Friday, January 12, 2007

Ron Paul Running Again

The former Libertarian candidate for President, and 9-term Republican Congressman from Texas is running for President again, this time as a Republican. From an AP Report:
Ron Paul, the iconoclastic nine-term congressman from southeast Texas, took the first step Thursday toward launching a second presidential bid in 2008, this time as a Republican.

Paul filed incorporation papers in Texas on Thursday to create a presidential exploratory committee that allows him and his supporters to collect money on behalf of his bid. This will be Paul's second try for the White House; he was the Libertarian nominee for president in 1988.

I endlessly get the question, "Wouldn't libertarians be better off trying to change the Republican Party from within?" I am shown how a man like Paul barely got 1% in 1988 running for President with an (L) next to his name, but is elected and re-elected repeatedly with an (R) next to his name. Same man, same principles, same votes.

Well, do consider this other part of the AP article:
Paul, of Lake Jackson, acknowledges that the national GOP has never fully embraced him despite his nine terms in office under its banner. He gets little money from the GOP's large traditional donors, but benefits from individual conservative and Libertarian donors outside Texas.

In fact, the GOP undertook a re-districting for the purpose of gerrymandering, not to eliminate a Democrat, but to eliminate Ron Paul! Funny enough, Paul won the next election anyway. From Paul's Wikipedia entry:
After his presidential bid, Paul returned to Congress in 1996. He was again elected as a Republican, but against the wishes of the party leadership, which had backed Paul's primary opponent, the incumbent Democratic representative who had switched party affiliation.

Given the tax-and-spend nature of Republicans, and the "Never Mind The Principles, Just Win" attitude of Republican supporters, I can't see Paul getting very far.

But, because I get the question so endlessly, let's make Paul's campaign the litmus test for the future. I ask those small-l libertarians who vote R to get behind Ron Paul for President. If he wins the Republican nomination, you will have made your point, that the GOP can be reformed from within. After all, this is a 9-term Libertarian/Republican fusion candidate. He's electable, obviously.

As for myself, I have overwhelming doubts that the culture of the Republican Party is any different than before the Congressional beating it just took in November. I look no further than my state government, and a Governor with a nickname like "The Blade" still putting forth budgets that are larger than before, with no actual cuts, with Republicans rah-rahing the thing as great progress. I still believe the best way to pressure Republicans into change is from the outside, putting the votes of fiscal conservatives at stake. The GOP has buried too many libertarians, from Andy Horning here in Indiana, to Ron Paul in Texas.

But, I'll be watching with interest!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

State of the State Reviewer

I will represent the Libertarian response to Governor Mitch Daniels' State of the State Address, Tuesday evening on WXNT 1430-am, heard on-air throught Central Indiana, or online at

As I understand it, WXNT's Abdul Hakim Shabazz will host a special evening edition of his show with representatives of the three parties issuing a preview of what we expect to hear, and then a re-cap with our takes on the speech.

These are fun events, as the Republican can be expected to rah-rah or at least spin everything Mitch says, the Democrat will assail or spin everything, and I'm free to simply analyze- does it make government smaller, less expensive, or less intrusive- on those merits.

Look for more broadcast details shortly.
Hat Tip to Congressional Democrats

This comes begrudgingly, because I happen to like foundering members of Congress... which defined the Republican majorities. Those clowns wrote damaging law, but without any particular sense of purpose or urgency.

This is unlike the Democrats. They do have a sense of purpose and urgency. I respect that. I like it a lot better when it happens in the private sector, because my liberty (personal and economic) isn't threatened one iota there. But give the Dems credit- they knew what they wanted to accomplish, and they are accomplishing it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

US House Passes Minimum Wage

No surprise, really. This was high on the Democrats' agenda, and they have the majority. Ever House Democrat voted for a hike in the minimum wage.

Because no Libertarian would have voted in favor of a minimum wage to begin with, let alone a hike, and because too many believe that Libertarians are just a different shade of Republican, I thought it would be useful to trot out the stats. From the AP report:
All 233 Democrats voted for the minimum wage measure, along with 82 Republicans. All 116 votes in opposition came from Republicans.

Get that? 82 US House Republicans voted with the Democrats in support of the minimum wage hike.
Message Recieved and Understood- At Last

At long last, due to severe embarrassment, Bart Peterson now gets it. It's the crime, stupid!

From Matt Tully's Indy Star column:

Mayor Bart Peterson went on TV last night to grab the attention of state lawmakers. He wanted to let them know the state's stumbling capital city has a serious problem with public safety.

Consider the message received. Received like a hard slap to the face. But not because of the mayor's much-touted "prime-time" speech -- the one that got "Inside Edition" bumped from Channel 8's Tuesday night lineup.

Nope. Lawmakers got the message the old-fashioned way -- with a simple street mugging. It happened when freshman state Sen. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, walked outside a Butler-Tarkington CVS and bumped into a pair of thugs. There was a gun and a punch to the eye and, in the end, a missing purse, a few stitches and another ugly headline for the city.

Too bad the great number of homicides wasn't the catalyst to revelation. It took the mugging of a State Senator to bring reality home like a sledgehammer. This has been in plain view for some time. The little people in body bags didn't register, but a State Senator with a shiner and stiches? Whoa, Nelly! We've got a problem!

Once again, I'm glad I left Marion County. It took me two years to figure out that it was not the place I wanted to raise a family. I've lived in areas on the bubble before, and our first Central Indiana residence was another such place. 58th & Keystone- just south of Glendale Mall, and east of Broad Ripple. Would the area rise or fall? It really looked like it could go either way. When you have the ability to choose and are preparing to spend good money on a home, you want certainty. That's why I chose to get out of Marion County and the Warfleigh neighborhood. It held no promise that it would rise, that the energy of Broad Ripple would extend further east, that Glendale Mall would survive and attract top notch retailers, that the negative influence of 38th Street wouldn't continue to drift northerly. We fled. I feel justified in that flight every time I read headlines with endless homicides and punched-out lawmakers.

That's the message Peterson needs to get.

So, Peterson was speechifying on Tuesday, explaining, rationalizing, and preparing the people for a tax hike. From Tully:

Even though the message was received, Peterson spent most of Tuesday explaining the city's plight. The mayor who would be governor boiled it down this way: We're broke, we're crime-ridden and we need a whole lot more cash.

Peterson has been Mayor for how many years now? If the city is broke, the Peterson Adminstration has failed. If the city is crime ridden, the Peterson Administration has failed. If the city needs a whole lot more cash, the Peterson Administration has failed.
Anyway, the mayor went on to announce an $85 million-a-year spending package. It would tackle the city's unfunded police and fire pension debt, a rash of recent anti-crime measures, and future policing and crime-prevention programs.

"The bottom line," Peterson said, "is there are going to be hard decisions. There is not going to be a painless way."

No- This should be an easy decision. It should have been an easy decision all along, but it was too tempting for Peterson to look at sexier things, like trying to get a stadium project under the city's aegis. No, public safety always comes first! Libertarians get this. A Democrat like Peterson only gets it when campaigning or embarrassed. If there's to be any 'pain', it's that tertiary priority items hit the cutting room floor. Big deal. Snip! See? That was easy!

Peterson could have made crime a priority. I understand he ran on it, way back when. It's easy to overlook priorities when they seem not to be problems, but if you don't, they suddenly become huge.

Or, in the case of the murder rate, not so suddenly. Anyhow, this is why JFK said that the time to fix the roof is before the rain. Well, Mayor Peterson, you have a full-blown storm. Better jack your butt up the ladder and fix the stuff before everything inside is flushed away.

Such as more people like me- people who take seriously the task of raising their families in safety.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Time To Examine Priorities In Indy Yet?

It's a shame it comes to this, but if a State Senator get mugged in a city, my bet is that city finally starts taking a good, hard look at its' crime problem.

Welcome to Indianapolis, Senator. From the Indy Star:
Sen. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, was thrown to the ground and lost her purse during the attack outside a CVS, 119 W. 56th St., about 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department police report.

One of the two robbers showed her a pistol and grabbed the purse, while Errington hung on.

The other bandit struck her in the eye.

When State Senators are being mugged in places perceived as not the hard parts of town, there's a widespread problem. Butler-Tarkington is really a fair place to be, as Indy goes. And yet, people commit these kinds of crimes there.

Is this the wake-up call Indianapolis has needed? It seems the shocking murder total for 2006 wasn't enough to make police and safety top priority, over the new hotel largesse, or socialized football stadium, or a library debacle. Does it take the mugging of a State Senator to provide the impetus to think, "my gosh, our city might not be seen in the most positive light".

Let's hope the light bulbs are appearing over 29 heads in the City-County Council, and one searchlight over the head of the Mayor. Nothing should be prioritized over public safety. Period.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Time To Hide Your Wallet

The Indiana Legislature is in session beginning tomorrow and in the words of Mark Twain, "No man's life nor liberty are safe when the Legislature is in session." I couldn't agree more.

I've posted a listing of the Indiana House & Senate members for Hamilton County, over in the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County blog. Link. Later, I'll review all of the bills these scoundrels, er, elected officials have proposed for this year's full session.

I urge my fellow Libertarian bloggers to list and review the proposed legislation that has been proposed by their elected officials. This is where the rubber meets the road.