Small Talk About Big Issues

Touching Base with Common Sense

Legislative Session Preview

Steve Stemler

Photo by Conrad Moorer

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend State Representative Steven R. Stemler’s 3rd Annual Fried Bologna & Bean Soup 2010 Legislative Session Preview.  I must confess that attending a Legislative Session Preview is not, and has never been, a high priority on my list.  In fact, attending such an event has never even made my Top 10,000 Things To Do list.  However, I was certainly attracted to the part about Fried Bologna and Bean Soup.  There really is nothing in this big, round world better than fried bologna between two pieces of white bread topped with mustard and dipped in good, ol’ fashion bean soup.  Other attractive things on the invitation were those two beautiful little words at the bottom: “Door Prizes”.  While I am not a gambler or a lucky man in the gaming sense of the word, I am a push over for door prizes.  The adrenaline rush that hits you when the announcer reads off the numbers on the tickets is just so amazing.  In addition to good food and door prizes, the wife and I have grown steadily closer to the Stemler family in the last five years through church and other family ties. 

On the other hand, there were those four names and topics listed in the center of the invitation that scared me a little.  Representative Stemler was going to talk about the session overview and highlight issues of local interest.  Representative Trent Van Haaften (a person I have never heard of before) was going to focus his remarks on the public policies surrounding Gaming and Alcohol.  Senator Bob Deig (another person I had never heard of before) would be summarizing the Senate and unemployment insurance.  Representative Klinker (still another person I had never heard of before) was scheduled to talk about education.  In my way of thinking this is like going to one of those really nice resorts and getting to spend the night for free…but…you have to listen to a 30 minute sales presentation and endure impossible pressure to buy a timeshare.  Would the food and door prizes be worth the pain?

So we had to make a decision: go or don’t go?

If you’ve read the “About” section of this blog, you know I’m not politically aligned with any party.  I have strong political views, and I strongly support those views with those that will listen.  The political candidates have to prove to me they are genuinely interested in the good of the people, not their pockets.  Steve Stemler has repeatedly demonstrated his personal selflessness in office and his down-to-earth caring for the people he serves. 

On the other hand, the other three speakers meant nothing to me.  The topics they were assigned were indeed important, but how would they handle their topics?  Would they speak with interesting style, or would their talks be so boring that my bologna and beans would sour in my stomach.

So, throwing all political (and personal) caution to the wind, the wife and I attended the preview tonight (12 Nov. 2009).  In 50 years of life, this is the first political event we have ever attended (outside of voting).  I really enjoyed myself!  I couldn’t believe I was sitting there listening to people I didn’t know talk and loving it.

While I don’t want to bore you with the details of the issues discussed because they may not even be issues where you are from, I do want to point out a few positive things I learned from attending this preview tonight.

1.  The people Steve Stemler picked to make Fried Bologna and Bean Soup really knew what they were doing.  It was better than good, it was fantastic.

2.  I actually won a door prize.  A coffee-table, picture-book by Susan W. Thrane and Tom Patterson titled, State Houses: America’s 50 State Capitol Buildings.  Just inside this $50 book cover, a hand-written note from Steve Stemler: “I hope you enjoy reading the history of America’s 50 State Capitol Buildings!  I wish you all the best! Steve–”  The really cool thing here is this: I know he genuinely meant every word of that note.

3.  The speakers delivered well-informed, sincere presentations.  Not once did I get the feeling they were trying to win my vote, draw me over a line, or apply pressure to the issues at hand (well…maybe once).  Instead, I felt like I listened to four people who love America, the State of Indiana, and the people they serve.  Not once did anyone speak of a political party.  There simply was no Republican bashing or Democrat praising.  What I heard were issues, real issue that need discussion and debate because they affect every citizen of this country, and more specifically, our State of Indiana.

4.  I am more convinced now than ever before that Representative Steven R. Stemler is the person I need in Indianapolis representing me.  Do we have our differences?  I’m not sure, but we probably do.  Here is what I am sure of…Steve Stemler will honestly listen to me; Steve Stemler will honestly seek to know my heart and my concerns; Steve Stemler will honestly represent me in the State’s legislative halls.  What else can any American ask of their politicians?  Stemler’s election motto is, “Stemler! State Representative.  Right Choice  – Right Time”  But for me that motto should read, “Stemler!  State Representative.  MY Choice ANYTIME!



November 13, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I am glad we attended as well. I too was surprised at how interesting I found it. I whole heartedly agree with your words. 123

    Comment by Debbie | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] On November 13, 2009, I wrote a blog titled, Legislative Session Preview.  In this blog, I noted my attendance at a political event sponsored by Steven R. Stemler, an […]

    Pingback by My Day At The Capitol « Small Talk About Big Issues | January 20, 2010 | Reply

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