Category Archives: Cronyism

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?

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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.

The Chair Recognizes the Gentleman from Yemen?

Pence, Daniels & Bennett Against Keeping Educators Working

Today we were a part of a statewide conference call alerting folks to the coming decimation of the backbone of our public school system. In a statewide conference call featuring Nate Shellenberger, President of the Indiana State Teacher’s Association and teachers from across the state, some losing their jobs due to budget cuts and others on the bubble.

ISTA represents more than 50,000 teachers across the state and has been under siege by Governor Mitch Daniels (http://aloyalopposition.in/2009/12/29/daniels-cannot-wait-to-fire-some-teachers) and Superintendent Tony Bennett for some time.

First, Daniels (http://aloyalopposition.in/2010/02/25/my-malicious-mitch) took advantage of the property tax upheaval to permanently remove education from the property tax roles thus always making it linked to the more rollercoastery ebb and flow of sales and income taxes. Fully knowing that with the very next downturn he would have to fire teachers. He has long wanted to see government out of the education business. It is why he has begun advocating for less education. Did you ever think you’d have a Governor telling folks that they shouldn’t aim for better educations?

Daniels (http://aloyalopposition.in/2009/12/16/disingenuous-daniels-gutting-education) has pressed since he was a part of Steve Goldsmith’s privatize everything cabal and then George Bush’s Your Child Left Behind crusade, to get government out of the education business so only wealthy folks can reach higher education’s rewards.

Then his hand-picked hatchet man, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, pressed to make it easier for less-qualified people who do not have training as educators, replace professionally trained teachers. Bennett, as the guy who is supposed to ensure Indiana schools improve, wants to make it so professionals can be replaced with less skilled, under-certified non-educators.

All this is now coming under fire now as Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has announced the Keep Our Educator’s Working Act.  Back in April Harkin announced the effort:

Job losses at public schools and colleges in the U.S. may top 100,000 in the next school year, Harkin said today at a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. The legislation needs to be passed now because school districts are making budget decisions this month, he said.

“The jobs crisis in education is real,” Harkin said at the hearing. “And it’s not just a problem in one state or one area; it’s a problem nationally.”

The fund would supplement the $100 billion dedicated to education in the $862 billion stimulus package, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A total of $69 billion had been awarded to states through Dec. 31, preserving more than 300,000 teaching and school administration jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Education Web site. The stimulus money expires Sept. 30, Harkin said.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he planned to work with Harkin on details of the legislation.

“We absolutely need a jobs bill,” Duncan testified before the subcommittee. “It’s the right thing for our country; it’s the right thing for our economy; it’s the right thing for our children.”

The money in the Harkin legislation would be used to retain teachers, librarians and other school staff, hire new employees and provide training at schools districts and public colleges and universities. The funds couldn’t be used to retire debt or for a reserve.

The legislation would be classified as an emergency spending measure and be exempt from pay-as-you-go rules that would require cuts elsewhere, Harkin said. It is appropriate to increase the federal deficit for education purposes, he said.

“How can you argue that it’s OK for a kid to borrow to go to college but it’s not OK to borrow so that there’s a college for the kid to go to?” Harkin said. “If there’s one legitimate area where we can borrow from the future, it’s education, because what sort of jobs will we have for my grandkids and great grandkids in the future if we don’t have a well-educated group of young people today?”

Can’t hear Daniels blowing his top? Anyway, support for this effort has been ramping up and the ISTA call was to draw support for the bill. Shellenberger and some very worried and long dedicated educators were on the call reminding people of what is to be lost if nothing is done. As many as 5,000 teachers will be fired next year in Indiana if nothing is done. Classroom sizes will balloon. Whole school districts will be forced to cut programs and probably close schools.

We asked Shellenberger, who pointed out that if the bill passes the funding will likely drop to the state and be up to this governor to distribute, how he could be sure that such a non-advocate of public education could be trusted to make sure the funds get used to rehire teachers.

Shellenberger wisely did not take ALO’s red-meat bait but rather and appropriately pointed out that the ISTA will make sure that they put clear pressure on the Governor to properly and immediately distribute those funds to the most effected school districts.

When we again wondered to ISTA how he can be certain that Tony Bennett. who apparently left his heart somewhere, and the Governor can be trusted to rehire laid-off teachers and not replace then with under-certified hacks with no educational training, Shellenberger again did not jump at the chance to criticize, but rather cited that he is certain the teacher contracts in effect in each district will be adhered to and that “retired Lilly chemists won’t be hired over trained laid-off chemistry teachers.”

We are proud of Shellenberger for not jumping at our hot-headed rhetoric but rather cooly sticking to his guns. He has a long fight to impress Hoosier members of congress to pass this bill this summer and avoid huge lay-offs in September.

We know Congressman Mike Pence won’t vote for it, even though several of the most impacted districts including Anderson, Muncie and Richmond are in his district. Why? Because he is a doctrinaire flag-waving patriot who doesn’t vote for spending unless its attached to a bullets, missiles and tanks, his home district be damned.

And because he loves carrying Daniels’ and Bennett’s water.

Enough of our partisanship. Go here if you want to breakdown the nuts and bolts of how many teaching jobs can be saved by this bill: http://edmoney.newamerica.net/node/30915. If you don’t want to read it we can tell you it is 210,000 teaching jobs nationwide.

US News & World Report: Souder the Hypocrite and the Hypocrites of the Class of ’94

From Linda Killian of US News & World Report comes this piece that properly compares Mark Souder’s problems and those of his fellow hypocrites of the lauded Class of ’94 who rode Newt Gingrich’s cheap marketing ploy The Contract With (on) America, a slow economy and some dissatisfaction with the Clinton Administration to the so-called Republican Revolution. Paul Wachter of AOL’s The Filter adds another point on the cronyist and corrupt Class of ’94.

She points out the inordinate, actually record amount members of that Congress who have since gone down to scandal. This is important to remind ourselves heading into the first Obama administration off-year elections that a) we are in for tough battles in November and b) the circumstances, electorally aren’t as dour as they were then. There was no outside-the-Republican-Party Teabagger movement in ’94 and the Clinton Administration had failed to pass health care reform, which we at ALO feel will strengthen the case for Democrats this year.

In many ways the rotting fruit from the Class of ’94 may well be the greatest reminder to voters of the continuous culture of corruption the Rs have instigated like organized crime into the process.

But enough of our yappin’. Here is Linda Killian’s piece:

Indiana Rep. Souder’s Affair Is a Lesson for Angry Voters

May 18, 2010 05:33 PM ET | Linda J. Killian |

By Linda Killian, the Thomas Jefferson Street blog

So, another one bites the dust. This time it’s Mark Souder. Yet another unseemly scandal has taken out a Republican member of the House Class of ’94, one of the most celebrated and historic classes in congressional history. Souder, a nerdy, intense conservative who once described himself to me as a policy wonk, admitted Tuesday to having a relationship with a part-time staff member and announced his resignation from Congress effective Friday.

Souder is an Evangelical Christian who grew up in the Apostolic Church and is extremely conservative on social issues. He made seven references to God in his brief resignation statement.

Not of course, that someone who believes in God can’t transgress, but there is a certain amount of irony in the fact that the woman he was involved with recorded a daily radio spot for a Christian radio station in Ft. Wayne with Souder. She also made conservative issue-related videos with Souder including one on teen abstinence. Obviously, there wasn’t much abstinence going on with this couple.

[See who is donating to Rep. Souder’s campaign.]

Back in 1996, when I was covering the re-election campaigns of members of the Class of ’94 for my book,

The Freshmen: What Happened to the Republican Revolution?

I visited Souder’s Indiana district and attended a church service at which he spoke.

“The devil is right outside,” he told the congregation. “If we honor Jesus Christ, if we do everything we can, it’s in his hands…We would be going straight to hell if it wasn’t for him.”

Souder undoubtedly believes in the religious concepts of forgiveness and redemption, and made reference to them in his statement Tuesday, but it appears he does not also trust the voters to forgive his transgression.

In his statement, Souder said, “It has been a privilege to be part of the battle for freedom and the values we share.” One wonders exactly what values he is talking about.

When Souder and the other 72 new Republican House members were elected in 1994, giving the GOP control of the House for the first time since the Eisenhower administration, they made a big deal out of their family values and purity on fiscal matters. They even shut down the government over the issue of reducing spending and balancing the budget.

But scandals and missteps, both personal and professional, have felled a disproportionately large number of the class. Only 14 of the original GOP class of ’94 remain in the House and, counting Souder, five of them are leaving Congress this year. Several succumbed to the temptations of Washington and the flesh almost immediately and lost their bids for re-election. Others flamed out in more spectacular ways.

Mark Foley of Florida had been a subject of speculation and rumor for years until his unseemly behavior with Congressional pages cost him his seat and contributed to the Democrats winning back the House in 2006.

Robert Ney of Ohio was caught up in the Abramoff scandal and served jail time.

Mark Sanford, a member of the class before becoming governor of South Carolina, became the poster boy for the lovesick and the foolish.

Nevada Sen. John Ensign, also a member of the class, is still facing investigation over sexual and financial issues both by the Senate Ethics Committee and reportedly the FBI.

And of course, former Speaker Newt Gingrich was engaging in his own extramarital affair at the same time he was fighting with President Bill Clinton over shutting down the government. Gingrich’s reign as speaker didn’t last nearly as long as the Republican hold on the House.

The Republicans promised to be different, more fiscally responsible. And while they were for a while, their desire to do whatever it took to get reelected overtook their conservative fiscal instincts. When the Democrats were given back control of Congress, they too promised change. But the voters don’t think they’ve delivered.

Voters are angry again and in the mood to throw the bums out. But if history is any guide, just changing the faces in Washington or the party in control won’t do the trick.

Citizens have to keep a closer eye on their elected public servants and make it very clear what they expect from them. They have to call, write and show up at town meetings. It’s essential to be an active partner in democracy, not just vote every couple of years and figure the job is done. Otherwise, groups like the Tea Party, who are all too happy to take control of the election process, will determine the future direction of the country. And that’s far too important a matter for all of us not to make our voices heard.

And here is Paul Wachter’s piece:

Catch of the Day: With the election news dominating the headlines, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank offers a retrospective, picked up by The Daily Beast, on the last time there was a great congressional upheaval — the 1994 Gingrich revolution. A flood of new GOP members entered the House that year, committed to an anti-Washington policy of lower taxes, term limits and less spending that was advocated by Speaker Newt Gingrich. But now, that freshman class is remembered more for its sexual revolution than anything it did in government, Milbank says. “No fewer than 15 of the 73 elected in the landslide that year have entertained the nation with flaps that include messy divorces and a suspicious car accident,” he writes. Those 15 include Mark Sanford, who went on from the House to governor of South Carolina, where he famously “hiked the Appalachian trail” — the excuse he gave when he was actually off cavorting with his Argentinian mistress. Also, Florida’s Mark Foley, who sent lewd text messages to House pages. And Indiana’s Mark Souder, who on Tuesday admitted to having an affair with a staffer.

UPDATED: Massa Red Faced

You gotta like Channel 8’s Jim Shella. He comes to your press conference and even leads his report with the stuff you wanted to talk about, but then makes the whole piece about what folks are really talking about. In the case of Mitch Daniels’ lackey and Republican nominee for Marion County Prosecutor Mark Massa it was his big plan to curb blah, blah, blah that was buried under a deep pile of Brizzi crap.

"I'm not Carl Brizzi and can we quit talking about him?" Sure Mr. Brizzi...er Massa.

That’s not really the story here. If you go to watch the piece here you will see Massa’s face turn three shades of angry red as he simply cannot believe that the juiciest political story perhaps in the state just didn’t go away when he made perhaps the most obvious announcement in the history of Marion County politics, that he wanted scandalized, crooked, FBI-investigated and still sitting Republican Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi to step down.

You can hear his ears ringing with, “Seriously, I gotta keep talking about this?!?!”

Yes, Mr. Massa you do. And not because your Democratic opponent Terry Curry keeps talking about it, but because you never had a problem with Carl Brizzi before. Just like you never had a problem with the guy who hand picked Brizzi to run eight years ago, Scott Newman, who now serves as your campaign treasurer. Just like you didn’t have a problem with your buddy the Governor accepting $150,000 in campaign contributions from Brizzi’s co-hort in crime Tim (D-Bag) Durham. And now you don’t have a problem working from Brizzi”s and Newman’s donor lists for your fundraising now.

You only have a problem with them now because your boss Governor Daniels really doesn’t want a fair prosecutor in control of Marion County because that is the office that can bring charges against state offices and officials. Because that is the office that could bring charges in the IBM/FSSA fiasco and other dubious works of this Governor. You guys only care now because if you lose the office of Marion County Prosecutor, there is no stopping the investigation and prosecution of the state Republican corruption, of which we are now finding out so much.

You cann0t run for the office that is supposed to fight crime when you cannot absolve your ranks of criminals. So I’m sorry my sanguine little friend. Man up. It’s gonna be a long campaign and there are plenty of new Brizzi escapades to report. Have you seen this one:

FBI reviewing Brizzi drug dealer case

Fox59 News has learned that federal agents have a copy of the case narcotics detectives compiled against steroids dealer Joseph Moba

FBI reviewing Brizzi drug dealer case

Indianapolis – The FBI is digging deeper into a drug dealer’s plea bargain negotiated by Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Fox59 News has learned that federal agents have a copy of the case narcotics detectives compiled against steroids dealer Joseph Mobareki. Mobareki received a reduced criminal charge and most of his money back from investigators after Brizzi approved a plea bargain with Mobareki’s attorney Paul Page, who also owns a building in Elkhart with Brizzi.

UPDATE

Cory Schouten at the Indianapolis Business Journal continues to dog this case:

The FBI is collecting records on an Elkhart real estate deal and an Indianapolis drug case, both involving Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and defense attorney Paul Page.

Page in 2008 arranged for Brizzi to own 50 percent of an office building leased by the Department of Child Services without Brizzi putting up cash or credit. A year later, Brizzi offered a lenient plea deal and returned $10,000 in seized cash to accused drug dealer Joseph Mobareki, a Page client.

The FBI has picked up files on the Mobareki case and Elkhart real estate deal and has begun asking questions of those with knowledge of the deals, multiple sources said. An FBI spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the agency is investigating.

The moves follow an IBJ investigation that has raised questions about Brizzi’s business dealings while in office and whether those deals influenced his actions as prosecutor. Law enforcement officials see his intervention in the Mobareki case as troubling considering his no-cost real estate deal with Page in Elkhart.

A review of dozens of pages of records connected to the Elkhart deal has revealed new details:

– The property has two mortgages: A $1.2 million first mortgage with Huntington Bank and a second mortgage for an unspecified amount with a company called BAB Equity LLC, which lists a post office box real estate broker John Bales has used for his companies and political contributions.

Bales and his firm, Venture Cos., orchestrated the $2.5 million, 10-year deal that put the state’s Department of Child Services into the building a few months after L & BAB LLC acquired the one-story building at 1659 Mishawaka St. in February 2008.

A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Administration said the second mortgage does not appear to violate Bales’ state leasing contract, which bans him from any direct or indirect ownership interest in properties the state leases.

Bales said in an e-mail that he does not control BAB Equity but refused to say who does. He did not respond to follow-up questions including why the company uses his post office box.

– The Elkhart building had a market value of about $700,000 before the state lease and $1.2 million after the lease, according to an April 2008 appraisal prepared for Huntington Bank. The appraisal says the building would be difficult to market to traditional office users because it is surrounded by industrial properties and has no street frontage.

The 1986 building had been vacant for several months and badly in need of repairs when L & BAB put the property under contract. The appraisal noted the 15,200-square-foot building had interior mold, three broken AC units and deferred maintenance on windows, exterior bricks and parking-lot pavement.

L & BAB had planned to spend $422,500 to renovate the building and prepare most of it, about 13,000 square feet, for the arrival of DCS. The company eventually paid $825,000 for the property, and got a $15,000 allowance from the seller to remedy an animal infestation.

– Venture arranged to list the building for sale with an asking price of $1.8 million in late 2008, immediately after the DCS executed its lease deal. The property did not sell.

Financial documents included in the offering show the building owner, building seller, DCS and an insurance company split more than $577,000 of expenses to renovate and outfit the building. The owner’s portion was about $315,000, while DCS paid about $200,000 for upgrades including new restrooms.

The records show Page invested $321,835 in the building and financed $993,750. That includes a commission of $88,400, and a development fee of $45,600, both going to Venture.

– Records suggest Brizzi was added as a co-owner of the building late in the process. Financial documents provided to potential buyers in 2008 list Bruce Zeller of Carmel-based Zeller Construction Co. as co-investing with Page. Zeller did not return a phone message.

Page, an attorney with locally based Baker Pittman & Page and principal in condo developer Page Development, told IBJ in March that Brizzi—whom he called an “equal partner” in the deal—did not contribute cash and isn’t named on the loan the pair used to buy the building.

He said Brizzi earned his stake in the Elkhart building by bringing him an attractive investment opportunity. He said Brizzi and Bales, a Brizzi partner on previous deals, approached him about the Elkhart building.

Brizzi has said in disclosure documents that his equity interest in the property is worth $50,000 to $100,000.

The records offered no suggestion of how the building owners arrived at the name L & BAB.

Putting the Elkhart deal together was a challenge since banks weren’t lending and few property investors showed interest in fixing up an office building in financially depressed Elkhart, said Jeff Lozer, the general counsel for DCS.

Lozer said he didn’t know Brizzi was involved with the deal until he read about his investment in IBJ.

“We were really pressing Venture to get the deal done, to bring it home,” Lozer said. “We had the building picked out but needed someone to finance the build out. The issue for us was finding a suitable place to put our folks. We don’t care who the landlord is.”

Brizzi has declined repeated interview requests but said in a statement Thursday that he could not comment on the FBI’s inquiries because he is “unaware of this alleged action.”

Brizzi, a Repubican whose second term ends in December, is not seeking re-election.

Republicans Only Have A Hammer So They Will Treat Everything Like A Nail

The psychologist and philosopher Abraham Maslow wisely pointed out that, “to the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”

"To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail." -Abraham Maslow

We are reminded of that as we consider the Republican/Tea Party attack and dispute against passage of the health-care reform bill. From ugly shouters and spitters to mischaracterizations and out-right lies about the content and consequences of the bill, these are the acts of a party that lacks more in its toolbox than a hammer.

Even though this bill is practically a basic moderate-Republican bill. It has passed with more than 200 Republican amendments, but no Republican votes.

It passed without the public option and with market-based solutions that are most reminiscent of the health-care bill introduced by President Richard Nixon.

It passed with a Congressional Budget Office estimate that shows it will lower the deficit by nearly $150 billion.

It passed with a planned executive order that will guarantee no federal dollars will be used for abortions.

It passed with all these key Republican points of interest and more and yet the Republicans will only use it as a hammer with which to bludgeon the Obama administration.

Mike Pence, as he has in the past (note this misrepresentation of the CBO numbers and taxes from MSNBC) continues to mischaracterize the bill as “government-run health-care” and calling a presidential executive order “a piece of paper.”

Pence just loves to throw around that flag-drapped rhetoric that rarely has a basis in the day-to-day lives of Americans. Mike Lupica calls Pence out on this:

Here is what President Obama said on the weekend, urging House Democrats to remember why they came to Washington in the first place.

“This is one of those moments where you can say, ‘Doggone it, this is why I came here,'” the President said. “‘This is why I got into politics.'”

But we’re not supposed to believe that, or him, not in the insane political culture where Obama is constantly painted as an enemy of the state. There was Rep. Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana, saying again this weekend that he and all good Republicans plan to stand “with the American people and oppose this government takeover of health care.”

You always want to ask guys like Pence, conditioned to oppose anything this President does except sending more troops to Afghanistan to get more arms and legs shot off, which Americans he is talking about. And you want to ask patriots like Pence if his America includes the 32 million people without health care who will finally get it because of this historic bill.

You gotta respect their ability to stay on message though. Pence, Steve Buyer, Mark Souder & Dan Burton’s press releases all read as though written buy the same pedantic intern. It reminds us of the kids in class who would just look for four or five key phrases from notes which they often didn’t really understand and just repeat them sporadically in their term papers as they kept checking word count to make sure they met the teacher’s required length.

They will continue to beat this as their sole message until November. But in order to do so, they will also have to vote. If they want to continue to hammer the president, they will be voting against the American people’s desire for greater consumer protection, a cleaner environment and better schools, as those are the next big proposals expected before this congress.

They are now and will continue to be the party-of-no-friggin’-way-because-we-don’t-like-the-president-we-don’t-care-who-voted-for-him-or-how-much-voters-want-these-protections.

As they continue to press, they will further ally themselves with the shouters and spitters and N-word spouters that will only serve to crank up the ugliness.

This is not a policy. This is a fatwa in a misguided jihad .

We at ALO congratulate Indiana’s five Democratic Congressmen, Peter Visclosky, Joe Donnelly, Andre Carson, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill, who bravely took the principled stand for the American people, especially those 32 million who will now get coverage and those people with pre-existing conditions who will now be able to stay covered when they take a new job.

We congratulate them for realizing that taxpayers are already paying for medical treatment of the uninsured and that drives up costs and deficits.

We congratulate the victory for rational thinking.