The following statement was printed in the Spencer Evening World, April 19th, 2016.
I first want to say thank you to the Evening World for providing the citizens of Owen County the opportunity to read candidates’ statements. Not every community has a daily paper that understands the importance of the “Fourth Estate,” a free press, in a democracy. We are fortunate to have an editor who does. Thank you, Evening World.
After nearly forty years of political activism from outside the system, I have decided to join the fight on the inside. I believe that supermajorities are toxic to democracy, and that we must find a way to bring balance to the Indiana General Assembly.
Our elected officials are responsible for our public education, our infrastructure, our healthcare, our public safety, our civil rights and collective bargaining. Politicians should be servants of the people who deal with public concerns not private lives.
Instead, the supermajority Republican members of the House of Representatives have wasted several legislative sessions on issues that divide people. Issues such as RFRA–a solution looking for a problem, and one that cost our state millions of dollars. Some estimates are over a billion.
We don’t need an Ayatollah, or a Pope, or any other religious leader in the Governor’s mansion. We need a Governor. We don’t need morality police or an Inquisition in the General Assembly. We don’t need politicians to tell us whom we can love, and we don’t need special privileges for a few businesses to discriminate against anyone. Bigotry and discrimination are un-American, regardless of one’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.
It is time for the General Assembly to return to issues that affect all Hoosiers. It is imperative that Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans in the state of Indiana support candidates who will act on behalf of all. We need representatives of the people and for the people.
Recently the Monroe County Prosecutor, a long time friend of mine, was talking with a member of the General Assembly who remarked, “I am not sure Breeden is going to like the job of representative a lot if he wins. It’s not really that much fun up there in Indy.”
My friend replied, “If Bill wins, he won’t be doing the job the way it has always been done before, and I bet he’ll find a way to make it fun.”
I like his response. I have worked a lot of jobs, and have found a way to make most of them fun. As a teenage boy in rural southern Indiana, I worked on farms and in feed mills, laid gas pipelines, and learned carpentry. As a college student I sacked groceries and loaded UPS trucks, then worked forty to sixty hours a week as a nightshift data processing manager. (That job provided me with full coverage health insurance and allowed me to buy new cars and a house and have two children. After nine years of full-time college and seminary, I graduated debt-free with two degrees. Jobs like that do not exist for students in America today.)
In 1980, after serving six years in parish ministry, my wife Glenda and I decided to simplify our lives and focus on being full-time parents to our children. For the next fourteen years, we lived without electricity on less than $6,000 a year. We lived in a tipi with our teenagers for five years in Brown County, Indiana. I was also an Associate Instructor in Criminal Justice at IU while doing further graduate studies.
When our kids moved out on their own, Glenda and I decided to move onto forty-two acres of forest in Owen County. I became a truck driver, a Teamster, in order to pay the mortgage and build a three-room cabin. More recently, I served another thirteen years in parish ministry in Bloomington. Two years ago I retired.
I consider myself among the luckiest persons on the planet. Glenda and I have spent forty-seven years together. We still live in our three-room cabin, and through it all, we have always had fun. I expect to continue having fun as I work for democracy in the State of Indiana.
I hope you will support my candidacy for Representative in District #46. Please visit my website at billbreeden.com