Friday, November 30, 2007

Harrison Square: Now What?

Harrison Square supporters are encouraging the rest of us to support the project. But it's their baby, let them raise it. If the project is as good as they say it is, it does not need our help because it will attract new residents, business, and tourism. If the project is as bad as I think it is, it will fail no matter what we do.

A likely scenario is that after opening day at the ballpark, we see a huge photo of a large crowd on the front page of the Journal Gazette. The editorial page will proclaim Harrison Square to be a success. A few years after that we'll have a bunch of shiny, empty buildings and people scratching their heads and wondering why.

I'm still optimistic that Fort Wayne will continue to grow and prosper in spite of what happens downtown. The Harvester neighborhood has stagnated for the past 25 years, yet the rest of the city continues to thrive.

But I refuse to accept responsibility for what happens downtown. You all were warned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tax Abatement 101 for City Council

Well, they are at it again...

Please read Kevin Leininger's article in the NS:
<http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071128/NEWS/711280319>

I would like to discuss granting a tax abatement to "A $4.9 million, 60-unit apartment complex to be built at 6901 Huguenard Road by Keller Development Inc., which would create one full-time job. Fifty-seven of the units would be reserved for moderate- or low-income residents."

This apartment complex will be located at the very edge of Fort Wayne away from Downtown...

The apartment complex will create ONE full time job.

And our City Council has decided allow this company to pay less in taxes and City Council has decided to pass those taxes onto the backs of the rest of Fort Wayne's business owners.

DOES ANYONE READING THIS BLOG AGREE WITH THIS TAX ABATEMENT?

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Modern Modest Proposal

All this talk of universal healthcare is small potatoes. Let's get back to basics. Americans spend more per capita on healthcare than any other country, but they spend even more money on something even more important: food! Let's nationalize the food and beverage industry. The government should be completely responsible for all food production AND preparation. Consider:
  • Economies of Scale: It would far more efficient for a government meal hall to provide food for 1000 people than it is for those 1000 people to provide for themselves.
  • Public Health: All you fat Americans are clearly ill equipped to make your own nutritional choices. Plus you could stand to get some exercise working on a collective farm.
  • Cost: Why spent $200 buying food at the grocery store when for just $50 extra in taxes, you could be eating what everyone else is eating!
  • Advertising: The restaurant industry spends billions on advertising, yet this programs sells itself! No more annoying McDonald's commercials! The Taco Bell dog is an enemy of the people!

For those who do not get the literary reference, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Online schools

This year, the state legislature voted to ban any state funding for online charter schools. That was a mistake. Online schools can provide an education at a much lower cost than a brick and mortar school. There are some obvious drawbacks, but it is still shortsighted to rule them out completely. As technology progresses, the advantages increase and the disadvantages decrease. Consider these previous arguments against online schools:
  • "Lower income children cannot attend online schools." The price of Internet access continues to decline, and many public libraries offer Internet access for free.
  • "It's easy to cheat in an online course." There are measures, such as webcams, that can be taken in order to verify that a student is in fact doing the work. Students can also study online and take the tests in person, as is the practice with many university courses that are currently available.
  • "Kids don't learn social skills." Many kids don't learn social skills at school anyway. In fact, school massacres can be prevented by having the brainiac sociopath types stay home and have them study online. Many teenagers simply are not fit to enter society until puberty is over.

The advantages are as obvious as the drawbacks. Money is saved on infrastructure, transportation, and textbooks. Many kids learn better by reading than they do from a lecture. Education has been quick to adopt other technological advances. I've watched schools go from using film projectors to VCR's. Let's apply the Internet to its full potential to the educational process.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Politicians and past drug use

Barack Obama has admitted to using drugs as a teenager. I appreciate his honesty, assuming he did in fact use drugs as a teenager. Its only a matter of time before a politician is accused of fabricating drug use. ("He wasn't at Jezebel's party that night we all smoked that bowl," alleged the chairman of Potheads For Truth. "He was at home, STUDYING! How can a square like him be president?")

Seriously, I have never used illegal drugs, and I would advise everyone else from using illegal drugs as well. I also advise you all to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. I do not think that past drug use or lack of a fire extinguisher disqualifies you from ever becoming president. You cannot make it to the age of 35 without making some mistakes along the way.

The dollar falls further

At its worst point yesterday the dollar fell to $1.4968 per Euro.

Do not expect to see front page coverage of this in the local newspapers. Do not expect to see an in depth report on the local TV news. Do not expect either Republican or Democratic presidential hopefuls to discuss this in detail. Do not expect our own Congressman, Mark Souder, to have a plan for dealing with this issue...

In short, expect the mainstream media and our politicians to continute to ignore the fall of the dollar...

Here is a good article about how the fall of the dollar is effecting Airbus:
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7108146.stm>

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

To All,

I hope everyone has a great holiday and gets stuffed!

I intend to pack in as much low carb food as I possibly can.

On a serious note please take a moment to appreciate what we have and be truly thankful. As much as I as a Libertarian gripe about things I still love my country, my state, and even my city. There are folks around the world and even in this country who have very little to be thankful for compared to those of us fortunate enough to read this blog. I know. I drive some of them.

Respectfully,

Doug

PS - Stay warm and dry too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The dollar continues its drop

The dollar fell to 1.4814 dollars per Euro today.

Do not expect to hear as much about this from the mainstream media as it warrants. The erosion of the value of the dollar is a huge deal and is not good for America.

The dollar has dropped so far that it is now likely that both Japan and China will start shifting away from holding the massive amount of dollars they hold and switch to a "basket" of currencies. This will of course make the dollar fall even farther...

OPEC has again started talking about switching from the dollar. I do not expect this to happen; our government will put a lot of pressure on our allies in OPEC to keep using the dollar.

So do not expect this topic to get the attention it should from Presidential candidates, the mainstream media, etc...

Mike Sylvester

Homeland Security is out of control

This post has been simmering for quite awhile...

There is a new sign down in the basement parking lot under the Fort Wayne Allen County Library downtown. It is a professional sign that the library was required to post by Homeland Security. It says:

"You have one half an hour past closing time to remove your vehicle from the garage or it will be towed."

This is absolutely incredible. This is a good example of what The Department of Homeland Security is spending taxpayer dollars on to protect this country.

This regulation appears to be in place to prevent "terrorists" from leaving a car loaded with explosives in the parking garage below the library and leave it in the parking lot past closing. What on Earth are these "people" at Homeland Security thinking?

I have a lot of problems with this:

1. First of all I have a hard time believing the downtown Fort Wayne Library is a terrorist target.
2. Second no cars are searched upon entering the parking garage. So there is nothing in place to prevent a "terrorist" from parking in the parking garage duing the day and blowing their car up while the library is full of people rather then at night after everyone has gone home.


I could just go on and on...

Homeland Security is wasting my tax dollars.

If Homeland Security wants to protect America they need to secure the borders of this country and document the 12 million illegal aliens living in this country.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nancy Pelsoi and some Democrats do NOT get it

You have to read this article from the WSJ Online:
<http://opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110010881>

This article discusses the fact that some Democrats (Including the Hispanic Caucus and now Nancy Pelosi) want to keep allowing the EEOC to process lawsuits against American business owners who require their employees to speak English.

Over 200 such lawsuits were filed by the EEOC last year against American companies.

My wife and I own a company in Fort Wayne. It is an accounting firm.

Apparently the EEOC can sue me and my wife if we choose not to hire a potential employee because they do not speak English or if we were to fire an existing employee because they do not speak English.

This is wrong.

Our clients speak English, we speak English, and I feel that our employees should speak English.

What is America coming to?

Is there ANYONE who reads this blog who thinks that the EEOC should sue employers who require their employees to speak English?

Mike Sylvester

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Feds raid Liberty Services

Last week the FBI raided the office of Liberty Services, a private organization that produced its own currency. It should be pointed out that it is not illegal to produce privately-issued currency. Liberty Services has been openly operating since 1998. The group is being investigated for fraud and money laundering, although I have not yet read what Liberty Services has allegedly done that was fraudulent.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Colts

My wife and are heading heading down to the game tomorrow. My mother got us tickets for Christmas and we in turn got two additional tickets for my brother-in-law and father-in-law who we will meet down at the game.

My father-in-law got into Chicago today from Germany. He is an ex-pat who has come back to visit for a couple of weeks...

Mike

LPAC Public Access Programs

To All,

I would like to share with everyone a brief history of our Public Access programming here in Fort Wayne. It is important for everyone who is interested in politics and may want to learn more about the Libertarian Party.

Several months after the Libertarian Party was reformed in Allen County I was skimming channels when I saw a gentleman doing his own program on Public Access. I mentioned this at a meeting and thought it was something I could do. As many folks who have met me know I can talk for hours and have more than my karmic share of hot air. Jeannette Jaquish had done some public access work in another city and was happy to help.

We investigated how the process works in Allen County and the two of us began co-producing "The Libertarian Perspective". This was and remains a half-hour program. My criteria for topics was, and still is, anything of political or social importance. I determine what that is exactly, but I am open to suggestions and try to be reasonable with the topics. When the show first aired we were successful at airing it weekly. As time passed I began to fall behind trying to line up programs.

Elizabeth Lord, who works for Public Access, gently put forward the idea that we go to a bi-weekly program. After seeing how hard it was to do a weekly program I readily agreed.

Somewhere in here I became interested in doing a live show. I wanted to do something that would allow us to interact with the public and try to respond to questions and clarify positions. We then began airing "Libertarians at Large" on the third Thursday of every month from 7PM - 8PM.

Jeannette had to drop out when she began the Firehouse Theater on State Street. She does an excellent job with that.

On the "Libertarians at Large" program I keep my guests to Libertarian party members. I do this because I want the public to understand the Libertarian view on issues as the public asks questions.

Over the last several years we have won the Philo T Farnsworth award for political, informative, non-professional programming. We have covered such topics as: the Fair Tax plan, AIDs, stem cell research, property taxes and how they are determined, Harrison Square, eduction, sheriffs candidates, and many more.

I know I can always improve. I am learning every time I go to shoot a program. I also need to put in a plug for the great volunteers who man the cameras, adjust the audio, direct, answer the phone, and many other services they provide. Without the volunteers Public Access would not work.

If anyone would care to suggest a guest or topic I would be more than happy to hear from you. Lord knows I can use all the help I can get.

I hope to continually improve the program. It has been an outreach tool that has helped to share our message with people who may not fully understand who Libertarians are and what we stand for (and what we stand against).

Feel free to ask any questions you want and stay tuned!

Respectfully,

Doug Horner (L)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Troll comment of the week

Conventional wisdom holds that it is best to ignore troll posts. But where's the fun in that? My words are in red.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The "Karen" who posted this is not Councilwoman-elect Karen Goldner.

Karen comments on "Libertarians At Large Tomorrow":

I watched the show on channel 57 yesterday evening. I have to ask you..how in the world do you expect to win much of anything, when you bring people on your show that don't exhibit the self respect to wear appropriate attire. For the two of you that tried to wear a suit, it appears that you "got" (I hesitate to use the word buy here) the (for lack of a better word) suit, at some goodwill store and never tried to make the clothes fit.

Many politicians do not always wear suits. Have you ever been to a candidate forum? In 2006 I attended a candidate forum and I was the only candidate wearing a suit.
Also, there is nothing wrong with secondhand clothes. It saves natural resourses to buy used instead of new.

And that Horner guy....geeze what a flake huh...it's hard to take you seriously when you have inflated ego that has no substance.

To say that a politician has an inflated ego is like saying that a wheel is round. A wheel needs to be round in order for it to fufill its function. A politician needs an inflated ego in order to make policies that impact the lives of thousands of people.

For god sakes get hair cut, or at least even up both sides. ...it's hard to take you seriously when you look like a clown...that goes for all of you....Especially the junkie looking guy,Fuller.

Mr. Fuller is visually impaired. He is unable to drive a car because of this impairment, and his eyes do not always face in the same direction. His appearance is not due to substance abuse.

No matter what you think you're trying to do ...you are not doing anything but making it worse. Please try and clean yourselves up.. Take pride in your appearance if you honestly expect to represent anyone other than your cat. Then maybe once you get to the point where you're not offensive to look upon, someone may want to try and listen to what you have to say. But from what I've seen...I doubt it.

Ever since the Kennedy-Nixon debates, a lot of emphasis has been placed on the physical appearance of candidates. To this day, I wonder if the fate of this nation and the world at large is going to hinge on a qualified presidential candidate having a bad hair day. Many voters place style over substance. Perhaps we should start nominating fashion models?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mayor requests a $10,000 raise for next year

Please read this story:
<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071115/LOCAL/711150307>

Wow...

City employees get a 3% raise, our current Mayor wants the next Mayor to get an 8% raise.

I actually think the Mayor should make a fair amount of money. I think the $120,000 the Mayor currently makes is sufficient.

I have one question about this that you will not hear from the press...

Why did our current Mayor wait until AFTER the election to announce this request?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

LPAC November Business Meeting

To All,

A reminder that our November business meeting is coming up.

Who: Libertarians and the public are invited
What: Monthly Business Meeting
Where: Acme Bar & Grill - 1101 E State Blvd
When: 6:30PM Meet & Greet + Food & Beer! 7PM - Begin Meeting
Why: Share information and plan for upcoming events

I will have a sign in sheet at the door so please sign in.

If you have any questions or get lost call me at 704 - 4698.

Also if anyone has any of my yard signs left feel free to bring them. It will save me a trip and I really appreciate it!

Respectfully,

Doug Horner (L)
Secretary, LPAC

Libertarians At Large Tomorrow

To All,

This is just a reminder that our television program will be airing tomorrow evening from 7PM - 8PM on Cable Chanel #57.

My guests will be Jon Bartels and Robert Fuller, both candidates in the last city council race.

We will be discussing our own campaigns and our own personal plans for future campaigns.

Call In and join us!!!

Respectfully,

Doug Horner (L)
Secretary, Libertarian Party of Allen County

Point to ponder about the Smoking Ban

This is a reprint from a comment made by the profile Ken Stocker. I wanted to draw attention to it because it gives a specific account of what has happened to one bar. I think it is something worth reading in spite of anyone's person, political and economic reasons aside.


On Saturday night, Oct 27, the local band I’m a member of played a gig at 4D’s Bar and Grill on Dupont Road. 4D’s was once a thriving nightclub establishment, but no longer. It is dying. And the one reason that is causing it, the smoking ban. While playing, I was observing the effects of the smoking ban first hand, and felt compelled to write about it. After our musical stint was over, I had a discussion with the owner of the establishment, Hamid Moftahedi. Hamid gave me full permission to express publicly what he had to describe, and my observations of things that had taken place. I do not know Hamid apart from being hired to play at his bar, and it was me who approached him about this issue. Let’s just say he was more than willing to let me know how he felt.

Hamid bought 4D’s from four men who started the place a year and a half ago, and whose names all began with a D, hence the name. After the purchase, renovations were made that replaces all the furniture, remodeled the décor, and added a band stage. A sound system was added, along with a dance floor and a disco lighting setup. People were coming and the place was making a profit. But on October 1, the city annexed the land area where 4D’s was located, and the smoking ban went into effect. Once that occurred, patronage went way down.

We have played there several times before, and last night the crowd size was one quarter of the typical nights. I asked the door attendant if this was the trend since the ban and he confirmed. In order to combat this, Hamid invested $40,000 dollars in building an outdoor hut behind the main building to provide a place for people to have a smoke. Most of the patrons that did come to 4D’s entered the front door, and made a bee line right out to the smoking hut, never even bothering to grab an indoor table. Hamid stated that this is not working for him however. It is not an environment where people want to order food and drinks. He said that people have commented it’s like going out for a night on the town in your garage.

And I agree with him. I went out there to see for myself. Due to construction requirements, it’s real breezy from the waist down, and your head is up in the warm pocket of air above the open frame of the wall. But guess what, the smoke is still there. The pocket of air can’t be circulated, because if it were, the heat would be lost. I observed groups of people out there where only a few of them were smoking. The rest were not, but went out to the patio in deference to their friends. So, in the end everyone is still smoking, still in a smoky atmosphere, their non smoking friends are with them, the only difference is that they are now standing in a drafty garage instead of the nice, interior where a nice décor, dance floor, and band have been provided. I ask what has been gained by this? But I do know what was lost. Hamid is out $40,000 dollars in an attempt to keep his clientele. But he has found it to have been futile. The expense of heating this outdoor room will become prohibitive in the colder months, and to boot, the people out there are not buying food or drink. Even though he did a nice job aesthetically, the open-air requirements just don’t allow for a comfortable experience.

People are going to stop going to these establishments, because the thrill is gone. With only a small group, it is not lively. When you have a room full of people, it take on a life of it’s own. People behave differently in a large gathering as opposed to a small group. It is just like the difference in watching a blockbuster movie in a crowded theatre verses seeing it in a theatre with 15 other people all spread out. The collective experience is not there. And that is what happened last night. Those that were in the room applauded for us politely, but for the most part sat calmly in their chairs. There were not enough people to get the spark going. There was back in September when we last played. Without the crowd dynamic, that experience is gone. And the few that did come, are going to soon stop as well. They are going to follow the crowds, right out of town.

New City Council might modify smoking ban.

Of the five city council members who were re-elected, Tom Didier voted against the ban and Glynn Hines supported an exemption for private clubs.
This is how the four new city council members stand.
Bender- Against the ban
Harper- Against the ban
Goldner- Wants an exemption for bars.
Brown- Intially supported the ban, but opposes repealing it on the ground that several bars had spent money building outdoor patios. I do wonder what she would think if she were lobbied by bar owners like Byron Peters who had built patios but still want the ban repealed.

By my count, there will be a 5-4 to grant an exemption to private clubs, or a 5-3-1 vote to grant an exemption to bars.

Fort Wayne now grants a Subway a tax abatement

Jeff Pruitt over at Fort Wayne Left, has a post and commentary that you just have to read about the most recent actions of our City Council:
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/11/move-over-mcdonalds-here-comes-subway.html>

Our City Council does NOT understand Economic Development.

A couple of decades ago Fort Wayne residents enjoyed a wage that was just over the average National wage.

Today the average wage in this region is 80% of the national wage.

And for the second time in the last few weeks our City Council has granted a tax abatement to a fast food restaurant.

This will transfer $450,000 of taxes from Subway to other businesses in Fort Wayne.

Is there ANYONE who reads this blog that thinks the City of Fort Wayne should have granted a tax abatement to Subway?

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anonymous comments

After consulting with Mike, I have decided to ban anonymous comments. In the past I have allowed them because there were readers who had well thought out comments to post, but for whatever reason did not know how to set up a Blogger account. From now on, if you have something to say in this forum, feel free to email me with "Reader Mail" in the subject line. I will post these comments myself if I think that they are worthy of posting. I hope to have "Reader Mail" as a regular feature since that means less content that I have to write myself.

We try to maintain a standard of decorum on this forum. At the same time, if you trolls aren't allowed to post your drivel, you'll just go out and deface a bathroom stall. So as an outlet for your creativity, I will continue to allow anonymous comments on "Blog of the Enders". I posted an open thread there just now, so knock yourselves out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pakistan illustrates several problems

I am sure most of the readers of this blog know what is happening in Pakistan. The US has been supporting the current ruler of Pakistan for quite some time. We give him about 1 billion dollars a year and he is somewhat helping us deal with forces we are fighting in Afghanistan.

The President of Pakistan is a moderate who has been fairly friendly to the US.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan was recently disbanded and "martial law" was declared. The President of Pakistan is using the military to enforce his will on the people and has imposed emergency measures and suspended the Constitution.

To make a long story short he has become a dictator and is trying to stamp out the resistance to him being President.

This is a terrible situation and one that we should not stand for. We do not need to get involved with our military (for obvious reasons) however we should take a stronger diplomatic stand.

I think this situation should illustrate a couple of things for the readers of this blog.

First and foremost it illustrates why we must always ensure that the citizenry of this Country is well armed. You never know when a group of idiots will rise to power and we must always ensure that we can remove them if need be...

Second it helps illustrate what is wrong with our foreign policy. Our foreign policy has been terrible for the last forty years. We support leaders who "marginally" support us and we support countries because they are the "lesser of two evils." This has got to stop.

We need to immediately and drastically reduce foreign aid and we need to only aid those countries that are Democratic and that are our strong allies.

Mike Sylvester

Veterans Day

Veterans Day has always had a special significance for me.

My father was in the US Army at the end of World War Two and was discharged in 1953.

I had five Uncles when I was growing up (All are gone now) and four of the five served in the US military.

I have a total of four first cousins. Of those four; three served in the US military (One is still serving and will most likely make a career of it).

I spent six years on active duty myself.

When I go to family re-unions well over 80% of the men at those re-unions are military veterans and we often discuss where we served and what branch we were in. I was in the navy; most of my family served in the army...

I always reflect on the history of this country and the importance of its military on Veterans Day.

Since Viet-Nam, this nation has been divided on many, many topics. Prior to the Viet-Nam conflict this Country pulled together; since Viet-Nam conflicts have tore us apart.

I support the US military, I always have, and I always will. I feel that our military is one of the main reasons that our Country is free and I feel that our military has helped make the world a better place.

I do not like some of the conflicts this Country has engaged in and I do not like the current conflict in Iraq at all. I feel that we need to either "take the gloves off" and let our military fight like we have in past wars or that we need to pull out relatively quickly.

Unfortunately I think that we will stay in Iraq and that we will not "take the gloves off."

I am disappointed that our political (and sometimes military) leadership has fought this conflict poorly and I am disappointed in the political rhetoric that has been bantered back and forth between the Republicans and Democrats to "score political points" with the voters.

I hope that our men and women in uniform are safe from harm and I hope that our military is given the respect that it deserves.

Mike Sylvester

My new blog

I will launch my new blog in the next couple of days.

My new blog will be geared towards the business my wife and I run, accounting, taxes, and business valuations mostly. The new blog will NOT be political in nature.

I will continue making my political posts on this blog!

Mike Sylvester

Friday, November 09, 2007

Currency Exchange rates and how they effect you

Exchange rates are extremely important. The value of the US dollars is rapidly dropping and our politicians do not seem to care at all. This should be one of the main issues the Presidential candidates are addressing; however, it is not.

I want to start this post by talking about exchange rates. Exchange rates are extremely important and many people do not understand them.

My father-in-law moved to Germany about a year and a half ago. When he moved to Germany the exchange rate was $1.18 to one Euro. Yesterday the exchange rate was $1.45 to one Euro. Unfortunately for my father-in-law and his wife they are civilians who work for the US military and they are paid in US dollars. This means that their purchasing power has dropped by almost 23% since they moved to Germany. So if $100 used to buy 30 Big Macs in Germany, today the exact same $100 in Germany would buy 24.4 Big Macs (As long as the price of a Big Macs has stayed the same in Germany). It sucks to be my father-in-law in Germany.

From 1945 – the 1990’s the United States maintained a strong currency policy and it had been one of the goals of our Economic and monetary policy to keep the US dollar strong in relation to other currencies. This has changed over the last decade (Due to actions by both Republicans and Democrats).

Our currency is plummeting in value for several reasons:
1. The Fed recently cut interest rates twice.
2. Inflation has been increasing somewhat.
3. We have a massive trade deficit that is increasing each year.
4. Our economy is expected to grow very slowly and several other countries in the
world are expected to grow much more quickly (China, India, and Russia lead the
way).
5. The sub-prime mortgage crisis has had a significant effect on our currency.

There is one factor that helps keep our exchange rate from dropping even further:
1. A large and consistent budget deficit.

In December of 1998 it took $.847 to purchase one Euro. Today it costs $1.45 to purchase on Euro. The purchasing value of the dollar vs the Euro has declined by over 71% in less then nine years. The European Union, a collection of mostly Socialist Countries, is “kicking the crap out of the US” from an economic standpoint. This is a massive development and I will bet that most of you have read nothing about it in the mainstream media.

The Federal Reserve has a great document about exchange rates; I suggest you read it:
http://www.chicagofed.org/consumer_information/strong_dollar_weak_dollar.cfm

The weakening of the dollar should terrify Americans. It should terrify Americans because our annual budget deficit is financed mainly by China and Japan. If China and Japan decide to stop purchasing US treasuries then we will be in huge trouble… That time is coming in my opinion…

The weak dollar has the following effect:
1. It helps those US companies with operations in the US who export products
overseas.
2. It should entice more tourists from foreign countries to come to the US (This has
not been the case to date).
3. It entices foreign investors to purchase US companies and assets.
4. Consumers face higher prices on foreign products (Except China since they
pegged their currency to ours).
5. It really hurts Americans traveling and living abroad.

Our politicians in Washington DC just do NOT understand what they are doing…

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Congress and Mark Souder do NOT get it

It is not often that I agree with President Bush. President Bush has found his veto pen and has started trying to restore a little fiscal sanity in Washington D.C. It is too little, too late; however, at least he has decided to try and cut a small amount of spending.

His most recent veto is of the proposed WRDA (Water Resources Development Act.)

A little history is needed to analyze this bill.

The WRDA is a bill that used to be passed each year and provided a list of projects (often earmarks) that the Federal Government will spend money on. Many of these projects involve rivers, wetlands, and flooding.

From 1997 – 2000 the WRDA was passed once per year. The average Bill was for 1.71 Billion dollars.

In 2000 President Clinton took exception to the size of the WRDA Bill when it was a “measly” 1.376 Billion dollars.

Since 2000 a WRDA bill has not been signed into law. This has to be blamed on the Republican controlled Congress and Senate in 2001-2006.

This has caused a large backlog of projects to build up. If you adjusted for inflation one would expect the 2007 WRDA to be 14.5 billion dollars since it is a bill covering 2001 – 2007.

The Democrat controlled House came up with a bill costing 15 billion and the Democrat controlled senate came up with a bill costing 14 billion. Once everything is considered this spending is in line with past spending.

So the bill was discussed in a committee between the two and it grew to 23 billion dollars. This is a completely absurd figure and one that no fiscal conservative could support since we are already running a sizable budget deficit and we have large fiscal problems (Medicare and Social Security) looming in the next few decades.

Believe it or not; this bill has broad bi-partisan support and easily passed both Houses this year.

President Bush wisely vetoed it; the House over-rode his veto yesterday and the Senate over-rode his veto today. Almost every Democrat voted to over-ride the veto AND a MAJORITY of Big Government Republicans voted to over-ride the veto as well!

Mark Sounder (R) is our Representative. He is defending the Bill and voted with Nancy Pelosi yet again. You can read his comments in the JG:
http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071106/NEWS03/711060329/1002/LOCAL

Mark Souder is a big government Republican if I ever saw one. He consistently votes for larger government and is proud of it.

Do any of the readers of this blog remember the negative attack adds Congressman Souder ran against Tom Hayhurst where he said that Tom Hayhurst would vote with Nancy Pelosi?

The bill has a grand total of 7 million dollars that will be spent in Mark Souder’s Congressional District. That is why he supports the Bill…

Mark Souder needs to take a refresher course in math!

Lets look at this, if you divide 23 billion (Total cost of the Bill) by 7 million that results in .0304347%.

There are 435 Congressional Districts in the US. That means that if the money in the WRDA were split evenly among all of the Congressional Districts each District would get .229885% of the money.

So we are getting 13.24% as much as we should if the money were split evenly.

Projects like this should be funded by local Government and not the Federal government.

Mark Souder needs to be voted out of office in 2008. I am sick and tired of him voting for larger and larger government.

Mike Sylvester

There is good news about media coverage today

One good thing about coverage today in the media, to tout our own horn, is a front page story about the Libertarian's performance in the election on Tuesday:

http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20071108/NEWS/711080324

Also, tonight on Indiana News Center WPTA/WISE, Nicole Pence has a piece on the Libertarian Party of Allen County. It will begin airing for the night at 5:00 p.m. and will be available online after the last newscast tonight.

A story that SHOULD be the main story at the JG

Please read it online:
<http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071107/national_debt.html?.v=1>

The reported national debt has officially exceeded 9 trillion dollars.

I hope that most of you realize that our Government "cooks the books" and they keep multiple sets of books under multiple accounting methods.

If the Federal Government were forced to track the national debt by the same rules they force American (Publicly listed) companies to use (accrual accounting) the national debt would be around 75 trillion dollars...

Do not expect that story to be highlighted in the Journal Gazette, instead expect continued front page stories about Matt Kelty...

I think I will start posting stories that the JG should be reporting...

Mike Sylvester

Today's JG, incredible

As the readers of this blog know I cancelled my JG subscription a few weeks ago when their Editorial Board really irritated me by refusing to even interview Libertarian candidates for City Council.

For some reason, I am still getting the paper. I have to assume that I paid in advance and they are still sending me the newspaper and will stop once the money I paid runs out. I have called them twice to cancel!

You ought to look at the front page of the JG today. Realize that this is two days after a City Election that brought a new Mayor and four new members of City Council.

The lead story is a sad one and is worthy of being a lead story. It discusses the fact that about 11% of adults in the US are veterans; however, nearly one quarter of the homeless are veterans.

The second story, including the main picture on the front page is typical of the JG and helps illustrate the fact that they are not a news organization; they are instead an organization with a specific political agenda.

The second story on the front page is entitled "Kelty legal battle lingers. GOP runner-up faces 9 charges, repayment of $158,000 in personal loans." The JG then proceeds to dredge up the same facts that they keep printing. All of their facts in the stroy are true and I guess they are news; however, how many times do they print the same story about Matt Kelty?

I am not a journalist; however, I could come up with a lot of headlines that I think would interest readers of the JG more then the same old story repeated yet again:

"Fort Wayne wages have plummeted over the last twenty years; they are currently about 80% of the National average."

"The value of the dollar has plummeted to record lows against most foreign currencies"

"Tom Henry unveils his plans"

"Karen Goldner leads Don Schmidt by 13 votes"

I could go on and on...

I am looking forward to a time when the JG no longer pollutes my newspaper box.

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Which LIbertarian did you like the most?

I received the fewest votes of any candidate, Libertarian or otherwise. But still, I wonder how many people would have voted for me if they had been able to. So I posted a poll. We already know that Doug placed first among our at-large candidates, so I limited this poll to the district candidates.

Don Schmidt's quote on WOWO

Indiana NewsCenter interview Don Schmidt today and WOWO used one of the soundbites. I do not remember the exact words; however, Don Schmidt basically said that two things hurt himself and Councilman Crawford:

1. He said the Kelty did poorly enough where it brought the Republican ticket down.
2. He said the the 900# guerilla in the race was the Libertarian Party.

Don Schmidt told them that he and John Crawford figure they lost due to Libertarians...

I imagine the Republican Party will pay a lot more attention to the Libertarian Party over the next couple of years. The local Libertarian Party has a long ways to go to get a candidate elected; however, I feel that we can do it if we work hard and if we run candidates who are willing to work hard... (Think candidates who work as hard as Karen Goldner worked)

I would also like to add that our candidates did not take votes only from Republicans. We also took votes from Democrats. Libertarians can have appeal to both Republicans and Democrats.

Mike Sylvester

Journal Gazette story re-visited

Several people disagreed with my previous post and wrote some good comments. I stand by that post; however, I could have worded it much better and I will attempt to do so in this post.

There is no doubt that Libertarians effected yesterdays election.

Don Schmidt made a public statement specifically mentioning the difference the Libertarian (John Bartels) made in the 2nd City Council District.

The JG editorial board did not even INTERVIEW any of the Libertarian candidates. Interestingly enough the NS editorial board did interview the Libertarian candidates and endorsed one.

The JG's coverage of the Libertarian candidates yesterday was "No Libertarian candidate took more than 10 percent of the vote."

As I stated in my previous post the above statement is a true statement and it is accurate reporting; however, all you have to do is read the JG for a short while and you will quickly realize that they spin everything in a way that fits their specific agenda.

A better example would be today's tagline for their front page story, it reads "Henry garners 60% of ballots for historic victory over indicted Kelty."

Why on earth did they include at the end of the tagline "indicted Kelty?"

They did it because it fits their agenda and they consistently spin everything.

Newspaper circulation is dwindling all across the country and I doubt if the JG has any clue as to why this is happening!

There is no way any INDEPENDENT journalist could look at yesterdays election and come to any conclusion other then the Libertarians influenced at least the 2nd District and the at-large
City Council races.

The fact that Libertarians ran eight candidates and influenced the election is news. After reading the JG it is easy to tell that the JG does not understand that it is news.

Another interesting point is that two people from the NS came to the Libertarian Party last night, amazingly enough, no one from the JG bothered to attend...

Coincidence?

I think not.

Mike Sylvester

Journal Gazette "spin machine" continues

The Journal Gazette has always been a liberal newspaper with a big government slant. Everyone in Fort Wayne understands that. Many individual Republican politicians are proud of the fact that the JG has never endorsed them as a candidate.

The last tag line in the below story is amazingly "tone deaf."

Check this out:
<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071107/ELECTION01/711070398/-1/ELECTION>

The last line tells it all; "No Libertarian candidate took more than 10 percent of the vote."

This last line is true; however, this should be considered a good thing. A Party that ran zero candidates in the 2003 City Elections garnered an average of six percent of the vote and had an effect on at least two of the City Council races. The Libertarians did all this while raising very little money!

I am so glad that I cancelled my subscription to the JG...

They are not a newspaper that reports facts; they are a "spin machine."

Mike Sylvester

Election Results

Libertarians should hold their heads high this morning. We ran eight candidates in our first City Election. On average our candidates garnered 6% of the vote.

That is a lot of votes for our first City Election. We will grow and improve on this total. In the 2003 City Election there were no Libertarians on the ballot.

The Libertarian Candidate (John Bartels) had a large effect on the 2nd District Council Race. Karen Goldner (D) leads 9 term incumbent Don Schmidt (R) by 13 votes and that race is likely to go to a recount. John Bartels (L) received 580 votes in that race...

Don Schmidt (R) said "the Libertarian Party fielding candidates in all the races hurt Republican vote totals."

I expect to see the local Libertarian Party grow and run even more candidates in the future and run larger and more active campaigns as we grow.

It will not happen overnight; however, as long as our local elected officials keep growing government at twice the rate of inflation, as long as local wages keep dropping in relation to the average national wage, and as long as local officials support projects like Harrison Square that almost 70% of the voters oppose we will grow quickly!

If you want to learn more about the local Libertarian Party please contact us. We need your help to fight the growth of government in this area!

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Glenn Greenwald has a post you absolutely must read

It is a post about Ron Paul and it hits the nail on the head.
<http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/>

You owe it to yourself to watch the below youtube video if you believe in the Constitution of this County. Many Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians SHOULD vote for Ron Paul.

Ron Paul:
Is for smaller Government
Is for States rights
Is pro-life
Is against the Patriot Act
Is against the Iraq war

The list goes on. He has appeal to a lot of people. The only people who should NEVER support Ron Paul are those who believe in:
An interventionist foregn policy
Those who think we should have invaded Iraq
Larger Government

There are a few things I disagree with Ron Paul on; however, I agree with almost all of his message.

You owe it to yourself to watch this Youtube video, it is well worth 8 minutes of your life:

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2PUZoukfA&eurl=http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/>

Mike Sylvester

What is wrong with a few Democrats and a few Republicans in Fort Wayne?

People need to lighten up. I am passionate about politics; however, I am not rude to those who I oppose. Local Democrat and Republican blogs are posting stories about members of the other Party being rude at the polls.

There is no reason to be rude or negative. I understand being passionate; however, we need to pull together and not take things so personally!

I will start with Jeff Pruitt's post:

You can read it in full at:
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/11/election-day-working-polls.html>

Jeff Pruitt reports that "I almost forgot. The guy working the poll for Kelty wouldn't say anything to any African Americans. He told me "most blacks are Democrats because they like the government handouts" - unbelievable. Vote Tom Henry, a mayor for ALL the people..."

I would think that any person working the polls in favor of a candidate would uniformly handout literature to anyone walking in who was interested in their literature.

I know Jeff Pruitt and I am certain that he is reporting the facts...

Next is a post over at Fort Wayne News:
<http://www.fortwaynenews.com/index.php/2007/11/06/take-off-that-jacket/>

In this post Dan reports that he was asked to remove his Kelty pin and Kelty jacket when voting. Note that he SHOULD have been asked to remove these items as that is the law. However, one of the other poll workers immediately spoke up and pointed out that the poll worker who just asked Dan to remove his pin had just let a person with a Henry pin come in and vote and did not ask them to remove their pin.

I am also certain that Dan is providing accurate reporting...

What is good for the goose is good for the gander... The law should be enforced equally.

In the comment section of the above post is the following comment:

Kyle Kerley Says: November 6th, 2007 at 2:29 pm
Dan,
There have been widespread reports of Henry volunteers verbally accosting Kelty supporters at polling places today. Calls have actually been flooding the GOP HQ’s (means Kelty people are voting) There has even been a recorded instance in one polling place in Fort Wayne where a precinct inspector asked a Kelty volunteer to stand outside the building (in line with election law) but later let two Henry volunteers stand inside the door because they thought it was to windy and cold outside. This precinct has been marked and a complaint against the Inspector has been filed with David Wright and the election board.


Once again, this is completely wrong and the rules need to be uniformly enforced...

I know that supporters of both Kelty and Henry have a lot of passion; however, the election law is clear on all of these items and the law needs to be enforced evenly.

These stories should make you want to vote LIBERTARIAN...

Mike Sylvester

News from one of the polling places in Fort Wayne

I talked to one of the poll workers at one of the polls today and they said that they were at 50% turnout at their polling place. I am VERY encouraged to hear that. His polling place has a lot of older voters and they always have more tunrout then the average... 50% at 1:40 PM is a good sign!

He also told me a funny story:

Early this morning one of the voters called one of the poll workers over and asked why the John Crawford light did not come on when they pushed the button. The poll worker looked into it and determined that the machine was broken. You could vote for ANYONE EXCEPT John Crawford. So they took that voting machine out of service and the Allen County Election Board delivered a new machine.

Note, the voter who could not vote for Councilman Crawford was able to vote for Councilman Crawford, they just had to use another machine.

All is well that ends well...

Machines will occasionally function incorrectly, I am impressed that the Allen COunty Election Board was able to quickly replace the broken machine!

Mike Sylvester

Election Day Party

Just a last minute reminder for all of our Libertarian Party members, friends, and supporters.

There are 8 Libertarian candidates on the ballot in Fort Wayne. Get out and vote. We hope its for Libertarian candidates, but get out there and use your ballot power!

After you vote, come out and relax with all of the candidates at the Thirsty Camel.

We have opened the doors to anyone who wants to come and relax with us after a busy election season. All ages are welcome, bring your ID if you will be imbibing.

We are offering a small buffet with wings, poppers, veggies, and other goodies. Water and soda are also provided free in addition to a cash bar.

The Thirsty Camel is located at 120 W. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN.

Parking is available at Cindys Diner for free. On street parking is free after 6. There are also garages nearby.

The Libertarian Party of Allen County thanks you for your support and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Posted by Mike Sylvester

Election Day, 2007

I went to the polls today and voted. I vote at Agape Church just north of Fort Wayne on Lima Road.

I think everyone should vote and I encourage everyone to vote.

Just for the record I voted as follows:

Mayor, Matt Kelty (R)
2nd Ditrict City Council, John Bartels (L)
City Council at Large, Doug Horner (L), Bill Larsen (L), and Michael Brightbill (L)

My vote for Mayor was easy; Tom Henry is most alikely a good guy; however, he is not going to change anything he is just going to keep Fort Wayne going down the path of calling restaurants and strip malls economic development.

My vote for 2nd District City Council was extremely difficult. All three candidates are strong candidates so I voted Libertarian.

My vote for At-Large was easy for the first two spots. Doug Horner and BIll Larsen are both freinds of mone and hold similar views to me on most things. Both would make great City Councilmen. I had a very hard time choosing a third candidate. I could not vote for any of the Republicans since all of them support Harrison Square. Essex and Ross I do not know much about so I did not vote for them either. Until the McDOnalds tax abatemnet I was going to vote for John Shaoff (D). He disappointed me when he voted for a tax abatement for a company that pays just over minimum wage. So I voted for Michael Brightbill (L) as my third choice.

I did not vote for Sandra Kennedy (D) for City Clerk since she is running unopposed.

Whether I agree with you or disagree with you on the issues; I hope you go out and vote.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, November 05, 2007

Indiana Driver's Licenses

The Indiana BMV recently cross-checked information reported by Indiana Drivers with information on file by the Social Security Administration.

They found that about 206,000 people had discrepancies. These discrepancies include name, gender, birthday, sex, and typo's.

The Indiana BMV has sent out letters and is giving those people with discrepancies 8 weeks to fix the discrepancies...

Indiana is the 48th State to cross-check this information.

What do you think of this?

Mike Sylvester

Signs at the polling places

In years past candidates have put a large number of signs up at the various polling places.

Will that be allowed this year with the new sign ordinance?

Mike Sylvester

Final bet between Sam Talarico and myself on tomorrow's Election

I hope my predicitons are wrong; I hope more people vote Libertarian!

My predictions are in red, Sam's are in purple:

Mayor
Kelty 42/Henry 58
Kelty 43/Henry 57

1st District City Council
Smith 56/Boyd 35/ Peters 9
Smith 53/ Boyd 41/Peters 6

2nd District City Council
Goldner 49/Schmidt 48/ Bartels 3
Schmidt 55/Goldner 42/Bartels 3

3rd District City Council
Didier 57/McBride 41/Diaz 2
Didier 61/McBride 37/Diaz 2

4th District City Council
Harper 58/Stewart 42
Harper 55/Stewart 45

5th District City Council
Pape 52/Buskirk 36/Fuller 12
Pape 62/Buskirk 33/Fuller 5

6th District City Council
Hines 66/Smith 28/Enders 6
Hines 70/Smith 25/Enders 5

At Large
Benders and Schoaff 17/Crawford 15/Brown 14/Ross 13%/Essex 12%/Larsen 5%/Horner 5/Brightbill 2
Crawford 18/Brown 17/Bender 16/Schoaff 15/Essex and Porter Ross 13/Horner and Larsen 3/Brightbill 2

Mike Sylvester






Sunday, November 04, 2007

Barranda asks a fair question in the comment section of the previous post

Bascially "Barranda" asked what I would do different if I were in charge of Economic Development in this region. He asks this question because I spend a fair amount of time criticizing how Economic Development is currently done.

His question is fair and I will do my best to answer it. People who read this blog regularly know my answer; however, those who visit less often may not know how I think we should handle Economic Development.

Here is what I would change as far as local Economic Development:

1. First of all I would stop using Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF districts erode the property tax base and are not a good idea.

2. I would next change the local policies on granting tax abatements. First of all most people do not understand what a tax abatement is. Every time a tax abatement is granted to a business this transfers taxes from the business that gets a tax abatement and forces this burden onto all other businesses. I do not like tax abatements in general; I would like to see our local Government stop giving tax abatements entirely and instead lower the overall tax rate for everyone. This will allow everyone to pay somewhat lower taxes and will prevent Government from determining which companies will succeed and which will fail by giving special treatement to certain business by granting them tax abatements. (Please realize that 70% of all new jobs come from small busineses and almost all of the tax abatement dollars go to large companies)

For example our City Council just granted a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise. Other McDonalds franchises in this City have never received a tax abatemebt; neither has Burger King, etc. Our City Council has relieved one McDonalds location of a quarter of a million dollars of taxes and is forcing other businesses to pay these taxes for this McDonalds.

3. There are several organizations the focus on local economic development. These organizations should be combined into one or two organizations and they should be streamlined so they do not consume a lot of tax dollars. They should focus on making recommendations to local government that would allow companies to grow (Changing zoning rules etc), on educating local business owners on sources of funds available to business owners from Indaina and the Federal Government, and on marketing this region to new business owners. We should advertise that we do NOT grant tax abatements and that all business owners can expect to pay one consistent (and lower) tax rate.

4. I would next focus on zoning, land use, and needless regulations that impede business in this city. We need to trim the size of local Government and create a small set of rules that are enforced conistently.

The above four steps would ge a good start.

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Kitty Hawk and Area tax abatements

Several people have asked me what I think about Kitty Hawk and the tax abatement they received many years ago.

This topic has been covered fairly well in the local blogosphere and even by the newspapers.

Basically Fort Wayne lured Burlington here with a sizeable tax abatement some time ago. That did not work out and so we then enticed Kitty Hawk to come here for an even larger tax abatement. Now that Kitty Hawk has declared bankruptcy and cannot secure credit there is no doubt that Allen County taxpayers have been left holding the bag. Allen County taxpayers will be paying off the bonds that our local Airport Authority took out to entice Kitty Hawk to come to Fort Wayne. This is going to get expensive for Allen County taxpayers and we will pay for it by raising property taxes in Allen County!

Kitty Hawk employed about 300 people locally and those people have lost their jobs. This is a major blow to Fort Wayne and Allen County. The increase in property taxes will be another blow to taxpayers in Allen County.

Luckily our City Council is working hard to replace these jobs already. They recently granted a tax abatement to McDonalds so that a local fast food restaurant could pass its tax burden onto all other local businesses...

Good grief.

I am sick and tired of people calling Wal Mart and McDonalds economic development in Fort Wayne. These people need to get a clue... They also need to stop calling new strip malls on the edges of Fort Wayne and projects like Harrison Square economic development.

Get out and vote November 6th and "throw the bums out..."

Mike Sylvester

Friday, November 02, 2007

Position of Trust Law

So what do you know about Position of Trust Law?

Do you know anyone who has been pursued by this in, oh let's say.. Education or Government?


Consider this for the weekend....

"Did the defendant abuse that position of public or private trust OR use that special skill in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission OR concealment of the offense? "

SO.... when would a law like this be applied?

Where do these people come from?

You absolutely have got to read this letter to the editor from the JG, I have posted it in its entirety:

Business owner should know law

When Matt Kelty, during a discussion about a recent campaign ad, was asked about Fort Wayne’s law concerning discrimination based on sexual orientation, he responded that he was “vaguely familiar” with the law.

From my experiences in management, and as a Metropolitan Human Relations Commissioner, I have to question the competence of a business owner who is not familiar with all aspects of the city’s antidiscrimination code and who, therefore, probably does not have policies and procedures for both the company and employees to follow should discrimination occur in the workplace.


BARBARA LINDEN Fort Wayne

This is an appalling letter and it needs to be discussed.

I am a small business owner and my wife and I provide accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services for over one hundred local small businesses. If I had to guess I would say that less then 1% of those business owners have "policies and procedures for both the company and employees to follow should discrimination occur in the workplace."

Most small business owners are trying to make a living and do not have time to put written policies into place that cover each and every circumstance that can arise...

According to her letter EVERY business owner should not only understand these rules but they should have a written policy in place to deal with these issues...

I imagine if she were in charge then every business owner would have to attend weeks or even months of training on various topics and most likely create a "employee handbook" that is a few hundred pages long...

Good Grief

Mike Sylvester

P.S. My wife and I do not have a written policy in place to handle these issues. In Barbara Linden's world that means we are not "competent" per her letter to the editor.

P.S.S. Does your company have a written policy in place to deal with these issues if you are a msall business owner?

So you want to write a blog?

Well check out this post first to see if you would lose your job over it...

http://www.maynardije.org/columns/dickprince/071031_prince/

From Leo Morris' blog:

"Indianapolis Star editorial writer RiShawn Biddle has been fired. For something he wrote on a blog. Double ouch. It’s been tricky to get specifics on it — it’s one of those things where the offensive post was removed and the Star’s editor, Dennis Ryerson, vaguely described the post as “racially offensive.” But here’s a pretty good summary " .

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kelty Campaign Press Release

Press Contact:
Jonathan Taylor, Communications Director
Kelty for Mayor 2007 Campaign
The Lincoln Tower
116 Berry Street, Suite 807
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
(260) 422-3049 Phone
(260) 422-2001 Fax
jtaylor@mattkelty.com
Tom Blee, Honorary Chairman
Bill Bandor, Treasurer
John Popp, Finance Committee
John Tippmann, Finance Committee
Glenna Jehl, Campaign Manager
Glenna@mattkelty.com
260-348-4590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 1, 2007

Poll Shows Kelty Driving the Debate and Leading on Issues

Campaign surging ahead in closing days
Fort Wayne, IN., November 1, 2007 – After a second vigorous public debate, Fort Wayne Republican Mayoral Candidate Matt Kelty today released results from a poll received October 10th showing the vast majority of likely Fort Wayne voters agree with his policies and approaches on the issues of the campaign. The results of the poll from Zogby International commissioned by the campaign included the responses from over 400 Fort Wayne voters likely to vote in the November general election. 31% of the respondents were self identified Democrats, 42% Republicans and 27% self identified Independents. The poll has a margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points.

“I think the results of the poll are consistent with what I hear from voters every day”, said Kelty. “We are leading on the issues important to the people of Fort Wayne. While others talk about cakes, out-of-town consultants, and blue-ribbon committees, I am putting real plans and solutions in front of the voters, and they are responding.”

The report stated, “Large majorities are in favor of all the measures listed, with the strongest support for an audit of the city’s economic developments accounts (90%) and cleaning the rivers before developing the riverfront (87%). The least support goes toward private sector development over public finding as the primary resource for large projects in the city (65%).”

When asked the question, “Do you support or oppose the city leading the effort to partner with the neighborhoods and the school corporation to raise test scores and improve graduations rates?”, nearly eight in ten (76%) supports the idea of the mayor leading the effort to partner with neighborhoods and schools to improve local education.

City Partners with Neighborhoods and Schools

Support - 76
Oppose - 12
Not sure - 12

“I am encouraged that the people see the value in my approach to lead from the front on education, tie the schools to the neighborhoods, and nurture and expand the programs that have delivered results. I’ll do this by working with the school corporation, the individual schools and the neighborhoods, doing what the Mayor and City can do to help, not by micro-managing”, said Kelty. “It will be more of a pull from the neighborhoods and schools than a push from the Mayor’s office, but I will provide the leadership necessary to move forward.”

When asked the question, “Do you support or oppose the city improving Emergency Medical Services by consolidating dispatch services and co-locating ambulances at fire stations throughout the City?”

Over eight in ten (81%) said they supported consolidation of dispatch services and locating ambulances at fire stations throughout the city.

Consolidating Dispatches, Locating Ambulances at Fire Stations

Support - 81
Oppose - 6
Not sure - 13

“Voters overwhelmingly support my proposal to improve dispatching and emergency medical services”, said Kelty. “This is a common sense proposal supported by law enforcement, firefighters and the people. The details still need to be worked out, but I have demonstrated both the plan and the political will to do the right thing.”

When asked the question, “If you knew the Harrison Square downtown development project was primarily funded with public/private money would you support or oppose it?”

Harrison Square Development Project

With private funding
Support - 58
Oppose - 35
Not sure - 7

With public funding
Support - 25
Oppose - 68
Not Sure - 7

About six in ten (58%) would support the Harrison Square downtown development project if it was primarily funded privately, but only a quarter (25%) would do so if it were paid for with public money.

Similarly, when asked the question, “Do you support or oppose the City of Fort Wayne developing the North River area (the Omni Source property) if it is primarily funded with public/private money?”

North River Area Development

With private funding
Support - 66
Oppose - 14
Not sure - 21

With public funding
Support - 37
Oppose - 37
Not sure - 25

Two-thirds (66%) would support the city development of the North River Omni Source property if it was primarily funded by private money, but only about two-fifths (37%) would do so if it were funded publicly.

When asked, “Do you support or oppose private sector economic development as the primary resource for large projects in Fort Wayne over public funding?”

About seven in ten (65%) supported private sector economic development as the primary resource for large projects.

Private Sector Economic Development

Support - 65
Oppose - 17
Not sure - 18

“My message of market based economic development is well understood by the voters”, remarked Kelty. “I believe Fort Wayne has value as a market, and we should be leveraging that and the City’s other assets as an investment in business deals with an anticipated return, not give-away’s for short term activity and a long-term liability.” Kelty went on to say, “The public subsidized Kitty Hawk heavily, and now, the people will be forced to pay for it with higher taxes. The current administration has signed contracts obligating the public to once again heavily subsidize private sector companies with Harrison Square. As Mayor, I will use every skill I possess as an architect to make sure it is on-time and within budget. And as a businessman, I will never enter into a deal like this, ever. Nor will I skirt the laws or ignore the will of the people just to leave my thumbprint behind on the city.”

When asked the question, “The City of Fort Wayne dumps raw sewage into the 3-rivers downtown over 102-105 days a year. Do you support or oppose cleaning the rivers first, before developing the riverfront?”

Nearly nine of ten (87%) of respondents supported cleaning the rivers first before developing the riverfront.

Clean Rivers before Developing Riverfront

Support - 87
Oppose - 8
Not sure - 5

“The North River Area holds much promise for the City, with a project driven by the private sector—not the public”, Noted Kelty. “But I can’t honestly see how any project could practically survive operating in a sewer. I think it’s good the City has an option on the property to preserve a position to play, but I think there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to clean up the rivers, and insure we don’t take on an unmanageable liability building on a dump site.”

When asked the question, “Do you support or oppose the audit of the City of Fort Wayne’s economic developments accounts to insure they are being used legally and properly?”

Nine of ten (90%) of the poll respondents support the audit of the City’s economic development accounts.

Audit City Economic Development Accounts

Support - 90
Oppose - 4
Not sure - 6

“My call to audit the City’s economic development accounts and the activities of commissions with taxing and spending authority headed by unelected officials is resounding loudly with the voters of Fort Wayne”, said Kelty. “Although papered over by the current administration and disingenuously reported by the local media, the recent State Board of Accounts Audit of the City clearly identified extremely questionable activities and transactions involving taxpayers dollars to fund Harrison Square. With all the scrutiny I have come under over the simple filing of a form, it is shocking to me that with shell corporations, circumvention of proper authority, and misappropriation of millions of taxpayer dollars, there has not been equal interest in investigating these transaction in the interest of the public trust. I think we can do better.”

The poll confirmed the WANE-TV/News-Sentinel poll that showed Kelty trailing his opponent, but both polls are were executed after Henry had TV commercials running for several weeks, and before two widely viewed public debates. In addition, the two polls were taken in the midst of controversies surrounding a birthday cake at a Kelty Birthday Party and the endorsement of Matt Kelty by Congressman Mark Souder. Also significant, a 36-page motion to dismiss all charges against Kelty was filed on Monday, October 22, the week after the most recent poll.

“Many who are afraid of change continue to beat the indictment drum, selling fear and doubt. The last time I checked, a man is innocent until proven guilty in America, and to distort an election with frequently repeated unjust charges is a disservice to the public”, said Kelty. “I will continue to communicate my confidence in the future of a Fort Wayne built on the rock-solid foundation of intrepid small business owners and on the strength of our families and neighborhoods. People must ask themselves: ‘Is my family better off today than we were eight years ago? Is our position as a City stronger or weaker?’ And if we want things to improve, shouldn’t we do things differently? Our campaign presents solid hope for reclaiming economic prosperity with new energy and new ideas!”

About the Kelty for Mayor 2007 Campaign

Matt Kelty, 43, is the President of Kelty Tappy Design, Inc., a commercial architectural and urban design firm located in downtown Fort Wayne in the Lincoln Tower. A 1988 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Matt has also served as both the Indiana State Director of the International Masonry Institute (IMI), and as its Deputy National Director (Marketing/Technical Services). Matt has also served as the President of the American Institute of Architects and of the Construction Specifications Institute chapters in Fort Wayne. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Kelty to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency for Architects and Landscape Architects.

Kelty served as a U.S. Senate Joint-Staff Regional Director for both Indiana U.S. Senators Richard Lugar and Dan Coats. Kelty ran against 2-term Fort Wayne Mayor and 5-term incumbent Indiana State Representative Winfield Moses to represent the 81st District losing by only 63 votes.

Matt has been married to the former Tami Thomas of Kendallville, IN for 17 years. They have four children: Lauren (16), John (12), Allison (12) and David (10). Additional information about the Kelty for Mayor 2007 Campaign can be found at http://www.mattkelty.com .
Copyright Kelty for Mayor 2007 © Tom Blee, Chairman, Bill Bandor, Treasurer