Saturday, April 29, 2006

Convention Photos

The Libertarian Party of Indiana's annual convention is winding down. A great event, and I was pleased to accept the party's nomination for candidate for Secretary of State.

Delivering my acceptance speech

Many other candidates were nominated and confirmed at the convention today. Here are pictures with a couple of them.

J.A. Thomas is running for State Representative, District 64.

Jo Coleman is also running for State Rep, in District 25

Many, many thanks to Hoosier Libertarians, who overwhelmed me with their support of my candidacy, with their votes, their encouragement, and their financial backing.

I do believe that 7pm, November 7, 2006 will be the Libertarian Party of Indiana's finest hour.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Which Axiom To Use?

Hmm... Should I go with, "Be careful of what you ask for because you just might get it?" -or- the Oscar Wilde high road, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"?

Check out Matt Tully's article in this morning's Star. Article link. Here are some "highlights":

But for me, nothing says election season like a complaining Libertarian. If Election Day is approaching, Libertarians are griping and moaning and whining about being ignored, mistreated, forgotten and generally shunned by the media.

The Libertarian Whine is one of the true campaign constants. It is to elections what potholes are to spring, or what mosquitoes are to summer.

That is, an annoying and guaranteed event.

But Kole is promising to do better than the Libertarians who have played the role of ballot caboose in past elections. He hopes to win a whopping 10 percent of the vote in this fall's race for secretary of state.

"If I earn 10 percent," Kole wrote, "the Libertarian Party will become a major party, on par with the Democrats and Republicans."

This was when I started wondering just what they spike the water with down on Libertarian Avenue. Major parties don't earn 10 percent. They win elections -- with, say, 51 percent -- every so often. With the exception of a rare head-scratcher, Libertarians don't win elections.

Anyway, after reading Kole's e-mail, I left a message on his cell phone. He quickly called back -- because Libertarians really want more press.
I think you can see that Tully was just looking to be mean-spirited. I get made fun of for quickly returning a call? You might think that ignoring the call, or returning it after three days might be worthy of ridicule, rather than my courteous punctuality. Alas.

Here's a column I wasn't getting before, and with it likely some sympathy votes. Let's hope Tully does this every week or so. Vive Oscar Wilde!

For the record, I am not running to get 10%. I'm running to win the election. I was explaining to Mr. Tully the secondary, fall-back objective and the value of it. That wasn't very easy to get, so I'll give him a pass on it.

But Mr. Tully misses a point when he says that we complain about being ignored by the media. We aren't ignored by the media. We're ignored by the Star, hence my message to him. What's a candidate supposed to do? Hang your head, stuff your hands in your pockets and slink away? Not this candidate! No- I fight for what's right!

This is all worth thinking about. I cited the publication of the incumbent's recent letter and headshot. Consider that he recently blessed himself with better than $3 million in taxpayer-funded ads. But, because in Tully's estimation he has the best chance of winning, the Star fuels him with ever more coverage. I present a discourse relevant to the issues of the elections- the Star even took my position in a recent editorial- and I'm told to pipe down, because I'm not the big fish.

Never wonder why incumbents are so difficult to displace, and why such vast sums of money are needed to mount a challenge to them.

I'm running for the post of top election official in Indiana. The Democrats haven't even gotten serious enough to file a single candidate for the job, so Tully quotes Marion County Democratic Chair Ed Treacy in his recent column about elections. Treacy's a great quote, but the man has nothing to do with elections.

Ironically, Tully was putting me on the spot to demonstrate the relevance of my party. Really, I'm hard-pressed to discover the relevance of the Star and of Tully's column. Based on the content, it's clearly nothing to do with the public discourse, the ideas therein, or even news.

Update: Be sure to check my recent follow-up post, which observes that just two days later, the Star published an article on the Green Party that reads like paid advertising. Hmm... The Greens aren't on the Indiana ballot, and they merit serious consideration. The Libertarians have had automatic ballot access because they have met the ballot box threshold since 1994, so they merit a hatchet job. Is it just whining on my part to point this out?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Congrats, Beth & Chris!

I was honored to be included in the wedding party of Beth Medawar and Chris Ward on Saturday. My best wishes to Beth & Chris as they begin married life together!

The ceremony at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel brought back memories of my Catholic upbringing and the many weddings I served as an altar boy.

Chris is the former 5th District Central Committee representative for the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

Chris, with Libertarian State Chair Mark Rutherford

Isabel & I outside the church

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Pics, New Poll

I finally got my photo software working again, so I added many pictures to posts from the past few weeks. Everything from the Stadium Authority-NK Hurst press conference to some of my speaking engagements. Scroll back to see them.

Also, there is a new poll. It comes in response to what I perceive as a slight by the major media in Central Indiana. It is my belief that Libertarians have a valid place in the coverage by virtue of the ballot access we have earned and maintained over the years, by virtue of the fact that we run serious and qualified candidates for office, and frankly due to the fact that if our government seems screwed up, just remember that it is an almalgam of Republican and Democrat ideas.

I believe the major media is enormously out of touch with a populace begging for new ideas. The major media doesn't cover things it doesn't believe to be big. Of course, no new idea starts its life as anything but small, so the major media could only be out of touch in this regard.

But, that's just me. The poll is open to anyone. If I'm wrong, let me see it! The poll is on the right side of the page.

The last poll wasn't terribly great, I confess. It asked if the reader planned to attend their party's conventions. There was only one vote each for attending a Republican or Democratic convention and for voting on a partisan D or R ticket. I know the turnout will be low for the Primary, but this is ridiculous.

Enjoy the new pics and poll!
Ads Running!

Be certain to tune in to WXNT 1430-AM in Indianapolis to hear my unusual campaign ads. They are running once per hour, from 7am to 8pm, every day in the run-up to the Primary Election.

The ads are unusual in that neither I nor any other partisan Libertarian appears on the Primary ballots. The ad calls attention to this fact, and to the nature of the slating of candidates by the parties. Libertarians bear the costs of their conventions. Republicans and Democrats soak the taxpayers for a Primary Election that gets less than 25% average participation statewide.

The purpose is to highlight yet another area of waste caused by Rs & Ds, and to show that a better way is out there.

Another thing the ads did was advise voters that they can still participate, even if the Primaries are widely perceived as private party business. I urge non-partisans, scratch voters, Libertarians, and independents to vote- simply ask for the School Board Ballot. This frees you from having to take a partisan R or D ballot.

The Secretary of State's Office spent $1.2 million to educate Hoosiers about voter ID, but didn't put any money or effort into educating non-partisan, non-R & non-D voters. Don't ever wonder why turnout is so low.

Today is the official deadline for registration for the Libertarian Party of Indiana's annual convention. Link to registration form.

Let's pack the hall with supporters of liberty! Register online today, and look for me this weekend!
Fodder For Hearings

With all the screaming about gasoline pump prices, the calls go forth for the heads of oil company personnel, with the charges of price gouging flying to and fro.

As long as there are going to be investigations into what makes a gallon of gasoline cost as much as it does, let's hope the Congress makes sure to consider the costs government brings to bear. Here's the deal for Indianapolis:

Current price per gallon for regular, unleaded gasoline in the Indianapolis area = $2.849

Federal Gas Tax = $0.184
State Gas Tax = $0.180
State Sales Tax = $0.171
Inspection Fee = $0.008
Total Taxes & Fees = $0.543

Current price per gallon for regular, unleaded gasoline in the Indianapolis area without government add-ons = $2.306

If excess profits are perceived as a problem, then the amounts taken by government ought to be seen as twice the problem, since they are greater than the profits taken by oil companies.

Thanks to Gregg Puls for the numbers!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ads to Run!

Thanks to our supporters who came through with donations sufficient that we will be running ads on WXNT 1430-am, beginning Wednesday morning. Be sure to tune in! We'll run one per hour through the Primaries! That's a lot of exposure.

I deeply appreciate the support!

I'll run the ad script once the ads are recorded, later today.
Star Takes My Position on Elections

One of today's Indianapolis Star editorials took my position that moving the school board elections from the Primary Election to the General Election in November would be beneficial. From the Star editorial:
Our position: Moving school board elections from May to November would help voters to have more influence on education.

Wonder if races for school board seats in Indiana should be moved from the primary period in May to the general election in November? Consider the spectacularly low voter turnout for the last round of school district elections in 2004.

Only 13 percent of voters cast ballots in races for seats on 10 Marion County school boards in May 2004, lower than the 19 percent turnout for the overall primary and four times smaller than for the general election six months later.


The fact that the elections take place during the primary in May, a time in which intraparty struggles are decided, means few voters who aren't registered as Democrats or Republicans will show up. The new media also tend to pay less attention to primary elections.

Moving school board elections from May to November would enable voters to receive more information on issues surrounding the races. They're also more likely to pay attention during the fall election cycle. And turnout is sure to be higher.

Given the importance of education, school board elections deserve a higher profile. A shift to November is overdue.

Now, if only the Star could give credit where credit is due. Here are excerpts from my April 3, 2006 press release, which was widely circulated to various columnists, reporters, and editorial staffers:

Primary Elections Are Also Open To Libertarians and Independent Voters

All voters, regardless of party, can vote on important school board seats

Fishers, IN- Turnout at Primary Elections are routinely low throughout Indiana. One reason is that Primaries are dominated by the party business of the Republicans and Democrats, marginalizing voters who aren’t true believers of those parties.

That’s too bad, because important non-partisan races for school board are a significant part of the primary ballot in many Hoosier counties, and everybody can vote for these candidates.

Libertarians and independent voters often feel marginalized by the Primary Election process. While they wish to fulfill their civic duty by voting on Primary Election Day, because they have no interest in taking a partisan Republican or Democrat ballot, these voters too often stay home.

Even with the big combined Presidential-Gubernatorial, an embarrassing 21% of registered Indiana voters turned out at the 2004 Indiana Primaries.
It’s curious that the two parties don’t use conventions more broadly to slate candidates. They will nominate some of their candidates at a statewide convention this summer, so they know how to do it.

Non-partisan school board candidates could be voted on in the General Election, eliminating the Primary Election entirely. The taxpayers would be relieved of the cost of the spring election and the free day for government employees.

Some original thoughts over at the Star's editorial board, eh? It would be nice to get just acknowledgment from the Star. Unfortunately, old media that they are, the Star is behind the trending growth and relevance of the Libertarian Party here in Indiana. Let's hope that changes soon. We are saying things a month in advance of anyone else that are wholly relevant to public policy. Why blacklist us?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Radio Notes

Is this sounding familiar? Tune in to 1430-am WXNT in Indy Monday morning at 7:45, for the "Abdul in the Morning" show. I'll be calling in with comment on the Stadium Authority's spin-o-rama on the NK Hurst deal. In fact, tune in at 7:00am, as Rick Hurst will be on with Abdul to talk about the deal. Listen from anywhere online, at

WXNT includes Libertarians with frequency. I like to reward this fact, and besides, a great many friends of liberty listen to the station because of the kind of programming they air.

This is the primary election season, and with it, high advertising season. The political rates for advertising are in effect this week, and I would like to take advantage.

1-minute ads are going for about $9/each. This is about 20% of the usual rate! I would like to place about 100-125 ads on the station in the run-up to the primary.

I know- Libertarians aren't in the primaries. That's a point worth making. Libertarians don't cost the taxpayers a dime when it comes to the slating of its candidates. It's time the Democrats and Republicans stopped riding the backs of the taxpayers for their party business. They should stage conventions, too, just like the Libertarian Party. We'll also let voters know that we support voting machines that produce an auditable paper trail because we believe voters should leave the polls knowing their vote was accurately counted.

Let's raise $1,000 in the next 24 hours, and I'll make the buy on WXNT. If you want to see ads of this nature on stations outside of Indy, contact me with the station call letters, frequency, and location (e.g.: WXNT 1430-am, Indianapolis), and the amount of support you are giving to get it done, and the Kole Campaign will do the rest.

Here's the fastest way to contribute- Follow this link for safe, secure, online credit card donations. When contributed this way, the money is available immediately.

This campaign is doing things Libertarian campaigns haven't done before. We will see results. Join the excitement!