Category Archives: Hypocrisy

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?

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.

All the Questions Raised By Souder’s Exit

Aren't They Darling?

We at ALO will ignore the pontification as to who will ascend to be the new Republican candidate but we are scratching our heads about the wisdom on that side of the aisle.

First of all it sounds like a lot of people knew about this Congressman Mark Souder-Tracy Meadows Jackson affair and yet he was allowed to win a primary.

MSNBC.com gives us a better idea of how it unfolded:

Indiana congressman Mark Souder’s resignation, announced Tuesday, came after anonymous tipsters called his aides and his opponents in a Republican primary to say he was having an extramarital affair with a part-time staffer, according to sources familiar with the calls.

The conservative Christian congressman’s chief of staff, Renee Howell, confronted him last week over the rumored affair with Tracy Meadows Jackson, according to a source in the office. On Tuesday morning, two weeks after winning the primary, Souder publicly admitted the affair — without naming the staffer — and said he would resign effective Friday.

The affair began after Jackson was hired in 2004, according to the source in the office. Jackson, who is married, was to be a guest host with Souder for a daily radio spot he recorded for WFCV, a Christian radio station in Fort Wayne, Ind. Jackson also at one point played host for a local cable-access show that served as a platform for Souder to discuss conservative issues, and she helped produce numerous videos of Souder’s speeches and positions, including one in which they discussed his strong support for teen abstinence.

Jackson did not respond Tuesday to repeated e-mails and calls. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to freely discuss the sensitive matter.

After aides to Souder learned last week of the congressman’s affair, they contacted Minority Leader John Boehner’s office. A Souder aide met on Sunday with members of Boehner’s leadership staff, and Boehner spoke by phone to Souder on Monday night, just hours before the Souder announced that he would resign.

House members are prohibited from having sexual relationships with their aides.

House Republican leaders, who hammered Democrats over the sexual harassment scandal that toppled Rep. Eric Massa in March, said little Tuesday about the Souder resignation. The minority leader “has been perfectly clear that he will hold our members to the highest ethical standards,” a spokesman for Boehner said.

Less than a week before the May 4 primary, the sources said, anonymous callers told Souder’s Republican rivals he was regularly meeting a girlfriend for romantic trysts in state parks near Fort Wayne. One caller alleged that Souder and a staffer went together late at night to the remote and heavily forested Robinson Lake boat launch in Whitley County.

//

Video

Amid sex scandal, congressman resigns
May 18: Family values conservative Rep. Mark Souder is resigning after admitting to an affair with a female staff member.

msnbc tv

But the opponents questioned the reliability of the information and did not make a public issue of the claims.

As of Tuesday, Souder and his wife, Diane Zimmer Souder, remained together, according to one source. Souder and his wife have three grown children — two sons and a daughter — and two grandchildren.

In the primary, Souder survived a serious challenge from car dealer Bob Thomas, who spent considerable sums of his own money on the race. Nate Bullock, a Thomas spokesman, said Thomas considers this a sad episode, but ultimately a personal matter for Souder to handle without politics.

“It’s inappropriate to comment at this time,” Bullock said. “We are not going to make political hay by jumping on some family’s troubles or demise.”

A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said a special election will be held to fill the vacancy, The Associated Press reported.

Within 30 days, the precinct leaders of the counties in his district must gather to choose nominees for the special election, and GOP precinct officials would choose a candidate for the November ballot. One name being bandied about is state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate earlier this month.

Souder joins a succession of congressmen embroiled in sex scandals in recent years, including Massa, and Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev., and David Vitter, R-La.

Ensign and Vitter are still serving in the Senate.

But IndianasNewsCenter.com reports that several people in the district knew about the affair as early as February. Steve Shine, Allen County Republican chair admits he knew six months ago. Surprising since Shine was a supporter of Souder’s primary opponent Bob Thomas and Thomas’ campaign never dropped this bomb.

It’s weird. But, hey, we’re still drinking champagne over here at ALO HQ. Good riddance. Apparently as our friend The Broom has noted, he ultimately did believe in self-imposed term-limits.

Vanity Fair: Souder the Hypocrite

Avi Zenilman has this tale on VanityFair.com that puts the personal touch on Mark Souder’s moral hypocrisy. Enjoy:

Cheating Congressman Mark Souder Once Lectured My Father on the Evils of Sex

May 18, 2010, 12:15 PM
mark-souder.jpgA newfound respect for extramarital sex?

Politico is reporting that longtime Indiana congressman Mark Souder, a socially conservative Republican who railed against consensual sex outside of marriage, is resigning because he had an affair with a female aide. He is a married father of three.Oops. Souder frequently meddled with CDC research into at-risk behavior, and made life difficult for medical researchers of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. For example, in March 2004, Souder hauled Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, a former C.D.C. officer and S.T.D. specialist at Hopkins who happens to be my father, before his committee and proceeded to lecture him on the sins of condoms and sex outside of wedlock and its liberal enablers.

My dad, at the time “speaking as a proud parent of three teenagers” (I’ve grown up since then!), thought it was important to push a message of delay, but that demanding celibacy was just not going to work. “An
abstinence-only approach which excludes safer sex messages and includes messages that emphasize intercourse only within the context of marriage, is therefore clearly out of touch with the realities and practices of the vast majority of Americans,” he said, complaining that the whole debate was “framed in an absolutist stark context.”

Souder ultimately responded by saying that teen sex needs to be aggressively confronted, like date rape, because out-of-wedlock sex always leads to pregnancy and ruins lives. My dad said well-informed people use condoms. This led to the following exchange:

Zenilman: Teenagers having consensual intercourse or adults having sexual intercourse is not the same as a date rape or sexual harassment. The latter has a lot more of the consequences that you mentioned previously.Souder: I don’t think this data backs that statement up. I believe they are awful and I have worked with them, but you are not going to argue here that out-of-wedlock pregnancy and related things are less damaging overall to a life’s career than somebody who has been sexually harassed, which, by the way, may also occur in the teen pregnancy and the out-of-wedlock or non-married sexual activity.

Zenilman: A consensual adult who is actually having sexual relations and is properly informed will be contracepting.

Souder: This isn’t really a debate, and I am sorry I got us off into that. We have a substantial disagreement.

If Souder was my dad, I’d be very confused.