Indiana Pundit


Monday, April 30, 2007


Recently there have been a rash of large yard sign shenanigans. The object of these deeds has primarily been Crawford, Kelty, Morris, and Peters signs.

Most would say that this happens every year and its not worth mentioning. I think its getting worse. The people doing this are getting bolder in their tactics.

This goes beyond negative campaigning. A voter who passes by one of those signs immediately assumes that the victim's opponent is responsible. This is rarely the case. Unfortunately, this makes the opponent a victim in these situations as well.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

You are a Republican because

For all the Republican city council members who voted for Harrison Square.

You are a Republican because:

You believe that the proper function of government is to do for the people those things that have to be done but cannot be done by individuals and that the most effective government is one that is closest to the people.

You believe that good government is based on the individual and that each person's ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be recognized and honored.

You believe that free enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative and incentive have given this nation the best economic system in the world.

You believe that we must retain the principles of the past worth retaining, while remaining receptive to new ideas with an outlook broad enough to accomodate thoughtful change and varying points of view.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Four Questions with Dr John Crawford

Q: What makes you think you are the most qualified candidate in your race?
Experience - now completing third term in office. Good judgement.

Q: What personal attribute do you hope to bring to city council if elected? I am a hard worker
who puts a lot of time into researching each issue before Council to make the best vote I can.

Q: What issue(s) are at the forefront for what you want to address?
Jobs and the economy. I think City Council can help to attract more business to Fort Wayne by, 1) keeping taxes low, 2) keeping regulations to a minimum, and 3) improving the quality of life in Fort Wayne .

Q: Soapbox question. Anything else you'd like to say?
The comprehensive smoking ordinance we passed has many aspects to it on which reasonable people can disagree. However, the scientifically proven health risk of second hand smoke to others overrode the other issues to me.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Four Questions With Karen Goldner

Q: What makes you think you are the most qualified candidate in your race?

It’s up to the voters of the 2nd District to decide who is the most qualified to represent them, and they will do that on Election Day. But I think that I bring a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to this race that would be beneficial additions to City Council.

For the past 20 years, I have worked for better neighborhoods, better jobs and a better future for Fort Wayne within City government, in the private sector and as a community volunteer. Whether helping people find jobs in the 1980s, loaning money to businesses to grow new jobs in the 1990s, or working with high tech entrepreneurs today, my professional life has been focused upon creating and keeping good jobs in our community. I think that must be our #1 priority, and I will be its strongest advocate on City Council.

I have the same passion for strengthening our neighborhoods. They are the building blocks of a healthy city. Serving on my neighborhood association board, I have tackled a wide variety of issues first hand. So I will strive to make all our neighborhoods free of crime, with great places for our children to play, homes that grow in value, sewers that work, and routes convenient for walking and biking, as well as cars.

My final comment must be emphasized again and again. I will be a prudent, practical, watchful voice on City Council, ensuring we make smart decisions with every taxpayer dollar.

Q: What personal attribute do you hope to bring to city council if elected?

I like to take on challenges and solve problems. If we want a future filled with opportunity for ourselves and our families, then it starts with the choices that we make today. I have a track record of working to make Fort Wayne a place we can all be proud to call home. Now, I want to put my ideas, my energy and my know-how to work on behalf of the 2nd District and all of Fort Wayne .

Q: What issue(s) are at the forefront for what you want to address?

Jobs and economic development.

Q: Soapbox question. Anything else you'd like to say?

I love Fort Wayne and look forward to the opportunity to serve our citizens.

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Unclaimed Money

According to some of our government offices have unclaimed funds. Here are the ones I found.

Allen County Clerk of Courts
Allen County Planning Commission
Allen County Small Claims
Allen Superior Court

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Interesting Email

For those who wonder if the crowds at the Harrison Square meetings haven't been stacked, read this email.

If you are in favor of the Harrison Square Project, please show up at the City Council Chamber Tuesday April 17, 2007 at 5:30 in the City County Building. This will be the preliminary vote and your support is needed. Thanks for your consideration.

Richard Cummins
Upstate Indiana Business Journal


Four Questions With Adam Mildred

Q: What makes you think you are the most qualified candidate in your race?

I am a hometown deputy prosecuting attorney who is committed to sound stewardship of our taxes, efficient delivery of services, limited government, and the market. I have decided to stay, like many of my fellow young professionals, because my wife and I found that Fort Wayne's quality of life is better. Since we decided to stay, I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch while others make the decisions that will be affecting our lives,

As a trial lawyer, I know how to ask questions to uncover details. This is important because much, if not most, of the role as a City Council member is reactionary. Most of the legislation comes from the administration for Council’s approval. I am also capable of conducting independent research on the issues. My career as a deputy prosecuting attorney constantly requires me to make difficult, reasoned decisions.

Q: What personal attribute do you hope to bring to city council if elected?

I am unafraid to take a hard position if I am confident in the decision. I know how to develop and ask the hard questions. I am committed to helping businesses create jobs, applying market principles, limited government, and focusing on basic infrastructure needs.

One of the most important roles of the Council is that of an overwatch position, providing stewardship of community resources. I am committed to asking first and foremost, "What does this initiative/decision do to promote our economy and jobs?"

Q: What issue(s) are at the forefront for what you want to address?

Jobs & Economic Development The community must be reminded that the term “Economic Development” means both attracting new companies and supporting existing businesses. Given that as much as 85 percent of a community’s economic growth comes from established businesses, local government must therefore be committed to helping businesses thrive and also must not over regulate businesses out of existence. Governments do not create jobs, businesses do. Politicians, however, have certainly stood in the way of a few. Local government should be a friend and supporter of local business. I will advocate reinvestment in this city with infrastructure development.

Public safety - As a City Councilman, I will promote our professional and responsive fire and police services, as safe communities support economic growth, foster citizen commitment to the community and are an essential component of an improved quality of life. Our departments are as good as they are because of the people who serve. I believe that we must make every effort to support the best training and equipment including bilingual officers and firefighters, treating ballistic vests as essential equipment, and am squarely behind take-home police cars.

Taxes and government efficiency
Taxes - I will do my best to be a good steward of your public resources. Wherever possible, I will ask to see efficiencies first before considering any increases. I am generally opposed to anything that takes more money out of the pocket of the consumer or the businesses who are trying to meet their needs. Taxes are the price we pay for vital and necessary public services, but we have to keep those costs as low as possible.

Q: Soapbox question. Anything else you'd like to say?

I have some specific objectives that I would like to accomplish, if elected:

1. I hope to help our community project itself as business-friendly through establishing business advocates to complement our Neighborhood Advocates. The Business Advocate would be charged with helping businesses to conduct their business with local government at any level and function as a “quality control” measure to help track the project’s progress.

2. I will seek to promote sound stewardship of our tax resources.

3. I will call for improved accessibility of the legislation before the Council. I will call for, and if necessary, draft an ordinance requiring that the clerk place all proposed legislation and agendas online and that an adequate number of copies should be both made available at the meeting itself.

4. I will draft legislation calling for regular accountability reports from the City Council’s appointments to 25 community boards and committees.

In closing, I am fired up about the opportunity to continue to serve my hometown. The greatest reward of my career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney has been being able, in some way, to help people overcome the tragedy that has been inflicted upon them. Just as I have fought for victims of violent crime, businesses and neighborhoods, I will be an advocate for the future of my hometown.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Four Questions with Charles Langley

Q: What makes you think you are the most qualified candidate in your race?

While I certainly respect my primary opponent, it is my strong belief that our campaign best represents the beliefs and interests of the Fourth District. Like a multitude of my neighbors, I am fiscally conservative, I excel as a professional, receiving accolades and praise for my performance in the classroom for Southwest students, I am devout in my Christian beliefs, and I maintain a moderate approach to government. We need a strong voice connected to the beliefs and interests of our district on the Fort Wayne City Council and on May 8 I believe the choice is clear.

Q: What personal attribute do you hope to bring to city council if elected?

The seats held on Fort Wayne Common Council should reflect the lives of many residents in our community. The council currently lacks a young professional voice, one that excels in education and is in touch with the schools and students in our community. It will take someone who is dedicated to education and bridging the gap between local businesses and our schools to solve the current brain drain we face in Fort Wayne. As well, a voice that represents professionals on average, middle class salaries is needed. As a property owner, I am well aware of mine and my neighbors concerns regarding tax dollars and how this revenue is spent by the government. As I am conservative with my own money, citizens can expect to never see me waste taxpayer dollars, feed ridiculous government spending habits, coordinate an effort to increase taxes, or establish new taxing entities. Fort Wayne residents already pay enough into nine taxing authorities, including the airport and library.

Q: What issue(s) are at the forefront for what you want to address?

Not Increasing Taxes while Improving the Economy
We are a newly formed district in the City of Fort Wayne with thousands of new residents recently annexed by the government. It would be easy for members of the Council to take advantage of us and ask for more revenue with the new influx of residents. Under my leadership this will NOT happen. Any tax matter that does not substantially and directly benefit our district will meet my zealous opposition and fiercest dissent. I will also work with current businesses to better market our city, ranked the most affordable by the Frontier Centre on Public Policy, for increased economic growth and jobs in the Fourth District and in Fort Wayne.

Improve Roads and Transportation
The roads and transportation in our district are congested and full of bottlenecks and inconveniences. This harms the potential for commercial and economic growth in the District. I will fight to expand and renovate some the roads in the Fourth District. The State of Indiana will expand Highway 14 and I will work for even more innovative traffic solutions on Illinois Road as well as the roads and surrounding areas of Jefferson Boulevard, Covington Road, and Aboite Center Road. Further, I will act to ensure that the Ardmore thoroughfare and the roads and neighborhoods that surround it are maintained and given the proper attention they deserve. The roads of Waynedale will finally receive desperately needed care and renovations, especially in regards to chip and seal streets.

Maintain and Improve City Services
With thousands of new residents in the Fourth District, it is essential that we have the very best police, fire, and emergency service available to the citizens of Fort Wayne. I will make certain that our neighborhoods continue to be safe and that all residents will continue to have the peace of mind that the city if affording them every available resource. While Aqua Indiana does a fine job providing vital services to the citizens of the Fourth District, I believe increased cooperation with City Utilities can substantially improve the water and sanitation services provided to residents of the Fourth District. I will personally mediate and work to establish cooperation between Aqua Indiana and City Utilities, to ensure that each and every citizen of the District receive the best water and sanitation service without unnecessary additional cost.

Improve Cooperation with City and County Agencies
Some duplicate agencies of the city and county are financially wasteful and staggeringly inefficient. The current system is both more expensive and provides lesser services than a cooperative system could accomplish. The consequences of our inaction in some areas could result in potentially disastrous situations. I will work to establish cooperation and unity between more City and County agencies, especially street departments, parks and recreational services, purchasing powers, human resources, and emergency communications. This will greatly increase the efficiency and quality of services available to all Allen County residents, while reducing the overall cost of the agencies to City and County taxpayers.

Q: Soapbox question. Anything else you'd like to say?

We in the Fourth District stand at a crossroads, a chance to either move forward toward a brighter future for our community and its citizens or to follow those who fear growth and change in favor of the status quo. We need a new and fresh perspective on the issues that genuinely affect our community and a break from outdated political infighting on issues of no genuine consequence to the residents of the Fourth District. The Fourth District needs a new and vibrant voice in local government. As Councilman Thomas Hayhurst has built a tremendously strong and vibrant foundation in this District, it is my hope that his work will not be tossed aside, but it will instead be the launching pad for the future of the Fourth District. It is my hope to be that voice for all 42,000 residents of our district.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Yard Signs in Violation

It came to my attention that there are several campaigns that have no disclaimer on their yard signs and are in violation of election law. Here is the list as I know it. Should I find more I will add to this list.

Marty Bender
Ivan Hood
Tom Cook

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Bender - Yard Sign Review

50 x 50 scanability. This could be better. As a former elected official Marty should have known that thin-lined fonts such as the one to the left are more difficult for people to read.

Clean. It is a clean simple design. But I'm not a fan of it. I call it "generic patriotic".

Uniqueness. The patriotic theme is often used by campaigns. Too much so. It has lost a lot of its effectiveness.

Color. RWB doesn't work.

Grade C+

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Crawford - Sign Review

50 x 50 scanability. It is easy to read through the windshield from 50 feet away.

Clean. All the basics are easily readable.

Uniqueness. The nonlinear font in combination with the years of saturation make this one of the most effective sign designs year in and year out. The design even worked for Ken Fries.

Color. The yellow lettering makes the name pop.

Grade B+

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Ivan Hood - Yard Sign Review

50 x 50 scanability. It is easy to read through the windshield from 50 feet away.

Clean. All the basics are easily readable.

Uniqueness. This appears to be a cheap stock design. The sign is also oblong in shape. While this is good in a uniqueness factor it is bad in a practicality factor. These signs use a trident metal frame that is thinner than the normal frame. Those frames are weaker and tend to bend under pressure by the weather (as seen in this photo).

Color. Blue usually doesn't stand out. Unfortunately for Ivan this is the same color used by Glynn Hines in his signs.

Grade C

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What About Bob?

50 x 50 scanability. It is easy to read through the windshield from 50 feet away.

Clean. The name and position are displayed prominantly .

Uniqueness. Not too many campaigns can use a Richard Dreyfuss movie as their tag line in a campaign. That was a creative move.

Color. The green sign is visible among the rest due to its color. I think it is a dark enough green that there shouldn't be any fading issues.

Grade B+

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Karen Goldner - Yard Sign Review

50 x 50 scanability. It is easy to read through the windshield from 50 feet away.

Clean. The name is displayed prominantly. I like the simplicity of it. Just the Karen's name and what she's running for.

Uniqueness. The only thing I can say here is she uses the plastic slip cover signs. They are cheaper to produce a high volume, but the downside is they are less durable. They are more prone to disappear in a high wind situation.

Color. Red has good visibility and she has the only signs (that I've seen) that use it.

Grade B+

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Methodology of Harrison Square Poll

Fort Wayne, IN., April 5, 2007 – Conservative Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty clarified the poll data released Thursday morning regarding public opinion on the city’s Harrison Square project. The campaign’s previous release, issued at a 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning press conference, did not include the fact that 259 (64.6%) of the respondents were Republican voters very likely or somewhat likely to vote in this spring’s primary. In addition, 80 (20%) of the respondents were Independent voters, 60 (15%) of the respondents were Democrat voters, and 2 (<1%) of the respondents were Libertarian voters.

The Zogby International poll executed 8,713 dialed calls to achieve 401 complete samples, yielding a statistically significant poll result.

What follows this release is the Zogby International “Methodology and Sample Characteristics” data applied to the poll conducted on March 27-29, 2007.

Harrison Square by the Numbers

54% of Residents in Recent Poll are Opposed, Nearly 76% Against the Ballpark and Public Financing of Project

Fort Wayne, IN., April 5, 2007 – Conservative Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty today released the results of a recent poll showing a majority of Fort Wayne residents are opposed to the Harrison Square project as proposed by City officials. Kelty supports a market-driven approach to downtown redevelopment, his opponent in the May primary, Nelson Peters, supports the city’s government-driven plan for Harrison Square.

"The results of the poll are consistent with, my position on the project, and with what I am hearing from voters at neighborhood association meetings, neighborhood walks, and meetings around the city", said Kelty. "Though I am for redeveloping the downtown, from the information provided so far, I just don’t think the ballpark and public financing parts of the project make economic sense for the citizens of Fort Wayne", remarked the candidate.

The random poll of likely Fort Wayne voters was conducted between 27-29 Mar 07 by Zogby International. The margin of error of the poll is +/-5%. Nearly 9,000 Fort Wayne residents were contacted and participants were asked the following questions:

Q: Do you support or oppose the Harrison Square downtown development as proposed by the City of Fort Wayne?



Not Sure

























Q: Whether or not you support or oppose the project as a whole, which one of the following parts of the City’s proposed Harrison Square project are you most opposed to?




Parking Garage

Public Financing

Retail Space

Not Sure

















































"The fate of this project is in the hands of City Council, as Mayor I, like everyone else, will have to live with any decision they make, and I won’t be able to undo it", said Kelty. "What I can do though, is make sure the people are heard on this issue, and hope the City Council is listening."
According to City administration officials, the City’s proposal for the Harrison Square project is scheduled to be presented to the Fort Wayne City Council for a vote this month. In the mayor’s own plan (Link), in the Hardball Capital aspect of the Harrison Square deal, the City will be putting up $54M of taxpayer funding to Hardball’s $23M for the Harrison Square development.

"Notwithstanding the fact we already have a publicly funded ballpark, I am having a difficult time understanding how paying Hardball Capital $2.35 of taxpayer dollars for every $1.00 of private investment is a good deal for the City of Fort Wayne", said Kelty. "Proponents of the project will ask me if not this, then what? If given the kind of time the administration and City Council has had to develop this project, I know I could come up with some better alternatives, but I’m not going to make a snap decision now, that’s what’s got us into this mess to begin with. It’s not about taking a risk or making a decision; it’s about taking a manageable risk and making a correct decision. The two choices are not the same; the second choice takes into account the public interest, and requires good judgment."

My own comments on this in a later post

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Bad Deal

In a guest editorial by former county commissioner Ed Rouseau, it was revealed that the Hardball Capital investment is $250,000 per year spread over 20 years. This is the type of "gift" that worries me.

This payment plan system makes this a private/ public partnership in name only. It makes the public responsible for almost all of the construction costs.

Here are some other things to keep in mind about this deal:

  • The Wizards have not existed for 20 years but have had multiple ownerships. Ownerships change hands often in minor league baseball. Ownerships usually last 10 to 15 years. It is unlikely that Hardball Capital will buck this trend. If they don't own the Wizards in 20 years they won't fullfill their financial promise.

  • $5 million upfront is worth more than $5 million spread out due to inflation. A rough estimate would make this $5 million investment have the purchasing power of approximately $3.5 million.

  • By spreading out their $5million dollars, the taxpayer will have to fork out nearly all of the construction costs.

  • Hardball Capital has less motivation to see this project through to the end because they don't have a great financial stake in it.

There is only one word to describe this financial package.


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