Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Went Digging for the Truth and I Struck a Nerve

This morning's edition of the Indy Star contains the following "rebuttal" to my op-ed piece of Dec 5, which was posted to this blog as well.

Setting some facts straight about parties and voting

I take issue with Ed Angleton's Dec. 5 My View on two counts; his claim that the lesser-qualified candidate was elected Marion County surveyor in November and that straight-ticket voting hurts third-party candidates.
Angleton describes Surveyor -elect Debra Jenkins as an "executive assistant" in the office of the Marion County recorder when in fact she is that office's chief deputy and previously served as office manager.
Jenkins campaigned strenuously for an office that few pay attention to. She communicated a well-thought-out plan for bringing smarter, cheaper government to Marion County at public events throughout the county. In the end, though, she was elected because there are more Democrats in Marion County than Republicans. Of those who did not vote a straight ticket in November, Jenkins still won handily with 56 percent of the vote.
The election figures from Marion County show that, in down ticket races such as coroner and surveyor, Democrats vote for Democrats and Republicans vote for Republicans whether they vote a straight ticket or not. It is unrealistic to imagine that voters are going to spend time researching these races when there are many more important races to consider.
The figures can also be used to make an argument that straight-party voting actually helps third-party candidates. Third-party presidential candidate Bob Barr received a higher percent of his vote total in Marion County from straight-ticket voting than did either John McCain or Barack Obama. Taking away the option of straight-ticket voting would only inconvenience voters and would make no real difference.
Angleton's real beef seems to be with party affiliation rather than straight-ticket voting, and it seems to have a faint odor of sour grapes about it.
Martin Mahern

Let us examine the facts you’re setting “straight”.

1. According to the County Employee database Ms. Jenkins title is “Executive Assistant”.

2. A careful reading of the duties of the County Surveyor would seem to indicate that someone with a background in engineering would be more qualified.

3. The statement that down ticket races are not important enough for voters to research is more than a little condescending. Let’s take the Coroner’s office. When candidates are elected solely on the basis of party affiliation we end up with unqualified office holders, scandal and costly legal judgments. There are NO unimportant races.

4. Perhaps, I was amiss in using results of the Surveyor’s and Coroner’s races as my examples. An examination of the Attorney General’s (AG) race shows the effect much more clearly. In Marion County the Democrat (D) received 160318 votes. The Republican (R) received 152917. Of the 369009 total votes cast for AG, the D got 59%, with 41% for the R. There were 134575 straight ticket votes for the D party, 78480 for the R party. If we subtract the straight ticket votes from the candidate’s totals, we have 81517 for the D and 74437 for the R, or 51% to 49%. The percentage HAS changed indicating a discernable effect due to straight ticket voting.

5. If we look at the Governor’s race we can dispel some of the author’s other arguments. 377648 votes were cast for Gov in Marion County. Conducting a similar analysis as was done for AG, we see that with straight ticket voting the D received 42%, the R 56% and the Libertarian (L) 2%. Subtracting the straight ticket votes the percentages become D 16%, R 81% and L 3%. Did straight ticket voting have a significant impact on the two major parties? Yes. On the third party? No. Using the Bob Barr example is also somewhat disingenuous as Mr. Barr never campaigned in Marion Co., whereas the other two Presidential candidates did.

If straight ticket voting is so important to preserve, why have 34 states done away with it?

As for "the faint odor of sour grapes" remark, there's nothing like a good old fashioned ad hominem attack to finish off what should have been a reasoned and fact based rebuttal.
Ed Angleton

Monday, December 1, 2008

Can There Be True Democracy With Straight-Ticket Voting?

This past election demonstrated the willingness of Hoosier voters to vote a “split ticket”. While Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, was able to narrowly carry the State of Indiana in the Presidential Race, Mitch Daniels, the incumbent Republican Governor, was able to win re-election by a wide margin. However, upon closer inspection the “down-ticket” contests were more dependent upon the coat-tails of a strong top of ticket candidate. The narrow victory of Greg Zoeller over Linda Pence was, in all likely-hood, strongly influenced by straight-ticket voting, else one would have expected a larger margin of victory.

Closer to home, we can look at the influence straight-ticket voting may have had on two county races; Coroner and Surveyor. In the Coroner’s race the most capable and qualified candidate in Marion County, and perhaps the entire state, was defeated. Dr John Pless, a forensic pathologist who has trained many of the forensic pathologists in the state including his victorious challenger, was defeated not on the basis of ability or qualification, but by a system that rewards candidates simply by party affiliation. Dr. Pless ran as a Republican and there is little doubt that had he run as a Democrat he would have been elected. Erica Pugh, a transportation engineer, was defeated by Debra Jenkins, an executive assistant in the Recorder’s Office. Again the candidate with the lesser qualifications was elected.

The effects of straight-ticket voting are even more apparent when third party and independent candidates are involved. These candidates, even if well qualified, must battle the lack of party name recognition and the financial resources necessary to combat this. Voters are in essence consumers and attracted to “brands” that they know. Combating this requires large sums of money that is often beyond the means of the smaller third parties. What we end up with is a “democracy of dollars” that is reinforced by straight-ticket voting which marginalizes and partially “disenfranchises” voters and candidates.

We must begin to seriously consider ending straight-ticket voting in Indiana. Thirty-four other states have already done this. It is time we made it thirty-five.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Numbers Game Part 1

A few numbers to ponder regarding Tuesday's District 100 race.

Total Registered Voters in District 100: ~45,000
Voters who voted in the District 100 contest: 12,557

Votes for Ed Angleton: 1980 or 15.77% (Record for Libertarians in Marion Co ?)
Number of postcards sent to Republican voters to inform them that there was not a Republican in the Race: 2500

I'm looking forward to seeing the precinct by precinct breakdown.

Thank You

To all my friends and supporters,

I want to thank all of you for your support.

To those who gave generously when this campaign was in its infancy, I thank you.

To those who came out to the ballgame, I thank you.

To those of you who worked the neighborhoods with me, I thank you.

To those of you who held fundraisers, I thank you.

To those of you who dug deeper and sent additional donations to enable a mailing, I thank you.

To those of you who participated in the neighborhood blitz and District In A Day, I thank you.

To those of you who worked the polls on Election Day, I thank you.

We ran a good campaign. We ran a clean campaign. We did everything we could to get the message across regarding the way Indiana needs to change, yet in this year of change, few were willing to truly listen to a different voice. The voters of the 100th District have chosen, and have chosen with regard to the Indiana General Assembly to not embrace change. How will the next two years play out? I cannot tell, but pray for the best

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Once again I thank you all and wish you well.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Indianapolis Star Gives Credit To Ed Angleton, Libertarian Candidate for District 100 State Representative, Endorses His Opponent

From the Indianapolis Star, Saturday October 25th, 2008.

District 100

Here he comes again. First elected to his Eastside district seat in 1976, Democratic Rep. John Day has made a career of patiently building consensus for legislation with practical impact on working families.
Cracking down on negligent absentee landlords, raising the Earned Income Tax Credit and ending lavish perks for legislators have been among his causes.

As he runs for re-election, Day is pushing for such measures as state-funded pre-kindergarten, bonuses for teachers working in poor areas and a mediation program to encourage homeowners and lenders to renegotiate mortgages and avoid foreclosures.

Challenger Ed Angleton, a biochemist with Eli Lilly and Co., is another strong example of how far the Indiana Libertarian Party has come in recruiting credible candidates. Angleton favors the elimination of township assessors and wants to abolish property taxes, replacing them with a simplified income tax system. He also favors caps on the growth in government spending. Republicans did not field a candidate in this district.

Day's knowledge and initiative are invaluable to his constituents and to the General Assembly's sense of mission. He earns The Star's endorsement.

Recommended Reading: Bill Brooks Column in the Nov. Urban Times

Bill Brooks, editor and publisher of the Urban Times, writes a monthly editorial column in his newspaper. This month's column is entitled, "Where Now The Fury Over Property Taxes?", in which Bill muses about the lack of anger over the current property tax system. The same system that brought disgruntled taxpayers into the streets in 2007. The same anger that helped bring down a heavily favored incumbent Mayor, even though he had no direct responsibility for the flawed system.

Bill Brooks understands where the real blame lies, the Indiana General Assembly and that it is not a partisan issue, it's not a Democrat or Republican issue, it's an incumbency issue.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy as soon as possible. It's a very interesting read. The column is on page 58.

Oh, and by the way be sure to look at page 24 also.

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Open Letter to The Republicans Living in Indiana House District 100

To all the Republican Taxpayers and Citizens of Indiana House District 100,

My name is Ed Angleton and I am the sole opposition to 32 year incumbent Democrat John Day.

I should like to point out two salient facts about Representative Day.
  1. If elected to another term Representative Day will work to increase the state income tax by 1% for any household (either unmarried single or married couple) earning more than $75,000. (source Project Votesmart), while lowering income tax for those earning less than $75,000, creating a de facto "progressive" income tax. This change will not be used to offset any existing taxes.
  2. As a 32 year veteran of the Indiana legislature, he was present during the voting that established the current assessment procedures for determining property tax, voting yea for many of them. Yet he wants to be rewarded for his voting in favor of 2008's anemic property tax relief package.

Do you want to return this Representative to office so that he and the Democratic majority in the Indiana House can continue to wreck havoc on Hoosier Taxpayers?

Your Party has chosen to not field a candidate in the race for District 100. A straight party vote without a scratch vote for ballot line 29C, is effectively a vote for Mr. Day and the continued control of the House by the Democratic Party.

Ed Angleton

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in Circle City!

That's trouble with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "B" and that stands for Bonds.
With gratitude to Meredith Wilson
This post is an open letter to my fellow bloggers. The time has come to back off the posts about Obama and the Bailout and things we have very little control over. I understand the need to vent, truly I do. But we have let local politics slide to such an extent that we are in danger of loosing focus on the things we can affect.
Two examples come to mind.
  1. The abolition of the township assessors. We have a golden opportunity to remove one often incompetent, level of government. Yet I see nothing on the blogs calling for a full grassroots push. I have posted on the subject. See my post of September 3, 2008, but I have yet to see anyone willing to step forward and take up the mantle of this cause. If I weren't so busy trying to oust a democrat who wants to raise your income taxes without lowering or eliminating any other taxes, I'd do it myself.
  2. The IPS bond issue. Doesn't anyone other than myself and David Orenitlicher have an opinion on this? He, a resident of Washington township living in an MSDS Washington township district wrote an op-ed piece in last Sunday's Indy Star. My rebuttal is posted here on this blog. Again am I the only one who cares? Will not some one step forward and spearhead the fight against the bond issue

These are the issues we should be blogging.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Vote ‘no’ on the IPS ballot referendum.

It was with great interest and a very sore lip that I read soon to be former State Representative Orentlicher’s opinion piece in October 5th’s Sunday Star. The great interest was due to the fact that I acknowledge the problems facing IPS and the need to correct them. The sore lip came having bitten it repeatedly to prevent myself from screaming at some of the opinions expressed and disturbing the peaceful quiet morning that my neighbors were experiencing.

Let us look at his arguments and the rationale behind them.

It is true that students will be more inclined to focus on learning, and not how hot and miserable it is, in a properly lit and air-conditioned classroom. But he misses the mark when he states that it is the lack of air-conditioning that prevents IPS from hiring the brightest and best teachers. The true drawbacks are pay and a perceived lack of discipline (both educational and behavioral) on the part of students, too little of the former and too much of the latter. Having taught at the college level myself many years ago, I can say that teachers want and need students that are motivated to truly seek knowledge and not just occupying a seat. Add to this the fact is that inner city schools can induce a fear for one’s safety, if not directly from the students, then from the surrounding neighborhood, you see brilliant young teachers seeking employment elsewhere.
Proper lighting, functional restrooms and roofs that don’t leak are absolutes. There is no debate that these are must have.

The biggest question regarding the ballot issue and the completion of the 2001 plan is the continued relevance of the plan in light of steadily decreasing enrollments. Part of the Phase 3 plan calls for the construction of two new elementary schools, I feel that we must request IPS to delay their construction until a comprehensive review of their necessity is conducted. Additionally, we must ask if all the buildings scheduled for renovation are and will be fully utilized in the next 10-20 years; if not, then the renovations for those buildings must be delayed until a review of the possibility of consolidating schools is completed.

Representative Orentlicher’s assumption that taxes will be lower, due to tax caps, in 2010 assumes that local assessors will not be pressured by local governmental units to raise assessed values to meet the levy since tax rates will be effectively frozen at 1, 2 and 3%. What he also does not state in his opinion is that IPS has assumed that the average priced house is worth $75,000. Statistics like this can be misleading without a full disclosure of all the statistical parameters and the assumptions that went into their generation. The average, or mean if you prefer, is $75000. What is the standard deviation of this number? The standard deviation is a measure how widely the individual values that went into determining the average differ. For example, let’s look at two cases. Case 1 has 6 homes valued at $10000, $20000, $30000, $60000, $125000 and $200000. The average is about $74000, but the standard deviation is also about $74000 indicating that there is wide variation in the values. Case 2 also has 6 homes but the differences in price are much less, $59000, $64,000, $69,000, $79,000, $84,000 and $90,000. Again the average is about $74000, but the variation is much less and the standard deviation is only about $12000. In the first case the tax burden is going to be born mostly by the two higher priced properties, whereas in the second case the burden is more evenly distributed. Which case is the most democratic (the philosophy not the party)?

Another measure often looked at is the median. The median is a value that divides the highest 50% of the values from the lowest 50% of the values. In Case 1 it is $45000, half the values are above $45000 and half are below it. $45,000 is the value that is exactly halfway between $30000 and $60000. In Case 2 the median is $74,000 the value exactly halfway between $69,000 and $79,000. Here we see that the median is a better reflection of the true distribution of values than the average when the values are highly different.

Finally, I should like to add that, although Representative Orentlicher’s motivations are noble and sprout from a concern about the need to adequately educate our children and comply with all federal and state requirements, he does not reside within the area served by IPS. He is in fact a resident served by MSDS Washington Township, and he should direct his concerns towards the lavish wasting of taxpayer money by that district’s unrealistic and grandiose building plans.

We, as taxpayers and citizens residing in the IPS district should reject this bond referendum and ask IPS to go back to the drawing board and develop a different plan to accomplish these much needed renovations, a plan that best serves the students and the taxpayers who must provide for them.

On November 4th find the referendum question on the reverse side of your ballot and vote “No”.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Angleton Campaign For District 100 – The District In A Day

Join me on Oct. 25 for a whirlwind tour of the district as I hearken back to the days of campaigning without all the modern methods when candidates took to the “Stump” to get their message out. I intend to campaign from the back of a truck stopping at various places in the district to give a speech, pass out literature, and answer questions. This will be all the more impressive if we can organize a caravan of supporters to follow along and be present at the stops. The more of our own people we have, the more voters we should attract.

The exact itinerary for the day will be posted later, but if you plan to come out and show your support let me know as soon as possible (like before Friday Oct 10). I’m going to order Styrofoam skimmer hats for everyone to wear that day.

I really urge as many supporters as possible to come out that day. It's going to be a blast.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Now Is The Time For All Good Men And Women To Come To The Aid Of Their Party.

This post might be better entitled, "Where have all the Libertarians gone?"

In the 2007 Municipal election there were 1118 straight Libertarian Party votes, 3787 voters supported Fred Peterson and 12,275 voters selected Tim Maguire. This year we have several strong candidates who need all the help, both financial and volunteer, they can get. Where are these people who supported our candidates at the polls last year? How many times have we heard someone say, "I always vote Libertarian", and yet none of us who are active in the party knows them?

My friends it is time to put your money and your time where your heart lies. If even 10% of those who voted for Fred Peterson were to volunteer and make a $25.00 commitment, we can raise almost $9500 for the local party to use in candidate support.

Libertarians, your party needs you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Calling Shenanigans!

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that, even if the 2008 property tax bills are ready before the election, the Marion County Treasurer, Mike Rodman, may not mail them until after the election. Read the article linked below and if you're as outraged by this as I am, telephone and/or email his office to register your disapproval, and if this doesn't work use your ultimate weapon, VOTE HIM OUT this November.

Political Courage Test Results Available

The reponses to Project Vote Smart's Political Courage Test are now posted.

You can see mine at

You can look up all the Indiana candidates at:

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Angleton Property Tax Plan - Reason over Rhetoric

The Case For The Repeal of Property Taxes
  • The inability of the current system to guarantee that assessments will be uniform and equal makes it impossible for Hoosier taxpayers to have confidence in their government.
  • Property Taxes place an unacceptable burden on working and middle class families.
  • No Hoosier homeowner should ever be in danger of loosing their home (as defined as the primary place of residence) due to the inability to pay property taxes.
  • Property Tax Caps do not guarantee relief from poorly conducted assessments and the currently proposed caps (1% - 2% - 3%) are in direct opposition to the spirit of Article X of the Indiana Constitution.

Replacing The Revenue Currently Obtained

  • Current replacement plans involve the use of a combination of sales and income taxes. I hereby suggest that sales taxes are not a viable choice as part of a property tax replacement scenario. In past years, state and local sales taxes were an option as a deduction on an individual's Federal Income tax. However, this is an either/or situation. You cannot deduct both. Beginning in 2008, state and local sales taxes will not be an option. Therefore, any plan which uses a combination of sales and income taxes will leave a significant portion of the taxes paid as non-deductable. I would even go so far as to repeal the increase in the state sales tax enacted in 2007.
  • State and local income taxes are and will still be a deduction in 2008 and years to come. The best option is one based solely on income taxes. This will necessitate an increase in both the individual and corporate income tax. I do not believe in the so called "Progressive" tax schemes favored by the more "liberal" elements of our political system. All they are is a thinly disguised attempt at the redistribution of wealth. (For anyone who is interested in learning more about "progressive" tax schemes I suggest reading Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.) Why do we constantly feel the need to punish success and hard work?
  • How much will we need to raise State Income taxes? This still needs to be adequately worked out, but whatever the increase it must be uniform and equal for all of Indiana's taxpayers.
  • At present their are three basic types of local income taxes; COIT, CAGIT and CEDIT. This is two too many. We need to simplify this confusing mix of alphabet soup into one simple tax.
  • Finally, spending caps need to be enacted at both the state and local levels to control the growth of government spending.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Say Yes

One of the items on this November's ballot is a referendum on whether to eliminate the Township Assessor's office. I cannot speak to the quality of the assessments in all of Marion Co.'s townships, but the performance of the Center Township Assessor has been, in a word, abysmal. Things are so fouled up in this office that the County Assessor assumed responsibility for the reassessment ordered by Gov. Daniels. This all points to incompetence on the part of the elected assessor, Eugene Ackers. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to wait until his office comes up for election. We must act as soon as possible. I call upon the citizens of Center Township to stand up and vote for more efficient government and vote YES on Referendum 1, located on the reverse side of the ballot:

“Should the assessing duties of the Elected Township Assessor in the township be transferred to the County Assessor?”

Just vote Yes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ed Angleton for State Represenative Campaign Event

When: Sat. Aug 23, 11 am to 11 pm
Where: Spades Park on the near Eastside
What: NESCO Feast of Lanterns

Please join me this Saturday at the Feast of Lanterns. Volunteers are most welcome. Stay for an hour, stay all day if you'd like, it's a great event and a chance to further the Libertarian cause.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Erosion Continues...

US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops

Agam Shah, IDG News ServiceFri Aug 1, 7:50 PM ET

Travelers beware: U.S. agents now have the authority to seize and retain laptops indefinitely, according to a new policy detailed in documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As part of border search policy, government agents are now authorized to seize electronic devices and inspect documents in them, the document states. The electronic devices might include laptops, cell phones, portable music players or storage devices such as portable hard drives.

Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection will also be allowed to translate and share documents with other government agencies.

The DHS document, issued July 16, appears to state publicly a policy that has already existed. Laptops and electronic devices have been subject to search in the past, and travelers have reported not getting their devices back. The policy has drawn strong criticism from lawmakers and nonprofit groups, who charged that the searches were invasive and a violation of an individual's privacy rights. Computers contain a vast amount of private information about family, finances and health, which could be easily copied and stored in government databases, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has complained.

The policy document states that being able to examine documents and electronic devices is crucial for "detecting information concerning terrorism, narcotics smuggling... contraband including child pornography, and... other import or export control laws."

The new DHS policies allow customs agents to analyze the contents of laptops without any suspicion of wrongdoing, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold said in a statement.

"The policies that have been disclosed are truly alarming," Feingold wrote.

The policy could blur the distinction between "search" and "seizure," which could also allow DHS officials to steal personal documents from laptops it has retained, Feingold wrote.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Time for Liberty

If you believe in the ideals of the Founding Fathers...
If you hold the blessings of Liberty dear...
If you honor the scarifice of the millions of US servicemen and women...
If you are concerned about the erosion of our precious Civil Rights...

Then you must watch the following video.

(Thanks to Mark W. Rutherford's Electing Libertarians for posting this previuosly)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thank You Mr. Hobbs

The local blog world is abuzz with the news that Lawrence Township Trustee Mike Hobbs is considering withholding or delaying aid from parents whose children aren't in school when they should be. (Advance Indiana and Indiana Barrister, see links sidebar) This is an interesting idea, that perhaps needs to be expanded upon. I believe that all forms of "unearned" (unearned being non-pension etc.) governmental assistance should be subject to reduction if the receiver does not uphold certain basic duties such as ensuring that their children are attending school. This should be a statewide program not limited to one particular county or township, and would apply to both parents and guardians. By doing so, we can avoid charges of discrimination because the rules would apply in both urban and rural areas. The only way to ultimately break the cycle of poverty is through education.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Andrea Neal Gets it Right!

Andrea Neal is probably my favorite columnist at Indiana Policy Review. Her latest submission echoes to a large degree my feelings about the current state of the property tax problem.

Long-Term Property Tax Solution Is Not Yet in Sight

Visit my website to get my views on how some of these issues can be fixed.

I also favor the payment of a "compensation" by the state to counties that are home to significant state owned properties (parks, governmental buildings etc.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Victory for the Bill of Rights

The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker has overturned Indiana's new leigislation on sexualy explicit material for being too vague, too broad and potentially applicable against "unquestionably lawful, nonobscene, nonpornographic materials being sold to adults."

"A romance novel sold at a drugstore, a magazine offering sex advice in a grocery store checkout line, an R-rated DVD sold by a video rental shop, a collection of old Playboy magazines sold by a widow at a garage sale ... would appear to necessitate registration under the statute," Barker wrote.

Plaintifs in the case included the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and several bookstores and publishers.

The author of the legislation, Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, said he would confer with the state attorney general on next steps, but the options included taking the matter back to lawmakers in the 2009 legislative session.

Given Rep. Goodin's intent to not let this unconstitutional law die the death it deserves, it is more important than ever that we elect legislators and a governor who will abide by the US and Indiana Constitutions.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Spirit of 2008

Last year July 4th saw Marion County homeowners protesting en mass in front of the Governor's Mansion. A year later many of us have seen our property tax bills increase by 100% or more. All of us are paying an additional 1% sales tax. The legislature has passed a tax relief plan that will not give us real help until 2010 at the earliest. So what do we do? Do we sit down and allow our elected officials run roughshod over us with a system that's anything but "Uniform and Equal", or do we do what we did last year when we let our voices be heard as one and demand accountability?

Regardless of my candidacy for public office, I will be there. For while many of those in Cottage Home who were cruelly assessed last year, have seen their reassessments drop by an average of$80,000 (which for some represents a 40% drecrease), my assessment only decreased $20,000(about a 10% decrease). This still leaves my assessment at slightly over a 300% increase. Couple this with a 3.75% tax rate my total tax liability is about $4500/year, still a 680% increase over last year. I have also noted that the reassessment has increased the over all tax liabilty of many of my neighbors and friends. The tax rate approximately doubled going from 2005 to 2006. Add to this, a doubling of the assessed values of many of the homes, and the overall result is that many of you have experinced a total increase of about 400%. One would have thought that the higher assessed values would have significantly drecreased the tax rate, but it didn't. So come on out and join your voice to what I hope will be the beginning of a true call for change in the way we tax the citizens of Indiana.

Who: Friends of Liberty and Justice for All
What: July 4 Celebration, as properly done
When: Friday, 4 July, 2008 from 10-11am
Where: In front of the Indiana Governor's Mansion at 4750 N. Meridian,Indianapolis

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Angleton for State Rep Campaign Potential Upcoming Fund Raising Events

My friends and supporters,

I'm in the process of organizing two major fundraising events for my campaign.

The first is a golf outing, probably in late August at either Pleasant Run or Sarah Shank golf course. The probable donation will be ~ $100. This includes green fees, cart rental, prizes for longest drive and closest to pin, a cookout- type meal and drink tickets for the beverage cart. I will need approximately 32 players to make it work.

The second is an Indian's ballgame in either late July or early to mid August. I hope to be able to include the picnic buffet prior to the game. The donation will be $40. In order to have the buffet 50 reservations will be required.

I will post more details when they become available.

July 4 Celebration at the Governor's Mansion

Who: Friends of Liberty and Justice for All
What: July 4 Celebration, as properly done
When: Friday, 4 July, 2008 from 10-11am
Where: In front of the Indiana Governor’s Mansion at 4750 N. Meridian, Indianapolis
Contact: Andy Horning;

For a detailed background regarding this event see Andy's blog:

… Where’s the Relief?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Very Definition of Uniform and Equal

Here's a little tidbit I discovered this morning.
The house on the left is now assessed for $141,000. The house on the right is assessed at $146,000.
I realize that it's difficult to see any real details so I'll give some background.
The $141,000 house is the home of an highly educated professional and his family. It has been completely rehabbed and is in very good condition. It also has a separate apartment that is rented out.
The $146,000 is empty and is in a general state of disrepair. It is currently undergoing renovation, but progress is very slow. It has been in this condition since before 2004.
Looks like the taxpayers of Marion Co. really got their monies worth in the reassessment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So What's Another $278 Million?

IPS will be having a board meeting at Arsenal Tech High School on June 25th, 7:00 PM, to receive public input regarding a $278 million bond issue to be used to renovate 26 elementary schools and one middle school, replace two elementary schools and make additional improvements at three high schools. According to the Indianapolis Star this will add approximately $104/year for each $100,000 of assessed value.

According to the State Board of Accounts Audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007, the total current long term debt was $544,287,415. So if we add another $278 million we'll have a total of $822 million and change.

Where has all the money gone? Why are the buildings in such disrepair? Why do we throw money at them with little or no signs of improvement. Is the system unmanageable? Does it need to be split up into smaller units?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"I never said it was FAIR"

From Indiana Barrister:

Marion County lawmakers got a briefing tonight on the property reconciliation bills that are going out this week and when it’s all said and done homeowners will wish their property was under 10 feet of water.

According to one lawmaker, “this is not going to be pretty.”

The briefing was conducted by Marion County Treasurer Mike Rodman. Residents will see very little, if any relief in most cases.

The lawmaker, who asked not to be identified said, “the people who were the most vocal last summer will be the ones who see the least amount of relief.”

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, June 9, 2008

This is a most interesting comment, and unfortunately I think I can attest to its veracity. Consider the following case:

In 2007 5 homeowners in the Cottage Home Neighborhood on the Near Eastside saw assessments increase approximately 4 times the previous years assessment. We were understandably upset. In fact, that was the spark that breathed life into this blog.

One of our neighbors saw their assessment jump to $225,000. Ours jumped to $256,000.

I attended all the rallies, filed an appeal, and spoke unkindly about the ability of the Center Township Assessor's Office to assess their way out of a paper bag. Our neighbors did none of these.

Now comes the reassessment.

My assessment dropped from $256,000 to $232,000.
My neighbors dropped from $225,00 to $141,300.

Futhermore, I can point to two other neighbors who exprienced similar decreases, one for $193,00 to $114,000 and another that went from $254,400 to $170,200.

So, did the petty little tyrants choose to drop the hammer on my wife and I for speaking up?

You bet they did.

BTW the title of this post is a comment my wife received from someone named Frank in the Center Township Assessor's Office when she pointed out the inequities of the original 2006 assessment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If at First You Don't Succeed Fail and Fail Again

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
Albert Einstein
I'm not really sure who this applies to more, the Indiana General Assembly, or the voters who keep electing the same two parties over and over again. The Republicans and the Democrats have shown that they cannot be trusted to enact policy that provides meaningful property tax relief. It does not matter one bit which party is in control, it almost always devolves into petty partisan bickering while the Indiana taxpayer gets left holding the bag.
The worst part of this present scenario is that the lawsuit that triggered our current problems was filed in 1993. The court opinions that imposed upon us a "fair market value" system occurred over the time span of 1996-1998. Our legislature has had over 10 years to ensure that a system was in place that would provide for a truly "Uniform & Equal" system of assessment and taxation.
In 2007 the citizens of this state took to the streets to demand true property tax reform, and barring that, repeal. Our governmental units took notice. Those who continued to pretend that the sky was not falling saw their political careers left in a shambles, whether they had the power to affect property tax reform or not. Then came the May 2008 primaries, which conveniently occurred prior to the mailing of the RECONCILIATION BILLS, and the voters, dazzled by the media attention of a suddenly meaningful Presidential primary, forgot the lessons of last summer. In fact many believed that the "tax reform" package passed by the General Assembly this spring and touted as the best they could do, was the real tax relief we needed. Regardless of cause we saw no change in the school boards that account for over 50% of our property tax burden. The same big spenders or the chosen replacements for the big spenders were carried to victory by those who think the school house is the major factor in our children's education. Incumbent legislators survived every primary challenger.
We are headed down a path to nowhere.
This week the reconciliation bills are being mailed, and much the dismay of many, there is little change for the better. Many homeowners have seen major increases over last summer's bill. Once again we will see Hoosier taxpayers marching in the streets.
'Cause the summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy.
The Rolling Stones, "Street Fighting Man"
The 2008 election year is supposed to be all about change, but as long as the two parties that now control our government are continually reelected, there can be no change.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Calling All Libertarians - Volunteers Needed

I have obtained a booth and parade entry for the June 14th Indy Pride Festival. Now we need volunteers to march and man the booth.

The parade begins at 10:00 am at Mass Ave & College Ave. This would be an ideal opportunity for our Marion Co and State-wide Candidates to gain some visibility. We will need a banner (I think Marion Co LP has one). Individual candidates are encouraged to have something to pass out, business card etc. A volunteer should march with each candidate to help carry resupply cards and possibly a sign identifying the candidate. There is a meeting on June 6th, which I will be attending, to get the details about the parade.

The Festival itself is in University Park and runs from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. The booth will need to be set up by 10:00 am. The festival is providing us with a table and two chairs. I can supply an additional 6’ table and an artist’s 10’ x 10’ open tent. There will be vehicle access to the site until 9:30 am. Our space (#38) is close to the corner of Meridian and Vermont.

We will need two people staffing the tent at all times from set-up to closing. Tents may not be taken down until 7 pm. Ideally, we can do this in two-hour shifts.
We will need literature from the candidates as well as general Libertarian brochures. We should also have a cooler with soft drinks and water for the volunteers and candidates. (Actually we need a volunteer to handle logistics.)

Please respond via my website:

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Hat is in the Ring

Last year during the protests and rallies surrounding the 2007 property tax crisis I came to the realization that as long as we continued to return the same career politicians to the legislature nothing would ever truly change. I watched with great disappointment as tax reform took a back seat to partisan politics and the desires of special interest groups. It is therefore not any surprise that the tax package that has been labeled as the "best plan we could devise" falls far short of providing all the relief that Hoosier taxpayers need and deserve.

It is for this reason and others that I sought and received the nomination of the Libertarian Party of Indiana for Indiana House of Representatives District 100.

I will be officially launching my campaign on May 9.

Be sure to visit my Campaign Website:

Potential menu item:

Bacon Dogs!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For What Shall A Man Profit?

There have been many complaints of late regarding Libertarians “stealing” elections from Republican candidates. That we agree in principle about 80% so we shouldn’t be fielding candidates. It has even been suggested that the Libertarian Party should simply fade away and its members and activists return to the parties from whence they came and work within them to effect change.

I have but one word for these sentiments.


Last evening I had the misfortune to meet a most disagreeable man who voiced these very points. I shall, therefore, endeavor to dissect his “logic” and present a case as to why third parties, and specifically the Libertarian Party, are necessary. JP, this is for you.

Let us begin with the charge of “stealing” elections. Locally the biggest complainer is the old-line Republican Party and it is directed at the Libertarians. This is where the 80% idea comes into play. The Republicans claim that since the Libertarians and they are so similar in their beliefs, what we have is basically two Republican candidates running against each other dividing the vote to such a degree that the Democrat is elected even when he or she would not necessarily be.

What these ideological arguers fail to take stock of is that it is the other 20% that makes all the difference. For example, I can agree for the need to have a balanced budget. I can agree that government spending is out of control. I can agree that we are paying too many taxes. I can agree as to the need for a strong defense. But, I disagree with need for a constitutional amendment defining marriage which many Republicans insist is necessary.

Third Parties are highly necessary. Consider the citizen, who after years of watching his party drift further and further from the ideals that bound him to it in the first place, can no longer support the creature it has become. Some would argue that one should not leave the party in question, but should stay and work within the party to effect change. I’ll give this an “A” for theory but an “F” for practicality. When the rift has grown to great and the party so insulated from new ideas or change, those who control the workings of it will jealously guard their influence and do everything in their power to maintain the status quo. I give you the Carson Machine and the Center Township “gang”. So what is a Democrat with conservative economic values, but who treasures the civil liberties guaranteed to us by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to do other than become a Libertarian? Without that third party individuals capable of thinking for themselves instead of regurgitating “party” rhetoric would have no voice. But then that is the goal of those who would impose their ideology on us. It was true in the time of George III and it is just as true in the time of George W.

Red Staters Seeing Red

Is it just me, or have several of the Republican leaning local websites been experiencing various minor and major meltdowns for the past couple of days?

(Now if only the Dems would do the same.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Name That Politician!

His most significant grandparent was a successful politician who held a seat in the US Congress.
He was an average student.
He scored low on exams for his first public service job, barely passing.
He has had his entire early career spoon fed to him due to his family ties.
He has always championed increased funding for education.

Name That Politician!

Give Up? Check your answer here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hate Mail from Some Flounders

While not a supporter of Jon Elrod, I must admit that the flyer I received today from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is quite a piece of work. It begins by criticizing him for being bankrolled by the Republican party.

Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle.

According to today's Indy Star the DCCC has spent more than $100,000 on the Carson Campaign, not to mention all the special interest PAC money they have received. Andre may turn out to be the most mediocre congressman money can buy. The money he is receiving doesn't come free, he will be bought and paid for, a tool of the Democratic leadership who will vote as he is told.

The flyer goes on to state that:

"Hoosier families deserve a leader who will fight for quality, affordable health care, good jobs for our families, secure retirement for our seniors and an end to the war in Iraq."

It is my considered opinion that that leader is not Andre Carson.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Vote Libertarian? - The Short Course

There are many who question the existence of the Libertarian Party. They believe that all their needs will be met by either the Democrats or Republicans. But what of the individual who cherishes his civil liberties, all of them not just a convenient few, who is appalled at the state of our economy and its dependence on foreign investment to remain viable, who is tired of the policies of tax and spend or borrow and spend, and who had quite enough of a failed foreign policy that has alienated much of the world, including our allies. Where is this person to turn if not to the Libertarians?

There are many who share the basic Libertarian ideals, yet they remain with the old parties out of a fear to take a chance on something different. As FDR (I know he is probably the farthest thing from a Libertarian as possible) once so eloquently said, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." Take the chance vote with your principles, not with your habits.

Vote for Sean Shepard.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

WTHR has relented and decided to include Sean Shepard in the televised debate this Sunday morning at 9:30 AM. I suggest that everyone contact the station at and express our thanks for this change of mind.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anthem for an Election Year

The Times They Are A-Changin'

With Apologies and Gratitude to Bob Dylan: (words in bold are minor editorial changes by me)

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come reporters and pundits
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come incumbants and party elite
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets beat
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come elephants and asses
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
The voters and the masses
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The die it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Our Sandbox and You're Not Welcome

WTHR is having a debate on Feb. 24th between Andre Carson and Jon Elrod on the Sunday morning program Indiana Insiders. Sean Shepard has not been invited to attend as of this writing. The debate was first publicized on Feb 13th.
I urge all of those who are as outraged by this oversight/slight as I, to write WTHR at and express your opinions regarding this state of affairs.

All Counties Are Not Created Equal.

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that the House Ways and Means Committee will not hear the Fire Merger Bill SB280 eliminating the possibility of a mandated merger of the Marion Co. Fire Departments in forseeable future. House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Crawford had supported such legislation last year when Mayor Bart Peterson was in office, but has now changed his mind after reading the Kernan-Shepard report. He now thinks that any attempts at any type of township consolidation should occur for all 92 counties, be it fire department, assessors etc.

"I don't think we need to move county-by-county. I think we need to wait until next session, when hopefully we deal with all 92 counties and there's uniformity on consolidations," he said.

So my question is this:

Is he that stupid or is he just playing out partisan politcs?

All counties are not equal in their needs and capabilities. Let's compare two counties.

The first county we'll call Marion. Marion is an urban county with a high population density. Each fire department has multiple stations throughout their service areas. Merging these departments would not invovle great distances or logistical problems.

Let's look at the second county which I'll call Clay. Clay is a rural county with a low population density. The county seat, Brazil, has a professional fire department. The rest of the county is served by volunteer departments which are not paid. Clay is long county and consolidation would be a logistical nightmare.

Clearly these two counties are not the same. So why does Rep. Crawford think they can be treated the same?

Monday, February 11, 2008

The "Prince" of Center Township

Andre Carson's main claim to the 7th District Congressional seat is that the previous holder was his grandmother. Whenever the question of qualification arises being the grandson of Julia Carson is the first point given. The caucus of precinct committemen that nominated him did so primarily out of loyalty to his family name. His followers point to his work with the state excise police and his position on the Indianapolis City-County Council as evidence of his further qualification, both positions obtained because of heredity more than merit. I come not to disparage the man himself. He is the product of his environment and I wish him no ill will. I do, however, wonder about the almost rabid devotion of his supporters. There are many that would compare his nomination to a coronation of the heir apparent. I would remind those individuals that give such fealty that this is the United States and we obey the wisdom of our Constitution.

"No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States" – Article 1 Section 9

"No state shall enter into any treaty…or grant any title of nobility." – Article 1 Section 10

This is reinforced by the Constitution of the State of Indiana

"The General Assembly shall not grant any title of nobility, nor confer hereditary distinctions." – Article 1 section 35

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Time to Face Off

March 11th is approaching.

What do we know about the candidates for the special election.

Isn't it time to find out?

It's time for the three candidates to debate. The public deserves to known where they stand on the issues.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals when they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The Who

Friday, Feburary 1 2007 - Indiana Statehouse

A crowd had gathered to attend a rally that had ostensibly been organized to promote the efforts to repeal property taxes. The sponsering organization, Advance America, and its founder, Eric Miller, have been among the leading voices in the tax repeal movement. But, Advance America, has, in my opinion, a darker, more sinister side. Under the guise of protecting "family values", Advance America has an agenda that would restrict personal liberty, subvert the Bill of Rights, and regulate some citizens of this state to second class status.

Even so, I was glad when they weighed in on the side of tax reform. It was, for me, a situation similar to that faced by Winston Churchill, a dedicated foe of Communism, when Hitler's Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Churchill at the time remarked on his new ally, "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. "

It has often been said, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". This is not always true. Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy can be a useful ally, but if that ally has his own agenda that ultimately is incompatable with our own belief structure and values, then that alliance must be vigilently monitored. This is most vividly illustrated by another quote from Sir Winston. After the war, Stalin had reneged on his guarantees of free elections in the counties that became known as the Eastern Block, and Churchill described it in his customary elequent way, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

Thus, Friday's rally at the stathouse became one in which the emphesis was shifted from tax repeal to support for the amendment banning "Gay Marriage", which goes far beyond that in its scope. An attempt to protest the change of direction away from taxes was shouted down. With "friends" like these, it is doubtful that any real momentum on repeal is possible. Even reform is in jeopardy as the elected minions of Mr. Miller have introduced amendments to bills that would make them unpalitable and unpassable. The alliance crafted to fight an unfair tax is in danger of splitting apart much to the delight of those politicians who think that they know, more than we, what is best for us.

I call upon all men and women of men and women of good conscience must do what they feel is correct, even if it hurts us economically. To do anything else is cowardice. Remember:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist,
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Variation on a poem attributed to Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
If the alliance is fractured, it is solely the responsibility of Advance America and it's leader Eric Miller for trying to bind these two issues together.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sometimes the Wheels Do Turn In the Right Direction

Today's Indianapolis Star reports that the County Assesor's Office has taken over the reassessment in Center Township.

"Bowes said his office has taken over the reassessment in Center Township because of “a question of staffing and skills” of that township assessor’s office.The majority of the work in Washington Township is still being done by the township assessor’s office.The residential work in Center and Washington townships has been complicated, Bowes said, by the fact that many older homes there have increased in value. He said those increases may not have been accurately reflected in the first reassessment after the state moved to a new market-based approach."

As a resident of Center Township I have been speaking out about this sorry state of affairs since the first assessment was released and the taxes on my home went up 850% while many of those of my neighbors minimally increased. I regret that this may mean that many of my neighbors may find their reconciliation bills are going to be higher than they originally expected, but perhaps they too will finally see the need to join the rebellion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Call for Entries - A Libertarian Art Show/Fundraiser

Call for Entries

"The Art of Politics"

The Libertarian Party of Marion County invites you to create an original piece of art for the upcoming art show "The Art of Politics". The Libertarian Party believes in the First Amendment and welcomes your artistic opinion on politics. The Show will open during First Friday April 4th at Deano’s Vino Restaurant in Historic Fountain Square. It will hang through April. The work should be priced between $50- and $300 (a portion of the commission will go to Deano’s Vino and the Libertarian Party of Marion County. Please submit 2-D ready to hang and 3-D sculpture. Since this work will be shown in a public establishment we reserve the right to qualify the appropriateness and size of the work submitted. For more information please contact Jenny Elkins at 916-4202 or