Monday, July 30, 2007

Are You "Attention-Starved"?

The Indiana Democratic Party's communications director and editor of Taking Down Words is creating quite a furor over comments she posted on her blog over the weekend suggesting that the taxpayers who participated in Saturday's Indiana Tea Party demonstration at the Broad Ripple Canal were "500 attention-starved taxpayers." "Question for the masses, especially the trolls: What, exactly, did this accomplish?," she asks. "Dunking tea into the Canal is nothing more than a goofy publicity stunt," she adds. WXNT's Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is taking that question up with the listeners of his "Abdul In The Morning" show as I write. Not surprisingly, they're not too pleased with Wagner's comments.

Melyssa Donaghy, one of the organizers of Saturday's event with Hoosiers for Fair Taxation had this response to Wagner's comments:

Just to set things straight, here's what we accomplished:

News Coverage From:

Channel 13, Channel 6, Channel 8, Channel 59 (2 Stories), Indy Starand probably other media that has not been sent to us yet.

The INDIANA TEA PARTY also satisfied The People's wishes for a tea party. They've asked for one since the 4th of July.

THE INDIANA TEA PARTY let our sister cities throughout the state have media access to view our parties. Because of this, we now get requests everyday for tea parties in other towns.

THE INDIANA TEA PARTY solidly brought together a strong inner core of volunteers with amazing connections. We like it that you see our growing inner core of well educated and well connected volunteers, as people who cannot achieve their goals. Wait until you see the surprises we have in store.

THE INDIANA TEA PARTY gave candidates for this November's election an opportunity to sign Our T-shirts in support of Our demands to see property tax repeal. (Can anyone get State Representative David O. to sign?)
While I respect Jen Wagner a lot, I thought she went really over the top when she attacked my neighbor, Jack Borgerding, after he got thrown out of the City-County council meeting for speaking his mind to the council over its 65% increase in the local option income tax. Unaware his home was titled in his wife's name, she accused him of misrepresenting information about his own tax bill to the City-County Council during his testimony. As for the latest attack on Saturday's protestors, I have to ask where that leaves the Democrats who attended the Tea Party protest, including Rep. David Orentlicher (D) and Cody Kendall (D)? They obviously believe these are voters they need to reach who are speaking out at these protests. Having attended several of these protests, I can attest to the broad, cross-section of voters they attract, including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents. I frankly don't understand from a communications standpoint why Wagner would want to attack these citizen protestors. Is that good politics?

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jen has a lot of growing up to do.

Anonymous said...

i think i now have a proposal. vote nov. 6th. move out of marion county shortly thereafter.

Anonymous said...

Some true irony here. She attacks the protesters for not having a proposal. I spoke with Orentlicher personally at the Tea Party. Guess what? He doesn't have a proposal either. He said he was holding his town hall meetings as his action. He told another person that he was going to go study a Wall Street Journal article on the issue. I think the rally did its job of keeping the attention and pressure on. The elected officials cannot believe that we are going to go away on this one.

Anonymous said...

Dave O apparently does not have a clue what to do. His town hall fora are quite strange. His web site contains ideas but he makes no effort to sell those same ideas when he has direct contact with his constituents of which I am one.

Ms. Wagner was just being flip and clever. Remember who pays her.

Anonymous said...

I think she was just trying to belittle and marganilize the efforts for what ever reason. She just like most other people in office wouldl ike nothing better for this to just go away so they can get back to buisness as usual.

Pike Voter

Jen said...

Thanks for the spike in hits, Gary. I'm sure getting pissed at me in print will be good for your traffic, too.

Melyssa said...

I still cannot believe that a communications director for a political party would attack and insult protestors at a non-partisan event. She's not winning friends for her party and her actions are bizarre and disconnected from The People.

I wonder if she acted on her own, and if she did, if she's getting a well deserved spanking right now from her bosses. She sure is from the press.

Jen said...

Melyssa,

My blog is separate from my job. I took it over before I came to work for the party.

Thanks for asking! Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

TO THE ARROGANT AND DETACHED DEMOCRAT MACHINE:

Let's look at the situation. Crime spiraling upward. Taxes out of control. An administration out of touch. Cronyism, conflict of interest, and possible corruption in the party.

Sound a whole lot like New York City a few years ago. Who would have ever dreamed that NYC -- liberal, high population of typical Democratic voters -- would have a Republican mayor? Oh, and they have for what 10? 12? years.

You might not be as safe as you think, especially with your communications director insulting voters.

Advance Indiana said...

"Thanks for the spike in hits, Gary. I'm sure getting pissed at me in print will be good for your traffic, too."

Jen, perhaps it will, but I don't make any money from the additional traffic so I don't personally benefit in that respect.

Anonymous said...

I don't read Jen's drivel but I can say this much from experience, Jen is one one Governor's race away from being out of a job. If the Dems lose again to Mitch (very likely) what $'s left in the Dem State Committee coffers will dry up in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Jen’s aversion to the protesters is proof positive that the Democrat Party is very concerned with the local elections. Ballard was and is a long shot but the margin is shrinking.
As Peterson goes so does center township. Jen has a vested interest in casting diversion.
I expected something more original than “thanks for the spike in hits”. Then it accrued to me she is a blonde.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Jen is a little over the top a few times. We all are, you and me included.

I wouldn't have called any of the protestors "attention-starved." I do wish they'd spend some real cerebral time on specific budget cutting proposals, as well as tax alternatives. I hope that's coming, and I have every reason to believe it will.

I also believe the collective news judgment of media in this town is zero. They operate under the philosophy, that if they send cameras or a reporter, it has to be a story. Which is, of course, wrong. It's not new--the guy who used to be news director at WIBC, Fred Heckman, was a lousy judge of what's news and, more important, what ISN'T. It's part and parcel of a lazy media structure here. It won't change.

I'd observe that this Melyssa person is probably very well-meaning, but who appointed her Goddess? I mean, I am part of "The People" (whatever the hell that is) and I never asked for a tea party. And she's using it as a launch pad for some female-only workshops or activities? (Huh?)

My cardinal rule about organizations is: never criticize volunteers. Their time is gold.
I'm not criticizing here.

This protest is overdue and, at the same time, over- and mis-covered.

I'm hoping that the pendulum switches back to middle on: tax protests, tax structure, and placing the blame.

It will. I'm typically impatient.

Jen isn't a devil. Like all of us, from time to time she probably tip-toes slightly across the line. Big deal. She's smart, and we can learn from her blog, just like this one.

Cause there are multiple blogs here from which you can't learn a damned thing. Except hatefulness and nonsense.

Anonymous said...

There a scene in the movie, Mommy Dearest" where Louis Meyer tells Joan Crawford she's through with MGM--"You're box office poison," he told her. Has Jen reached that moment in her career?

Melyssa said...

For the record, YES I am a dominant woman and never hid that fact.

And we were the first to bring a solution to the table before the 4th of July protest. We had an economic study to implement the Fair Tax in Indiana and got it to the Governor before the rally.

We've also held one Fair Tax 101 education night on July 9th.

In that we are just a rag tag team of Patriots without funding, we've offered more solutions than Jen and her well funded team of city politicians and leaders have.

She's spent two whole days tearing me apart for working as a dominatrix. I've not seen one single solution come from her, just a lot of finger pointing and bitching.

By the way, the city dismissed its zoning violation against me last week.

Anonymous said...

Anon said - I wouldn't have called any of the protestors "attention-starved." I do wish they'd spend some real cerebral time on specific budget cutting proposals, as well as tax alternatives.

---

It is kind of hard for the average person or protestor to come up with a CONCRETE - lets cut X Dollars here when all we can see is a general detail of the budget. When IT is listed as spending 1 million dollars but NO DETAIL is listed as to how that will be spent - how can an average person come up with a spending cut answer?

Pike Voter

CONVENTION? said...

Gary, I'm seeing some stuff concerning a Constitutional Convention (which is scary because it wouldn't be limited to just the tax topic. Article 16 says nothing about that kind of amending. Do you know how that would happen?

Anonymous said...

I still cannot believe that a communications director for a political party would attack and insult protestors at a non-partisan event. She's not winning friends for her party and her actions are bizarre and disconnected from The People.

She is not your typical middle of the road Democrat. She is a die hard socialist/progressive/liberal (whatever they call themselves now). She knows what is best for the population of this country. She wants laws and rules to run everyone's lives to get her way. This also takes money, lots of money. You folks are throwing a bomb into the "master plan." You are also drawing tons of attention to taxes, which could hurt the "tax and spend" party in coming elections. People automatically equate Democrats with taxes, even though Neo Con Republicans are not much better.

My blog is separate from my job.

Go to indems.org. Put the cursor over the "Blog" button at the top. See what blog is #1 on the list. Need we say more?

She's spent two whole days tearing me apart for working as a dominatrix. I've not seen one single solution come from her, just a lot of finger pointing and bitching.

Funny how such a "progressive" woman would belittle another woman for what goes on in their personal life. Here I thought the Democrat party was about "What goes on in the bedroom stays in the bedroom." Seems they only tow that line for the gay vote. If they can use any sort of unusal sexual history to smear someone, they will. It is one thing to smear someone when they are nothing but hypocrites, but you are not. You come out as a strong woman and admit who you are. Then a so called "progressive" uses that in an effort to smear your name because you won't shut up. You are now the enemy because the funding for the master plan is now in danger of being lost. You can't have a progressive society without other people's money, specifically rich folk.

Wilson46201 said...

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

Gladys said...

AI is right that voters want to express their frustration as well as advance their ideas for improvement. Rallies can help people do both.

One problem with rallies, however, is that they are less than ideal venues for talking about complicated ideas. Anonymous (7:28)'s comments show that. He heard Orentlicher talk about his town halls and a newspaper article, and thinks that's all Orentlicher's doing.

In fact, when I spoke with Orentlicher after his second town hall meeting, he told me is developing a package of proposals to solve the problem. He didn't know for sure which ideas would be included yet because he's still assessing the fiscal impact of each component (he lists some of these on his webpage). I gather he's consulting both economists and policy analysts to see what will work. I thought that made sense. He seems to want to do it right. With all that research, it would not surprise me if he does come up with a good proposal.

I hope the lawmakers on the Kenley Commission as well as the bigwigs on the Kernan-Shepard Commission are doing the same thing. This is a problem that really needs a smart solution.

Anonymous said...

actually i had a personal conversation with orentlicher and asked specifically what he was doing. that was the response i got directly from him.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is that someone with education in communications can't seem to grasp that her rant about a public protest is so transparently panicked hate-mongering. Yes, the democrats are scared, and should be because the perfect storm of their failings has blown over the state. Now we have some two-bit hack ON THE PAYROLL OF THE PARTY griping about this protest. Jen says there are no solutions at the protest. Jen, dearheart, how do we present solutions when the year is half over and city won't even provide a 2007 budget despite repeated calls for it? If there was any transparency in the hallowed halls of government that your party has befouled for decades, the public might be able to see the money trail and present suggestions (such as jailtime). I really thought that Wilson was the bottom of the barrel as far as mindless spinmasters of the Dem party, but Jen's giving him a run for his money. All in all, Jen showing her ass on this will be good for the city. Keep it coming Jen. Come November, anti-Bart and anti-CCCers will want to lick your boots too for all the excellent work you're doing for their campaign.

Anonymous said...

"...he told me is developing a package of proposals to solve the problem."

Getting rid of Pat Bauer?

Wilson46201 said...

The proposed budget for next year simply doesnt exist yet. It wont be out for another week or two. Last year it came out on August 8th - expect it the same time this year!

No money can be collected or spent without voted approval by the full City-County Council.

Anonymous said...

Jen was over the top. And the protesters need to realize that the actions, while noteworthy and attention-getting, will not get a solution to the problem.

Oh wait, lost in all this back and forth and trash talk is the PROBLEM.

Ever notice how ego gets in the way of solutions?

Eric Miller Strikes Again said...

Donate for Democracy is a project sponsored by the the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, Non-Profit and Faith Based Institutions statewide to address the need of recruiting poll workers to work on Election Day in the State of Indiana.

http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/hava/donateForDemo.html

Anonymous said...

"All in all, Jen showing her ass on this will be good for the city."

Actually, Jen's ass isn't that hard on the eyes. However her lambasting is getting old.
The party knows what she is doing and is directing every step.
I predict Republican control of the CCC after November.

The Mayors race is getting closer by the minute.

And can we all say, thanks Jen?

Anonymous said...

That fool, Wilson, is trying to divert the thread again. Wilson, I thought you were banned from this blog!

Anonymous said...

In fact, when I spoke with Orentlicher after his second town hall meeting, he told me is developing a package of proposals to solve the problem. He didn't know for sure which ideas would be included yet because he's still assessing the fiscal impact of each component (he lists some of these on his webpage).

While the guy should get pats on the back for showing up and being out there, he is no different than all the rest. For starters, he is likely trying to save his job. Second, just like certain folks put their focus on banning gay marriage, he put his efforts into banning guns. My question for him and all the other representatives: "Why wasn't this issue as big as your own personal goals and desires?" The simple fact is that many of our elected "leaders" have the $$$$ to deal with huge increases in taxes. Bosma is a lawyer if I recall. Orentlicher is a highly paid college professor. Bauer works for Ivy Tech making $100K+ year.

Anonymous said...

Jen certainly does not make the dems look nice or particularly good.

She rants about people not staying on the issues, yet she hurls insults at the public they want to get votes from.

Anonymous said...

Jen will survive this just fine.

So will AI.

Each blog has a partisan bent, and is particularly readable and informative. If you think otherwise, you're just not paying attention to all the avaiable media. Or its professionalism or content.

With any information you receive, don't you filter it through your knowledge base, your experience and your bullshit meter? I learned that at a young age: the Star was the House organ of the conservative Republicans. Over half the local articles, and every freaking inch of the editorial page, was Pulliam/Birch nonsense. But there was a lot of good news inside it anyway.

The Fair Tax, while a bonafide alternative, is not new. Congressman Lindner of Georgia, and Neal Bortz have promoted it for over three years. It's not perfect but it generates discussion. Dusting it off again and presenting it to the governor hardly qualifies as "new ideas."

The biennnial state budget is available for the asking. The annual city-county budget is due by mid-August. If you read the legal ads like I do, you'll see all the governmental units' proposed levies and budgets posted there, at about the same time. That has not changed for 40 years.

What is sometimes difficult, is the state's final-approved budget, which sometimes does not come until after the calendar year begins.

DLGF can add a lot to these positive discussions by simply streamlining their process and growing a set of balls. And forcing all these ragtag units of government and taxing entities, to submit budgets earlier.

Still sorta wonderin' about those ladies-only programs, Madam Domanatrix, but I'm only one of The People. Good luck to ya.

Anonymous said...

2:13. Directly from Bart's office.
Salt and Pepper. Good guy, bad guy. Emotional rant, thoughful reply. Keep them coming. Keep it in the middle. It is safe and it is warm there.

Anonymous said...

The proposed budget for next year simply doesnt exist yet. It wont be out for another week or two. Last year it came out on August 8th - expect it the same time this year!

Along with all the blank pages that last years budget had? That way Bart and Monroe can fill in the pages as they see fit.

Jason said...

Wilson, ref. your 10:31 post, would that be like 'from each according to their ability to give and to each according to their need?' That's not in the U.S.
constitution, that's in the Communist Manifesto...

I used to visit the TDW but everybody there was either mean or ignored my questions. Every stance taken falls in line with the party agenda so it gets boring kind of quick.

GaryJ said...

Jason.. Everyone on TDW is one sided.
Jen is a political hack who sees only what the democratic machine tells her to see.
She's an intelligent woman who just has a blurred vision on ploitics.
Wilson Allen is an educated man with a lot political insight. He too, sees only what he is told to see.
Which is really too bad, they could both offer a lot to help us in our quest to get this city back on the right track.

Wilson46201 said...

Jason: my quote was from something like the "Jesus Manifesto" by some dude named Luke (not Matthew, Mark or John) - check it out!

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Wilson46201 said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If Wilson is thankful, you know that a point "well-made" was deleted.

Wilson46201 said...

Nah - it was just an anonymous troll with anti-gay crap and insults. Completely unrelated to the discussion thread. Detract and distract! They also dropped the same kind of junk at TDW and Abduls. Shameless!

Anonymous said...

AI, I think you may be the one who is attention starved by going after TDW. Isn't there some kind of bloggers' truce? After all, TDW does refer to your blog from time to time, but I've never seen her go after you if she disagrees with a point you've made.

Isn't your blog supposed to be about spreading the truth about Eric Miller? Seems like you're now joined at the hip, at least on taxes. How does that make you feel?

Anonymous said...

Wilson:

The only thing you do is obfuscate blogs by "Detract and distract!" tactics. Why?

Why can't you stick to the thread?

-Pitiful!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"Jen has a lot of growing up to do."

I am sure the GOP hopes she and her teen-something intellect and hormones will be around throughout 2008. I am sure, too, she was cheering the party on until Bart got bashed at it.

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 7:41, I call them like I see them. I sometimes approvingly link to something she writes as she does with my blog. TDW laid the criticism on this blog pretty heavy as I recall because of what was covered on the Carson-Dickerson race last year. That was her right to do so, and I have a right to criticize her when I disagree with something she writes. And I don't need any lecture from you on reporting on Eric Miller. There isn't a blog in this state which has done more to expose his hypocrisy than this blog.

Wilson46201 said...

Speaking of BFF Eric, the Star has a blurb about him already tonight in Greenwood...

Anonymous said...

Yes, but TDW has not directly taken you on in any post, one dedicated to debating you personally. She may have made a comment disagreeing with you, but show me where she's gone after you like this (other than that little spat a few months ago...I assume you made up after that).
You're failing to differentiate between a true protest on property taxes and those who are, for whatever reason - political or otherwise - trying to take advantage of the public's current angst, eg Melyssa, the Bart Lies crowd, Eric Miller, the pot smokers unite crowd (Libertarians), etc. Not to say that there weren't true protesters in that crowd, but they're getting used by some of those other charlatans.

I just thought, as an educated, informed attorney, you'd see more of the gray in the public debate, rather than the black and white. Where is your commentary on IPS - which is 50% of the bills (and growth)?

Quite frankly, I think sometimes your opinions blinded by whatever. Like the whole Dickerson stuff, Lacy Johnson and the bar, Drummer etc. And opine that EVERYTHING Bart does is wrong or politically motivated to the hilt. You shoulda been around under Goldsmith and his do-nothing Council and do-nothing township officials.

Melyssa Donaghy said...

Please do not call me a charlatan! What could I personally gain from this? So far I'm out about $1000 I've personally spent to fund this activism. Not only that, but I've completely given up my personal life to this cause.

I have no interest in running for office in spite of the fact that I was asked constantly to run for city council, so I have nothing to gain on that front.

I genuinely care about my city and I live in one of the most hurt neighborhoods, a neighborhood that is very important to the state. I do this for my city and her people, not for some kind of personal gain.

And by the way, you don't see me suing the city...which is something I could be doing right now instead of this. Our mayor trampled upon my life for his own political gain. There are several possible grounds for suit including sexual harrassment. He mistakedly assumed I was an easy mark to exploit. I'm not.

Don't you DARE call me some kind of opportunist.

You have absolutely no moral right to judge me. Nor are you likely to be doing anything at all to help your community. What you do instead, behind your anonymous facade, is criticize the hard work and sacrifice of others who DO care about their community and the people who live in it.

Remember that first Press Conference at the Governor's Mansion was the catalyst that caused the Governor to repeal the 2007 assessments which gave everyone a break while we sort this mess out.

Only a COWARD uses such words and doesn't sign their name. Obviously you are ashamed of who you are, ashamed of what you believe, and ashamed of what you write, for your actions are without any semblance of courage.

Anonymous said...

at least under goldsmith and the "do nothing" CC, taxes were low and crime was under control. the arrogance of the mayor and seemingly ethical lapses of this CC make one long for the days when the republicans were in charge(this is coming from someone who has never voted republican at the local level). btw, there is a lot more going on at these protests that people realize -- networking, idea generation, etc. it is absurd to chatise protesters for not bringing forth proposals -- we have elected officials to allegedly do that. i think those protesting realize that there is a need to keep the heat on or the politicians will think this will go away.

Anonymous said...

"And opine that EVERYTHING Bart does is wrong or politically motivated to the hilt. You shoulda been around under Goldsmith and his do-nothing Council and do-nothing township officials."

I was around during Goldsmith, I remember things quite differently.
Being an attorney doesn't make you informed, maybe politically connected but not all knowing. Peterson is capable of leading this city, he chose not to. Job number one for any Mayor is public safety, then enter structure Peterson has pushed these items to the back of his list and ignored them. That is why the people including the BART LIES! guys and the tax protesters are involved. The democrat Party has had eight years to straighten out Peterson, you saw this coming and as usual did nothing but discredit others.
Your desperation is showing.

Jason said...

Um, Wilson, ref. your earlier post you would lend yourself more credibility if you put your quotes in context. The difference is that the biblical scripture is a very obvious unveiled allusion to salvation, not raising taxes. I don't even need my degree in religious studies to point that out it's so obvious. I guess it would have made more sense for me to think you were paraphrasing Marx, since you seem to have a Communist bent. When Marx said it, he was talking about raising taxes. We're talking about raising taxes, not salvation. So now the Democrats are picking and choosing biblical passages to justify their message?

When you completely convolute the original message by taking it out of it's own historical context you come across as disingenuous at best. In the future please don't throw out random biblical passages that have nothing to do with anything. That's like showing a video of the police hitting somebody but not showing the 3 minutes before that when he was beating them up. Thank you.

ROACH said...

http://x-wire.blogspot.com/2007/08/how-to-decimate-property-tax-base-in.html

Katz said...

I love the partisan chatter...

I'm a former Democrat CCC candidate who didn't make it through the primary, but I attended the various tax rallies and even spoke at one. I've helped several neighbors appeal their property taxes, too. I'm not happy with the Ds or Rs in power.

I give David O major credit for showing up and listening to people. I haven't seen Bosma, Buell or anyone else from the (R) side there. David O was very much of the mindset "tell me what you want us to do!" He's been up-front about that the whole time.

Given the other montras in this blog of how the representatives are there to do the will of the people he's working to do just that! He wants to know what we think and to feel out different options!

So not all the (D)s are out of touch...