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Monday, April 24, 2017

Governor Holcomb stands up for Hoosiers Vetos Anti-Public Records Bill!

Good evening boys and girls! This is a first for us here at IR. We are actually going to give a compliment to Governor Eric Holcomb. In our last blog post we called on Hoosiers everywhere to contact Governor Holcomb and ask him to veto HB 1523 or as we call it "Death of Public Records Act". The Indianapolis Business Journal has the story here:


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb used the first stroke of his veto pen Monday afternoon on a bill that would have allowed state and local government agencies to charge a fee to citizens for public records requests that required more than two hours of work.
In a letter to House Speaker Brian Bosma, Holcomb wrote that the legislation was “contrary to my commitment to providing great government service at a great value for Hoosier taxpayers.”
“Providing access to public records is a key part of the work public servants perform and is important from a government transparency standpoint,” Holcomb wrote. “I do not support policies that create burdensome obstacles to the public gaining access to public documents.”
The measure by Rep. Kathy Richardson, R-Noblesville, would have allowed state and local government agencies to charge the lesser of $20 per hour or the hourly wage of the employee completing the search, after the first two hours spent working on the request.
The bill required a "good faith effort" to complete the search within a reasonable amount of time but did not set out who would audit agencies or hold them accountable.


The Indiana Coalition for Open Government had urged Holcomb to veto the proposal, calling it a step to "make government less open and insufficiently accountable" by adding barriers to access.
Indiana's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists also opposed the bill.
Holcomb said he understood the intent behind the bill and said he supported a provision that would require public agencies to provide electronic copies of public records.
“Finally, I believe there are steps that can be taken administratively to streamline and improve the process for fulfilling public records requests, and I have charged my office to examine the best ways to provide public transparency and access to public records at the highest possible value to taxpayers,” Holcomb said.


We would like to make clear that this post should not be taken to mean that our already low opinion of Eric Holcomb has changed. It has not. But when any public official does something we view as praise worthy. We are big enough to say so. We also would like to congratulate the Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the Society of Professional Journalists on their efforts to defend all our freedoms! No word on yet on what kind of input Governor Holcomb received over this bill. Not sure if he got the singing telegram or not! Word around the capitol is that Gary Welsh's ghost maybe haunting some of the lawmakers! We cannot comment on that. However it is safe to say that the influence of Gary Welsh lives on. And his influence will not end! Thank you Gary for inspiring us all here to make this a more positive state and planet.


Here is a little song to celebrate our victory:










Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Indy Republican Joins the Call to Defeat Blasphemous Bill to End Access to Public Records!

Back in February we published a column about the Indiana Legislature's move toward the goal of eliminating We The People's access to public records. Earlier today fellow blogger and freedom fighter Jon Easter wrote a great post entitled: "Holcomb Should Halt General Assembly Assault on Government Transparency". Urging Governor Eric Holcomb to veto House Bill 1523 the bill that would add a $20 an hour search fee to the public for requesting public records. We here have been following this issue for quite sometime. We had planned on writing about it today anyway. But Jon Easter's well written column helped to spur an even greater sense of urgency among us all to help protect the public's access to public records. For that you have our everlasting thanks Jon! Here is our take on HB 1523. You can read the bill by clicking here.


Kaitlin Lange of the Evansville Courier & Press wrote an article yesterday detailing this issue. Ms. Lange gives information on the bill's present state and gives statements from supporters and opponents of the bill here:


Gov. Eric Holcomb will decide the fate of legislation that would allow units of government to charge up to $20 an hour to  citizens and media representatives seeking public records.
The House on Tuesday voted 63-27 to send House Bill 1523 to the governor. It would allow the hourly charge to kick in for a records search requiring more than two hours of work. The bill previously cleared the Senate on a 44-3 vote.


Bill author Rep. Kathy Richardson, R-Noblesville, said 27 other states and the federal government already allow such fees.




Well Kathy a lot of elevator's play Kenny G music! That doesn't make it right! IR already has a low enough opinion of this bill! Couldn't you at least have come up with a better argument than to say "Well everybody else is doing this!"




Lange continues:


Former Gov. Mike Pence vetoed a similar measure two years ago, saying "the cost of public records should never be a barrier to the public’s right to know."


The governor has the option of vetoing the bill, signing it into law or allowing it to become law without his signature.
Those opposed to the bill say that people already pay taxes and should not have to pay again to get access to public records.
“It’s the taxpayer’s property," argued Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington.
The Indiana Coalition for Open Government and Indiana Pro Society of Professional Journalists also issued statements against the legislation, saying it could make it “cost prohibitive” for both journalists and concerned citizens to find out how their tax money is being spent and hold elected officials accountable.
“Government employees could deliberately drag their feet on such requests, racking up exorbitant charges to produce records the taxpaying public already paid for in the first place, either to shut down requests or deter them in the future,” SPJ said in a  statement.
Those in support of the bill said fulfilling the large amount of records requests that are filed can be time consuming for public agencies.
Rep. Karen Englemen, R-Corydon, said she saw this firsthand as former Harrison County auditor.
“Some people come in and ask for hours and hours of research to be done,” Engleman said. “We don’t get paid anything for doing that.”
The legislation heads to the governor a month after Indiana was ranked the No. 1 state for budget transparency and government administration.


Mike Pence's decision to veto this bills dad two years ago is probably the only good decision that he made while he was Governor. We agree completely with State Rep Matt Pierce-D when he states that public records are taxpayers property and hence we should not be charged a fee to examine our own property. You go Matt Pierce! We were so impressed by the Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists strong support for freedom of information that we have added them to our list of Pro-Freedom Sites! They are right on when they say: “Government employees could deliberately drag their feet on such requests, racking up exorbitant charges to produce records the taxpaying public already paid for in the first place, either to shut down requests or deter them in the future.” We have news for all of you government employees in this state already drag their feet on public records requests. The biggest problem with this bill is that we would then be paying them more to screw us over!


Fake Republican State Rep Karen Engleman's statement that based off her experiences as Harrison County Auditor gives her lame ass excuse to make taxpayers take it up the rear is laughable. Engleman says: “Some people come in and ask for hours and hours of research to be done,” “We don’t get paid anything for doing that.” So what in the hell are you paid to do then? We know that it is a major annoyance for you and your soulless friends to actually do their jobs and provide the public with their own records! You guys are supposed to make things easier for the people! We are not supposed to make your lives better! Karen if doing your job really sucks then our advice is that you quit!


As for Indiana having been ranked the best state in the nation for budget transparency and government administration see our earlier article last month here that shows why anybody who believes that needs to seek help for drug addiction! The overwhelming bipartisian backing for HB 1523 is proof enough that our state legislature is so bad it smells worse than the outhouse outside a White Castle!










This is to our knowledge the first article we have ever read of Ms. Lange's and we must say we are all very impressed with her work. Please contact Ms. Lange and let her know you appreciate her talent! She can be reached at (812) 549-1429. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange


The Indianapolis Business Journal also ran an article by the Associated Press which contains some more information on the legislatures blatant attempt to crush the voters.


IBJ's story includes these kernels of knowledge:


The bill requires a "good faith effort" to complete the search within a reasonable amount of time but does not set out who would audit agencies or hold them accountable. State law currently prohibits public agencies from charging a fee to search for, examine or review a record to determine whether it can be disclosed. Opponents say concerned citizens should not have to pay to access public records.
Supporters of the hourly fee argue government agencies can be bogged down by large requests and that compensation would help to alleviate the burden on government resources.
This bill also requires public agencies to provide electronic copies if they are requested and already exist. It does not require the agency to change the format of the public record.


It comes as no surprise that the legislation does not spell out what a "good faith effort" is on the part of government agencies. So that portion of the bill is completely useless! Since state law currently bans public agencies from charging a fee to search for records. Why should it be changed now? The traitorous lawmakers who support this are being less than honest when they say this is to help ease the strain on government resources. Most Indiana lawmakers have had no problem burdening us with the screw-ups of FSSA, the BMV, DWD, and DCS! Speaking of DCS any word on when the tragic death of Tajanay Bailey and DCS's handling of that case will ever be investigated? It's only been about a decade since she died! So don't give us this crap that you guys give a damn about burdening people!


It is time to say enough is enough! We all must contact Governor Holcomb's office and tell him to veto this bill! Contact his office and tell him that if he signs this or any other bill like this one that you will recruit a real republican to challenge him in the primary. And also tell him if that fails that you will vote for whoever the Democrats nominate to oppose him should he run for Governor again!


We will provide below Governor Holcomb's contact information as well as how to get ahold of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the ISPJ. Don't just call, email, tweet, or facebook post or message, or send a signing telegram to  Governor Holcomb about this! Post, Call, Email, Voicemail, tweet, write him every five minutes! Send so many messages that his email, voicemail, twitter feed, and facebook starts begging you to stop! And then just keep piling on! Don't let up! Our freedom is at stake! Now get to work making some calls our friends!


Governor Eric Holcomb Contact Information:
Image result for photo of eric holcomb
Governor Eric Holcomb





Twitter

Facebook:


Phone:
317-232-4567


Mail:
Office of the Governor
Statehouse
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797


Email form link for Governor Holcomb:
http://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm


Indiana Coalition for Open Government:
http://indianacog.org/


Indy Pro Society of Professional Journalists:
http://www.indyprospj.org/




Spread these statements all over the internet!


http://indianacog.org/icog-news/icogs-opposition-hb1523-gov-holcomb-must-veto/


http://www.indyprospj.org/news/2017/4/3/statement-on-senate-bill-1523


http://www.indianaforefront.com/bad-bills-never-die/





Friday, April 7, 2017

Indy Democrat's Brillant Take on Angie's List and Bill O'Reilly!

We highly recommend the incomparable Jon Easter's well written column: "Angie's List Helping to Enable O'Reilly's Bad Behavior." Although we have several difference's with Mr. Easter. He is a intelligent, thoughtful man whose talents we appreciate greatly. After having grown increasingly frustrated with Angie's List and it's nonsense over the past many years. It is especially pleasing to us to have a man of Jon's caliber calling them out! So please read his article. Hell read all of them from start to finish! Keep up the good work Jon!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Carl Brizzi's Law License Suspended for 30 Days

Last night WRTV reported that former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been suspended from the practice of law for 30 days. For advocates of good government Carl Brizzi has been a major irritation for many years. Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden have chronicled his nefarious legal career on their blogs. WRTV's report starts out with the disclaimer that Brizzi in the past has served as an on air legal analyst in the past. Jordan Fischer over at WRTV writes:


The suspension stems from two incidents in 2008 and 2009 while Brizzi was still serving as prosecutor.
Brizzi was accused in 2008 of failing to disclose a 50-percent stake in a real estate venture with former criminal defense attorney Paul Page. An investigation by the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission ultimately said the evidence showed that the omission was inadvertent, and found no violation.
A second incident in 2009, also involved Page, drew more condemnation from the disciplinary commission.
In a disciplinary order filed Wednesday, the commission pointed to "high unusual" intervention by Brizzi in instructing his chief deputy to allow a criminal defendant being represented by Page to a class "D" felony rather than a class "C" felony.
Brizzi told RTV6 last year he thought the issue had been settled after he received two letters from the disciplinary commission in March 2015 saying there was no
reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct which would warrant disciplinary conduct."

But then in May 2016, the commission filed a verified complaint for disciplinary action against Brizzi in connection to three alleged incidents of professional misconduct.
"They sent a letter last year stating all matters were closed," Brizzi told RTV6 last year. "The disciplinary commission's pursuit is surprising given their representations plus the fact that the matter is eight years old."
The Supreme Court's ruling will prohibit Brizzi – who now operates a private law practice in Fishers – from practicing law for 30 days, beginning May 1.
His license will be reinstated following his 30-day suspension. 

Longtime readers of Advance Indiana and Ogden On Politics will recognize the name Paul Page. Page was at the center of the bungled federal prosecution of real estate mogul John Bales. The failed prosecution involved the leasing of a property in Elkhart to the Indiana Department of Child Services. Gary Welsh writing on this years ago says:


Brizzi didn't pay anything to gain a 50% stake in that Elkhart building that was leased to the Department of Child Services under a sweetheart deal. This came after he decided not to pursue a criminal investigation of DCS officials in the Tajanay Bailey case that he had announced months earlier, an agency that coincidentally employs his ex-wife. The sweetheart lease deal was brokered with the same guy representing the state with whom he executed a sweetheart lease deal for office space for the prosecutor's office.


To the amazement of many then US Attorney now Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett decided instead of prosecuting Brizzi that he instead be referred to the Indiana Attorney Disciplinary Commission for possible disciplinary action. Tajanay Bailey was a 3 year old girl that was killed by her mother's boyfriend. At the time serious questions arose as to the conduct of various Department of Child Services workers in Tajanay Bailey's case. Back in 2007 soon after Tajanay's death Brizzi promised a full investigation into the matter. Strangely no such investigation to our knowledge has ever taken place. Advance Indiana wrote about the case:


Many of you will recall the tragic killing of 3-year-old Tajanay Bailey in November, 2007. She was beaten to death by her mother's live-in boyfriend at the troubled Phoenix Apartments where she and her mother lived. Subsequent new stories told a troubling tale of how case workers for the Indiana Department of Child Services had badly failed in their mission to protect children like Tajanay. According to a story in the Indianapolis Star, Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi expressed deep concern about DCS's handling of the case and promised a complete and full investigation. Specifically, Brizzi wanted to know why DCS officials had failed to notify police after they learned Tajanay had been physically abused in the home in 2006 and why she had been returned to that same home. At the time Brizzi made those comments, Tajanay's tragic killing was all over the news. As time passed, we never heard from Brizzi again about DCS.

We now know that DCS entered into a lease agreement with L&BAB LLC in 2008 to lease a 13,000 square foot building for $248,500 a year that the business had acquired in Elkhart, Indiana only five months after the company purchased the building in February, 2008 and just three months after Brizzi said he planned to investigate DCS' handling of the Tajanay Bailey case. According to the IBJ, the 50-50 owners of L&BAB are Carl Brizzi and Paul Page. Brizzi was not required to pay anything to L&BAB for his 50 percent stake in the company. The deal raised eyebrows of many people in the legal community, largely because Page represented a number of criminal defense clients adverse to Brizzi's office at the time and other questions have been raised about whether Brizzi cut favors for Page's clients. Did the investigation of DCS' handling of the Tajanay Bailey case suffer because of the business deal Brizzi and his partner struck with the agency? It's a fair question to ask in light of recent disclosures about decisions his office has made.


Carl Brizzi also has gained notice for his bungling of the case of former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White. Brizzi as upset as he maybe by having his law license suspended. Old Carl B is glad that he is only receiving a 30 day suspension instead of hard prison time that the rest of us "little people" would receive. He is certainly getting off much easier than Paul Ogden did in front of the Disciplinary Commission. Mr. Ogden was fined $10,000 and given a 30 day suspension for simply criticizing a judge in an email. Never mind that the judge in question had been removed from the case that Mr. Ogden was speaking of in his email under the lazy judge rule. For further details of Paul Ogden's kangaroo court farce click here. We would encourage everyone out there to post comments on every site you can find carrying Brizzi's suspension story. And point out how Brizzi is getting less than a slap on the wrist when he deserves much worse. Email all the legislatures, the Governor's office, and every media outlet in Indiana. Also call all the newspapers, radio and TV stations and demand they run stories that detail Brizzi's sordid past in detail. If they refuse then leave comment's online, start your own blog's, don't let up. Keep the pressure on. Worse case you just simply make the Indianapolis Media Complex miserable. Don't ever give up. And to the parasites of the political class out there. Gary Welsh's followers are mad as hell! We will honor and continue Gary's quest until you are all defeated! Let us all comrades turn to the song stylings of the great Twisted Sister's song for inspiration and motivation:







Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Marion County Republican Chairman Jim Merritt Blows Smoke at Matt Tully

Vacation was outstanding. But know time to get down to business. In a previous blog post we brought you the story about RINO State Senator Jim Merritt was seeking to run ruin the Marion County Republican Party by seeking election as it's chairman. Since that time as we expected Merritt has been successful at becoming Marion County GOP Chairman. He recently sat down with our most hated establishment flunky Matt Tully to spout nonsense about how he will revive the Republican Party in Marion County. Tully writes:


Marion County Republican Chairman Jim Merritt


Jim Merritt understands the task he’s taken on. It’s a tough one. Politically speaking, it doesn’t get much more daunting than this.
Merritt, the longtime state senator from Indy's northeast side, recently won his bid to become the new chairman of the Marion County Republican Party.


 Republicans have been swamped in every countywide election in recent years. They control none of the major offices in a city that has tilted more and more heavily to the Democratic side in recent years. Hillary Clinton won the county by 82,000 votes last year. Mayor Joe Hogsett won 62 percent of the vote in 2015, joining a long list of Democrats who have won big here in recent years. The GOP has lagged badly on fundraising.


"Ass Kisser" Tully quotes Merritt as saying:


“The Republican Party is in limbo in Marion County,” Merritt said. “We have to improve ourselves. I wouldn’t want to invest in the Republican Party locally right now.”
But he did, adding county chairman to his gig at the state Senate, where he has been a powerful voice on issues such as hunger and opioid addiction in recent years. He says he has to start “with the basics, the blocking and tackling of politics” as party chairman, recruiting new precinct workers and raising money. But then the party must focus on doing a better job of offering ideas and an “urban Republican model” that can appeal to more people.

“We have to show people that we can challenge Democrats and lead the county on tough issues,” he said. “In Indianapolis, we cannot be the party of ‘no.’ Not this time. This city obviously has crime problems, fiscal problems, infrastructure problems. There’s an opportunity to show that a Republican model of a big city can work.”
Unlike in many larger cities, Republicans at least don’t have to go too far back in history to find big moments of success. Former Mayor Greg Ballard won a surprise victory in 2007 and then cruised to re-election four years later. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, elected in 2004 and 2008, won the county big. Those two men, known for running pragmatic, idea-driven administrations that didn’t get caught up on social issues and appealed to voters from both parties, have provided the road map for success in a big city, Merritt argues.
“We’ve got to be about having a broader appeal,” he said.


As evidence of that, Daniels won the county by almost 50,000 votes in 2008 after running, in large part, on a message of government efficiency, thinking bigger and making Indiana more attractive to employers. Four years later, fellow Republican Mike Pence, with his well-established position as a socially conservative leader, lost the county by 80,000 votes. That 130,000-vote swing tells you a lot about what kind of Republican can sell in Indianapolis.


The above paragraphs shows why under Jim Merritt the Democrats are in no danger of losing their dominance in Marion County. If anything the Marion County GOP will only continue to shrink. It's true that Greg Ballard was elected as Indianapolis Mayor twice and both times Mitch Daniels ran he carried Marion County. The problem is that Daniels was running against very weak opponents. That is the only reason he carried Marion County. In 2012 and 2016 both times the Republican Gubenatorial Candidate lost Marion County by large margins. Mike Pence did better in Lake County than he did in Marion and there are no republicans in Lake County! Ballard only won in 2007 because Bart Peterson was stupid enough to shoot himself in the foot prior to the election by pushing to raise Indianapolis's property taxes. In 2011 he narrowly won reelection against a very weak opponent. So citing Daniels and Ballard as a way for republicans to regain ground in Indianapolis is not a good suggestion. The baseline republican vote in Marion County is around 40% and that seems to be dropping each election. Greg Ballard is not very well liked by rank-and-file republicans due to his nonstop taxing and spending, his hostility to gun owners, and his turning the keys to Indianapolis over to the establishment hacks in both parties.




Merritt is moving the county party out of its standalone location and into the state party headquarters, a cost-cutting move but also one he hopes will help the local party better coordinate with a state organization that has won a solid string of elections in recent years. He believes he has a better chance of growing the party locally with the election of Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican who has won praise across party lines.


He is focusing on local races in 2018 and helping current GOP council members better get the word out on their initiatives. He is already scouting for 2019 mayoral candidates, but he knows the party must improve its infrastructure in order to attract a top nominee. Above all, Merritt said, the party must market itself as a force trying to improve the community by offering smart ideas on core city issues.
“If we do our job and add solid people to the organization and support a broad range of candidates, we have a chance,” he said. “Greg Ballard proved it, and that wasn’t so long ago. We have a chance to win in this county. But we have to give people a reason to want to be Republicans.”


Why Merritt thinks that Eric Holcomb will be able to help rebuild the Marion County GOP is beyond us. If the above photograph of Merritt is any indicator than it would seem likely that Merritt just has no damn clue what the hell he is doing! He looks like his brain is struggling to deal with his own stupidity! Holcomb lost Marion County by a large margin last year in his race for Governor. And years ago when Holcomb was the State Republican Chairman he did less than nothing to help out the Marion County GOP.  Holcomb seems like the person to go to if you want to mess things up in Indianapolis! Merritt is the last person who should be speaking about building the party up. He is one of the insiders that tried to defeat Christine Scales in the 2015 Primary and was probably a factor in her leaving the Republican Party. If Matt Tully had any brains he would have asked Jim Merritt for specifics on how he intends to fix the GOP. But he won't because that would cost him points with the members of his circle jerk club! Time will tell but so far there is no reason for us to believe that Merritt will do anything other than to continue turning the Marion County GOP into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Marion County Democratic Party.