Archive for October, 2010

Indiana Property Tax Cap Amendment Referendum

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Trying to look into this before I vote. Best reference I've found is the info on ballotpedia.org.

On Tuesday, Hoosiers vote on whether to constitutionalize current caps on property tax. In other words, we're voting on an amendment to the Indiana Constitution.

I'm not really against a pledge to keep taxes proportional and in check, but I question the categorization of taxes: homestead, residential, agriculture, real property, and personal property. Not that it's a bad idea. Just never considered it. It seems to undermine the business-friendly aspect of it to me, but maybe it's OK to put families first. Note: I could not legally define any of the categories, so not sure what it all means exactly.

Didn't know this:
"The Indiana Constitution is one of the most difficult in the country to amend, requiring that a proposed amendment be approved by two successive sessions of the Indiana State Legislature with an intervening election. The tax cap amendment was first passed through the 2008 session of the legislature.[26]"
On one hand it hopefully means they thought about this; while on the other, it would make it (I assume) equally difficult to repeal. Maybe not.

This is from the Bluffton News-Banner. Bluffton, IN is apparently just South of Fort Wayne: On the ballot: Tax caps in the constitution? I'd say it leans slightly in favor of the amendment, but is pretty balanced.

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American Exceptionalism

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American Exceptionalism from Wikipedia:

 

American exceptionalism is the thesis that the United States occupies a special role among the nations of the world in terms of its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and its being built by immigrants. The roots of the position have been dated back to 1630 with John Winthrop's "City Upon a Hill"[1], although some scholars attribute it to a passage of Alexis de Tocqueville,[2] who argued that the United States held a special place among nations, because it was the first working representative democracy.

~snip


I agree with de Toqueville argument more than the wiki definition. If anything, I would say the terms of our national ethos found in the given definition are the product of representative democracy. But I would also go further that I don't think a representative democracy by itself is enough.

Representative democracy is only one strength of our constitution. Other strengths include separation of powers, checks and balances, enumerated powers, and amendability.

The founders had a unique opportunity to create a new form of government, taking lessons from history and their own experiences. And looking at the strengths enumerated earlier, I think they did pretty well.

That is why I think America is exceptional, in both its founding and that founding's fruits.

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An Informed Electorate: 2010 Elections

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I've tried to link to all the candidates I could find on the web. My apologies if I missed any.

I called the city who transferred me to the county who gave me a number and I got the ballot for the Nov. 2nd election emailed to me. Interesting how hard I found it to find out who I might be voting for ahead of time, but I may be missing a more convenient route. I knew about the national senate Ellsworth/Coates race for my state, but didn't know about Rebecca Sink-Burris, the libertarian candidate. Also, I was aware of the Hill/Young fight for the U.S. House in my district, but was unaware of the Greg "No Bull" Knott libertarian option.  Hill/Young/Knott will be debating at the Buskirk-Chumley at 6pm on Monday, October 18th.

OpenCongress pages, with voting records, etc. for those currently in office:

Senate Debates:

  • IUPUI (10/11/2010)
  • Fort Wayne (10/22/2010)
  • Vincennes (10/25/2010)

9th District Congressional Debate (10/18/2010)

From here my knowledge of who I might be voting for degrades further.

I have two representatives for the state of Indiana (that I know of). Matt Pierce is representative (District 61), so I'm guessing Vi Simpson (District 40) is senator. Matt is up for re-election. His opponent is Republican Kevin Suddeth.

House Debate for District 60 Representative Peggy Welch (D) and challengers Steve Hogan (R) and David "Doc" Murdoch (L) and District 61 Representative Matt Pierce (D) and challenger Kevin Suddeth (R) on WFHB's Interchange

 

I just found this site, votesmart.org, that reports state congressional voting records. Here are Matt's.

Further down the line, we've run out of people I've heard of.

State

District 10

County

Interchange radio show with candidates for recorder, commissioner, and clerk (62min.)

There will be more of these. Broadcast on BCAT and WFHB, Wednesdays at 6PM

Prosecutor, Sheriff Debate from Interchange (10/14/2010)

Districts 2, 3, and 4 Monroe County Counclil Debates on Interchange (10/20/2010)

Monroe County Democrats

Monroe County Republicans

Indiana Libertarians

 

Bloomington Township

  • Trustee: Linda Seiers (D)
  • Board (Vote for 3): Dawn Allen (D) / Barbara E. McKinney (D) / Bill Sturbaum (D) / David W. Shuee (R)

MCCSC

  • District 1: W. Kelly Smith
  • District 3: Martha D. Street / Victoria I. Streiff
  • District 7: Jeannine Butler

Indiana Court of Appeals – Retain (Yes/No)

So yeah. get out and vote or whatever.

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