Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A new blog in Fort Wayne

Charles Langley has started a new Fort Wayne blog. Charles Langley is the Democratic candidate for City Council, 4th District.

Check it out:
<http://www.fwadfontes.blogspot.com/>

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Governmental Accounting makes Enron look "clean"

Please read this piece from USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070529/1a_lede29.art.htm

The US Government is doing its level best to convince Americans that everything with the US economy is fine. This is a bald faced lie and this lie is being told by both Democrats and Republicans with disturbing regularity.

The truth of the matter is that our economy is on an unsustainable course and our politicians do not care, as long as they are re-elected.

Our Government has made numerous promises that it cannot keep.

The Government has to be put on a "diet" and we need to immediately cut Governmental spending.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, May 28, 2007

Journal Gazette reports that FW spent $1,643.28 per resident

Some of you are going to read this article and then say "If Bloomington spent $7,478.53 per resident, why can't we?" Others will point out that Marion only spent $1,115.74. Of Indiana's 2nd class cities, Fort Wayne ranks on the lower end of the per capita spending spectrum.

But it isn't how much that's the problem, it's what its spent on. Very few people would argue against increased police spending in response to a spike in violent crime. On the other hand, spending money to attract young people to Fort Wayne when the average age in this city is 2 years less than that of Indiana or the US as a whole is an example of trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. It is best to conserve city resourses during good economic times so that they are available during recessions. While people are disatisfied with the way things are going now, our local economy has grown. There is no way of knowing how long that will last. This is why it is important to oppose frivilous projects, even when the city can afford them.

In 2009 Fort Wayne will get $40 million when the Community Trust matures. Remember when Indiana had a budget surplus, the money was wasted in the Build Indiana Fund, and the sales tax was raised shortly after? I have this bad feeling that the next City Council will find a huge project to blow this money on, and then after the money is all gone the city will still have to pay for upkeep and maintanence costs. Part of the money should be used for property tax relief, and the rest should go into a rainy day fund.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Campaign Finance Laws and Steve Shine's comments

I listened to Steve Shine's comments on WOWO and they were quite interesting.

I think the most interesting thing he said was that he had consulted with two Campaign Finance Law experts concerning the manner in which the Kelty Campaign reported the loans to his campaign. Steve Shine said that one expert thought that the method used by The Kelty Campaign was perfectly acceptable; while the other expert said that it was wrong.

Realize that Campaign Finance Laws should be established so that they can be easily understood by candidates for all public offices. Many of the people who run for office are not attorney's, CPA's and the like.

My wife and I are both CPA's. I just became a CPA while Karena has been a CPA for a long time. She certianly knows more about accounting then I do; however, I know more about politics and Campaign Finance. Both Karena and I held the position of Treasurer last year for campaigns in Allen County.

I would argue that Karena and I know at least as much as the average Campaign Treasurer in Allen County and I imagine the readers of this blog would agree with that statement.

She and I agree that we would have sent a written letter to The Allen County Election Board and asked them how to report the loans. Assuming that we got a vague response that referred us to Indiana code (Which I am relatively sure is what the Allen County Election Board would do) Karena and I would then have reported it differently. We currently have differing opinions on how the loans should be reported!

I think that tells you everything anyone needs to know...

If Steve Shine consults two different Election Law experts and gets two completely different answers that tells you that the law has different interpretations.

I think you will find that those people who support Matt Kelty will think he did nothing wrong while those who oppose Matt Kelty will think he violated the law.

When I go back and read the comments on this blog that is exactly what all of the comments show except for Scott. Scott feels differently because he rightly despises Camapign Finance Laws.

Mike Sylvester

Friday, May 25, 2007

Another misconception about loans and campaign finance laws

On a couple of left leaning blogs around Indiana there is some inaccurate information about the income tax consequences of loan repayments. I am going to clear them up here just like I did on WOWO earlier today.

One of the blogs, Taking Down Words, is a Democratic Blog in Indianapolis. Her post on personal loans and the potential IRS consequences for 2006 is misleading and inaccurate:

<http://www.takingdownwords.com/taking_down_words/2007/05/paging_the_irs_.html>

TDW asks the question: Anyone want to bet on whether Kelty reported the extra personal income on his 2006 tax return?

I used to read Taking Down Words; however, I stopped a few months ago because she reminds me of Sean Hannity; except she is a Democrat. I cannot abide people who feel that their Party is always right and that other Parties are evil.

Here are the basic rules concerning the tax consequences of loans:

1. A loan is not considered income since you will be paying back. It is considered a liability.
2. When you repay the principal portion of a loan this does not have income tax consequences for the person you are repaying.

This is best explained with an example. Lets say that I loan TDW $10,000 on Dec 31st 2006 so that she can take some accounting and legal courses to prevent her from posting inaccurate claims on her blog. Lets say she signs a promissory note promising to pay me back $1000 per month plus $100 in interest for the next ten months. Payments will start in January of 2007.

TDW will have no tax consequences in 2006, it will not be reported on her personal tax return in any way. She has not received personal income, she has taken out a loan that she is responsible to pay back.

Lets assume she makes all ten payments to me in a timely fashion...

TDW will have no tax consequences in 2007; however, at the end of the 10th month she no longer will owe me any money. That liability will have been paid off.

I will have tax consequences in 2007. She is paying me ten $100 interest payments in 2007. So I will report $1000 of interest income on my tax return in 2007. The $10,000 in principal payments I received are not taxable; they are a return of principal.

It is that simple.

Mike Sylvester

Answer to a comment from previous post

A commenter left the following on my last post:

Mike, why are accounting rules relevant? This is a matter of campaign finance laws, period. Whether or not, Matt got his debits and credits right is simply not relevant at all.
Sam

I think this is an interesting comment and that it warrants a response:

Accounting rules are highly relevant as far as the reporting of loans and how this is handled from an accounting standpoint. Let me give you a real world example of how this is handled:

Names and amount listed below are purely hypothetical...

Lets say I have a client named Bob who is starting a used car business. He starts up a small subchapter S corporation. He is a young man who just got out of the army. He does not have very much credit. His father decides to help him get a loan to start the car lot. Lets say Bob's father loans Bob personally $100,000 to start his business. Lets say Bob takes this $100,000 and loans it to his subchaper S corporation. Lets say Bob personally signs a promissory note to repay his father the full principal amount borrowed plus $500 per month in interest payments. Lets say the loan occurs on December 31st 2006.

When I do Bob's tax return for his subchapter S corporation (For 2006) I MUST list the loan on his balance sheet. I will list a loan of $100,000. All I care about (And all the IRS cares about in this case) is the fact that Bob's subchapter S corporation has a debt of $100,000. We do not care who the debt is owed to or how it is secured from a tax standpoint.

It is irrelevant from a tax standpoint and from an accounting standpoint.

Assets = Liabilities + Equity. From an accounting standpoint I do not care who he owes the loan to, what I care about is that the loan is recorded at its proper amount and that any interest payments are recorded properly.

What I am saying is that from an accounting standpoint it does not matter where the loan comes from.

I am talking about accounting not Campaign Finance Reporting.

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Matt Kelty Campaign Loans, second thoughts

I did not have a lot of time to research this earlier today as I was working. This evening we went to a music program that my son Graydon was involved in.

After I got home I decided to read through the Campaign Finance Laws.

I am still 100% positive that what The Kelty Campaign did was legal per accounting rules. There is no doubt in my mind about that; it is fairly common among corporations. I have discussed this with a couple of other CPA's and we are all in agreement that it is 100% legal from an accounting perspective.

I am becoming more skeptical about it from a Campaign Finance perspective. I do not like our campaign finance laws at all. They are a joke; however, after giving it some more thought I am pretty sure now that I would have reported those loans as coming from three other individuals rather then from Matt Kelty. From a Campaign Finance perspective I think that is the right thing to do.

One of the supposed goals of Campaign Finance laws is to make it clear where the money that flows into a campaign comes from.

I now think that the Kelty Campaign did make a mistake. I think that our Campaign Finance Laws should be written so that an average person can run for office and be able to comply with the rules. It sickens me that campaigns often have to consult with attorney's about these matters...

I think the next meeting of the Allen County Election Board will be very interesting. I think that Allen County has a very strong Election Board and I think that they will be capable of sorting through this and coming up with the correct decision.

While I currently think that The Kelty Campaign did most likely make a mistake in their filings; I do not think that the mistake could ever be construed as a felony. In fact, anyone who thinks that it is a felony would have to PROVE that the mistake was made on purpose.

I think that The Kelty Campaign did the right thing by amending their reports.

Mike Sylvester

Matt Kelty Campaign Loans

Below is a link to a pdf file Fort Wayne Observed posted earlier today:

<http://indiana.typepad.com/fwob/files/kelty_addendum_may_24_2007.pdf>

There are already a couple of posts concerning this topic already, please read them as well:

Fort Wayne Left
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/05/election-board-to-rule-on-legality-of.html>

Fort Wayne Left
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/05/matt-kelty-clearly-violated-campaign.html>

Fort Wayne News
<http://www.angrywhiteboy.org/index.php/2007/05/24/how-i-bought-my-first-house/>

I am an accountant I am not an attorney.

Our campaign finance laws are pathetic and are a barrier to a free political process. You should not have to consult with an attorney to determine if your campaign finance reports are correct; however, I have heard of several instances where just that has been done.

I can tell you this much for sure, from an accounting standpoint there is nothing wrong with what Matt Kelty did, it is done by corporations on a regular basis. For example, I have a number of clients who have loans of this nature and I always list them as personal loans on their Federal Tax Returns. This is 100% legal from an accounting standpoint. From a tax standpoint I do not care where the money came from, I care who has the liability to repay the loan! This is Accounting 101.

The only way anyone could possibly consider this illegal is if it is in fact illegal from a Campaign Finance Reporting standpoint. Jeff Pruitt has cited the portions of the Campaign Finance Manual that he feels are pertinent in the above posts I referenced.

(The below sentence was edited by Mike Sylvester at 6:08 PM.)
I do not think The Matt Kelty Campaign violated the actual law; however, they did possibly violate the spirit of the law. They should have erred on the side of caution and listed the loans as being from the three individuals and sevured by Matt.

I think that if I were the Treasurer for the Matt Kelty Campaign that I would have contacted the Allen County Election Board and requested they give me an opinion on how they should be reported in writing. My guess is that the Election Board would have "dodged" the question and referred me to Campaign Finance Law.

I think I would have listed the loans as being from the three individuals in questions rather then from Matt Kelty; however, I am not 100% sure how I would have handled it. Hindsight is 20/20.

Mike Sylvester


Mayor's office continues to hide public information

I filed seven records requests with the City of Fort Wayne to force them to reveal to me public information concerning Harrison Square. They refused to provide me any information other then what is currently on their website. The info on the website is vague and shows totals only...

I specifically requested all of the information Acquest provided to the City in response to the RFP. This would include the projected hotel occupancy rate, etc...

The City claimed the following exemption:

"IC 5-14-3-4 provides that certain documents may not be disclosed by a public agency, including records containing trade secrets [IC 5-14-3-4(a)(4)] and confidential information obtained, upon request, from a person [IC 5-14-3-4(a)(5). Acquest confirmed by letter dated March 2, 2007, that it considers the financial information and narrative description of models identified in the letter to be proprietary information. A copy of that letter is enclosed."

The City of Fort Wayne absolutely refuses to provide any information concerning:
Projected Hotel Occupancy Rate
Any detailed financial information other then the summary projections calculated by public
officials.

I really want to know what the projected hotel occupancy rate is. This is relevant for since the public financing of this project hinges on the projected hotel occupancy rate. The TIF district has to generate enough revenue to pay the obligations and this revenue will vary depending on the occupancy rate of the hotel.

I am disappointed in the weak coverage of this issue by local media. Consider the following:

1. The Mayor promised me I could have this information in February in a public forum.
2. The Deputy Mayor promised numerous people that all questions would be answered.
3. A majority of City Councilmen told the City during a City Council meeting that they need to release more information.
4. The public access laws are clear and lead me to believe that Fort Wayne is violating the intent of the public access laws.

The letter from City Attorney Manges to the News Sentinel is pathetic and inaccurate:

"City is open on Harrison Square

The city of Fort Wayne is committed to providing the public with information that is requested of city government. Throughout the Harrison Square process, the city has worked diligently to update the community.

Dozens of public meetings were held. In addition, the city’s Web site contains a wide collection of Harrison Square documentation, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, memorandum of understanding agreements and financial data. City officials also met privately with residents who requested information sessions.

Some in our community have expressed concern that the mayor’s office has not responded accordingly to public records requests. I want to assure the community that the city administration takes each public records request seriously and responds in an appropriate time frame to meet state law requirements.

Tim Manges City Attorney "


So what is the projected hotel occupancy rate Mr Manges?

So how were any of the cities calculations determined Mr Manges?

What are the answers to the 58 questions I submitted to you in writing Mr. Manges?

The crickets are chirping...

Mike Sylvester

Monday, May 21, 2007

How dumb is the head of the RNC (Republican National Committee)?

Read this:

<http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/blogs/politicalticker/2007/05/martinez-immigration-bill-could-save.html>

He is a complete idiot.

If the Republicans pass an Amesty Bill they are going to get creamed in 2008. Period.

Mike Sylvester

Information requests concerning Harrison Square

Well the City denied my information request and refused to give me the information submitted to them by the Hotel in response to the RFP. The City also elected not to provide me ANYTHING other then the general summary information on the City website.

I contacted the City law office last week and requested they fax me an open records request form. I did this because I filed FOIA forms and that is the wrong form...

I contacted the City again today by both phone and email and requested the same form yet again.

As of 3:22 PM they still have not faxed me the correct forms nor are they available online...

I will be Downtown tomorrow and I will stop by and pick up the correct forms in person if they still have been "unable" to fax me the correct form...

I keep hearing how efficient Fort Wayne Government is... If this is an example of efficiency then I am reminded of certain aspects of the military...

I am afraid that I now will have to file another series of requests and I will be much more more specific...

At this pace I will have to hire an attorney to get the information The Mayor promised me and that they in fact are required to give me per Indiana Law.

I wonder what Tom Henry's thoughts on public information are? I plan on going to a public forum and asking him...

The Mayor's Office should be embarrassed and ashamed of their refusal to provide information to the public.

Good Grief

Mike Sylvester

Sunday, May 20, 2007

2007 Indiana Libertarian Convention

The 2007 Indiana Libertarian Convention is over. It was a very enjoyable event and I had a great time organizing the Convention and meeting Libertarians from all over Indiana.

There is a lot of news; however, I think one item is so important that it must be put out here. I believe that the Libertarian Party of Allen County will be running eight candidates for Fort Wayne City Council this year. A wide variety of individuals have stepped up because they are upset with the actions of our local elected officials and want to give residents of Fort Wayne a choice...

More details about this will follow.

Our candidates are a cross section of the city and include mature professionals with families, blue collar workers, small business owners, and the owner of the 412 Club.

Mike Sylvester

Friday, May 18, 2007

Amnesty debacle is on the horizon

I was driving to the Northwest Area Partnership meeting last night when the Sean Hannity show started. I generally turn the radio off whenever Sean comes on. I decided to listen today because of the Amnesty agreement and because I was only going to be in the car for another five minutes.

Sean Hannity made complete sense in the first five minutes of his show.

He blasted members of both The Republican and Democratic Parties for the following items:

1. The current "Comprehensive Reform Bill" was negotiated behind closed doors by a few Democrats and a few Republicans. It is another classic "secret negotiation."

2. The current "Comprehensive Reform Bill" has not been released to the public or even to members of the Senate yet.

It is impossible to disagree with Sean on either of the above points.

Both Parties should be embarrassed by these secret meetings; especially the Democrats. Many Democrats promised to "rule in a fair and open manner." This was a good campaign promise; however, they are trying to pass one of the largest and most sweeping changes to our immigration policy "in the dark of night."

The Republicans are doing their best to become a minority Party and stay a minority Party. I am going to make a rather bold prediction... I think that the Republican Party will split within 5 years if 12 million illegal aliens receive Amnesty. The Republican base will go crazy (and they should).

I am 100% against amnesty for illegal aliens. It is 100% wrong to reward people for breaking our laws.

Here is what I think our immigration policy should be:

1. We must secure our borders.
2. The Federal Government must enforce our existing laws and deport every illegal immigrant they locate.
3. State and Local Governments must be allowed to do enforce our existing laws and deport every illegal immigrant they locate if they choose to do this (I beleive in State's rights so I would not want the Federal Government to force the States to do this).
4. US Employers must be given a system so that they can verify that their employees are legal and they must be punished if they knowingly employ illegal aliens.
5. Once we have removed a majority of the illegal immigrants in our country then, and only then, we should DOUBLE legal immigration.

Mike Sylvester

Free Speech

I feel that Freedom Speech is one of the most important things that The Constitution protects. I get extremely angry when our politicians attack that right; especially when it is done to promote either The Republican or Democratic Parties.

Campaign Finance Laws were changed a few years ago by the McCain-Feingold law. This law protects incumbent politicians from political challenge. This is a terrible law that was passed with bi-partisan support and should be repealed.

The next two items are items I will watch very closely because they are important to me.

The first involved Dr. Ron Paul (Republican). Ron Paul is running for President and is both a Republican and a Libertarian. In the last Presidential debate Dr. Ron Paul was the only Republican who opposed the Iraq war; the other nine Republicans support the Iraq war. Ron Paul has been against the Iraq war from day one and in fact is one of the few members of Congress who voted against the Iraq war (Unlike Hillary Clinton). According to viewers of the 2008 Republican Presidential Debates Ron Paul has come in 1st or 2nd place in most of the polls asking, Who won the debate."

Michael Steel, GOP spokesman, said that Ron Paul should be removed from future debates. (30% of those who voted in Fox's online poll concerning the debate voted that Ron Paul won the debate.) Now a petition is being circulated among members of the RNC to remove Ron Paul from future debates.

I certainly hope that Ron Paul is not removed from the debates. It would be an assault on Freedom of Speech if the Republicans remove him from the debates because he sticks by his principals.

The Democrats are rumored to be considering re-instituting The Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine would destroy conservative talk radio and this would be another illegal assault on Freedom of Speech in America. I hope these rumors prove to be untrue.

I am sick and tired of Dems and Reps taking away my rights and freedoms.

Mike Sylvester

Pat Buchanon hits the nail on the head

From Townhall.com

It was the decisive moment of the South Carolina debate.

Hearing Rep. Ron Paul recite the reasons for Arab and Islamic resentment of the United States, including 10 years of bombing and sanctions that brought death to thousands of Iraqis after the Gulf War, Rudy Giuliani broke format and exploded:

"That's really an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of 9-11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I have ever heard that before, and I have heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11. "I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us what he really meant by it."

The applause for Rudy's rebuke was thunderous -- the soundbite of the night and best moment of Rudy's campaign.

After the debate, on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes," came one of those delicious moments on live television. As Michael Steele, GOP spokesman, was saying that Paul should probably be cut out of future debates, the running tally of votes by Fox News viewers was showing Ron Paul, with 30 percent, the winner of the debate.

Brother Hannity seemed startled and perplexed by the votes being text-messaged in the thousands to Fox News saying Paul won, Romney was second, Rudy third and McCain far down the track at 4 percent.

"I would ask the congressman to ... tell us what he meant," said Rudy.

A fair question and a crucial question.

When Ron Paul said the 9-11 killers were "over here because we are over there," he was not excusing the mass murderers of 3,000 Americans. He was explaining the roots of hatred out of which the suicide-killers came.

Lest we forget, Osama bin Laden was among the mujahideen whom we, in the Reagan decade, were aiding when they were fighting to expel the Red Army from Afghanistan. We sent them Stinger missiles, Spanish mortars, sniper rifles. And they helped drive the Russians out.


What Ron Paul was addressing was the question of what turned the allies we aided into haters of the United States. Was it the fact that they discovered we have freedom of speech or separation of church and state? Do they hate us because of who we are? Or do they hate us because of what we do?

Osama bin Laden in his declaration of war in the 1990s said it was U.S. troops on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, U.S. bombing and sanctions of a crushed Iraqi people, and U.S. support of Israel's persecution of the Palestinians that were the reasons he and his mujahideen were declaring war on us.

Elsewhere, he has mentioned Sykes-Picot, the secret British-French deal that double-crossed the Arabs who had fought for their freedom alongside Lawrence of Arabia and were rewarded with a quarter century of British-French imperial domination and humiliation.

Almost all agree that, horrible as 9-11 was, it was not anarchic terror. It was political terror, done with a political motive and a political objective.

What does Rudy Giuliani think the political motive was for 9-11?

Was it because we are good and they are evil? Is it because they hate our freedom? Is it that simple?

Ron Paul says Osama bin Laden is delighted we invaded Iraq.

Does the man not have a point? The United States is now tied down in a bloody guerrilla war in the Middle East and increasingly hated in Arab and Islamic countries where we were once hugely admired as the first and greatest of the anti-colonial nations. Does anyone think that Osama is unhappy with what is happening to us in Iraq?

Of the 10 candidates on stage in South Carolina, Dr. Paul alone opposed the war. He alone voted against the war. Have not the last five years vindicated him, when two-thirds of the nation now agrees with him that the war was a mistake, and journalists and politicians left and right are babbling in confession, "If I had only known then what I know now ..."

Rudy implied that Ron Paul was unpatriotic to suggest the violence against us out of the Middle East may be in reaction to U.S. policy in the Middle East. Was President Hoover unpatriotic when, the day after Pearl Harbor, he wrote to friends, "You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten."


Pearl Harbor came out of the blue, but it also came out of the troubled history of U.S.-Japanese relations going back 40 years. Hitler's attack on Poland was naked aggression. But to understand it, we must understand what was done at Versailles -- after the Germans laid down their arms based on Wilson's 14 Points. We do not excuse -- but we must understand.
Ron Paul is no TV debater. But up on that stage in Columbia, he was speaking intolerable truths. Understandably, Republicans do not want him back, telling the country how the party blundered into this misbegotten war.


By all means, throw out of the debate the only man who was right from the beginning on Iraq.

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .

Pat Buchanan completely nails this. Dr. Ron Paul has opposed the Iraq war from day one; something Hillary Clinton cannot say. He has been steadfast in his opposition.

Now a group of Republicans is circulating a petition to remove him from all future debates. So much for free speech.

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Editorial I submitted to local newspapers

Open Government is a cornerstone of Democracy

I attended a meeting of the Northwest Area Partnership of February 15th, 2007. At that meeting Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard promised me that his office would ensure that I was provided with all of the financial information concerning Harrison Square and he assured me in a public forum that all of my questions about the project would be answered. After the meeting I talked to the Mayor and told him that I wanted to create financial statements for the project, he once again assured me that I would receive the necessary information.

I submitted a list of 58 questions to the Mayor’s Office and I requested financial information so that I could independently analyze the City’s financial projections.

I attended a meeting concerning Harrison Square on April 16th involving the City Council. As of April 16th my questions had not been answered and the information I had been promised had not been provided to me. I filed a formal request for information on April 16th and the City confirmed that they had received my request on April 16th.

The Fort Wayne City Council passed the Harrison Square Project by a vote of six to three on April 24th. Harrison Square is pretty much a “done deal.”

I am writing this editorial on May 16th. As of May 16th my questions still have not been answered and I have not been provided with the information an accountant would require to independently evaluate the Harrison Square proposal.

The City did post a wide variety of general information to their website between April 16th and April 24th. This was done because several City Councilmen told The Mayor’s office that they needed to do a better job of disseminating information to the public during the April 16th City Council meeting. One of the seven items I requested was posted to the City website during that time period.

The information provided on the City website includes a lot of general information; however, it does not include the information that an accountant would require to analyze the project.

As of May 16th the City has failed to provide me the information that I have formally requested and that I was promised by the Mayor. I am extremely disappointed and frustrated.

If there is one question I want answered concerning the project it is the projected hotel occupancy rate over the life of the project. I cannot even get an answer to that one specific question.

I believe that an open and transparent Government is critical to our Democracy. I believe that our local Government should be excited that citizens want to be active and involved in our local Government. I believe that our local Government should do everything they can to ensure the public receives any information they formally request, in fact, Indiana law requires that citizens be given information they request.

Ronald Reagan once said “trust but verify.” I think his statement sums up my sentiments on this issue perfectly. I want to “verify.”

Mike Sylvester, CPA

Press Release from Jingozian for President

Jingo08 Press Release 031

PORTLAND-OR, May 15, 2007

Declaration of Candidacy and Movement to Break America’s Destructive 2-party System

Mike Jingozian, CEO of AngelVision and Founder of RESET America, has announced his candidacy for the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. Although a recognized leader in holistic business management, he is dedicating his resources and fulltime efforts to the campaign.

Jingozian is also the Founder of RESET America, recognized by many as the only viable plan to save our nation and planet before valid solutions begin to disappear. RESET America offers a specific course of action to alter our nation’s current trajectory by reorienting our policy around six areas of sustainability: economic, environmental, societal, health & well-being, foreign policy, and lastly, democracy and freedom. The organization has headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and employs a fulltime staff.

Jingozian has already built an impressive organization towards the support of his Presidential bid, which is garnering support from many organizations that are proving to be allies in the fight to break the 2-party system and bring new voices into government. The early response to his message is unprecedented by 3rd party campaigns of preceding elections. However, despite this early momentum, they do not intend to fully launch their campaign until Labor Day – September 3, 2007.

Jingozian reminds us that 75 percent of Americans do not believe that Congress is doing its job yet 98 percent of Congress is reelected. Jingozian says that we keep voting for the same people because of “story pollution,” that is, we have been convinced that voting for a 3rd party is a “wasted vote.” However, said Jingozian, “We need to remember that during another point in history, when our nation was deeply divided, we elected a 3rd party candidate, and that individual was Abraham Lincoln.”

It has been estimated that the Democrats and Republicans will need to raise $100s of millions to run their campaigns. So how does Jingozian plan to compete with these enormous fundraising levels? According to Jingozian, fundraising is not an issue. The Jingozian for President Campaign is adequately funded until its Labor Day launch. In addition, he intends to run his campaign like a startup: making use of limited funds on a shoestring budget. Jerry DeFoe, RESET America’s Communications Director, states, “If we need to raise funds to make this work, then this movement will fail. There’s no amount of money large enough to start a voter revolution. This movement will work because people know that this is the ONLY way we can solve our nation’s problems. They are eager to take action. Our response from our website is very exciting.”

Plus, remarks Jingozian, “Why do we need to raise money? The Democrats and Republicans are doing our job for us by proving that neither party has the right solution. The millions that they raise from corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups validate the fact that we need an Independent President in 2008.”

Jingozian has no delusions about what he intends to accomplish as President. He plans to use his Presidential veto power to stop what he says is the “uncontrolled use of Band-Aid solutions and shameful legislation that are destroying our economy and environment to the benefit of a small minority and at the expense of the middle class. The fact that I am not collecting funds from corporations or lobbyists means that nobody owns RESET America or Jingozian for President.”

Although Jingozian intends to direct the majority of his efforts towards making the country more sustainable, he also aims to expand ballot access and assist the campaigns of Independent and 3rd party candidates at all levels of government.




Heather Marsh, Executive Director of RESET America states, “To restore Americans’ faith in their government and their country, we need to put the interests of the people above politics: the interests of the people are best served by incorporating sustainability into every policy decision. This is done by having new voices and new ideas injected into our democratic process.”

AngelVision is one of the fastest growing business media companies in the nation. They were recently voted the 15th Best Company to Work for in Oregon by its employees. They have won numerous awards in innovation, marketing management, and ROI.

Jingozian feels that America is ready for a change. “I always hear from people that the 2-party system is destroying our country. We need to elect people who put honesty and integrity and doing what’s right before political favors, opinion polls, and fundraising. We must convince the American people to only vote for Independent and 3rd party Candidates for all positions of government from President to Water Commissioner.”

RESET America and Jingozian for President are planning an extensive PR campaign that includes 30 unique methods for disseminating messages to the American public, from film documentaries to “RESET stamp pub nights.” Many political insiders agree that this movement has the potential to catapult all 3rd parties, including the Greens, Working Families, Reform and yes, of course, the Libertarians onto the public stage.

Michael Jingozian received his BS from NYU in 1983, where he received a 4.0 GPA in Honors Economics. Jingozian received a MBA from Bentley College (1991) and earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Applied Science from Harvard University (1993).

You can learn more about RESET America and Jingozian for President at www.ResetAmerica.com or call them at 503-679-6525.

Contact:

Heather E. Marsh
Jingozian for President & RESET America
20431 SW Crestmont Place
Sherwood, OR 97140
503-679-6525
www.ResetAmerica.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Democrat meltdown

The Democrats made a lot of promises to get elected in 2006. They are currently in the process of breaking of them.

This is an embarrassing time to be a Democrat.

Promises should be kept.

The Democrats managed to complete the items they wanted to complete in the first "100 hours."

One of their main promises was to modify the rules for lobbyists and the rules for "earmarks." Neither has been changed and business has continued as usual.

Another one of their promises was that they would listen to the minority. They broke this rule during their first 100 hours and many local Democrats justified it as being necessary.

The Drudge Report has a frightening developing story that had better prove untrue; otherwise, The Democrats are likely to lose their majority.

PELOSI LOWERS THE BOOM

After losing a string of embarrassing votes on the House floor because of procedural maneuvering, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to change the current House Rules to completely shut down the floor to the minority. The Democratic Leadership is threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit.

This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822.

In protest, the House Republicans are going to call procedural motions every half hour.

Developing...

I am especially looking forward to reading Jeff Pruitt's comment on this.

I hope other Democrats and liberals chime in.

It looks to me as if Nancy Pelosi is trying to set herself up as a Dictator. Lets hope Drudge is wrong.

Mike Sylvester

LPIN Convention Update

The 2007 Indiana Libertarian Convention is this coming Saturday!

It is not too late to register for the Convention. If you plan on attending and have not registered yet please contact Mike Sylvester by email at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net or by phone at 260-338-0833. You can still pay at the door for $150 and you can still pay for a guest to attend dinner Saturday evening for $45!

The time for procrastinating is over, contact Mike Sylvester today!


Friday May 18th:

A party will be held honoring Mark Rutherford and his seven years of outstanding service to the LPIN. The party will be held at 4205 North Washington Road at the house of Jack and Hillary Evans. Everyone who has paid to attend the 2007 Indiana Libertarian Convention can attend this party at absolutely no charge. A wide variety of food and beverages will be available all evening; the main courses include vegetarian lasagna, two pork roasts with dressing and gravy, and Hungarian goulash with sour cream and knoudles. The party will run from 6:30 PM until the “wee hours.” This party is being held about four miles from the Convention site. Please call 260-432-2091 or 260-760-7090 for directions to the house of Jack and Hillary Evans. If you need a ride between The Hilton and the Party please call Doug at 260-704-4698.

Saturday May 19th:

The Convention is being held at the Grand Wayne Center. The Grand Wayne Center is located at 120 West Jefferson in downtown Fort Wayne. The Grand Wayne Center is connected to the Fort Wayne Hilton.

Registration will occur in Calhoun Ballroom B from 8 AM – 9 AM.

9 – 9:15 Mike Sylvester will welcome everyone and discuss schedule for Convention in Calhoun Ballroom B.

9:15 – 10:00 Keynote speech from Mitch Harper in Calhoun Ballroom B. Mitch Harper will discuss the history of the LPIN and ballot access from his perspective as a Republican State Representative from 1978 – 1990.

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:15 Andy Downs will give a presentation about Indiana Municipal Government in Calhoun Ballroom B.

11:15 – 11:30 Daniel Imperato, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

11:30 – 11:55 Andy Downs will do a session where he does nothing other then answer questions in Calhoun Ballroom B.

Mike Sylvester will give a presentation on “The impact of Public Meetings and how to influence them” in Calhoun C.

Rebecca Sink-Burris will give a presentation “Where do we grow from here” in Calhoun D.

11:55 – 12:00 Break

12:05 – 12:30 Rex Bell will give a presentation on “Rex Bell’s campaign for the Indiana Legislature” in Calhoun Ballroom B.

Mike Kole will give a report on running for Secretary of State in 2006 in Calhoun C.

Margarette Fette will give a presentation on "Getting LP Concerns in the Media" in Calhoun D.

People will be dismissed from each individual session and all will be provided with a map of local restaurants. We will eat on our own in small groups. There are a lot of choices.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch on own.

13:30 – 15:30 Business meeting of Convention, Calhoun Ballroom B.

15:30 – 15:45 Break

15:45 – 16:15 Christine Smith, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

16:15 – 16:45 Mike Jingozian, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

17:00 – 18:00 1994 Society event in the private banquet room at the Park Place Grill. The Park Place Grill is located five blocks from The Grand Wayne Center. Guests at the Hilton can call for the Hilton shuttle to transport them to and from the Park Place Grill if they so choose. Dr. James Lark, Chairman of the Libertarian Party 2000 – 2002, will give a brief presentation. Appetizers will be served during the event and will include cheese, bread, vegetables, and fruit.

18:00 – 23:00 A buffet dinner will be provided in the private banquet room of The Park Place Grill. A plated salad will be served at 18:00, dressings are ranch, balsamic, and Raspberry. The buffet line will be open from 18:15 – 20:30. The buffet line will include: Roast Beef w Au jus and horseradish, Italiano Chicken with Romano cream sauce, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Rice Pilaf, and Vegetable style Pasta Primavera. Desert will be Banana Fosters at 20:05. A cash bar will be setup in the banquet room and will be staffed for the entire evening.

19:00 – 20:00 Central Committee Meeting at The Park Place Grill. A large corner table will be reserved for this meeting.

23:00 - ? We will go to the 412 bar owned by Byron Peters, a Fort Wayne Libertarian who is running for City Council. His establishment is within walking distance of both the hotel and the restaurant…

Sunday May 20th:

We will have the use of the Hamilton Hall at the Hilton.

9:00 – 10:00 A breakfast buffet will be provided. The buffet will include juice, fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, link sausage, biscuits and gravy, donuts, rolls, coffee, tea, and milk.

10:00 – 10:05 Opening Remarks, Jennifer Jeffrey, Allen County Chair

10:05 – 10:50 Dr. James Lark, Campus Connecting

10:50 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 11:30 Doug Horner, Secretary of Allen County LP and host of Public Access
Show Libertarian Perspectives will give a presentation about Public Access Television.

11:30 – 11:50 Candidates will be given time to speak

11:50 – 12:00 Closing Remarks, Jennifer Jeffrey, Allen County Chair

What are they doing in Indianapolis?

One of the things that the local government's in Indiana have been asking for is the ability to raise more taxes on their citizens. Local spending is increasing far faster then inflation and local Government units want to ensure that they can keep increasing their spending.

Elected Indiana officials are pressured by their constituents because their constituents are tired of local Governmental units increasing their property taxes.

So for the last couple years there has been a large push to give local Governmental units more power to levy their own additional taxes.

This last session, at the very end, our Legislators passed a 100 page bill that drastically changes how Hoosiers will be taxed. This bill is complicated and is not completely understood yet.

Currently Indiana levies a 3.4% income tax. Currently each County can levy a variety of three different county income taxes (All supposedly designed to lower property taxes). Each County has its own local income tax rate. Allen County is currently 1%.

So currently residents of Allen County pay 4.4% in combined State and local income taxes.

Local Government will now be allowed to raise their local income taxes even higher in a supposed effort to reduce property taxes. Please keep in mind that we raised our sales tax from 5% to 6% in order to lower property taxes. Please realize that Indiana instituted three different local income taxes to reduce property taxes in prior years. None of these methods caused our overall property taxes to decrease; instead, they allowed local Governments to spend larger sums of money.

So our Legislature has passed another complicated bill that our Local Governments have to decipher.

The recent bill gives Local Government the following options:

1. Local Government generally raises the property tax levies by about 4% a year. Local Government can choose to not increase the property tax levy and can instead increase income taxes. If this option is chosen then the income tax would increase every year... I tend to be against this option since it will cause local income taxes to increase EVERY year. This will be a nightmare for accountants, business owners, those who calculate payroll taxes, tax preparers, etc.

2. Local Government can increase local income taxes up to 1% and use 100% of this revenue to lower property taxes. I am 100% in favor of this option and I think it should be implemented and I hope that our local officials increase income tax the full 1% and thereby lower our property taxes. There is only one thing lacking in this option and it is a major shortcoming. If a local Government chooses this option then I would like to see the property tax circuit breaker for that locality decrease to 1%. What I do not want to see happen is that we allow them to increase income taxes and then they will slowly allow property taxes to increase back to where they are now or higher... Based on past history this is what will happen over the next few years. It is what happened with the last Sales Tax increase and all three previous local income taxes... History tends to repeat itself.

2.a. If option two is chosen then the Local Governmental unit must decide whether to provide property tax relief just to homeowners or to everyone. Obviously the relief should NOT just go to homeowners, it should go to everyone.

3. I like to call this the Marion County option. This option was designed for Marion County. Marion County has a huge problem because they have overspent and have serious budget shortfalls. If a Local Governmental unit does both #1 and #2 above then they will be allowed to levy an additional local income tax of .25% to be used for Public Safety. Obviously I am against this. We are overtaxed as it is and the last thing we need to do is to give the Government more money. This is absurd and should not be seriously considered.

In Allen County the above decision will be made by the Fort Wayne City Council. Per the JG:
<http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/editorial/17223857.htm>

There are things to like in the above options and things to despise.

I like giving local governments a way to decrease property taxes by raising local income taxes as long as 100% of the income tax MUST be spent to lower property taxes. I dislike the fact that they are not lowering the property tax circuit breaker to 1% of assessed value like they should. I dislike the fact that they are allowing local Government the ability to raise local income taxes for "Public Safety."

Mike Sylvester

State Legislature screws up taxes, again

The State legislature changed the property tax circuit breaker again. The property tax circuit breaker establishes a maximum amount that can levied as tax on the property you own. The circuit breaker was designed to protect property owners.

If your property is assessed at $100,000 then the most you can pay currently is 2% or $2000 per year.

As of 2010 the circuit breaker for residential properties will be 2% and all other properties will increase to 3%. This means that farms, investment properties (rentals), and commercial properties will all be capped at 3% of assessed value.

This will make it much harder for Indiana to attract jobs and is an awful idea.

Does anyone still think there is a real difference between Republicans and Democrats on economic issues?

Indiana should either abolish property taxes entirely or it should eliminate the homestead credit and all of the other credits it has established and cap all property taxes at 1% of assessed value.

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another stupid idea

The Demopublicans and Republicrats in Indianapolis passed some really bad legislation this session.

Lets look at another stupid piece...

The members of the Indiana House and Senate are both worried about their re-election chances if property taxes continue to increase, and they should be. According to a recent study Indiana property taxes will increase an average of 24% this year alone.

This is outrageous.

Local spending is out of control and I have not heard one elected official talk about cutting spending; all they talk about is increasing taxes. This is true of both Republicans and Democrats.

So their answer for the next two years is to send property tax payers a rebate each year. I have heard that this rebate check will be mailed late in 2007 or early in 2008. This will be awful.

So lets say you paid about $3400 in property taxes last year. That means if they go up 24% you will be paying $4216... Wow.

Since Indianapolis is messing with property taxes again the local Assessors Offices will mail out their assessments late, again.

You will have to pay much higher property taxes twice per year or through your escrow account. Then late in the year or next year you will get a rebate check. This is going to be a nightmare come tax time.

Remember I prepare taxes for a living.

One of the most common tax deductions is for property taxes. If you itemize your deductions on your Federal tax return then you can deduct your property taxes from your income. In Indiana you can deduct your property taxes whether you itemize or not.

So every Indiana taxpayer who owns property can deduct their property taxes from their Indiana taxable income.

So lets say that your taxes went up to $4200 in 2007 and you pay that amount. By law, your mortgage company must send you a 1098 form telling you what you paid in property taxes by January 31st of the following year. They will HAVE NO IDEA what your property tax rebate is. They will simply tell you what you paid.

So lets say you pay $4200 in property taxes in 2007. Lets say your mortgage company sends you a 1098 telling you that you paid $4200 in property taxes on Jan 31st, 2008. Then lets say Indiana send you a rebate check for $600 on February 15th.

How will you handle that on your taxes?

My guess is that you will claim the full property tax amount as a deduction and that you will then have to report the $600 as taxable income to the Federal Government.

What a joke.

What are these people thinking?

Do they think?

Do they consider what the effect of their legislation will be?

Mike Sylvester

Scott Greider

Scott is moving back to Fort Wayne and has a lot of passion about his beliefs.

He asked a question in an earlier comment, he wrote:

"Separately, are you sure you want to call the mayor a liar?"

If the Mayor lies then I will call him a liar Scott. This is NOT Cuba or Nazi Germany. The Mayor does not have the power to send the police to my house and arrest me and he certainly cannot take legal action against me. He lied and there is a room full of witnesses who heard him do it. I have had several of them call me and express dissatisfaction with the Mayor concerning this issue.

Scott I have a lot of convictions. I want to see that Fort Wayne grows and is a City that I can raise my family in. The Mayor made a promise to me in a public forum in front of a wide variety of people (Several of whom comment on this blog).

Pat Roller wrote down several of my questions and promised to get back to me in March of 2007.

I am still waiting on the Mayor, Pat Roller, The Deputy Mayor, and the City of Fort Wayne.

Scott there are a lot of unanswered questions and the City is required to make information public. This is The United States of America; not a Communist Country.

I know that you think Harrison Square is a good idea and that you do not care how many tax dollars are spent on the project. That is your prerogative.

I want to know the details and I want The Mayor of Fort Wayne to honor his personal promise.

Is that too much to ask?

The facts are clear The Mayor made a promise that he has refused to keep. That is wrong and it is shameful. As far as I am concerned the Mayor LIED. As far as I am concerned The Deputy Mayor also lied. In several public forums he promised the public that all questions would be answered.

I am still waiting...

I believe that Government should be both open and transparent.

This is a shameful exhibition by The Mayor's office and I will take this issue as far as I need to. I will ensure the City complies with the law and I will ensure they provide to me all information they are required to provide.

Scott, you seem to have a lot of faith in Government and that is certainly your prerogative. I do not think it is a good idea to have "blind faith" in Government. "Blind faith" is for Religion, not Government.

Who else thinks the Mayor lied?

Mike Sylvester

Opaque Government

The City of Fort Wayne forced me to file a formal compaint with the Office of the Public Access Counselor today.

As of today it has three months since our current Mayor personally promised me that I would have any and all financial information regarding the Harrison Square Project.

I filed seven Freedom of Infomration Requests on April 16th right before the City Council vote on Harrison Square. I waited until April 16th because I actually beleived that our current Mayor was a man of his word.

I no longer believe that to be the case.

I still have not received any of the infomration I requested with my seven Freedom of Information Requests.

Is there ANYONE who reads this blog who can come up with ANY reason why the City of Fort Wayne is refusing to provide infomration about the financing of the Harrison Square Project?

Do you think it is incompetence?

Do you think they are hiding something?

Do you think they should not be required to give me any information.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fort Wayne Government is opaque rather then transparent

On February 15th, 2007 Mayor Graham Richard promised me in a public forum that his office would answer all of my questions about Harrison Square regarding the specific financing of the project.

The project was approved on April 16th, 2007 and the Mayor's office chose not to provide me with the information I requested.

On April 16th I filed seven Freedom of Information Requests with the City Attorney. On April 16th I personally verified that The City Attorney's Office received my FOIA's.

Today is May 14th and I still have no answers. It has been three months since The Mayor promised me that I would have my questions answered and I am still waiting.

Our Mayor should be ashamed of himself.

I am not an attorney and I am not accustomed to having to file Freedom of Information Requests to obtain information that I have been promised by public officials. My simple reading of the law leads me to believe that the City must respond to my request within 20 working days.

Today was the 20th working day after my request for information. I am not sure if this means that The Mayor's office is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act or not. Based on my reading of the law I would guess that they are now in violation of the law; however, I really do not know.

It will be interesting to see how Kevin Knuth responds to this. He has filed a large number of FOIA requests and he has made it clear that he feels they should be responded to promptly.

I am also interested in what the rest of the readers of this blog think.

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think. I personally think that open government is critical to Democracy and I am extremely disappointed in the Mayor's Office and especially with their legal department.

Mike Sylvester, CPA

Indiana elected officials raise even more taxes

Several taxes were increased in Indiana this year. These taxes were raised by a partnership between Democrats and Republicans; otherwise knows as Republicrats or Demopublicans.

One of the more interesting tax increases involves sales tax.

Many businesses collect sales taxes for Indiana. When they remit these sales taxes (6%) to Indiana they are allowed to keep .0083% of the amount collected if they remit the sales taxes to Indiana in a timely manner. This small fee is meant to compensate the business owner for the expense and hassle of collecting the sales tax for Indiana. This .0083% collection allowance is a joke.

We have several clients that we help remit their sales taxes to Indiana. Many small businesses end up paying an accounting firm (like us) to provide this service for them. Believe me, the small collection allowance they are allowed to keep does not come close to covering the fees they pay their accountant to help them file their Sales tax forms.

During this last session the "collection allowance" was lowered for larger companies. If your business has 10 -100 million in sales your collection allownace dropped to .006%. If your business has over 100 million in sales then your collection allowance dropped to .003%.

By lowering the collection allowance for large firms Indiana has increased is revenues by a little over 15 million dollars per year.

So businesses that have more then 10 million dollars in annual sales are being taxed a little over 15.3 million dollars more per year when this law takes effect.

Please stop telling me that either Party stands for lower taxes or smaller Government; they do not.

Mike Sylvester

Christine Smith Press Release

PRESS RELEASE - May 14, 2007

Libertarian candidate for president Christine Smith will be attending the Indiana Libertarian Party State Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 19. She will be giving a 25-minute speech as well attending a number of other convention functions during the weekend event.

Smith, 40, from Colorado, is traveling across the nation with her message of liberty with previous campaign trips to San Diego, Oregon, and New Mexico, in addition to appearances on numerous radio shows nationwide (including several 50,000-watt AM-Radio talk shows) reaching millions of Americans.

A writer (her articles have appeared in numerous publications worldwide), author of an internationally popular book, and social justice/political activist, her humanitarian work across the country resulted in her receiving The Outstanding American Award in 2002 and the Amigas Peace Prize in 2000.

You may learn more about Smith and her platform at her campaign website: http://www.LibertarianForPresident.com

Smith is available for press interviews during her Indiana campaign trip.

Interested media should contact:

Paul Kruger, Communications - Christine Smith for President
phone: (303) 532-4185

Christine Smith for President 15400 W. 64th Ave., E9-105Arvada, Colorado 80007

PAID FOR BY CHRISTINE SMITH FOR PRESIDENT

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Byron Peters, 1st District City Council, Libertarian

Byron Peters owns and operates the 412 Club. He is a bar owner and the 412 Club is located in downtown Fort Wayne.

I have agreed to be Byron's campaign manager in his bid for City Council.

Byron is running for City Council because he feels that the current City Council is trying to put him out of business. This is a powerful motivator.

If you are sick and tired of watching the government expand and become more intrusive please join Byron's campaign.

Please send me an email and your phone number and I will give you a phone call. We need to mobilize the citizens of Fort Wayne and we need to take our City back.

Please send me an email at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net to volunteer with Byron's campaign for City Council!

Mike Sylvester

Indiana Libertarian Convention kicks off in eight days in Fort Wayne

The 2007 Indiana Libertarian is in eight days, please register now!

The LPAC will be shuttling Convention attendees between the Hilton and the Friday night Party honoring Mark Rutherford on May 18th. This will allow people to drink as much as they choose to without having to drive! If you need a ride please call Doug Horner at 260-704-4698 on his cell phone. Doug will be driving a Lincoln Town car and will pick up and drop off outside the main Hilton entrance. If you cannot reach Doug on his cell then please call the Evan’s house at 260-432-2091 or 260-760-7090.

The Indiana Libertarian Party will be electing an entire new slate of officers this year! Please attend the Convention and help determine the new leaders of The Indiana Libertarian Party!

The Convention package includes food and beverages Friday night, access to the Convention and all speakers Saturday, a buffet meal on Saturday night, and a Breakfast buffet on Sunday with access to Sunday's speakers.

The easiest way to register is to write a check to "Libertarian Party of Indiana" and to mail it to:
156 E. Market Street
Suite #405
Indianapolis, IN 46204

If you register by mail please write us a note and tell us which of the following events you will be attending:
Friday evening reception for Mark Rutherford
Saturday Convention
Saturday Supper
Sunday Breakfast and speakers

You may also register by credit card. This can be done from the LPIN website at:
http://www.lpin.org/index.php?q=node/93
If you register by credit card please send Todd Singer an email at: lpinhq@lpin.org and please let him know which events you will be attending.

If you register by May 14th your Convention Package will cost $130. You may purchase a Saturday meal for a guest for $40.

If you register after May 14th the cost rises to $150 and $45 respectively.

Libertarians from around the Country have already reserved sixteen rooms for both Friday and Saturday night. Attendees are coming from Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Colorado, and Oregon. The Hilton still has rooms available; however, they are filling up for that weekend quickly. If you wish to reserve a room please contact the Fort Wayne Hilton at 260-420-1100.

Please contact Mike Sylvester if you have any questions at 260-338-0833 or by email at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net. Updates will be posted at http://allencountylp.blogspot.com/.

Mike Sylvester, Convention Chair



Convention Agenda

Friday May 18th:

A party will be held honoring Mark Rutherford and his seven years of outstanding service to the LPIN. The party will be held at 4205 North Washington Road at the house of Jack and Hillary Evans. Everyone who has paid to attend the 2007 Indiana Libertarian Convention can attend this party at absolutely no charge. A wide variety of food and beverages will be available all evening; the main courses include vegetarian lasagna, two pork roasts with dressing and gravy, and Hungarian goulash with sour cream and knoudles. The party will run from 6:30 PM until the “wee hours.” This party is being held about four miles from the Convention site. Please call 260-432-2091 or 260-760-7090 for directions to the house of Jack and Hillary Evans.

Saturday May 19th:

The Convention is being held at the Grand Wayne Center. The Grand Wayne Center is located at 120 West Jefferson in downtown Fort Wayne. The Grand Wayne Center is connected to the Fort Wayne Hilton.

Registration will occur in Calhoun Ballroom B from 8 AM – 9 AM.

9 – 9:15 Mike Sylvester will welcome everyone and discuss schedule for Convention in Calhoun Ballroom B.

9:15 – 10:00 Keynote speech from Mitch Harper in Calhoun Ballroom B. Mitch Harper will discuss the history of the LPIN and ballot access from his perspective as a Republican State Representative from 1978 – 1990.

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:15 Andy Downs will give a presentation about Indiana Municipal Government in Calhoun Ballroom B.

11:15 – 11:30 Daniel Imperato, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

11:30 – 11:55 Andy Downs will do a session where he does nothing other then answer questions in Calhoun Ballroom B.

Mike Sylvester will give a presentation on “The impact of Public Meetings and how to influence them” in Calhoun C.

Rebecca Sink-Burris will give a presentation “Where do we grow from here” in Calhoun D.

11:55 – 12:00 Break

12:05 – 12:30 Rex Bell will give a presentation on “Rex Bell’s campaign for the Indiana Legislature” in Calhoun Ballroom B.

Mike Kole will give a report on running for Secretary of State in 2006 in Calhoun C.

Margarette Fette will give a presentation on "Getting LP Concerns in the Media" in Calhoun D.

People will be dismissed from each individual session and all will be provided with a map of local restaurants. We will eat on our own in small groups. There are a lot of choices.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch on own.

13:30 – 15:30 Business meeting of Convention, Calhoun Ballroom B.

15:30 – 15:45 Break

15:45 – 16:15 Christine Smith, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

16:15 – 16:45 Mike Jingozian, Libertarian candidate for President 2008 will speak, Calhoun Ballroom B.

17:00 – 18:00 1994 Society event in the private banquet room at the Park Place Grill. The Park Place Grill is located five blocks from The Grand Wayne Center. Guests at the Hilton can call for the Hilton shuttle to transport them to and from the Park Place Grill if they so choose. Dr. James Lark, Chairman of the Libertarian Party 2000 – 2002, will give a brief presentation. Appetizers will be served during the event and will include cheese, bread, vegetables, and fruit.

18:00 – 23:00 A buffet dinner will be provided in the private banquet room of The Park Place Grill. A plated salad will be served at 18:00, dressings are ranch, balsamic, and Raspberry. The buffet line will be open from 18:15 – 20:30. The buffet line will include: Roast Beef w Au jus and horseradish, Italiano Chicken with Romano cream sauce, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Rice Pilaf, and Vegetable style Pasta Primavera. Desert will be Banana Fosters at 20:05. A cash bar will be setup in the banquet room and will be staffed for the entire evening.

19:00 – 20:00 Central Committee Meeting at The Park Place Grill. A large corner table will be reserved for this meeting.

23:00 - ? We will go to the 412 bar owned by Byron Peters, a Fort Wayne Libertarian who is running for City Council. His establishment is within walking distance of both the hotel and the restaurant…

Sunday May 20th:

We will have the use of the Hamilton Hall at the Hilton. This room will serve about 40 for breakfast and has an adjacent meeting room that will seat about 40 people as well.

9:00 – 10:00 A breakfast buffet will be provided. The buffet will include juice, fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, link sausage, biscuits and gravy, donuts, rolls, coffee, tea, and milk.

We will have events scheduled from 10 – 12. Speakers will include Dr James Lark former Libertarian National Chair from 2000 – 2002. Doug Horner, current Secretary of The Libertarian party of Allen County who will discuss Public Access Television. Byron Peters, a Fort Wayne bar owner who is running for City Council because the current members of The Fort Wayne City Council are trying to put him out of business with the new restrictive smoking ban that takes effect June 1st, 2007.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fort Wayne voter turnout was awful

Fort Wayne voter turnout was around 9%. This is a shameful and pathetic number.
Editor's note: Turnout was actually 12-13%. Apparently there were 8 precincts that did not get reported in a timely fashion due to errors.

Consider this email from Sam Talarico that I am posting with his permission:

During my 8 years on council, there is no doubt that the 2 most controversial issues have been:

1. Harrison Square

2. Smoking Ordinance.

How can we possibly have the lowest voter turnout in history on the heels of these two issues?

Sam

I am appalled by the low voter turnout, especially in the Republican Primary. In the Republican Primary there were two good candidates with very different visions for Fort Wayne running for Mayor. Between the two men they spent about $600,000 on advertising. Both had large campaigns and a lot of volunteers. The Mayor's race should have increased turnout.

Sam Talarico has stated that he feels the six Republican candidates for City Council are some of the best qualified in recent history. Five of the six ran strong campaigns. This should have increased turnout.

Harrison Square was passed and is a project that a majority of Republican primary voters oppose. This should have increased turnout.

The smoking ban incensed bar owners and they registed almost 1000 voters in an attempt to oust John Crawford. This should have increased turnout.`

In my opinion turnout should have been much higher.

WOWO interviewed Tracy Warner today and Tracy said something on WOWO that shocked me. He said that he felt Republican turnout was low because:
1. Republicans are upset with the National Republican Party (This is true).
2. He said that Republican voters did not see much difference between Kelty and Peters. I have no idea where he gets this opinion. I think this is one of the most absurd statements I have heard in awhile.

Why do you think turnout was so low?

Mike Sylvester

Republican race for Fort Wayne City Council "at-large"

Sam Talarico and I had a friendly bet about this race.

Before I get into our predictions and the results I want to say that this race is about as depressing as the Mayor's race was encouraging for me.

I agree with Sam Talarico that the six Republican candidates were all strong candidates and that each of the six candidates could have won many of the previous "at-large" races.

This contest proves to me beyond "the shadow of a doubt" that the voters choose which candidates to vote for based on "name recognition" more often then not.

One of most contentious issues in this race was Harrison Square. I think everyone agrees that a majority of Republican voters opposed the Harrison Square Project as proposed. Sam Talarico has admitted this several times and he is one of the project's staunchest supporters. Brown, Bender, and Crawford all supported Harrison Square. I would have thought that this would have hurt them. This shows you that I do not have a career as a "pundit." The three losing candidates either opposed the project or were "on the fence."

Another contentious issue is the smoking ban. Bar owners are upset (And they SHOULD be) that Fort Wayne City Council is getting into their affairs and trying to put them out of business. Bender supports making the smoking ban less restrictive. Brown and Crawford support the ban as is.

I looked at their campaign finance reports a couple of weeks ago, so my numbers are not current; however, I believe that they spent money as follows: Crawford spent the most by a lot, then Mildred, then Gutman, then Brown, then Morris, then Bender.

I truly think that people often vote based on name recognition. Marty Bender is well known due to his previous time on City Council and his current position in the Fort Wayne police department. Liz Brown has some name recognicition due to her recent campaign for School Board and may have got same name recognition due to the recent Bill Brown campaign. Doctor Crawford has a lot of name recognition as well.

I voted for the three candidates who came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. I RARELY seem to vote for the candidates who win elections. In fact, in yesterdays Republican primary Matt Kelty is the only candidate I voted for who won, the rest lost.

Back to my freindly bet with Sam Talarico. The bet was close, with neither of us doing particularly well; however, Sam Talarico won the bet, lunch is on me.

If you look at the percentages of votes each candidate received Sam was off by 14.3% and I was off by 14.5%. Sam picked Brown and Crawford to win and I picked Crawford to win. So Sam won!

Just let me know a couple of days that work Sam and we will get together and lunch is on me!

Mike Sylvester

Matt Kelty wins Republican Primary

Matt Kelty ran the best campaign for City office that I have ever seen. Matt worked extremely hard and motivated and organized a large team of volunteers.

Matt's victory proves that a hard-working candidate that runs a powerful campaign can beat "the system."

Matt's victory is amazing when you consider:
1. The entire leadership of the local Republican Party supported Nelson Peters.
2. Every elected Republican banded together to help Nelson Peters win. In fact, at the polling
places were large banners with a picture of Nelson with a veritable army of elected
elected Republicans supporting him.
3. Nelson Peters outspent Matt Kelty ABOUT 2 to 1.

I imagine the leadership of the local Republican party feels that they have been hit with a sledgehammer, or at least they SHOULD feel like they have been hit with a sledgehammer!

It will be interesting to see of the Allen County Republican Party "learns" anything from this primary...

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fort Wayne voter turnout so far

I have heard that turnout is very low now from several poeple, including a couple who regularly work the polls. Two different people called and left messages on my answering machine asking me who low turnout would favor in the Republican mayor's race.

I am no political expert. If you want a better answer you should most likely ask Indiana Pundit or Mitch Harper!

That being said, in my opinion I think low turnout will favor Matt Kelty. I think that Matt Kelty has worked very hard and that his supporters are exicted and motivated to vote.

Nelson Peters spent a fortune in the last couple of weeks on direct mail and TV. He needs turnout...

I think low turnout will favor Matt Kelty.

Mike Sylvester

Election day update

I spent some time working the polls for Matt Kelty this morning. I spent time at two different polling places. Turnout was light at both polling locations and I found that many people were happy when they saw me and my yellow Matt Kelty shirt and yellow palm cards.

Turnout seems to be a little less then I expected at the polling locations I was at. I thought that the high profile Republican Mayor's race and City Council "at-large" races would draw more voters then normal. That did not appear to be the case.

The most interesting thing happened at lunch.

I had to attend a business meeting over at the Cork N Cleaver at noon. I decided not to go home and change clothes and to wear my yellow Matt Kelty t-shirt into the Cork N Cleaver (Those of you who know me realize I rarely wear a suit and tie).

While I was discussing business a complete stranger came up to our table and told me that she had voted for "my boss." She told me that both she and her husband had been planning on voting for Peters until they watched a televised debate. She told me that they could see Matt's passion during the debate and that both she and her husband decided to vote for Matt because they are tired of seeing government grow... She thought that Matt would work hard to decrease the size of government.

I have spent some time in my car today and I dropped off paperwork at a couple of clients. I have been checking out the local polling stations as I drive around...

I have seen a person working for the Matt Kelty campaign at many of the locations I checked. In fact at some locations there were TWO people working for Matt Kelty. At one location there was FOUR people working for Matt Kelty at the polling location, one of them was his campaign manager Jenna...

I am pretty sure that the Matt Kelty campaign has the better "ground game" and better "Get out the vote" effort. I only looked at my part of town and I have to admit I have no idea what is going on across town.

Oh yes, a person called me at home from the Matt Kelty campaign and encouraged me to vote as well...

I am feeling pretty good about my original prediction. I think it will be Kelty by 3.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, May 07, 2007

Throw the "bums" out

I have already voted so that I can work the polls tomorrow...

I plan on working the polls for a few hours at my mother's Church for Matt Kelty. This is also Nelson Peter's Church. This could be kind of fun!

I am looking forward to tomorrow's election. Tomorrow's election should tell us all whether the local GOP can be saved from the Big Government Republicans or whether we will be stuck with two major political parties that both consistently stand for larger and more oppressive government!

I imagine that the "establishment" Republicans have had several meetings and have been wondering what has gone wrong. I will save you Big Government Republicans some time and list a couple of them for you:

1. Republicans used to stand for lower taxes. Today they seem to stand for increasing taxes somewhat and increasing spending more. This of course results in large deficits and increases our debt. Consider the following RECENT examples:
a. Nelson Peters supports a Regional Economic Development tax. This was covered in one of
his first press releases...
b. There is not a single local elected official who things the "Temporary" Allen County Food and
Beverage Tax should be "Temporary." Not one.
c. Nelson Peters supports using the "Temporary" Allen County Food and Beverage Tax for
other uses then it is currently allowed. This was discussed in another one of his press
releases.
d. The Republican Indiana Senate and our Republican Governor just increased the cigarette
tax to pay for low income health care. Can you imagine the outrage The Republican Party
would have expressed if Bill Clinton had attempted this?
e. Our Republican City Council just expanded another tax increment financing district which
removes property from our property tax base.

2. Republicans are consistently expanding government at every level by
increasing spending and increasing regulations. Consider the following RECENT
examples:
a. The Republican City Council of Fort Wayne passed a smoking ban that prevents private
establishments such as veterans organizations and bars from determining whether their
customers smoke or not.
b. The Republican City Council of Fort Wayne just voted to spend local tax dollars to move an
existing baseball stadium to a new location.
c. Republican Tom Wyss (Typical of Big Government Republicans in every way) focuses his
legislative efforts on ensuring the law abiding citizens wear seat belts. He is much more
concerned with seat belt laws then property taxes, unemployment, etc.
d. The Indiana Senate (Republican) just overwhelmingly passed a bill that would require
Interior Decorators to have professional licensing requirements...

There are a lot more reasons; however, I want to see if any of the readers of this blog can identify them for Steve Shine, Sam Talrico, Tom Wyss, Mark Souder, and the other Big Government Republicans in Fort Wayne.

Please help the Big Government Republicans identify what their Party used to stand for.

Mike Sylvester

Indiana should abolish property taxes

I have never liked property taxes. Many years ago The Republican Party also opposed property taxes; however, The Big Government Republican Party of today seems to embrace levying property taxes and increasing government spending as fast as they can get away with.

I do not like property taxes because they mean that you can never own property; instead, you rent it from the government for an annual fee. I value my freedom and I think I should be able to own property without paying an annual fee to the government.

A reader of this blog asked me how much we would have to raise income taxes to eliminate property taxes...

I did not spend a lot of time researching this; however, I have made some estimates. In my estimates I am assuming we want to abolish all property taxes, including personal property taxes levied on businesses.

If we were to only increase sales tax we would have to increase our sales tax from 6% to 13.5%.

If we were to only increase income taxes we would have to increase Indiana personal income taxes from 3.4% to 7.7% AND we would have to increase Indiana corporate income taxes from 8.5% to 19.1%.

I do believe that we need to eliminate all property taxes. I think we need to kick the State out of a lot of areas and allow each locality to collect its own taxes by means of local income taxes and sales taxes.

Mike Sylvester

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wizards game yesterday

We went to the Wizards game yesterday and had a good time.

We drove to Memorial Stadium and paid $4 to park. My wife, both kids, and I went to the game. We spent $18 for tickets and got one free ticket. The free ticket was for my daughter since she completed a Kindergarten reading program.

As usual we ate at the park. We always eat at the park. We had a large tub of popcorn ($4.50.) The kids each had a hot dog (Kayla's was free). Graydon's hot dog cost us $2.50. Karena and I had Brats and Kraut for $7.50.

We spent a total of $36.50.

The game was not well attended, I would guess there were at best 2000 fans last night; possibly due to the cool weather.

There were even more people at the game with kids then usual since they were honoring kids who completed their reading programs.

In fact, I only saw one group of people without kids and that was the Wawassee Baseball Team...

I did not see a horde of young professionals at the game. Maybe they are waiting until the stadium moves downtown?

Mike Sylvester

Friday, May 04, 2007

Indiana is full of Big Government Republicans

Republicans do not stand for smaller government.

This session a bill (SB 0490) was passed that would make it much harder for "Interior Designers" to work in the state of Indiana.

This stupid piece of legislation is an example of how both Democrats and Republicans in Indiana constantly expand government and intrude into our daily lives...

Please check this out:

(History of SB 0490 including the votes)
<http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2007&session=1&request=getBill&docno=490>

And then check out:

(Relevant section of Indiana Code)
<http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2007/ES/ES0490.1.html>

Please realize the the Indiana Senate is heavily Republican and passeds this bill by a massive majority.

Believe it or not, Mitch Daniels just vetoed this bill...

Mitch Daniels should have vetoed this bill.

No self respecting Republican or Democrat should have voted for this bill.

Is there even one person reading this blog that thinks SB 0490 was a good bill?

If you do please let me know...

Also I hope all of you Republcians chime in and tell me what you think about the huge number of Indiana Republicans who voted in favor of this bill...

Good grief...

Mike Sylvester