart, use Tide or Ecover in the wash. I don't suffer the insult of choosing to go to Kroger's and then endure having to buy brussels sprouts, beef liver, and Wonder Bread- all of which I detest.

But, that's how government works. I cannot choose government a la carte. I can't say that I will withhold my taxes if I oppose certain policy. No, I have to fund it against my better judgment and without my approval! I cannot say, well, I support having public police, fire, safety & rescue, and courts and am glad to pay for those, but will withhold that percentage of my taxes that goes to fund the war in Iraq, the war on drugs, and socialized football. These have all been adjudged by our elected officials to be, you got it, the common good. It's an all or nothing proposition. The taxes come out of our pockets, go into the meatgrinder that is the Treasury, and goes out according to all these things that are, we are told, the common good. Things that you may well regard as bad or worse so often get fully funded, and you get to contribute to it. Justice? My eye!

So, if doing things for the common good is part of your fundamental M.O., please do me a favor and acknowledge that you create more winners and losers than capitalism does, but only if you would like me to hold you in the esteem of one intellectually honest.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Privatization Fears?

Indiana's left blogosphere is suffering a heavy case of Chicken Little-ism right now over the growing number of privatization initiatives being taken by governor Mitch Daniels.

While concern over cronyism is certainly valid, and contracts should be awarded by bids only, I am pleased by the move.

The recently deceased Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman summed up in his series and book "Free To Choose" why private enterprises are more likely to better deliver on the services than government. Check out Friedman explaining " The Four Ways To Spend Money", on this grainy clip:

The 4 Ways to Spend Money by Milton Friedman

Private employers spend their own money on their employees in the pursuit of making more money. Government employers spend someone else's money on their employees, not in the pursuit of making money. So often you hear people say, "I don't expect this government enterprise to make money". So, yeah, I figure privatization will be a blessing in cost savings- so long as there isn't cronyism, or no-bid contracts being awarded.

I question the motives of those fearing privatization. Mainly, privatizing a service performed by government doesn't eliminate that service. It merely allows for the likelihood of more efficient delivery of that service. Especially for those on the left, don't you want to see social services better delivered to the recipients? Or, is the real motivation protecting cushy government jobs?

Just asking.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Statewide Anti-Annexation PAC Formed

I was delighted to learn that the statewide anti-forced annexation political action committee (PAC) is at last being formed.

While forced annexation has been a hot topic here in Hamilton County as Carmel tries to forcibly annex Southwest Clay and Home Place, and Fishers does likewise with Geist, it is not isolated to this part of the state. It is in fact a statewide issue, with actions and remonstrances also happening in the Muncie, Fort Wayne, Jeffersonville areas, just to name a few.

Geist resident Rachel Quade has been a driving force in opposing Fishers' largely unwanted advances, and in forming the PAC. From the Indy Star report:
Working with like-minded residents across Indiana, Quade plans to form a political action committee to push for annexation reform. Though Quade has no way of knowing how many will join the PAC, she figures it will represent the interests of more than 5,000 property owners."

I started calling these people saying, 'Would you guys want to work together in getting the law changed?' " Quade said.

Vanessa Smith, who heads an anti-annexation group from Southern Indiana, agreed. Her group is trying to avoid annexation into Jeffersonville.

"We are working on our own legal strategies and we hope that we can delay the Jeffersonville annexation long enough to get the laws changed," Smith said.

Geist resident and PAC member Pete Peterson was quoted in the Noblesville Ledger story, hitting just the right philosophical notes, so foreign to our local Republicans:
Peterson said it is unfair for a municipality to annex an unincorporated area populated by residents who do not have the power to vote for that city's or town's government. He likened the scenario to early American colonists' cries of "No taxation without representation."

"Put this to the citizens. Let them have a say in this," Peterson said. "It really doesn't go along with the way this country was founded to not give people a say."

Libertarians have been strong in their opposition to forced annexations from the beginning. We believe a forced action, one that denies the right to self-determination, is not merely wrong, it is anti-American.

A voluntary annexation is perfectly acceptable. I believe that the laws regarding annexation should be changed thusly:
  • Municipalities should no longer be permitted to initiate an annexation.
  • Only citizen petitions voluntarily brought forth should be permitted to initiate an annexation.
  • The citizens of the receiving municipality, not merely their city or town council, should then have a vote on whether or not to accept the petition.
I am inspired by Rachel Quade and Pete Peterson, and their genuinely grassroots effort. I am further delighted that legislators are starting to hear the pleas of those being forcibly annexed.

Democratic Rep. David Orentlicher is offering legislation that would change the laws, as is Republican Senator Beverly Gard. Both are to be commended for their willingness to be responsive.

This stands in contrast to the tax & spend Hamilton County Republicans, who have been initiating these forced annexations as mayors or town councils, and ducking from taking a conservative position against them. The Hamilton County GOP had a laughable non-position posted on its website earlier this year.

I look forward to this PAC taking part in the process of endorsing and financially supporting anti-annexation candidates in the 2007 municipal election cycle.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Decline of the American Comedy Club

Accordingly, this is written in the most politically correct fashion I can muster.

I think everybody reading will be familiar with the Michael "Kramer" Richards story, where Richards responded to a heckler by repeatedly using a racial slur. The follow-up is that the comedy club where this occurred forbade all future acts from using the word in their club.

Daman Wayans promptly violated the ban. He was fined and banned from the Club. Story. I imagine Dave Chappelle won't be welcome there anymore. In fact, so many black stand-up comedians use the word and stand to be banned, that it might begin to look like a conspiracy to keep the black comic down. But I digress.

Hey- the club belongs to the owners. They are free to set their own policy... except with regard to smoking, and perhaps soon, trans-fats.

This turn of events is sad, though. Comedy clubs used to be the bastians of uncomfortable free speech and the home of the uncomfortable word. Lenny Bruce was arrested for using words in some cities. George Carlin expanded upon the boundaries Bruce opened with his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television" routine. Now clubs ban the use of an uncomfortable word, even if uttered by a man who is of the group the slur targets.

Well, good for Wayans! He ought to use the word and give a little history lesson for good measure. The owners of that LA club sure could use it. I'll grant that the pop culture use of this particular epithet is disturbingly overused, and in my opinion, disturbingly embraced by some in the group the slur targets. However, if someone tells me that a word that might describe me has been banned, I'll take a moment from my busy schedule to endulge in a gratituitous overuse for a few minutes, just to show my opposition to any attempts to evade the real issues that bely the word by wishing it to be gone from existence.

Here's a link to an interesting discourse between aspiring comics and comedy fans, taking on the issue of free speech vs. censorship. Beware salty language!
US Foreign Policy, Iraq, and Intervention

First things first: I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. Agreed that Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator and a violent threat to the numerous minorities he oppressed, but not agreed that he was any real threat to the USA. I take counsel from the Founding Fathers who warned against foreign entanglements and adventurism.

So, the Democrats have been working for a few years slowly, and now rapidly, towards a withdrawal from Iraq. It appears that President Bush is likely to go along with it. And yet, it really gives me little comfort.

I do not for a minute believe that the withdrawal is coming pursuant to a non-interventionist perspective. I would be delighted if I thought that was their course. But the Democrats I know have often ridiculed me as an isolationist over the years, and I’ve not really heard a one enunciate homage to the Founders. It’s hard to see it as anything but purely political, as a means to attacking a weak President.

Indeed, when Democrats were last in control of US foreign policy, we found ourselves in Bosnia and Somalia, where there was no real threat to the USA- just like Iraq.

It’s hard to know what to make of US foreign policy right now, and its direction. With a Republican dominated government, I knew what to expect, and to expect not to like it. Now I have no idea what to expect, but I still expect not to like it.

I used to have a handle on Democratic foreign policy. Democrats presided over the prosecution of World War 2, and the subsequent rebuilding/occupation of Japan and Germany. So stay-the-course was that effort that we still have troops in those countries. Again, I didn't agree with the invasion of Iraq, but once it happened, we eliminated the Iraqi leader and government. We destabilized the country and the region. So, we should leave? Once we made our mess, I came to believe it became our responsibility to fix our mess.

Those committed to an international, interventionist role had always cited "nation building" as their goal. What happened to that here with Iraq? Is the opportunity to attack a weak President so irresistable that nation building in conditions that warrant it due to our invasion efforts just go out the window?

These are interesting times, in the Confucion sense. If this whole episode doesn't reveal the value of a Libertarian foreign policy, I don't know what does.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Post-Election Notes, Part 3

If you want to lose 30 pounds, run for statewide office like you mean it. This is not for everyone, and I certainly don't recommend it strictly as a weight-loss program. But hey- it works! If you have an interest in smaller government, wider freedoms, and a smaller waistline, the CFA-1 form awaits you!

On January 1, 2006, I tipped the scales at 198 pounds. I was concerned that all the chicken and bean dinners, the nights of beers with supporters, and too much eating on the fly would push me over the 200-pound mark.


If you really work every room you're in like you should, you won't get to eat. I don't know how many times I worked the room and then found the spread packed away, with maybe a bun or a dinner roll left out. I rarely ate at functions that were dinners for me. I made it a point to start eating at these functions when none of my suits fit anymore, in October when I got down to 166.
I marvel at how some candidates gain weight on the trail. These are people who are not working the room.

For me though, throw in a year of ill health on top of not eating too much, and you've got a 30-pound weight loss guarantee. I hid the fact of my generally poor health as best I could during 2006.

I have Lyme Disease. It comes and goes, but generally, when it strikes me, it's because I have been dehydrated, sleep deprived, or a little of both. Running a statewide campaign like you mean it assures being sleep deprived. Drinking as much Diet Coke as I did assures dehydration. So, I had a fever of about 101 for the entire month of February, and for half of April and half of May. There were several events where it was a function of willpower just to get up and do my speaches. I lost 10 pounds during each month-long bout. I had a couple of minor flare-ups, but with naps and a lot of water, I kept it at bay.

Then there was the kidney stone. I was lucky in the sense that I decided to tough it out after a trip to Lake County and drive home late at night rather than crash at a supporter's home or at a motel. Lucky because after getting into bed at about 1am, I started feeling a mounting pressure in my abdomen that became a curious pain. My greatest fear in the world is being opened up surgically, so I began worrying about a burst appendix. Knowing that can kill you, I figured I'd better get it out in the open. I described my pain to Ame (an RN, in addition to CNM) and she gave me the "good news" that I wouldn't have to worry about being opened up, just having to pass the stone.

The emergency room story is hilarious like a Monty Python skit. After a night of writhing on the floor, we went to the ER. The staff had a million questions about my pain tolerance, because apparently junkies try to use the ER as means to score narcotics. The doctor asked about any broken bones in my past. I have a lot of those. I listed fingers, toes, and thumbs. He shook his head. I remembered broken ribs. A little more impressed. Ah! I broke my sternum. Twice. Now he was impressed. "Was it hard to breath?" Almost impossible. "Great!" Really? That's great? "How did you rate that pain on a scale of 1-10 at the time?" An easy 10. "Compare that with this." The broken breast bone was a 4, and this was a 10. "OK! You get morphine!" But I had to fill out all sorts of forms. I felt like the patient who was stabbed by the nurse in the Python skit, who upon filling out the form halfway was lectured by the Doc, "Surely you knew when the Magna Carta was signed. Even I knew that"!

I was concerned about having to take morphine. I mean, it was a great pain eraser. It really took the pain away, and I felt no high or even nausea. But, as Libertarian candidates always take scrutiny over anti-criminalization issues, I lost my ability to produce a clean sample. I always had it in my pocket that if anyone challenged me on the issue of drugs, this drug-free candidate would challenge them to a pee test. This episode was good for another 10 pounds.

Now that we are about a month out of the campaign, I've gone back from an Election Night low of 166 back to 183. I've been eating absolutely everything and loving it, but it's time to put on the brakes. 180 is perfect for me until I hit the weights once I get clearance on my hand.

Kole's soon-to-be-patented weight loss plan is all yours. Step right up and sign the CFA-1 and you too can fit into clothes you haven't worn for five years or more!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Osborn's Recount

This has been heavy on my mind for some time. Here are the basics:

Steve Osborn, recently defeated Libertarian candidate for US Senate, asked for a recount of 10 precincts. Steve did not issue a statement.

The lack of a statement has allowed people to interpret the request any way they choose. That's unfortunate, because there are plenty of media people like Jim Shella who like to beat on Libertarians whenever they can. Observe Shella's blog post on the recount. (Shella needs permalinks!)

Steve Osborn's request for a recount in the Senate race he lost by a million votes is not just silly, it goes against Libertarian philosophy. The Libertarians always preach less government. Now we are spending taxpayer dollars to recount a race where there is no chance, none at all, that the outcome will change.

If the Libertarians were in charge, would we even have a recount commission?

The comment about spending taxpayer dollars is, by the way, the same reaction many Libertarians had upon first hearing of the recount request. I myself was irate at it because without a statement I could only take it on its' face. Moreover, as the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State who ran on VVPAT and election issues, I rather felt like Joe Pearson, when he was stepped on by Pat Bauer during the campaign. Steve could have had me on board, along with the rest of the Libertarian Party. Alas. Here is Steve Osborn's non-statement about why he filed it:
Though I am declining comment into specifics at this time about all the reasons for the recount request, I have fully complied with the requirements of Indiana law, and expect the Indiana Recount Commission to grant my petition (which they did; see below), and to perform the requested recounts (tentatively scheduled for December 11th).

This is senseless. It gives dolts like Shella the opportunity to malign us with their interpretations. Steve, you took whatever good message you had and threw it in the toilet.

There are many good reasons to ask for a small recount such as this, such as quality control. Any manufacturer pulls a small percentage of the product off the assembly line to inspect it. The elections are important enough to warrant the same behavior. Inspect a small number to verify the results. With the new electronic machines, and in the absence of voter verified paper audit trails (VVPAT), this is absolutely essential.

But Steve wouldn't say so. Thank goodness the Libertarian Party of LaPorte County has issued a statement:
The Libertarian Party of LaPorte County (LPLP) issued a statement that it fully supports Senate Candidate Steve Osborn's recount audit requested for 10 precincts in Northern Indiana. LPLP Chair Doug Barnes said, "Electronic voting is in its infancy, and we need to ensure the integrity of this new type of voting. Voting machines need to have a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), coupled with random post-election audits in a limited number of precincts. Senator Lugar is going to retain his position. An audit is not going to change that. We are not suggesting any impropriety, and we would be shocked if there were any, but it has been increasingly documented in the past two years that the potential for technical problems with electronic voting machines, and even abuse, exists more than it did previously."

If that's why it was done, I'd help lead the cheers. However, Steve Osborn is the petitioner and he refuses to say that these are his reasons. So, while I back the LPLP's explanation, I can't back Osborn's action. The LPLP statement is as much an interpretation as Shella's blog entry. I want it from the man himself.

To answer Shella's question- Yes, absolutely Libertarians would have a recount commission! Libertarians may not believe in funding a lot of government, but voting is one proper and necessary area for it. Nothing is more essential to a government formed by votes than the integrity of the process leading to faith in the legitimacy of that process.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Few Posts

My apologies for the lack of posts. I'm still tyiping with 1.5 hands. The pins have been removed from my right hand and the progress of healing is good, but with a half cast on the hand, I still am very slow on the typing. Look for increased activity soon, as there has been no shortage of things to discuss!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Reunion in Cle

It was fun to get back to Cleveland for the extended weekend to visit family and to see many friends I haven't seen in a long time.

I skipped the 20th high school reunion and instead went to The Spitfire for a sort of WCSB reunion. I missed the actual event surrounding the college radio station's 35th anniversary during the campaign, so it was great to see friends who have made the kind of innovative and unique radio Indy simply lacks.

The Spitfire is a punk rock themed bar owned by my former 'Rock n Roll Radio' co-host Shelly and her husband Stosh. It has the best punk juke box I've ever encountered, and loaded with Cleveland underground rock legends like the Electric Eels, the Dead Boys, the Pagans, and the Pink Holes.

Steve studies the jukebox while Sade enjoys a beer.

From left: Tim Schmitz, Keith Newman, Ame, me, Steve Wainstead. This was our reprise of another photo with us each posed more or less as we are here, at Shelly & Stosh's wedding, where Ame & I met.

Tim did a great late-night show called 'Bad Art' which revolved around the music of Frank Zappa. He used a flat, wry deadpan delivery that I loved. Keith currently does a late night talk show called 'Crap', which underpromises and overdelivers a dialogue that bounces to wherever the callers want to take it. My favorite Keith Newman show was 'Lo-Fi'. Absolutely the best garage/rockabilly/punk rock show I'd ever heard. He also did really hilarious radio theatre with Michael Jordan. Wainstead & I got together with Keith for a one-night take on Monty Python's 'Election Night Special', which did air live on an election night. Sade did really wild rock shows that travelled over a variety of undrground rock styles. She also did a fascinating weekly half-hour called "Spirit of the Earth", which covered pagan news and views.

Steve did a number of shows, and each seemed to be better than the last, which was no small feat. His show "Punkin' Around" featured an hour of Cleveland bands that greatly aided a strong music scene in the late 80's. "Cyclotron" caught on to the noise rock and grunge scene before anyone heard of Nirvana or Helmet. "31337" featured the electronic underground- hacking, black box devices, and this new thing called The Internet. I remember him carting an old TV up to the stations to show that you could hear cell phone conversations. I joined him for a night of "trashing"- picking up trash bags and rumaging through on the air to show how easy identity theft was.

Of course Steve's big show was "Wainstead All Night". It started with 3 hours and then grew to 5 hours, borne out of frustration as a 3rd shift worker bored to death of repetitive late night radio. Steve reached bored security guards, factory workers, postal workers, bakers, gas station clerks, drunks, and other night howls looking for something different. Steve gave it to them: crazy novelty songs ("Beer is Better Than Girls" stands out), thrift store records like junior high school marching bands and lounge act covers of "Light My Fire", bogus traffic reports, police blotters from the Sun News (Lakewood's were awesome), Brainwash (the 40-second song that repeated 20 or so times with 6 seconds of silence between, filled with callers issuing juvenile insults on each other or bizarre film sound bites), and an hour of Frank Zappa. The show was beloved, and had three different runs on air. Steve says he plans to convert the old tapes to mp3s and make them available as podcasts. I can't wait!

Ame and Shelly met at Earlham College near Richmond, IN. They roomed together in a house heated by a wood-burning stove!

I was hunting around the FM dial today for anything 10% as interesting as WCSB's old fare, and failed. The playlists are only 30 songs deep. Hell- we had 30 song playlists for single artists! We played anything off the entire album... or the entire album.

Great times. Great friends. A strange parallel universe for me.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Out, One To Go

About two weeks before the election, I had an accident had home. I tripped over the dog at the top of the stairs. As I began to fall downward head-first, I instinctively placed my right hand out to break my fall.

It worked! Problem is, I got two fingers caught in the baby gate. I knew immediately that I broke at least one metacarpel in the right hand. This was confirmed by a specialist. He set the bone in the office, but it fell of place during the following, leading to surgery.

Having the hand in a cast meant I couldn't wear the normal candidate attire. I couldn't wear a suit coat, and I couldn't tie a necktie until I finally got enough use of my right hand a day before the election.

Everyone noticed. I decided to have fun with it. With media, I would say, "I've just shaken so many hands, mine fell apart. I wore it out!" That got laughs. With supporters or those who seemed amused and asked, "what happened to you?", I replied, "You should see the other guy." More laughs... except when I used it at the doctor's office. They thought I was serious!

Anyhow, one of the two pins was removed. This gave me quite a lot more movement in my pinky. I have a whole new list of exercises to do, which is great. I had no idea that the pins actually run inside the bones! The other one comes out next week. Chances are good that I will even be able to play hockey come January 1. The gloves will stay on, to be sure!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Charlie Rangel Attacks Your Civil Liberties

When I first heard about it about a year and a half ago, I thought this miserable idea of Charlie Rangel's was a ploy based on his party being in the opposition, and Rangel's personal opposition to the war in Iraq- reinstate the draft.

I thought he meant to do this at that time because the draft is so unpopular and wrong as a spiterful means to ramp up opposition to wound Republicans.

No, it turns out Rangel thinks having a draft will deter politicians from waging wars. From the AP report:
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Oh, just like how the draft succesfully kept the poor and minorities out of Viet Nam, right?

Volunteerism is the only just method of forming a military. If the people judge a conflict to be unjust, they withhold their participation. Rangel's plan would take those who have no interest or inclination for military action and thrust them unwillingly into it. What kind of social justice is that?

When running for Secretary of State, I talked about how voting Democrat on the basis of having your civil liberties defended was a waste of your vote. Here's the proof.

It's so ironic for me, because I was a Democrat as a young man because then the Dems were strident in their opposition to the draft. On the trail, I also spoke about how the Republicans had moved away from their smaller government principles. Same is true of the Dems on this issue. Amazing that they can't even wait until they actually take the leadership before the alienate those who gave them a chance again. I'm sure this is only the first of many affronts.

Protect your civil liberties. Vote Libertarian!

Update: I changed the title of this post from Democrats Fail To Protect Your Civil Liberties after an exchange with Jeff Pruitt. Jeff showed me that Rangel's on an island on this one... which is a good place for him... and that's it's not fair to lump all Dems in with Rangel. He's right, so I changed it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Passing of a Giant

Sadly, today we learn that Milton Friedman has died. From the AP report in the Indy Star:
His theories won him a Nobel Prize in economics in 1976.

A believer in the principles of 18th century economist Adam Smith, he consistently argued that individual freedom should rule economic policy. Outspoken and controversial, Friedman saw his theories attacked by many traditional economists such as Harvard's John Kenneth Galbraith.

In an essay titled “Is Capitalism Humane?” he said that “a set of social institutions that stresses individual responsibility, that treats the individual ... as responsible for and to himself, will lead to a higher and more desirable moral climate.”

Friedman acknowledged that “pure capitalism” did not exist, but said that nations that cherished freedom must strive to keep the economy as close to the ideal as possible.

This is the passing of a giant. I always had an innate sense of the benefits and justice of capitalism, but Milton Friedman gave me an academic means for expressing it and backing it up beyond mere feelings.

Friedman was extolling capitalism's virtues at a time when academia had turned from capitalism and embraced Marx- incorrectly. He stood against this fad and led the reversal, and for that I am grateful. He is one of those most responsible for inspiring me to work to reverse course back towards capitalism, and to become a Libertarian activist.

I am deeply saddened at his passing.

There is a statement on the webpage of the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation concerning his passing.

Reason Magazine has a tribute and links to many articles. has at least three blog entries memorializing Friedman.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Post-Election Notes, Part 2

A couple things have kept me from writing more reflections- the surgically repaired right hand that is useless for typing, and the sting I feel when I look at the numbers and reflect on the realities.

Call that last bit pride. I knew that the odds were greatly against me for a victory, but I did have plenty of secondary objectives.

2%. That was the bottom line. I got this, so the Libertarian Party maintains automatic ballot access for the next four years statewide in Indiana. That's no small victory, especially when we recall the failure of the Greens to achieve it this year.

10%. That would have put us into the primaries. Opinion within the LPIN was divided on this. Many did not want to be part of a taxpayer-funded process that only really is political party business. My belief was that the Ds & Rs would remain true to form and would try to change the rules if I reached this figure. Doing so would have made us a player in a very worthy discourse about the nature of funding these events, which I really was hoping for. Alas.

2nd Place in any County. That would have made us eligible for positions on appointed boards and commissions, such as the Elections Boards. We deserve a place on them anyway, and no better way to make the case but to displace the Rs or Ds- after all, the law only provides for two parties to participate. It would have been a delight to give them a taste of their own medicine. Alas, my best showing was in Wayne County, with more than 8%, yet still in 3rd.

Increased Statewide Percentage. If you can't win, my objective was to at least improve upon past performance. I thought this was a slam-dunk. The public was more upset with both parties this year than in 2002. I made close to 200 appearances in 35 counties- all new bests for LPIN candidates. I was getting new support on issues like opposition to forced annexations and smoking bans, which I thought should translate into votes, election day staffing, and contributions. Boy, was I wrong there, but more on that later. The numbers:

2002: 60,937 votes received, 4.12%
2006: 53,459 votes received, 3.33%

The 2006 numbers are not official yet, as incredibly, not all precincts are counted even still. My vote totals may go up, but the percentage is unlikely to change much.

I am at once embarrassed by my showing and perplexed at the realities. I just can't get my arms around doing so much more resulting in fewer votes. Ame tells me that the 2002 returns might have been better because we had a female candidate, and some women will vote for any woman regardless of party. Others tell me that having Steve Osborn on the ballot for US Senate at the top of ticket may have sucked up any sympathy/protest votes we would take. I really think that I could have had one public appearance or a thousand and it would not have made a bit of difference. Unless I had at least a minor statewide saturation of TV ads to begin getting real name recognition, the average Hoosier voter wasn't going to violate their traditional old party choice.

Strong Showing at Home. I had hoped to finish 2nd here in Hamilton County when I began the campaign. As time passed and I was travelling across the state, I slowly revised my hopes downward, but I never thought I would do worse than we had in 2002. Alas, again.

2002: 1,630 votes received, 3.70%
2006: 1,773 votes received, 3.02%

This is really disappointing. Between the 3 years working at the County Surveyor's Office, the public defense of the Geist, Homeplace, and Southwest Clay property owners against forced annexations by Fishers and Carmel, and the myriad appearances in the local papers with countless letters and quotes from statements at town or county council meetings, the result was nil. While I never really expected huge numbers to change parties and vote straight ticket Libertarian, I thought that by standing up for people, they would at least throw support behind me at the ballot box. This didn't happen at all.

This is the toughest thing to swallow. A candidacy is unfortunately something of a test on those around you. I didn't set out for it to be, but as a candidate, you find yourself looking around for those you can count on. There were so many times that I was turned away by those I thought I could count on, either directly or by evasion. I'm not the kind of guy who tries to avoid finding out these things, but the knowledge doesn't bring any particular comfort.

So, I'm glad I got the baseline 2% for continued ballot access. That's about all I'm pleased with right now, and that's not much of a feeling when reflecting back upon two years of my life.

I'm really glad to wrap up this process. I'm really enjoying helping Alex with his homework and making Isabel's dinner five nights a week. I'm enjoying getting back into the work and making money and looking forward to playing poker, and once the hand heals, hockey.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend Wind-Down

After two years of campaigning and general hyper-activity, the Koles and friends took off for the hills of Kentucky for a weekender of family hiking and cabin lounging.

We were at the Red River Gorge and the Natural Bridge parks areas. Not much I care to report on, but some fun pictures to share:

Isabel casts a glance back on the approach to the Natural Bridge.

Jay & Ella take in the expansive view from atop the Natural Bridge.

This was fun enough, but I'm really looking forward to a nice little vacation with Ame!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Spoilers, eh?

I hope! If Libertarian "took votes from" Republicans, let it be a lesson to the GOP that it isn't enough to give lip service to smaller government, but that especially when they have majorities, they must deliver on it.

In actuality, though, everything I am hearing and seeing points to Libertarians "taking votes from" Democrats. While Dems were soft on anti-war rhetoric, Libertarians such as Eric Schansberg was plain about it. As the Democratic base had many voters who shared this perspective with Schansberg, and stood contrary to Dem Baron Hill and Republican Mike Sodrel, the L's actually reduced Hill's win from blowout to narrow victory.

From the LaPorte Herald Argus, the view of cartoonist Herman Torzino.

Here's the lesson for both major parties: Libertarians aren't afraid to take strong positions. Don't blame us if your gray dive to the middle alienates some part of your bases. You simply don't get to take them for granted anymore.

Give us your cold, tired, disaffected masses... We aren't going away.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Credited As Spoiler

Check out this email message that landed in my in-box today:

Hi Mike:

Just a quick note to thank you for throwing the control of election day Inspectors over to the Democrats. Due to your candidacy the Marion County election process will become an even bigger disaster. I hope you are happy.

I had to think about this for a moment, but then it dawned on me that this year, Todd Rokita failed to finish first in Marion County. From the Marion County webpage:

02A TODD ROKITA (REP) . . . . . . 93,331 47.89
02B JOE PEARSON (DEM) . . . . . . 95,022 48.76
02C MIKE KOLE (LIB). . . . . . . . . 6,196 3.18
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 326 .17
While I'd like to take credit for the spoiler role, a look at the 2002 returns for comparison's sake is worthwhile. From the SOS webpage:

Fernandez, John (Democratic) 95412
Sink-Burris, Rebecca (Libertarian) 7218
Rokita, Todd (Republican) 96373
Looks like the Dems' numbers are about the same, but Todd Rokita lost about 3,000 votes in Marion County. Maybe Todd just didn't campaign enough in Marion County. Go complain to him.

But, look on the bright side. The Marion County Dems, and Ed Treacy in particular, were brutal to outgoing Republican Clerk Doris Ann Sadler. Well! The shoe's on the other foot now. A pity for Clerk-elect Beth White, but likely big fun for Republican howlers.

I'd be happier if I came in first, because Libertarians would be in charge of the elections, which were a mess this year under a Republican. Sadler had five candidates on the ballot who weren't certified, and some polling places didn't open on time. That's nothing to brag on.
On WXNT Friday Morning

I'll be on WXNT 1430-am in Indy Friday for the 8-9am hour, along with new LPIN Executive Director Kyle McDonald, to analyze the election from a Libertarian perspective.

Indiana Licensed Beverage Association Exec (and former LPIN E.D.) Brad Klopfenstein is filling in for regular host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.

Be sure to tune in! Those outside central Indiana can listen online at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

First Post-Election Notes

While I can't report a victory today, I am pleased to report that we have met our baseline objective of continued automatic ballot access for the Libertarian Party of Indiana through 2010. If a Hoosier wants to run as a Libertarian candidate, they need only fill out the forms and hit the trail, no petitions necessary.

Here are some other observations:

It was odd to watch the returns come in, where my numbers were at 5% and about 56,000 votes with around 60% of precincts reporting, and then my returns shifted down to 3% on 46,000 with 80% of precincts reporting, and it appears I'm ending up with around 52,000 votes. Can someone explain this? I still topped the 2% minimum for ballot access, but the next metric was to gain over the 4.1% we earned in 2002. The idea that we might be backsliding would be very disappointing to me personally. I would take responsibility for that.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported that I took 5%, so I'm not alone in this observation:

In the race for secretary of state, Rokita had garnered 416,229 votes, or 52 percent of the vote.

Democrat Joe Pearson had 346,996 votes, or 43 percent. Libertarian Mike Kole had 39,620 votes or 5 percent of the vote.

WISH-TV 8 in Indy showed Kole at 5% half-way through. I wish we took more screen shots.

I'd like to hear an explanation on this. How do you account for getting 41,000 votes with the first half of precincts, and then 12,000 with the other half? It's possible but extremely unlikely.

There are so many people to thank, but I'll keep it brief for now: My family, but especially Ame for enduring the two-year disruption. I'm looking forward to enjoying a more normal family life with her, Alex, and Isabel.

Thanks also to Jim Hurst. Beyond the material support, I really appreciate his willingness to step forward publicly to get behind me. That takes great courage in this time of extremely meddlesome government.

Some libertarians were disappointed that my campaign did not feature more red meat for them. As it turned out, I was quite vindicated by the course of yesterday's elections. I called for election machines we could trust, and then we had machines not work in Delaware County and Hoosiers across the state reporting irregularities, such as machines refusing to count Democratic straight-ticket votes. I called for voter verified paper audit trails, and Hoosiers leaving the polls were doing the same.

I called for competence, and then we had major incompetence from the Elections Division and the Marion County Clerk. The Election Division refused to certify 11 Libertarian candidates because of a new filing requirement created by the Legislature and targeting LPIN candidates. And yet, five of those eleven still appeared on Marion County ballots. Maybe the Clerk can be forgiven if the filings looked correct, because they were.

More observations will come once the votes are all counted, which means we might have a week's worth of notes trickling in.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voted Early!

It was with great pleasure that I cast my votes at 6:03 this morning. I voted for a really solid candidate for Secretary of State, wink, wink.

Quite a change from 2004, when the lines were out the door. No line today. The rain isn't helping people sprint to the polls.

6am Vote in Fishers
6:30-7:30 Work Geist polling place
8:45am Anderson polling place
10am Muncie polling place
Noon Richmond, Hagerstown polling places to distribute lunches to Rex Bell supporters
2pm District 54 polling places
7pm Bearno's, Downtown Indy for Election Night Party

Monday, November 06, 2006

Last Pre-Election Trail Report

Tomorrow's the big day, but we've had some big days this weekend running strong to end. This is a photojournal report.
Friday began with a quick visit to South Bend and the offices of the Tribune yielded a nice interview with James Wensits. Article link.

We rallied with the faithful in LaPorte. Huge thanks to Karen Wolf for this excellent cake! It was a tremendous surprise when she brought it out!

Another rally, this time in Lowell at The Pizza House. We got the faithful excited and then talked small business with the owner.

Saturday was spent in the southern part of the state. Rob Place & I ate lunch in Franklin at the D&D Club in support of their battle against a smoking ban.

With LPIN District 9 rep Greg Hertszch and District 9 US House candidate Eric Schansberg with two of his sons, in Clarksville. We campaigned at the annual Lewis & Clark festival near Greg's home.
The Final Poll

Tuesday is the day when the speculation ends and we learn how the people of our state have chosen.

Will Hoosiers choose the various models of big government offered by Republicans and Democrats, or you they choose the smaller government offered only by Libertarians?

Will Hoosiers reward Republicans for failing to deliver on lower taxes and smaller budgets?
Will Hoosiers reward Democrats for failing to deliver on protections of civil liberties?

Do Hoosiers value having multiple choices on the ballot?

Do Hoosiers want election machines equipped with voter verifiable paper audit trails? Do they want to see an end to the practice of gerrymandering?

Do you like the idea of seeing Libertarians appointed to boards and commissions?

Vote for me, Mike Kole, your Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State to send a powerful message in favor of limited goverment, in favor of ballot choices.

Let the state know that you support VVPAT and and end to gerrymandering.

Let Rs & Ds know you are dissatisfied with their performance, and that they have lost your support.

Mike's first- or second-place finish in any municipality or county, irrespective of statewide outcome, means Libertarians are appointed to boards and commissions, instead of Rs or Ds.

The only wasted votes are the ones cast by supporters of limited goverment in favor of Rs or Ds, because the old parties have commitment to this principle.

Vote for me, Mike Kole, your Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today On The Trail

We're riding hard and clean to the very end. Just 4 days until Election Day! Here's what's on tap for today:

9am: Phone interview with the Martinsville Daily Times about electronic voting,
Noon: Rally with Norte Dame LP supporters
2pm: Interview with the South Bend Tribune.
3:30pm: Media and volunteer reception at the LPLP headquarters in downtown LaPorte
6pm: ALCO-TV in Michigan City for a candidate taping. Will be aired throughout the area all weekend.
7pm (CST): The Lake County LP will be hosting a fundraiser and volunteer event at the Pizza House at 108 West Commercial in Lowell.

Supporters can pick up materials (palm cards, lapel stickers, yard signs) for working their polling places. If you live in Northern Indiana, be sure to meet up with us on the trail today!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Home Stretch

This is it- just seven days left until the one poll that matters- The Election!

Please keep in mind that my race for Secretary of State is more than just that. It's the Libertarian Party of Indiana's ballot status race.

At minimum, I must receive at least 2% statewide to continue the Libertarian Party's automatic ballot access. If I fail, petitions will have to be carried in order to put Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

If you want to know the value of automatic ballot access, I suggest you talk to the Greens. They failed to get on the ballot this year after 18 months of petitioning. LPIN State Chair Mark Rutherford estimates the cost of successful petitioning to be $140,000.

Here's an easier way:

Donate $100 to my campaign right now. Click here.
Vote for Mike Kole on November 7. Click here to find your polling place.
Work a polling place on Election Day. Click here to sign up.

If you are a Libertarian and you believe in the Libertarian Party, and if you only give to one Libertarian cause, this is the one. Without ballot access, a political party really doesn't exist.

The Libertarian Party is becoming an increasingly significant voice. Look at Rex Bell. Look at our contribution to the eminent domain dialogue. We are the only party speaking against forced annexations. Did I mention Rex Bell? Ballot access gives Rex the chance to go to the Statehouse, and not just on a visitor's tour.

Let's make sure Hoosiers can continue to have the opportunity to vote for the only party that relentlessly promotes smaller government and lower taxes.

No regrets on November 8. Be in action today!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Insight Message

We have the video file for my statement on the Insight CATV system's candidate show. It runs 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

Download via this link to get the file, or go to to see it via You Tube.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Schedule Notes

We have three big travel dates remaining.

Friday, 11/3- This will be a whirlwind of a day, with stops across the Northern third of the state, including Suth Bend and LaPorte. Details forthcoming. The item that is set in stone is a fundraiser dinner in Lowell, at the Pizza House. The fun starts at 7pm. The Pizza House is located at 108 W. Commercial, in Lowell.

Saturday, 11/4- Looks like the Southern part of the state, with a stop in Clarksville for the annual Lewis & Clark festivities. Look for more details shortly.

Tuesday, 11/7- Election Day will also be a whirlwind of a day, beginning with the casting of my ballot at 6am in Fishers. I'll be at one (or more!) of the voting locations in Indiana House District 54 supporting Rex Bell for the evening rush. We'll wrap up in Indianapolis at the LPIN election night party at Bearno's on Pennsylvania St.

Be sure to join us along the way!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two New Ads

This morning I recorded two new ads. These will air across the state.

If you like these ads, please help us to get as many on the air as possible. There is still time available in most areas- even in the 3rd Congressional District! Click here to support. On average $10=1 ad!

As soon as the producer sends the files, we'll post them here. In the meantime, you can feast your eyes on the scripts:

New Ad #1

Each year, Hoosier politicians wring their hands in public about dismal voter turnout.

We know why people stay home election after election.

Republicans fail to deliver lower taxes and smaller government. Democrats fail to deliver protections of your personal freedoms.

Let me offer you an alternative. Vote Libertarian. Vote for me, Mike Kole for Secretary of State.

Libertarians will deliver on smaller government, lower taxes, and personal freedom.

As your Secretary of State, I’ll work to increase turnout.

I’ll work to put an end to gerrymandered districts that make the election a foregone conclusion in most parts of our state.

I’ll work to promote voter verifiable paper audit trails with our voting equipment – so votes are correctly counted.

I’ll cut the Secretary of State's budget by at least 1% in my first year.

Elect Libertarians. We will deliver.

Libertarians are passionate about smaller government and lower taxes. Republicans are passionate about holding power.

Send a message. Vote Libertarian.Vote for Libertarian Mike Kole.

Paid for and authorized by the Committee to Elect Mike Kole, Ken Johnson Treasurer.

New Ad #2
Everyday, we make choices. We love having choices.

What would the world be like if we only had two types of cars to choose from?

Two TV stations?

Two web sites?

Americans love choices. Choices in the marketplace allow you to get the things you really like.

Why should our elections be any different? Especially if two choices don’t represent you?

This election, keep choice an option on Indiana's ballots for the next four years.

A vote for Mike Kole, Libertarian for Secretary of State, is a vote to keep the Libertarian Party on the ballot for four more years.

It's a vote to keep a voice of smaller government and personal freedoms alive in the public debate.

It's a vote to ensure some competition in a political landscape equally split up by the republicans and democrats.

Keep choice in Indiana. Vote Libertarian. Vote for Mike Kole for Secretary of State.

Paid for and authorized by the Committee to Elect Mike Kole, Ken Johnson Treasurer.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wasted Vote Syndrome Ad

With Rex Bell polling in the 30s, and in a close second, we know that now more than ever, a vote for a Libertarian is not a wasted vote.

Here is a link to Sendspace, where you can download the 60-second ad.

If you want to hear this effective, convincing message across Indiana and on your local radio station, click here to donate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two Sides of The Star

Looking at the Indy Star online today was bittersweet. Dan Carpenter included me in his list of honorable mentions for seven candidates who were not endorsed, but left very favorable impressions.

Then I looked at their "Voters Guide". It left me off their slick mock ballot. The Democrat & Republican were given headshot photos, bios, and a position statement. This Libertarian was given nothing- not even the journalistic minimum of "Libertarian Mike Kole is also on the ballot". (There is no dirct link for the Guide. It is a pop-up feature on the Star's main page.)

In fact, no Libertarian is included. No Eric Schansberg in District 9, no Steve Osborn for US Senate, nothing. There are nice elephant and donkey graphics for the Ds & Rs.

Maybe Matt Tully would just say I'm whining here, but this is an outrage!

Is this a paid advertisement for Ds & Rs, or is this a Voters Guide?
Is this malicious omission, or just shoddy journalism?

I respectfully call on the Star to remove this Voters Guide until such time as all ballotted candidates appear on it.

The Star is plainly free to publish whatever it chooses, just please don't call it journalism, and certainly don't call it a Voters Guide, because it's nothing of the sort.

This snub just illustrates why the purcase of radio ads is so important. We can't count on certain outlets to include us in the free publicity they heap on the other two, so in the grand Western tradition, we have to buy our message to compete. Please- click here to support our purchase of radio ads statewide. $10 = 1 minute, on average.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Trail Briefs

3-minute presentations are running on cable TV systems Insight (Lafayette & Kokomo), and Comcast (Indy). We're looking for someone to record these so we can put them on You Tube for a wider audience to see. Email the campaign at with a digital file.

I was on Richmond radio this morning, talking Libertarian ballot status and wider ballot access. This was with Chris Nolte on WKBV 1490-am.

I was not able to attend a candidate forum at IU East as planned, as I broke a bone in my right hand after a fall at home. It may require surgery, but I hope not. The doc is going to set it tomorrow. I can't wait.

We've made a great push in funraising for radio ads. If you live in Evansville, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Kokomo, Rushville, LaPorte, Richmond, or Indy especially, and want to be sure that you and your neighbors can hear our ads, please contribute today! Even $10 buys an ad or two, depending on the market. $250 will complete our buys in some markets, such as Columbus and Kokomo. Click here to support!

District One, mark your calendars! Mike and the team will be in Lowell on Friday, November 3, at the Pizza House, at 7pm. This will be a fundraiser for Mike Kole, and a fun evening with your fellow defenders of liberty. No RSVP required.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

TV Taping For Lafayette

I was in the studios of Insight cable TV this afternoon, taping my promo for the ICN candidate show, "Candidates Up Close". These will run on ICN Channel 13 in Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Attica; and on ICN Channel 3 in Kokomo on the following schedule:

Monday, 10/23, 7pm
Wednesday, 10/25, 8pm
Saturday 10/28, 5pm
Sunday, 10/29, 9am
Monday, 10/31, 7pm
Wednesday, 11/1, 8pm
Saturday 11/4, 5pm
Sunday, 11/5, 9am
Monday, 11/6, 7pm

Be sure to tune in. See if any other statewide candidate bothered to turn up and tape their own promo. Here's a shot from my taping:

I appreciate the opportunity Insight created- for all candidates to have a 5-minute message for their viewers. Thanks, Insight!
Making Strides Event

Ame, Isabel, and I participated in the American Cancer Association's annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event, doing the Indianapolis 5k walk early this morning.

The broken toe was protesting a little, but I would have done this event in a wheelchair if necessary. Too many women close to me have suffered breast cancer, and I do what I can to assist in helping to find a cure.

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Radio Ad

As soon as new money comes in, we put it to work. We raised money at last night's bean dinner, and today we cut an ad to run on Indy's WXNT 1430-am. It will run once an hour during daytime programming- Abdul in the Morning, Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

For those who can't stand O'Reilly or Hannity, or perhaps question the wisdom of heavy advertising on clearly Republican shows, observe the script:

My name is Mike Kole. I am the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State.

People often tell me they like a great deal of what the Libertarian Party stands for, but are concerned about wasting their votes.

Let me tell you- there are a lot of wasted votes every November.

If you voted Republican looking for lower taxes and smaller government, you have wasted your vote.

You gave your vote. Did you get your results?

You might have expected them to deliver on smaller government and lower taxes, since they have had majorities in the Indiana House and Senate, plus the governor’s office. And yet, they failed to deliver.

Elect Libertarians. We will deliver.

Libertarians are passionate about smaller government and lower taxes. Republicans on the other hand, are passionate about holding power. They’re happy to collect your vote without delivering.

Why put up with that treatment? Send a message. Vote

Vote for Libertarian Mike Kole.

Paid for and authorized by the Committee to Elect Mike Kole, Ken Johnson Treasurer.

If you like this ad and want more of them to run, please contribute by clicking here.

I'm very pleased with this ad. I have wanted to tackle the wasted voted syndrome in my ads for almost two years. This is a satisfying result!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bean Dinner a Success!

Thursday night was a glorious night, as supporters of the Kole Campaign gathered for NK Hurst 15-Bean Soup, and fellowship with defenders of property rights.

Many, many thanks to great friend Jim Hurst, who put the event together and provided the excellent food. Also, thanks for his remarks in introducing me. Public speaking isn't everyone's idea of fun, and I appreciate that Jim got up and spoke because of his support for me. I appreciate that very much!

Many, many thanks to Rob Place and Dan Drexler, who managed many of the events' details.

Big thanks to Mark Rutherford for his exuberant fundraising pitch, and to Kyle McDonald for his dignified introductions.

Thanks of course to all who attended and contributed. Your support is the fuel I need for the stretch run!

We raised over $5,000 on this evening, and it will go a long way towards covering the state with radio ads.

Photo gallery:

Jim Hurst & Mike. Jim said, "OK. I want one of those toothy grinned politician handshake pictures". How can I turn this man down?

Alongside Jim Hurst, I'm listening to Fred McCarthy, Indianapolis budgetary watchdog and author of the great Indy Tax Dollars blog.

More Bean Dinner Photo Gallery

The Marrott's Ballroom was fabulous!

Supporters dig in to the NK Hurst 15-Bean Soup and their Pasta Fagioli.

Chatting with supporters.

Marion County Chair Greg Dixon presents me with a check on behalf of the Marion County LP.

Isabel: "Vote for my Daddy!"

Bean Dinner, Featuring NK Hurst Beans!

The Kole Campaign is proud to announce a Bean Dinner Fundraiser, featuring NK Hurst's 15-bean soup.

When: Thursday, October 19th, 7-9pm
Where: Marrott Ballroom, Fall Creek & Meridian, Indianapolis
Cost: $15/person
Menu: NK Hurst's 15-Bean Soup, jalapeno and regular corn bread, Coke products, plus cash bar. Vegetarian options available- just ask.
Speaking: Libertarian state chair Mark Rutherford, and candidate for Secretary of State Mike Kole

I was proud to speak before a joint session of the legislature defending the right of all Hoosiers to their property, and to just compensation in an eminent domain cases. This included the NK Hurst family, who fought the state's attempt to take their land for extra limo parking at the new stadium site. I was proud to write editorials praising their commitment to the city and criticizing the injustice of taking their land as 'thanks'. I am humbled that the Hursts have given me their support in this way.

Mark your calendars. Email your RSVP. This is a big event you will want to attend.
Forum Report

I was pleased to appear at the Greenbriar Elementary School last night at a candidate forum featuring those on the ballot in Washington Township. I appreciated the invitation and the opportunity, as this community is very in-tune with issues.

The organizers framed this as a job interview, with the citizens as the boss. I like these metaphors. They work.

I gave my standard stump speech on my platform items of increasing voter turnout, promoting and end to gerrymandering of districts, and the adaptation of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) voting machines. I capped off in the spirit of the Woody Allen Rule, which is, "90% of success is showing up".

Oh, look! Empty seats surround me yet again. The statewide ballot is loaded with paper candidates.

I pointed out that once again, I was the only statewide candidate, for any statewide office, from any party to show up, and that this happens very routinely. I asked, "would you hire a prospect who failed to turn up for the job interview"? This was well received, and I found myself with pledges of support and votes.

Update: There is an amusing story in the Indy Star about the Republican candidates for statewide office, touring the state in a bus... today. From the Star report:

Three Republicans running for office, including Secretary of State Todd Rokita, set off today on a one-day bus tour to promote their campaigns.

On the bus with Rokita: Tim Berry, the current state treasurer and now candidate for state auditor, and Evansville businessman Richard Mourdock, who is running to replace Berry.

The three left Indianapolis this morning and planned to stop in five cities before returning tonight.

Wow. Five cities. Tra-la-la! I've made over 200 campaign events this year, and have been actively running a real campaign for over two years. These guys get on the bus for one little day. It's such sad commentary that they will get so many votes for bringing so little to the table.

Rokita brags on visiting all 92 counties as SOS. Guess what? That's his job. There's nothing extraordinary in that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Radio Report

It was a great hour on the "Abdul in the Morning" show today, with Jim Hurst promoting my campaign. It really meant a lot to me that Jim has given me such strong support.

If you missed the show, no problem. Here are links to Sendspace, which is temporarily hosting the four 15-minute clips of the hour. They have all the commercials and promotions, so you know.

Jim Hurst & Mike, Part 1
Jim Hurst & Mike, Part 2
Jim Hurst & Mike, Part 3
Jim Hurst & Mike, Part 4

Big thanks to WXNT and Abdul Hakim-Shabazz for having us on the program this morning, and to Andrew Lee for permission to post the clips!
Comcast Candidate Show

Some time ago, I taped a 2-minute spot for Comcast cable, to be aired in the Indianapolis system. Here's the schedule:

Comcast Channel 72

Thursday, October 19th, 7-9pm
Saturday, October 21st, 7-9pm
Tuesday, October 24th, 7-9pm
Thursday, October 26th, 7-9pm
Saturday, October 28th, 7-9pm
Tuesday, October 31st, 7-9pm

If you watch it, please make a digital recording of it. I'd like to post the video to You Tube so that everyone can see it. Email the team to arrange sending a file to us! We would be most appreciative!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bean-efit Ad

We're running ads on WXNT for the Kole Campaign's bean dinner, featuring NK Hurst Company's 15-bean soup. The ads will run once an hour Wednesday & Thursday from 6am through 3pm.

We can run more ads if the money comes in. Click Here to contribute for more ads.

Click here to listen to the ad!