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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Indiana Court of Appeals allows Carmel to Annex Home Place

Sorry to just be getting to this story now. Work has been hectic. A very good and dear friend of INDY REPUBLICAN asked us to give our take on a story out of Carmel. Back on October 31st, 2017. Lindsey Erdody wrote a piece about Carmel's annexation of an unincorporated community in Clay Township called Home Place. Erdody reports:

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision to allow Carmel’s annexation of a small community in Clay Township known as Home Place to move forward.
The lengthy battle between the city and residents of the 1,017-acre unincorporated area of Clay Township centered at 106th Street and College Avenue started in 2004 when Carmel voted to include the community in the city's boundaries.
A majority of the 2,200 households of Home Place objected to the annexation and filed a lawsuit to prevent it. In 2005, Hamilton County Superior Judge William Hughes ruled in favor of the property owners, saying Carmel didn’t prove it could financially afford to annex the area.
But, in 2007, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed that decision. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear the case and sent it back to the trial court for further review.
Both parties agreed to postpone proceedings until the end of 2015, and the case returned to court in April 2016.
In June 2016, Special Judge Matthew Kincaid ruled that Home Place residents did not prove all the elements necessary to prevent the annexation. The residents needed to prove that they received certain services, such as police and fire protection and street maintenance, without the help of the municipality trying to annex the land.
They also are required by state law to show that the annexation would have “a significant financial impact” on residents and that it is opposed by at least 65 percent of the property owners.

Kincaid sided with Home Place residents on most of the elements, but agreed with Carmel when it came to who provides fire protection services. Clay Township technically provides the service, but does so by contracting with the Carmel Fire Department.
The residents argued that it’s still the township’s responsibility, but the city refuted that argument by saying Carmel firefighters are the ones responding to incidents in Home Place.
Because the residents did not prove all of the necessary elements, Kincaid ruled in favor of Carmel. Home Place residents appealed the decision, but the appellate court affirmed the ruling in an opinion issued Tuesday.
“The trial court did not err in using a straightforward factual analysis in making its determination, and it correctly found that landowners failed to prove that fire protection was being adequately furnished by a provider other than Carmel,” the opinion stated.
Matt Milam, who has been leading the residential group opposed to the annexation, said neighbors will have a meeting in November to determine whether to appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.
“From working with these people for about 15 years, my gut feeling is they will want to appeal to the Supreme Court,” Milam said.

Interestingly enough one of our readers pointed out that the attorney for Clay Township is none other than Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma. And that Steve Buschmann is the attorney representing Home Place and that he is also the attorney for the Indiana Township Association. It seems to IR that it would be fair to say that many of the lawyers who represent townships are just trying to pad their legal bills. Bosma has a conflict or should because as Speaker of the State House he is in a position to help get legislation enacted that could possibly benefit him. It will be interesting to see if this case is taken to the Indiana State Supreme Court how they will rule.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Indiana State Supreme Court deals another blow to State Employee Whistleblowers

More bad news for Indiana State Employees. Kara Kenney of WRTV reported on Monday November 13th, 2017 that Suzanne Esserman a 25-year veteran of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) lost her whistleblower case against the State of Indiana.

Kara Kenney writes:

The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled against an ex-state employee who said she was fired for blowing the whistle on misuse of state tax dollars.
In a decision handed down November 2, the Indiana Supreme Court found the state of Indiana is immune from a claim made by Suzanne Esserman under the Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act.

Esserman told Call 6 Investigates she was fired from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management when she refused to rubber stamp questionable claims.

In a split decision, the Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Marion County Superior Court’s dismissal of her lawsuit against IDEM.
Most of the Supreme Court justices said the state is immune from non-tort claims because the whistleblower act does clearly show the state could be sued for violations of the whistleblower statute.
Esserman’s attorney says Indiana workers should be concerned about the ruling, because it makes it more difficult for government employees to expose wrongdoing.
“Ms. Esserman and I are very disappointed about this decision,” said Esserman’s attorney Mary Jane Lapointe. “This decision has the effect of insulating the State from liability for its own misconduct and penalizes the employee who tries to stand up for the taxpayers.”
Justice Steven David dissented, arguing when the law says “employer,” state government should be included in that.

Esserman and her attorney are calling for the state legislature to update the law to specifically include state government as an employer that can be sued under the Whistleblower Act.

“I agree with the dissenting Justice that the term ‘employer’ is clear as a bell, and in our case the State is the employer so the law should apply,” said LaPointe. “We can only hope that the General Assembly will amend this law to make clear that an ‘employer’ includes the State.”

Esserman had worked for IDEM for nearly 25 years and was terminated on January 17, 2014, while working as a senior environmental manager.

The Marion County Superior Court decided IDEM had immunity and dismissed the case.

In December, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal of her whistleblower lawsuit and the case is now in the hands of the Indiana Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in May.

The Supreme Court ruling pointed out that state workers have another option to sue, under the State Personnel Act.

But Esserman’s attorney said that’s not enough to make up.

“We have utilized that remedy, however, the State Personnel Act’s whistleblower provision does not protect those who object to illegal activity but do not put it in writing—and Ms. Esserman had more oral complaints than written ones,” said Lapointe.

Under the State Personnel Act the employee can’t collect more than 30 days of back pay, and no attorney fees.

Call 6 Investigates has contacted IDEM for a response to the Indiana Supreme Court ruling.

Kara Kenney had first covered this story back in October here.

While we all agree that the State's Whistleblower Law needs to be much better written. IR is skeptical that just enacting a great whistleblower protection law for state employees will do very good. Simply because if the law is never enforced it is meaningless. Longtime readers of INDY REPUBLICAN, ADVANCE INDIANA, and OGDEN ON POLITICS may remember Paul Ogden's fight to be reinstated at the Indiana Department of Insurance after he reported violations of law being committed by an upper-level supervisor. Mr. Ogden was promptly fired for doing his job and reporting illegal activity. We all appreciate and respect Kara Kenney's longstanding commitment to investigative journalism. Ms. Kenney's report on the IDEM Whistleblower reminds us all of Deanna Dewberry's report on Whistleblowers at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development back in 2012.

Here are some links to further information about past state employee whistleblowers:

Paul Ogden's posts on whistleblowing:





Paul Ogden and Gary Welsh's posts on the 2012 Department of Workforce Development's Whistleblowers:



Indy City Councilor Jeff Miller Charged with Child Molestation

Jeff Miller

Yesterday Jeff Miller a Republican on the Indianapolis City-County Council was charged with child molestation. Katie Cox over at WRTV reported:

Jeffrey Miller, 50, a city-county councilman for District 16 is charged with three felony counts of child molesting. District 16 serves the near southeast, south and southwest sides of Indianapolis.

The Marion County Prosecutor's office filed the charges Friday afternoon.
The investigation began after a 10-year-old girl came forward claiming Miller had massaged her and made her uncomfortable on more than one occasion.
The probable cause affidavit for the case details multiple conversations investigators had with children who frequented Miller’s home.

Click here for the rest of the story.

UPDATE: Sorry to just be updating this now on August 16th, 2018. But we originally reported that Jeff Miller resigned last year. He actually didn’t resign until now.

Friday, November 17, 2017

$1 Billion Trucking Fees Lawsuit filed against Eric Holcomb's Administration

It seems that Governor Eric "Bagman" Holcomb just got dragged into the middle of a huge knock down drag-out fight with fellow Indiana Republican and attorney Jim Bopp. The great Tony Cook of the Indianapolis Star reports on the upcoming slugfest between Holcomb and Bopp:

A class-action lawsuit accuses the state of Indiana of illegally collecting more than $1 billion in fees from truckers across the nation — and could set up a high-stakes showdown between two top Indiana Republicans. 

The lawsuit filed Friday in Marion County Superior Court accuses the Indiana Department of Revenue of collecting annual Unified Carrier Registration fees from hundreds of thousands of truckers across the nation without authorization under Indiana law.

The attorney behind the lawsuit is Jim Bopp, a high-powered Republican attorney from Terre Haute best known for representing Citizens United in a U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned restrictions on political spending by corporations, nonprofits and labor unions.

His client is the Small Business in Transportation Coalition, a trucking industry trade group with a colorful and controversial leader who recently organized a parade of big rigs in Washington D.C. to promote expanded gun rights and who has been accused by the Federal Trade Commission of deceptive business practices.

On the other side of the lawsuit is the administration of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb — specifically the Indiana Department of Revenue and its commissioner, Adam Krupp.

A spokeswomen for Holcomb did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue said she couldn't immediately comment on pending litigation.

"I’m a conservative who does not want to see government overreaching, taxing people and collecting money unless the people authorize it through the legislature," Bopp said. "What’s important to me is that government stays within its bounds. This has got to be one of the most expensive violations of law that I’ve seen."

Indeed, the stakes could be huge.
Indiana handles registrations and fees on behalf of 41 states under the so-called Unified Carrier Registration Plan, a federally authorized compact that allows interstate truckers to register and pay fees just once a year, rather than in multiple states. 
Bopp said the state collects $100 million a year in UCR fees from close to 400,000 truckers a year. The fees depend on the size of the fleet, the form of payment and location of the truck's home base, but begin at $76 per vehicle, according to the lawsuit. 
"Without such authority under Indiana law, INDOR’s nationwide collection of the UCR-related fees is unlawful and every trucker since 2008 is entitled to a refund of these illegally collected fees," Bopp said.
The lawsuit comes four months after the state settled the second of two class-action lawsuits over unauthorized Bureau of Motor Vehicle fees. Between settlements and voluntary refunds, the BMV admitted to overcharging Hoosier drivers more than $115 million over 15 years.

Well INDY REPUBLICAN doesn't know enough about this particular lawsuit to comment on the merits of Mr. Bopp's case. But Bopp's legal skills are good and he is not crazy. So for him to file such a lawsuit means that he thinks that it is a good case. So far as Governor Eric Holcomb has continued the tax-and-spend legacy of his master Mitch Daniels. It will be interesting to see just how this all goes down. Bopp is also a former Vice Chair of the Republican National Committee and has been a Republican National Committeeman from Indiana. Not exactly somebody that Holcomb wants to get into a fight with. Here's to old Eric getting his ass kicked!

The Continuing Mystery of Carmel Mayor Brainard's April Joyride

Back in May we reported on Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard's suspicious April 2017 car accident. In that same post we also mentioned that this is not the first car accident that Brainard has had during his almost quarter-century reign as Mayor of Carmel:

In November 2002, he T-boned a school bus in a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, while attempting to turn left on 99th Street to Westfield Boulevard. No one was injured, but both vehicles were damaged.

We also provided some information revealed to INDY REPUBLICAN by our sources about Jim Brainard:

As far as we can deduce from the information available to us we cannot see any evidence of the police acting improperly at this time. But Brainard's stating that he was fatigued at the time of the incident, along with rumors that Brainard has been suffering from some unrevealed health malady for some time now, possibly prior to 2010. Coupled with sources telling IR that Mayor Brainard is reputed to be very hyperactive, an extreme multitasker, and now having been involved in two traffic accidents during his 20 year reign as mayor. This does raise very serious questions about whether he is physically up to the demands of his job. He may very well be. We strongly would recommend to Mayor Brainard that he get himself medical care ASAP. He also needs to be straight forward with Carmelites about his health. If he is not careful he or others maybe hurt or even killed

We had heard nothing further about this case until last night, when WRTV's Paris Lewbel reported that their is no record of Mayor Brainard having taken an alcohol test in relation to this car accident.

Mr. Lewbel reported:

Carmel city officials say there is no record of Mayor Jim Brainard taking a drug or alcohol test after he crashed a city vehicle in April. They also say – despite the city’s own employee alcohol policy – that he didn’t have to.
On April 20, Brainard crossed the center line and crashed his city vehicle into a trailer while driving on 3rd Avenue Southwest.

The mayor told responding officers that he thought he may have fallen asleep, and that he’d been “struggling to stay awake earlier.”

After checking to make sure he wasn’t injured, the officers offered to give Brainard a ride back to city hall. He declined multiple times, saying instead that he would walk back.

One of the officers, Carmel Police Lt. Adam Miller, was wearing a wireless microphone that captured the conversation (You can hear the conversation yourself by clicking on the video at the beginning of this post):

Lt. Miller: “Mayor, how are you doing? You alright?”
Brainard: “I’m fine, thank you. I don’t know, I may have slipped over. I was struggling to stay awake earlier. But I don’t think so. Maybe.”
Lt. Miller: “As far as the whole testing process and everything, do you just want to do that through HR? Or do you want us to help you with that? How do you want to handle that?”
Brainard: “Oh, do I need to be tested? Yeah, I do, don't I?”
Lt. Miller: “Because it is a tow-away.”
Brainard: “Yeah.”
Lt. Miller: “If we’re going to tow it.”
Brainard: “Yeah, sure.”

Carmel’s drug and alcohol testing policy requires city employees driving city-owned vehicles to take a post-crash test as soon as possible if one ore more of the vehicles involved “incur disabling damage and must be transported away from the accident scene by a tow truck.”

Carmel Employee Policy

Based on the conversation caught by Miller’s mic, the officers thought Brainard was on his way to do just that.

Officer 1: “He’s walking back to City Hall to talk to Barb so he can go get his pee test.”         
Officer 2: “OK good.”      
Officer 1: “I know, he’s going to have to go get tested.”

The official report for the incident lists fatigue as a contributing factor to the crash. The boxes for drug and alcohol testing were left blank.

Following months of records requests and digging through crash reports, dash cam video and city policies, Call 6 Investigates found no evidence that the mayor ever submitted to a drug or alcohol test following the crash.
Call 6 Investigates specifically asked the city for any communications, invoices or proof that the mayor followed Carmel’s drug and alcohol testing policy and received the following response: “The city has identified no records that are responsive to your request.”

The city declined a request for an interview with Brainard, but was willing to answer questions via email.
Our first question: Why did the mayor fall asleep while driving?
“The mayor was very tired, having worked several long days in a row,” wrote Nancy Heck, director of community relations and economic development for the city of Carmel. “He had been in downtown Indianapolis for an early morning event and had not had a break while on his way to his next event.”
And about the mayor’s apparent acknowledgement that he might have to take a post-crash alcohol and drug test?
“The mayor, when talking to the police, said he understood he may have to take a test, but he also knew he had a speech to give at the historical society and he did not want to cancel at the last minute,” Heck wrote.

Heck also said that, despite the wording of the city’s employee drug and alcohol policy, the mayor is exempt from the post-crash testing requirement because he is an elected official.
Call 6 Investigates went through the city’s employee handbook and drug and alcohol testing policy and could not find any language exempting elected officials from it. Heck acknowledged that there is no language specifically exempting elected officials, but said they are, nevertheless, exempted.
“Elected officials are not employees. That’s not a policy, it’s just a fact,” Heck wrote. “They are not hired by the City. They are elected by the residents of Carmel.”

Heck said Brainard did in fact meet with officials in the HR department following the crash, but that he did not take a drug or alcohol test. She said the mayor had not had any alcohol on the day of the crash.
Call 6 Investigates was able to confirm that Brainard did keep his appointment to speak at the Carmel Clay Historical Society less than an hour after the crash.
The other driver involved in the crash was cited for driving without a license and driving without insurance. No injuries were reported by either party.

INDY REPUBLICAN would like to thank Mr. Lewbel for an excellent story last night. And for following up on this story. We are curious to find out if Mayor Brainard really is exempt from the policy that applies to those who work for him? We do not know if Brainard had taken any substances that day or if he was simply exhausted. But imagine that you or us had crashed a car into Jim Brainard's city vehicle. Would we be allowed to avoid taking a blood alcohol test? We don't thing so! Let us keep up the pressure on the media to get to the bottom of this. If Mayor Brainard God forbid has another car crash. He or others maybe injured or even killed.

Please click the contact tabs on the following news websites and demand they keep looking into this. Don't just call, email, or submit contact forms. Submit, email and call them every 15 minutes! 24/7 if nobody is there leave them a message on their voicemails! Hand deliver letters to there offices! Tell them the ghost of Gary Welsh sent you!


Also contact the City of Carmel Government itself. Here is the contact information for the City:

Carmel City Hall
One Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032

Main phone: 317-571-2400

Mayor: Honorable James Brainard,
(317) 571-2401

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sean Hannity Issues Ultimatum to Roy Moore w/update

In a shocking turn of events Sean Hannity has given Roy Moore 24 hours to answer the allegations against him and if he doesn’t Hannity has said that Moore should leave the Senate race.

UPDATE: The following day after Roy Moore sent an open letter to Sean Hannity. Hannity said he thinks that the issue of Roy Moore staying in the Senate race is one that should be left to the voters of Alabama. Showing once again that Sean Hannity is an establishment tool!

Is Steve Bannon breaking up with Roy Moore? w/Update

We have just received word that Steve Bannon the head of Breitbart News maybe about to withdraw his support of Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate Candidacy.
The Daily Beast published a column late this afternoon called “Steve Bannon and Allies have second thoughts about Roy Moore”. 

LACHLAN MARKAY and ASAWIN SUEBSAENG at The Daily Beast reported the following
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is keeping the door open to ditching Roy Moore as the sexual-assault allegations against the Alabama Republican Senate candidate continue to pile up.
Publicly, the Trump confidant and Breitbart chairman has stood behind Moore, who is now accused of attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl. Bannon has also railed against what he and his allies dub “fake news” and the GOP establishment for trying to push Moore out of the race.
But over the past few days, Bannon has begun privately taking the temperature of those in his inner circle to see what they think of the Moore allegations and to get their sense of how to proceed, according to four knowledgeable sources. Late last week, the Breitbart chairman said, “I will put him in a grave myself,” if he determines that Moore was lying to him about the numerous accusations, a source close to Bannon relayed.
Bannon emphasized, to both friends and colleagues, that he’s uncomfortable with the charges of sexual harassment and child molestation that have been levelled at Moore. But he wasn’t convinced that the initial flood of on-record testimony, starting with the first Washington Post story last week, was anything more than a hit job. And he believes it may have been planted by #NeverTrump operatives to put the screws to Moore’s campaign.
Several of Bannon’s most trusted allies have already told him that it would be “insane,” as one put it, to believe at this point that the Moore accusations are baseless. They have also warned that the time is rapidly approaching when he would have to disavow Moore before it appeared as though he was simply caving to political pressure. (Critics of Bannon, of course, argue he should never have backed Moore in the first place.)
Additionally on Tuesday, the front page of Breitbart featured a prominently placed headline that read, “POTUS TO REVISIT ROY MOORE SUPPORT AFTER RETURNING TO U.S." from his Asia trip—roughly the same position Bannon now finds himself in.

Since Breitbart ran on their front page today a headline that says President Trump will be “revisiting” his support of Roy Moore. Given Bannon and Breitbart’s strong ties to the President this lends serious credence to the idea that Bannon is seriously reconsidering his support of Roy Moore. If we were the Moore campaign we would be especially concerned about just how dedicated the President and Bannon are to getting him elected.
One other item of interest that caught our eye. Last week as the first of the sex assault allegations was made public. The Hill reported that Roy Moore was declining to debate his Democratic Senate opponent Doug Jones because of Jones’s stance on “transgender issues”. 
Moore stated "We’ve (Roy Moore) refused to debate them (Doug Jones) because of their very liberal stance on transgenderism and transgenderism in the military and in bathrooms. They are desperate.”
Interesting that Moore would specifically cite Jones’s stance on transgenderism as the reason he wouldn’t debate Jones. Especially since as we reported last month that Steve Bannon made millions by helping to distribute sexual predator Harvey Weinstein’s 2005 Pro Transgender Propaganda film “TransAmerica”.
Maybe Moore was afraid Jones would question accepting backing from Pro-Transgender Steve Bannon. Or perhaps a big nothingburger as some like to say.
UPDATE: It appears this story was just a big nothingburger. Bannon appears for the time being to be sticking with Roy Moore.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Todd Young Grows a Pair by Calling for Roy "Dirty Judge" Moore to end his Senate Campaign

Senator Todd Young-R IN

Embattled Alabama Republican Roy Moore's Senate run was complicated by some new developments today. One of which we are proud to report is that our very own Senator Todd Young has called for Moore to pull out of the senate race.

Maureen Groppe over at INDYSTAR has the story:

Indiana Sen. Todd Young joined other Republicans on Monday — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — in urging Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to drop out of the race.

Young made the statement after a fifth woman accused Moore of making sexual or romantic advances toward her when she was a teenager.

Senator Young made the following statement on Twitter:

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who heads the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, was more specific Monday in saying the Senate should vote to expel Moore if he wins the special election in December.

The fifth woman to come forward today to accuse Judge Moore of improper behavior is Beverly Young Nelson. Nelson accused Moore of sexual assault back in 1977  during a press conference today.

CNN's Eli Watkins reports:

An Alabama woman alleges Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, her attorney Gloria Allred said Monday.
Allred said her client, Beverly Young Nelson, would be willing to testify under oath and called on the Senate judiciary committee to hold a hearing and subpoena Moore.
"Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child," Nelson said, adding that she was 15 when he began flirting with her and 16 at the time of the alleged assault. "I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me."
The allegations of force, if true, would be considered sexual abuse in the first degree, but the statute of limitations in effect at the time would have passed.

Nelson detailed her allegations in a statement alongside Allred, an attorney who focuses on discrimination and women's rights.
Nelson said Moore was a regular at the Olde Hickory House, a restaurant she worked at when she was starting high school.
At the press conference with Allred, Nelson said Moore wrote an inscription in her yearbook one day in December 1977 that said, "To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, 'Merry Christmas.'" She said he signed it "Roy Moore, D.A."
She said that one evening he offered her a ride home.
Instead of taking her home, Nelson said Moore pulled his car behind the restaurant and began to attack her.

"Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me and putting his hands on my breasts," Nelson said.
She said she tried to open the car door to leave, but Moore locked it and continued to grab her.
"He began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch. I continued to struggle," Nelson said. "I thought that he was going to rape me."
She said she began to cry and beg him to stop and that eventually he did relent before telling her not to speak.
"At some point he gave up, and he then looked at me," Nelson said. "He said, 'You're just a child,' and he said, 'I am the district attorney of Etowah County and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.'"

Nelson said she was inspired to speak out because of the women that came forward to the Post.
"I would probably have taken what Mr. Moore did to me to my grave had it not been for the courage of four other women that were willing to speak out about their experiences with Mr. Moore," Nelson said.
Allred said her client declined to take questions but would be willing to speak in public further should the Senate Judiciary Committee decline to hold a hearing on the matter in the next two weeks.

Here is an image of the yearbook inscription from 1977 and Roy Moore's signature from earlier this year:

Now none of us here at the blog are handwriting experts. But based off the evidence of our own eyes the signatures seem to match. Now the fact that he may have signed a high school yearbook proves nothing other than he signed the book. But it seems very strange that a man in his thirties would be sign some high school girls yearbook. INDY REPUBLICAN hereby joins with Senator's Todd Young, Mitch McConnell, Jeff Flake, Cory Gardner, Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham and Steve Daines in calling on Roy Moore to withdraw from the Alabama Senate Race in the name of human decency. In another post we will go into more detail on other principled conservatives, republicans, and libertarians who have refused to back this odious excuse for a man Roy Moore. We would be remiss if we did not pay this compliment to Senator Todd Young. Senator your stand is principled, courageous, and shows that you have a spine and some balls. So we will remove 50 sins from your political career because this is an awesome move on your part. 

We highly encourage our readers to look at Ms. Groppe's column over at Indystar by clicking here. Also please Contact Maureen Groppe and tell her how much you appreciate this article she wrote. She can be reached via email at mgroppe@gannett.com. Or follow her on Twitter: @mgroppe.

Please also read Eli Watkins piece here.

To the victims of Roy Moore we wish to offer these words of comfort from the words of Saint John the Revelator:

Revelation 21:4New King James Version (NKJV)
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

UPDATE: It appears that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has decided to jump on the "No More Moore" bandwagon. Redstate has the story here.

UPDATE: Folks we are going to need a whole fleet of wagons to carry all the Republicans who now want to kick Roy Moore to the curb. In an unusual bit of new Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is saying Moore should be dumped:

The Hill is also reporting that the White House has floated the idea of trying to send Attorney General Jeff Sessions back to his old Senate seat in Alabama as a way to get rid of Roy Moore.

The New Yorker is also reporting that Roy Moore was banned from the Gasden, Alabama Mall in the 1980's for hassling teenage girls.

In what we hope will be the last update on this post MSNBC reporter Chris Hayes has some interesting things to point out about Roy Moore's past:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Is Doug Jones now ahead of Roy Moore? w/update

Doug Jones 

Our sources inform us that sometime today. Possibly even later this morning a poll will come out showing Doug Jones the Democratic Senate Candidate in Alabama of pulling ahead of RINO Roy “I Don’t Generally Date Teenagers” Moore. Now granted one poll by itself is meaningless. But as reported last month by Paul Ogden here, and The Hill reported two days ago here. Doug Jones has twice been dead tied with Roy Moore. For a Democrat running for the Senate in Alabama to be tied even once with there Republican opponent is unimaginable. To do so twice could be the signs of a storm brewing in favor of Alabama Democrats. It could turn out to be a repeat of 2010’s suprise GOP upset win in Massachusetts by Scott Brown against Democrat Martha Coakley. We will update this story later today hopefully.

UPDATE: JMC Analytics has released a poll showing Doug Jones ahead of Roy Moore 46-42. If Jones wins or Moore only narrowly wins this race this will be another clear indication that our Grand Old Party needs to reject the false Gospel of Trumpism.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Alabama Republican Party now fracturing over Sex Clams!

The Florence Times Daily out of Alabama has reported that apparently somehow the Alabama GOP is breaking apart over Roy Moore and some type of sex scandal involving clams. Based off our experience we were not aware that seafood could be involved in a sex scandal. But there is a first time for everything.

Checkout the cover page of today’s Florence Times Daily:

Does Roy Moore have a Kevin Spacey Problem? w/updates

Ever since Judge Roy Moore won the republican senate primary in Alabama on September 26th. Several of our readers have asked us to examine just who Roy Moore is and to share our views on this man. INDY REPUBLICAN has known of Judge Moore for over 20 years now, and the almost cult-like status he has among some of our fellow conservatives. However IR has not and never will be supporters of Judge Moore. We have found him to be a huckster and opportunist who proclaims and espouses ideals and standards of public and private morality that he himself fails to practice in his own public and private lives. Most noteworthy being that his having twice been removed from his position as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court of Alabama for refusing to enforce the orders of a higher court. Whether or nor you agree with the higher courts decisions in those cases, and in some aspects we don't agree with them. Bottom line is that higher courts issued there rulings and as a sworn officer of the court Judge Moore refused to obey them. In addition his advocacy of religious tests to serve in congress violates Article VI, Section III of the Constitution which states:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

The above mentioned recitations of Judge Moore's deficiencies of character alone in our opinion disqualify him from serving in and office of any kind. If this were all there was to Judge Moore we would end this blog post right now. But unfortunately more damaging allegations have come out against the Judge and these must be addressed.

On Wednesday November 9th, 2017 Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites writing for  the Washington Post reported that in 1979 then 32 year old Roy Moore propositioned then 14 year old Leigh Corfman. Here is some of Ms. Corfman's story:

"It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge."

Leigh Corfman is not the only woman who is making such accusations against Moore. The Washington Post story mentions three other women who have accused Moore of inappropriate behavior:

"Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19."

Before we get into some other aspects of this story. Here is some information about Leigh Corfman Judge Moore's chief accuser:

"According to campaign reports, none of the women has donated to or worked for Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, or his rivals in the Republican primary, including Sen. Luther Strange, whom he defeated this fall in a runoff election.

Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them. She also was concerned that her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility.

“There is no one here that doesn’t know that I’m not an angel,” Corfman says, referring to her home town of Gadsden.
Corfman described her story consistently in six interviews with The Post. The Post confirmed that her mother attended a hearing at the courthouse in February 1979 through divorce records. Moore’s office was down the hall from the courtroom.

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.

“I have prayed over this,” Corfman says, explaining why she decided to tell her story now. “All I know is that I can’t sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed.”
This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up."

After examining all the information at our disposal it is our sincere belief that the accusations against Roy Moore are credible. We are not saying that Roy Moore is guilty. We honestly do not know. But we have no hesitation in saying that we have serious doubts about this man's innocence. Judge Moore's statement in an interview with Sean Hannity yesterday that he "didn't generally date teenage girls when he was in his 30's". Sounds eerily similar to actor Kevin Spacey's response to Anthony Rapp's accusation of abuse. In which Spacey responding to the charges against him said: "Spacey posted on Twitter that he did not remember the encounter with Rapp. "But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior," Spacey wrote.  The bizarre responses on the part of Judge Moore and his defenders casts even more doubt on Judge Moore's personal integrity. In upcoming post we will be going further in depth with response from Judge Moore's campaign and also we will be hearing from what others have to say on this case. We will leave you with this video of an interview that Roy Moore's attorney Trenton Garmon gave last night to CNN's Don Lemon. After watching this interview we are convinced that either Moore's lawyer is a complete idiot, or he knows his client is up to some funny business and he is trying to tap dance around the issues. Very interesting behavior considering the statue of limitations has run out on these allegations.

Trenton Garmon's pathetic attempt to avoid answering Don Lemon:

UPDATE: Brian Stelter the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" has just tweeted the following statement from Paula Cobia attorney for Gloria Deason one of the women interview for the Washington Post about Judge Moore:

It appears that if the word that the Moore campaign plans to sue the Washington Post over this story is true. That the women interviewed are prepared to hit back hard! Moore just better pray more damaging information doesn't come out about him!

UPDATE: CBS news has just reported that according to an old colleague of Roy Moore's in the Etowah County, Alabama District Attorney's office it was "common knowledge that Roy (Moore) dated high school girls". Click here for the full story.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pray for the Sutherland Springs Victims and Senator Rand Paul

We are going to take a break from our regular blogging for today and ask all of you out there to pray for the families and victims of the Sutherland Springs, Texas. During this very trying time. And also please pray for the health and well-being of Senator Rand Paul who was attacked at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky on Friday. Click here and here for more information on the Sutherland Springs and Senator Paul’s attack.