Owen County Democrat Club

Seems like lots of people are thinking the same thing, it is time for Democrats to get it together.

A few of us Democrats started getting together for breakfast after the election to talk about what we could do to rebuild the Owen County Democratic Party. We agree that the 2018 election is going to be too important to wait for the state or national party to help local Democrat candidates win in Owen County. We have a lot of work to do and we feel we need to start working now.

We have been reaching out to people we know and inviting them to join us. If we haven’t asked you, or haven’t even met you please consider this an invitation!

The following link will take you to a form to fill out. We are getting too big for breakfast at each other’s house and need to find a bigger place to meet and a time that works for as many people as possible. If you would like to join us please fill out this form.

Owen County Democrat Club – Contact Information

State Representative Heaton Mailer, Jan 2017

Yes indeed Indiana is on a roll.  If you’re in the district you probably received this mailer.

I don’t doubt that Indiana is a TOP STATE in the Midwest FOR BUSINESS!  It ought to be considering how little Hoosiers get paid compared to the average American.  Here is a report card that we prepared during the 2016 election with data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Median Household Income in Owen County trailed the United States by $7,650.  That means if your household is earning $46,001 in Owen County,  you could earn $53,657 doing the same work in an average county in the United States.  It gets worse as you compare Clay County, Monroe County or the $12,450  earning deficit in Vigo County.  Ever wonder why so many of our talented college graduates take jobs outside of District 46 when they graduate?

It is also worth noting before 2007 when Democrats were often in the Governor’s Mansion Indiana had been above the Median Household Income.  How quickly things change.

For big business getting smart hardworking Hoosiers to work for thousands of dollars less than the national average is a big attraction.  The question is, is it good for you?  Is this prosperity trickling down to you?  When I drive around Owen County it doesn’t look like it to me.

The second thing that bothers me about this mailer is that our Republican Representative takes credit for keeping our taxes low.  Just today I was reading about how the Republican legislature wants to repair our roads.  As you know Owen County roads have been crumbling since Mitch Daniel’s restructured our property taxes.  The solution to the problem Mitch created is to raise our taxes.

Finally the mailer tries to distance Indiana Republican leadership from Washington D.C.  “Unlike Washington D.C., we balance our budget…”.   I have a couple of problems with this.  First the last 6 Federal budgets represents Republican priorities, and they did not balance.  Until Defense spending is dealt with they never will.  Second, the last time we had a balanced budget in Washington D.C. a Democrat, Bill Clinton was President.  The last time before that Democrat John F. Kennedy was president.  So lets take it easy on the alternate reality.

On balance it is a very attractive mailer, and the graphics are clever.   I wish the good news was for working and middle class Hoosiers.

 

 

Women’s March in Indianapolis

This was pretty amazing. The three spokes that lead to the west side of the State House were filled with people as far as you could see. One thing I didn’t see were television trucks.

This was an amazing, peaceful, huge, powerful statement of citizens that we are not willing to concede any women’s rights to the conservative political theocracy.

Moving Indiana Forward Bus Tour Visits Brazil

The ‘Moving Indiana Forward’ Bus Tour visits Brazil, IN. with the Democratic team that will bring much needed change to Indiana! Bill rode the bus over from Terre Haute and helped make phone calls for the campaign!

Republicans have held the Governors office for 12 years. They have been in charge of the Senate for over 25 years, and the House of Representatives for the last 6 years. This Republican super-majority last year brought us RFRA costing the state over a billion dollars in lost revenues as corporate and main stream America decided to avoid our state. They brought us HEA 1337 which after being shoved through the legislature and signed by the Governor was ruled unconstitutional. They waged war with public education and decided to strip Superintendent of Public Instruction of the power she earned with 1.3 million votes from citizens of Indiana.

If you want change for a better Indiana vote for the Democratic Team of John Gregg, Cristina Hale, Loreno Arredondo, Glenda Ritz, Evan Bayh and Ron Drake. In Clay County depending on which District you live in voting for the Democratic candidates, Bill Breeden (46), Kim Fidler (44) or Tim Skinner (42) will ensure that the House of Representatives is working with John Gregg and the team to support public education, collective bargaining, civil rights and get Indiana Moving Forward!

By the way, the turkeys showed up when the bus pulled in, and stayed until it left.

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Moving Indiana Forward Bus Tour, Terre Haute

Bill visited with Democrats and welcomed John Gregg and the ‘Moving Indiana Forward Bus Tour’ to Terre Haute, IN.  He and Kim Fidler rode the bus to Brazil, In. with Gregg, Christina Hale, Glenda Ritz, Susan Bayh, Lorenzo Arredondo for the next stop in District 44, which is right on the edge of District 46.

If you are tired of the way it is, these are the people to vote for.  Indiana has had a Republican Governor for 12 years, a Republican Senate for at least 25 years, and a Republican House for 6 years If you want change, turning Indiana Blue is how you do it. 

Remember when Median Household Income was above the National average?  We had a Democrat Governor and a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives the last time that was true.

Remember when the House of Representatives worked to improve Public Education and support Public Teachers?  That was before the Republicans controlled the House.

Remember when the State Government stayed out of our personal lives and respected women enough to allow them to make their own choices about their own health issues?  That was back when Democrats controlled the House of Representatives.

If you want a better Indiana, and want positive change, vote for this Democratic team!

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State Forests

Many Hoosiers are surprised to learn that Indiana is allowing clear cutting in it’s State Forests.

Many alliances are forming and petitions are circulating that want to have public debate about this policy.  Two bills that would have provided open discussion and consideration of creating strategic no logging areas to protect biological diversity were not even allowed to reach the House floor.

As good stewards, not to mention good business people, the State Legislature should require that the Department of Natural Resources  protect the long term interests of Hoosiers.  Our health, the value of tourism and the potential future value of preserving biological diversity needs to be considered before clear cutting is allowed to eliminate our heavily wooded areas of Indiana’s State Forests.

At present the Republican super-majority stands in the way of even having this discussion.

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Breeden offers smart solutions

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

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Indiana Spending on Education

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.