Greens who see the end goal of politics as winning elections are understandably lamenting Tuesday's electoral losses by green candidates in Monroe County. Developers, Republican strategists and the editorial board at The Herald-Times are reveling in their alleged defeat. And that is hard to swallow.
But just as they missed the point throughout the entire election season, so are the forces of greed, corruption and environmental destruction misreading the results. What they don't understand, or refuse to accept, is that Monroe County is on the cutting edge of a green political revolution that will take years, perhaps a generation, to fully realize its potential. The target today is the hearts and minds of the American people, not County Council seats.
In that context, Tuesday was nothing short of a spectacular success.
Last summer the Monroe County Republicans vowed to raise $100,000 just to beat Democratic candidates for Monroe County Council and Commissioners. They claimed Democratic candidates had "too many supporters." As of the end of the pre-election legal reporting period for campaign donations, it was revealed that the Republicans had raised over $230,000 between the Republican Central Committee and candidates!
No one understands the forces of greed, corruption and environmental destruction better than Bill Hayden. The retired, 60-something schoolteacher has spent half his life challenging them, from the Courthouse to the Statehouse and everywhere in between. He's learned their game. He knows what makes them tick.
Julie Roberts pierced the bulls eye when she declared this election season: "It's not about winning. It's how you play the game. It really is. It's about forcing debate about the real issues."
No matter what happens Tuesday, we played one helluva game this year.
It was gratifying to note the Indianapolis Star's Oct. 13 features that focused on the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act - "State makes strides, but still faces hurdles" and "Some waterways escape pollution." It's clear that without the protections of the 1972 federal Clean Water Act, our Hoosier streams would still be open sewers for industry.
An 11th hour, nine-city political blitz by Democratic statewide candidates this weekend will end in Bloomington on Sunday, offering opponents of the new-terrain I-69 highway another opportunity to let Indiana know how they feel about this taxpayer fleecing.
The Democrats' Bloomington rally, which will include Gov. Frank O'Bannon, Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan, and Secretary of State candidate John Fernandez, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall, 1650 W. Bloomfield Road in Bloomington. As Fernandez tops the ticket and the Democrats make their 2002 grand exit in his hometown, the event will draw significant media attention.
The state's I-69 consultant - one of Indiana Democrats' biggest campaign contributors - received $28 million in state contracts under the Bayh-O'Bannon-Kernan administrations, according to documents obtained by The Bloomington Alternative under the Freedom of Information Act.
Documents produced by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) show that Democrats awarded Bernardin Lochmueller & Associates 23 contracts between March 1989 and February 2002. Contract amounts averaged $1.2 million, ranging from $25,000 to more than $9 million.
On Oct. 18, the Community Corrections Facility Task Force delivered its recommendations to the Monroe County Commissioners about the objectives and construction of a Community Corrections Facility.
The agreement followed a year-and-a-half of frank and vigorous debate among the various components of the Task Force. The recommendations are supported by the County Commissioners, members of the County Council, the judges, the prosecutor, sheriff, jail commander, community corrections staff, the public defender, and members of the task force, including persons from all parties and perspectives.
Timothy Baer surveyed the cluttered meeting space at the Wesley Foundation Building in West Lafayette. "We're all called to do this," he said, watching several clusters of people engaged in animated discussions and eyeing the information tables covered with posters, leaflets, fliers, books and alternative periodicals. "That's why it's exciting to meet people from around the state."
The "call" was to volunteer peace activism. The event was a gathering of 35 peace and justice activists from across Indiana who answered the invitation of the Lafayette Area Peace Coalition to meet October 19 to network, share experiences and establish the Indiana Peace and Justice Network.