What do Bob Morris, Phil GiaQuinta and Tom Wyss have in common? No, they dont all believe Girl Scouts of America conspiracy theories. What they share is that they have all lost track of why they were elected to the Indiana General Assembly. They all represent the Fort Wayne area and have collectively chosen to take sides in a dispute between my business, Summit City Chevrolet, and Kelley Chevrolet, whose majority owner is Keith Busse. In response to notification of Kelleys proposed relocation, we filed a protest under I.C. 9-23-3-24, a specific law that governs such circumstances that has been in effect for 11 years. To Be Prepared, we incurred great expense for attorney fees and expert witnesses, all in an effort to meet the speedy schedule set forth by the court and required by the law.
Four weeks ago and to my complete surprise, I became aware of legislation, authored by these three Fort Wayne legislators, and I was told it was to be placed on the fast track at the Statehouse. Essentially, if passed, House Bill 1171 will terminate the pending lawsuit and declare Tom Kelley and Keith Busse as the winners of the dispute. The additional result is that the investment we have made in exercising our rights in court will be completely wasted.
I learned in Government 101 that the legislature makes laws and the courts rule on these laws. In court, both parties are given a chance to present their arguments and an impartial trial of fact will decide the outcome based on the merits of the case.
The meddlesome inter- vention that has taken place in the Statehouse does not require due process. Sen. Wyss and Reps. Morris and GiaQuinta never even spoke to us before filing the bill for Kelley. No one contacted me in any way. Rep. GiaQuinta still hasnt. I was lucky to have even discovered the bill had been filed. Yet, Sen. Wyss claims and has been twice quoted stating that House Bill 1171 is about fairness. If pulling the rug out from under one Fort Wayne business in favor of another is fair, my definition of fairness differs greatly from Senator Wyss. To intercept a pending lawsuit that was filed based on a statute for which he voted is outrageous.
I am wondering how the Girl Scouts of America define fairness. Perhaps, these three should do some Web-based research on it. Changing an existing law to favor one of the states largest political donors to circumvent a lawsuit clearly is not fair. Its also clear that the Statehouse is not where fairness can be found. This decision belongs in the courts and out of the influence of crony capitalism.
The recent mistreatment of the Girl Scouts by one of these authors has led to newfound commitment to Scouts. Hopefully for my business and yours, this mistreatment will lead to newfound commitment to doing the right thing in general. So far, the jury is out. Way out.