Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald Reagan
WRTV Investigative Reporter Reveals Kokomo Mayor's Conflict of Interest
KOKOMO, Ind. - A California developer investing millions of dollars into the city of Kokomo is raising some concerns among taxpayers, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
Jeff Broughton settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010 and agreed to be subject to a court order after facing accusations he took advantage of financially distressed homeowners.
"This developer’s got a shady background," said Mike Moran, a Kokomo resident and republican who voted for Mayor Greg Goodnight, a democrat. "The biggest thing that bothers me is it creates an increased level of cynicism."
According to the order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Broughton is banned from providing mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services.
The FTC has not banned him from any and all real estate activity, according to FTC spokesperson Elizabeth Lordan.
According to information provided by the FTC, an $11.1 million judgment was issued against Broughton, but was suspended based on his inability to pay.
Broughton, who lives in Irvine, Calif., is now a regular fixture in the city of Kokomo.
He’s invested more than $2.7 million in dozens of commercial projects like the Firestone Building and houses in the community, city operations director Randy McKay said.
He does business under a slew of business entities including Bincco, KipCor, Home Banc Center and Home B Center.
When Kenney checked with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office last week, KipCor and Home B Center were in default status and Bincco was in revoked status.
Home Banc Center is in good standing in South Dakota.
Catherine Lu, spokeswoman for the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, said if an entity does not renew its annual list of managers or officers before the due date, it is in "default," where it remains for one year.
If the entity still hasn’t renewed within one year of going into “default,” then its license status is "revoked," where it remains for five years, Lu said.
"Well, to say it’s not a concern would probably be flippant, but I look at the projects individually," Goodnight said.
Before the city started partnering with Broughton on projects, Goodnight sold two of his personal properties to Broughton for $100,000.
"It’s not something I profited from," Goodnight said. "I sold my properties for a loss."
Goodnight said submitting a Conflict of Interest disclosure was not necessary.
"When the properties were sold he had done zero business with the city," Goodnight said.
Goodnight said it’s not unusual for a developer to have numerous businesses they operate under, and pointed out that the city is not giving Broughton any tax dollars.
"We put in safeguards we think are necessary to make sure the city doesn’t end up with a loss," Goodnight said.
"I’m confident we’ve protected taxpayers if he fails to move forward, and I believe he will," McKay said.
McKay said the city does not do background checks on all its investors, and pointed out developers are vetted once they go through zoning and other processes.
"They have to provide documentation that they can complete the project or agree to certain terms," McKay said.
Kenney asked Broughton to meet her in Kokomo and show his projects, but Broughton declined to go on camera.
Via phone, Broughton said he’s buying properties no one else will and renovating them, and blames the controversy on politics.
"If Donald Trump came into that market, everyone would think the mayor’s a hero," Broughton said. "It’s not about me. These guys are just fighting among themselves."
When Kenney followed up with Broughton about his projects via his Bincco email account Wednesday, Broughton did not want to answer any questions.
"From your continued questions you must not have your bad guy yet," Broughton said in an email to Kenney.
When Kenney questioned Broughton last week about the status of some of his companies, Broughton’s CFO Bisham Ramchandani contacted Kenney from a Bincco email account and said he completed filings on KipCor and Home B Center to bring the companies into good standing.
"Bincco, Inc. is in process to be reinstated," Ramchandani said in an email on April 4. "This should be complete by Monday 04/07."
Kenney checked Wednesday and Bincco was still in Revoked status, according to the Nevada Secretary of State website.
Mike Moran said when city projects are at stake, he does not want taxpayers to be left holding the bag.
"Everybody deserves a second chance, but it sounds like (Broughton) put on a new shirt and is playing the same game," Moran said.
Don Bates, a frequent visitor to Howard County, has officially announced his candidacy for Indiana State Treasurer. Bates is a financial advisor in Richmond. He joins the field of candidates with Wayne Seybold and Kelly Mitchell. The Republican slot on the ballot will be filled by the state convention to be held in June, in Fort Wayne.
Karickhoff Awarded Legislator of the Year
The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns has selected House District 30 State Representative Mike Karickhoff as Legislator of the Year for 2013. Representative Karickhoff was presented the award at the annual IACT conference in Indianapolis. We are proud that Mike has been honored by this statewide organization.
Obama Against GOP
Legislation That He Proposed
President Obama is threatening to veto Republican bills that would delay the healthcare reform law's employer and individual mandates. Obama declared the employer bill "unnecessary" — the administration announced the same delay on July 2 — and said the individual bill is harmful to consumers in a Statement of Administration Policy issued Tuesday. The measures will see House votes on Wednesday, but are unlikely to pass the Senate.
The White House mounted a general defense of the Affordable Care Act in its statement, arguing the law will improve healthcare for millions of Americans. "The [GOP] bills, taken together, would cost millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage and care they deserve," the veto threat stated. "Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried to do nearly 40 times, it's time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles." House Republicans have attempted to repeal, dismantle or defund ObamaCare more than 35 times since its passage. Wednesday's votes were announced last week as a response to the administration's decision to delay the employer mandate. That policy requires that larger businesses offer healthcare coverage to their workers. Obama officials said the deferral responds to the private sectors' desire for more time to comply. Republicans have argued that if businesses won't have to offer health coverage in 2014, individuals should not be required to carry it that year either. The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the GOP's individual mandate delay bill would cut the deficit but cause health insurance premiums to rise. Budget analysts did not release a cost estimate for delaying the employer mandate.
Judy Buck Receives State Chairman's Award From Eric Holcomb
Judy Buck received the prestigious Chairman's Award from Republican State Chairman Eric Holcomb at the 2013 Howard County Lincoln Day Dinner
Big Names and Big Turnout For 2013 Lincoln/Reagan Dinner
Scenes From 2013 Century Club Breakfast
Photo by Jason Clark, 2013 Jason Clark // Buy this photo
Speaking with students in a Personal Selling class at the University of Southern Indiana Thursday afternoon, Indiana
Gov. Mike Pence said he wanted to offer them an incentive to graduate on time.
Picking up on a theme of his predecessor,
Gov. Mitch Daniels, Pence said students ought to be able to finish a four-year degree program in four years.
The governor told the approximately 20 students in the class that when he attended college a four-year degree, with a few exceptions, took four years to complete. Now, he said, only 30 percent of students at state-funded institutions graduate in four years.
Marlin Stutzman - Indiana Congressional District 3
Stutzman Named Congressional Sentinel by Heritage Action
Washington, D.C. – This week, the influential grassroots and conservative policy group Heritage Action named U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman one of just twenty-three “House Sentinels” for the 112th Congress. Michael Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action for America, issued the following statement:
"During the 112th Congress, Representative Stutzman stood guard, vigilantly protecting our freedoms,” said Needham. “As a Sentinel, he represents the tip of the spear in Washington. We look forward to his continued leadership on pursuing a balanced budget and in trying to bring sanity to America's farm and food stamp policy.
Lt. Governor Ellspermann to Headline Republican Women Membership Dinner
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will be the featured speaker for the annual Republican Women's Club membership dinner. The Howard County Republican Women's Club is the largest in Indiana and the membership dinner serves as the callout for a great year.
This year's dinner will be at Pastariffic on February 20. Social time is at 6:00 and dinner is at 6:30. Please join the Republican Women to reserve your place at the fun event.
It is of great importance that you know your rights that are afforded to you by The Declaration of Indpendence and The Constitution of The United States of America! If you don't know these rights, they may be taken from you without you even knowing it has happened! Stay informed and well educated on the truths that our founding fathers fought for and paid for with their lives!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." ~ from The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of The United States of America
Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.
(The 2nd Amendment protects the right to own guns. There is debate whether this is a right that protects the state, or a right that protects individuals.)
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The 2nd Amendment, starting in the latter half of the 20th century, became an object of much debate. Concerned with rising violence in society and the role firearms play in that violence, gun control advocates began to read the 2nd Amendment one way. On the other side, firearm enthusiasts saw the attacks on gun ownership as attacks on freedom, and defended their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment just as fiercely. If the authors of the 2nd Amendment could have foreseen the debate, they might have phrased the amendment differently, because much of the debate has centered around the way the amendment is phrased.
Is the amendment one that was created to ensure the continuation and flourishing of the state militias as a means of defense, or was it created to ensure an individual's right to own a firearm?
Despite the rhetoric on both sides of the issue, the answer to both questions is most likely, "Yes." The attitude of Americans toward the military was much different in the 1790's than it is today. Standing armies were mistrusted, as they had been used as tools of oppression by the monarchs of Europe for centuries. In the war for independence, there had been a regular army, but much of the fighting had been done by the state militias, under the command of local officers. Aside from the war, militias were needed because attacks were relatively common, whether by bandits, Indians, and even by troops from other states.
Today, the state militias have evolved into the National Guard in every state. These soldiers, while part-time, are professionally trained and armed by the government. No longer are regular, non-Guardsmen, expected to take up arms in defense of the state or the nation (though the US Code does still recognize the unorganized militia as an entity, and state laws vary on the subject [10 USC 311]).
This is in great contrast to the way things were at the time of adoption of the 2nd Amendment. Many state constitutions had a right to bear arms for the purposes of the maintenance of the militia. Many had laws that required men of age to own a gun and supplies, including powder and bullets.
In the state constitutions written around the time of the Declaration of Independence, the right to bear arms was presented in different ways. The Articles of Confederation specified that the states should maintain their militias, but did not mention a right to bear arms. Thus, any such protections would have to come from state law. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, though it mentioned the militia, did not mention a right to bear arms — the right might be implied, since the state did not furnish weapons for militiamen. The constitutions of North Carolina and Massachusetts did guarantee the right, to ensure proper defense of the states. The constitution of Pennsylvania guaranteed the right with no mention of the militia (at the time, Pennsylvania had no organized militia). One of the arguments of the Anti-Federalists during the ratification debates was that the new nation did not arm the militias, an odd argument since neither did the U.S. under the Articles. Finally, Madison's original proposal for the Bill of Rights mentioned the individual right much more directly than the final result that came out of Congress.
Perhaps in the 1780's, the rise of a tyrant to a leadership position in the U.S. was a cause for concern. Today, in my opinion, the voters are much too sophisticated to elect a leader whose stated aims would be to suppress freedom or declare martial law. For the leader whose unstated aim it was to seize the nation, the task would be more than daunting — it would be next to impossible. The size and scope of the conspiracy needed, the cooperation of patriots who would see right through such a plan — it is unfathomable, the stuff of fiction. There are some who fear the rise in executive power under the second Bush presidency is just such a usurpation, and in some ways it may be. But similar usurpations of power by the Congress and the President, such as the Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, or the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, were all eventually overturned or struck down and then condemned by history. My hope is that history can be our guide this time, too.
The defense of our borders had not been a cause for concern for nearly a century before the subject really came up again around the time of the turn of the millennium, in 1999. Concern with border defense again became an issue after September 11, 2001, when a series of terrorist attacks, both in the form of hijacked airliners crashing into buildings and anthrax-laced mail, made people realize that we do have enemies that wish to invade our nation, though not on the scale of an army. But while each state has its National Guard it can call up to guard the borders, the coordination needed is much more on a national scale, and special units of the regular army or border patrol are better suited for such duty than the Guard.)
With the historical context set above, a look at the current interpretations of the 2nd Amendment are appropriate.
These interpretations tend to lean in one of two ways. The first is that the amendment was meant to ensure that individuals have the absolute right to own firearms; the second is that the amendment was meant to ensure that States could form, arm, and maintain their own militias. Either way, it is a bar to federal action only, because the 2nd Amendment has not been incorporated by the Supreme Court to apply to the states. This means that within its own constitution, a state may be as restrictive or unrestrictive as it wishes to be in the regulation of firearms; likewise, private rules and regulations may prohibit or encourage firearms. For example, if a housing association wishes to bar any firearm from being held within its borders, it is free to do so.
The Supreme Court, in permitting the United States to apply a stamp tax to sawed-off shotguns (a move, it was argued, that was intended to make such weapons de facto illegal), essentially said that if a weapon does not contribute to the maintenance of a militia, and has no use in ensuring the common defense, it can be regulated (United States v. Miller, 307 US 174 ). Though the outcome of Miller was never fully resolved (the Court asked that Miller prove the relevance of the sawed-off shotgun to the maintenance of the militia, but Jack Miller died before he could, and the case died with him), the rationale used in Miller has been the basis for all gun control laws since 1939. As the GPO page notes, "At what point regulation or prohibition of what classes of firearms would conflict with the Amendment, if at all, the Miller case does little more than cast a faint degree of illumination toward an answer."
Both contemporary interpretations are correct, in a way. As illustrated in the first section, the amendment does appear to have been designed to protect the militias, and it was also designed to protect an individual's right to own and bear a gun. The question, then, is do we have to adhere to both tenets of the amendment today? If we decide to do away with the individual ownership aspect of the Amendment, reinterpreting the amendment to allow highly restricted gun ownership, we seem to open the door to radical reinterpretation of other, more basic parts of the Constitution. If we decide to do nothing, and allow unrestricted gun ownership, we run the risk of creating a society of the gun, a risk that seems too great to take. So the real question seems to be, can we have the a constitutional freedom to bear arms, and still allow restriction and regulation?
Reasonable restrictions do seem to be the way to go, acknowledging the Amendment, but molding it, as we've done with much of the Constitution. After all, we have freedom of speech in the United States, but you are not truly free to say whatever you wish. You cannot incite violence without consequence; you cannot libel someone without consequence; you cannot shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater without consequence. Why cannot gun ownership by similarly regulated without violating the Constitution? Of course, prosecution for speech violations only take place after the fact, and regulation of gun ownership is necessarily different — it is a "prior restraint," a condition rarely allowed in speech restrictions, but necessary in gun restrictions.
The trick is finding that balance between freedom and reasonable regulation, between unreasonable unfettered ownership and unreasonable prior restraint. Gun ownership is indeed a right — but it is also a grand responsibility. With responsibility comes the interests of society to ensure that guns are used safely and are used by those with proper training and licensing. If we can agree on this simple premise, it should not be too difficult to work out the details and find a proper compromise.)
In 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in the case of Parker v District of Columbia. In the case, the court ruled that D.C. laws that essentially prohibit the private ownership of handguns within the District, were unconstitutional. Specifically, the appellants, residents of D.C., were denied their 2nd Amendment rights by laws that bar the registration of handguns by anyone except retired D.C. police officers; that bar the carrying of a pistol without a license, even within one's home; and that require that lawfully owned firearms be kept unloaded and disassembled unless used for "lawful recreational purposes."
The Court found that in spite of the first part of the 2nd Amendment — that which refers to the militia — "the Second Amendment's premise is that guns would be kept by citizens for self-protection (and hunting)." The court acknowledged the history the militia played in the creation of the 2nd Amendment, but did not allow the militia to be sole measure to be viewed when looking at these laws restricting gun ownership and reasonable use. Parker, the court ruled, should be allowed to keep handguns in his home.
The case, filed as District of Columbia v Heller, was granted certiorari by the United States Supreme Court, and was heard in March, 2008. At issue were two questions. The first, raised by the District, is whether the District is forbidden by the Second Amendment to ban the possession of handguns while allowing the possession of rifles and shotguns. The second, broader issue is raised by Heller (another of the original petitioners in the Parker case): whether the Second guarantees that guns, including handguns, can be kept in homes by law-abiding citizens. The Court decided that the issue it should hear is "Whether the [D.C. laws] violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?"
The Supreme Court ruled on the Heller case at the end of its term in June, 2008. The Court, which found for Heller in a close 5-4 decision, wrote that the 2nd Amendment did, in fact, protect an individual right. While the court was careful to note that the case did not call into question any laws that regulate guns, it did state, unequivocally, that Heller and his fellow petitioners had a right to own guns in their home. The Court also ruled that while reasonable regulation may be permitted, the requirement that guns be locked and disassembled was not reasonable. The Court finally noted that its ruling affected only the District of Columbia, as a federal enclave. It is expected that the laws of other cities, like Chicago, will be challenged so that the Court can examine the applicability of the 2nd to the rest of the nation.)
Secretary of State to Attend Howard County Century Club Breakfast
Secretary of State Lawson
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson will be the featured guest for the Howard County Republican Century Club Breakfast on Saturday, February 2, at 8:00 A. M. The breakfast will be held at the Casa Bella Banquet Center. Membership in the Century Club is $125 for individuals and $250 for families. Paid membership will admit you to the breakfast at no charge. Breakfast only tickets may be purchased for $30. You may RSVP to Chairman Craig Dunn at email@example.com. Hope to see you there!
Pence Wows 'Em At Republican Headquarters
Pence Greeted By Reps. Karickhoff and VanNatter and Chairman Dunn
Mike Pence greets a devoted Republican
Pence presents Roadmap For Indiana
Pence, Karickhoff and Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson
Karen Pence meets Howard County Republicans
Republican Women Stamping and Stuffing Invites to the October 26 Republican Roundup
Mike Pence Wows 'Em At The Howard County Fair
Mary Brewster Recognized For Over 50 Years Of Service To The Republican Women's Club
Congratulations to Howard County Republican Mary Brewster for being recognized as the longest tenured member of the Republican Women's Club. She was honored at last week's RWC meeting. The Men of Note barber shop quartet sang to her and she was presented a basket of flowers in her honor. Mary has been a participating member of the Republican Women's Club for over 50 years.
Martha Lake Named Treasurer of the Year
Treasurer of the Year Martha Lake
Howard County Treasurer Martha Lake was named Treasurer of the Year by the Association of Indiana Counties at a recent awards dinner. We are proud of all of Martha's great accomplishments and happy that she serves the taxpayers of Howard County so well!
Karickhoff Receives Honor
Rep. Karickhoff awarded Midwestern leadership institute fellowship
State Representative Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) has been awarded a fellowship for the Council of State Government’s 17th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development. He was among 37 lawmakers chosen to participate along with members from 10 other Midwestern states and three Canadian provinces.
According to a press release issued by the Council of State Governments, Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the co-chair of the institute’s steering committee stated, “The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation. The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold leadership positions in their states.”
The Council of State Governments also stated the since 1995, 550 lawmakers have graduated from the Bowhay Institute from 11 Midwestern states. These legislators are chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process.
Rep. Karickhoff will attend the program August 12-16 in Madison, WI.
“I am humbled by this opportunity to attend the Bowhay institute,” said Rep. Karickhoff. “This is a terrific opportunity to develop leadership skills with other legislators across the Midwest and I plan to take full advantage of it.”
Pile Of Debt Would Stretch To The Moon
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high.
That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall.
In $1 bills, the pile would reach to the moon and back twice.
The United States hit its legal borrowing limit on Monday, and the Treasury Department has said the U.S. Congress must raise the debt ceiling by August 2 to avoid a default.
The White House is trying to hammer out a deal with lawmakers to cut federal spending in exchange for a debt-limit increase.
Most people have trouble conceptualizing $14.3 trillion.
Stan Collender, a budget expert at Qorvis Communications, said the biggest sum most Americans have ever handled -- in real or play money -- is the $15,140 in the original, standard Monopoly board game.
The United States borrows about 185 times that amount each minute.
Here are some other metrics for understanding the size of the national debt and United States borrowing:
* U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the United States borrows about $125 billion per month.
With that amount, the United States could buy each of its more than 300 million residents an Apple Inc iPad.
* In a 31-day month, that means the United States borrows about $4 billion per day.
A stack of dimes equivalent to that amount would wrap all the way around the Earth with change to spare.
* In one hour, the United States borrows about $168 million, more than it paid to buy Alaska in 1867, converted to today's dollars.
In two hours, the United States borrows more than it paid France for present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and the rest of the land obtained by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.
* The U.S. government borrows more than $40,000 per second. That's more than the cost of a year's tuition, room and board at many universities.
"That usually gets their attention," Doug Holtz-Eakin, who was chief White House economist under President George W. Bush, said in an email. "I have two kids, so every 10 seconds, the feds borrow more than I paid lifetime."
* The Congressional Budget Office projects the total budget deficit in fiscal 2011 at about $1.4 trillion.
"The net worth of Bill Gates, roughly around $56 billion, could only cover the deficit for 15 days," said Jason Peuquet, a policy analyst with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "The net worth of Warren Buffet, roughly around $50 billion, could only cover the deficit for 13 days."
Scenes From Lincoln/Reagan 2011
Deficit Is Too Damn High
Election Day In Howard County
Scenes From Lincoln/Reagan 2010
Governor Daniels Speaks On The "Indiana Way"
Former Congressman Bud Hillis Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Former State Senator Jim Butcher Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award
Governor Daniels Greets The Karickhoffs
Heath VanNatter Discusses Legislative Issues With Jamie Shepherd and Troy Parton
State Senator Jim Buck and Sally Tate Enjoy The Fellowship
Governor Daniels Mixes With The Crowd
The Mikliks and Jill Dunn Chat About Local Politics
Former State Representative John Smith and Debbie Smith Sport Their "Mitch Daniels For President" Buttons
Paid For By The Howard County Republican Party, Craig L. Dunn, Chairman