Thursday, March 30, 2006

Closing Time, You Don't Have To Go Home...


Governor Mitch Daniels announced in a press conference today that local bars would not have to send patrons home an hour earlier than usual due to daylight savings time.

The Governor essentially said that the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission would not enforce alcohol license laws until 4:00 am in Indiana since the time change would essentially steal an hour of sales from Indianapolis area bars during a very profitable weekend.

We love the Governor’s commonsense approach to solving the problem of potential revenue losses. Squeezing the last dime out of every minute; this is exactly the type of business sense that Indiana needs.

Final Fun



With the Final Four just a couple days away, the anticipation of the games and festivities that go along with the tournament is growing. So, for some "FIN-Fun" over this long weekend I have set 4 goals. These goals are:

  • Meet Dick Vitale
  • Sink a 3-pointer at the dome during a team's warm-ups
  • Get on stage at the Mellencamp concert
  • Get a picture with "Big Baby" from LSU

I will let you know how things went after the final game Monday. I anticipate the 3-pointer will be the most difficult, as I have coordination issues.

My pick to click for this weekend is LSU. Who is your pick?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Give Credit When Credit Is Due


The FIN was overjoyed to hear that Library CEO, Linda Mielke, has decided against taking the four percent pay increase that the Library Board approved last week. She opted out of the raise stating that it would “send the wrong message.”

The library has had to cut costs significantly which has resulted in cutting some services, such as the seniors bookmobile program. They have also had to reduce some benefits of retired libarary employees.

You, Linda Mielke, get a gold star!

What Time Is It?


People are going to have one hour less to booze it up this Saturday night. DST hits Indiana for the first time at 2am early Sunday Morning. Bars close at 3am by State law, so when the time change hits, bars lose 60 minutes of drink purchases.

Why don't the powers that be make the time change hit at 3am so that we all just have an hour less to get food at Taco Bell, or LaBamba's.

What a weekend for this to hit as well. With all of the out of town visitors here, we are going to be losing a lot of out of state profits.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Not Even an Attorney

Turns out Melina Kennedy actively deactivated her law license for nine months leading up to her decision to run for Prosecutor. Abdul from "Abdul in the Morning" from WXTN 1430 broke the story.

Kennedy was an active attorney from 1996 until September of 2004. At that point, she made the decision that she did not want to practice law in the State of Indiana anymore. So, she marked a box and paid a smaller fee to be inactive (code for not legally allowed to do any activities associated with being an attorney) Then all of a sudden, out of the blue, she reinstates her law license on June 6th 2005. I think someone was forced to renew her license and run for prosecutor.

The Kennedy camps' response to this issue . . ."It doesn't matter!" Really, that is what they think. Kennedy thinks that this is not important. If that is true, it is just another example of her inexperience.

A Policewoman Speaks Out About the Merger

Who would you ask a question concerning ways to improve the Colts? Peyton, Dungy? That would make sense. So, why does the city (i.e. Bart) not listen to the FOP and Democratic councilor Franklin when it comes to the consolidation of the police forces?

A story on RTV6's website describes how Franklin wants to take things slow and make sure that we do everything we can to actually save money.

The whole consolidation issue was like a racecar going at full speed. No one ever checked to see if the car had working breaks. There is a reason that government and legislation takes time to pass. Government is not built to move fast which in turn keeps legislators from making huge mistakes.

Does anyone else think that maybe, just maybe, there are going to be hidden costs in a Fire merger that we don't know about. Consolidation is not a bad idea. It just needs to be done carefully and correctly. A little time and more thought will get us there.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fraud Schmaud!


Guess who is at it again? Yep, the Lake County Vote Fraud Task Force has issued arrest warrants and has filed 56 felony charges against 12 more people linked to voter fraud in the 2003 Lake County Primary Elections. Included in the bunch was a Lake County Deputy Sheriff, a former East Chicago City Councilman and a current precinct committeeman.

This brings the total number of folks charged by the Task Force to 34 since it was created 2 years ago.

People wonder why there is a call for some integrity in the election world. I guess the old saying vote early and vote often might be a thing of the past.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Let's Raise the Bar

Matt Tully’s column in today’s Indy Star focused on the race for Marion County Prosecutor. Matt notes that both candidates are good but each has their own downsides. He states that Melina Kennedy’s is her lack of experience.

Maybe it is just us but is not being qualified for the office you are running for merely a “downside?” As far as the FIN is concerned, being qualified is the most basic requirement for any candidate, Republican or Democrat. The other personal preferences in ideology and policy initiatives come into play when both candidates are qualified to hold the office for which they are campaigning.

Being inexperienced and lacking a basic understanding of the office is not simply a downside. It’s the whole ball game.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

If You Hold a Press Conference and No One Shows Up . . .


Kennedy held a press conference yesterday during the same time that President Bush was in town. At the press conference Melina told the city what her plan was and no one was there to listen. One member of the press corp. showed up. One.

Note to self: If you are planning a press conference, try and do it when the President is not in town.

Just another example of Kennedy's inexperience.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Does the Sheriff Even Care???

Does Sheriff Anderson even care that the city's crime rate is out of control? Does he even realize that is part of his job? Crime stats for January came out and they are not good.

Robbery is up 43% Burglaries are up 25% Theft up 46%

Between Sheriff Anderson and our Buddy Bart, the entire county's police force is controlled. However, nothing new has been proposed by the "dynamic duo" with the exception of a bunch of trees. Where is Bart on the rising crime? He indicated in his state of the city address that we had a plan, but never indicated what it was. Pretty typical of the mayor who cares more about trees and libraries than making it safe to walk outside at night.

So, where is Sheriff Frank on the issue? In fact, where is Sheriff Frank at all? The last I saw him, he was violating the law sitting on a stage promoting Kennedy at her announcement that she was running for prosecutor. (He would be in jail now, but we don't have the room.)The jail and a big chunk of this county are the sole responsibility of Sheriff Frank. He has not voiced a plan to fix jail overcrowding. He has not voiced a plan to slow crime. In fact, he has not voiced anything. Someone let me know the last time they heard him talk. I would be interested to see if it was anytime this year.

Frank is MIA! It is essential for this growing, improving city that we have a Sheriff that is present, and ready to take on crime.

Sorry For The Delay


The FIN was out enjoying the President's visit to Indy today. The President gave a strong speech and was very supportive of all of Indiana's fine Republican leaders.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cutting Spending, Giving Raises?


The Indy Star reported that the CEO of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, Linda Mielke, is getting a 4% raise. That’s right, a raise. I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t they go over budget by a ton earlier this year?

Yes, they did. The city-county council actually had to freeze their budget because the project went more than 40% over budget. In fact, the library has had to cut operational spending by 2% because of the freeze. They got rid of the bookmobile for seniors and lowered the health care coverage of retired staffers.

Now the library folks are trying to tell us that the raise for the CEO is to keep her in line with the other Midwest library CEOs servicing similar sized populations. This brings up two questions from the FIN.

First, did these other CEOs mismanage their budget and overspend by 40%? If not, maybe that’s why they make more money than Mielke. Second, is Mielke really willing to take a pay increase on the backs of retired workers who are getting their health benefits cut?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Well, if we can't find anyone else...


While browsing the Indy Star over lunch, FIN noticed that the Democratic State Party is having U.S. Representative Harold Ford, Jr. speak at their Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Apparently he is a candidate for U.S. Senate down in Tennessee.

We were beginning to think that it was a little odd to have an out-of-state Senate candidate speaking at their annual dinner, especially since the Congressman doesn’t seem to have a lot of star power. That’s when we remembered that the Indiana Democrats don’t have a Senate candidate of their own. They’ve been unable to get anyone to run against Senator Richard Lugar, who is up for re-election this fall.

They could always ask their Golden Boy, Evan Bayh. Sadly for them, he’s moved on to bigger and better places like Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s way too focused on his desire for the national spotlight to care about Indiana anymore.

I'll Admit it . . .

I read TDW. Everyone needs a little laughter in their lives. But, today, if you can believe it, TDW is incorrect on something. I know, this may seem unbelievable. I know this might be a sign of the apocalypse. But believe it. TDW posts in the story: That Old Tree In The Forest: Falling, Falling, But Nary A Sound Will Be Heard:

Speaking of desperation, a few people have asked about the status of the Star's ethically reprehensible "Campaign Connections" event. It was slated to happen a couple weeks ago, but the paper bumped the date into next month. Oh, and we've been told they're only doing it for Democrats. Gannett's way, apparently, is to snuggle up to the folks they think are going to win, which is why they did a similar event for Republicans in 2004. We're flattered that they think we're going to be victorious in November. But not flattered enough to give them a pass on this questionable advertorial crap.

One of our mini-FIN field folks sent us an e-mail indicating that there was a Republican group who were invited to come and enjoy an evening with people from the Star. In fact, it happened more than a week ago.

Maybe they are pushing off the event with the Democrats because they have put up candidates that aren't qualified or able to do the jobs they are running for or hold.

Keep up the work out there mini-FIN's!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Snowed In


I just got done shoveling myself out. I need Spring Break to get here sooner than later. Speaking of spring break and school, I am going to jump out of Marion County sort of, and take a look at the Mitch's plan to make full day kindergarten available to the entire state.

I still don't see why this is the first thing the state is trying to do with regards to kindergarten. Shouldn't we make it mandatory for children to attend kindergarten in the state and then move on to making full day kindergarten available. If I choose not to send my child to kindergarten as I have a right to, and you send your child to full day kindergarten we will have a problem. Because, when these two kids get to 1st grade. Your kid will be solving equations and reading books, while my kid will be dragging the rest of the class down because he is a full year behind.

I am not saying I am against full day kindergarten. Let's just fix the requirement element first. It is like saying liquor stores can't be open on Sunday, but not making a law that says you can't sell alcohol on Sunday.

Monday, March 20, 2006

No Sale Sunday


Who hasn't been in that position. You are having a group of your buddies over to watch the game, and you need to make a beer run. Then, you remember, IT IS SUNDAY! @$#@!

Well, since session is over, this seems to be the next big story. Should Indiana reassess its laws pertaining to the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday?

It really is just another way that government interacts with our lives in a manner that affects the economy. If someone wants to go out and spend $50 or $100 on booze on a Sunday to entertain his or her friends, then why not let them. A sale is a sale and all it can do is help our economy.

The sale of alcohol will police itself. People won't drink more on Sunday just because they can buy it. They still have work on Monday.

Does anyone hear that sucking noise???


It looks like any money that could be save through our Buddy Bart's merger plan with the police department might be sucked right out the door. In the Star today, it appears that an apparent $1.3 million in savings might actually be a $4 million loss.

This loss, along with the $2.4 to $2.5 million they are going to spend on new uniforms cut the projected savings of $9 million down to size. Did anyone really think that this merger was going to save anyone any money?

What I don't understand is simply why we need to buy new uniforms for every officers on the street. Those new black uniforms look just like the blue ones IPD wears. Why not just give a new uniform to the 400 or so Deputies and save all of that money?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Someone Always Ruins the Fun...


We were going to try to stay non-political today and just have a good time at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Unfortunately, Melina Kennedy, Democratic candidate for prosecutor, couldn’t leave politics out of what was supposed to be a good time for everyone.

The rules for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade run by the Indy Sports Foundation clearly state that this is a non-partisan parade. No candidates are allowed to distribute campaign materials or display camapign signage. The parade insists upon this to remain legally compliant with their IRS group registration.

Mrs. Kennedy must have decided she was above the rules because she not only walked in the parade, but had people walking with Melina Kennedy for Prosecutor stickers. Some might think this sounds like a small thing. But the role of Prosecutor is to prosecute those who choose not to follow the law. Does Melina Kennedy sound like the type of person that should be given that responsibility?

UPDATE: We’ve posted a few pictures that a FIN field operative was able to snap of Melina’s crew breaking the rules at the parade.



St. Patrick's Day


Have a safe and great time on the town tonight. Here is an Irish Toast for you to share. The first person I hear at the bar tonight that recites this toast, shall get a round on me.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman, Who through strategy and stealth, Drove all the snakes from Ireland, Here’s a toasting to his health. But not too many toastings Lest you lose yourself and then Forget the good Saint Patrick And see all those snakes again.

'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! 'Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Panhandling for Experience

The "FIN" has heard some interesting news with regards to Melina Kennedy. Word has it she is shopping around in other counties looking to be appointed as a special prosecutor to gain some experience.

For those of you who don't already know, Melina Kennedy is the Democratic candidate for Marion County prosecutor. She has been a lawyer for a few years but has never been a deputy prosecutor and has never tried a case, criminal or civil.

I think the fact that she is trying to gain some trial experience now months after she announced she was running for prosecutor is evidence to everyone that even SHE knows how unqualified she is for the position.

This then brings up an interesting ethical situation for her. Lawyers are governed ethically to never take a case that they are unqualified or unprepared to handle.

So, the "FIN" has two questions for you out there; (1) Would she be unethical in seeking a legal position she is wholly unprepared or qualified to hold? (2) Would you hire a person to be the head football coach of the Colts if they have never coached, or played football before?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

KOBI "WRONG"


The battle between the Mayor's office and the Auditor continued this morning on Abdul. David Brooks and Kobi "Wright" were on to talk about the recent lawsuit that was mentioned on an earlier post.

Brooks seemed to explain clearly that the Contoller's office (i.e. Mayor controlled Controller) has been performing duties that were supposed to be taken over by the Auditor's Office. "Can't tell the truth" Kobi indicated that the Auditor's office has "rebuked offers to take over the duties that are prescribed to her via the new legislation.

I think that if the Auditor had refused to take over these duties, then the Auditor would never have taken the steps to have a court rule and order those jobs moved to the Auditor's office.

Does anyone actually think that this would be a problem if the Auditor was a democrat? Maybe we should apologize to the mayor for getting in the way of him taking over the city.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Leading or Following?


Minority House Leader Pat Bauer was one of the many guests joining Abdul’s Morning Show as he broadcasted live from the State House. Obviously whenever Rep. Bauer opens his mouth there is plenty to mock but we’re feeling an inclination toward high minded debate rather than the easy punch line this afternoon.

Bauer commented that polling data indicates that Hoosiers are against the Governor’s toll road plan, Major Moves, and that the Governor and legislators should just listen to the polls. That doesn’t strike us as what we’ve sent legislators to do.

If we wanted to rely on polling data for all decisions at the State House, we wouldn’t have actual people who we have elected and placed our trust in being paid to vote. We’d just run a poll on each issue and dust our hands off from a hard days work.

The point is that while we want legislators to take their constituents views into consideration, they are there for a purpose. We trust them to learn all the details that most of us never hear and do what they think is best for our area and the State of Indiana as a whole. We should expect nothing less. If we end up thinking they haven’t evaluated things well, then it is our right to vote them out.

Sale Does NOT Mean Lease


The FIN received an e-mail from the utterly confused leader of the State Democratic Party yesterday. The e-mail tries to rally support against the toll road lease, Major Moves, and any hope for the future of this State.

We quote from the e-mail:

"The Indiana General Assembly has until midnight Tuesday to approve or deny Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to sell off the Indiana Toll Road to a group of private, foreign investors."

"By standing together on this issue, we can help make sure that Indiana's infrastructure remains Indiana-owned for our children and their children. Thank you for all you've done to help our efforts!"

In this e-mail, Dan Parker states twice that the governor is trying to sell off Indiana assets. Really!!! It is a lease. We are leasing it out for them to run for 75 years. That means if they don't do things correctly according to the lease, we can take the road back and keep the money we got up front. This does not constitute in anyway a sale. If we sold it, we would lose any and all control.

Just another great example from a party that has to use false information and scare tactics to get noticed. I think that anyone against this plan should not be able to benefit from everything that it is going to do for us for the next 50 years.

Trees or Sidewalks?


At this point is has become incredibly clear that Mayor Bart Peterson has got his priorities a little out of whack. The FIN has clearly noted our view that public safety really should come before planting trees. Having a pretty city doesn’t matter much if the crime rate is so high no one will be able to appreciate it.

That being said, there are certain infrastructural improvements that the city is responsible for and the citizens should expect their tax dollars to go toward these basic needs. One specific example is sidewalk repairs.

According to the Indy Star, the City of Indianapolis has a $28 MILLION backlog of sidewalk repairs to complete. This will take 10 years to clear and the City got 1100 requests in the last two years.

Mayor Peterson indicated that the tree planting would be part of keeping Indianapolis beautiful. Wouldn’t the sidewalks be a more logical place to start?

Shots on the House

In today's Star, Brizzi writes a letter to the editor on a gun-shot detection device that was proposed by the Mayor in his State of the City address. I am in total agreement with both parties in that it is important to use technology to improve a city's ability to make everyone safer.

What I don't understand is where the money comes from for this hi-tech gadget and other pieces of equipment necessary to make it an effective tool. It seems like the money and man power required to get something like this running would be better spent on having a few more visible officers out on the street right now.

A study of other cities that use the system is probably the best bet. It would help us to find the best locations to place the machine, and the best layering of systems to make it create the safest city possible.

Monday, March 13, 2006

King Bart?


The FIN just received word that the Marion County Auditor, Marty Womacks is suing the Mayor, the City Controller, and the City Council of Indianapolis. Apparently the legislature consolidated some of the functions of the city and the county during the 2005 legislative session.

Womacks complied with the legislature’s orders and handed over the duties she was supposed to give to the City Controller. Unfortunately, the City Controller has not been so friendly and essentially took the new duties and kept the old ones too. Oh, did I mention that the City Controller is a position appointed by the Mayor?

This type of power grab is hardly a surprise. Being Mayor simply isn’t enough for Peterson. He wants to control every aspect of city government and the Auditor’s office is just his latest attempt. The only thing my buddy Bart wants to consolidate is his power.

It's March Madness Baby!


This morning USA Today’s Michael Hiestand noted that the Men’s College Basketball Tournament is “a great distraction from what you’re supposed to be doing.” Well, he hit that nail right on the head.

March Madness is here and the FIN has caught it. It’s hard to stay focused on the news when there is an entire section of brackets, game match-ups and player profiles in the Star.

Stay tuned for the return to Indy political news though, as soon as we’ve finished figuring out why the heck the Cinci Bearcats were snubbed. We hear there will be some interesting developments in Indy politics today.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dan Parker: Leader of the Whiners


Today Matt Tully had an article in the Star regarding complaints from the State Democratic Party. Apparently Dan Parker, Indiana Democratic Party Chair, had his panties in a knot because Tully had the nerve to write that the Democrat State Party is behind their Republican counterparts in money and organization. Hmm….does anyone believe that isn’t the case?

Parker admits the State GOP has raised more money but blows that off by saying, “Duh, they control all of state government.” Well first off, you’re a State Party Chair not a 1994 sorority girl. Second, I’m pretty sure the Indiana Republicans have been outraising the Democrats for a few years before winning the Governors race.

Regarding organization, Parker seemed to be pleased that they were able to keep the lights on and have 8 staffers. That’s a big accomplishment, Danny. Seriously, we’re all very proud of you. But the bottom line is that Democrats have been behind the GOP in both areas. Democrats have been outraised and understaffed for the last few years and the results speak for themselves.

But this is the Democrat way. You don’t like a news article, throw a tantrum. You don’t like that the Governor is cleaning up the mess your Party ignored for 16 years, whine like a baby. A group of third graders couldn’t do it better themselves.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Magic of Peterson?


In a stunning move, our buddy Bart has turned to magic to help clean the city of bird droppings. Forget hiring a company to remove them in a traditional way.

Bart attended the 15th annual ROSE award dinner last night and got some ideas from the magicians in attendance.

"Perhaps all the city needs is a magician to get rid of the unwanted bird residue downtown. If he (magician) can make them appear, maybe he can make them go away."

This might be the first fresh, new idea Bart has had to fix a problem ever. We should turn the wand around and see if we can get Bart to disappear next year.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The State Watchdog . . .Carl Brizzi

Yesterday, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi announced there was a preliminary investigation into whether Inspector General David Thomas made an offer to keep a democrat from running for office.

Definitely something worth looking into. No one wants a member of our State government doing anything illegal regardless of what party they represent.

As the story has developed today, it appears that the investigation Brizzi has started will be short lived as Steve Bell has corrected what he said earlier and clarified that the job was never officially offered to him.

Toll Road Promise

The chief executive officer of one of two foreign companies that would pay the state to lease the Indiana Toll Road was in Indianapolis on Thursday to help Gov. Mitch Daniels sell legislation that would authorize the deal. Stephen Allen from the Australian-based Macquarie Infrastructure Group, planned to hold a Statehouse news conference to discuss the proposed lease.

$4 Billion to not have to worry about taking care of a road. $4 Billion to fix the rest of the roads. Does anyone even realize how much money that is???

Will Trees Save Our City?


Our fearless leader Bart seems to think that the best way to move our city forward is to spend a bunch of money Indy doesn't have on trees. We will lay off tens of police officers, we will let criminals out of the ever crowded jail, we will turn a blind eye to potholes to make our city look greener.

Is my buddy Bart alive? Does Bart not read the papers? Has Bart ever gone down to see how many criminals run through the system every day? I suppose these tall wooden pillars could act as cover for people as they run through the streets trying to get to work or school.

Maybe this is a long term plan where the trees will be used to build a new, larger jail in thirty years when they are tall enough to be harvested.

Whatever Bart's plan is, it is not a plan I want.