Thursday, May 08, 2008

Election Re-Cap

So, yes- I did merely walk in to the polling place, sign the book, and walk out. Well, it was a little more detailed.

The clerk asked me if I wanted a Republican or Democratic ballot. I said, "no thank you". This left her perplexed, so she answered, "you have to take one or the other". I advised her that, no, I didn't, that I could sign the book and walk out. The Judge came over and confirmed what I said, so while I signed, I added, "I'm a partisan Libertarian. I would never take one of the other parties' ballots". She replied, "Oh! A Libertarian! I'll put an 'L' next to your name. I thought that was pretty great.

There was no great turnout at my polling place, the Fishers Town Hall. It votes heavily Republican, and apparently, the Republicans felt no need to show up. It was the shortest wait (one person) that I had ever experienced there. I think that Democrats will get excited by the numbers that show greater numbers of 'D' votes than "R' in Hamilton County, and it will yield greater turnout in November.

This signals the end of my one-time hope that the Libertarian Party could quickly supplant the Dems as the #2 party in Hamilton County. As HC grows and urbanizes, it is becoming marginally more Democratic. Nothing the Dems are doing internally are causing this, but external forces favor them some here.

Ron Paul fared worse than Mike Huckabee? How bad is that? Huckabee has been out of the race for months. There is a valuable lesson here for any small-l libertarian who has been clinging to the hopes that the Republican Party can be reformed from within to accept libertarian principles: It ain't happening.

If anything, I expected Paul's numbers to seriously challenge McCain's. After all, McCain has all but experienced the coronation already, and as such, voting for Paul would be a "safe" thing to do. Alas- less than 8% of Republicans voted for Ron Paul.

So the message has been sent. Hoosier Republicans favor big government by a 92-8 count. If you favor liberty and smaller government, you really have to bail on the Republicans.

Everything else is just horse race showtime, and I don't care. I struggle to decide which of the presidential candidates is the worst. At the moment, it's McCain, for his commitment to endless futility in the Middle East, and McCain-Feingold. Obama and Hillary are tied for a very close second worst, as they push economic ruin and socialized health care, which would surely contribute to the economic ruin. It's hard to be excited about any of the lot.
Happy Blogging Birthday To Me

The Kole Hard Facts have been operational for five years now. Big "thanks" to Al Barger, my Blogfather, who showed me how stinking easy it is to run a blog.

No thanks are necessary. Just send lemon meringue pie. Oh, and help dismantle the state.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

ACLU Uses Wrong Approach

The ACLU filed suit today to attack an Indiana law that requires book stores to register with the state and pay a fee if they sell sexually explicit materials. From an Indy Star report:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and attorneys for several national organizations representing booksellers filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court today seeking an injunction barring enforcement of a new state law which requires businesses that sell sexually explicit material to register with the state.

The new law, approved earlier this year by the General Assembly, takes effect July 1.

The lawsuit names the prosecutors of Indiana's 92 counties as defendants because they are responsible for enforcing the law. The law covers new businesses and existing businesses that move to a new location after June 30.
I know what you're thinking- this is America, and banning speech is patently un-American. You're right! This case has enormous merit, and is exactly the sort of law an organization that defends civil liberties should attack. It's that I find their method boring.

The ACLU is made up of lawyers, so they think and act like lawyers. They sue. Not me. I think one of the best ways to get rid of bad law is to force compliance.

Instead of naming all 92 prosecutors as defendents, the ACLU should have pressed them all to prosecute every new or relocated religious book store that has the Bible on its' shelves, or the Chirstian 'birds & the bees' manual for parents. Make them register with the state and let them be labeled 'pronographer' or 'smut peddler'. Let these very innocent and innocuous examples be prosecuted to the full, embarassing extent of the law. See if they don't rush to have the law repealed. See if the prudes in the Statehouse aren't eaten alive by the very people they tried to pander to with this stupid, offensive law.

On another note, it sure makes me glad that our state reps and state senators find time to pass this law, yet fail to provide real, non-shell-game tax relief. Complete bastards.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Primary Voting Guide

I have published a lengthy (huge) voting guide for the pro-liberty minded, at the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County blog, offered for those who intend to take a 'D' or 'R' ballot in tomorrow's Indiana Primary. It breaks down positions and includes links for all candidates running in contested races, from President on down to County Council.

Link it here.

I'll still merely be walking in, signing the book, and walking out.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Good For Indiana?

(Fishers, IN)- While so many are delighted by the interest shown in Indiana's upcoming primary, thanks to the close Democratic presidential contest, I have yet to think it a positive. Bill Ruthhart's article in this morning's Indy Star is just the article I've been waiting for and expecting to see. Ruthhart's first paragraph says it all:
Indiana's presidential primary has attracted a spotlight so bright that many Hoosiers remain blind to other key races on Tuesday's primary ballot.
Of course, who will be the next president is important. But, what goes on in my state is important, too. The candidates for president are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get their message out. If you don't know what Obama or Clinton are about by now, you haven't tried. And yet, they get all of the press attention. On the other hand, what do you know about Shellinger or Thompson? If you aren't a political junkie, do you even know their first names? Or even their party?
Races for governor and Congress normally would be a top draw for Indiana's voters and media outlets, but instead candidates in those races have scrambled to be heard over the noise of the presidential contest.

"It is impossible to break through and get any attention on a day when the presidential campaigns are here," said Jennifer Wagner, press secretary for gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger. "The presidential race has sucked all the air out of the room, and it's really frustrating."
That's amusing in one tiny way, that the top of the Democratic ticket is making it hard for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. As ever, that's an unintended consequence. As ever, unintended consequences can be worse than the "benefits" from which they came.

The bottom line is that the people of our state really aren't any better informed about state politics than in years when the primaries here are non-factors. It may even be worse. Instead of light turnout, we'll have heavy turnout by people who don't know what their voting on.

More quotes, about the "media coverage" candidates for governor are "getting":
A Schellinger rally late last week at a Southside union hall was a prime example.

Obama and Clinton were campaigning in Indiana, so only about 30 people heard Schellinger speak.

Normally, such an appearance would draw heavy media coverage and a higher turnout, but the only other reporter in attendance (aside from the one with The Indianapolis Star) was from The New York Times. That reporter's assignment: to write a story about the lack of attention on Indiana's other races.

See that? They notice the phenomena even in the New York paper. In terms of our vote for the very important state and local offices, we'd be far better off without the Obama-Clinton horse race obscuring these contests.