Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This SHOULD tell us something

Please read this story from Indiana News Center:
<http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/10924016.html>

This story reveals that the City of Fort Wayne has "Declined to Turn Over Testing Results From Old OmniSource Property."

Is anyone surprised?

Does anyone think we should purchase this property without knowing the results of the environmental testing?

Mike Sylvester

GREAT ad on WOWO today

Robert Enders ran a great radio ad about the problems with Tax Increment Fianancing and attacked granting a tax abatement for a fast food restaurant.

That was a GREAT ad.

Mike Sylvester

P.S. Vote Libertarian November 6th

Big Government Democrats on City Council

I contacted Councilman Shoaff about the McDonalds Tax abatement. I asked him why he voted to give a tax abatement to a business that is already operating and one that pays less then 150% of the Federal minimum wage. He answer is frightening...

From Councilman Shoaff:

I’m sorry Don and I disappointed you on the Southtown new McDonalds vote.

Having walked neighborhoods in that area, I know how desperate some people are for jobs, and many need jobs that don’t require specialized skills or training. For them, any legitimate jobs represent economic development. Their district representatives on council feel this strongly, and I respect their opinion.


With respect to your concern that the restaurant is already operating; it is new, in a newly expanding area, and I think there was a strong and legitimate sentiment that further encouragement for expansion in this area by incentives for new businesses is in the city’s best interest.


Wow. It is official, even the most conservative members of our City Council feel that low paying jobs at McDonalds are worthy of tax incentives which let the rest of us pay taxes for the McDonalds franchise...

Economic Development in Fort Wayne is doomed unless we get some new people in office.

WalMart and McDonalds are not Economic Development.

Also, we do not need more strip malls in Fort Wayne either!

Good Grief...

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

IPFW restores its ROTC program

The JG has a good piece that talks about the fact that IPFW has re-started its ROTC program:
<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071026/LOCAL04/710260310>

I am glad that IPFW has revived its ROTC program!

ROTC is a great program and programs like these help young people get an education without going significantly into debt and gives them a good job and work experience.

I would like to see more young people join the military and earn their education!

Mike Sylvester

Monday, October 29, 2007

Charlie Rangel

Charlie Rangel plan on tinkering with the US tax code. Some of his ideas are good and some are bad.

It is interesting to watch both old Parties spin this...

Charlie Rangel is the Democrat in charge of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives. He just unveiled a plan to make some large changes to the Federal tax code. I have not been able to get all of the details yet; however, I have part of his plan.

First off please realize that he is going to split this into two pieces. He is going to do this because he has to have the law enacted in time for the IRS, accountants, and the software companies. He is splitting it into two pieces because it is too late in the year for any major changes. He is floating part of this plan just to see how it is received.

Let’s look at some of the items he is considering and whether they are good or bad:

Currently the top corporate tax rate is 35% (It is more complicated but we can use 35%). Charlie Rangel wants to lower the top corporate rate from 35% to 30.5%. I like lowering the top tax rate; however, it makes little sense considering some of the other things he wants to do…

The plan will repeal the domestic production credit. The domestic production credit was enacted to help American manufacturers. It is EXTREMELY complicated and should be repealed.

Charlie Rangel wants to prevent companies from using the LIFO (Last in First
Out) Inventory method. To make a long story short there are multiple methods that American companies can use to value their inventory. The most popular method by far is LIFO. LIFO is preferred because it defers taxes when prices of inventory are rising. Charlie Rangel wants to stop companies from using LIFO ever again. To make things even more complicated he wants to phase in the tax effects of the change from LIFO over eight years. This change would cost companies a lot of money in the year of implementation; it would also cost a lot for accountants to re-value all of the inventory based on another method.

The plan would also require companies to defer deductions for certain expenses of foreign subsidiaries of US companies until the money is repatriated to the US. I would need to learn more about this before deciding if it is good or bad; most likely I am in favor of it.

The plan would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT is an awful tax that should teach us something about Government and its frequent failures. This tax was enacted to make about 25 families pay more in taxes. Next year it is expected to hit 25 million taxpayers; most in the middle class. The AMT must be repealed; however, it will cost the Government a lot in revenue and will be hard to offset.


To pay for removing the AMT Charlie Rangel wants to levy a ”surcharge” of 4% on single
Filers who make above $150,000 and 4% on married filers who make above $200,000. Furthermore the “surcharge” would grow to 4.6% from those who make above half a million dollars a year. Something along these lines will be necessary to generate the money that they AMT used to generate; however this plan has some large flaws:

It penalizes married couples and I am against that. If married filers will have to pay a “surcharge” above $200,000 then single filers should have to pay the same “surcharge” at $100,000.

It is to be levied against gross income rather then adjusted gross income; this is inconsistent with the rest of the tax code. It should be one way or the other.

They plan on increasing the earned income tax credit by an unspecified amount.
This is a terrible idea. All the EIC does is subsidize low income families. With the EIC low income families are paid money by the Federal Government above and beyond what they pay in taxes. The EIC is the Republicans version of welfare. It should not be expanded.

They plan on increasing the standard deduction $425 for single filers and $850 for
Married filers filing a joint return. I am ok with this. Increasing the standard
Deduction actually makes the tax code less complicated since fewer people itemize. Increasing the standard deduction is a way to make low and middle income families pay less.

They plan on increasing the child tax credit for those families earning too little to
owe Federal taxes. Another terrible idea. Why do we need to give people more money back then they pay in? This just shifts income from one group to another.

They plan on extending some of the current tax breaks that are set to expire
Including: R&D Development credit, tax breaks for teachers buying school supplies, a deduction for State and local taxes. The R&D Development credit should be allowed to expire; it is just makes the tax code more complicated for no real gain. Tax breaks for teachers buying school supplies should be allowed to expire as well. The deduction for State and local taxes should be made permanent.

Part of the plan will be paid for by offsetting carried interest paid to financial managers as regular income and not as capital gains. This is a great idea and should have been done long ago.

They plan on taxing deferred compensation plans of offshore hedge funds. I would have to research this more; however, it is most likely a good idea.

Requiring financial service providers to give customers information on the basis
of sold securities. This will be a nightmare the year of implementation; however, it should have been done long ago.

The plan will “change current laws to require small businesses in the services
sector to pay payroll taxes for their workers.” I am not sure what this means;
However, small businesses in the service sector currently pay payroll taxes for their employees already. I assume they are saying that they are going to clamp down on Contractors and require more people to become employees. This could be a deal breaker and it could be yet another "accountant job creation act."

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Essay in Time Magazine about Libertarians

Here it is.
Yes, I hate it when a blogger just posts a link or video instead of actually taking the time to compose a thoughtful post. But screw it, the election is 10 days away and I have canvassing to do.

Big Government Republicans on City Council

Don Schmidt is often considered the most conservative member of City Council.

I contacted Don Schmidt and John Shoaff (Still waiting to hear back from John Shoaff) and asked them both why they granted a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise.

I specifically asked why they felt that it was ok to violate the wage rule and grant a tax abatement to a company paying less then 150% of Federal minimum wage. Don's answer is and I quote: "The 150% rule has been the criteria for the EDC people, however, I have personally always felt any job is better than no job and therefore I have never been too concerned about the wage scale."

Wow, and he is the most conservative member of City Council and cited by many as an expert on local politics...

The second question I asked is why they granted a tax abatement to a business that is already in operation rather then one that is considering an expansion or move to the area; his answer was and I quote "I would have to check further to see if the timing ( after the fact ) of this award was unusual. "

I have read through the rules and companies are supposed to submit paperwork for their tax abatement very early in the process. I think this rule has been broken before; however, tax abatements are intended to be granted BEFORE an expansion or move.

Mike Sylvester

Friday, October 26, 2007

The race for Mayor of Fort Wayne

The worst thing about the mayor's race this year is the press has allowed it to COMPLETELY over-shadow the City Council races this year.

The race for Mayor is important; however, so is the race for City Council...

Eight members of our City Council just gave a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise that breaks several of the Cities policies governing tax abatements:

1. Consider the city ignored its own rules and granted a tax abatement to a company that is creating low paying jobs.
2. I believe the tax abatement process is supposed to be done BEFORE the business is in operation; this abatement was granted to a business already in operation...
3. Consider that the City has conflicting rules in place that Karen Goldner pointed out in an earlier comment that I am copying below:

Several years ago City Council established a policy that allows tax abatements for retail/commercial businesses if they are located in targeted central commercial corridors (such as Calhoun Street, State Street, etc.) The purpose of this policy is to encourage businesses to make investments in our older, central business areas. I support that policy.

City Council also has a policy that businesses must pay an average of 150% of federal minimum wage in order to receive an abatement. I also support that policy.

To my knowledge there had not been a conflict between these 2 policies to date - the retail businesses who have received the abatements are all small enough that the average wage (including the manager, etc.) has met the threshold. However, you can see how the 2 policies could easily conflict, and in this instance they do.

The press did pick this story up and pointed out that the City had just granted its first tax abatement to a fast food restaurant; however, there is more to the story as listed above...

This tax abatement may well cause me NOT to vote for Councilman Shoaff. He is the only incumbent that I was planning to vote for...

After reading the comments on the McDonalds tax abatement on this and many other blogs it is apparent that a majority of people who participate in local blogs are against this tax abatement. The blogs ARE NOT A SCIENTIFIC POLL; however, I would not be surprised if our City Council unanimously (With the exception of Sam Talarico, who was absent) granted a tax abatement that a majority of Fort Wayne citizens would oppose.

They did this a few weeks before the Election.

That should be big news...

I wonder where those running for City Council stand on this issue?

Robert Enders has already posted that he opposes tax abatements in general so he would certainly oppose this one... Karen Goldner wrote some great comments and said that it was a tough decision for her; however, she voted in favor of it on the ReDevelopment Commisssion so I would assume she would vote in favor of it on City Council.

Karen Goldner left a comment saying that I misinterpretated her position; I reread her posts and she is correct I did misinterpret her position. Karen has made it clear that if she were on City Council she would not have voted for this abatement since it did not meet the wage standard!

Updated by Mike at 12:12 PM on October 26th

Where do the rest stand?

I currently think I will vote as follows:
Mayor, Kelty
2nd District, Bartels
At Large, Horner, Larsen, and Brightbill

Wages in Fort Wayne have fallen to 80% of the National average over the last couple of decades and used to be greater then the national average. This is mostly due to the loss of manufacturing jobs; however, our local Economic Development policies have certainly failed if they are measured against wages...

We have fallen to the point to where all eight City Councilmen present (Four Reps and four Dems) feel that it is a good idea to transfer $250,000 in taxes away from a McDonalds Franchisee and onto the rest of the businesses in Fort Wayne...

Boy that will help keep wages up in Fort Wayne! Look at the message we are sending to businesses in Fort Wayne... A new McDonalds franchise is considered Economic Development in Fort Wayne!

Good Grief...

Vote against incumbents...

Better yet, vote Libertarian...

Mike Sylvester

P.S. I wonder how many locally owned and operated restuarants, that did not receive a tax abatement, will be put out of business by the newly subsidized McDonalds?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mitch Daniels property tax plan is a mixed bag

There are a lot of things to like about the property tax plan and there are alot of things to dislike about the plan. Lets look it at:

1. Capping residential property taxes at 1% of assessed value. I like this; however, they are still keeping a $45,000 homestead exemption in place and this should be abolished.

2. Raising the state sales tax from 6% to 7%. I am ok with this; however, we raised sales tax from 5% to 6% a few years ago to lower property taxes and look at what happened.

3. Shifts to the State 100% (State already had 85%) of the cost of operating schools and shifts to the State 100% (State already had 20%) of school transportation costs, shifts all of the child welfare costs to the State, and ends local government tax credits from the state. This is a mixed bag. I do not think the State should cover the local school costs at all. I do think the State should fund all of the child welfare programs they mandate and I really want them to end the property tax credits... This will help split the local government from the State and it will help prevent them from finger pointing at each other when taxes go up...

4. Caps rental property taxes to 2% of assessed value. This is utterly stupid. Rental properties already do NOT get a homestead credit. This means that overall those who own rental properties will pay more then double the property taxes of a homeowner who owns and lives in a residence of the same assessed value.

5. Caps business property taxes at 3% of assessed value. This is really, really stupid. Indiana has lost a lot of high-paying jobs and desperately needs to attract new businesses. If businesses have to pay 3% of their assessed value in property taxes (PLUS personal property taxes) Indiana will have one of the higher property tax rates for businesses in the country and this will make it hard to attract new businesses and hard for our existing businesses to operate. Furthermore this will make tax abatements even more critical and will hurt the small businesses who just cannot get tax abatements.

6. Adds a homestead deduction of 35% ON TOP OF the existing homestead credit of $45,000 in 2007. Once again this is really un-necessary. All this will do is allow even more people with lower value homes to pay less then the 1% cap...

7. Eliminates elected township and county assessors and creates a single appointed assessor in each County. This is one of the things I like about the plan. An assessor is a professional responsible for valuing property and complying with State law. They should not be elected and they should not be affiliated with a political Party.

8. The plan limits growth in local spending to growth in a counties average personal income over a six year period. This is a great idea.

9. The plan requires all significant local construction projects to a public referendum. This is also a great idea.

One question I have about the plan is how would if affect agricultural property? If anyone knows the answer to this please post it.

Mitch Daniels plan is a good starting point. I would change the following:

a. The homestead exemption should be eliminated and the 35% newly proposed homestead deduction should be removed. All residential homeowners should just pay 1% of the assessed value of their house and all exemptions should be removed. Lets keep it simple and fair.
b. Rental properties, agricultural land, and businesses should be taxed at 1% of assessed value as well.
c. To do the above I would raise sales tax another .5%.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Mike Sylvester

Fort Wayne and Economic Development

Granting a quarter of a million dollar tax abatement to a McDonalds franchisee illustrates how little our elected officials understand Economic Development. I want to discuss several points:

What is a small business?

First of all I want to talk about small businesses. If the owner of this McDonalds franchise that got the tax abatement owns only one franchise location then they ARE a small business per the SBA as I have previously posted. The SBA has specific rules based on NAICS code, number of employees, etc that define whether you are a small business or not. Per the SBA, the McDonalds franchise in question is a small business if its owner owns only one location.

Please realize that many people who own a McDonalds franchise own several McDonalds franchises. If you own ten McDOnalds franchises then you certainly are not a small business by anyone's definition.

I do not know how many locations this franchise owner has; I would bet that none of the eight City Council members who voted on the issue (All BUT Sam Talarico) know either. I doubt if they even considered asking the question.

There are a lot of definitions for a small business. The SBA definition is often used since those businesses that qualify as a small business per their rules can get beneficial loans at a very low interest rate.

The Department of Labor has a definition for a small business as well. Per the Department of Labor any business with fewer then 50 employees is considered a small business. For example these businesses do not have to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act! Per the Department of Labor a McDonalds franchise owner with one location IS NOT considered a small business.

Sam Talarico questioned whether I knew what a small business was in an earlier comment. I agree with Sam that I tend to relate to my clients rather then the legal definitions. I do this because I am an advocate for my clients and not an attorney. I do this because I feel that truly small businesses have been 100% ignored by our City and that they are vital to our city.

Is this Economic Development or is it Economic Re-arrangement?

Per our City Council and the Fort Wayne Economic Development professionals granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise in Fort Wayne is considered economic development. This blows my mind and illustrates that backwards thinking going on in Fort Wayne government.

Economic Re-arrangement is a term I coined and use when I speak at public events. This tax abatement is a great example of it.

Fort Wayne has a huge number of restaurants. The residents of Fort Wayne and those who visit Fort Wayne spend a fairly predictable amount of money eating out. There are only a few things that will cause Fort Wayne restaurants to do more business:

1. More tourists coming to Fort Wayne and spending their money. I am sure no one thinks a new McDonalds will draw tourists to our City; at least I hope they do not think it will.
2. Wages in the area must increase relative to real inflation. I certainly hope that no one thinks that adding a new McDonalds to the area will cause wages to increase...
3. It is possible that a new restaurant could draw people from Auburn, Kendallville, etc to Fort Wayne; in essence causing those people to not eat out in their home City and to come to Fort Wayne to eat. I certainly hope that no one thinks a new McDonalds will draw people from outlying cities.

If none of the three items listed above occurs; then the project is Ecnomic Re-arrangement and not Economic Development.

This new McDonalds will do one thing and one thing only in my opinion. It will cause people to eat at McDonalds rather then other nearby restaurants. It will shift the consumers from one restaurant to another... It will not create ANYTHING.

This new McDonalds will cause other restaurants to make less profit and possibly lay off employees or close their doors.

This is unfair because the other nearby restaurants are not receiving tax incentives. City Council is interfering in the private market and influencing which restaurants will succeed and which will fail.

Summary

Granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds Franchisee is a perfect example of what is wrong with the direction Fort Wayne is taking. This project will not create high-paying jobs and should not qualify for a tax abatement.

This same City Council banned smoking in bars and restaurants. I wonder when they will consider banning unhealthy fast food establishments?

Please get out and vote November 6th!

I suggest you vote Libertarian and for Democrat and Republican candidates who OPPOSE this tax abatement.

P.S. I will be contacting Karen Goldner to see where she stands on this topic...

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A question for the readers of this blog

Sam obviously thinks I am wrong and that granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise in Fort Wayne is appropriate AND that it is Economic Development.

I 100% disagree.

So currently we have

People who think granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise is appropiate AND that it is Economic Development

ONE (Sam)

People who think this is a bad policy and the it is NOT Economic Development.

ONE (Me)

Please let us know what you think...

I will not count anonymous comments unless they are signed...

Mike Sylvester

City Council needs to get some members who understand Economic Development

Please read this article:
<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071024/LOCAL/710240314/1002/LOCAL>

This article discussed the tax abatement that our City Council just unanimously passed for a McDonalds on the south side of Fort Wayne. Our City Council has decided to transfer $250,000 worth of taxes from the new McDonalds to the rest of the property tax payers in Fort Wayne.

As many of you know I am against tax abatements in general. All tax abatements do is transfer taxes from one group of people to another.

The City of Fort Wayne grants a lot of tax abatements to middle and large sized businesses in Fort Wayne. The City does give some to small businesses as well; however, by my last calculation over 98% of all money in tax abatements is given to mid and large sized businesses even though 70% of all new jobs come from small businesses. The City has criteria that require them to grant tax abatements based on the company creating new jobs that will be 150% of the minimum wage.

McDonalds does not satisfy that criteria, so guess what, City Council decided to ignore that requirement.

I have heard one City Council member state that the City Council is just helping a small business. I am not sure how many McDonalds the franchisee owns. If they own several (which is common) then they in no way could ever be considered a small business.

Please realize the following:

The average McDonalds franchise costs almost $1,000,000 ($655,750-$1,225,000 per their website, <http://www.thefranchisemall.com/franchises/details/10357-0-McDonalds.htm>) for a franchisee to open. Most small businesses do not spend a million dollars to get started. In fact; my wife and I have over 100 small business clients in the Fort Wayne area and all of them are smaller then a McDonalds...

Furthermore per the JG article the McDonalds will employ 55 full-time and 25 part-time people.

If the person owning the franchise just owns this one McDonalds then they will qualify as a small business per the SBA, believe it or not.

The City Council has just "lowered the bar" for tax abatements in Fort Wayne and this will have repercussions.

I expect many new restaurants will come forward and ask for tax abatements.

There is only room in Fort Wayne for a certain number of restaurants. The McDonalds that just got a tax abatement will have an unfair advantage over its competitors due to a quarter of a million dollar tax abatement.

Please stop telling me there is a difference between local Republicans and Democrats in general. They march in lock-step and consistently increase the size of government.

Vote Libertarian...

Mike Sylvester

News-Sentinel endorses Robert Enders for City Council

The News-Sentinel has endorsed Robert Enders (L) for City Council in today's newspaper!

Congratuations Robert!

I spent the last couple of days on business in Chicago and I was planning on posting about that trip; however, this is more important!

Mike Sylvester

P.S. The NS endorsed a candidate the JG refused to even interview. What does that say about the JG Editorial Board?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why Libertarians can win this year.

No two elections are alike. Even when the candidates are the same in a given race, new issues emerge, new voters are registered, and old voters die off or move away.

Last year I got 4% in a in a year when the big issues were the toll road lease and the war in Iraq. State representatives have no control over the latter, and I happened to agree with Phil GiaQuinta on the former. So I really did not have an issue to campaign on. People were very focused on whether or not Democrats would control Congress and the state legislature.

This year, people are more concerned about the issues than party affiliation. There have been a lot of cross party endorsements. So one challenge is to reach out to voters who agree with us on the issues. We have been working towards that goal by canvassing, attending candidate forums, and through this blog. We have been getting media coverage; much more than was possible when I was the only Libertarian candidate in NE Indiana. We have been raising money and spending it on advertising.

The other challenge is getting people past the idea that we can't win. This post is one step towards ending that cycle. Libertarians have won city council races in Indiana before. This is our first council race in Fort Wayne, this is our chance to show everyone what we can do.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Harrison Square Update

It is no secret that I am against the Harrison Square Project. In fact, other then John B. Kalb and the three City Councilmen opposed to the project I am most likely the best known opponent of the project.

WOWO reported some interesting news about Harrison Square today.

I was able to verify this item via an independent source who has seen the plans for the new Downtown Baseball Stadium. Virgil, a person unknown to me, called in to WOWO and told Pat White that he also had seen the drawings for the new Baseball Stadium. Both sources are reporting that the playing field of the new downtown Baseball Stadium will be 12 and 1/2 feet BELOW ground level. This is going to require several catch basins and several large pumps.

It will be interesting to see how this effects the price.

Mike Sylvester

Micah Clark has a post you just have to read

Her post is over at Fort Wayne News. Please read it in its entirety:
Note, a reader pointed out Micah is a "he!"

<http://www.fortwaynenews.com/index.php/2007/10/19/micah-clark-responds/>

Micah Clark is the head of the AFA IN PAC. She points out in her post a couple of interesting things:

1. She claims that the ad is not negative and attempts to "brainwash" the readers on what a negative ad is. Give me a break Micah. Most of us are well aware what constitutes a negative ad and this qualifies. I would not be surprised if the AFA IN PAC runs ads of this nature for Congressman Mark Souder as well. This ad really reminds me of some of the negative ads Congressman Souder has ran.

2. She correctly points out that the ad was run by her PAC and not the Matt Kelty Campaign.

3. She falsely claims that those people who think the ad is "negative" are all "lefties." This is drivel; I do not think you could consider myself or Kody Tinnel as "lefties." Heck most elected Republicans in this City and County are to the left of me on most issues...

The AFA IN PAC has paid for and ran a negative attack ad that will HURT the candidate they are trying to support. This looks like a PAC that most candidates would be better off without having "on their side." (Kind of like Moveon.org...)

Matt Kelty should come out in the press and publicly state that the ad is inappropriate and that he has asked AFA IN PAC to immediately pull their negative attack ad.

Mike Sylvester
Supposed "Lefty Blogger"

Guest post from Robert Fuller

Hey Mike, I agree with you on the money raised for a campaign.

Campaign finances were due today. I spent 300 of my own money. I owe Robert Enders campaign 139.

But its not always about money.

I have had a lot of good experiences with my neighbors here in the last few months. I feel I know this district better than anyone. I have done the best I could with what I have. People in the district have been real supportive and I thank them a lot.

-- Respectfully --

Robert Fuller
Libertarian Candidate
5th District, City Council of Fort Wayne
rfuller32@gmail.com

Another bet with Sam Talarico

Sam and I have another friendly bet. To date, I am 0 for 2 betting against Sam...

We are predicting the outcome of the upcoming elections and here is goes.

Mayor
Sam Talarico
Henry 69%, Kelty 31%
Mike Sylvester
Henry 60%, Kelty 40%

1st District
Sam Talarico
Smith 56%, Boyd 34%, Peters 10%
Mike Sylvester
Smith 60%, Boyd 32%, Peters 8%

2nd District
Sam Talarico
Schmidt 54%, Goldner 44%, Bartels 2%
Mike Sylvester
Goldner 49%, Schmidt 48%, Bartels 3%

3rd District
Sam Talarico
Didier 60%, McBride 40%
Mike Sylvester
Didier 57%, McBride 41%, Diaz 2%

4th District
Sam Talarico
Harper 58%, Stewart 42%
Mike Sylvester
Harper 60%, Stewart 40%

5th District
Sam Talarico
Pape 59%, Buskirk 38%, Robert Fuller 3%
Mike Sylvester
Pape 52%, Buskirk 36%, Robert Fuller 12%

6th District
Sam Talarico
Hines 69%, Smith 28%, Enders 3%

Mike Sylvester
Hine 66%, Smith, 30%, Enders 4%

At Large
Sam Talarico
Crawford 18%, Bender 18%, Brown 16%, Schoaff 14%, Essex 14%, Porter-Ross 12%, Larsen 4%, Horner 2%, Brightbill 2%
Mike Sylvester
Bender 17%, Schoaff 17%, Crawford 15%, Brown 14%, Porter Ross 13%, Essex 12%, Larsen 6%, Horner 4%, Brightbill 2%

Sam and I are actually predicting different people to win a couple of races:

In the 2nd District I think Karen Goldner will win. I have received three if not four direct mail pieces from Karen Goldner, she rang my doorbell and handed out a flyer, and she has been to about every event possible. I think it will be a close race; however, I think she can pull it out.

In the at-large race I think Schoaff will win and Sam thinks Liz Brown will win.

In the 5th District I think Robert Fuller will do significantly better then Sam thinks... He has done a lot of walking. In fact, Robert Fuller and Karen Goldner have done the most "walking" in the City and I think that will garner them quite a few votes.

Another large difference is that I think Kelty will do better then Sam does...

I hope that my predictions are wrong. I want to see the Libertarians and the other challengers do better; however, politics is about name recognition and money raised. It is a sad fact; however, it is a fact.

Mike Sylvester

I am certainly NOT kidding you...

Jennifer I will address your points in the previous post in order:

I agree with you that the Kelty cake issue was blown way out of proportion. This was done by the media not the Henry campaign. The media detest Matt Kelty and have treated him in an extremely unfair manner on several occasions.

The radio ad does NOT defend Matt Kelty in any way shape or form. You should listen to the radio ad again if you think that the ad defends Matt Kelty. All the ad does is attack Henry and offend quite a few "non-Christian" voters.

Here is your most interesting statement "BUT when someone steps up to defend Matt Kelty around issues important to that one part of his constituency who disagree with you, you can't wait to cry foul." You have got to be kidding me. The ad is a negative campaign ad that attacks Henry and does not defend Kelty. I absolutely hate negative campaigning and this is a perfect example of it. Give me a break Jennifer. You seriously should get a good nights sleep and listen to the radio ad again.

Then you go on with another rant that makes little sense to me "Will Mr. Henry tolerate THEIR perspective? Doubtful. Get a grip. Go look at an issue or something. Is any of this part of Mr. Kelty's platform? Has he SAID ANYWHERE that he is going to exclude anyone? Any of YOU EVER go and talk to him about this?" I will address these in order as well:

1. Yes Jennifer I think Tom Henry will tolerate the perspective of Christians...
2. Jennifer I have a grip... I have defended Matt Kelty on many occasions and I imagine I will defend him again in the near future. I would not be surprised if I vote for Kelty in the election; however, that is not a given anymore. I do not blindly support or agree with ANYONE. I judge each issue separately and form an opinion based on a wide variety of things.
3. I have looked at many issues and I am certain that I have a better handle on Matt's campaign issues then you do; especially the economic ones.
4. I doubt that he will exclude anyone.
5. Actually I have talked to Matt about issues similar to this. I have also talked to some of his strongest supporters about this. When he made his statement earlier this year about "strip clubs" I took exception to that and let his campaign know that his stance on strip clubs turned me off. I am pretty Libertarian in my views on strip clubs and I think they should be legal...

I agree that Matt has great stances on economic issues and I support all of those stances...

Tom Henry was defeated in an Election by Tom Didier in a close race. Please enlighten me about the "good reason" he was voted out of office. Did Tom Henry commit a crime that I am unaware of? Did he propose a law that is criminal. Please be more specific.

I am glad that you vote based on your views rather then my views! I may still vote for Kelty; it will depend on what happens between now and the election. I am not a supporter of Tom Henry.
I am CERTAIN there are Libertarians who will vote for Kelty. I am equally certain that several Libertarians who were going to vote for Kelty will change their mind; Kody Tinnel is a good example of this...

Please let me know what "slanderous bloggers" you are referring to... I am certain that you are not referring to either myself or Jeff Pruitt. "Slander" is a fairly serious charge.

You can rest assured that I will vote for the best candidate for each position.

Well that was fun...

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are kidding me???

Mike, I have to take serious issue with you on that ad you mention below. And I mean the utmost respect, but I am appalled at this type of thinking in several camps. I am posting this on both Jeff Pruitt's blog and here.

What is unbelievable is that when they go negative on cake and take it to national news NONE of the spin doctors for the Democrats want to take responsibility for any of the negativity you have done yourselves.

BUT when someone steps up to defend Matt Kelty around issues important to that one part of his constituency who disagree with you, you can't wait to cry foul.

Will Mr. Henry tolerate THEIR perspective? Doubtful.

Get a grip. Go look at an issue or something.

Is any of this part of Mr. Kelty's platform? Has he SAID ANYWHERE that he is going to exclude anyone? Any of YOU EVER go and talk to him about this? Sheesh.

Matt Kelty talks about the issues. He talks about economic growth, he talks about changing government to make a more free market and level playing field. He stands on issues and vision, not on other people's "legacy" which has gotten us in this mess of a deteriorating downtown in the first place.

Tom Henry SAT on Council for ?20 years? and was VOTED OUT OF OFFICE for a good reason.

This is one Libertarian who won't change their mind based on a piece of cake, or some ad, or some slanderous bloggers. This is one Libertarian who will be voting on issues and on the idea based on principals of change of status quo....because we have been fighting for this very ideal for several years.

It is a sad day for the Kelty campaign.

Yesterday, Jeff Pruitt predicted that the Kelty campaign would go negative. Unfortunately, he was right...

Please read his post today:

<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/10/kelty-backers-go-negative.html>

Please take the time to listen to the MP3 that Jeff posted on his blog.

It is an extremely disappointing ad that is quite offensive and inappropriate.

I am extremely disappointed...

Extremely...

This ad reminds me of some of the ads that Congressman Mark Souder ran when running against Dr. Hayhurst this year. Those irritated me as well.

While I think it is fair to bring up Henry's voting record on issues like gay rights; this ad goes significantly beyond that.

I imagine that several Libertarians who were going to vote for Kelty no longer will... I know that Kody Tinnel over at <http://kodytinnel.blogspot.com/2007/10/last-straw.html> has changed his mind due to this ad...

Good Grief...

Mike Sylvester

Update on my predictions on how the Democrats would do from November of 2006

In one phrase, The Democrats are embarassing themselves on the national Level.

Jeff Pruitt on his blog has had some very negative things to say about the Mayoral campaign of Matt Kelty. I wonder how he would rank the progress of the Democratic majorities so far in regards to their broad promises they made?

If he thinks the Kelty campaign have made mistakes (And they have) he must be really appalled by the Democrats in Congress. In my opinion he would have to consider them a complete and utter failure...

Lets look at my predictions from last November.

1. Pat White and most conservative talk radio hosts seem to think the Democrats will kill talk radio. This is just right wing paranoia. It will not happen. If it does happen I will have to call in to Pat White and tell him I was wrong; he and I have argued this on the air several times... I would be VERY ANGRY if the Dems try to do this. I am against re-instituting The Fairness Doctrine; it would be a violation of Free Speech.

Updated status, this has been discussed a little bit; however, as I predicted the Democrats are not seriously considering this. I was right.

2. Pat White and most conservative talk radio hosts seem to think that the Dems will try to impeach Bush. If the Dems try to do this they will regret it... I do not buy this either, the Democrats are not going to do this. I am against impeaching Bush.

Updated status, to date this has not been seriously considered and as I predicted the Dems are not seriously considering this. I was right.

3. Amnesty to illegal aliens. This would be terrible for America and wrong. If the Dems make this mistake they will be made to regret it in 2008. There is little doubt in my mind that Bush and The Democrats will grant Amnesty and it will make me angry. I am against Amnesty.

There was a bi-partisan effort to grant Amnesty earlier this year led by Bush and members of both political parties. This effort was defeated by the outrage of the voters. I expect this issue to come up again and I expect a bi-partisan effort to grant amnesty to happen again. The Democrats and President Bush tried to grant amnesty and thank goodness failed. Thanks goodness I was wrong about this one.

4. Pat White and many people think the Dems will immediately draw down troop levels in Iraq. They are wrong and this will be fun to watch. The left wing bloggers and peace wing of the Democratic party is about to get into a big fight with the mainstream Democrats and it will be an ugly fight. It will be an ugly fight because we are not going to do ANYTHING new in Iraq. Even with a new Defense Secretary our policy in Iraq will not significantly change. The media will cover the war differently; but, nothing will change. Not at all. This is really going to make a lot of Democrats like our own Robert Rouse VERY ANGRY at the Dems. We have 133,000 troops in Iraq right now; expect that to continue. We will still have at least 120,000 troops in Iraq in one year.

The Democrats have not done ANYTHING to get troops out of Iraq, in fact we currently have about 162,000 troops in Iraq. Since the Democrats have been in power the troop levels in Iraq have INCREASED. I was right.

5. Pat White and many others think the Dems will go after John Bolton in The United Nations. I am not as sure about this one. My guess is that there will be a half hearted effort to get rid of John Bolton. If Bush caves in John Bolton may go... I think he will stay. I think John Bolton should stay, he has done a good job. Overall The United Nations is a huge waste of taxpayer money...

They unfortunately got Bolton to resign right away which is a shame. I was wrong.

6. I have heard a lot about The Dems repealing all of Bush's tax cuts. I do NOT think the Dems will repeal them all; however, they will allow some of them to retire via their sunset provisions. My guess is that those geared towards the middle class and the poor will remain and that those geared towards the wealthy will be allowed to expire. Unfortunately I think the Dems will make the tax code even more complicated. I think they will allow the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. I think the tax code should be scrapped and simplified.

So far the Democrats have done NOTHING as far as Bush's tax cuts. The silence has been deafening. This will come to a head in a couple of years. I am right so far.

7. I have heard a lot about the Dems allowing the estate taxes to come back. This is definitely not true. The Dems are not going to mess with the estate taxes too much. They MAY even raise the threshold to around 5 million dollars for an estate. I think that the Dems will basically leave The Estate tax alone. I think estate taxes are evil and should be eliminated entirely.

So far the Democrats have done NOTHING and that is what I predicted. I was right.

8. The Dems will increase the minimum wage on the Federal level. This is a given and Bush will not Veto it. Bush babbled about making sure it would not effect small business in his Press Conference; so I am afraid this may become another overly complicated bill The Dems will increase the minimum wage. I am against this because I understand economics and The Constitution. The Federal minimum wage should be abolished and each State should set their own.

As I predicted the Dems did this right away. I was right.

9. The Dems will make no real progress on the Federal Debt no matter what they promise. The Federal Debt was about 8.5 trillion dollars in 2006 at the end of the fiscal year (End of September). Over the last six years the Federal Debt has increased ABOUT 400 billion dollars each year. I expect this to continue. My guess is the Federal Debt will be 8.9 trillion dollars at the end of Sep 2007. I expect it to be 9.3 trillion dollars at the end of Sep 2008. I will be watching this very carefully along with Jeff Pruitt. Nancy Pelosi has made promises that I think she will break. The Dems will talk about fiscal responsibility and will not follow through with them. I am in favor of balancing the Federal Budget TODAY, not in five years.

The National debt grew even more then I expected. It was 9 TRILLION dollars last month. The Dems have not made ANY progress on the national debt, as expected. I was right.

10. The Dems will create even more unfunded Federal liabilities then we have today. I have posted a lot of information on our unfunded Federal liabilities. They are about 75 trillion dollars today. This is criminal. I expect them to continue to increase. The Dems will not touch this issue at all. I am in favor of eliminating all of our unfunded liabilities.

As I predicted the Dems have done nothing to fund any of our existing unfunded liabilities; in fact, most of their presidential candidates are telling us how they will create more... I was right.

11. The Dems will talk about protecting Social Security a lot. As of May of 2006 the unfunded liability of Social Security was 13.4 trillion dollars. (<http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/issues/ib_46.pdf>) In other words, if we had 13.4 trillion dollars invested in US Treasury's in May then Social Security would be solvent; unfortunately, you need to read #9 above. We have NOT saved ANY money for Social Security. What this means is future generations are going to have to pay for the current generation and past generations, which is wrong. The Dems will talk about protecting social security and they will do NOTHING. Social Security needs to be fixed now. It should never have been allowed to have ANY unfunded liability. Note that it had an unfunded liability the day it was created.

As expected the Dems have done nothing to "shore up" social security and I do mean NOTHING. I was right.

12. The Dems will talk about health care a whole lot. One of the largest Democratic talking points was the fact that 50 million American are uninsured as far as health care. I have NO IDEA what The Dems will do. They DO NOT have a plan to fix healthcare. I think they will push for more government involvement and they will throw more money at the problem. This will not work and where will the money come from. I have to think the Dems will try to get health insurance for more people and I have to think they will want the government to pay for it. Obviously I want to kick the government out of health care entirely.


As I predicted the Democrats have tried to get more involved in health care with a large expansion of the SCHIP program. Luckily President Bush vetoed it and his veto was just upheld by Congress. I nailed this one... I was right.

The following items Nancy Pelosi promised to do within the 1st 100 hours and The Dems MUST accomplish to maintain ANY credibility.

13. "Put new rules in place to break the link between lobbyists and legislators." I love this idea; however, The Dems will NOT do this. They will completely blow this promise. I am in favor of this Democratic promise.

To date, by ANY measure, this has been a 100% failure for the Dems as I predicted. I was right.

14. "Enact all recommendations of the 9/11 Commission." I am not sure about this one but I tend to favor it. I fully expect The Dems to keep this promise. I think I am in favor of this promise.

The Dems kept PART of this promise. They ignored the most important and most difficult to implement provisions; however, they did the rest. I will call this one a draw since they did enact many of the easy recommendations.

15. "Cut interest rates on student loans in half." I am against this for obvious reasons. The Federal government needs to get out of Education entirely. The more money you throw at something the more expensive it gets. It is simple economics. If the Federal government cuts the interest rates in half on student loans that means they will pay the difference out of tax payer dollars. This will get expensive and make it harder to balance the budget. I think the Dems will keep this promise. This promise is a bad idea, we need less government involvement in education not more.

The Dems kind of did this. They basically did this for future loans. I was right.

16. "Allow government to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients." I think this is a great idea. I think it is going to be much harder then The Dems think. The drug companies are very powerful and control a lot of Republicans AND Democrats. This issue will be very important to The Dems and they need to keep this promise. I think the Dems will make a feeble effort to do this; however, they will NOT significantly lower drug prices. This promise is a GREAT idea.

Complete failure to date; in fact they are not even discussing it. This was one of their best ideas and it has been an utter failure. I was right.

17. "Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with Federal Funds." I have no problem with stem cell research; however, The Federal government is spending too much of my money as it is. The last thing we need is more government money being spent on a new program. I think the Dems will keep this promise. I have no problem with stem cell research, it should be funded privately or with money from the fifty states; it is not something The Federal government should be involved in.

The Dems did try to do this; however, they failed to over-ride the Presidential veto. I was right.

18. The Dems promised to "pay as you go." I do not understand why we EVER got away from "pay as you go." It makes sense and is most likely my largest problem with both Dems and Reps. They have mortgaged America. The Dems will NOT abide by "pay as you go." Obviously "pay as you go" should be the way it is.

The Democrats have not passed any meaningful legislation at all. We will have to wait and see about this one. We will call this one a draw.

19. "Eliminating corporate subsidies for oil companies." I am in favor of eliminating all Federal subsidies. The Dems will find this more complicated then they think; however, I think they will get this done. Federal subsidies should be eliminated...

The Democrats have started down this road; however, they have still failed to get it done. We will have to wait and see on this one as well. We will call this one a draw.

20. "We will energize America by achieving energy independence." I am in favor of this. It cannot happen in 100 hours and she should NEVER have said this. We are too reliant on foreign oil and we will be just as dependent in two years as we are today. The Dems will fail on this 100%. We need to work on energy dependence; however, neither Party has a plan that will work.The 2006 election was yesterday; Nancy Pelosi has already made some promises that we will look at.

This has been another embarrassing failure. I was right.

21. "Nancy Pelosi promised to run the most ethical and honest administration in history." This is a promise I hope that she keeps; however, I do not think it is possible. This one will have to be graded over the next two years. I expect The Dems to keep using all of the legislative "tricks" both Parties have used for the last 50 years to continue. This promise will be broken, possibly by #20 below. This promise SHOULD be kept; but, they will not.

This has been another awful failure. Nothing has changed in Washington and everyone knows it. Earmarks and corruption are everywhere. I was right.

22. "Nancy Pelosi made the promise in 19 above." Each and every Republican involved in a corruption scandal was defeated in the 2006 Election. Amazingly enough Democratic Congressman William J. Jefferson has not yet been defeated. In Louisiana you have to get at least 50% of the vote or participate in a run off election. Jefferson is still alive and will face off with a Democrat next month in the run off election. Jefferson is accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes by the FBI. The FBI took $90,000 from his freezer and has bribes on videotape. There is really no doubt that Jefferson is guilty. This will be one of The Democrats first tests. Nancy Pelosi promised to clean up Washington and Jefferson is where she needs to start. If she is serious about cleaning up Washington she should travel to Louisiana and back Jefferson's opponent. The National Democratic Party should pitch in a lot of money and destroy Jefferson in his election next month. I expect Jefferson to be defeated in December; however, I do not expect The National Democrats to ensure his defeat. Jefferson is scum and should have resigned...

The Democrats blew it on this one as well. Big time. I was right.

I made 22 predictions about the Democrats almost a year ago when they won the Elections. Here is the score:

I was right on 17 issues
I was wrong on two issues
Three issues are a draw and we will have to wait and see

The National Democratic Party has not done almost ANYTHING this entire year.

Mike Sylvester

Who I would vote for in the upcoming City Elections

I will have a future post with my predictions on who I think will win each race after the campaign finance reports come out.

Here is who I would support in each race:

Mayor
I support Matt Kelty (R)

1st District City Council
I support Byron Peters (L)
(Note, Councilman Smith (R) is a close second)

2nd District City Council
This is the toughest race in the City other then the at-large race.
I support Jon Bartels (L)
(Note, Karen Goldner has ran a great race and has ran the best campaign by a large margin; I almost decided to vote for Karen over Jon)

3rd District City Council
I support Councilman Didier (R)

4th District City Council
I support Mitch Harper (R)

5th District City Council
I support Robert Fuller (L)

6th District City Council
I support Robert Enders (L)

City Council at Large
I support Councilman Shoaff (D)
I support Doug Horner (L)
I support William Larsen (L)

The City Clerks race is uncontested.

So out of the ten contested races I support:
One Democrat
Three Republicans
Six Libertarians

I have NEVER voted a "straight party ticket" in my life and I doubt that I ever will. I always vote based on the candidate not based on their Party.

Who are you planning on voting for on November 6th?

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Word gets around....

Word gets around regarding bias in the media:


Leo Morris' (The News-Sentinel) comments at:
http://openingarguments.wordpress.com/2007/10/17/the-l-word/

Mitch Harper's (Fort Wayne Observed) comments at:
http://indiana.typepad.com/fwob/2007/10/leo-tracy-this-.html

Mark Rutherford (Atlas!PAC, and Former State Chair Libertarian Party of Indiana) comments at:
http://lpinscr.blogspot.com/2007/10/fort-wayne-journal-gazette-ignores.html

Doug Horner is asking for your help

To All,

As one of three Libertarian candidates running at large it is extremely hard to get our message out. The two old parties have an extremely well oiled machine that has been in place for decades. I applaud them for the work it has taken for them to achieve this level of progress.

I will be receiving yards signs to put out in the next several days.

If you agree with our county platform and mine in particular please contact me by Email with your name and address so that I can get you a yard sign.

I have answered both newspapers interviews and have attended as many public functions as I can. I will be taking off several days from work prior to the election to get the word out. However, that is not enough!

I need everyones help to share with the citizens of Fort Wayne that this year they have a choice! This year they can vote against government expansion and government involvement in their daily lives.

Please let me know if you, your friends, or family would be willing to share my name with their fellow citizens of this great community.

Again, I need your help!

You can visit my website at: http://www.allencountylp.org/horner4citycouncil/

My email address is: Doug.Horner2@Verizon.Net.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner (L)
Candidate, City Council at Large

Allen County Right to Life Banquet

My wife and I attended the Allen County Right to Life dinner and fundraiser last night. This event was attended by about 800 people and was their largest such event to date. This group is a vibrant, growing, and passionate group. I was extremely surprised by the age of those who attended; I expected a much older crowd then was present.

The event was held at the Grand Wayne Center. The catered dinner was good and the company was even better.

We saw quite a few people that we knew at the event:
Three clients (Two of which are related to the Tippman family)
Two past Republican candidates for City Council who unfortunately did not win the
nomination
Councilman Didier
City Council candidate Mitch Harper.
Allen County Libertarian Chair Jennifer Jeffrey
Local blogger Dan Turkette
Local attorney Mark Garvin
Fred Rost, head of the Board of Allen County Right to Life
Republican Mayoral candidate Matt Kelty

The speakers were fairly good and my favorite was actually the MC; Charlie Butcher. His opening about how he was pro-choice for much of his life; however, changed his stance a few years ago is fairly similar to my experience.

I am glad I attended the event and Allen County Right to Life put on a very nice event.

As most of the readers of this blog know for the vast majority of my life I felt abortion was wrong; however, I felt that it was a woman's right to choose. Almost five years ago my son was born, he was born 7 weeks early. Both he and my wife nearly died the night he was born; it was very close. My son was yanked out of my wife 44 minutes after we entered the hospital by a desperate ER surgeon. I was in the room and I will never forget the experience. I was scared out of my wits. The experience changed my views on abortion.

I currently think that the vast majority of abortions that occur are wrong. Here are my current views on abortion:

1. I think Roe v Wade should be overturned. I believe in the rights of the 50 states and the Federal government has NO RIGHT to even be involved in this issue at all. I think abortion should be regulated by each of the fifty states.
2. If abortion were up to each of the fifty states I would be in favor of Indiana having a law that
severely limited abortion. I would be in favor of something along these lines:
a. I think that life begins when the baby has the ability to live outside of the womb. I would be in favor of a law that limited abortions to the first three months of pregnancy; unless the life of the mother was at risk. As far as I am concerned the health of the mother is paramount.
b. I would further require that mother's considering abortions get information about other options available to them; especially adoption.

I think that 80% - 95% of the abortions that occur are wrong and should be avoided.

I think that abortion should not be used a birth control.

That being said; there are a couple of places I disagree with some of the right to life supporters:
1. I believe in stem cell research. I think that stem cell research will lead to great medical advances and save a large number of lives.
2. I do not believe that life begins at conception. I believe a baby is a person when they can survive outside of the womb.
3. I have no problem with the morning after pill in cases of rape.

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Allow me to introduce myself.

Allow me to introduce myself; I am Michael Brightbill candidate for city council at large.
I'm 22 years old and work in food service. I enjoy going to the movies and spending time with my friends, likely playing games.
Many of you don't know me, and haven't heard from me in the past. This is primarily due to my own fault. I am a new to politics and running as a candidate so things that other politico take for granted, I have to learn on the fly.
I've given four interviews so far. One to The News Sentinel, one to the Journal Gazette by phone, one to Doug Horner on his public access show, and one by e-mail with a reporter from Frost Illustrated.

"Why are you running?" they all ask.
Because I'm tired. I'm tired of a city council that is diametrically opposed to the concepts of individual sovereignty. The smoking ban is just a bloated display of the council's hubris. The Harrison Square project a boondoggle of unforeseen proportions.
If the Harrison Square project is such a good idea, fine. Let the businesses take the gamble with their own money, not ours.
Unfortunately these things have been voted on and passed before we could come to office to head them off.

"Why should we vote for you?"
That's a good question. Who am I? 22 year old single guy running for office for the first time.
My keyword in this circumstance is "humility."
I'd like to bring some humility to the city council. I will freely admit that I don't know everything. I don't have all the answers to all the questions, yet. I'd like to rein in the city council's propensity toward outrageous plans and laws, and instead get them more focused on what their job is and should only be: infrastructure, safety.

Tracy Warner's Explanation of Endorsements

In his Journal Gazette column today, Tracy Warner writes:

"The Libertarian Party is fielding candidates in eight of the nine City Council races. The board declined to interview the Libertarians in these races because, at least for now, the party has failed to yield competitive candidates for local or statewide offices. In last year’s election for Indiana House District 80, for example, the Libertarian candidate received less than 4 percent of the vote. In the 2004 presidential election, the party’s presidential candidate received less than 1 percent of the vote in Allen County.

We welcome your letters to the editor about candidates and our endorsements."

You can read the whole thing here: http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071016/EDIT0502/710160347

I guess the first thing that bothers me is earlier in the column he states it is an aid for voters, but if it is an aid and they don't ever bother to interview the candidates to get information, how is it of any service to the public?

Second is we were good enough to interview for the BCA/ABC/FWAA/HBA, Northside Association, YLNI, News-Sentinel, BIZPAC, Right to Life, Unions, Churches, and many other organizations....but because we didn't fit the agenda of the News-Sentinel, we weren't? Not all the candidates in either Republican or Democrat camps agree with both, but they were interviewed?

Third is that we achieved Ballot Access by getting more than enough of a percentage, as required by law, at the State level several years ago. Why isn't that good enough?

Ben Lanka has interviewed each of our candidates since Friday, but I am told it is for a different piece. The editorial endorsements will be for people who agree with both the smoking ban and Harrison Square? The interviews were conducted with Tracy Warner, Julia Inskeep, and Karen Franscisco.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Great piece in Saturday's JG

There are two writers that I especially like at the JG: Dan Stockman and Ben Lanka. Dan Stockman has had some great investigative pieces in the JG in recent years.

Check this one out:

<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071014/LOCAL10/710140318>

I have not reviewed the tax returns or "books" of "Up the Stairs" and I am relying on the JG for all of my information.

The story details accounting"discrepancies" at a local not-for-profit. The below items need to be fixed; but, are not as big of a deal as the items that follow...

1. The group has done a poor job of "bookkeeping" over the last several years.
2. The group has filed inaccurate tax returns for the last few years.

These items are more normal then you might think. We often take on new clients who are "in trouble" with either the IRS or the Indiana Department of Revenue. We end up going back 3 years in most cases and "fixing" their books.

There are also several items in the story that are extremely disturbing:

1. They are controlled by a five person Board. Their current President has been President since 2006 and has been a Board member for more then ten years. He said that he has never seen the group's tax returns. If true, this is a major problem!
2. Another man has been on the Board since the 1980's and was the previous Treasurer. According to the piece he:
Was not aware the group had reported an $18,000 discrepancy THEN
Said he had forgotten about the $18,000 discrepancy THEN
Said he had read last years tax return THEN
Said he could not remember is he had read any tax returns since 2002.
Heck, maybe Karen Richard will appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate this...
3. Their previous President (2005 and part of 2006) proposed an audit in July of 2006 and contacted the Indiana AG and the Allen County Prosecutor. Both organizations told her there would have to be an audit PRIOR to an investigation... (This is a major problem as well, if the President of a Board reports a problems and asks for an investigation then there most likely should be an investigation) The previous President then properly resigned.
4. Another Board member was on the Board for two months in 2006 and was then kicked off, according to him he asked too many questions...

Here is my take on this:

1. Board members should take their jobs seriously. Board members should be qualified to hold the posts they hold.
2. It sure sounds like this not-for-profit has large problems. I think that the Allen County Prosecutor should investigate them. Not-for-profit status has to be awarded and there are requirements that must be met to retain not-for-profit status.
3. Board's of Publicly held companies now have to have a financial professional on their Board; it is a legal requirement. This Board should immediately find one and preferably two financial professionals to join their Board and help them implement proper accounting and reporting procedures.
4. The group should be FORCED to get an audit.

What do you think?

Mike Sylvester

P.S. I did cancel my subscription to the JG per an earlier post and I will miss reading some of their pieces...

A funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth...

Got a phone call, and then a few others, from the Journal Gazette. Seems as though they are putting together something about our candidates....

Updates when they happen!

Hear Libertarian Candidates Tonight!

Tonight is another chance to hear Mayoral and City Council candidates speak when they address the community at the Northside Candidate Night.

The event will be at Northside High School from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Coincidentally, the regular business meeting of the Libertarian Party of Allen County is also tonight at 6:30 at the ACME BAR and Grille on State Street.

Libertarians at Large Thursday

To All,

This is just a reminder that Thursday October 18th is the Libertarians At Large live call in program.

As we are approaching the election I will change my normal style.

This Thursday I will be the guest and Mike Sylvester will be the HOST!

Feel free to call in and question me to your hearts content on any topic that is relevant to Fort Wayne.

As usual I will be on Cable #57 from 7P - 8P.

The call in # should be: 422 - 3902.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Respectfully,

Doug Horner
Candidate, City Council at Large

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Libertarians on Channel 21 Updated

Updated:
Libertarians on Channel 21 this weekend:


http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/10511967.html

Predictions

Frequently you'll see predictions on upcoming elections made in the news and on blogs like this one. Sometimes these predictions are intended to be self-fulfilling, to discourage those who oppose the supposed frontrunner. Whether or not you should take these predictions seriously depends on several things.
  • Do they site any data as the basis for their prediction, like polling data or demographic statistics?
  • How big of a stake do they have in the race? Are they backing one of the candidates?
  • Do they have a track record of accurate predictions? Is the person making the prediction the same anonymous troll who predicted victory for Charles Langley in November?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Libertarian interviews at 6:00

Several Libertarian candidates for City Council in Fort Wayne were interviewed today and that information will air on WPTA Indiana News Center at 6:00 PM tonight.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Can you hear me now?

Despite the risk of sounding like old news, I have to throw out a couple comments made by Carl Berstein yesterday afternoon at IPFW.:

"Most good reporting is done in defiance of management”

and

"...there is a place for news of the weird and celebrity gossip but it should be in proportion with the more relevant news."

Crickets....and Blowhorns

Crickets..... what I hear from the Journal about not interviewing Libertarian Candidates. Someone I know talked to Craig Klugman and he said they WOULD interview the Libertarians now (yesterday afternoon) .... Hello? Need my number? It's on every email and Ben Lanka has it on his cell phone.....I will believe it when I see it.

Blowhorns...how loud the sounds are from hundreds of emails and phone calls representing ALL the parties saying it's wrong.

Libertarian Robert Fuller gets ACRL Endorsement

FORT WAYNE, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Allen County Right to Life Political Action Committee (ACRL- PAC) today endorsed a number of candidates seeking local elected office in the general election November 6th in Fort Wayne and New Haven.

Mayor City of Fort Wayne: Matt Kelty (R)

City Council at Large: Martin Bender (R), Elizabeth Brown (R), Denise Porter-Ross (D)

City Council 1st District:Thomas Smith (R)
2nd :Donald Schmidt (R)
3rd :Thomas Didier (R)
4th :Mitchel Harper (R)
5th :Robert Fuller (L)
6th :Joe A. Smith, Sr. (R)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I am still laughing...


I cancelled by subscription to the JG this afternoon

I cancelled my JG subscription and I sent the below email to several poeple at the JG including their fearless leader Richard Inskeep and Editorial page editor Tracy Warner.

I am appalled that you have decided not to interview any of the eight Libertarian candidates for City Council.

The purpose of a newspaper is to inform its readers about local events. No one can remember the last time eight candidates from outside of the two major parties have ran for public office in a City election. In case you do not realize it; that is news…

One of the Libertarian candidates has walked and talked to more voters in his District then any major Party candidate with the exclusion of Karen Goldner. Some of the Libertarian candidates for City Council have raised more money then some of the major Party candidates. Each public forum has been attended by numerous Libertarians.

I have cancelled my daily subscription to the JG as of ten minutes ago.

I will be encouraging everyone I know to cancel their subscriptions as well.


Mike Sylvester

Tracy Warner and the JG

Tracy Warner and the JG are showing their inability to cover local elections in a competant manner; again.

Jennifer Jeffrey is the Chiar of the Allen County Libertarian Party. She sent Tracy Warner the below email:

"Tracy, can you tell me when the candidate interviews are for City Council and when the endorsements will be published? Thank you."

She just received the below email from Tracy Warner:

"The endorsements will be published later this month. We are currently conducting interviews with the major party candidates."

The Libertarian candidates have been invited to every major political event in Fort Wayne that I know of including: News-Sentinel interviews, YLNI, BCA, Northside, Chamber BIZPAC and the Northwest area Partnership to name a few.

I am extremely disgusted by the JG and by Tracy Warner's arrogant response. The JG is doing a disservice to its readers by only covering the candidates that Tracy Warner chooses to interview.

Do not get me wrong, the JG is a private business and can choose to cover the items they choose to cover; however, this is the last straw for me.

I am cancelling my subscription to the JG today. I will not support the JG any longer.

Mike Sylvester