John Layton for Sheriff’s Tough New Ad

Colonel John Layton comes out with a powerful new ad today. It is interesting in its focus on one of the key functions of the Sheriff’s department after Mayor Ballard’s de-unification of the IMPD/Sheriff’s Department: tracking sex offenders. Something in which his opponent, like most functions of the Sheriff’s department, has no background or understanding.

Charlie “Dork” White Was Too Busy To Be Honest

Okay. Lets break this Charlie White thing down. First lets review some of Mary Beth Schneider’s well done piece from the IndyStar.com for background:

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker today charged that the Republican nominee for secretary of state, Charlie White, committed voter fraud when he voted in May’s primary election in a precinct in which he does not live.Parker also sent letters to Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp and Gov. Mitch Daniels — all Republicans — asking them to investigate and asking Daniels to release all state records, such as driver’s license information, which would provide information about White’s addresses.

Parker pointed out that Indiana law makes it a Class D felony to knowingly vote in any precinct except the one in which the voter is both registered and resides.

White refused to answer questions about whether he’d voted in a precinct in which he did not live.

Instead, his campaign issued a statement saying that “it’s unfortunate that a set of personal and family-related circumstances created this scenario, but the simple fact is that Charlie was entitled under law to vote one last time at his old polling location. The only issue here pertains to filing a change of address for his voter registration form, an oversight that has been previously brought up and already fixed. Charlie has repeatedly taken full responsibility for the any mistakes he may have made and has taken all the steps necessary to correct them.”

It is questionable, though, whether state allow allows White to “vote one last time at his old polling location.” Indiana code says a voter who moves 30 days before an election may vote if they make an oral or written affirmation of their current address to poll clerks.

White apparently moved in March, more than 30 days, and there was no immediate information that he informed poll clerks of his address change in that May primary.

Parker, though, found that lame, especially from a man running to be Indiana’s chief elections officer.

“It is our clear opinion that Mr. White has committed voter fraud when he voted in the May primary 2010 — when he voted from the Broad Leaf address when he did not live there,” Parker said.

And, Parker said, Rokita, also a Republican, has made fighting voter fraud a top priority in office, including pushing for and winning passage of a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. He should not turn a blind eye now, Parker said, to this case.

Parker released a timeline showing that White voted in the November 2006 general election, using an address on Broad Leaf Lane in Fishers. In January 2007, he transferred that property to a former spouse and in 2007 and 2008 voted in elections citing a Pintail Drive residence.

In November 2009, he voted in a special election, signing a voter registration book stating the need to re-register to his new address.

In February 2010, White completed a new voter registration, citing Broad Leaf Lane as his address, but the same month closed on the sale of a new condo at Overview Drive in Fishers. In May, though, White voted in the primary election, citing Broad Leaf Lane as his address. And in June, when he filed his candidacy for secretary of state, he listed his residence as Overview Drive, but listed his mailing address as Broad Leaf Lane.

Not until last week did White re-register to vote, listing Overview Drive as his residence.

The same day he resigned from the Fishers Town Council, acknowledging that he’d moved outside his district. The new address is some five miles outside the district.

I don’t know about you folks, but when I go to the polls and vote, I try to answer the questions they ask me and I try to make sure they have my information right. It is just something that occurs to me as I go through the process.I try to think about the process.

Sure we are all human, but these are not simple foibles like forgetting to pick-up the laundry because you are swamped at work. I have had my own brain slippage on election day.

I once walked into a polling place to vote and became peeved and then a bit perturbed when they didn’t have my name on the pollbook. They then asked my address and they instructed me that that is another polling station. I had moved in the last year and had re-registered after my move, but got in my truck and drove on auto-pilot to my old polling station and they did have me on the pollbook at the new polling place. All was correct and, while I was a bit embarrassed, the system performed correctly.

But if you are Charlie White, who holds elected position in a districted seat on a town council and you helped re-write the district boundaries and have set your eyes on serving as the state of Indiana’s chief election officer, then I should hope as you walk into the you ask yourself a few questions:

  • Gosh, I hope that I can get this voting done quick, I got important shopping to do.
  • Hold on. Do I still live in the district? Wait, didn’t I help draft these districts?
  • Gosh, I should check before I vote if my new home is in the district from which I serve the citizens of Fishers who pay me a healthy stipend for the honor. Am I five miles outside the district? Naw, can’t be that far.
  • Oh that’s right, I took care of this by moving back in with my ex-wife right before the election so my address was still in the district, not way across town where my new condo is. Boy it sure is cool of my fiance to let me go back to co-habitating with the ex-missus just a couple months before our nuptials! Golly, better not tell a lot of folks about that situation. They might get the wrong idea about my family values.
  • Mental note: Really gotta find time to buckle down and read them election laws. Especially the voter fraud provisions. My party is gonna expect me to hold the fire to those Democrats. We gotta use every loophole we have to make sure we can throw out votes from those strong Democratic precincts.
  • Hey, if I committed voter fraud, that couldn’t nullify my candidacy for Secretary of State could it? Yep, definitely gotta take the time to read those pesky election laws.
  • Gee-Whiz, it is gonna RAAAWWWK to be in charge of that there election stuff. Oh, it’s my turn…

“Yes ma’am, I still live at…”

That last bit about endangering the candidacy is more interesting now that State Democratic Chair has asked the SoS office to investigate whether Charlie White can even stand as a candidate for SoS. WISH TV reports it like this:

“We’ll handle it like any other request,” he (SoS Rokita) said.

He’s talking about the request from state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker, who says White committed fraud when he listed his ex-wife’s house on his voter registration for the May primary while he lived in a new townhouse. Using his ex-wife’s address allowed the GOP secretary of state candidate to remain on the Fishers Town Council after moving out of his district.

“I don’t know if there’s any evidence here yet in those kinds of situations,” says Rokita, “but my office has been directed by me personally to take a look.”

And now Parker has a new charge. He says that because White listed one address on his voter registration and another on his candidacy form, he violated a law that requires candidates to be properly registered.

“So the question now becomes and needs to be part of Todd Rokita’s investigation, is Charlie White a legitimate candidate for secretary of state?” Parker said.

Rokita says he will judge the matter fairly.

“I’m always judging cases that have to do with members of my party and no one can ever put on me in my record the fact that I’ve been biased,” he said. But he also says he will consider the source of the allegations.

If Rokita finds fraud, he has no power to punish White. He can, however, relay that finding to a prosecutor or the state election commission with a recommendation that they take action.

That last bit by Rokita is just more Republican hyperbolic bullshit.

He, as SoS, has no “judging” to do. This whole matter won’t ever get touched by Rokita except to spin it for his congressional campaign. By law this whole matter will be investigated by the Indiana Election Division staff who do serve as  part of the SoS office, but the “judging” will fall to the Indiana Election Commission. A four-member body made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, neither of which is named Rokita and the SoS doesn’t even have a tie-breaking vote.

Which brings us to the ultimate shame of all this. The Election Commission is not going to meet, because the Republicans will stay away until after election day and wont’t give the matter a hearing. Mainly due to the SoS status as a the Indiana House of Representatives tiebreaker. If the Rs gain enough to hold 50 seats after the election, the Speaker of the House position is determined by which party holds the SoS seat.

It is all very interesting and labyrinthine, but ultimately nothing will happen in those processes. So it is up to the voters.

Hey voters! How do you feel about voter fraud?

Dan Coats Moved Indiana Jobs to Mexico

¡Trabajadores apesadumbrados!

Congressman Brad Ellsworth points out corporate shill Dan Coats’ profiteering at the expense of Hoosier jobs in this latest campaign video. Ellsworth, the Congressman and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, explains why this is important in this election as follows:

A couple of years ago, my opponent’s employer, Cerberus Capital Management, sold off the GDX Automotive plant in Wabash and shipped its operations to Mexico. Eight hundred Hoosiers lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and the impact on the community has been devastating.  Families depended on the income from those jobs to put food on the table, save for college, and provide basic health care.  The ripple effect the closing of this facility had on other local businesses has, likewise, been catastrophic.

Earlier this week, I traveled to Wabash.  We talked to some folks in the community who have been affected by the plant closing, and I wanted you to hear their stories directly from them.

This is an important issue in this campaign.  In the Senate, Dan Coats was a vocal supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which provided incentives for companies like Cerberus to move jobs out of America.  But it’s Coats’ direct work for Cerberus that is even more troubling.  At the same time the company was firing hundreds of hardworking Hoosiers, it was paying Dan Coats thousands in consulting fees. We cannot keep sending people to Washington who are working to stack the deck against everyday Americans: loopholes that allow government contractors to ship jobs overseas, trade agreements that put American workers at a disadvantage, and economic policies that reward greed over a job well done. I have seen the strength and determination of Indiana workers, and with a level playing field, I know we can compete with anyone in the world.  This election is a chance to turn things around. Together, we can make sure Washington works for everyday people again – creating good American jobs, protecting workers’ pensions and retirement, and laying the foundation for Indiana’s long-term economic strength and prosperity.

Charlie White: Dork!

Hey everybody, I’m Charlie White and I want to be your chief election officer but I don’t have a clue about how voting and elections work! Ain’t I a scamp? Tee hee.

Mourdock Loves Beck Taint

Our favorite State Treasurer candidate ever, Pete Buttigieg has some disturbing and odd news to report in a campaign e-mail this AM:

Friends,

I thought we’d seen it all.

Last year, we saw our own State Treasurer go to federal court to try to shut down one of our state’s most important employers, Chrysler Corporation.

Then we saw documentation that the lawsuit involved paying over $1,000 an hour for out-of-state lawyers, and tens of thousands of dollars on copies, with no indication of why the Indiana Attorney General couldn’t handle it.

We saw Indiana pension and road money invested in junk bonds and mortgage-backed securities, the same investments that were at the heart of the global financial crisis.

And this year, we saw Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an Arizona politician who is under investigation for alleged abuses in office, travel to Indiana to raise money for my opponent, Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

I thought this race couldn’t get any crazier. But I was wrong.

Now we’ve really seen it all: on Saturday, Treasurer Mourdock will be headlining a rally in Northeast Indiana with Fox’s Glenn Beck.

It’s already strange for an elected official to share the stage with a fringe figure like Beck, but there couldn’t be a more inappropriate officer to do so than the State Treasurer.

As you may know, Beck has been widely criticized for his role as a paid spokesman for Goldline, a company which markets “investments” in gold coins.  The company is under multiple investigations for  allegedly using overly aggressive sales tactics, misleading investors, encouraging sales persons to misrepresent themselves as financial advisors and stoking the public’s fears of hyper-inflation and socialist takeovers in order to sell their over-priced gold coins.

One would think that as Indiana’s Chief Investment Officer, Richard Mourdock would be warning Hoosiers about this questionable company, not lending it credibility by standing alongside its chief spokesman.

Sooner or later, Treasurer Mourdock has to choose between pursuing his extremist political agenda and being a responsible trustee of state resources – and we all hope he makes the right choice.

Either way, let’s send him a message that Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theories, divisive politics, and questionable investment schemes have no place in Indiana. Please donate $48 (one for every day left in this election), or whatever you can give, to offset the far-right-wing money this will attract to Treasurer Mourdock’s campaign coffers.

Together we can put an end to the bad investments, the frivolous spending and the hyper-partisanship that have overtaken the State Treasurer’s Office and get things back on track.
Thanks,

Pete Buttigieg

The Chair Recognizes the Gentleman from Yemen?

Deficit Neutral FMAP Stimulus Moving Through Congress Despite Lugar and Other Obstructionist Rs

We’ve discussed the FMAP stimulus legislation here at ALO before (http://aloyalopposition.in/2010/06/18/fmap.) Well, it is coming to a head and despite the fact that cuts have been made to make the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs bill completely deficit neutral, Senator Dick Lugar and the rest of Governor Mitch Daniels anti-teacher brigade continue to oppose it solely to bring failure to the Obama administration.

"Seriously Dick. Gimme some rock." "No way Bam-Bam."

Learn about this bill yourself and then call Senators Bayh and Lugar to encourage them to vote for the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs legislation.

Hear State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Elletsville) discuss the stimulus needed in the FMAP bill here on The Dave Crooks Show. And here are just a few of the key points to know about this legislation that will help keep Hoosier schools from closing, keep teachers in the classrooms and keep class sizes from ballooning:

•  The economic collapse created a disaster for states and schools across the country, and it’s going to take a long time for them to recover, even after we turn the corner.
•  States and schools are facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. While the economy is starting to improve, states face a cumulative budget gap of $200 billion in fiscal year 2010 and $180 billion in fiscal year 2011.
•  A recent report by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers found that 35 States cut funding for K12 education and 37 States did so for higher education in Fiscal Year 2010, with 31 States planning to impose additional K12 and higher education cuts in Fiscal Year 2011.
•  Education jobs and services have already been slashed to the bone. Schools have raised class sizes, instituted unpaid furlough days, laid off teachers, and cut back on programs our kids need to be successful.
•  According to a study by the University of Washington, even though ARRA prevented an education catastrophe, 87,019 K12 jobs were eliminated this past school year.
•  Overall, since August 2008, State and local governments have eliminated 242,000 jobs.
•  Up to 400,000 workers could lose jobs in the next year as states, counties and cities grapple with lower revenue and less federal funding, says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com.
•  Schools are facing as many as 300,000 layoffs of teachers, counselors, school nurses, and other critical staff.
•  A recent Center on Education Policy report, School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package, found that “While nearly two-thirds of all school districts have used the federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to save or create teaching jobs in the 2009-10 school year, as many as three quarters of the nation’s school districts expect to cut teaching jobs in 2010-11 due to budget decreases…”
•  Losing these education jobs wouldn’t just affect the individuals getting pink slips. It would have a catastrophic ripple effect across communities, dragging our economy downward again.
•  For every 100,000 education jobs eliminated, 30,000 other jobs, including those in the private sector will also vanish.
•  The $10 billion education jobs fund in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment is fully offset (without the House-passed education offsets) and will not increase the deficit.
•  According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), spending $10 billion to save education jobs will only have a net impact on the deficit of only $4.75 billion, after accounting for an increase in GDP. Thus, since the entire $10 billion is offset, the education jobs fund will actually reduce the deficit by $5.25 billion.
•  According to the Education Commission of the States, a $10 billion education jobs fund would save at least 136,758 education jobs.
•  President Obama on June 12th said that an education jobs fund is “among the most cost-effective ways of promoting economic growth, as measured by the Congressional Budget office and numerous independent experts.”
•  Even those advocating for long-term deficit reduction recognize the need for an education jobs fund. “Right now, I think that there’s still a case to be made for some aid to the states if it is a pretty direct form of injecting stimulus.” Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition.
•  According to a recent Gallup poll, the American public, by a 60-38 percent margin favor “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
•  Morton Kondracke, Roll Call Executive Editor, on June 17th strongly urged Congress to approve an education jobs fund, “At long last, Congress is getting serious about containing deficit spending, but it would be ridiculous to show it by allowing more than 100,000 teachers around the country to lose their jobs… So it’s time for Congress to do what it’s hired to do: set priorities. Keeping teachers working should be close to Job One.”
•  Just as we start to see signs that our economy is turning around, there could be nothing more short-sighted than ripping a gaping hole in our schools and communities.
•  These are jobs at the core of our communities – teaching our kids, keeping class sizes manageable, providing summer school, preparing students to enter the workforce, and providing the foundation of our economic future.
•  We can’t afford not to do the right thing, to keep teachers in our classrooms, our schools on track, and our education system improving.
•  We can’t improve the economy and reduce unemployment by increasing public sector unemployment.
•  Ensuring quality education for children pays off. Individuals without a high school diploma are three times as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree.
•  The language in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment prohibits states from using funds for rainy day funds or to reduce state debt obligations.
•  The funds may only be used to save or create jobs for teachers and other educators.

Also of note here are some key points for thoise who doubt stimulus has helped the economy. Note the following charts from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: