Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stunned By Decision

Kole v. Faultless, the lawsuit I am participating in against the Town of Fishers has been decided. The headline says it all.

More than anything here's the part that just flat out stuns me. We had this as our legal question, from Justice Shepard's decision:
In particular, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has asked us the following question, certified under Indiana Appellate Rule 64(B):

Whether a political unit may reorganize into a city under Ind. Code art. 36-1.5 (the “Reorganization Act”) in a manner that eliminates voting rights recognized under Ind. Code § 36-4-5-2 and Ind. Code § 36-4-6-3(i), including reorganization as a city with (1) a council elected entirely at large; and (2) a mayor appointed by that council.

We have accepted this question and now hold that Article 1.5 of Title 36 does allow a political subdivision to do so.1
Are you kidding me? The question is, 'Can Fishers eliminate voting rights'? The answer is 'Yes!'?

I think the big learning curve for me here is that the consideration is strictly a legal question. Our question was framed in Indiana court, with it imposed against a particular law, the "Reorganization Act". They took an incredibly narrow view of the law. The law doesn't preclude a municipality from forming this kind of government, or any other. Shepherd points to a 'liberalization' over time in Indiana in reducing barriers and restrictions to the municipalities, and evokes a move away from Dillon's Rule, and towards Home Rule.

I'm not sure I buy that. My interest is in the people's self-government. Our petition was sandbagged by the Town Council so they could advance a plan crafted in its' own interest. I don't see that as Home Rule at all. A vote of the elected officials is nowhere near the same thing as a vote of people. Maybe I just badly misunderstand the term. Anything is possible. I thought this case was a slam-dunk.

The language of the decision suggests that a door is open for laws to be written that do specify the forms of municipal government entities can form. It offers no guidelines. So, wanna create a kingdom! Hey hey, go for it! Home Rule, baby!

What move comes next has not been determined. I do expect the Fishers Town Councilors to call a press conference, do a happy dance, and generally drag our names through the mud. Can't wait for that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

White Americans For Romney Video

No. Actually, I made that up. But what reaction did you have to that headline? Did the word 'racism' enter in? We're you ready to burst a vein in your temple (if on the left), or shake your head and say indignantly, "He did not..." (if on the right)?

Well I watched this campaign ad video, and 'racism' was exactly what I thought of at the :25 mark. Watch the clip for yourself:

The double standard is excruciating. So was the BS about the Iraq War being over. Are all of our troops gone? No? Not over.

But the racism and pandering of this ad is sickening, and it wouldn't be tolerated well if the video swapped out 'African American' for 'white'. I think the media and the left would be apoplectic. Rightfully. But, let's see what the reaction is. The right is about to explode, between this and the Obama-faced flag flying in Lake County, FL.

This ad could convince me that Obama doesn't care if there is hard strain in race relations. If you work hard to extend a double standard, what else could one conclude? That he was unaware of this ad? Ok, it lacks the "I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message" tagline. It does have the Obama logo, though. Looks authentic. Maybe it's a dirty trick? Hmm...

Gary Johnson's Creative Fundraising

I love Gary Johnson's creative fundraising device that plays with the NCAA tournament brackets. Johnson is seeking the Libertarian nomination for President in the party's May convention. He has set a goal of being included in the national debates. The Johnson campaign wishes to demonstrate reaching some metrics in order to be considered for inclusion. From a Johnson campaign email:

Here is what March Mania is about: To qualify for our share of the matching funds presidential candidates receive from the money citizens voluntarily “check off” on their tax returns, we must receive contributions during the primary election campaign totaling at least $5,000 from each of at least 20 states.

For any third party candidate, inclusion in the debates is an excellent goal, and the use of brackets is clever stuff, given the devotion to the tourney every year.

Disclosure: I have not donated to his campaign, or to anyone else's. I just like the cleverness.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not Just A Stunt Or Isolated Incident

A few scant weeks ago, I decried the female lawmaker from Georgia who proposed a law that would interfere in a male reproductive health, on the basis that she objects to males writing laws that interfere in female reproductive health.

Oh, that's a stunt. Oh, that's not serious. Yeah, right. First Georgia, now Ohio. From the Dayton Daily News:
Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.

The Cleveland Democrat introduced Senate Bill 307 this week.

A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health. Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health. Turner said if state policymakers want to legislate women’s health choices through measures such as House Bill 125, known as the “Heartbeat bill,” they should also be able to legislate men’s reproductive health. (Emphasis mine.)
Exactly as I analyzed previously: "You want to regulate us? We'll regulate you." Not, "Regulating us is wrong, stop it." Or, "Regulating us is wrong, here's law to repeal previous law". Or, "Here's a poison pill amendment to kill the other bill".

This is no surprise to me whatsoever. The natural inclination of both Democrats and Republicans is to interfere in our lives, in virtually every arena. The bedroom is not sacrosanct to Democrats, as these proposed bills show. It is no more sacrosanct to them than the wallet is to Republicans. The myths are firmly in place, but the law? Style vs. substance. &c.

So again, the wingnuts come in both left and right varieties. Better that BOTH sides stayed out of the bedroom, and left people free to choose.