Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hoosiers are being fooled as the General Assembly is consistantly trying to stifle home rule advantages and selections; and yet Governor Pence panders for home rule, only to trump the voter, rather than the principled stand he took during the election and previously .... You want to talk about quid pro quo? .... Congrats Indiana, this Governor is fighting you rather than for you!!!

As a Libertarian, I feel that anything that strips both home rule and proper checks and balances within local government, especially without the consent or consultation of those governed, by an outside jurisdiction or officer, should be scorned scrutinized and immediately vetoed, and the people responsible should be voted out of office as quickly as the electoral process and legislation repealed or injuncted as soon as judicial review allows. The fact that this is an obvious slight of hand to remove a validly elected and dually sworn City County Council Member whom happens to be gay is vile in the worst degree of Hoosier politics and just not the way we roll here in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Please call Governor Pence and ask him to VETO this bill SB621 and any others like it. 
What would happen if they tried this in Fort Wayne or Evansville etc.?  
The short answer is there would be a riot at the State House.
According to Zach Adamson, the Councilman directly targeted and one of four affected by the now passed and signed legislation, Allen Countys bill is coming to a head fast as of the 8th of May the General Assembly had sent Allen County's Local Government Reform bill to Study Committee. We are next on the list for having our local representation stripped from us without even a wink or a nod as to what we citizens want. Contact your local Legislator today and tell them to stop the process and talk to the people here in Allen County first. And if they dont listen, vote them out of their jobs, finally, next year.
Sorry Governor Pence, you dont get to excuse your clear violation of "your own 'philosophy'" for the sake of allowing the General Assembly Republicans their dues and kickbacks of power, to run roughshod over the validly elected and dually sworn members of the City and or County Council, and any other branch of local government.
On his last day  to either approve or veto bills, Indiana Governor Mike Pence went ahead today and signed SEA 621, legislation which will change the way Marion County Government operates.  
SEA 621, among other things, gives the Mayor of Indianapolis more control over the budget and it eliminates the four at-large City-County Council positions.  It also creates a central count for absentee ballots, puts IMPD permanently under the Mayor and reduces the residency requirement for an individual to run for Mayor. 
Republicans and 621 supporters have said the legislation was necessary to keep spending under control, while Democrats and opponents had called it a power grab.  Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and Sheriff John Layton went so far as to say the legislation would hinder their ability to fight crime.

Now that the bill has passed, Democrats and City officials held a press conference to urge Gov. Pence to veto the bill. Zach Adamson stated:
It strips the Council's ability to serve as a balance to the now unchecked power of the Mayor, the very balance the voters clearly and decisively demanded when they elected us. It also drastically alters the makeup of the City-County Council by eliminating the four At-Large councillors without a shred of input from the people of Marion County in a purely partisan move that attacks the people's ability to self-govern.
Indiana’s Republican muscle was in full flex Saturday when Gov. Mike Pence signed a measure to reshuffle Marion County government and eliminate four Democratic-held council seats.
Supporters insist the changes in Senate Bill 621 promote good government, but one longtime political observer disagrees.
“If it’s good government for Indianapolis, why isn’t (Pence) doing it for all the major cities?” asked Brian Vargus, an Indianapolis political consultant and former political science professor. “The elimination of at-large seats is such a blatant power grab, you’d have to be a kindergartner to buy that.”
The measure eliminates the four at-large seats on the City-County Council, grants the mayor-appointed controller more authority over county officeholder budgets and grants the mayor the right to appoint five of nine members to the Metropolitan Development Commission — a majority, compared to the four members he currently appoints.
Vargus said Pence, a conservative who had recently expressed reservations about the measure, signed the bill to appease Indiana’s established Republican leaders.
“It runs against a lot of (Pence’s) philosophy, where the central government, the state in this case, doesn’t tell a city or a town what to do,” Vargus said. “He’s got to keep the powers-that-be in the party happy because they really don’t get along with him.”
Pence issued a statement Saturday that acknowledged he signed the bill despite “misgivings” over the elimination of the at-large seats.
“I am signing this legislation,” Pence said, “because it serves the public interest by granting to the current mayor of Indianapolis — and any future mayor of either political party — the authority to manage the city’s finances in a manner that protects taxpayers and encourages economic development and job creation.”
Reaction was swift and predictable, with Republicans cheering and Democrats grousing


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