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What I’m Watching This Week

There are lots of items to be on the lookout for this week.  Here are a few of the more interesting ones.

Expect new legislative maps to be unveiled, possibly as early as later this morning.  Both the Indiana House and Senate have put their maps together based on new census data.  Expect a new district or two in the Carmel-Fishers area which has grown like crazy, while consolidation in the Gary area due to population loss.  Frankly, I’ll be checking to see if two Democratic lawmakers from the South Bend area who reportedly live within three miles of each other end up having to run against each other in a primary next year.

Don’t be surprised if there are some major changes done to Republican State Senator Mike Delph’s illegal immigration bill.   A number of lawmakers have privately expressed concerns about a number of the provisions.  Delph has responded by softening it a bit.  Frankly, I think Indiana should go the Utah route and have tough provisions for illegal aliens who commit felonies, but also create a state worker permit program for those who are here and staying out of trouble and doing the work I have no intention of doing.

This will also be a big week for campaign finance disclosure reports.   The two races I’m keeping the closet eye on are the races for the U.S. Senate and Indianapolis Mayor.   Incumbent Dick Lugar has reportedly been a fundraising machine and challenger Richard Mourdock is expected to have a decent showing out of the gate and has been picking up some support from national tea partyesque groups.  In  the race for Mayor, it will be interesting to see which candidate gets closest to the $2 million mark.   Remember, it was a couple weeks ago Melina Kennedy reportedly told her fellow Democrats in a private meeting that the fundraising was going well.

And expect some interesting news to break regarding Marion County Judge Louis Rosenberg’s decision to order the Indiana Recount Commission to rehear the Democratic challenge to Charlie White’s eligibility to be Secretary of State.   I’ve picked up some  information bout some other things that went into the judge’s decision making process that should prove to be quite entertaining.  Definitely stay tuned for that one.

An local attorney Paul Ogden is looking for a few good school districts to sue the state of Indiana.  After having his claim dismissed in Marion County Court over the state asset forfeiture law, Ogden sent out a letter to the Indiana School Board Association asking if any school boards wanted to file suit to get money he believes should go to the Common School Fund and not to law enforcement.  We should know by the end of the week if anyone wants to take him up on his offer.  I have to give Paul credit, at least this time he’s using someone who potentially has a real dog in the fight and not his law partner as a plaintiff.

There are a few other things on the radar screen for now, but that’s all for now.

  • Think Again

    Maps: the elephant ink the room since January. Errr, November.

    Delph’s bill is not popular among his caucus members, in each house. He’s too strident, and a Utah-like solution would be perfect for common-sense Hoosiers. Using his logic, I wonder when the Indiana Senate is going to declare war on Libya.

    I’m ready for some legislative shuffling on each side of the aisle. I’m ready for term limits, too.

  • cynical sam

    Far out. Now we can all pretend that any of this will have any bearing on our lives at all and throw our few remaining FRNs at more empty suits. Extend and Pretend the Hoosier way. Just sad.

  • Nick

    Would love to see Delphs bill turned into a legal immigrant welcome bill that comprehensively integrates new immigrants into our community with English language training, basic immunizations, and local civics education.

    It should clearly state support for Federal immigration reform while stripping it of all the Delphs additional local burdens and over reaching into Federal policy.

  • Abdul

    My colleague Brian Howey tells me that Dick Lugar raised nearly $1 million in the first quarter and will have more than $3 million in cash on hand. 88% of the donations came from inside Indiana.

  • guest

    Why not try reporting on his track record of getting his pork ‘investments’ to several companies across the state, compared to any links of political contributions. A lot of financial ‘thank-you’. Look for heavy agricultural and farm bureau stuff. It’s there. No wonder he voted in favor of keeping earmarks!

  • Think Again

    Guest: in these parts, that sells. Subsidies=earmarks? I’m not sure that message gets much traction, but it’s worthy of discussion, because subsidies are legion in this state.

    And I’m betting that Mourdock can’t claim a high ratio of Hoosier funds in his totals. Upstart candidates have a difficult time doing that. They’ve got to take money from folks who agree–in this case, Sen. DeMint and his crazies.

  • Pogden297

    There’s a reason why the civil forfeiture lawsuit was filed with a member of the firm as the Plaintiff. A Qui tam, i.e. taxpayer lawsuit, provides that the plaintiff receive 30% of the money as a reward for coming up with the idea. Since I came up with the idea, I couldn’t very well be plaintiff and the attorney. So we used an associate as the plaintiff taxpayer. In that lawsuit we were pointing out that the prosecutors weren’t following the law and cutting checks to the common school fund in excess of law enforcement costs…they were simply pocketing all the money and had been doing so for years.

    Now we’ll probably be taking a different course either via amendment to the complaint or filing a new action. We will ask that the entire civil forfeiture law thrown out as unconstitutional as suggested by the judge. Thus it become an injunction class action law suit instead of a qui tam. Thus standing becomes an issue and we probably do need to name a school district as plaintiff.

  • pascal

    If one looks at politics as a vast marketplace then there are special interests in Washington, D.C. who would not wish to see Senator Lugar as the Ranking Republican in the coming Republican Senate. Some special interests just love higher food prices for consumers and would not wish to see Lugar’s institutional memory, say on reformation of Agriculture, ending their outlandish subsidies for which they had paid good American coin. The Military Industrial complex, they of unending corporate profits coming from endless warmaking don’t wish to see a Senator Lugar explaining the facts of Foreign Policy to new Republican Senators who will be seeking a return to Normalcy.
    I’m saying nothing against Mr. Mourdock. But, I’d wager that some of his financial supporters are not our friends nor are they particularily in favor of Mr. Mourdock. They likely see him as a lesser evil to their corporate bottom lines. Pulling wool over his eyes is possible while fooling Lugar isn’t.
    Ever notice how older people just say things? Mr. Lugar isn’t one for bothing you with a constant campaign or need for personal recognition 24/7. I don’t see a lot of political bs out of him. Indiana will do better with his seniority and steadiness even if he is a Republican.

  • Ash

    I’m not sure how far down the rabbit hole you’re wanting to chase this, but I hope you realize this is one in a chain of improprieties in regard to where ‘common funds’ and ‘general funds’ are spent in relation to where they are SUPPOSED to be spent.

    My hat’s off to you, though, good sir.

  • Indianadobie

    I strongly disagree with the idea of doing anything to make Indiana or any other state more welcoming for *illegal* immigrants. What part of illegal is so hard for people to understand? If you want to talk about reforming the country’s legal immigration process – now you have my attention and my support. But any changes need to start with people being back in their home countries where they belong until they are legally allowed in this country. As for the states triyng to “take over” the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration law – all the states are doing is enforcing the laws of the land. And if the feds would actually do their job, states wouldn’t have to get involved.

  • Nick

    Here is the “dirty secret” of the immigration discussion.

    Few people really care to mentally distinguish between word “legal” or “illegal” when they are talking about immigration. These words are completely lost after the first sentence one utters on this subject…. if at all.

    The uninformed public’s instinct is to believe the xenophobic fear mongers like state representative Mike Delph that spin tales of “foreigners” getting free rides on the back of U.S. taxpayers while bringing us only disease and crime. They concoct conspiracies that tie every problem our nation faces to these faceless foreigners and their evil plans against us. Certainly it must be true they infer, since they look, think and speak funny.

    Yet informed leadership know we live in a world that is more interconnected and interdependent than anytime in history.

    They know adding 50+ individual state policies on immigration is a stupid idea and that this immigration policy clearly is a federal issue.

    They know that isolationism and protectionism policies of the past were failures and that no good can come from the xenophobia and racial superiority nut jobs that come with it.

    They know that by being globally engaged will make us more innovative, competitive, and wealthier by attracting the best and brightest in the world with a unique opportunity to succeed or fail based upon merit not bureaucratic policies or caste systems.

    They know that putting out the “No Vacancy” and “Dont Trespass” signs will not help us reach any type of success.

  • james

    So you want to claim 30% of the tax payers money because it went in one public fund instead of another public fund? Makes sense to me!

  • Indianadobie

    You are wrong. I am completely against illegal immigration and will vote against any politician of any party that tries to legalize people that have broken our laws by entering this country illegally. But I am certainly not against immigration. My mother is a naturalized citizen of this country – but she entered legally. And I am sick and tired of people who try to imply that those of us that actually believe in the rule of law are somehow racist to do so. It’s sure easier to race bait than it is to explain why it’s okay to break this country’s laws, isn’t it?

    Illegal immigrants are a drain on our economy as a whole. Don’t believe me? Look at local school budgets and how much is being spent to teach children English as a second language. Look at how much is being spent to incarcerate illegal immigrants. Look at how much is being spent on welfare, food stamps, and housing on illegal immigrants that have had a child here in the United States.

    We are not looking to have 50 different state policies on immigration. What is so threatening about having state and local officers enforcing *federal* immigration law? It is the federal government that has the ability to say someone is in this country legally or not – not is trying to take over that determination. No one seems to mind when state and local officers arrest a criminal that has kidnapped a child and taken her over a state line – but that is a federal crime.

    Almost every country in the world, including Mexico, feels it has the right to control its own borders. Every country has the right to say who can enter and who cannot. Why should he US be different?

    I agree that we need to be globally engaged. I have no problem with letting best and the brightest come here if they wish to. That is what a legal immigration policy is all about. Or are you forgetting that there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration?

    There are currently millions of illegal immigrants in this country. How have they helped us be successful?

  • Gmoore9643

    i’m always amazed at the comment, that they will do the work i or we won’t do. we have extremely high unemployment and i for one believe that americans would be happy to have those jobs,

  • Taxpayer 834512

    I get that millions of people that have entered this country to better the lives of themselves and their families.

    I get that the excesses of both our political parties are what in-part lured these people, as we sought cheaper labor and complying voters.

    I get not trying to go deport millions of illegal immigrants from our country due to our luring and lack of enforcement of existent law.

    I get we need immigration and guest worker programs that are functional.

    I get temporary, limited help with food, clothing, and shelter for non-citizens in our country.

    I don’t get the lack of economic distinction between citizen and non-citizen.

    In everyday life we have a barter we have to make in order to do some things, like pay memberships to join the YMCA or the Columbia Club. Not everybody is a member of the YMCA and Columbia Club. In a free enterprise capitalism, that is an economic fact we have accepted.

    If you believe in no difference between citizens and non-citizens, then explain to me how that works economically?

    It’s not that I don’t want this beautiful theoretical world with redistributed assets for all who need them, it’s that all of us are not created equally- including our productivity. The United States and other countries traditionally have borders to not just keep bad guys out, but to keep a given economic system “in”. There’s a reason you don’t open your front door for all to dine at your table at night.

    When we evolve and wake-up one morning, bascially identical and with identical productivity, then I’m with you on everybody gets everything. Until then, please explain to me how our previous period of affluence would be possible if there weren’t always people who have more than you or I do, making it possible to employ others and better their lives in doing so?

  • Nick

    Want to know why most people ignore the terms “illegal” or “legal” before immigration?

    Because how much sense does it make to pass another law for someone who is already not abiding by the existing laws!

    If you want to enforce current law, join the INS, become a police chief, get elected prosecutor.

    If you want to change the current immigration rules, become a federal representative, party leader, or President of the United States.

    If you want to grandstand on a issue that you have no actual authority to change or responsibility to enforce then change your name to Mike Delph.

  • Nick

    Unemployment is not a immigration problem.

    It’s a problem associated with the actions of our own business and political leaders.

    The politicians just find it convenient to blame someone else for the problems they created themselves…..and the general public fall for it.

  • http://everything-neon.com Donna

    I’m starting to realize that every week the situation is worse, and I as a citizen don’t have enough power to change anything, i am avoiding the tv as much as i can, for my own peace of mind

  • Indianadobie

    Given that logic we should do away with all laws because criminals won’t obey them anyway.

    And I don’t have to join INS or become president to help foster change in what is our current immigration policy. I can speak out for my beliefs, encourage others to do, and I can vote for people like Mike Delph.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    No disagreement on existent law protecting the border. Why don’t we do it? Why do I need to run for police chief when we’ve got the manpower to better secure our country already? If we abandon some or all of our attempts to stabilize a historically tribal Middle East, maybe we can do the former no-brainer of securing where we live.

    I don’t consider it grandstanding to believe in limits in the support of non-citizens when the benefits of conventional citizens are under fire. Again, a temporary, limited helping hand for non-citizens is civilized. Benefits the same size and duration as citizenry?- you might as well abandon the borders.

  • Indianadobie

    I do not believe there is any such thing as a job an American will not do. I do believe that there are wages we won’t do them for. Take plumbing and garbage collection – both physically demanding and downright disgusting jobs at times, but there are plenty of people willing to do them because they pay well.