Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fishers - Rankings and Elections

Money Magazine issues an annual ranking of its top 100 places to live in America. My hometown of Fishers is ranked again, but slipped from its 2005 ranking of #24 to its 2006 ranking of #33. Link to rankings.

I'd love to see why the fall-back. Things don't look any worse for the wear here. Did we float enough bonds to make it so? Did the growing property tax bite cause the slide? I started looking for a more recent ranking and figured we must have fallen a touch since the Town Council isn't bragging it up anymore on the Town's website. Which all leads me to...

Many Fishers neighbors, and a few Geist residents, asked me to run for Town Council this year, on the heels of my recent campaign. I will not run. If nominated, I will not accept...

Why? It's just impossible for a challenger to win. Get a load of this, from the Town's website:
All councilors are considered "at large" which means all Fishers residents vote on all councilors, not just the councilor representing their particular district. The town council elects a council president and vice-president each year.

In other words, a challenger can win 100% of the votes in the district they would represent, but still lose in a landslide. Instead of having to campaign to 1/7th of the 60,000+ residents (there are seven districts), the challenger must campaign to all 60,000+. There just isn't enough time to go door-to-door in the whole Town. The kind of money needed to effectively reach everyone is about a quarter-million, in my estimation. The Councilors know this. There is no incentive for them to change it.

The at-large election of councilors is legal, by the way. Indiana Code even permits its towns to vote to make it so. (IC 36-5-2-5.b.2) Very thoughtful of state legislators to encourage unaccountable councils who can work to ensure their perpetual office. Very lousy for representative government. After all, why should a councilor listen to someone in his district when it really is the people outside the district electing him?

This set-up especially favors the dominant political party. Chances are, the average voter does not know any of the seven councilors. But if they do, they probably only know theirs. And yet, they will vote on all seven, and in all likelihood, will vote Republican, because the Republican Party is dominant in Fishers.

So, I won't run. It's too much to overcome. Plus, I have this crazy desire to remain married!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Barack Obama Lost Me, Big Time

I just received a direct mail piece from the Obama '08 campaign. That's a pretty remarkable thing for me to consider, since I was just the Libertarian candidate for ballot access in November. That's as partisan a race as one could hope to find. Anyone who had thought about sending a solitication letter to me should have had Brain One sufficient to figure that out. What does receiving this mailing say to me?

The Obama campaign is mismanaged. They don't know who they send solicitation letters to.


The Obama campaign is so over-funded that they don't care what you believe in- you're getting a solicitation letter.

Neither one is too flattering. Don't we have that kind of POTUS already?

Being a partisan Libertarian, there was very little chance I would support Obama anyhow... unless he comes out of his primary the winner, and against McCain. Then I would have the think long and hard about where my vote goes. But his campaign put the nails in the coffin for me with this letter. The solicitation letter and even the literature seemed like it was designed to make me feel insignificant. It's just impossible for me to respect a candidate can allow this kind of thing to leave the Post Office.