November 15, 2003

Chalk up another one for the Amerikan Taliban. In a Monroe County Court Room last week, the God-Guns-and-Greed crowd succeeded in permanently besmirching County Councilman Scott Wells' reputation.

Six Monroe County jurors found Wells guilty of drunken driving and disorderly conduct. Apparently, in 21st Century Amerika, screaming for help when armed agents of the state set you up and kick your ass on a public street is criminal behavior.

October 5, 2003

When Greg Travis asked last week if The Bloomington Alternative was going to respond to Democrats' online comments on the "Talk about gall" article, I initially told him no. An important part of a journalists' job is to stimulate discussion. It was enough to have people like Andy Ruff, Don Moore, and Dan Combs publicly discussing the issues on the Alternative Web site.

Then I reread Party Chair "Carp" Combs' response and reconsidered.

September 28, 2003

I found myself face-to-face with the disastrous consequences of a failed public policy last Wednesday morning at the intersection of Lincoln and Dodds. It scared me to death. It made me angry. And I'm going to tell you about it. But before I do, I must declare acute sensitivities to both of the issues involved here - automobile accidents and failed public policy.

My family life was ravaged by an auto accident in 1984. And as a professional journalist for the past 20 years, I've chronicled what I consider to be an epidemic of failed leadership on the part of our public officials, at every level of government, and I'm tired of it.

September 28, 2003

Most species of the noble crane inspire and warm the heart -- the Whooping Crane, the Sandhill Crane, Frasier Crane.

Alas, Bloomington has been invaded by a most odious variety, the Construction Crane. These noxious creatures grow and multiply like some horror movie pestilence, as we have seen before our eyes since early this summer.

September 21, 2003

High on the list of pitfalls faced by those who regularly put their words and thoughts up for public consumption is having to eat them at some subsequent point in time. Such a dinner date appears to have arrived for me, as the 2003 City Election moves to center stage.

Consider the healthy serving of word pie I cooked up for myself in the Bloomington Independent following the 1999 election of Andy Ruff and Chris Gaal to the Bloomington City Council. (Andy was the second leading vote-getter in a six-way major party at-large race.)

June 29, 2003

Indiana democrats fed up with being stiffed by Indiana Democrats will have a unique opportunity to voice their frustrations on Aug. 23. Every D who's any D will gather that weekend at the historic French Lick Springs Resort for the party's annual meeting of the Indiana Democratic Editorial Association. And this year, the entire Indiana political world will be watching.

Party Chair Joe Hogsett raised the usually unremarkable gathering's profile a couple weeks ago when he announced that the 250 to 500 Ds attending will conduct a straw poll to determine whom the "faithful" prefer as their nominee for governor in 2004, Vi Simpson or Joe Andrew. That means the media will be all over French Lick on Aug. 23, which translates into opportunity for citizen forces of democratic reform.

June 22, 2003

The H-T editors got one thing almost right in Friday's editorial about the political scandal surrounding County Councilman Scott Wells' arrest on charges that he drove drunk, pissed in public, resisted arrest, and struck a police officer in downtown Bloomington one Friday evening last September. As the editors said, this sordid affair is indeed "making a martyr out of Wells."

But after reviewing the evidence in this case, I take their conclusion a step further. I predict that, when all the facts are a matter of public record, Scott Wells will be a bona fide Bloomington folk hero. What he has endured these past nine months, up to and including the H-T's insulting pox-on-both-your-houses editorial last week, is the stuff legends are made of.

June 15, 2003

Two prominent Indiana Democrats - Joe Andrew and Lee Hamilton – have had me thinking lately about the relationship between the people and their government, for a couple of reasons.

Both have shown interest in The Bloomington Alternative. Andrew personally called me a couple weeks ago seeking help in understanding environmental issues. And I'm assuming that the lhamilto at Indiana.edu who joined the Alternative mailing list last week is former Congressman Hamilton, who now runs the Center on Congress at IU.

June 8, 2003

County Councilman Scott Wells will be allowed to do more than just prove in court that he was not driving drunk and did not strike a police officer last Sept. 27. Under a ruling issued by Special Judge Frank Nardi last week, Wells will be permitted to show that his arrest and subsequent mugging by Indiana State Troopers were the products of a malicious character-assassination attempt.

In the trial scheduled for next month, Wells will be allowed to introduce evidence that shows he was set up by a cabal of right-wing extremists, whose cell includes a state trooper, elected and influential Republican Party operatives, and his arch nemesis, Pedigo Bay developer Steve Smith.

June 1, 2003

As a long-time admirer of Don Moore's work in the Monroe County Democratic Party, I took special note of the comments he posted in response to the "Lesser of two evils" piece I wrote two weeks ago. It became clear that some elaboration is in order.

First, and most importantly, the piece was not intended to say that voting for Mark Kruzan over Fred Prall would be choosing the lesser of two evils. That's the choice in the Democratic race for governor, so far. I hope to vote for Kruzan in November.

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