INdiana Systemic Thinking

January 2, 2008

Random Stuff: Judge Arrested, Souder Dissed, Etc…

After all the reveling from the New Year, it appears everyone is taking a break from making any news.  So, here are some random thoughts on some even more random stories that caught my attention this morning.  In no particular order….

 The Carroll County Comet is reporting on the arrest of Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Currie.  He was arrested on 12/23/07 allegedly for public intoxication.  He had an initial hearing on 12/26.  A “not-guilty” plea was entered and he has a bench trial scheduled for 3/28.  The Blogmeister is hard pressed to give the Judge too much of a hard time, as we all screw up occasionally.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette opines on abuses in the selling tactics of insurance companies concerning the Medicare part D program.  What?…  Insurance companies promising coverage and not following through…  Pushy insurance salesman….  What a shocker.  Welcome to my world. 

David Van Gilder is really p*ssed at 5th District U.S. Rep. Mark Souder about Souder’s reported views of non-Christian religions.  The Blog Blue Indiana agrees.

 The Fort Wayne City Council and Mayor were sworn in yesterday, as were other city council officials around the state.  What makes FW’s different is two of the new members are very active in the state blogosphere.  Here is what the Journal Gazette says about Mitch Harper and Karen Goldner:

Karen Goldner, Democrat

2nd District, northeast and northern part of the city

Age : 44

Occupation : Vice president for special projects at FourthWave LLC

Elected service : Elected in November to first term

Goals : Goldner plans to introduce a bill that would give a small advantage to city companies looking to sell goods and services to city government. She also said she wants to re-examine the council’s policy for issuing tax abatements.

On a district level, Goldner wants to work with Mayor Tom Henry to develop a long-term capital improvement plan for her district. She said this would work better than just assigning projects annually. She also plans to conduct a public meeting for her constituents in February and continue that quarterly throughout her first year.

Mitch Harper, Republican

4th District, southwest Fort Wayne

Age : 51

Occupation : Attorney

Elected service : Elected in November to first term, served 12 years in state legislature

Goals : Harper said he hopes to bring more transparency to local government. By releasing as much information as possible, Harper said the council can use the collective knowledge of the community to gauge public policy decisions.

“It’s important to give people as much information as we can,” he said.

For example, Harper said it should be easier for people to determine how different members of the council voted on individual bills.

As the Blogmeister understands it, Goldner comments on many blogs, while Harper is the editor of Fort Wayne Observed.

The Evansville Courier Press positively opines about the Healthy Indiana Program (HIP).

and…..

The state’s newest political blog, Political Equinox, has a great first person post about the Iowa caucus.

December 30, 2007

FT. Wayne JG Wrong…again. Harper Sets Em Right

In the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette this morning is an article about the voting practices of some of the newly (and incumbent) elected officials.  The article’s main focus is Karen Goldner who, shockingly (sarcasm), switched parties over the last 10 years, when she declared her affiliation in the primaries.  As an aside, the Blogmeister doesn’t have a problem with this, as her explanation“Like most people in the 2nd District, I tend to vote for the person, not the party,” shows she follows the people and the issues, unlike others who may just vote the party line. 

Anyway, the most disturbing part of the story is a small paragraph that states;

As for the other new members, Councilmen-elect Mitch Harper, R-4th, and Marty Bender, R-at large, voted only in Republican primaries, although they both skipped the 2003 primary election, which, ironically, was for the very seats they now hold.

For those in the know, Mitch Harper is the editor of the blog “Fort Wayne Observed”, served in the Indiana House as the youngest member ever elected, is a community activist, Lawyer, and all around good guy. 

Mitch responds to the JG from his blog this morning, stating;

I have voted in every municipal election for which I have been eligible since 1975. That would be eight municipal elections.  My wife and I lived outside the city limits in 2003.

The only thing “ironic” in the Political Notebook squib quoted above is that the Journal Gazette doesn’t take into account the large Fort Wayne annexation that became effective between 2003 and 2007.

Mitch is right to be concerned about this supposed revelation about his voting record.  First it is inaccurate.  Second, it is inaccurate because the reporter didn’t take into account all the factors (annexation).  Finally, since when did it become okay to write something about a politician in a newspaper and not ask for their comment?  If the writers would have made a two minute telephone call, the whole thing could have been avoided and the true facts presented.

The Blogmeister joins with Mr. Harper in calling for a correction in tomorrow’s paper.

[Blogmeister Note:  This post is updated here.]

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