Friday, April 21, 2006


It was fascinating to attend today's press conference with the Stadium Authority and the NK Hurst Company. The newspapers will tell the story of how a deal has been reached at long last. The pictures on TV will show the participants from both sides looking happy. The public will assume this was a deal of mutual benefit.

Rick Hurst on the TV camera firing line.

The Hursts are such good people. You can tell that all they want is to remain where they are to fulfill their personal commitment to the City of Indianapolis and to their employees. They gave away their land without even a commitment from the Stadium Authority on how much they would be paid for the loss. From the Indy Star:

Though both sides haven't agreed on how much the Hurst company will be paid for the lost land, the stadium authority will immediately pay the family $400,000, and put $1.65 million in an escrow account until a final pricetag is determined.

The agreement is part of a land swap in which the Hursts give up 2.7 acres of their original property, but get one acre the stadium owns immediately to the west of the Hurst property. Now, that one acre is home to a giant pile of dirt from construction of the new Lucas Oil Stadium, which started in September and will end in the fall of 2008. Instead of an L-shape, the Hurst property will now be shaped like a square.

That land is worth waaaaaay more that that. I would have gone to the wall over this. God bless the Hursts, for they are just trying to get back to what they do- selling beans and soups.

The thing that most struck me most is the thing that will not be reported, in all likelihood. It was fascinating listening to Mr. Mutz and Mr. Frick and their choice of words. They spoke as though the Hurst land was already theirs, and that the Stadium Authority was making a concession to the Hursts!

This is exactly backwards. The Hursts made all of the concessions, giving up their land. The spin was so thick I was getting dizzy.

The Stadium Authority made no concession whatsoever. What are they giving up? If the project costs more due to needing to build a parking garage, it won't cost the members of the Authority a penny. It will cost the taxpayers. Of course, it this were a private project as it should have been from the get-go, the taxpayers wouldn't be paying a penny, either.

In a sick way, the Colts may even make more money on a garage. They already get a portion of the proceeds from the lot. They will probably get a portion from the garage, too. What about if the garage is used for non-football events? Man, it's good to be Jim Irsay!

Speaking of whom... The cost for a new garage was stated to be about $15 million. I figure that Mr. Irsay can peel off a cool $15 for that garage and still have $106 million left from that naming rights deal. It would go a long way towards showing that he can be something of the kind of corporate citizens the Hursts are, and have been all along.

This whole deal just shows that there is often little reward for being good people, and ample reward for being snakes.

Update: Spin-O-Rama continues. Even the Star reporter used words that indicated that somehow the Stadium Authority is making concession, in the updated article for Saturday morning:

Under an agreement it reached with Hurst, the stadium authority, which had faced public pressure to end its land dispute with the family business, will lose space for up to 500 surface parking spots for fans. As a result, it may have to spend $15 million on a parking garage. (Emphasis mine.)

Let's be crystal clear here- The Stadium Authority isn't losing anything. It gained 2.7 acres from the Hursts!!! Certainly, the Stadium Authority had to alter its plans, but it certainly did not lose anything. It gained 2.7 acres it didn't have, and would not have ever gotten if not for the threat of an eminent domain taking.

I'd call this a very successful press conference Mr. Mutz, Mr. Frick, and the State.
NK Hurst Ordeal Ending?

Many sources are stating that the NK Hurst Company and the Stadium Authority are poised to announce an agreement this morning, and it would include the NK Hurst Company remaining on some of its land, retaining its building.

That's very nice, but it's far, far less than perfect. Mainly, the Daniels Administration has behaved in disgraceful ways that underscore its disregard for property rights. Don't lose sight of the following:
  • The NK Hurst Company owns its land, period. If NK Hurst wants to sell, and on what terms, should be up to them and them alone. The State should meet those terms, or walk away.
  • Under no circumstances should their land be stolen. The "public good" argument is bunk. This will benefit a private business entity- the Indianapolis Colts.
  • The Stadium Authority filed suit against NK Hurst in order to avoid more restrictive eminent domain laws that were coming up thanks to the horrible Kelo v. New London decision. This is the opposite of negotiating in good faith.
  • The NK Hurst Company is a model corporate citizen, one that stuck with the inner city when it was fashionable to leave. This is a lousy reward for them, and an awful signal to other inner city business owners, that your property is not safe.
Let's hope this press conference is where it is announced that the Colts have taken the high road, and contributed a few million dollars from their enormous $121 million naming rights deal. That would help everyone believe that Mr. Irsay isn't merely a spoiled, greedy child who is content to use the muscle of ego-driven govenment force, but in fact, half the decent corporate citizen the Hursts are. That would be refreshing, and redeeming.

Let's hope the Stadium Authority concedes full asking value to the Hursts. The overruns have already begun in the way of lining lawyers pockets. Let's see a rightful recipient get just compensation.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Indiana's Net Loss

The prevalent idea that Indiana is losing "native" population has recently been confirmed by the US Census. Immigrants are taking up the slack, but that's not viewed too favorably in many quarters. From the Indy Star report:

But since immigrants typically don't have high-paying jobs, Indiana's net loss through domestic migration is troubling. "I don't think 'alarmed' is the right word, but it needs to be watched," said Carol Rogers, of Indiana University's Business Research Center.

The Daniels Administration will probably be quick to point out that the Census figures stop at 2004, hanging this data on the Democratic governors that proceded him. Very well- the Daniels Administration has been on the clock for two years. Let's see the post 2004 numbers soon.

Any time the Daniels Administration wants to turn Indiana into a jobs, wealth, and population magnet, it can take some very simple steps.

1. Cut or eliminate the state income tax. Seven other states have no income tax. Indiana should become the 8th.
2. Cut or eliminate the corporate taxes. Business go off-shore or to other states to flee the tax burden. Eliminate that burden, and they wil flock here instead.

Elect Libertarians, and these things will take place. We have the spine to do it. Keep electing Republicans for fear of electing Democrats, and you'll keep getting empty rhetoric. Look to see if Daniels calls on the Legislature for these growth tools.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Candidate Forum Report

This afternoon was pleasantly spent in Richmond, on the campus of IU East- a commuter school, which is familiar territory to me as I attended and graduated from Cleveland State University. The students tend to be older, and usually hold jobs while furthering their education. Open minds, but with real-world experience.

I was surprised at the attendance, or lack thereof, by the candidates. Not a single Republican candidate bothered to show. I'm not quite sure what to make of that.

The result was a lot of floor time for myself and fellow Libertarian candidate Rex Bell. We were able to be a part of an extended dialogue directly with the audience, on topics such as the nature of teh primary elections, ballot access, the role of third parties, the application of Libertarian policy solutions to issues such as education, child care, and of course, taxes.

I was pleased with our showing, and those present seemed to enjoy our participation. A good percentage of those present left with Kole bumper stickers, which was gratifying.

I hope candidates from the other parties continue to take these events for granted and not show up. No doubt it reflected poorly on them, and well on the Libertarian Party today.
How Can I Help? III

Here's the latest in the series. I get regular emails asking exactly this- how can I help? Here are three more ways:

1. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Is there a position that I have taken on a particular issue that really resonates with you? Write a letter stating that you like my position on that issue, and because of it, you support my campaign, and urge others to do likewise. Most newspaper websites include a "Letters" form, often on either the Editorials page, or on the Customer Service page. Letters that are 150 words or less tend to get published. Check the archives on this blog for my most in-depth discussions on issues, but also be sure to check out my campaign site:

2. Add a "Vote for Mike Kole" signature file to your email accounts. Many people have signature files with quotes from famous people or witty one-liners. Adding a simple message like, "I'm supporting Mike Kole for Secretary of State" and then the campaign website:, is a simple way to reach people in an unintrusive way. Think of how many emails you send each day, and who you send them to. With a signature file message, you could reach 20 or more people every day.

3. Get a bumper sticker on your vehicle. If you send an email to, the Campaign Team will send you a bumper sticker. They look great, and they help build name recognition. Here's the bumper sticker:

I appreciate the email requests from people looking for ways to help. The Campaign Team is still growing. If you have an interest beyond these simple things, and into more traditional campaign roles such as fundraiser or precinct walker, by all means contact us on

Monday, April 17, 2006

Candidate Forum Tuesday

I have been invited to a candidate forum, scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at Noon. This is a campus town hall meeting at Indiana University East, held in the Library Atrium, Hayes Hall. The campus is in Richmond. Link to map.

I am looking forward to sharing Libertarian ideas with what I imagine will be a mostly collegiate audience. I believe this event is open to the public, so if you are a Richmond, Hagerstown, or Wayne County resident, and able to break free in the afternoon, please attend. It's always great to hear what candidates are backing.

Update: Rex Bell, Libertarian candidate for Indiana Representative in District 54 will also be at this forum. I will enjoy this event if only for hearing Rex speak! He's good. Attend if you can!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Featured Letter

With Tax Day here, Libertarians always have featured letters and articles in our nation's newspapers. Today's Indy Star is no exception, with a feature letter by Dr. Eric Schansberg. His topic is the payroll taxes. From his letter:
Unlike the income tax, there are no deductions or exemptions for the payroll tax. Every single dollar is taxed. As such, it is easy to imagine why payroll taxes typically impose a larger burden than income taxes. And it should be easy to see why the working poor are hit hardest of all.