Friday, March 31, 2006
I was honored to be asked to speak at LP county conventions in LaPorte and Wayne counties. Unfortunately, both scheduled at the same time. Libertarians have great policy solutions for a great many issues, but sadly, have not solved how to be in two places that are 200 miles apart at once.
So I have chosen to speak at the combined Wayne County & Henry County convention. I am pleased to owe LaPorte County a great deal of attention in the future!
Per Wayne County Chair Rex Bell, the event begins Saturday, April 1st, 6:00 P.M., at 47 East Main Street, Hagerstown. Rex says, "Please plan on attending, and bring an overtaxed friend". That should be easy enough to accomplish, again, sadly. Dinner at Welliver's afterwards should be lure enough for anyone. Mapquest link. Richmond paper news brief. Muncie paper news brief.
Addressing the issue of where Libertarians and independents fit into the primary election, my letter was printed in today's Ledger. Link to letter.
The bottom line is this: ask for the "School Board ballot". School board candidates are non-partisan, meaning you can vote on them even if you do not take a Republican or Democratic ballot. If you do take an 'R' or 'D', the act of taking it is a sworn statement, under threat of perjury, that you intend to cast the majority of your votes for that party's candidates in the November general election.
It's an unenforced law, but voting should be on the up-and-up, so I encourage appropriate choices.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Again, let's hear it for the medical profession. They put their professional conferences in excellent vacation spots, like Los Cabos, Mexico. While Ame was at the conference, Isabel & I roamed the beaches. Here are a few photos:
This lower photo is a humpback whale. If you would like to see more, go here.
Since the Indiana schools are out of the NCAA Tourney, and my bracket is shot to pieces, I'm now pulling for George Mason. It's not on Cinderella grounds. It's on ideology. From the Washington Times:
Established first as a University of Virginia offshoot in 1957 and then as an independent university in 1972, George Mason boomed with the population of Northern Virginia and now is the largest university in the state with an enrollment of nearly 30,000.
The school -- named the most diverse in the country by the Princeton Review this year -- has campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties.
The university also is known as a haven for libertarian political thought, with a number of professors -- mainly in the economics and law departments -- who stress the principles of libertarianism, which champions individual freedom.
"George Mason is classified as a school where there are some libertarian professors, and that makes it somewhat unusual," said David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute in the District. "There are a lot of colleges not welcoming to libertarians and conservatives."
George Mason boasts two Nobel Prize laureates as professors, James Buchanan and Vernon Smith, who both won their awards in the field of economic sciences.
However, the school's namesake is still the original source of Patriot pride.
George Mason, one of America's Founding Fathers, wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Thomas Jefferson used as a model for the Bill of Rights.
George Mason doen't get the attention that others, such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, or Monroe get. Not being an early President, as these others were, makes it so. His refusal to sign the original Constitution also makes it so. He objected on the lack of a statement of rights. Of course, The Bill of Rights was later added as Amendments one through ten, justifying his grounds. Short bio.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It has been a long-running debate within the Libertarian Party, whether candidates or even county or state affiliates should engage much in discussing Federal issues. Some say 'yes', it helps the voter get a fuller picture of what our candidates are about. Others say 'no', little point in discussing issues outside of the scope of the offices being sought by a candidate. I think the Libertarians most against our candidates limiting the scope of their talking points are those who have pet issues they want enunciated, whether by the candidate who can affect the issue if elect, or by the candidate for dog catcher. I don't find it terribly practical, and a little arrogant.
But that's just me. The new poll is here for your use, at the right. The poll is not limited to Libertarians or to Hoosiers, so have at it. You earn my esteemed respect if you are a party line voter and have the integrity to say so in the poll.
Time for the three polls to go. I thought they were interesting and worthwhile questions.
1. What was the highlight of this legislative session?
58% Passage of law curtailing eminent domain
21% Passage of Major Moves
16% There were no highlights
5% Passage of temporary property tax relief
0% Defeat of Indy Works
I agree with the majority here. Restricting eminent domain was the best thing the legislature did. It could have gone further and banned the practice, which would have been better, but this is positive. Interesting that Indy Works, despite the massive press coverage, got no interest here.
2. What was the lowlight of this legislative session?
37% Passage of Major Moves
26% Isn't the short session supposed to be for *emergency* legislation?
16% Party line voting
11% Too tough to pick the lowest of the low
5% Failure to pass anti-gerrymandering bill
5% Passage of shell-game property tax relief
In other years, I think the shell-game property tax 'relief' would have won, but with Major Moves on the books, and many readers from the northern counties who have this strange desire to avoid the redistibution of wealth across the state, it took the prize. In the future, the Libertarian Party will have to make more of the fact that the short session was designed for passage of emergency measures, not sweeping policy items like Major Moves, and not grandstanding items like banning certain foods from school vending machines.
3. What is your top priority for the 2007 legislative session?
47% Good grief, where do you start?
32% Cut the budget by at least 1% across the board
11% Create property tax relief without shifting tax burden
5% Eliminate state income tax
5% Pass tougher eminent domain bill
0% Pass anti-gerrymandering legislation
Good to know! Gerrymandering was the top issue for Libertarians in the Secretary of State race in 2002. It's an issue that is kind of like a music album that is a critical review. People know it's good, but they aren't moved by it in numbers. The 'good grief' bit shows a lot of frustration with the legislature. Cutting the budget is the winner here, ahead of tax cuts. I'd love to see this get traction.
Thanks to all who participated in these polls. New ones to come soon!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
It is very important that Libertarians make the commitment now to take election day off this year. Go to your boss today and request the day off for Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Plan to work at the polling place, or in other support of Libertarian candidates.
This is a commitment and a sacrifice that Libertarians have to make. Government employees will be given the day off, and many will be at the polls for the benefit of big government candidates in either the Republican or Democratic parties. That's a huge workforce they have at their disposal. We need to counter with a huge force of our own.
Make the commitment today. Presence at the polling places means an extra few percentage points. In some places, this is the difference between a win and a strong second. Statewide, it may be the difference between major party and minor party status. It's a big deal.
If you intend to vote in the Indiana primary elections, you need to get registered to vote if you aren't already. From the Noblesville Ledger article:
If you're going to vote in the May 2 primary, you've got to register by 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The stakes are high. Officeholders will determine tax rates, decide how schools will operate, prosecute criminals, establish budgets for poor relief and township fire protection and run communities and county offices, among other duties.
In northern Hamilton County, 86 names will be on the Republican and school board ballots. A handful of Democrats are challenging some Republicans and those races will be determined in the Nov. 7 general election, but many of the offices will be filled when votes are cast May 2.
What this means is that in many counties across Indiana, often one party is so dominant that the primary election is the de facto election, as the second and third parties are so distant that they fail to post a significant challenge. In some counties, the second party doesn't even post candidates. This is can be the case for Democrats in Hamilton and other counties, and Republicans in Lake and other counties, where the Libertarians will post more candidates in November than the minorty major party.
The Libertarian Party of Indiana currently has minor party status, and does not participate in the primary elections. Libertarians spare the taxpayers the expense, and host their own county conventions.
The law is such that if you vote in the primary election and select either a Republican or Democratic ballot, you are making the statement, under the penalty of perjury, that you intend to vote for that party's candidates as the majority of your votes in the general election. Here are your options if you vote Libertarian and wish to vote on primary election day:
Simply ask for an independent ballot. There may be local issues on the primary ballot, but it is unlikely. Independent voters can still cast votes for candidates for non-partisan office such as school board.
If you intend to cast the majority of your votes for Republicans or Democrats, select that ballot. You can still split your November ballot and vote for Libertarians.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Big thanks to my old friend Matt Dudas for submitting this photo:
Yes, Matt lives in Georgia, but he's proudly displaying a Mike Kole for Indiana Secretary of State sticker on his car's bumper! (I took the liberty of erasing tell-tale portions of characters from his plates.)
The purple sticker must be causing some delightful confusion for his neighbors and co-workers. I hope it causes discussions about the Libertarians and the good people that run on their ticket.
For your own Kole sticker, email the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask!
It's been a few days since posting, as I was vacationing in Los Cabos, Mexico with the family.
The main draw for Ame was a medical conference. Isabel & I roamed the beach. I'll say this- the medical profession knows where to stage their conferences. We've been to Vegas, Hilton Head, and now Mexico on these conferences. The engineering conferences and training I've been to have been in places like Madison, WI and Chicago. Nice enough places... in June. Madison was one frosty January a few years back.
The highlight was an afternoon cruise on the Sea of Cortez, where we spotted hundreds of dolphins and dozens of humpback whales. It was an absolute thrill! The food was outstanding as well.
Look for more posts in upcoming days- and perhaps some pics from Los Cabos.