Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FW CITY COUNCIL: draining the coffers two projects at a time...

In a never before seen event on this blog, LPAC is actually going to promote David Roach's X-Wire for challenging City Council on a recent "rubber stamp purchase of sixty some odd police" and other city operated vehicles for a mere 1.8 million, yes million, dollars. Why do we need 60 new police cars? And furthermore after City Council frivolously authorized how much money for Harrison Square (which will result in a loss of 10 years of equity that we just payed off) and the Omni Source debacle we have now added another debt of 1.8 million to the tax payers? Come on people, stand up and demand that City Council be responsible for protecting your investment- that is right- Our City! Our Investment!

Some other questions I would love to have a valid and well thought answer for are:

The police cars:

Why did you buy the same traditional police models that are fuel inefficient when there are hybrid vehicles available in police models (or that can be easily converted) that achieve thirty plus miles per gallon of alternative fuels in the city?

Why not seek advertising or corporate sponsorships for the purchase of at least half of the police cars which are replaced by the ad company every three years and we only spend a few dollars per car?

Now granted, I will say that, I wouldn't want to see a car completely littered with ads but at the same pointe having advertising on the back window and the quarter panels is something we already do. I do also think it would be a great way to promote City festivals and events that reoccur with a stable date parameter referenced. In other words City Council could issue a rule that 1. there can only be so many ads per car and at certain locations with certain dimensions and 2. at least one of the ads per car has to be from a local non for profit community organization and or City-County agency. And besides what better way for a criminal to know the number of a bail bondsman or lawyer then to have the advert on the back of the front seat in the cruiser?

Anyway back to the questions:

What is this about 3.7 million dollars in overtime to our police officers?

I'm sorry but in business if you are paying any amount of regular overtime it is time to add at least one to five new employees rather than paying time and half or double time and overworking your employees. Now I do realize that some of that comes from officers working at banks and schools on their days off, but still. If you aren't paying them enough in the first place it makes the previous necessary as a supplement; however the practice of loaning out police officers should be curtailed, if the City is loosing more money then it is getting for their services in the private sector. I can see charging the businesses or events for their time and service but it should be done on the clock and as part of the officers normal schedule and pay. I also have major issues with Police Officers working certain types of Private Events in Public Uniform and Dress or acting in a position of Authority of Law Enforcement, when all they are is a Security Guard. Take the double sided edge of misinterpretation or abuse of power seriously and don't say that it wont happen because it has already several times over in this City and County alone.

And now for a couple other more GoGreen or Enviroliving based questions:

As most people are aware Main Street westbound between Clinton and Calhoun has been blocked off for installation of a new heating and cooling unit on top off the City County building. What I haven't been able to find is any details on the unit its self.

Is it an eco friendly unit?
Are there plans to eventually use grey water from the CCB to feed the unit or is it going to waste fresh water?
Is it solar/wind powered since the bulk of the cooling mandate and power draw is in the "heat of the day"?
If solar power is so awesome then why hasn't City Council issued a mandate that all City owned and operated properties be outfitted with Solar Panels in the next four years?

I would love to read everyones' answers to all the questions.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

John McCain's affair

This time around, it seems that it isn't about the sex but the potential conflict of interest. Perhaps candidates should fill out forms declaring who they have had carnal relations with.

Or, better yet, we should just see if McCain supports any policies that heavily favor the telecom industry. I don't care who he sleeps with as much as I care what positions he favors. (Ok that was a bad pun, but I couldn't resist. Enjoy the mental picture.) We should weigh whether or not his ideas are good for the country as a whole.

In the case of Bill Clinton's affair, he had sex with a subordinate. Presidents should never sleep with anyone who works for the executive branch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Public Access Tonight

To All,

Just a reminder that "Libertarians at Large" is airing tonight from 7P - 8P on Cable Channel #57.

Feel free to call in with questions or comments.

The number is: (260) 422 - 8704.

Respectfully,

Doug

Sugar and Energy Independence

Reason Magazine has an interesting article in which an economist argues that energy independence is not a feasible goal. The fact is, every modern nation-state has to import certain raw materials and finished goods. Our goal should not be to become energy independent, but to have more options as to where we can get our fuel from.

Right now, many act as if we have to choose between Mideastern oil and Midwestern corn when it comes to fueling our cars. However, the most efficient source for ethanol is sugar. The catch is that we would still have to import sugar, but we can import it from more countries than we can with oil.

Another argument against the use of corn for fuel is that it reduces the amount of corn that can be used for food and livestock feed. Food prices are starting to show the same upward trend that gas prices are showing. But sugar is a commodity with no nutritional value. A lot of us, including me, could stand to have a little less sugar in our diets.

One barrier to sugar ethanol production is sugar tariffs. Because of these tariffs, sugar costs four times as much in the US as it does on the world market. Two possible solutions to this are A)telling the sugar lobby to piss off and end the tariffs or B)compromise with the sugar lobby by applying the tariff only to sugar meant for human consumption and exempt sugar meant for industrial purposes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Some details for LPIN State Convention Announced

Indiana Libertarian's Annual Convention

Friday, April 25th:
Complimentary Party @ Wingate Inn
by Marion County Libertarian Party

Saturday, April 26th:
Business Meeting:
+ select delegates for the LP national convention
+ choose candidates for state and national offices.
Forums:
+ campaigns, + candidates, + elections
Dinner Banquet:
with speeches from LP Presidential nomination seekers.

Where:
Wingate Inn

Airport inside I-465 (west side)
near the Rockville Road Exit #?
Use 1.800.228.1000 or www.wingateinns.com
to reserve your personal rooms and/or suites.
Mention LPIN for special rates.


What it costs:
The program fee is

$95 through MARCH 26th
$120 AFTER March 26th
Checks or credit card info,
plus attendee names, should go to:
Mail to:
LPIN HQ

156 East Market Street
Suite #405
Indianapolis IN 46204

Thanks to Mark Rutherford for the information
More information to follow!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's time to end the embargo

The US should use the resignation of Fidel Castro as a pretext for ending the embargo against Cuba. Not only is trade the key to building good relations with the island, it is also a way to influence the island towards democratic and economic reforms. Blue jeans and Walkmans showed Russian youth how wonderful Western culture is. If we show that we are willing to business with them, Raul Castro will have a harder time painting us as the bad guy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why am I a Libertarian? Why arent you a Libertarian?

It started out Last Sunday as an an interesting debate and slowly turned in to rapid slapping of a 'certain cylindrical piece of anatomy' on the table contest. And then afterwards, I was asked the above question by two individuals with valid personal concern. Actually it went something more like this: What the hell! We know some of what you believe and stand for; so, why are YOU a Libertarian?

My response was simple, "I am not a Libertarian. I am a modern traditionalist philosophically; and because of that, I identify with and associate myself politically as a Libertarian."

After they recovered from the quantified paradoxical mental anguish in regards to my statements they proceeded to inquire further, "What the (edited) is a modern traditional idealist?" and "Why does that make you identify as a Libertarian?"

modern traditional idealist

The easiest way to explain it is by using the common definitions. I am modern because, I live in the this time and place, choose to examine my traditional beliefs (both secular and religious) according to contemporary philosophy, criticism, and historical writings; however I am traditional because, I give creed and deference to the derived traditions and historical doctrines of both cultural and religious practices and thoughts; but yet still I am a modernist because, I don't believe that all knowledge is derived from original Divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition alone. I am a walking, living, breathing, oxymoron which makes defining my idealistic tendencies so much easier to explain. My conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with societal considerations, I'm very much so the non realist but I can still be down to earth and occasionally practical (the modernist side), which in turn is a perfect fit for Libertarianism.

libertarian

Libertarianism is commonly referred to as "a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, as long as they allow others the same liberty. Libertarians emphasize equality before the law rather than equality of outcome." While the political philosophy varies by which type and cast of Libertarian you speak with the core of individual responsibility and limited government still ring true.

President Thomas Jefferson once said, "...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others...." as the primary purpose of government to protect it.

my personal thoughts

Taxes: Lord Joshua-Emmanuel of Nazareth asked one of his disciples "(paraphrased) Whose image is on this coin? Then give to Cesar what is his and return to your GOD what is HIS." Now of course, why the government thinks they can get anything more than ten percent of your income off the top is beyond me but what is even more erroneous is that the People have allowed the government to take more than GOD requires from a tithe and offering combined on a weekly basis. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

Marriage: The covenant of marriage was not declared a Sacrament of the Church until 1215 AD at the Fourth Council of Lateran Basilica (articles 50-53) because it prefigures and preordained the Church and existed before as an act of joining between both gay and straight partners. A traditional covenant being formed by: the tearing of flesh, shedding of blood, and a mutual exchange of privilege and rights, with the parties involved. How the government is to declare something an institution when they only started regulating it in the 1880's to stem the tide of interracial marriages and deny the citizens right to freely choose whom they choose to spend the next five or fifty years of their lives with? It is none of the governments business in the first place except the People let it happen. All applicable laws should have been repealed by the Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

Religion vs. Politics: The rule of law is sovereign in this country and trumps my pulpit or your pew every time but that isn't why I am a Libertarian. On the third of January, 1797 the Treaty of Tripoli was signed into law and has the same force of precedent as the Constitution which states in Article Eleven, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." So much for the War on Terror, except the People let it happen by not controlling their government. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

I will shut up now and give everyone else time to respond to the question "Why are/aren't you a Libertarian?" or feel free to berate me for my answers, politely of course.

Sarcastic smoking ban post

My fellow private citizen Dr. John Crawford insisted that any modification of the smoking ban would cause the deaths of citizens. If life and death are the sole criteria for legislation, I propose that we do all we can to discourage nonsmokers from going to bars at all. Since all smokers will die from their smoking habit anyway, allowing them to drink alcohol would be like giving morphine to a terminally ill patient. Since nonsmokers are the class of citizens that this city strives to protect, we must do all we can to encourage them to refrain from vice altogether.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roger Clemens

If Roger Clemens cheated, it is a matter for Major League Baseball to handle. If he broke the law, then a prosecutor should file charges. The role of the legislative branch is to write the law, not enforce it. A forklift driver who uses drugs has committed the same offense that Clemens is accused of.

Whatever one's opinion of the drug war, the primary responsibility of keeping employees drug free rests with the employers. Typically, when a private employer finds evidence of drug use, the suspected drug user is quietly terminated without involving the police. Congress doesn't grill factory workers over alleged meth use.

The burden of maintaining the integrity and reputation of professional sports rests with the leagues.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smoking Ban

Tonight the City Council is debating the smoking ban. I agree with this law to a certain extent. To clarify I believe smoking shouldn't be allowed where children are present. Smoking should be at owners discretion at their business. I would like to see this law modified. This is affecting our economy in the city itself. Taxes haven't changed in the county because most smokers go outside city limits for leisure activities. We have a lot businesses who are hurting some have even closed. Others are threatening to leave city limits. I'm asking all people who are able to attend this debate to go. Council was elected by the people now is the time for people to speak up. Heres hoping for a modification. I hope you can attend.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sandbagging

I've been busy since Wednesday, so this post is a little dated.

Wednesday night I was at Robert Fuller's house, playing video games. Fuller was looking at this blog and saw that there was a need for volunteers to fill sandbags. He had an appointment the next day and couldn't go.

I did have a bit of trouble finding the Street Department garage where the bagging took place. There was another volunteer who was lost as well. We found a helpful city employee who told us where to go. In the future, it might help to have signs directing first time volunteers on where to go.

The garage was packed when I found it. I found a pile of sand, an unattended shovel, and some guy just standing around. I got him to hold the bag open and went to work. As the pile of sand shrank, we had to sweep up loose sand so that we had something to dig into.

Another helpful city employee drove a van full of us down to Tillman Rd to build dikes. There were already piles of sandbags in the parking lots of several businesses, they just need to be assembled into something that would hold water back. We formed "bucket brigade" lines and formed walls in front of Atz's Ice Cream and Mungovan Chiropractic. A fellow who I assume was Dr. Mungovan thanked us for our help. I told him that I would be needing his help after lugging sandbags around all night.

One volunteer was critical of Mayor Henry for not filling up sandbags himself. He noted that the mayor was doing a news apperance at the Street Department garage. I'll stick up for Henry on this one. His role in an emergency is command and control of city resources. His appearance on TV was partly responsible for the high turnout of volunteers.

Friday, February 08, 2008

New Blog: Welcome To...MY HUD HOUSE

Long time commentator on local blogs and citizen advocate Phil Marx has after a long waited anticipation made his debut post on My HUD House. Phil is always a joy to talk with at our LPAC Business Meetings. His unique perspective and presentation while graphic is very direct and detailed. Welcome to the full scope of blogging Phil and I hope it works well for you.

Update More Links & Clarifications

As an issue of transperency:

Jennifer Jeffrey:

per our previous Party Chair's request, which was received earlier today, she has been removed as both a contributor on LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF ALLEN COUNTY and her new blog Disenfranchised American has been removed from under the "Indiana Libertarian" banner and placed with other "Local Blogs". Please do likewise if you have her cross linked/associated to the Libertarian Party. We wish her the best in these newest journeys.

IPFW Campus Libertarians

The student organization's blog has been deleted and we would request anyone who carries links to it to please delete them promptly. In addition, per a request by comment of Kody Tinnel, also please delete any links to Tinnel Vision.

==================================================================

Please bear with us as we transition and take steps forward to continue the great strides we have made to change the face of politics as usual in the area. To find out more about the Libertarian Party of Allen County and what we are planning for the next few months consider coming to our next business meeting.


February Business Meeting

Who: Libertarians and Friends
Where: Ivy Tech Main Campus Room #2310
When: MONDAY, February 18th,
6:30P – 7:30P


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Call for volunteers has ended.

As of about 9:30pm, the folks at the street department have started to turn away volunteers. The crisis has been averted.

LPAC NEWS ALERT: CITY NEEDS SANDBAG VOLUNTEERS

The Fort Wayne Street Department has issued an alert with general request for citizens to help with filling sandbags at the Central Terminal located at 1701 Lafayette Blvd. @ Murray (north of Wallace Street just south of the Main Post Office and RailRoad trussel). They are taking volunteers until they are done. Those whom choose to volunteer may call ahead by dialing 311 to get further instructions.

Photo Credit Pemberton Ditch Sandbags Flood of 1982 by John Stearns (c) 2006 News Sentinel

BATTLING THE FLOOD


CITY OFFICIALS HAVE MADE PREPARATIONS TO ADDRESS THE FLOODING BECAUSE OF THE RECENT WET WEATHER. SANDBAGGING IS UNDERWAY AT THE ROSS-MICHAELS AREA AT SUPERIOR STREET, WOODHURST NEIGHBORHOOD, BERRY AND THIEME, AND THE NIPSCO PARKING LOT. CREWS HAVE ALSO SET UP SAND AND BAGS FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN IF NEEDED. LOCATIONS FOR THESE ARE:
PORTAGE MIDDLE SCHOOL: 3521 TAYLOR STREET
BROADVIEW FLORIST: 5409 WINCHESTER ROAD
TAYLOR UNIVERSITY: 1025 W. RUDISILL BLVD
SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CLUB: 5701 BLUFFTON ROAD

FOR MORE INFORMATION, ISSUES, OR CONCERNS, RESIDENTS MAY CALL 311
copied from WOWO 1190AM

I need your pictures please. What do you think about the new design?

I need pictures please

I need pictures from any LPAC sponsored or attended event if anybody has any. Ones in particular that I am looking for are as follows:

The Cover of the Fort Wayne Reader that introduced us to the City as a whole. I believe the title was Who Are These Libertarians? it appeared in June/July 2007.

Any campaign events or news conferences

LPAC Annual Labor Day Garage Sale

Any thing dealing with LPAC in general.

You can email the pictures to MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr. the Secretary of LPAC via kennethrmwhitejnr@verizon.net

What do y'all think of the new design/layout/content of the LPAC blog?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Update the links on your blogs

Some of the strongest criticism that I have heard directed towards Ron Paul was that he allowed some racist articles to be published in a newsletter that carried his name. I have had discussions with fellow bloggers on just how much responsibility Paul has for those articles. Whatever one's opinion is on that controversy, we all can agree that it has hurt Paul's reputation.

I want to prevent the same thing from happening to Mike Sylvester by making it clear that he no longer posts or administrates this blog. Since he has no affiliation with this blog, he cannot be held responsible or take credit for anything that is said here. In the future, there will likely be some views and ideas posted here that Mike disagrees with.

A number of local blogs still link to this blog as the "Mike Sylvester blog". For accuracy's sake, all links to this blog should say "Libertarian Party of Allen County" or something to that effect.

How much thought do you put into voting?

Newsweek has an interesting article about how much of a voter's decision is based on emotions instead of rational thought processes. Voters will often support candidates with little knowledge of their positions on the issues.

They will tout how long a candidate has served in office. Yet they are unable to articulate what that candidate has done while in office in the past.

Many voters will insist that a candidate offers a fresh perspective. You could pick a name at random out of the phone book and get a fresh perspective from that person. "Fresh perspective" is a code phrase for lack of experience, as in "Since none of the Democratic candidates have any medical training, they all offer a fresh perspective on health care."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Street Repaired

I actually had my street fixed to my amazement. MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr. had come over on Thursday. He almost lost the front end of his car in a pot hole on my street. He came in, called the street department, and they showed up three hours later and fixed it. This pothole has been on this street for over three years residents in the neighborhood have been trying to get our road repaired for about as long. I ran in the last city council race to address how forgotten in this area of the fifth district we feel. This is a prime example of that. Past and present city council has spent more time and energy worrying about downtown development, stadium, and southtown mall. I love this city but its hard not to become disillusioned by a city that neglects or just plain forgets about certain areas. Im still at a loss why this is, citizens in my area support and do our business in New Haven because we have nothing here.

I would like to thank the Street Department personally for coming out at 1:30 a.m. and not just repairing the one hole but the entire stretch of my street. To report a problem with your street call 427-1235 or *311.

Review of Food and Beverage Tax

We have talked about this before and this post is not an debate exercise but an attempt to gather complete details for a formidable response. So before I ask the tough questions and make some pretty harsh statements I have been doing some research and cant find the point in time when a continuation of the Allen County Food and Beverage Tax was extended or why. It seems like it just sort of happened and no body thought the miser of it.

According to the original law the tax was to expire 30th of June, 2000.

On the 14th of February 2001 our County Commissioners in regards to the renovations at the Memorial Coliseum brought up some interesting statistics and questions but I will highlight just two: tax revenues from Food & Beverage as projected and the Coliseum revenues held flat at $400,000; and, Commissioner Irving asked where the $1,242,342.00 contribution from the Coliseum would come from and when would those contributions be paid to the account. Fishering said that the funds are existing, original Food & Beverage tax revenues, on hand at the Auditor’s office. The amount is closer to $2.4 million.

RANDOM QUESTIONS:
What is the surplus at now?
Is there one?
Somebody let the Auditor know I will be calling.


There are also three taxes that the Memorial Coliseum feeds exclusively off of: The two Food and Beverage Taxes and a Professional Sports Development Zone I am assuming the PSDZ is like a TIF, but again it is an assumption. With that assumption though, I am left with two questions:
How much money is the MC going to loose with the new Stadium being built downtown?
Is the boondoggle known as Harrison Square going to recieve a PSDZ of its own?

To answer some of my questions or at least get further data I turn to an awesome article done recently by Michael Summers @ The Fort Wayne Reader entitled Myths of the Smoking Ban (also available here).
The theory that smokers are now going outside the city limits might explain the fact that collections from Allen County’s Food and Beverage Tax haven’t seemed to change much. According to the Indiana Department of Revenue, collections from May of 2007 were over $513,000, and dropped to $395,000 for June, after the smoking ban went into effect. It’s a considerable drop, especially considering the collections from the same period the previous year went up from $451,000 to over $548,000. But collections were back up to $548,421.90 for July 2007. “Part of what’s happening is when they report the food and beverage tax, that’s for the whole county, that’s not for the city of Fort Wayne only,” Loren Fifer says. “The county hasn’t lost any taxes but the bars and restaurants (outside Fort Wayne) have picked up patrons. Sure, the taxes are up. They should be, because everyone has raised their prices to stay in business.”
If (note I said if) the money from the Food and Beverage taxes exclusively funds the Memorial Coliseum and they are pulling in half a million dollars a month, why for goodness sake are residents paying up to five dollars to park for three -five hours at a time? Why do they need a PSDZ also? Why are we letting this tax continue without oversight or redirecting any surplus to a general fund so that other services can be paid for without raising the other levies?

Just some random thoughts and questions I will enjoy reading your answers.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

New Links Section & General Update

I am sitting here in my office wondering what to talk about first as I mingle across my mind the words I am going to type here and the thoughts and ideas I want to express.

Over the last month, we have seen a lot of changes in our Allen County Libertarian Party. We have had three separate Chairs and that transition went as smooth and sweet as strawberry cheesecake (with a graham cracker crust of course) each time. As the officers and party prepare to take the next steps forward in 2008 as a united front for individual responsibility and limited transparent governance we are going to rely on the membership even more to get the chores done around here.

In an effort to boost morale of our membership, I took some inspiration from a post Robert Enders did a few days ago about the International Libertarian Groups. I did some digging and found all the State groups with active websites and/or blogs, they are posted on the right (6th section). As part of human nature one often forgets to look outside of our own sphere of influence and realize that we are not actually alone in the fight for liberty. The main goals for this preview and cross link of State and other County Libertarian Parties is two fold: can we borrow any of their ideas for marketing or outreach or voter turnout; and second, to serve as a constant reminder for us and a warning to those who doubt our message that we are not alone in this cause of freedom.

With a small political party like ours we definitely had an impact in not just the election but the public process and the media coverage. We turned upside down in a lot of peoples minds what it means to be a Libertarian and in record numbers people in Fort Wayne began to consider LPAC candidates as normal and a viable option in the voter booth. Even with the transitions that have recently taken place we also can not forget the success of last years municipal elections. At the same time we can just ride back on our haunches and rest on postural grunts. We need to go forward and do so fashionably. We have awesome opportunities ahead of us this year in County, State, and Federal elections let's make an impact on our future together!

I conclude with a salute to our former Party Chair, Mr. Mike Sylvester, who is a great asset to the history and friend to the posterity of LPAC. He departed our part of the blogosphere earlier today. We will also welcome to the blog for our readers enjoyment, Robert Fuller, 5th district City Council candidate (2007), He will be on as soon as he is done watching the Superbowl.

Blessings and thanks for reading,

MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr.
Secretary
Libertarian Party of Allen County

My last post on the LPAC blog

This is my last post on this blog. I have decided to move on and to let other's run this blog. Robert Enders has done a great job with this blog in the last few months and I will be leaving it in his able hands.

My reasons fit into two categories: political and personal.

The personal reasons are the easiest to explain:

1. The largest reason for this is that my wife and I have expanded our accounting business and we are both swamped; tax season is our busy time. We will prepare around 450 tax returns this tax season!

2. I am being pulled in too many directions at once and I need to do fewer things so that I can do them better. I am the Treasurer of my PTO, I coach my daughter's basketball team, I am the President of my neighborhood Association, etc.

3. I have been blogging for two and a half years and I no longer have time to post every day. I truly feel that to run a successful blog you must average at least seven posts per week.

4. I have a business website and blog that I need to post at more frequently. That blog is located at:
<http://www.sbscpagroup.com/>

5. When I started this blog the Fort Wayne "blogosphere" was in its infancy. The Fort Wayne "blogosphere" has grown and there are now a lot of high quality local blogs that I enjoy. I will continue to read them and post on them.

My political reasons are more difficult to explain; however, I owe it to those who have loyally read this blog over the last couple of years to do my best to explain them here.

I want to start by discussing my political views in the past. Since I was a Freshman in High School I have held the following views throughout my life:
A. Government is too big and intrusive; it breaks more things then it fixes.
B. This country is based on personal freedoms.
C. Hard work can lead to success in America if you apply yourself and the Government stays out of your way.
D. I believe in a strong National defense and I feel we should maintain the best trained and most effective military in the world to protect our Country.
E. I believe that our Federal Government is far too big and has infringed on the rights of the fifty states. I believe that there are many issues that should be determined by each of the fifty states rather then by the Federal Government.

I have one major political view that has changed. I have always felt that abortion was wrong; however, until my second child (Graydon) was born I strongly felt that this choice should be left to the mother. My second child, Graydon, was born on January 30th, 2003. He was born seven weeks early and was bascially "yanked" out of my wife due to complications. Graydon spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and I almost lost both my wife and my son. It was a very close thing and I am glad that I live near a hospital. If I had lived further from the hospital they would most likely have both died.

That event changed my view on abortion. I am now relatively "Pro Life." I want to see Roe v Wade over-turned and I want abortion to be determined individually by each of the fifty states. In my state I would support a ban on abortion as long as it had "reasonable" exceptions for items like health of the mother, rape, and incest.

When I was in High School and for the next four years (1981 - 1989) I was a "die hard" Republican and Ronald Reagon was my hero. I was an even bigger fan of Barry Goldwater!

In 1989 I joined the navy and did not pay much attention to politics for a couple of years. I spent two years in technical schools and became an Electronics Technician on a nuclear powered submarine. The first couple of years I spent in the navy I considered myself a Republican and my views changed little.

In 1991 - 1995 I was stationed in Pearl Harbor and I met my wife. I felt that the Government was getting too large and I voted for both Republicans and Reform Party candidates. I spent a lot of time at sea, under the water, and was not too active in politics. I was a HUGE fan of the 1994 Republican Revolution. I had very high hopes for the Republican Party. I 100% believed in the Contract with America; I still believe in that Contract with America.

1995 - 2004 I spent as an Independent because I was so mad that The Republican Revolution did not honor their Contract with America. I supported Reform candidates, Republican candidates, and Libertarian candidates. I did not consider myself a member of any political Party during this time. I always looked at the candidate and I voted based on the candidate I felt would increase the size of Government the least.

In late 2004 I helped form the Allen County Libertarian Party. I was elected its Chairman and served as Chairman for two years. I am proud of what the local Libertarian Party has accomplished and I hope that they continue to grow and espouse the views they champion. I also strongly approve of the Indiana Libertarian Party. I think that the Indiana Libertarian Party has some great people in it and I am proud to have been a member of it. The National Libertarian Party is not an organization that I have been able to support. My wife and I travelled all the way to Portland Oregon to attend the 2006 Convention in an attempt to "fix" the national Platform of the Libertarian Party. We were able to "fix" the platform a little; however, it is still a document that I do not support.

From 2004 - 2006 I voted for most of the Libertarian candidates I could. I always vote for the better candidate and the one that supports my views rather then vote "straight" ticket.

In January of 2007 I stepped down as the LPAC Chair. I still attended some meetings in the first part of the year; however, I was not real active. In 2007 I supported Matt Kelty in his race as a Republican for Mayor and I supported Libertarian Byron Peters in his bid for City Council. I also attended my first "Right to Life" banquet in Fort Wayne. I expect to attend more in the future.

In 2007 I also looked at those issues where I disagree with "pure" Libertarians:
A. While I agree with "pure" Libertarians that the war on drugs has 100% failed; I do not agree that the answer is to legalize all drugs immediately. I believe that the Federal government should get out of the "drug war business" and that each of the fifty states should pass its own drug laws. I support the right of each of the fifty states to decrminalize marijuana if a majority of their citizens choose to do so.
B. I am a military veteran and I love the United States military. I want to maintain a large and effective military.
C. I believe that we should have a non-isolationist foeign policy. I did not want to go into Iraq this last time; however, we cannot change the past.
D. I believe that the Government has a role to play in more things then most "pure" Libertarians.
E. I believe in "Fair Trade" not "Free Trade."

On February 3rd, 2008 I have decided to rejoin the local GOP. This has been something I have been strongly considering since 2006. I want to promote smaller government and I want to support candidates who support smaller government. I bear no ill will towards the Allen County Libertarian Party or to the Indiana Libertarian Party; however, I feel that this Country is entrenched in a two party system and I feel that I have a better chance of getting smaller government candidates elected in the local GOP.

Today I joined the local GOP and sent my first fiancial donation.

I have discussed this with the Allen County Libertarian Chair; Doug Horner. Doug has been a good friend of mine for twenty five years. Doug was in my wedding Party and we have always been friends and will always be friends. I am convinced that Doug Horner will be a great LPAC Chair and that he will grow the local Libertarian Party!

I wish the Allen County Libertarian Party the best!

I am going to do my best to reform the local GOP and to ensure that it espouses the views of Ronald Reagon and Barry Goldwater rather then the views of George Bush and other "big government" Republicans. I will support Republican candidates who are small Government Republicans.

I will NOT support "large Government" Republican candidates.

Mike Sylvester, CPA