Congressman Buyer Loses His Cool

Today Congressman Steve Buyer completely lost his cool on the House floor when the presiding Democrat would not allow him to address the House. Buyer responded, “This is why the American people have thrown you out of power”.   Click the picture below to watch it on YouTube.

Congressman Buyer was eventually allowed to speak after they cut off his microphone for a few moments.

Word on the Street: Tom John to Step Down as Marion County Republican Chairman

Indianapolis Times has it that Tom John will step down as Marion County Republican Chairman soon and that Kyle Walker is a potential front-runner to fill his spot.   Walker ran Mark Massa’s Prosecutor Campaign and was the Executive Director in 2007.   He also was an Area Chair in the Southeast.

We’re going to work on tracking down the details but you can bet that Tom John and Kyle Walker did not plan to have this story broken by a Democrat blogger that has been trashing both of them for months.

Mike Pence Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club

Congressman Mike Pence is speaking at the Detroit Economic Club this afternoon.  The Indy Star says the speech is likely to focus on “Pence’s ‘vision for economic growth, prosperity and job creation’”.

Indiana’s Legislative Insight noted that this is a normal speaking engagement for presidential hopefuls and that Pence will look “to prove his national economic bona fides.”

We’ll be watching this speech closely. We maintain that Congressman Pence is running for Governor but has generally focused his message on a conservative social agenda and national issues. 

Governor of Indiana is a job that requires a firm grasp on economic issues and more than talking points on balanced budgets and lowering spending.  The Congressman has yet to really focus on these issues so far. This speech is a perfect opportunity to keep national pundits talking while moving his messaging in a direction more suitable for a bid for Governor.

TEA Party Goes 1-1 over Thanksgiving Holiday

Over the holiday, the TEA Party had a victory and a defeat.

On Wednesday night, Bristol Palin lost Dancing with the Stars to 50-year old Jennifer Grey.  Many speculated that Bristol was only in the running due to the TEA Party grassroots efforts.  TEA Party officials defended the loss saying it really was never fair for any celebrity to be in a dance competition with the star of “Dirty Dancing”.

Later in the holiday, the TEA Party was handed an unexpected victory when President Obama took an elbow in a pick-up game of basketball.

Editors Note:  TEA Party officials didn’t really comment on this.  We’re having a bit of fun before breaking out of our turkey coma and getting serious.

Truce: Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ll be taking the day off from blogging to enjoy the holiday and we hope you’ll do the same.

Before we do, however, we wanted to take this opportunity to declare a truce for the day and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.   We can all go back to debating and disagreeing in a few days.

Now go eat some turkey!

Props to Advance Indiana (again)

While we don’t always agree, we need to give some props to Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana.  Yesterday, there was a post on a local blog (yes, it was Paul Ogden though we really don’t want to always fight with him) focused on the towing deal and singling out a few councilors, specifically City-County Councilor Bob Lutz as having an ownership in Zores Inc. and serving as their attorney.

Clearly the author did not do the follow-up that Gary Welsh did.  Gary commented

Paul, Bob Lutz explained his disclosure to me on his statement of economic interest concerning  Zore’s Inc. He said he does not have an ownership interest in the company. He performs legal work for the business in excess of $5,000 a year. I suggested to him the disclosure forms be revamped so the public could better understand what interest the public official is disclosing rather than grouping under one question having an ownership interest, serving as an officer or being compensated by the entity. Unless the official specifies the disclosure, it could be any of the three. The lobbyist registration for Zore’s Inc. is rather new; it wasn’t listed the last time I looked at the database a couple of weeks ago. Good catch.

Props to Gary for actually following up and asking Lutz for the details.  It is good to know someone is asking questions before throwing out blind accusations.

Governor Daniels Focused on Education Reform

Today Governor Mitch Daniels spoke to the Indianapolis Rotary.  According to the Jon Murray of the  Indy Star, he spoke generally about local government reform, balancing the budget and education reform.  It sounds as though education reform really was the focal point of the speech with the Governor saying, this legislative session is “the year when we really make a move for greatness”.

Daniels is looking for flexibility to reward the best teachers and get rid of the worst.  According to Abdul who attended the speech, Daniels said only .2% of teachers were let go for performance reasons.  I think most folks can agree that more than .2% of employees in virtually any profession are probably not performing at the highest standards.  Daniels also said he wants to streamline regulations to give local school administrations more flexibility to make their schools better.

The final piece is to provide more education options for parents through charter schools and other initiatives to help parents get their kids in the best possible school for the child.

As Matt Tully noted last month, now is the time to get serious about education reform.  In that article, the Governor said Indiana can be the national leader in education reform.  With a majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate, Governor Daniels has the tools to get the job done.

Awkward Meeting of the Week: President Obama to Visit Kokomo with Congressman Joe “Independent” Donnelly

So how uncomfortable do you think the greeting line is going to be when President Obama steps off the plane to visit Kokomo and talks with Joe Donnelly.  For those who didn’t pay much attention, here is a sample of the ads Joe Donnelly was running a few weeks ago.

Wonder how independent he wants to be now that the President is in town.

FOP Survey Shows Low Morale

Yesterday afternoon, the Fraternal Order of Police released a survey of its members showing extremely low morale throughout IMPD. The FOP surveyed its members and received responses from about 58% of the officers. 

The results were not good.  Fewer than 17 percent said they have high morale and even less say they have the support of their commanders.  The article from the Indy Star indicates that this is a dramatic drop compared to a similar poll conducted in 2008.  85% feel they have the support of their immediate supervisors but only 5.7 percent said they have the support of Ciesielski and 3.4 percent said they have the support of Straub.

We think it probably is tough to be an officer right now.  A few bad apples have made some inexcusable mistakes and it has brought down increased scrutiny on the 95% of police officers who are doing a great job.  

But we kind of wonder when this poll was taken.  We were NOT fans of Straub for much of the past few months.  He certainly has his flaws.  But the last week or so since his centurion call to duty speech, we’ve started to feel a little differently.  He seems to be putting forth a concerted effort to get things back in line and remind the officers that they have a duty to clean up the bad apples and restore public trust.  If they do this, the morale of the department should improve. 

No one likes the boss breathing down their neck and it sounds like the immediate supervisors and Straub/Ciesielski are playing good cop-bad cop literally.

Abdul Reporting Melina Kennedy Hired Campaign Manager

Abdul is reporting that Melina Kennedy has hired former Organizing for America State Director Nick Buis to run her mayoral campaign.  We hear Buis recently ran Baron Hill’s campaign so that would give him a 1-1 record in Indiana. 

It looks like Buis spent some time in Iowa for Obama  as a county field organizer in 2007 and some of his Hoosiers for Hill friends nominated him for a grassroots organization award.  Our favorite part:

“Only 45% of the district has cable TV.  Most of the district does not use broadband Internet.  In order to get our message out into the most rural parts of our district he commissioned a Burma Shave sign campaign.”

Sounds like that worked out really well. 

All kidding aside, this seems to be a decent hire and we welcome him the campaign trail.

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