Friday, September 15, 2006

Short notes on local politics

I like Brad

While I disagree with Jason Banach on some social issues, he has for the most part been a welcome voice of fiscal conservatism on the Bloomington City Council. Now he is stepping down because he cannot devote his full attention to the office. Seeking to replace him in a party caucus is Brad Wisler, who lost a city council race by a razor-thin margin 11 years ago while he was an undergraduate student at Indiana University.

I've known Brad for a decade now, and I think he will be a good representative for the City Council. (Brad and I both live in Banach's district.) I think, at the end of the day, he will be someone both moderate and conservative Republicans can be happy with. In my opinion, whoever takes Banach's seat would be morally obligated to run for re-election in 2007, which Brad has agreed to do.

The free market at work

Local homosexual-rights advocates were objecting the decision of a local bar to have a controversial Jamaican musician perform this week due to rabidly anti-homosexual lyrics. One of Buju Banton's songs, which glorifies violence and murder, is very objectionable. The Bluebird decided that, in the long-term interest of the business, that they would be better off not bringing this person here. The way I see it, this is the free market at work.

Why was this even a question?

The Bloomington Plan Commission voted to approve the site plan for "Jill's House", a facility to house cancer patients. Some had expressed concern that this project was not environmentally friendly enough for approval, but supporters of Jill's House turned out in force to support it.

It would have been a political firestorm had the Plan Commission not approved the project. After all, we're talking about a facility to provide temporary housing for cancer patients going through therapy at the IU Cyclotron. It is unfortunate that this was even a question. While the project needed to be monitored to make sure it did not cause environmental problems, it should have been a slam dunk.

Next in line is the City Council. This vote should be very interesting to watch, with city elections only one year away. Democrats would be politically smart to make sure this passes with flying colors. As a cancer survivor myself, I will monitor this vote very closely.

Kennedy trying to hide from his own words

Jim Kennedy, Democrat candidate for Sheriff, spoke at the Friday Lunch Bunch last week. He spoke favorably of cutting parks and social services in order to make sure the primary functions of county government (courts and criminal justice) are paid for. When I reported this elsewhere, it generated a firestorm of controversy and sparked an opinion column in the Bloomington Alternative containing a vicious and despicable personal attack directed at me.

Not surprisingly, Kennedy quickly denied his words, which are conveniently not on tape. I am very concerned with this lack of honesty, because Kennedy is seeking to become the county's chief law enforcement officer. Monroe County found out in 1997 just how bad things could get if the Sheriff is not honest.

The bottom line here is, no matter how nasty and personal the local Left may get, that Kennedy did say those things. In politics, you can always tell that you have struck a nerve when your opponents get nasty and personal rather than deal with the real issue. I suspect Kennedy has had to do some damage control.