While discussing how to make dealing with local government easier for businesses, City Councilman Tim Pape, D-5th, said there is one necessary change the city cant make on its own: Reducing the number of county commissioners from three to one.
He said it makes no sense for a government to be run by three people, saying no company would have three CEOs.
Its not good governance, he said.
He encouraged other City Council members to support state legislation mandating the change. The council in January 2010 signed a letter of support for legislation to eliminate two commissioners by 2015, but that change was never approved.
Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, joked that Pape might never want to shop at Pep Boys. The auto parts store is famous for its three historical owners: Manny, Moe and Jack. Harper was the only member of the council not to sign the 2010 letter.
Complaint on Lugar
Sen. Richard Lugars voting habits and residency might be getting a fresh look after a complaint was filed with the Indiana Election Commission last week.
A number of political blogs have reported that tea party enthusiast Greg Wright filed an election fraud complaint against Lugar and his wife, Charlene.
Wright alleges that the senator and his wife may have committed multiple felonies for voting in a Marion County precinct, using an address for a home they do not own.
The issue of voter fraud has received more attention since a special prosecutor filed felony charges early this year against Secretary of State Charlie White for voting at the wrong precinct. Those criminal charges are pending.
Wrights complaint appears to be largely focused on the address Lugar is using on his absentee ballot rather than whether Lugar maintains residency for a re-election run.
Lugars campaign addressed the allegations in March, saying Indiana law provides that a person is not considered to have lost his or her residence in a precinct solely by virtue of being absent in service to Indiana or to the nation. Senator Lugars last place of residence in Indiana prior to leaving to serve in the Senate remains his proper voting precinct according to Indiana law.
Lugars Senate staff produced a 1982 letter – not an official opinion – from then-Indiana Attorney General Linley Pearson to Lugar that said, in part, If such a person was entitled to vote in this state prior to departing for service in Congress, whatever residence that person possessed for voting purposes prior to such departure remains his or her residence. There is no requirement that such a person maintain a house, apartment, or any fixed physical location.
Lugar lives in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington. He also owns a farm in Marion County.
Indiana Election Commission Chairman Dan Dumezich – a Republican – said he hasnt seen the complaint yet. Usually the Republican and Democratic co-directors have to agree to move a complaint forward before it comes to the commission.
Democratic co-director Trent Deckard said he would recommend the commission look at the complaint. Republican co-director Brad King is reviewing the matter.
If it does make it to the commission, it is unclear what they can do. The four-member panel – two Republicans, two Democrats – doesnt have criminal jurisdiction.
Lugar faces state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the U.S. Senate primary next year.
A top state union released a poll Wednesday showing that Hoosiers – including Republicans – oppose right-to-work legislation.
The results contrast with those from an Indiana Chamber of Commerce survey from this year finding support for the measure.
A news release on the new poll, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, showed just 38 percent of Hoosier voters favor passage of the controversial bill, while 47 percent are opposed.
The survey also finds that 67 percent of Hoosiers disagree with Statehouse Republicans decision to make right to work their top priority and wish they would move on to other issues.
Right-to-work legislation would prohibit unions and employers from agreeing on a contract clause that requires all workers covered by a contract to pay union dues or representation fees as a condition of employment.
Some might consider the language of the primary poll question to be leading.
It starts with this statement – Experts say that a Right to Work law would result in many fewer Indiana workers having union representation, as is the case in other states with these laws such as Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas.
The Chamber poll, released this year, found 69 percent of Hoosiers support passage of such legislation.
Not to be outdone by his competition, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters this week unveiled his campaigns re-election website: www.nelsonpeters.com.
The site went up about a week after Allen County Recorder John McGauley unveiled the website for his campaign to challenge Peters in the Republican primary.
Peters site lists an extensive résumé, a series of guest newspaper columns hes written and a list of accomplishments and goals. Those accomplishments include that he led efforts to bring over $500,000,000 of new business to unincorporated Allen County in 2011.
He also touts fighting for a tough new ethics law and cites his refusal to use a take-home vehicle. McGauleys website includes plans to improve county ethics.
Interestingly, Peters website has gone live before the commissioner has even made a formal re-election announcement. He has told Political Notebook previously he will seek a third term.
Mitt Romneys presidential campaign has announced that 19 current or former Republican officeholders or officials in Indiana have endorsed the former governor of Massachusetts.
Among them are Randy Borror, a former state representative from Fort Wayne, and Matt Bell, an ex-state representative from Avilla. State Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, whose district includes much of Kosciusko County, is among six current state lawmakers to endorse Romney.
Others identified by the Romney campaign include Jim Kittle, a former state GOP chairman; the Republican chairmen of Howard and Vigo counties; and a former aide to ex-Vice President Dan Quayle.
Journal Gazette Washington Editor Brian Francisco contributed to this column.