Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Trail Recap

Another busy day Tuesday with events that stretched throughout the entire day.

First stop, the Indianapolis studios of WXNT, 1430-am. Abdul Hakim-Shabazz had me on to talk about my campaign, which is unusual. He often has me on as the opposition voice, as he did on the discussion on light rail. This time the purpose was to talk about the issues I am campaigning on, such as Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) voting machines, and an end to the gerrymandering of districts. Only had to suffer through a couple of calls asking about Federal issues that have nothing to do with the statewide office I'm running for. Abdul invited me back for another chat prior to the election.

Making a point on the "Abdul in the Morning" show.

After getting some business work done, I headed north towards South Bend, stopping at Rochester for an interview with Todd Hamm of the Rochester Sentinel. Again, I was talking about VVPAT, gerrymandering, and also the way any SOS candidate's results affect their party status. The article should run either today or tomorrow.

While the candidate forum was at IU South Bend, there was a distinct Notre Dame flavor to the event. This started with an interview with the South Bend Scholastic magazine.

The interviewer, Derek Snyder, asked a lot of questions that related to the Libertarian Party''s place at the policy table, and what students can do to be involved- especially if they are not Indiana residents, and thus inelligible to vote here.

There are many things students at Indiana colleges and universities can do, even if they cannot vote. They can staff the polling places, handing out palm cards and wearinig candidate t-shirts or lapel stickers. They can go door-to-door in support of local candidates. They can write letters to the newspapers on campus or in the nearby cities. They can organize their campus organizations. They can host Libertarian candidates to speak to their organization and to wider campus audiences. In sum, there are many things college students can do! An article will run with their next issue.

The big event was the Secretary of State's candidate forum at IU South Bend. There is a great deal that I could say about it, but I will keep it to highlights for now:

The event included four candidates, even write-in Bill Stant. I really enjoyed this aspect of the event, as these forums and debates too often exclude candidates who are on the ballot. Exclusion rips off the voters.

Four Secretary of State candidates, one room. From left: Joe Pearson (D), Mike Kole (L), Todd Rokita (R), Bill Stant (G).

It was interesting to hear Todd Rokita (R) and Joe Pearson (D) both talk about things that could lead to meaningful reform. Their positions sounded very much like my positions. Rokita surprised me when he picked up the gerrymandering issue. This is one Libertarians have been running on for years, but he took it and ran with it in detail- down to the formation of non-partisan boards to redraw the districts. Pearson backed VVPAT. Rokita has shown that the SOS can be a cheerleader for changes the legislature has to make. For all his fervor at this event, I don't recall him pushing Jerry Torr's bill to end gerrymandering during his tenure. It looks like my positions are being co-opted, and that's a sign of success.

It was surprising that the entire discussion focused on the Elections Division, to the exclusion of the Securities Division and the Business Services. I thought Rokita might go there, expecting that at least two of the other candidates have expressed more thoughts on Elections.

Due to having four candidates each with two minutes to respond to a question, we only got to eight questions. I felt that I left several excellent points up my sleeve, lying in wait. LPIN state chair Mark Rutherford advised me that it merely meant that I was well prepared.

All in all, this was a very good event. I wish there were more such forums and to wide audiences. It wasn't a debate, so claiming victory isn't applicable, but I was very, very satisfied with my performance and believe I made my mark this evening.

South Bend Tribune report.

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