The “Truth and Taxes” story on the HT’s front page (10/30) did a good job of detailing how facts can be manipulated to benefit the interest of the political attack ads. That’s why members of Reverse Citizens United of Monroe County went directly to the source, sending surveys to candidates running for office this term, asking them to respond to questions about the 2010 Citizens United Decision, which opened the floodgates of dark money into the electoral process.
For those in Indiana’s 46th District, consider this: Bill Breeden responded immediately to our inquiry, indicating that he does not believe corporations are the same as people and that money is the same as free speech. His opponent Bob Heaton has never responded to our repeated request. Maybe that’s because Heaton has taken in more than $796,000 during his legislative career, with over $579,000 coming from PACs. Meanwhile, Breeden is funding his campaign solely through small individual donations. Here is a clear choice for voters, more of the same dysfunctional government, influenced by dark money and run by big spending special-interest groups, or electing Breeden to represent the voice and the will of the people. Seems simple enough to me.
Published in the Bloomington Herald-Times Nov. 4 2016
I would encourage voting for Bill Breeden in District 46 of the Indiana House of Representatives. Bill will bring to the House an understanding of the criminal justice system having worked as a volunteer chaplain at the area jails and Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. He understands the necessity for Indiana to address the drug problem that is killing people at an accelerated rate in our state. Bill understands the need to develop alternative treatment programs at the county level utilizing community corrections and other alternatives.
Bill is insightful, truthful, honest, and a man of his word. He is a people person who has been there for my family in the time of tragedy.
A letter to the Terre Haute Tribune Star editor by Cathy McGuire. This letter was published Sun. Oct. 30th.
Most of the 46th House District is rural but voters who live south of Hulman St. are also in the 46th. The Democrat candidate is Bill Breeden, a strong supporter of our teachers and our public school system He also believes, as did both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, that assault weapons used in mass killings should not be available for ordinary citizens. Bill himself is a gun owner. He thinks it is time to end one-party rule in IN.
Bill’s opponent is regarded as a nice man but not much of an initiator. Republican Bob Heaton is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a private corporate owned organization founded by billionaires including the Koch brothers. It meets with members of state legislatures and lobbyists to tell them what laws they want passed. ALEC writes the bills and its members present them as if they were their own idea. Discussions of bills among legislators belongs in the legislature, not in secret meetings. Among the laws that have come out of ALEC are charter schools and RFRA. Its members oppose raising the state minimum wage and have supported other bills that harm workers.
The membership of ALEC is secret, but an Indianapolis tv reporter investigated the legislative members’ use of conference funds and discovered that Mr. Heaton took funds from it to pay for his registration at least two ALEC conferences. Public money should not be used for attendance at private lobbyist events.
Please support Bill Breeden for State Representative.
Here is a link: http://www.tribstar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/readers-forum-oct/article_d8d3832c-0991-5bdf-ab6a-92c5b6165f26.html
The criminal justice system is one of Indiana’s largest “growth industries,” though few would call it that.
Since 2000, the state’s prison population has increased by 135 percent, from roughly 19 thousand inmates to more than 45 thousand. Today, Indiana’s prison population is equal to the prison population of Saudi Arabia. The state incarcerates felons at a rate 15 percent higher than the national average. Dearborn County, alone, sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, North Carolina, combined.
The annual cost to Indiana taxpayers for this policy of mass incarceration is nearly $690 million. Meanwhile, we are faced with the unsettling fact that crime rates have actually been falling over the past two decades.
Without reform, Indiana’s prison population is projected to grow throughout the decade and could end up costing Indiana more than $1.2 billion a year.
Bill Breeden, Democratic candidate for Indiana House District 46, is uniquely qualified to reverse this trend by offering alternatives to incarceration for non-violent criminal offenders. Breeden studied and taught criminal justice at Indiana University. As pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, he provided religious counseling to death row inmates and worked as a community activist for jail reform.
Bill Breeden’s advocacy for just and compassionate solutions to our prison crisis will enable him to work toward changes that emphasize rehabilitation, human dignity, and public safety, while saving money at the same time.
— Mark Hamm, Ellettsville
This letter by Mark Hamm was printed in the Terre Haute Tribue Star newspaper Oct. 27th 2016. Here is the link: Letters to Editor
In a letter to the editor (Terre Haute Tribue Star) Sam Martland addresses comments made by Rep. Bob Heaton at a recent League of Women Voters forum. While education is the largest single budget item in Indiana as Rep. Heaton stated, Indiana ranks 28 in spending per student in the United States, and is one of eight states that charges students for text books. Here is a link to the newspaper: Terre Haute Tribune Star.
Bill and his opponent for Representative in District 46, incumbent Rep. Heaton attended. Tim Skinner, democrat candidate for Representative in District 42 attended, his opponent Republican incumbent Rep. Morrison did not.
One thing to keep in mind is that the state government took over the majority of funding for public schools a few years ago. This makes the expenditure from the state look big, much bigger than before. However what Indiana spends per pupil is not that high compared to other states.
Another funding issue is the legislature recently changed school funding formulas. The formulas used to provide extra money to rural school where student populations are small to offset the cost of operating smaller schools. The loss of this funding puts pressure on rural communities to consolidate schools, and small communities without local schools become less desirable places to live.
This campaign wants to thank the Terre Haute League of Women Voters for hosting the event, and Rep. Bob Heaton for participating.
I hope people will read this article. It is unusual first because the interview is conducted by a teacher, and second the challengers have time to talk in detail about what is wrong, and more broadly what a functioning democracy needs from a public education system.
None of the Republican incumbents accepted the invitation to participate. They decided not to provide a defense of the Republican approach to public education or explain why undermining Superintendent Glenda Ritz was so important to them. Our canvasing in the district suggests that this issue is the single most important issue on the minds of voters including Republicans who are considering voting for Democrats in 2016.
By the way if you are interested in what public school teachers think about the election you can follow this link to I-PACE (Indiana Political Action Committee for Education Voter Guide.
Thanks to National Road Magazine for writing the article and giving the public a chance to get a better idea of what is going on in Public Education.
The article is written by Donovan Wheeler and includes photos by Thomas F. Yeiser and Jonathan Alan Balash.
“Activist Breeden challenges incumbent Heaton in District 46 race” is the headline. It looks like you have to have a subscription to read this online, but if you can take a look at this! Click here to visit the Bloomington Hearld Times!
Spencer Evening World, Tuesday April 12, 2016, Volume 89, Number 202, Front Page.
Bill Breeden Announces Democratic Candidacy For State Representative. A prepared statement from Bill about his candidacy. “After nearly forty years of political activism from outside the system, Breeden said that he decided to join the fight on the inside.”
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