Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pat Bauer, BMV, and Secretary of State

An interesting missive was issued by Pat Bauer and the Indiana Democrats today. From the press release:
House Democratic Leader B. Patrick Bauer today called for the operation of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to be placed under the direction of the Secretary of State instead of under the Governor’s Office.

Bauer explained his rationale during a Monday afternoon press conference at the Virginia Avenue BMV branch in Indianapolis.

“Our neighboring states of Illinois and Michigan already have placed operation of the BMV under the constitutional office of the Secretary of State, and I propose Indiana follow suit,” Bauer said.

You know, because Illinois and Michigan lead the way. Scary.

Anyhow, I like the idea of a BMV chief that is accountable to the voters, although right now, if you don't like the BMV, you can un-elect the Governor. In the Indy Star report, the incumbent SOS blew the idea off:
Secretary of State Todd Rokita, a Republican, dismissed the minority leader's plan as election year antics.
I found Bauer's stunt interesting. At first blush, you would guess that Bauer was trying to give the Democratic SOS candidate a little fuel, because he's been pretty much invisible. That hasn't changed- Bauer didn't even name their SOS candidate in their release, and didn't quote him either. Quite a team in blue.

Update 8/24/06: The confusion that seems to define Democrats- the same party that couldn't even field a candidate for US Senator- was noticed by the South Bend Tribune. From the Tribune report:
Whether Bauer's proposal helps fire other Democrats' campaigns as they seek majority status in the House of Representatives is unclear.

Rep. Ryan Dvorak, D-South Bend, said it's an "interesting idea" that he'll have to investigate further.

But he said Bauer had no obligation to coordinate the plan with Pearson, even though Pearson will top the Democrats' statewide ticket in November. "I don't know that Pat Bauer is campaigning for Joe Pearson," Dvorak said.

Pearson himself expressed no complaints about Bauer's strategy or timing, whether or not it sends an inadvertent message about party unity.

I think Bauer was trying to help Bauer, but a party that can't even be bothered to coordinate amongst itself can't be counted on to communicate with the electorate, either. This is some kind of ineptitude.

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