Thursday, February 27, 2014

Purdue University Makes National News After Discriminating Against Christian Alumni Donor

Purdue University officials created a controversy that is being reported on Fox News today.  According to reports, After Dr. Michael McCracken and his wife made a $12,500 pledge to the university's School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue officials offered the McCrackens the opportunity to name a small conference room.  The trouble began after they were asked to supply language for a plaque that would be installed in the room.

McCracken chose to name the room after his father, Dr. William McCracken, who graduated from Purdue with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and his mother Glenda who recently passed away.

Purdue reportedly rejected the message chosen by the donor because it makes a reference to God.  McCracken was stunned by the snub.

The message he chose was to read, "To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God's physical laws and innovation of practical solutions.  In honor of Dr. William "Ed) and Glenda McCracken."

"Purdue is not a God-free zone," Jeremiah Dys, a Liberty Institute attorney representing the McCrackens, told Fox News.  "Purdue's ban on any reference to God by a private speaker violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

In a letter to the university, McCracken reminded Purdue officials that in 2001, the university defended the rights of a speaker to blaspheme the name of Jesus in a university place.

"Hopefully someone from Purdue University will return my telephone call so we can be enlightened on why it's OK to blaspheme Jesus, but it's not OK to reference God in a way that doesn't blaspheme the Almighty," wrote the Fox News Reporter.

Read the details at this link.

The Lafayette Citizen Journal will be making records requests and will relentlessly pursue this injustice.  It's why we exist.

Hat tip:  Patriot Paul

Why Tippecanoe County Voters Must Reject Laura Zeman (Again)! (Part I)

The political sniping has begun in the Tippecanoe County Superior Court 4 judge race and it's likely not the last nit to be picked from Judge Greg Donat's courtroom.  After all, he's been the judge there for 30 years.
 
Voters would be wise to extend Donat's tenure considering the choice for his replacement is former prosecutor and former judge, Laura Zeman.  She's the former in both for good reason.

Laura Zeman
Seriously, what is it going to take for Zeman to understand that voters aren't interested in having someone who has a history of being rude, arrogant, and incompetent in the courtroom?

Her stint as judge turned into a three-ring circus as Tippecanoe County residents were fed a steady diet of her love for Ricky Martin via the local newspaper.  She even made national news for it.  Having a Ricky Martin kissing poster behind the bench certainly did not present a professional judicial image.  Many Tippecanoe County citizens were embarrassed by her notoriety for it.

But what turned voters off the most was her arrogance.  She was known for belittling defendants in the courtroom.  Once she scolded an indigent and mentally-handicapped man who was sincerely attempting to be respectful to her.  His mistake was when he addressed her as "Laura."  (But can you blame him for thinking she was approachable on a personal level after all the Laura Zeman loves Ricky Martin headlines?)  Zeman gave the man a stern tongue-lashing that no one who was there that day has forgotten.

She was hired as a deputy Tippecanoe County prosecutor after she was thrown out of office by voters, but that didn't last either.  Is anyone going to ask the question as to why she suddenly left that job and is now working part-time for the Clinton County prosecutor?  Is it true she had a falling out with the Tippecanoe County prosecutor?  If so, what was the disagreement about?  Was she fired, or did she quit?  These are all fair questions for voters to be asking.

Her job as a Tippecanoe County prosecutor was to prosecute sex crimes.  That job served to highlight her incompetence as one of her most recent convictions was overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct. 

It was a case involving an alleged child molestation (Michael Gaby vs. State of Indiana).

The defendant accused Zeman of Prosecutorial Misconduct after she told the jury that she was "confident" that they would "come to the same conclusion" that she and the police detectives had come to."  The appellate court agreed.  Laura Zeman personally vouched for the witness' credibility, which is a fundamental error and gross lack of judgment. 

As someone who served as a judge for six years she should have known better and the appeals court sharply admonished her in their ruling.
"It is inappropriate for a prosecutor to make an argument which takes the form of personally vouching for a witness," stated the appellate judges.  They also noted that it violated the Rules of Professional Conduct:  "A lawyer shall not... in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of the accused.."

Zeman also broke the rules by trying to "refresh the memory" of the witness after her answers on the stand were quite different than what she had earlier stated.  The appeals court addressed that as well:

"It is fundamental that a witness' memory can be refreshed only after it has been established that the witness has no memory concerning the facts in question..."[W]here a witness has testified positively and readily so as to indicate that his memory is not obscured, one may not be permitted, in the guise and on the pretext of refreshing the witness' recollection, to make use of a favorable memorandum with an actual view to contradicting the witness or inducing him to change testimony...This is precisely what [Laura Zeman] did in the present case."

Another reason that voters should be wary of electing her to office is because her role as a prosecutor will certainly influence her decisions in favor of the prosecution.  There is a reason that a majority of police officers in the Greater Lafayette community are supporting her.  They like the fact that she will throw the proverbial book at defendants.  No mercy (unless, of course, you're a bully cop)!  We've already seen how some of those cops misbehave.  Click here to refresh your memory.

Laura Zeman is Facebook friends with many local cops.  Would any one of us feel comfortable going before her in a courtroom when the arresting officer is one of her "friends?"    This type of scenario could happen if citizens don't show up en masse to make sure it doesn't become our worst nightmare.

Laura Zeman might be fun to go to a Ricky Martin concert with, but she's much too dangerous to sit on a courtroom bench.


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Jury Nullification: A Constitutional Right to Judge Both the Law and the Facts

Did you know that jurors have the right to judge not only the facts of a case presented to them, but also the law itself?  With more unconstitutional and nonsensical laws being passed each year, citizens are starting to do just that -- rejecting laws and acquitting defendants even though they clearly violated the law.

The principle is so fundamental to our justice system that it's embedded into the Indiana Constitution in Article 1, Sec 19:
 
"In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts."

That means, if a juror believes a law to be unjust, he or she can refuse to convict.

A juror's responsibility goes beyond dispensing justice; it also goes toward protecting fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power, but you'll likely never hear that truth about the right to judge the law as well as the facts from a prosecutor or judge.  In fact, most defendants enter into a plea bargain before it ever gets to a jury trial. 

Can you imagine what would happen if defendants who believe they have been unjustly charged would opt for a jury trial rather than plea bargain their rights away? 

Look what happened recently after a Massachussetts high school teen was charged with a felony for joking with a friend about blowing up the school.  A jury only took 45 minutes to acquit the young man.  These types of stories are popping up throughout America as more and more people are educating themselves about their rights.

Former Tippecanoe County Judge Threatened Citizen With Arrest for Passing Out Juror Handbook to Potential Jurors

Several years ago a Lafayette citizen began passing out a Juror's Handbook to potential jurors at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse.  The trial had not begun and the court was preparing to interview potential jurors.  The citizen began to randomly pass out the booklet as potential jurors passed through the corridors.  It included a copy of the United States Constitution and information about the rights of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts.

The Tippecanoe County judge threatened the citizen with arrest for jury tampering!  That's just how much tyrants hate people power!  They'd rather jurors not know these truths that could literally set people free.

One of the primary purposes of this blog is to educate the people of our community to know their rights and responsibilities.  It is especially important in light of the fact that the Lafayette Police Department has a long history of employing cops who violate the rights of citizens and many times get away with it.

You can find a link to the Fully Informed Jury Association on the right panel of this blog.  Please take a few moments to acquaint yourself with the site.  It may come in handy if you ever become involved with the legal system.  Share it with your friends.  The contributors at the Lafayette Citizen Journal may bring guest speakers to the community to address this very important issue in the future.

Here is an essay written by one of the contributors of this blog.  We hope you'll take a few minutes to read it.  The future impact could be far-reaching.


Jury Nullification and the Importance of the Jury System
By Pat Henry
First, let’s start with a brief description of the jury system and its importance to our system of justice. The sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: ”In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence”.
So, the right in criminal trials to a jury of one’s peers is enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
In theory and practice, with very few exceptions, a jury has these specific characteristics: a jury has 12 members; requires a unanimous verdict; its deliberations are secret and undiscoverable; cannot be overruled; can decide both the law and the facts; represents the general public, peers, from the same geographical area; is fully independent from the judge and prosecution.
It must be noted that the police, prosecutor and judge all represent and are a part of government. They are state actors and agents, paid by the government and with an inherent bias toward guilt and punishment of defendants. They are all professionals with vast experience in the workings of the legal system. The 12 members of a jury are the only people who represent the public; free citizens. Jurors have no inherent vested interests and no bias except to see that justice is served and the defendant’s rights are protected and preserved. Most jurors take these responsibilities very seriously.
The purpose of the jury is to protect the accused defendant from wrongful, harmful, malicious, gratuitous or unfair prosecution; to insure that justice is served; to protect the rights, property, liberty and life of the defendant. To this end, they are empowered to not only determine the facts of the case, such as whether the accused defendant did in fact commit the act or acts proscribed by law, but also, and perhaps most importantly, whether the actual law itself is fair, reasonable and just. 
 
The importance of the jury system cannot be overstated.  
There are several very important protections for the accused defendant built into the jury system, as mentioned above. Having twelve members helps to insure that there are enough of a cross section of the community to more accurately reflect their views. The requirement of a unanimous verdict means that only one person is required to hang a jury and either require a new trial or that charges be dropped.
A uniform and complete consensus is thus required to convict the defendant. Secret deliberations mean that the jurors are free to discuss among themselves the issues at hand, secure in the knowledge that neither the judge nor the prosecution can know what is said, cannot second guess their decision or influence or intimidate the jurors into convicting the defendant.  Nor can the judge punish the jurors for their verdict, although judges have tried and some may have succeeded. A jury’s verdict of not guilty is final and cannot be overturned or appealed. The prohibition against double jeopardy prevents the defendant from being tried again for the same crime.  
If all of the above were not so, then jurors and a jury would not be necessary. A judge could simply rule on a case, in what is called a bench trial.
If a law is unjust and unfair, a jury can choose to find a defendant not guilty. This has the effect of nullifying the law, making that specific law null and void. If enough people on enough juries find enough defendants not guilty, then eventually, the unfair and unjust law is likely to be overturned through either the legislative or judicial process. This is the power that juries and jurors have, and they should use it every time.
In Indiana, we believe in this concept enough that we have included it in our state constitution.   Art. 1, Sec. 19, of Indiana’s Constitution says: ”In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts”.
The concept of jury nullification is older than our republic. It is one of our few protections against government tyranny and abuse of power. But it is under increasing attack today. It remains one of our most important legal protections, and deserves our utmost support. Learn more at www.fija.org.
 

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Called Out By Attorney-Blogger for Illegal Civil Forfeiture Practices

Law Enforcement Agencies Across State Engage in Shakedown of Mexican Restaurants for Cold-Hard Cash

By Paul Ogden
Ogden on Politics

The Indianapolis Star reports:
Officials are looking to hang on to the more than $3.4 million confiscated last fall during raids at dozens of Mexican restaurants in Indianapolis and other locations across the state.

In a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed Friday, the Tippecanoe County prosecutor's office accuses El Rodeo's owners and other parties in the businesses of obtaining the money illegally. Therefore, the suit claims, the defendants should forfeit the money and return it to the criminal justice system.

Police across the state served search warrants Nov. 18 during raids at restaurants and homes. El ­Rodeo establishments in Indianapolis, Avon, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Richmond, Fortville and Mooresville were searched.

Other Mexican-themed restaurants also were raided, including El Jaripeo eateries in Indianapolis, Lebanon, Frankfort and Zionsville; Los Toros restaurants in Indianapolis; and three La Carreta Restaurant & Bars, in Schererville, Vincennes and Merrillville.

The Tippecanoe County lawsuit ­alleges that perjury and forgery ­occurred through falsified tax documents, business formation documents, employment records and tax returns.
Is Pat Harrington breaking the law on civil forfeiture?
The Tippecanoe County allegations seem more than a bit dubious. Alleged perjury and forgery on those types of tax and business documents would not generally be something targeted by prosecutors. However, local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies could well have been incentivized to conduct the raid in order to get their hands on cash for their departments. Under Indiana law, they don't have to pursue criminal charges against these restaurant owners. Instead in a civil case, those owners will have to hire their own attorneys and face a lower standard of proof, all the while facing the possibility of being criminally prosecuted if they don't give in and let the prosecutor and law enforcement agencies keep the money. People for whom English is a second language are even more intimidated by this type of lawsuit.. Many of those who are hit with civil forfeiture just end up walking away from their cash and property rather than try to fight.

Nonetheless, under Indiana law, law enforcement is only entitled to keep civil forfeiture proceeds to cover the cost of the action. The balance is to go to the Common School Fund. My research updated a couple years ago, showed that officials in Tippecanoe, Marion, Hendricks, Madison and Morgan counties, all places where these raids took place, are simply pocketing 100% of the money in contravention of the law. The article does, however, note a raid took place in Richmond, Indiana. In that county, the Wayne County Prosecutor was one of the few prosecutors in the state who made it a point to determine law enforcement costs in civil forfeiture actions in accordance with the law and to cut a check to the Common School Fund for the balance.

About Paul Ogden:  I have been an attorney since the Fall of 1987. I have worked in every branch of government, including a stint as a Deputy Attorney General, a clerk for a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals, and I have worked three sessions at the Indiana State Senate. During my time as a lawyer, I have worked not only in various government positions, but also in private practice as a trial attorney handing an assortment of mostly civil cases. I have also been politically active and run this blog in an effort to add my voice to those calling for reform.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Justice Rush Authors Unanimous Opinion Against DCS Instrusion Into Family's Life Without Just Cause

Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush
Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush, a Lafayette resident and former Tippecanoe County Superior Court 3 judge, authored a unanimous opinion against the Marion County Department of Child Services  recently for intruding into a family's life without proper justification.

The case centered around a mother of five children, including a two-year-old who required hospitalization for cardiomyopathy.  The mother was forced to move from her Gary, Indiana home to Indianapolis where the child was placed on a ventilator at Riley Hospital for Children.

The Department of Child Services initiated a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) proceeding against the mother because she failed to enroll them in school and became "disengaged from her child's hospital care plan" because of her overwhelming responsibilities as a single mother.  She allowed DCS to remove the four siblings from her care to focus on the care of her hospitalized child.

The mother worked diligently to find stable housing and employment and the four children were eventually returned to her care; however, DCS refused to release the sick two-year-old to her custody because she had not met the training requirements to care for the child upon her release.  The hospital would not discharge the child until mother and a second caregiver completed significant medical training. 

The child's grandmother had volunteered to be a second caregiver; however, DCS would not approve of her based on a background check.  The mother scrambled to find a replacement back-up, but had difficulty doing so on short notice.

"Child in need of services (CHINS) cases aim to help families in crisis—to protect children, not punish parents," wrote Justice Rush in the unanimous ruling.   "Our focus, then, is on the best interests of the child and whether the child needs help that the parent will not be willing or able to provide—not whether the parent is somehow “guilty” or “deserves” a CHINS adjudication."

Justice Rush also chided DCS for creating the issues that prevented mother's reunification with her sick child.

"Mother's most significant failure--to complete the home-care simulation--appears as much a product of DCS's intervention as it is a sign for her need for that intervention," wrote Rush, who also pointed out that DCS's disapproval of the grandmother required the mother to "go back to the drawing board" to recruit someone else.

The ruling stated that the children may have needed the state to step in at first, but by the time there was a hearing on the case, the family no longer needed services.  The mother had refused public assistance and had instead relied on help from family members. 

The mother also refused to apply for a job at the post office after the state had set up an interview.  In addition, the mother found her own employment and said she did not wish to pursue that type of work, which apparently upset DCS case workers.

"DCS's desire to help the family was understandable, but the facts simply do not justify subjecting the family to State compulsion," wrote Rush.  "When ...coercion is not necessary, the State may not intude into a family's life."

Rush admonished DCS for  it's unnecessary intervention into this family's life and blamed the state for delaying the child's return to her parent's custody.

Justice Rush wrote that the mother "had difficulty meeting the demands of a situation that would test the mettle of any parent," but she might have been able to overcome those obstacles if the state had not intervened.  Rush went on to say that DCS added to the delay in the child's return from the hospital.

Judge Rush Receives Praise From Supreme Court Colleagues

Aside from the fact that Justice Loretta Rush is a crown jewel from Lafayette, she is more than qualified to write this ruling as she presided over CHINS cases in Tippecanoe County Superior Court 3 for over 14 years.

Rush was recently featured in the Purdue Exponent in an article entitled, "Purdue Women Feature: Loretta Rush worked her way up from Purdue to Indiana Supreme Court Justice," wherein she received accolades from colleages, including Senior Justice Brent Dickson, another shining star from Lafayette.
 
“She is an immensely hard worker, extraordinarily well-prepared, an excellent opinion writer, and contributes (to the court) with wisdom, grace and a good sense of humor,” Dickson wrote in an email.

Another Indiana Supreme Court justice and former juvenile trial court judge, Steve David, agreed with Dickson and spoke very highly of Rush.
“Passion is her personality, she takes what she does, and always has, very seriously,” David said.
The contributors at the Lafayette Citizen Journal believe the accolades are well-deserved. 

 
Photo:  Justice Brent Dickson administers the oath of office to Justice Loretta Rush.

Editor's Note:  Don't forget to check us out on Facebook where you'll get interesting tidbits that you won't find on the LCJ blog.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ron Alting's Flip-Flop Voting Pattern Disturbing


An Open Letter to Ronnie Alting A.K.A. Flip-Flop Alting

By Pat Henry

Dear Ron,

Your vote against HJR-3 recently was very disappointing, unfortunate and astonishing. By that vote, you disenfranchised every voting citizen in the state of Indiana. No matter what your personal opinion on this issue, it should have been decided by Indiana voters, not self-serving politicians in Indianapolis. 

What are you afraid of? If it is such a bad idea to enshrine in our state constitution what is already established state law and has always been true in every society throughout human history, won’t the voters confirm this and reject the proposed amendment? Don’t you trust your current constituents and the voters of Indiana? Or would you rather have different constituents? Apparently you do trust them enough to vote to re-elect you. 

You voted for this constitutional amendment before, in 2011 and earlier. What has changed since then? Were you wrong then, or now? Why? Did you then, or do you now, have basic, foundational beliefs and principles that guide your actions and votes? If so, what are they? If you do, you certainly keep them well hidden. The word “Flip Flop” comes to mind as the best way to describe your votes and apparent beliefs. “Malleable” might be another term. 

You stated that you “wished this issue would go away”. It won’t. Well, Mr. Alting, state senators are expected to encounter, deal with and decide difficult issues. If you are not prepared to do this or would prefer not to, perhaps you should step aside and let someone else who is do this important work. 

In the end, we shouldn’t be surprised. You performed a very similar bait and switch operation when you were on the Lafayette City Council. In 1996, you changed your vote (also known as a flip flop) on the issue of adding similar behaviors to the city’s human relations ordinance. I guess we should have known then the level of your commitment to principles and your constituents.

You have claimed that this pattern of flip-flopping changing of votes is “courageous”.  Others might call it “cowardly”, taking the path of least resistance, taking the easy way out, not wanting to hurt your perceived chances of getting re-elected, or seeing which way the political wind is blowing at any given point in time. Not only can we not consistently rely on you to do the same thing and vote the same way, but we can much more certainly rely on you to take the “easy” way out, the path of least resistance and what you think will please the media and the left (mostly one and the same). But most certainly, you will reliably take the action and vote the way that serves you the best, not us, and is in your best interest, not ours. That is one thing that does appear to be consistent. 

That, Mr. Alting, is part of what gives politics and politicians a bad name, and what makes people dislike politics and politicians so much.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Civil Rights Case Against Lafayette Cops Transferred to Federal Court With New Allegations of Civil Rights Violations

Officer Charlie Williams
The shocking details, including the names of additional LPD officers, are beginning to emerge in the matter involving LPD Officer Charlie Williams and his alleged threats to kill Timothy Vander Plaats, a private citizen who had accepted an innocent hug from a female friend at a Lafayette restaurant. That innocent hug between the plaintiff and the woman turned into an unbelievable twilight zone experience for Vander Plaats that nearly cost him his life.

A lawsuit that was previously filed in Tippecanoe County was recently amended and transferred to federal court as a civil rights action.

According to court records, the woman at the center of the controversy happened to be the girlfriend of LPD Officer Michael Barthelemy. Officer Barthelemy was added as a defendant in the amended lawsuit in addition to Williams and the LPD.

Vander Plaats is claiming that his civil rights were violated when he was bullied, threatened with death, and then beaten unconscious on the night of January 31, 2012.

"Defendants Barthelemy and Williams's conduct toward Plaintiff has been outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and is intolerable in a civilized community," read a portion of the amended complaint.

In addition, it was alleged that multiple calls were made to 911 after Vander Plaats was severely beaten and that those pleas for help were initially ignored, which raises new questions as to whether the dispatcher was involved in "delaying efforts to obtain emergency medical care" for Vander Plaats.

The lawsuit alleges the following:
"A neighbor of Mr. Vander Plaats named Rachel Cisler was coming home from a late class at Purdue University and saw somebody laying down screaming in the area where Mr. Vander Plaats was assaulted.  She did not approach the individual because it was dark, but she went into her apartment and called police or 911.  However, no one responded to her call."
"Although injured, Mr. Vander Plaats regained consciousness and was able to make it to the steps of his apartment inside a secured door.  He attempted to call 911 multiple times.  However, when the calls connected, they were dropped." 
"Mr. Vander Plaats' girlfriend, Ms. Clark, was returning from the grocery store and observed Mr. Vander Plaats injuries.  Ms. Clark called 911 and was able to connect.  Someone directed her to stay there and an officer would be there soon.  However, nobody responded."
It is beyond our comprehension that these officers are still working at the LPD. It is also beyond our comprehension that they have not been criminally charged. A special prosecutor was initially appointed to investigate and reportedly determined that no crime was committed; however, that was before all the sordid details surfaced.  It's past time for action, Mr. Prosecutor!

Concerned citizens will be relentless in their efforts to keep this story in the public spotlight. We have many questions, and we will not rest until we have all the answers.

Tim Vander Plaats
Mr. Vander Plaats is a law abiding businessman and upstanding member of this community and comes from a prominent business family.  If something like this can happen to him, it could happen to any one of us.  No one will be safe until these officers are off the streets.  They are a menace and a danger to society. 

Prosecutor Pat Harrington, it is your duty, sir, to prosecute these alleged crimes. Stop passing the buck. New information has come to light, and we call on you to act swiftly.

Why are these officers still wearing badges? They are bullies. They have lost the public's trust. It is a joke they are still arresting people when they should be behind bars themselves.

Who was the dispatcher who ignored the calls of a severely injured citizen?

We have to wonder if this is why one of Lafayette's finest police chiefs resigned. Former Chief Don Roush had made an earlier recommendation to fire Officer Williams, but it was ignored.

Taxpayers will continue to pay a huge price until this is dealt with appropriately rather than sweeping all this nefarious activity under the proverbial rug.

We aren't going away. You can count on it. This rises to the same level of corruption from back in the days of Lewis T. Wireman.

Where is the media? Where is the accountability?

As long as these officers are on the streets of Lafayette, we highly recommend that citizens carry a video camera at all times.

Here it is in black and white. Click on to enlarge and read the actual lawsuit and let the outrage begin.













Photo:  Tim Vander Plaats

Friday, February 14, 2014

Randy Truitt, Traitor to Everyone

An Open Letter to Indiana State Representative, Randy Truitt


Dear Randy,

Randy Truitt, a traitor?
Congratulations!  You have very publicly alienated just about everyone by being on not just both sides of one of the most important issues of our time and certainly this legislative session.  You have invented new sides of this issue!  Credit to you for being creative.

You say that you support one man and one woman marriage yet you voted exactly the opposite in both of your votes.  Actually, it is diabolically clever to vote the way you did, and I believe you are the only state representative who voted that way, Republican or Democrat.

You initiated and voted FOR the amendment/resolution to remove the second sentence from the bill, thus insuring that the citizens/voters in the state of Indiana would not be able to vote on this in November of this year.  Your vote guaranteed that result.

If you had voted AGAINST the change, as the Democrats did, then the bill could have come up again later in the session.  Again, your vote prevented that.  But the real "tell" was your vote on the amended version of the bill, releasing it to the Senate.  You voted NO!  On your own bill!  On the bill that you insisted on amending your way, and the bill that was written to accommodate you and include your own amendment!  Your vote against the whole bill, if you had been able to convince enough other representatives, would have killed it for yet another additional legislative session.

So, your combination of votes on these two bills (remember, not even any Democrats voted the way you did!) was exactly and only the exactly combination of votes that would be the most damaging and destructive to the cause of one-man-one-woman marriage in the state of Indiana.

Although I don't live in your district, your vote matters and affects me directly, as it does every voter in the state of Indiana.  You voted to specifically and expressly deny MY opportunity to vote on this very important issue.  And that's what this was about: providing the opportunity for the voters of Indiana to be able to decide for ourselves whether to continue the current situation as it has existed since the state of Indiana was established.

So, Randy Truitt, you may say that you support marriage as it has been known, understood, and accepted by all societies throughout all of recorded history, but a person and a legislator and their position is known by their actions, not their words.  And your actions tell us everything we need to know.

It sounds to me like you are more concerned with being elected than doing the right thing, the very thing you say you believe.  You can't stand up to the pressure.  What a shame!  How can anyone trust anything you would say in the future?

Disappointingly,

Pat Henry

Saturday, February 8, 2014

After Years of Being MIA Former Senator Richard Lugar Wants to Tell Indiana Republicans Who to Vote for in State Treasurer Convention Contest

By Paul Ogden
As a guest for The Lafayette Citizen
Originally posted at Ogden on Politics


During the primary contest between Senator Richard Lugar and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, I met with a formerly-high ranking Republican state official.  He had been for years a supporter of Lugar.  No longer.  He voiced a complaint I had heard for years from Indiana Republicans about Senator Richard Lugar.  Lugar refused to endorse other Republican candidates.  He refused to help them or the state party raise money.  He refused to even let his name appear on signs jointly with other Republican candidates.  But it just wasn't individual candidates. The state official said he hadn't been back to a state GOP Lincoln Day dinner for decades.

Former Senator Richard Lugar
A former Republican candidate for prosecutor told me the story of meeting Lugar and having his picture taken with him.  A few days later he received a letter from Lugar's office saying that the candidate was prohibited from using the photograph in political materials.  Not sure the legal authority the Lugar people had to issue such a proclamation, but they weren't above threatening Republican candidates.

In a meeting with another Republican official, I heard the story of GOP state party officials meeting with Lugar at a hotel and being shocked to find that was where Lugar was living on the rare occasions he would come back to Indianapolis.Then of course it came out that Lugar was, illegally, using a home he had sold approximately 25 years earlier as his residence for voting.

Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold
The story of the 2012 primary is that the tea party wing of the GOP tossed out a statesman who had served Indiana with dignity.  What it should be instead is the story of a Senator who became arrogant and out-of-touch with Hoosiers, a politician whose hubris caused him to shoot himself, repeatedly, in the foot. If Senator Lugar had taken any steps to remain in contact with the state and to even lend modest assistance to the Indiana Republican Party and its candidates, he would never have been beaten by Mourdock. In fact, Mourdock probably would never have ran.

In light of Lugar's history, I find it the height of chutzpah that Lugar announced this morning he is endorsing Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold for State Treasurer.  Now, after all these years, Lugar has finally decided to help out a Republican candidate, this time by telling Republican convention-goers they should support a Republican insider over two other Republicans for State Treasurer.  Republicans should tell the good Senator thanks but no thanks.


About the Author:
I have been an attorney since the Fall of 1987. I have worked in every branch of government, including a stint as a Deputy Attorney General, a clerk for a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals, and I have worked three sessions at the Indiana State Senate. During my time as a lawyer, I have worked not only in various government positions, but also in private practice as a trial attorney handing an assortment of mostly civil cases. I have also been politically active and run this blog in an effort to add my voice to those calling for reform.