Small Talk About Big Issues

Touching Base with Common Sense

Constituents Continue to Stand FOR Rep. Steven R. Stemler

          From the confused wake of the spineless walkout by Indiana Democrats and Patrick Bauer’s passive-aggressive comments toward the one and only Democrat to stand his ground by remaining in Indianapolis, comes a refreshing wave of unified and bi-partisan voices…thousands of them…supporting Rep. Steven R. Stemler.

           Below is yet another example of an American voicing his support.  Mr. Bodine and Mr. Moorer (highlighted yesterday in this blog) know holding a point-of-view isn’t enough.  If a viewpoint isn’t voiced, it isn’t heard, and if it isn’t heard, it’s worthless.  Below is the communication Mr. Bodine sent to Rep. Bauer.

 
 
 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:35 AM
 

 

Now that you and your band of societal misfits decided to once again earn your pay and return to work for the citizens of this great state, I know of no one who considers you “returning heroes.”

Your disgraceful coalition of mindless robots are firmly entrenched in the hip pockets of overpaid union members and underperforming educators.  I feel confident all of you will pay at the polls.  My representative, Steve Stemler, is the hero in this mess and NOT ONE of you is fit to carry his attaché case!

Tom Bodine

Jeffersonville, Indiana

 

All of us that trust and support Rep. Stemler should write, call, or e-mail Rep. Bauer and inform him of our stand.  Let him know he was right when he said “let Mr. Stemler’s constituents deal with him in his next election”.  We will deal with him, Mr. Bauer.  We will elect him over and over again because, unlike you, he is a man of principle and integrity.

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April 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Constituents Take a Stand FOR Rep. Steven R. Stemler

          The Indiana Democrats have returned from their hideout in Illinois with great boasts of victory and self-conferred accolades of heroism.  Rep. Bauer and the rest of his gang claim to be the saviors of the common working people of Indiana, but are blind to the fact that their constituents comprise more than just teachers and union workers.

         One Hoosier, Conrad Moorer (a resident of Jeffersonville, IN) took exception to Rep. Bauer and his rhetoric against the three Democrats who refrained from walking out on their duty.  Below is a letter that Mr. Moorer wrote to Rep. Bauer in support of Rep. Steven R. Stemler (The ONLY Democrat that refused to walkout on his duties and responsibilities to the People of Indiana).

 

 

Dated: Mar 30, 2011, at 10:29 AM,

Mr. Bauer,

I was offended when you some weeks ago made a statement to the media that you would “let Mr. Stemler’s constituents deal with him in his next election”.  Frankly, Sir you have little idea of how most of us feel concerning our representative.  The Evening News has been taking an online poll and I thought I would share the results as of this morning with you: 356 people have voted and 267 (75%) say they support Mr. Stemler, 86 (24.16%) do not support him staying and 3 (0.840) voted other.  I consider Mr. Stemler a Statesman and you and your followers are simply politicians and believe me there is a difference.  I cannot tell you how many people (yes, members of your party that have told me Steve did the right thing by staying).  Hopefully, now that your vacation on taxpayers dollars is over you can get down to business.

Sincerely,

Conrad Moorer

Jeffersonville

         I want to applaud Rep. Stemler publically for his character, his courage, and his dedication to the People of Indiana.  Mr. Moorer is also worthy of praise for his willingness to stand up for a notable “Statesman”.

          The State of Indiana would be a better place if we had more people in it like Rep. Stemler and Mr. Moorer.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

My Day At The Capitol

 

Indiana's Capitol Building

Indiana Rep. Steven Stemler

                I have long prided myself in being apolitical.  That is, I have made no allegiance with any political party.  I have researched every candidate I have voted for independent of any predetermined party ideology.  My quest to vote for the best candidate has lead me to vote for people of all parties at one time or another.  Furthermore, this quest for total party independence has lead me to refrain from attending any event sponsored by any candidate.  Until recently.

                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 Indiana Representative who happens to be a Democrat.  I enjoyed that event a lot because of the way in which it was presented and the way in which the legislators presented their message.  Shortly after writing that blog, Rep. Stemler invited me to Indianapolis, IN, to view the way our state government worked first-hand.  On January 12, 2010, I took Rep. Stemler up on his offer.

                My day at the Capitol included a front row seat in a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee, a tour of the Capitol building, and a seat on the floor of the House of Representatives for their daily session.  I watched and listened as my legislators debated and voted on various House Bills.  To say I was impressed would be a gross understatement.  My day at the Capitol was a life-changing event for me.

                As I considered what I should write in this blog, I thought about how I would present a detailed list of all the neat things that happened to me, the House Bills I heard debated, and how the legislators voted.  However while these things are fascinating, they are not the things that affected me the most.  What influenced me the most are the lessons I learned listening to Rep. Stemler as he answered my questions and spoke of the responsibilities of government, legislators, and concerned citizens.  The following is a summary of the lessons I learned from Rep. Stemler…lessons every American citizen should know and value.

                First, I learned that legislators are human.  It is funny to me how sometimes we can de-humanize our elected officials.  All too often they become merely faces on election signs or names in the newspaper.  Frequently the public saddles them with beliefs and ideals based on who we think they are instead of who they actually are.  Our legislators are men and women with families they love and miss.  Each elected official, like each one of us, has hopes, dreams, and desires.  They are not perfect, nor do they claim to be.  If they are different from the majority of us, it is seen only in the fact that they still believe they can make a positive difference in our world, our country, our State, and in our lives, and they are acting on that belief.

                Second, I learned the decisions they have to make as legislators are seldom as clear-cut and easy as the hosts of radio talk shows or newspaper columnists make it sound, and they seldom have the sinister motives these media-folks ascribe to their decisions.  My day at the Capitol produced no evil spirits hopeful of taking over the world or desirous of absolute control over me.  Instead, I found legislators on both sides of the isle laboring honestly over difficult decisions, weighing the pros and cons, listening to expert witnesses, and considering the will of their constituency.  Our legislators truly want the best for us.

                Third, I learned of the mass complacency of the public.  This particular lesson really hit me close to home.  The public areas of both the Indiana House and Senate were virtually empty.  Oh, there were a few people observing the proceedings, but mostly those that filled the seats were students there on a field trip or students from local colleges and universities there on assignment.  As I gazed upon the empty seats, I thought of myself.  I am 51 years old and this was my first trip to any Capitol of any state in which I have ever lived, and my presents today was due only to a personal invitation offered to me by both my legislator and my friend.  For all of my adult life, I have been content to let government happen without my personal input…except voting.  I have prided myself on being apolitical.  What I realized sitting on the floor of the House of Representatives that day was that I am not apolitical…I am complacently uninvolved.  There is a big difference.  I can be involved in my government without being shackled by party platforms.  It is sobering to come face-to-face with a personal demon, and my political apathy was starring me squarely in the face.  Abraham Lincoln envisioned and spoke of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” that “shall not perish from the earth” (http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm).  Yet, the truth is, if “we the people” are apathetic toward and uninvolved in our government, then our cherished form of rule will cease to be “of the people, for the people, by the people,” and it shall “perish from the earth.”

                Fourth, and finally, our legislators want and appreciate our participation.  Our legislators hold our opinion(s) as having great significance and merit.  Our input is useful to them in carrying out what we elected them to do.  They respect what we have to say and encourage us to say it.  In fact, the more we take part in our government the more efficient our government works (on every level).  This is truly the American Way.

                In this blog I have not endeavored to speak on behalf of Rep. Stemler or any other legislator (although I encourage any legislator reading this to post a comment of his or her own feelings), what I have tried to do is simply convey four of the most significant lessons I learned on My Day at The Capitol.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments