Saturday, June 28, 2008

300 Job's leaving Noblesville!

Here we go again! Everyday I feel I need to stand and salute the television when the latest Mitch Daniel's commercial comes on telling me how damn good things are here in Indiana. All the high paying jobs we have created, more money in the bank ect. Well I am glad to hear the State of Indiana is doing well and has a balanced budget, money in the bank and Lucas Oil Stadium is about to open. All of which are financed on the backs of Hoosiers that are fighting every day to keep their heads above water. In the story below it does not talk about needing more high tech labor, better educated work force or any of the other things I hear we need in Indiana. Nope salary and benefits are just too high and we can make more money in other locations that will work cheaper. Now I am all for making a profit. But how much is enough? How much of a Dancin Chicken do our corporations have to be to that 28 year old snot nosed Wall Street Analyst that says they need to make more? Now I need to head to the television and wait for the next Mitch Daniels commercial so I will feel better.

Peace Dude!

June 28, 2008
300 to lose jobs when Bridgestone Firestone shuts Noblesville plant in '09By John
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Bridgestone Firestone announced Friday it plans to close its Noblesville plant, citing increased economic pressure from foreign competitors and a plummeting truck market.
The company, which makes air springs for trucks and buses, notified its 300 employees and union leaders that the plant would close in 2009. For much of the 20th century, Firestone was Hamilton County's biggest employer.
Mike Cerio, president of Firestone Industrial Products, said the 72-year-old Noblesville plant is the only one of its three North American factories losing money, mostly because it is the only unionized plant.
"The cost of labor and benefits there are dramatically higher than that at those other plants" in Kentucky and Tennessee, Cerio said. Choosing to close the Noblesville plant instead of the others was easier because of its "antiquated infrastructure," he said.

See the rest of the STORY here:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This might be the best thing I have seen lately!

FOR UNDERSTANDING 'THE HOOSIER CULTURE'For those of you who are Hoosiers, this is so accurate it hurts.Really.To those of you who are displaced Hoosiers, you may get homesick.

Know the State casserole.The state casserole consists of canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, and dried onions. You can safely take this casserole to any social event and know that you will be accepted.

Get used to food festivals.The Indiana General Assembly, in an effort to grow bigger athletes, passed legislation years ago requiring every incorporated community to have at least one festival per year dedicated to a high-fat food. It is your duty as a Hoosier to attend these festivals and at least buy at least one elephant ear..

Know the geography.Of Florida, that is. There are Hoosiers who couldn't tell you where Evansville is but they know the exact distance from Fort Myers to Bonita Springs. That's because all Hoosiers go to Florida in the winter.Or plan to when they retire. Or are related to retired Hoosiers who have a place in Sarasota. Hoosiers consider Florida to be the Lower Peninsula of Indiana. If you can't afford to spend the winter in Florida, use the state excuse, which is that you stay here because you enjoy the change of season.You'll be lying, but that's OK. We've all done it.

Speaking of Indiana weather, wear layers or die. The thing to remember about Indiana seasons is that they can occur at anytime. We have spring-like days in January and wintry weekends in October. April is capable of providing a sampling of all four seasons in a single 24-hour period.For these reasons, Indiana is the Layering Capital of the World.Even layering, however, can pose danger. Golfers have been known to dress for hypothermia and end up dead of heat stroke because they couldn't strip off their layers of plaid fast enough on a changeable spring morning.

Don't take Indiana place names literally.If a town has the same name as a foreign city ---Valparaiso and Versailles, for example --- you must not pronounce them the way the foreigners do lest you come under suspicion as a spy. Also, East Enterprise has no counterpart on the west side of the state. South Bend is in the north. North Putnam is in the south and French Lick isn't what you think either.

The best way to sell something in Indiana is to attach the term 'Amish' to it.The product need not be genuinely Amish. This would explain the existence of Amish moo shu pork.


* You think the state Bird is Larry.

* You can say 'French Lick' without laughing out loud.

* There's actually a college near you named 'Ball State.'

* You know Batesville is the casket-making capital of the world and you're proud of it.

* You could never figure out spring forward-fall back, so let's just ignore Daylight Savings Time!

* Your feelings get hurt whenever someone points out the acronym for Purdue University is PU.

* You know several people who have hit a deer.* Down south to you means Kentucky.

* You have no problem spelling or pronouncing Terre Haute.

* Your school classes were canceled because of cold.

* Your school classes were canceled because of heat.

* You know what the phrase 'knee-high by the Fourth of July'means.

* You've heard of Euchre, you know how to play Euchre, and you are a master of Euchre.

* You've seen a running car, with nobody in it, in the parking lot of the grocery store, no matter what time of year it is.

* Detassling was your first job. Bailing hay, your second. Or you could stack hay, swim in the pond to clean and then have the strength to play a couple of games of hoops, all in the same barn lot on the same day.

* You say things like catty-wampus and catty corner and know what they mean.

* You install security lights on your house and garage, and then leave them both unlocked.

* You carry jumper cables in your car regularly.

* You drink pop. You catch frogs at the crick. If you want someone to hear you, you holler at 'em.

* You know that baling wire was the predecessor to duct tape.

* You know that strangers are the only ones who come to your front door.

* Kids and dogs ride in the passenger seats of cars and the backs of pickups.

* You think nothing of driving on the roads and being stuck behind a farm implement in spring
and fall. You just hope it's not a hog truck or a manure spreader.

* High school basketball games draw bigger crowds on the weekend than movie theaters, IF you have a movie theater.

* Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

* The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires six for local sports.

* You can repeat the scores of the last eight NBA games, but unless the MVP is a Hoosier, you are not sure who he is.

* You can see at least two basketball hoops from your yard.

* You can name every one of Bobby Knight's exploits over the last few years.

* The biggest question of your youth was IU or Purdue.

* Indianapolis is the BIG CITY.

* Getting stuck by a train is a legitimate excuse for being late to school or work.

* Everyone knows who the town cops are, where they live, and whether they're at home or on duty.

* You've been to the Covered Bridge Festival. And you took back roads to get there. Why sit in traffic?

* To you, tenderloin is not an expensive cut of beef, but a big, salty, breaded, & fried piece of pork served on a bun with pickle.

* You end your sentences with prepositions, as in 'Where's it at?' or 'Where's he going to?'

* If you are a Hoosier or have Hoosier roots you will have read this and found everything to be perfectly normal. In fact, isn't that the way it is everywhere?

Peace Dude!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dr. Wood v Dr. Bennett

If you have read my blog you will know that my son happens to have Down syndrome and issues facing individuals with disabilities are fore front to my passions. With that in mind the election of Superintendent of Public Instruction is a campaign I am watching closely. Yesterday I posed the question does expereince matter in this race? It is a mantra that has been thrown around quite often in this current campaign cycle and can be debated in great detail. I am not leaning one way or another yet in this race and am ready to be sold. I did receive this response to that post:

Anonymous said...
I agree with you. It seems to me that we have had 16 years of "experience" at the helm of the IDOE and the state still ranks between 45th and 47th in most educational areas. This is not really a partisan issue. If this election is really about change and you want to see the IDOE focus on helping kids in Indiana (all kids), the candidate of change is Dr. Bennett. Dr. Bennett, like Obama, brings a new way of doing things to the bureacracy that is the IDOE and has a new vision for education in Indiana. It is an interesting reversal that the the status quo candidate is Dr. Wood.

I will be very excited to see and hear what both Dr. Bennett and Dr. Woods visions' for the future for Indiana's schools will be. I have not seen a web site or stance on the issues yet from Dr. Wood. Dr. Bennett does have a website that gives some general information and some great soundbites on the ISSUES but I don't see the clear new vision and change that the responder refers to. But I also do agree that Dr. Woods 19 years of experience may not be the right direction either but I just don't have enough info yet to decide.

I hope that as much discussion as we have in the blogger world about property taxes, graduation rates and our education system as a whole that this campaign will get the attention that it deserves. I hope we get to see clear visions along with the detailed plans on how those visions will be implemented. I hope we get to see actual track records of accomplishments and face to face state wide debates and town hall meetings between these two fine candidates.

Let the discussion begin on the future of ALL of Indiana's school children.

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Does Experience Matter?

I have heard lot's of yelling and screaming about experience over the last year from many of the campaigns.

Let's talk about Education. Let's talk about experience on this one.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction: Years of Expereince as a School Superintendent

Dr Richard Wood (D) - 19 years

Dr. Tony Bennett (R) - 1 year

Now let's start talking about education issues and not just sound bites.

Peace Dude

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hamilton County Tax and spenders!

I saw this article in the Noblesville Ledger. Now I am all for mass transit and other infrastructure items that we may need now and in the future, but some of this is getting as crazy as Carmel concert halls. This same crew just bought an unfinished office building out by Home Depot for $1.7 million to free up parking and space in the government center. Oh ya it will also help all the folks going to the health department so they will not have to go thru security to get into our government meetings. Now we are going to spend local tax money on lobbying the federal government in all honesty for a bridge to no where. That's right a walking bridge to get from downtown across the river to arrive at, I guess the hospital parking lot. But then again there is also Councilman Steve Schwartz's business over on that side of the river. Hmmm, tax dollars are work by a political official who's business may benefit. I think at the least Mr. Schwartz should not be leading this effort. So much for the so called fiscal conservative Republicans running Hamilton County. Looking at the latest lobbying reports of late it sure seems like our local tax dollars are being spent very well by our cities and towns with big Indy Law firms for Lobbying services.

Peace and Enjoy.

June 14, 2008

County plans to lobby for federal funds for Riverwalk's Phase 2

By Chris Sikich

NOBLESVILLE -- County officials are planning a trip in early 2009 to Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal funds for the $2.3 million second phase of the Riverwalk project.

Phase 1 should be complete this year, commissioner's assistant Fred Swift told Noblesville's downtown steering committee Friday at City Hall. That committee is in charge of revitalizing downtown, and members suggested the city become more involved in the second of the three-phase Riverwalk project.

The Indiana Department of Transportation awarded the first-phase contract to Ohio-based Sunesis Construction for $961,981. That will create a walkway from the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center to the county parking lot south of Conner, mainly to allow county employees to avoid crossing the busy road.

Phase 2 will create a path from there to the Forest Park trailhead on Eighth Street, which in essence would finish a trail from Riverside Cemetery to Potter's Bridge.

Mayor John Ditslear said he would like to join or sit in on Riverwalk committee meetings and go to Washington to show the city's support for the county project. Ditslear wasn't sure if the city would lend funding, saying he'd prefer to look for other sources first. He plans to contact Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., to see if they would help get funding for the project.

The Riverwalk's third phase will develop the grassy area behind the judicial center into a park-like setting, and downtown committee members viewed that as a county project.

County Councilman Steve Schwartz, who heads the Riverwalk committee, said by phone Friday that he's glad the mayor wants to be involved in the project, and Ditslear would be welcome at meetings and on the Washington trip.

"This trail is just a huge asset," Schwartz said. "If you go up to Potter's Bridge, there are people up there all the time, and that's what we want downtown."

Schwartz hopes to learn if the project will receive federal funding sometime in 2009. If it does, construction could start by early 2010. He said officials would have to think hard about funding the project locally, because that funding might be better spent on mass transit options that the Metropolitan Planning Organization is considering from Noblesville to Indianapolis in as soon as 3-5 years.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indiana Democratic Leadership?

I have always been one that supports the candidate I think will do the best job vs. what party they may belong to. With that said over the last few years that has meant voting for a few more D's then ever before in the past. Whether you agree with me or not I said during the last Democratic convention that if Senator Obama ever ran I think I would support him. I have not only heard his speeches but have read almost everything on his proposed policies. And I have supported him since his announcement and have gotten more involved on the D side then ever before. The reason I believe he has picked up the support that he has is because he has the Audacity to Lead!

When looking for the Audacity to lead in the Indiana Democratic Party of late I feel that the leadership left for South Bend when Joe Kernan went home. I have no idea what Dan Parker is doing at the party but it sure does not seem to be leading. Now I am more then willing to be corrected Dan but if you are leading it's sure in private back rooms.

A few comments about the lack of leadership I currently see.

1. Why would candidate Jill Long Thompson hold a non issue press conference the day that Linda Pence announces her campaign for AG?

2. Why have the D's not been able to get someone out for Superintendent of Public Instruction and a platform to run on before the convention?

3. Why is Pat Bauer announcing Representative Oxley for LT Gov before the JLT campaign?

It seems like everyone is running around taking care of themselves.

Whether you support Senator Obama or not his campaign is going to bring more people out to vote then in recent history. His way of raising campaign funds is working. He is out there talking to people. Where are the candidates in Indiana?

4. Who is running the party? Dan Parker? Jill Long Thompson? Pat Bauer?

5. Lot's of talk about change and new ideas and the gamut....if that is the case then why is Bob Pastrick from East Chicago still active in the party and a DNC delegate? Is that why Linda Pence had a none answer on the Attorney Generals RICO case last week?

I don't know Mr. Parker or Mrs. Long Thompson, I have had the opportunity to meet Speaker Bauer and have much respect for his knowledge, passion and devotion to the state of Indiana and I can only assume the same about Mr. Parker and Mrs. Long Thompson.

If you look at the R's there is no doubt that Governor Daniels has the audacity to lead and he is in charge of the party.

Who is going to have the AUDACITY to STAND Up and Lead the Indiana Democratic Party? If the D's let this election cycle get away from them then we can chalk it up to reactionism and a lack of leadership.

Peace Dude!

Happy Fathers Day!

Wishing a happy fathers day to my dad and step dad. The top picture is my mom and step dad Gordon. The bottom is my Dad "The Big O" with Nash on Spring break this year.

Now let's see my Dad has been my dad for 45 years and is a retired educator and my step dad has been part of my life for over 25 years and is a Marine.

And people wonder why I am such a hard ass.........

Dad and Gordy, thanks for everything and I love ya!

Peace Dudes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sunday mornings will never be the same.

A sad goodbye to a trusted friend I never actually met but was such a huge part of Sunday's in our home. My heart felt condolences to the entire Russert and NBC families.


Tim Russert, who became one of America's leading political journalists as the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," died Friday, according to the network. He was 58.


Tim Russert joined NBC in 1984 and established himself as the face of the network's political coverage.

The network said Russert suffered a heart attack while at work and could not be revived. He had just returned from a family vacation in Italy to celebrate the graduation of his son, Luke, from Boston College.

Russert joined the network in 1984 and quickly established himself as the face of the network's political coverage.

In 1985 he supervised live broadcasts of the "Today" show from Rome, negotiating an appearance by Pope John Paul II -- a first for American television.

He took the helm of "Meet the Press" in 1991, turning the long-running Sunday-morning interview program into the most-watched show of its kind in the United States.

Washingtonian Magazine once dubbed Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, describing "Meet the Press" as "the most interesting and important hour on television."

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

His two books -- 2004's "Big Russ and Me" and 2006's "Wisdom of Our Fathers" were both New York Times best sellers.

Russert served as press secretary for former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and as chief of staff to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat who died in 2003.

Russert was born in 1950 in Buffalo, New York, the son of Timothy John Russert Sr. -- a newspaper truck driver and sanitation worker who was the "Big Russ" from his autobiography -- and Elizabeth Russert, a homemaker.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are we as a state better off then we were 4 years ago?

That is the question we must ask ourselves in this day of increased sales and property taxes and real job loss to be replaced by call centers at $8.50 an hour. I am open to debate this because I know there are some areas where we are better. But this one is bothersome!

June 12, 2008

Report: More kids in state slip into poverty

Experts cite job losses as factor in 29% rise

By Jeremy Herb

The number of children living in poverty in Indiana rose nearly 29 percent from 2000 to 2006, an increase nearly five times the national rate, according to a new ranking of child welfare.

As a result, Indiana's child poverty level for the first time matched the national rate of 18 percent in 2006, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in its Kids Count report released today.

Local advocates said the numbers aren't surprising in light of job losses in Indiana. They also said some of the taxpayer-funded help that low-income families receive is being scaled back as more Hoosier children slip into poverty.

"When needs go up in times of economic downturns, that's when state budgets tighten and services are cut," said Rochelle Finzel, director of Indiana's Institute for Working Families. "There's always those issues that funding goes down when people need it most."

In part because of reforms aimed at moving people off welfare rolls, the number of Hoosiers receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dropped 9 percent from March 2006 to March 2008. The number of children receiving TANF also dropped by 1 percent in the past year to 76,801. The state, on the other hand, increased by 15 percent the amount in food stamps it issued from 2006 to 2008, to $62.8 million.

The Casey Foundation report is based on 10 factors, including child poverty. It ranked Indiana 34th overall, down three spots from the state's 2007 ranking.

About 277,000 children in Indiana live in households below the federal poverty income level, or $20,444 a year for a family of two adults and two children in 2006. The number of children in extreme poverty -- who live in families earning below 50 percent of the poverty level -- was up 60 percent since 2004 and stood at 8 percent in '06.

Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Indiana Youth Institute, said three factors are causing Indiana's poverty rate to climb: loss of jobs, especially in manufacturing; an increase in out-of-wedlock births; and a rise in immigrants, who historically are the lowest-paid workers.

In the past year, Indiana has shed 13,000 industrial jobs, reducing the number of manufacturing jobs to 539,300 and marking a decline of 131,500 factory positions since 2000. The state has shed 20,000 jobs in all industries since employment peaked at 3 million in 2000. The overall employment figures for Indiana are positive because metro Indianapolis has added about 62,000 jobs.

The percentage of children born to single parents climbed to 40.1 percent last year, increasing 16 percent since 2000, according to Kids Count data.

And in 2006, 23 percent of children in immigrant families in Indiana lived below the poverty line.

Stanczykiewicz and Finzel said economic conditions must turn around before the poverty rate will improve.

"We really need to let kids know that the days of a parent graduating high school to support their family -- that's over," Stanczykiewicz said. "You need post-secondary education or training."

The state has attempted to address that problem in part by working with the Indiana Youth Institute to get more at-risk children enrolled in job-training programs and by expanding the Ivy Tech Community College system.

But dollars are limited.

The Hawthorne Community Center on Indianapolis' Westside has seen more families seeking assistance as its state funding for child-care programs has been cut 20 percent, Deputy Director Betty Harris said.

Funding for its program providing free care for children before and after school and in the summer was cut by more than $6,500 this year. Harris said the decrease, which starts July 1, will force the center to reduce staff hours, potentially cutting up to 20 children from the program.

Cutting back

Several parents at the Hawthorne center on Wednesday afternoon said losing the after-school and summer programs would force them to cut back on work or lean on relatives to take care of their children.

Laura Sparks, who works full time as a security guard, said she would have to leave her 12- and 6-year-old children home alone and work only part time if she couldn't send them to Hawthorne.

Whether other similar programs face such cuts was unclear Wednesday. Officials with the state Family and Social Services Administration were unavailable for comment because they were busy attending to flooding-related duties.

Addressing the problem

State governments across the country have made attempts to reduce child poverty, which has increased nationwide, according to a report in April by the Center for Law and Social Policy.

More than a dozen states either have proposed legislation or called for committees to look at the problem.

In the Midwest, Michigan has made plans for a November summit on child poverty, while Illinois has legislation pending to set a target for cutting extreme poverty in half by 2015, according to the report.

Connecticut, which has the third-lowest child poverty rate in the nation, was the first state to enact a law setting a target to reduce its child poverty in half, a goal it hopes to achieve by 2014. The state created a council that reports annually on how the state can reduce poverty.

The Casey Foundation report shows Indiana has improved in several categories, cutting its high school dropout rate by 38.5 percent and its teen pregnancy rate by 12 percent. Still, both remain above the national average.

Conditions in Indiana also have worsened since 2000 in several other categories examined in the report:

The number of low-birthweight babies increased 12 percent, from 7.4 percent to 8.3 percent, while the U.S. rate went up from 7.6 percent to 8.2 percent.

The infant mortality rate increased 3 percent, from 7.8 percent to 8 percent, compared with the national rate, which held steady at 6.9 percent.

The number of children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round income jumped 19 percent, from 27 percent to 32 percent.

Now I am not blaming this whole situation on anyone except the citizens of Indiana as a whole. We must work together not against each other to turn our state around.

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hurco Companies Inc. an example of what is wrong!

Hurco Companies, Inc. is an industrial technology company that designs and produces interactive computer controls, software and computerized machine tools for the worldwide metal cutting and metal forming industry. The end market for the Company's products consists primarily of independent job shops and short-run manufacturing operations within large corporations in industries such as the aerospace, defense, medical equipment, energy, transportation and computer equipment. The Company is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has sales, application engineering and service subsidiaries in High Wycombe, England; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Milan, Italy; Shanghai, China; Chennai, India; Mississauga, Canada; and Singapore, along with manufacturing operations in Taiwan and China. Products are sold through independent agents and distributors in North America, Europe and Asia. The Company also has direct sales forces in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and Asia. Web Site: and they are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hurco Reports Strong Second Quarter Results -- Sales Up 37 Percent and Orders Up 22 Percent

INDIANAPOLIS, May 23, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Hurco Companies, Inc., (Nasdaq:HURC) today reported for its second quarter ended April 30, 2008, net income of $5,467,000, or $.85 per share, a 17% increase over the $4,680,000, or $.73 per share, reported for the corresponding period in fiscal 2007. For the first six months of fiscal 2008, Hurco reported net income of $13,272,000, or $2.06 per share, a 32% increase over the $10,075,000, or $1.57 per share, reported for the corresponding period in fiscal 2007.

Sales and service fees for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 totaled $58,285,000, an increase of $15,791,000, or 37%, over the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Approximately $5,252,000, or 12%, of the year-over-year increase reflects the effect of a weaker U.S. dollar when translating foreign sales to U.S. dollars for financial reporting purposes. Sales and service fees for the six months ended April 30, 2008, totaled $119,208,000, an increase of $29,836,000, or 33%, over the corresponding period in 2007.


Hurco tumbles after profit disappoints

Investors thrashed Hurco Cos. after the locally based machine-tool maker reported quarterly profit that narrowly missed analysts' expectations. The company's shares tumbled $11, or 23 percent, on the week. Shares now are off 18 percent for the year. Hurco said profit rose 17 percent and revenue climbed a robust 37 percent. Still, it wasn't enough to satisfy investors. Per-share profit was 85 cents, 3 cents shy of expectations. Also trounced over the past week was Republic Airways Holdings Inc. The Indianapolisbased airline shed $2.82, or 19 percent, on concern that turmoil in the aviation industry would hamper its results

In a down economy with a weak US Dollar an Indiana company has a great quarter and gets trashed on Wall Street because they did not meet analysts' expectations? I bet these analysts' have never sold a piece of machinery overseas in their entire life, or made payroll or for that fact ever spent a day in a real company.

This got just a small blurb in the IBJ and I don't think the Star even covered it but I could be wrong on that.

No wonder we are in a mess.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of those great Daniels Job Stories?

From today's IBJ Update!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Hiring at Agape call center below expectationsIBJ Staff Agape Communications LLC, a startup call center in Anderson that said on May 2 it would hire 75 workers immediately, has only filled 20 positions, reports Anderson's Herald Bulletin.Company officials said they are receiving fewer applications than expected and can't explain the lack of interest.Starting pay is $8.50 an hour, plus bonuses. At the time the company announced it would open the center, it said the average pay was $10 an hour.Agape had said it expected to create 400 jobs within a year. Agape is a telecommunications subcontractor starting out with two contracts: one handling vacation sales and one selling subscriptions for trade publications.

So I ask what is the game plan and what tax incentives did they receive?

Peace Dude

Representitive Kathy Kreag Richardson of Indiana

I saw this letter to the editor today in the Noblesville Daily times. It reminded me that this issue did not ever seem to get cleared up. I know and respect Representative Richardson and my gut tells me she did nothing wrong but it does bother me that it faded into the woodwork with out a public statement of the issue. Representative Richardson I hope you will take the time to clear up this issue for everyone now before the election. You can visit Representative Richardson's website:

Re posted from the Noblesville Daily Times:

Letter to the Editor: Investigation into allegations against Richardson being swept under the rug?

Written by Letter to the Editor, on 06-10-2008 09:09

Just prior to the November 2006 election, allegations of criminal wrong doing by State Rep. Kathy Richardson surfaced in the news.

These allegations included ghost employment and misuse of public property while she was employed in her second public job in the Hamilton County courthouse.

Six months passed and I read nothing about any results of an investigation promised by Sheriff Doug Carter. I mailed Carter a letter of inquiry about the status of the investigation and received a prompt reply. The reply stated that the case had been referred to the Indiana State Police Region 5 Criminal Division.

Now 18 months have passed and still no published reports have been released concerning the proposed investigation. Out of curiosity, I called a few individuals I thought may have knowledge of the investigation progress.

It now appears that the investigation, if there ever was one, has been idled perhaps in the hope that this matter will just go away. I hope this is not the case, because it would raise serious doubts about the integrity of our county and state police departments as well as local politics in general.

What about the role of the state board of accounts? They usually investigate ghost employment. Has that department also taken a siesta for political reasons?

It may now be time to ask for help from a federal law enforcement agency to investigate new allegations such as obstruction of justice and criminal cover up conspiracy

Monday, June 09, 2008

Interesting View from the REGION!

Saw this article and thought it was worth a blog post. The Hoosier Pundit makes the point over at that really good blog that it's really the campaign staff that is the problem. I have issue with that as Mitch Daniels is a "The Buck Stops Here" guy and if the staff is the issue then I would say the staff is a reflection of the BOSS.

I think Maybe the Guv needs to gas up the Harley and head up 65 to mend some fences. Oh and he better take some extra coins with him if he needs to use the toll road.

Peace Dude

Lake County GOP sends message to governor

June 6, 2008Recommend (3)

BY RICH JAMES Post-Tribune staff writer

Dear Mitch,
I hope you're feeling better.

Looked to me like the Lake County delegation to the Republican State Convention pretty much took you behind the woodshed and knocked the snot out of you.

The Lake County delegation voted 52-30 for Greg Zoeller for the attorney general nomination, even though you backed Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.

You may have given Costas your blessing, but you didn't reach out to the flock.

In fact, Costas got a meager 40 percent of the vote from the whole convention. Talk about getting your butt kicked.

It's not that the Lake County delegates don't like Costas. To the contrary, Mitch, they think he's a pretty fine guy and a good mayor.

It wasn't a matter of the Lake County delegates opposing Costas because they want to keep him as mayor.

No, Mitch, the local folks were sending you a message.

It's not that they think you are a bad governor. No, they just don't like your politics, or lack thereof.

Actually, Mitch, you aren't much of a politician. Matter of fact, outgoing Attorney General Steve Carter pretty much cut you off at the knees.

Carter knows what makes Lake County Republicans tick -- and that is putting Lake County Democrats in jail.

Carter vowed that Zoeller, who is his chief deputy, would continue the work he started in fighting public corruption in Lake County.

Although former U.S. Attorney Joe Van Bokkelen did most of the public corruption work here, Carter had a knack for taking more credit than he was due.

Anyway, while Zoeller was running around Lake County talking about getting after corrupt Democrats, you, Mitch, cast off Costas but didn't give him any oars.

Back to politics, Mitch.

The Lake County delegation made a statement. Several, in fact.

Foremost, Mitch, they said they are tired of getting their pockets picked. They are tired of your buddy over in Schererville, Dan Dumezich, holding gala fund-raisers for you and other downstate Republicans.

You see, Mitch, Lake County GOP Chairman John Curley and these delegates are trying to build a party in Lake County.

But when Dumezich sucks a half million bucks out of the county for your campaign, Mitch, it doesn't leave much up here except chump change. It makes it pretty difficult to build a party with nickels and dimes.

Another thing, Mitch -- and I don't know if you had anything to do with it -- the Lake County folks didn't like the talk they were picking up down in Indy about some of the attorney general's future legal work being farmed out to the private sector -- including your buddy Dumezich.

Let me tell you something, Mitch. Some of these Republicans up here may seem like rubes to you, but they are a pretty sly bunch.

In the end, you pretty much admitted that you wanted Costas to be the attorney general candidate to provide geographical balance on the GOP ticket as a show of good faith to Republicans in a corner of the state dominated by Democrats.

I'll tell you what, Mitch, you've got some making up to do.

Next time you are in the area, Mitch, bring your checkbook. Money, like love, is a two-way street.

Contact Rich James, the Post-Tribune editorial page editor, at 648-3117 or

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Linda Pence a candidate for Attorney General

It always surprises people to find out I actively support both Republicans and Democrats in Elections and have voted in every election since I was 18 years old which I figure gives me the right to my opinion. In this particular case I am backing Greg Zeoller for Indiana Attorney General because I feel he is the best man for the job. I supported him against Jon Costas from Valpo for a few reasons one has to do with Elder Law and it seems my opinion on that got used on many Republican blogs.

In this case I have an issue on Linda Pence's statement on a NW Indiana RICO case.

"Pence also pledged to pursue public corruption but said she would need to examine the East Chicago case before pledging to continue that fight."

Since Ms. Pence was the attorney for one of the defendents she knows the case well:

Plaintiffs, )
v. ) CAUSE NO. 3:04-CV-0506-AS
Defendants. )
To the Clerk of this court and all parties of record:
I, the below-signed, state that pursuant to N.D. Ind. L.R. 83.5(g), I have read and will abide by the Local Rules of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, including Appendix B: Standards for Professional Conduct Within the Seventh Federal Judicial Circuit. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Enter my appearance as counsel in this case for Rieth-Riley Construction Company, Inc.
Date: November 17, 2004 s/ Linda L. Pence
Linda L. Pence Atty. No. 13198-98
One Indiana Square, Suite 3500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Telephone: 317/713-3500
Facsimile: 317/713-3699

Ms. Pence if you want my vote then don't BS me....just the facts mam just the facts. So please tell me what it is she needs to examine?


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Another My Man Mitch Deal

Here in Indiana Our Man Mitch leased out the toll road to an Australian Company. While there are many ways to debate whether this was good or not the folks up in Northern Indiana are still pretty miffed about it. Now that it's re-election time for Our Man Mitch, the toll road lease company sent FREE toll road I-pass units to all the Indiana Legislators. And they said it was part of the contract. Hmmm well maybe it was put into the contract by Our Man Mitch but hey this is Our Man Mitch that suspended a $9.00 an hour state park worker for accepting a hot dog and a baseball cap from a contractor. Give me a is the story.

June 7, 2008

Legislators offered free ride

Most decline toll road firm's device for using 'I-Zoom' lanes at no cost

By Mary Beth Schneider

Only days after cash tolls nearly doubled on the Indiana Toll Road, the private company that manages the road had a money-saving offer for state lawmakers: a free ride.

Most legislators said no thanks.

In fact, a few said they threw out the free transponder that would allow them to use the "i-Zoom" lanes without paying any tolls on the 157-mile highway across Northern Indiana.

"I'm not going to drive along paying no tolls while other people are driving along paying more," said Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City. "There's no way it could pass the mirror test."

Julia Vaughn, policy director for the citizens lobbying group Common Cause/Indiana, agreed.

"It's just stupid from a political perspective to accept this," she said.

Pelath was one of the 38 Northern Indiana legislators who were sent the free transponders by the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. The firm manages the Toll Road for the Australian-Spanish consortium that won a 75-year lease in 2006 from the state for $3.8 billion.

Matt Pierce, director of communication and government relations for the Toll Road, said the firm sent letters offering the transponders to the rest of the state's lawmakers. The letter was dated April 18, a little more than two weeks after the tolls on the road nearly doubled.

Pierce refused to say whether any of those legislators whose districts do not include the Toll Road accepted the offer, and refused to divulge the names of any lawmaker who was sent the transponder.

Legislators, Pierce said, get many questions about the Toll Road and often have to travel it while going about their duties. The hope, he said, is that lawmakers will use the electronic tolling system and tell constituents how much easier it is than having to hand change to a toll booth operator.

"We want them to be champions for us," Pierce said.

The toll for passenger vehicles on the road from the Ohio border to the Illinois border increased April 1 to $8 from $4.65.

The lease that sets out such toll increases also freezes tolls at $4.65 for 10 years for motorists who obtain transponders for $50, which includes a $10 deposit for the transponder and $40 in prepaid tolls. The deposit is refundable if the transponder is returned in good condition.

Lawmakers are supposed to use the perk when they are on official business, Pierce said -- though the letter lawmakers received doesn't specify that.

Pierce said the firm believed the Toll Road lease required free passage for legislators. It includes a section stating that no tolls would be charged to vehicles used in firefighting or law enforcement; ambulances; vehicles with diplomatic plates; or vehicles owned or operated by the state "or any department or agency thereof."

Most lawmakers said they had never heard of such a perk, though a couple said they believed that had been done in the past. Still, the two dozen lawmakers contacted said they either pay their tolls -- or, like House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, avoid the road out of continuing anger over the lease, a deal sought by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The House approved the lease 51-48 in March 2006, and the Senate followed suit that same month by a vote of 31-19.

With the Toll Road deal still a hot political issue, particularly in Northern Indiana, where many motorists opposed the lease, several legislators said they shouldn't be treated differently from their constituents.

"I can't imagine anyone wanting to use that," Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said of the free transponder. "With gas prices at $4 and the lack of jobs -- and all of a sudden you've got legislators driving for free?"

Besides, he said, if the legislature were to vote again on any aspect of the Toll Road, he didn't want questions raised about whether he was influenced by not having to pay tolls like other folks.

"I don't even know what they were thinking," Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Lakeville, said of the Toll Road's offer. "I was so taken aback. I sent it back and said, 'Thanks, but no thanks.' "

Other lawmakers said they sent their transponders back, too. A couple said they accepted them -- but only after telling the Toll Road they wanted to be charged the same terms as other motorists.

A few of the lawmakers, though, said they either had accepted or expected to accept the offer.

Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake, said he had not used the "i-Zoom" yet but planned to. Asked if he had any qualms about taking a free ride while his constituents paid, he said: "I don't think so. No."

It just isn't that big a deal, he said.

Rep. Chet Dobis, D-Merrillville, also said he planned to activate his device. Although he initially thought there would be a charge, he said he might still use it. But, he added, he seldom uses the Toll Road except to go to Illinois -- and under the terms of the Toll Road's offer to legislators, they still must pay normal tolls in other states.

Sen. Marvin D. Riegsecker, R-Goshen, said he had planned to use his transponder until a reporter asked what his constituents would think.

"Hmmm. Yeah, if you pose the question that way, I guess I'd have concerns," Riegsecker said. He said he might reconsider.

Vaughn thinks any lawmaker taking the deal should reconsider, too.

"The Toll Road is still an extremely hot topic up in the north," she said.

And, Vaughn said, the tolls are becoming steep.

Vaughn, who does not have an "i-Zoom," said she drove the Toll Road recently on a trip to Chicago and "was really struck" at the cost. She took a different route back to Indianapolis to avoid the Toll Road.

"Kudos to those legislators who recognize how inappropriate it would be to accept this gift," she said.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Indiana Article 7

Yesterday Indiana's Department of Education approved the new article 7 regulations with out any changes. Parents around the state testified about the change in parent consent and placement all to no avail. Bob Marra, Asst Superintendent for Special Education explained to the board, "on this issue of placement and consent parents just don't understand the language, it will all be just fine". I also thought is was interesting that the board referred to Article 7 the Indiana Law for IDEA which is CIVIL RIGHTS legislation as "Bob's little rule" and Superintendent Reed joked "that would be a great name for a children's book" I am appalled at the lack of respect we received in this meeting yesterday. Every board member should be replaced today!

Find it all hard to believe? Here is the link to the video of yesterday's meeting. It's long but worth the watch.

Now I better get this copied before the edit it.

Peace Dude.

I thought this was so very well said!

Commentary: Obama nomination gives 'goose bumps'
Story Highlights
Bishop T.D. Jakes: "I congratulate Sen. Obama on this historic accomplishment"

Jakes: "Not just a victory for African Americans, it is a victory for democracy"

Jakes: Nomination "proves that our country provides possibilities for all people"

Jakes congratulates "the country on this landmark event"

By Bishop T.D. Jakes
Editor's note: Bishop T.D. Jakes is founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, Texas, a multiracial, nondenominational church with more than 50 outreach ministries.

(CNN) -- Last night, I like most Americans of all stripes, watched with visible goose bumps as history was made. I sat with my 13-year-old son and looked from the screen to his eyes as Sen. Barack Obama became the first African American in history to lead a U.S. major-party ticket when he claimed the nomination for the Democratic Party for president of the United States.

I congratulate Sen. Obama on this historic accomplishment. I thank him for accepting the torch that was lit by our forefathers and proudly carrying it through the darkness of our struggles, trials and tribulations, bringing light and hope to a new generation, and for facing all those who said "No" and "You can't win," or "It will never happen," and firmly, proudly, defiantly saying, "Yes I can!"

However, what I really hope people take away from that night is that this is not just a victory for African Americans, it is a victory for democracy that proves that our country provides possibilities for all people. It is also a sign that a metamorphosis is in progress. Today we saw that Americans respect experience, but are interested in change. I hope that we can somehow merge the best ideas of our differences and emerge with a president who epitomizes our highest and best ideals. While it remains unclear where we are going, last night proves that we as a people have moved beyond business as usual.

I congratulate not just Sen. Obama on his victory, but the country on this landmark event that has shattered a past all too often filled with reasons to separate us as opposed to a voice of reason to unite us. The victory cup does not rest on the shoulders of the senator alone, but to all those who have been able to lift the conversation from petty racism, antiquated cut-throat politics, and fear-based campaigns to the larger issues of how we would like to see our country led into the future and ultimately how our country will be remembered.

As the days and discussions of this political season continue, it is my sincere hope and prayer that we do not sink back into the abyss of political pettiness that has plagued our country and our lives for so many years. I am grateful to Sen. Hillary Clinton for giving, through this campaign, a chance for my daughters to see that their femininity is not a liability. Today both my sons and daughters came to understand that their ethnicity isn't viewed by progressive Americans as a limitation or a liability.

For me it was almost déjà vu as I sat with my son. I remembered a little over 40 years ago watching the famous King speech with my dad. Similarly, I watched with my youngest son last night as a historical moment unfolded. He and I saw the dreams of slaves come true as the sons of slaves and the slave owners clapped their hands in one progressive sweep. As I drifted into sleep, all I could see was the twinkle in my son's eyes. His eyes were illuminated with possibilities, and his heart was filled with the potential of what is attainable for qualified, competent people of all types who prepare themselves intellectually and are well vested with a divine sensitivity to the "fierce urgency of now!"

Congratulations Sen. Obama.