Open Question: Mourdock Raises $125,000. Is It Allowed?

There was an article yesterday in Politco where U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock talked about his campaign finances and the upcoming finance reports. Mourdock says he has raised about $125,000 so far.  Senator Lugar had over $2.4 million in the bank in the last report.

Mourdock also said, “People who annually give to the state party $50,000 a year have called me to say, ‘I want to help you, I want to be on your finance committee.’  And these are people who wrote Sen. Lugar a check as recently as January.”  We are interested to see who and you can bet we will be watching for the finance reports to come out to figure it out.

The bigger question for us right now is if Richard Mourdock is permitted to fundraise. Many of you probably recall that there was a law passed through the General Assembly last year prohibiting state officers and those candidates for state office to fundraise during the long session i.e. a budget session.  This is a budget session and Richard Mourdock is the State Treasurer. 

To be clear, Richard Mourdock is a stand-up guy and we would assume that there is either an explanation or he was not aware of the rule.  But we are asking the question.  Is there some loophole we haven’t read in the Indiana Code  that allows Mourdock to be raising money during the budget session?  Lawyers, let us know what you think.


Word on Washington Street: Illinois State Legislature Looking to Tax Democrats in Exile?

We’re hearing rumblings that some folks in the Illinois State Legislature are looking to start taxing some of the Democrat legislators who are holding up legislation from exile. 

The thought is that these legislators are conducting business from the state of Illinois and should have to pay some taxes on it.  Just one more reason the House Democrats should come back to Indiana and get some work done.

Statehouse Wars: No House Session but Plenty of Protests

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the Indiana House has entered week three of the standoff that has halted any legislative progress made this session.  Things are at a standstill but there still seem to be plenty of folks willing to protest.

Last weekend, teachers protested outside the Statehouse.  Today, pro-life and pro-choice advocates are at the Statehouse debating funding for Planned Parenthood. 

We hear the unions will hold a large rally where they plan to bus in thousands this Thursday.  We’ve also heard there will be a rally against the immigration bill next week. 

Call us crazy, but it seems like there is an awful lot of rallying and not a lot of legislating.  At what point are we going to get sick of the legislature not doing what it was elected to do and have a rally about that?

The Party is Over, Charlie

We told you there would be numerous calls for Charlie White to resign his seat as Secretary of State after being indicted for voter fraud and there have been.

The Governor did and said he had spoken with the other statewide elected officials and they are in total agreement.

Indiana Republican Chairman Eric Holcomb weighed in saying White should step down at least until the legal process runs its course.

Former Secretary of State and current U.S. Congressman said he should step down.

The Evansville Courier-Press gave White a few jeers in their Cheers and Jeers column and said he should step down.

And Matt Tully of the Indy Star wrote a blistering column saying Charlie has got to go.

What does Charlie White say?  According to Abdul, Charlie text him saying he has no intention of stepping down.

The whole thing reminds us of  someone who has had too much to drink and won’t leave the bar.  The lights are on and there is no one left at the party, Charlie.  It is time to go home and try to sleep it off.

Secretary of State Charlie White Indicted for Voter Fraud

The Indy Star’s Mary Beth Schneider reported on twitter that Charlie White has been indicted with seven felony counts including voter fraud, perjury and theft.  You can read the Star’s full article here.

In case you do not know the background, here it is from the Star:

White has admitted to voting in a district where he no longer lived. The registered address was a home he had shared on and off with his now ex-wife until 2009.

White, who served on the Fishers Town Council at the time, updated his voter registration after moving into an apartment in the same precinct, following his 2007 divorce. Around February 2009, he moved back into his ex-wife’s home, and in November of that year began splitting time between his ex-wife’s home and a newly purchased condo outside the precinct.

In February last year, White changed his voter registration back to his ex-wife’s address, claiming he was unsure when he would close on his new home. White blamed a whirlwind schedule for his failure to change his voter registration later to reflect his new condo’s address.

This is not good news for Charlie White.  If he is convicted, he will have to resign from his position as Secretary of State but we are guessing that he will be STRONGLY encouraged to end this fiasco as quietly as possible.  That would include resigning his position and dealing with the legal issues once out of office.   Abdul tweeted that his sources indicated White will fight the case as recently as a week ago.

We’ll see what Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb have to say about that.

Guest Post from Jon Elrod: Indiana the Republic, and the Rump Parliament

The United States is not a simple democracy, nor is the State of Indiana.  The People with some exceptions, do not vote on the laws that govern us.  It is a constitutional republic; a representative democracy with a bicameral legislature.

In our system of democracy, only the identity of our representatives are decided at the ballot box.  Our laws are decided on the floor of the General Assembly.  The People’s vote may be cast at the ballot box, but the People’s right of self-government is exercised by the ayes and nays in the General Assembly.

The vote of the legislative majority is the vote of the People.  The right of the legislative minority is limited to debates, votes, and entries of protest. 

Quorum is intended to ensure that the majority does not pass laws without the minority’s presence and opportunity to debate.  Quorum is not a concept intended to permit the minority to defeat the vote of the majority  The Indiana Constitution permits those assembled to “compel the attendance of absent members.” 

The Indiana Democrats are not exercising a legislative right.  They are violating the Constitution.  They have removed themselves from the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana so that Indiana authorities cannot compel their attendance.  They are fugitives actively avoiding enforcement of the Constitution.  

But they are worse than fugitives.  They are undermining our democratic system.  The ballot-box is only half of our system of self-government.  Refusing quorum in the legislature is the equivalent of cancelling election day. 

In times past and future, a majority might run roughshod over the procedural rights of the minority, and abuse of quorum should be lauded as responsible civil disobedience.  But that is not the case today.

Since the Farewell Address of George Washington, the world has looked to America in awe at the peaceful and democratic transition of political power.  What a poor reflection of that legacy.  Rather than lay down his gavel to the will of the People, Pat Bauer and his rump parliament issue demands from a Best Western in Illinois.

Democrats About to Overplay Their Hand, Need to Listen to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”

As virtually everyone is aware at this point, the House Democrats have fled the state to avoid voting on the Right to Work bill.  The road trip to Illinois was part two of the now three-day standstill in the House chambers.  Democrats killed the Right to Work bill by not adopting committee reports by midnight last night so you probably thought things would get back to normal today. 

Not so.

Late Tuesday night, the Democrats said they will not come back to session until a commitment is made not to attempt to bring the Right to Work legislation back and the vouchers bill is dumped as well.  This is where the House Democrats begin to overplay the hand they were dealt. 

With the Governor saying for months that Right to Work was too controversial for this session, Democrats had some cover in saying the legislation was extreme and killing the bill even if it meant a walkout.  Extending their demands to the voucher bill, however, was not a smart move.  The Governor is committed to education reform and the Democrats will begin to look like greedy children.

In addition to all this, the budget is on the same time constraints as the voucher bill. Staying away long enough to kill the voucher bill will also in all likelihood kill the House’s structurally balanced budget bill  AND 23 other bills that have nothing to do with this squabble.  Add those to the estimated 21 bills that were killed yesterday and the House Republicans have some serious ammunition. 

Governor Daniels took some heat yesterday on the interwebs for not pushing harder on the Right to Work bill.  It is misguided criticism but we’re sure he did not appreciate it.  House Democrats may be handing him an opportunity to show the nation the temper that they did not see yesterday.  It may not be wise to wake a sleeping giant.

Who knows what will happen in the next 24 hours but we’d say the House Dems may want to take a listen to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”.  They’ve walked away.  They’ve run. It might be time to fold ’em.