Saturday, May 09, 2009
The Libertarian Party of Indiana (LPIN) and the Libertarian Party of Kentucky (LPKY) are combining forces and hosting a joint state convention the weekend of May 15,16, and 17, 2009. The convention will be held along the border in Clarksville, Indiana at the Holiday Inn Lakeview, 505 Marriott Dr, Clarksville, IN 47129. It is located along I-65 just north of the Kennedy Bridge at Exit 1 - Stansifer Ave.
While we were open to holding the convention either in Indiana or in Kentucky somewhere along the border, we chose Clarksville because, unlike Louisville, KY or Jeffersonville, IN for example, Clarksville has no government-legislated smoking ban on private businesses.
Friday evening May 15 we will have two hospitality suites, one nonsmoking and the other one smoking. Come and mingle with fellow freedom lovers and eat, drink, and be festive.
Saturday, May 16 is when the primary convention activities will take place. Things will kickoff at 9:00 AM with opening remarks from LPKY Chair Ken Moellman and LPIN Chair Todd Singer. Libertarian National Committee District 3 Representative Rebecca Sink-Burris will then update us with news and events in our district along with what is going on at National.
Then we will have some workshops, presentations, and breakout sessions. These include the following:
Mark Rutherford will discuss Atlas! Liberty Pac.
Melanie Hughes will do a session on charter schools and home schooling.
Dr. Eric Schansberg will discuss Libertarian Campaigning.
Ken Moellman and Rex Bell will run a candidate training workshop.
At Noon we will have lunch. Our lunchtime speaker will be Daniel Williams. He is a radio talk show host, author, and a past candidate for the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nomination. His topic of expertise is drugs and the drug war.
At 1:00 PM we will have concurrent business meetings for both state parties. Election of new officers and voting on amendments and other issues will be handled here. LPIN and LPKY will hold their respective business meetings in separate rooms. All other convention events will be held together.
At 4:00 PM we will hold a discussion on overall strategy. Ron Seiter will hold a workshop on organzing new Libertarian Party county affiliates.
At 5:30 PM we will have a buffet dinner. We will have two dinner speakers. First up will be Wayne Allyn Root. Wayne is a lively and dynamic speaker who makes regular appearances on Fox News and CNN. He was our Vice Presidential candidate in 2008. He will seek the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination in 2012. He is a small business owner who lives in Las Vegas with his wife and three home-schooled children. His new book will come out in June, entitled "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts." His website is at Root For America www.rootforamerica.com
Our keynote speaker will be Radley Balko, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine. Reason is a Libertarian magazine that tackles the issues with wit and flair. Radley is an active blogger. His website is at The Agitator www.theagitator.com
Sunday, May 17 we will have a buffet breakfast with speaker Ed Coleman. Ed is an Indianapolis City Councilman who made the news when he publically left the Republican Party and switched to the Libertarian Party. He will discuss his party switch, the outrage that Republicans had with him over his decision, and what actions by the Republicans led him to make the switch.
Several convention packages are available. Student dicounts are available for students age 24 or under. Register online at either Libertarian Party of Indiana www.lpin.org or Libertarian Party of Kentucky www.lpky.org
If you are a Libertarian or freedom lover and will be in the Louisville area next weekend, I encourage you to attend the Libertarian Party of Indiana and Kentucky State Convention 2009.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
As I type this blog entry, it is around 10:00 AM on Election Day morning. The polls are open, and we are still many hours away from knowing the election results.
While Barack Obama has held a slight lead over John McCain in recent weeks, John McCain's poll numbers have been surging over the last few days. Some people believe that John McCain will come out ahead and win this election. I predict that John McCain will lose.
Barack Obama has run an overall positive campaign which has provided a vision and a direction for the United States. I am not saying that I agree with Obama's message and vision, only that it is there. In contrast, John McCain has run a weak and inept campaign that has lacked any real vision. His campaign reminds me much of Bob Dole's 1996 campaign where he lost by double digits to Bill Clinton.
Bob Dole and John McCain have much in common. They are both veterans and war heroes who were both injured in war. They were both 72 years old on Election Day. In essence, they were both walking cadavers who lacked any real enthusiasm in their campaign messages.
Bob Dole claimed that he would cut taxes. He wasn't believable because he had voted for tax increases in the past. During the presidential debates he sounded flat, flaccid, and bored. During the recent presidential debates between John McCain and Barack Obama, John McCain sounded ineffective and unconvincing, based on his own past record.
John McCain claims he will cut spending and veto any earmarks. His past record in the Senate shows otherwise. He recently voted for the bailout boondoggle which was loaded with earmarks.
He pushed the McCain-Feingold legislation down our throats. This legislation was the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform or BCRA law which is a direct violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
He supports the McCain-Lieberman bill which will ban gun sales at gun shows without a background check. Thus he has utter contempt for the Second Amendment. The NRA gave him a C- rating. Yes Obama's NRA rating is an F. But it isn't enough of a difference to convince enough voters to support McCain.
He strongly supported the unconstitutional Patriot Act as well as its recent renewal. He flip-flopped like John Kerry in that he opposed the Bush tax cuts before he supported them.
The point is that voters have not forgotten John McCain's past, so they view his current claims with healthy skepticism. Simply put, he isn't resonating with enough voters to push him to victory over Barack Obama.
In 2004, John Kerry ran a negative campaign against George W. Bush. John Kerry offered no message of hope, no vision, no direction, only negativity and criticism of Bush. Granted, most Democrat voters didn't like having John Kerry as their candidate, so their mantra during the 2004 campaign was "Anyone but Bush." Democrat voters weren't voting for John Kerry. They were voting solely against George W. Bush. That was their sole aim and message. And it backfired.
Likewise in this campaign, most Republican voters decry having John McCain as their nominee, as he has no real vision, so their mantra is "Anyone but Obama." "I don't like McCain, but I must vote for him to thwart Obama." Like the Democrats in 2004, Republicans are not voting for John McCain. They are voting against Barack Obama. Once again, this motive for voting is a vote based on negativity. Campaigns based mainly on negativity simply don't work.
John McCain will lose today's election for these two reasons. His message isn't credible based on his past record, just like Bob Dole in 1996. And his Republican voters are voting not for him but against his opponent. These strategies will not work. They will not push John McCain to victory. The race will still be razor-close, but Barack Obama will still squeak out a victory tonight.
If my prediction is wrong, it won't be my first time. On May 17, 2007, almost a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog wherein I predicted that Mitt Romney and Al Gore would be the two main nominees and that Al Gore would win the election. If John McCain does manage to win tonight, I believe it will be because enough voters will have voted for Sarah Palin in essence.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
THE BY-LAWS OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF
Approved at State Convention May 1999;
As Amended at State Convention April 2001; As Amended at State Convention April 2004;
As Amended by Central Committee October 2005; As Amended at State Convention April 2006
Article I: Name, Identity, Structure, Function
Article II: Statement of Purpose and Principles
Article III: Membership
Article IV: Affiliated
Article V: State Central Committee, Officers, Directors
Article VI: Conventions and Meetings
Article VII: Adoption, Amendments, Standing Rules
ARTICLE I – NAME, IDENTITY, STRUCTURE, FUNCTION
Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be the Libertarian Party of Indiana, hereinafter referred to as the LPIN.
Section 2. Structure. The LPIN is a political organization constituted by its membership, governed by the Annual Business Meeting at its State Convention, responsive to its affiliated
Section 3. Bona fide party. The LPIN is a bona fide political party under the laws of the state of
Section 4. Functions. The primary functions of the LPIN are to: (a) nominate and run candidates for statewide, state legislative and
Section 5. Device. The office device of the LPIN and all candidates nominated by the LPIN or its affiliated
Section 6. Address. The mailing address of the LPIN shall be as designated by the State Central Committee.
ARTICLE II – STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES
Section 1. Purpose. The primary purpose of the LPIN is to promote individual liberty and to eliminate the intervention of government in moral, social and economic affairs.
Section 2. Principles. The LPIN affirms the following principles:
a. That all people possess certain unalienable natural rights, and that among these are rights to life, liberty, justly acquired property, and self-governance.
b. That the only moral basis of government is the preservation and protection of unalienable natural rights.
c. That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force or fraud against another person, and that all people are bound, without contract, to abstain from infringing upon the natural rights of other people.
d. That all people are entitled to choose their own lifestyles, as long as they do not forcibly impose their values on others.
e. That the voluntary and unrestricted exchange of goods and services is fundamental to a peaceful and harmonious society.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Unified Membership Program. The LPIN shall participate in the Unified Membership Program of the national Libertarian Party, incorporated herein by reference.
Section 2. Membership Requirements. Membership in the LPIN is open to all inhabitants in
Section 3. Membership Privileges. Membership in the LPIN shall be required to be a Delegate to the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention; to be a Member of the State Central Committee; to be an Officer of a
Section 4. Membership Suspension. The State Central Committee shall have the authority to suspend, terminate or refuse any membership in the LPIN by a three-fourths (3/4) vote. The State Central Committee shall immediately notify the individual by certified mail of the suspension, termination, or refusal, and the reasons for such, affording the individual the right to appeal to the State Central Committee at one of its next two meetings, or to appeal at the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention. Upon such appeal, the State Central Committee or the Annual Business Meeting, as the case may be, may by majority vote reverse the suspension, termination or refusal of membership. Otherwise, the membership shall remain voided for a period of one year from the original three-fourths (3/4) vote, after which time the individual may re-apply for membership in the LPIN.
Section 5. Donor Status. Contributors to the Libertarian Party of Indiana may at their own request be considered Donors rather than Members. Donor status will be granted upon such request, regardless of the amount of yearly contribution. Donor status may be changed to Membership only at Donor’s request. Donor status does not imply support for a Statement of Principles, nor does it afford any Membership privileges.
ARTICLE IV – AFFILIATED COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1. Charterings. The State Central Committee may charter affiliated
Section 2. Purpose of
Section 3. Temporary
Section 4. Organizing Convention. Members of the Libertarian Party of Indiana inhabiting any county in the state of
Section 5. Adoption of County By-laws. By-laws shall be adopted at the Organizing Convention of the
a. Name of the
c. Provision for at least one annual
d. Procedures for selecting County Organization Officers and Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting held at the State Convention;
e. Procedures for amending the
f. Procedures for nominating candidates for public office.
Section 6. Adoption of LPIN By-laws. After adoption of their own by-laws at the Organizing Convention,
Section 7. Membership Requirement. The Officers of all
Section 8. Officer Vacancies. A
Section 9. Suspension of Affiliate. The State Central Committee shall have the authority to suspend, terminate or refuse affiliate status in the LPIN to a
Section 10. Removal or Suspension of
Section 11. Choice of County. In case a Member of the LPIN inhabits more than one county, such person shall claim one county for purposes of voting in county conventions, and no Member shall claim to inhabit more than one (1) county in the same ninety (90) day period.
Section 12. Candidate Endorsement. No affiliated
Section 13. Reservation. Any decisions not forbidden to the
ARTICLE V – STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS
Section 1. Composition. Membership in the State Central Committee shall consist of four (4) Officers of the LPIN, one or more Directors appointed by the State Central Committee, and all District Members of the LPIN, one for each
Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of the State Central Committee is to control and manage all of the affairs and properties of the LPIN between State Conventions, consistent with these by-laws and the policies established at the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention.
Section 3. Responsibility. The State Central Committee shall have the sole responsibility for chartering affiliated County Organizations; approving applications for membership in the LPIN; calling conventions; resolving matters of succession of officers; dealing with members and affiliate County Organizations who are not true to the principles enumerated herein, and arranging, promoting and producing an annual State Convention.
Section 4. Officers.
a. Four Officers. The Officers of the LPIN shall be a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. No offices shall be combined.
b. Election of Officers. During odd-numbered years the Officers of the State Central Committee shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention for terms of two (2) years. The Officer candidate who receives the most votes in each race shall be elected. Officers shall be selected by secret ballot unless there is only one nomination for the office, in which case election may be made by acclamation. Officers shall take office upon the close of the State Convention and serve thereafter until the final adjournment of the next State Convention held during an odd-numbered year.
c. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be the head of the LPIN, presiding over all meetings of the party, its state conventions and business meetings, and meetings of the State Central Committee. The Chairperson is the official spokesperson for the LPIN, subject to the dictates of the State Central Committee. The Chairperson or the State Central Committee may appoint such committees as are deemed necessary to conduct the business of the LPIN and its meetings.
d. Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer in the absence of the Chairperson; shall be responsible for the committee work of the LPIN; shall represent the committees at State Central Committee meetings; and shall serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
e. Secretary. The Secretary shall record the minutes of the Annual Business Meeting and all meetings of the State Central Committee. The Secretary shall be the custodian of the minutes of all meetings, correspondence, committee reports, any standing rules, Petitions for Affiliation from affiliated
f. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be custodian of all funds, receiving and disposing of the funds at the discretion of the State Central Committee and subject to any standing rules. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer responsible for the filing of all campaign finance forms for the LPIN. The Treasurer shall have the responsibility for maintaining an LPIN mailing list, including a list of Members of the LPIN, as well as the responsibility of notifying Members of the forthcoming expiration of their membership and seeking their renewal. The Treasurer may appoint a mailing list comptroller for assistance under this section. The fiscal year of the LPIN shall begin on January 1st of each year and end on December 31st of the same year.
g. Removal of Officers. Officers may be removed from the State Central Committee by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the current State Central Committee. Directors may be removed from the State Central Committee by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the current State Central Committee.
h. Vacancies. The State Central Committee shall fill all vacancies of Officers and Directors by appointment. In event of dismissal, removal or resignation of any Officer or Director, the State Central Committee shall notify all Chairpersons of affiliated
Section 5. Directors of the State Central Committee. The Officers and District Members on the State Central Committee may appoint Directors to the State Central Committee. Each appointment shall be by resolution and requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Central Committee for approval. A Director shall serve until the next election of Officers of the LPIN unless removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Central Committee. The resolution of appointment for each Director shall include a functional title and shall specify the responsibilities of the directorship. Directors may be paid at the discretion of two-thirds (2/3) of the State Central Committee.
Section 6. District Members of the State Central Committee.
a. Election. District Members on the State Central Committee shall be elected by majority vote of District Committees of the LPIN for a term of one (1) year.
b. District Committees. District Committees are established within each
c. Appointment of Chairperson. In the event that the District Committee does not elect a District Member for the State Central Committee prior to the Annual Business Meeting, the Chairperson of the LPIN following the end of the Annual Business Meeting will appoint the District Member to fill the term on the State Central Committee. The District Member shall be a member of the LPIN and shall reside within the particular U.S. Congressional District. The District Member may be a
Section 7. Meetings of the State Central Committee.
a. Meetings. The State Central Committee shall meet at such date, time and location as directed by the Chairperson, or by request of one-third (1/3) or more of the members of the State Central Committee, but in any event at least once within forty-five (45) days after the State Convention and at least once each quarter. Notice shall be given to all Members of the State Central Committee and in such manner as to ensure a quorum.
b. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of five of its voting members, with two of those five being elected Officers.
c. Stand-In Proxy. A District Member, but not an Officer or Director, of the State Central Committee may appoint a Stand-In Proxy to attend, participate and vote on such District Member’s behalf at a State Central Committee meeting, provided that the Chairperson of the LPIN is given advance notice of such appointment prior to the meeting’s Call to Order and provided that such Stand-In Proxy is an LPIN member from the District who is not a member of the Central Committee.
d. Majority Vote. A majority vote of the members of the State Central Committee shall prevail in all questions before it except those otherwise specified herein.
e. Rules of Order. Robert’s Rules of Order as most recently revised shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters not covered by these by-laws.
Section 8. Annual Conventions.
a. Notice. The State Central Committee shall publish to all Members of the LPIN the dates, times, locations, proposed rules, and proposed agenda of the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention at least forty-five (45) days before the date of the State Convention, and shall be responsible to plan and produce the State Convention.
b. Credentials Committee. The State Central Committee shall appoint a Credentials Committee to verify the membership of all Members of the LPIN attending the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention and of all Delegates at said Annual Business Meeting.
Section 9. Standing Rules. The Standing Rules of the LPIN shall be in harmony with these by-laws, shall be written, and shall be made available for general use. Standing rules may be adopted by three-fourths (3/4) vote of the State Central Committee, or by two-thirds (2/3) vote at convention. Standing Rules may be repealed by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Central Committee, or by a majority vote at convention.
Section 10. Authority of Contract. No one shall have the authority to contract for goods or services on behalf of the LPIN without prior written approval of the State Central Committee.
Section 11. Meetings Open to Members. All meetings of the State Central Committee shall be open to observation by all Members of the LPIN, but the State Central Committee is responsible to reasonably inform Members of the LPIN of the date, time and location of the State Central Committee meetings only upon request.
ARTICLE VI - CONVENTIONS AND MEETINGS
Section 2. Annual Business Meeting. The State Convention will include the Annual Business Meeting. The Annual Business Meeting shall be used to elect Officers of the LPIN; nominate candidates; elect Delegates and Alternate Delegates to national Libertarian Party conventions; amend these by-laws; take action on matters placed on the meeting's agenda; formulate policy; adopt or amend standing rules and platform planks; receive and/or act upon reports; report on the business affairs of the LPIN; and exercise all other lawful powers not specifically delegated to the Officers or the State Central Committee by these by-laws.
Section 3. Attendance and Participation. Attendance at the Annual Business Meeting is open to all and free-of-charge. The State Central Committee may charge a fee for other State Convention activities and services. Only Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting may speak and vote at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 4. Quorum. A quorum of the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention shall consist of a majority of the number of Delegates allocated to
Section 5. Order of Business. The order of business of the Annual Business Meeting shall be the following: After the Call to Order, the first item of business is to credential and seat Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting. The second item of business is the reading and approval of the minutes of the first preceding Annual Business Meeting. The third item of business is to adopt rules for the Annual Business Meeting. The fourth item of business is to adopt an agenda for the Annual Business Meeting. The State Central Committee, or a committee appointed thereby, shall submit proposed rules and an agenda for initial consideration. The Delegates shall adopt rules and an agenda for the Annual Business Meeting by majority vote. In the absence of the adoption of rules and/or an agenda, the Chairperson shall adopt rules and an agenda on the Chairperson’s own initiative. The fifth item of business is the financial report by the State Central Committee, including a statement of the business conducted since the preceding Annual Business Meeting.
Section 6. Motions in Writing. All motions to amend the rules and/or the agenda proposed by the State Central Committee, to amend these by-laws, and/or to adopt or amend a platform shall be in writing, submitted to the Chairperson thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the Annual Business Meeting. The State Central Committee shall promptly publish such proposals at least to Members of the LPIN with e-mail.
Section 7. Membership Required. All Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention shall be Members of the LPIN in good standing as of the starting date of the State Convention, subject to verification by the Credentials Committee, and must inhabit the counties for which
Section 8. Selection of Delegates by
Section 9. Selection of Other Delegates. Members of the LPIN attending the Annual Business Meeting from counties with no
Section 10. List of Delegates. At least two (2) weeks prior to the Annual Business Meeting, each Chairperson of an affiliated County Organization shall submit to the Credentials Committee of the State Central Committee a list of Delegates and Alternate Delegates who have been selected in accordance with the County Organization’s by-laws. The Credentials Committee shall be responsible for verifying the membership of each such delegate. No voting by proxy shall be permitted.
Section 11. Nomination of Candidates. In appropriate even-numbered years, the Annual Business Meeting shall nominate candidates for statewide races, state legislative races, and
Section 12. Delegates to National Convention. In years when a national Libertarian Party convention is to be held, the Annual Business Meeting shall elect Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the national Libertarian Party convention. Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the national convention shall be elected by secret ballot in order of the number of votes they receive. Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the national convention of the Libertarian Party, not otherwise elected at the Annual Business Meeting, may be appointed at the national convention by the highest ranking Officer of the LPIN in attendance at the national convention.
Section 13. Delegates to National Committees. When the LPIN is notified by the national Libertarian Party of entitlement to national Libertarian Party committee- and subcommittee-delegates, the Chairperson shall cause their election at the Annual Business Meeting. Nominations for each position will be taken from the floor and must be seconded. The Member of the LPIN receiving the highest number of Delegate votes in each race shall be selected the committee delegate.
Section 14. Special Conventions and Special Business Meetings. Special Conventions and Special Business Meetings may be convened by State Central Committee on its own initiative, or shall be convened by the State Central Committee upon written request or petition of over one-quarter (1/4) of all current Members of the LPIN. The State Central Committee shall provide notice of the dates, times, and location of Special Convention and Special Business Meetings to all Members of the LPIN at least fifteen (15) days prior to the events. Notice shall also set forth the subjects to be considered at such Special Conventions and Special Business Meetings. Such Special Conventions and Special Business Meetings shall otherwise be run in accordance with, and have the same authority as that set forth in, these by-laws for the annual State Convention and Annual Business Meeting.
ARTICLE VII - ADOPTION, AMENDMENTS, STANDING RULES
Section 1. Adoption of By-laws. These by-laws shall be adopted when approved by a majority of the Delegates attending an Annual Business Meeting at a State Convention. These by-laws shall take effect on the first Monday following their approval.
Section 2. Amendment of By-laws. These by-laws may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Delegates attending the Annual Business Meeting at a State Convention. These by-laws may also be amended at a State Central Committee meeting by a four-fifths (4/5) vote of all actual Members of the State Central Committee. Every amendment shall take effect on the first Monday following the enactment.
Section 3. Standing Rules. Standing Rules may be adopted, amended or repealed by a majority vote at the Annual Business Meeting at the State Convention or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Central Committee.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
I have decided to jump into the fray and start an official blog of my own. Being that I am on the LPIN Central Committee as District Representative for Indiana's Ninth congressional district, this blog will reflect events and happenings within my district. I will also pontificate on my own viewpoints and opinions of various things.
Last weekend the Libertarian Party of Indiana held its annual convention in Indianapolis. We nominated and selected candidates to run as Libertarians for national and state offices this year. Dr. Eric Schansberg was selected to run for US Congress in the Ninth District. He will square off against Republican incumbent Mike Sodrel and Democrat challenger Baron Hill.
Let me back up a bit for those of you who don't know the whole story. Baron Hill was our Democrat congressman from 1999 until 2005. He first won the election in 1998 after former Democrat congressman Lee Hamilton retired after being in congress for 34 years. Republican challenger Mike Sodrel first ran against him in 2002. But Baron Hill beat Mike Sodrel by almost 10,000 votes, thus holding on to his seat. Baron Hill (D) received 96,654 votes. Mike Sodrel (R) received 87,169 votes. Al Cox was our Libertarian candidate that year, and he received 2389 votes. Jeff Melton, the Green Party candidate received 2745 votes.
Let's move ahead to the 2004 elections. Democrat Baron Hill and Republican Mike Sodrel and Libertarian Al Cox faced off again. But this time there was an upset. Mike Sodrel defeated Baron Hill. The election results were as follows. Mike Sodrel (R) received 142,197 votes. Baron Hill (D) received 140,772 votes. Al Cox (L) received 4541 votes. The Green Party failed to make it on the ballot in Indiana in 2004.
Onward to the 2006 elections. Indiana had its primary elections last Tuesday May 2. Mike Sodrel (R) and Baron Hill (D) easily won their primary elections. So they will face off in November for the third time in a row. The difference is that this time, Dr. Eric Schansberg is our Libertarian candidate. I have known Eric for a few years, since I joined the party in fact. I believe he will make a fine candidate. Mike Sodrel should be sweating bullets. Mike Sodrel campaigned on a platform of smaller government. But his voting record shows the exact opposite. I will expose his entire voting record here for you to see and judge for yourselves.
What about Al Cox? Why didn't he run again? I spoke to Al a few months ago, and he indicated that he didn't want to run again. Plus he is a strong supporter of Dr. Schansberg's candidacy. Dr. Schansberg has selected Melanie Hughes as his campaign manager and John Harbeson as his campaign treasurer.
The Louisville newspaper the Courier Journal ran a article last Wednesday after the primary elections which mentioned and quoted Dr. Schansberg. The link is
INDIANAPOLIS — Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel and Democrat Baron Hill easily defeated their 9th District primary opponents yesterday, setting up a rematch that has attracted interest from political observers nationally.
Sodrel, the owner of several Jeffersonville transportation companies, defeated first-time challenger Sam Schultz, an auto mechanic and combat veteran. He was winning roughly 80 percent of the vote.
Hill, a former congressman from Seymour, also was far ahead of his three opponents.
Gretchen Clearwater of Bloomington, an active campaigner who could never raise the money she needed for a significant challenge, was second, followed by Lendall Terry of Versailles, who did not campaign, and John "Cosmo" Hockersmith, a first-time candidate from Vallonia.
"It's always nice to have the primary over and know who your opponent will be," Sodrel said last night from Washington, D.C., where he returned a few hours after voting to participate in floor action. "You like to get the primary behind you."
Hill, who previously held the seat for six years, said he didn't mind the primary challenge and called it a good warm-up for the fall campaign.
"It's been a reason to roll up my sleeves and get ready," he said. "I never take any election for granted, and we didn't this one. We worked at it fairly hard."
Sodrel and Hill will meet for the third time in a general election.
Hill, then the incumbent, won the first match in 2002. Sodrel unseated him in 2004 by about 1,500 votes. And political analysts are predicting another tight contest in November as Democrats try to wrest control of the House from Republicans.
At his Crystal Ball Web site, Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, has labeled the match a toss-up. So has Charlie Cook, who publishes an independent newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns.
"Everything points to an extremely close race," said Joe Wert, a professor of political science at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. "I would expect to see both money from the RNC and DNC (the Republican and Democratic national committees) as well as probably some big names in both parties coming in to boost both candidates."
Libertarian Eric Schansberg of Jeffersonville will be in the race as well. Schansberg, an IUS economics professor, said this week that he's not sure what his impact might be. But he plans to raise money and campaign actively.
"Most Libertarians run as fiscal conservatives and maybe (on) social issues that are not real popular. They tend to take votes away from Republicans," Schansberg said. "But given my interests and research and writing, I've got a lot of beefs with Democrats as well.
"I don't know who will defect from them to me more often — whether it's Democrats or Republicans," he said.
Hill said he expects that the general election campaign "is going to get rolling right away." He anticipates a different political climate from 2004, when voters re-elected President Bush.
"The president was fairly popular in the last election, and that had a coattail factor in the 9th District," Hill said. "This year, that coattail is not there."
Sodrel said the race actually began last year when critics began making automated calls to his constituents. But he said he hopes for voters' sake that intense campaigning won't begin in earnest until after Labor Day.
Hill said he plans to challenge Sodrel to a debate this month.
In yesterday's voting, the challengers to Sodrel and Hill barely made a dent.
Clearwater, who advises graduate students at Indiana University in Bloomington, did the best, with roughly a fifth of the votes cast. She maintained a comprehensive Web site and worked actively to raise money; she even bought some radio ads in which she said she was "not afraid to say no to George Bush."
But she was no real challenge to Hill, whose name recognition in the district is strong from both his successful and failed runs for office.
Hockersmith and Terry simply gained no traction.
Schultz also struggled mightily against the incumbent Sodrel but said he's pleased to have made the attempt.
"I feel I did the best I could with what I had with time and resources I had," he said last night. "I'll be back in a couple years. I'm not going to be muzzled."