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Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support, Court Says

In an insane example of government gone wrong, a court has ruled that a sperm donor must pay child support for the for the girl born out of his kindness.

CNN, along with numerous other sources, is reporting that William Marotta has been ordered by a Kansas judge to pay child support after supplying a sperm donation to a lesbian couple seeking to have a child.

An Open Letter to Brian Bosma, CC: The Indiana Republican Establishment

Speaker Bosma –

I hope you are proud of yourself.

All about Fish

Bill to Eliminate Straight Ticket Voting Introduced

Senator Mike Delph has introduced a bill to eliminate straight ticket voting at the general election ballot box in Indiana.

All Politics is Local, but It Doesn’t Need to be Personal

(Originally Published by Howey Politics Indiana)

As a young Executive Director for the Libertarian Party of Indiana, I didn’t have an overwhelming amount of experience in grassroots politics. I had left a job as the producer of the Abdul in the Morning show on WXNT in 2008. My communication skills were the basis of my hiring at the LPIN, and knew that I had a deficit in the organizing aspect of politics. I visited every single bookstore in the Central Indiana area looking for books on grassroots politics.

The most impactful book was Tip O’Neil’s All Politics is Local, and Other Rules of the Game. The book is a collection of memories, advice, and illustrations from one of the 20th Century’s most skilled politicians.

The young Bostonian was in the last day of his first campaign for Congress when his former teacher, Elizabeth O’Brien, walked up and said, “Tom, I’m going to vote for you tomorrow even though you didn’t ask me.”

He was astonished. She was his neighbor, former teacher, and he spent years doing chores for her! He replied that he didn’t think he needed to. She countered with, “Tom, let me tell you something: People like to be asked.”

With one simple story, my view of politics changed from a series of news stories, polling data, impersonal formulaic strategies for victory, and issue-oriented politics in to a personal exercise. Politics is the people business. All of our strategies at the LPIN moving forward had to begin with the individual voter in mind, and we had to leave a good impression. In the absence of the money that enabled us to buy votes, our personal connections became paramount.

This strategy was fully realized by Rupert Boneham, the most personable candidate, and person, I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. After his campaign for Governor of Indiana began, he made made hundreds of campaign stops and met thousands of Hoosiers. Most had never heard of the Libertarian Party, but every single person that stood in line to meet him left with the basics of our principles and our party. Yes, I said lines. The average wait was 20 minutes to meet our candidate at a campaign stop. Few grassroots politicians ever see a line that long, and fewer leave the positive impression that Rupert left.

Rupert left that impression on his opponents as well. Every encounter with Mike Pence or John Gregg was warm and positive. It became clear to Pence and Gregg camps at the debates that Rupert was a sincere person with a genuine message. A true rapport developed between our team and each individual camp.

Our opponents respected us. And we respected them. And the friendly nature of our camp towards the sitting Governor would probably mean that Pence would answer Rupert’s call should he have an idea on policy. Rupert’s best work, Rupert’s Kids, is providing vocational education to an underserved population of our society: youth exiting the criminal justice system. Encouraging a return to vocational education was Rupert’s first platform plank. Several months later, it was adopted by the Pence campaign. True to his promise, the Governor has made it a priority in his administration.

Had we treated our political opponents with hostility, I believe our message would have had less influence on policy outcomes. Libertarians run to win, AND to have our ideas stolen.

I am sure that somewhere a Libertarian partisan is cursing me for exposing the horrifying fact that Rupert liked his opponents. Or that Andy Horning had the same relationship with Mourdock or Donnelly. And I say to my fellow party member: get over it.

Rupert, Gregg, and Pence had different ideas about how the state ought to function. Those ideas have serious consequences for our state. We lose the ability to discuss those ideas when we choose to treat politics as if it is another category on TMZ. It leads to bad government.

Politics is exciting when one has a hot piece of gossip to share. Somedays, the, “Where can this information be shared to effectively help my team” game was the bulk of my day. Gossip is natural. It is the people business after all.

This gossip game is the root cause of our broken political discourse. The gossip game breaks down civility. Fear of misrepresentation stops honest people from openly discussing their true opinions.

So I am going to try and do less of it. I am going to make the personal choice to only discuss the names of other politicos when I hear an idea that I can affirm or debate. If I disagree with it, I will make it about the idea and not the messenger.

If enough of those in the political industry choose to do the same, the political class can regain the trust and respect of their fellow citizens. Personally, I am going to do my best to emulate Rupert’s style, and to make the people business less personal.

A Million Little Pieces… Of Government

(Originally Published by Howey Politics Indiana)

Over the last week, terrible and awesome events have grabbed our headlines.

The first was a horrifying accident by Indycar Champ Dario Franchitti. In a hasty, split-second decision, Franchitti made a pass in the Houston Grand Prix, and the move launched his car in to the catch fence, and sprayed the crowd with debris. Fortunately, the spectators and the three-time Indy 500 champ will miraculously survive the crash. Dario’s crash looked brutal because of the thousands of pieces flying away from the driver; carrying with them the force meant for his body.

Franchitti’s accident led me to wondering if our government isn’t headed for a serious crash itself. Our hulking leviathan has continuously grown centralized, and decision-making has become as flexible as Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp. The government is still shut down, and we are hurdling towards default with dysfunction at the top. Physics certainly is not the cause, but we have violated the principles as sound as gravity itself.

The larger man-made institutions grow, the less functional they become. The less functional a government becomes, the more harmful it is to those inside. It is my fear that our government has grown so large that it is no longer able to function.

One of the paver stones in our long road to national dysfunction is our collective shift from a nation that sees itself as a collection of states versus a nationalist perspective. It is hard to pinpoint when we stopped seeing our nation as a compact of 50 labs of democracy, and began seeing ourselves as a single nation. When did the United States just become America?

A strong central power was not something designed by our Founders. The states created the federal government, and limited it with a constitution. In it, they outlined 17 specific functions the federal government may exercise. These powers include regulating commerce with foreign nations, coining money, and running a post office. And then in the 9th and 10th amendment, they declared that anything not enumerated in that document is left to each state to decide.

Over time, the nationalist perspective rose, and achieved dominance with Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is often put at the top of the Presidential rankings. He is regarded as a hero, emancipator, a man of wisdom, and the man who kept the Union together.

It is that last reason that I find him a complicated hero. In an effort to keep the Union together, he greatly grew the power of the Federal government. He suspended Habues Corpus, he issued executive orders that imprisoned journalists and newspaper editors, closed over 300 newspapers, and allocated military spending without the consent of the Congress. These are serious breaches of civil liberties and human rights.

I consistently struggle with the historical question: Every nation ended slavery in that century peacefully. Why were we the ones that fought a civil war where 850,000 Americans died? The idea of succession was meant to give civilized people a peaceful exit from a political institution that no longer represented them.

Jefferson’s idea of the founding was that our Constitution were merely a temporary convenience, and should it no longer be necessary, those binds could be dissolved for something more advantageous. Why not several confederations inhabiting America? That is a far cry from Lincoln’s view that the Union should be preserved by even the worst means necessary.

So why does any of this matter today? Those currently arguing for a stronger central government need Lincoln as a pretext for their own plans. If we need to read emails in a time of war, it is to protect our nation. Even Lincoln did it. We need to detain prisoners of war indefinitely, and it is ok, because even our hero Lincoln did it. The idea is even reinforced each day across the nation as the pledge is said: “one Nation under God, indivisible.”

I am not arguing for succession. In this day and age, no serious political thinker should. I am arguing that State and City governments ought to start thinking independently. Protect us from our dysfunctional federal government.

What can they do to survive without federal grants? What can local politicians do to empower their communities? And voters ought to choose politicians that put their local interests first.

Government power should rest as close to the individual voter as possible. Apathy sets in as individuals have lost their ability to directly influence those making decisions for them.

The modern political class needs to find ways to return power to the local level. If we apply the principles of IndyCar racing to our political history and present, we are all a little safer if things break into thousands of pieces as opposed to one hulking mass.

Indiana Libertarian Party’s Facebook Page Deleted; Facebook Has Few Answers

If you follow the Libertarian Party of Indiana (LPIN) on Facebook, maybe you noticed that they weren’t
appearing in your news feed lately.

Five Real(?) Impacts of a Government Shutdown

You want to prove that a government “shutdown” is really a misnomer and that hardly anything that really matters gets affected?

IMPD Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

We are saddened this morning to hear of the death of IMPD Officer Rod Bradway.

Why the Starbucks Gun Carrying Statement Doesn’t Bother Me at All, and Why Gun Advocates May be to Blame

Well here we go.

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