Monday, December 10, 2007

Shella On The High Number of Legislative Retirements

Well, Jim Shella took his best crack at this story, but his desire to be liked by lawmakers caused him to come up short on this report. "An unusually large number of Indiana state representatives, 8 out of 100, chose retirement over re-election in recent months," Shella writes. "The number will most likely grow," he adds. Shella's story comes on the heels of Rep. Mae Dickinson's announcement she is giving up her seat in the House immediately.

Explaining the retirements to his viewers, Shella opines, "Economics and politics are the two biggest factors in turnover at the Statehouse." "Economically, many lawmakers feel they do a full-time job for part-time pay." "The constant battle for control of the Indiana House supplies the politics," he concludes.

Nowhere in his story does he mention the fact that lawmakers had to resign from the House this year or lose the health insurance for life benefit for themselves and their spouses courtesy of the taxpayers. Lawmakers ended that perk earlier this year in the wake of public fury over the generous perk. I guess Shella's viewers are just supposed to read between the lines that the end of the legislative perk is the economic factor contributing to so many retirements this year. Shella also makes no mention of the fact that legislators nearly doubled legislative salaries this year and approved an extra bonus for committee chairpersons.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are still missing the point that between Medicare and GM retiree coverage, Mae Dickinson already has better medical coverage at an almost free rate that is superior to what the state offers.

Advance Indiana said...

And she still hasn't offered an adequate explanation for quitting the job in the middle of her term.

Anonymous said...

uhm.. she's over 70.. she's served many years.. maybe she's just damned tired? Move on to something more meaningful...

Anonymous said...

I truly believe it's a shame that our elected officials dont feel like they have to finish out their two year committment to the people.

Advance Indiana said...

uhm...anon 9:06, maybe she should have thought about that last year when she sought re-election to another 2-year term.

Anonymous said...

We keep saying that there comes a time to turn it over to younger people..maybe Mae was doing that....I dont understand why some people think that there was some diabolical reason for her resignation.

Anonymous said...

I agree no doubt that Kuzman and Whetstone cashed in-- six figures at the law firms, don't finish their terms, get the lifetime health plan. They're young to middle aged. Yep, they cashed in. I don't know what Cheney's doing, but for sake of argument, let's say he cashed in too.

But the rest? 8 total is not that unusually high a number, to begin with, of vacancies for 08 election. But Buell Crooks and Micon are merely not running next time-- nothing weird there, esp. since Crooks and Buell have been there more than long enough. As for Denbo, he got divorced this year, and had to get a real job (so they said) as he'd never had a job except legislator and had a divore settlement to fund. As for Mae, I still gotta believe it's a real health or family issue. Health insurance argument doesn't add up, and she's losing a lot more by losing the salary-- it's not like she's gonna get another job at 74.

All in all, I don'g think you can lump the "retirers" with the "resigners" and it's still just not that much of a story. Even to the extent it it should really be about the 5, not 8.

Anonymous said...

If Rep. Dickinson had health or family issues that required the early retirement, and she said that, she'd be perfectly forgiven.

But her failure to provide a reason is arrogant and disrespectful of the voters who sent her there. She owes it to her constituents. Regardless of her health plans.

Wilson46201 said...

I have known Mae Dickinson for over 20 years now and she is one of the hardest working and compassionate public servants I've ever met. It's really pernicious when anonymous nobodies who are too ashamed to use their own name besmirch that lady's motives for resigning. It most likely will come out fairly soon why she was forced by health or family matters to resign so precipitously. I hope the nay-sayers will then feel properly ashamed at their cavils, carps and snipes - but sadly I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Mae is entitled to her privacy. I have no idea of why she chose to resign and it is NONE of my business.

Anonymous said...

You forget Jon Elrod is not running again for House District 97 so that he can run for Congress.

Anonymous said...

Jim Shella is nothing but a Tool of the Democrats. I'm just curious if he is paid more money by WISHTV-8 or the Democratic Party. There was a time that I respected his opinions but he has become such a Kool-Aid Drinker that his views and perspectives are distorted. Unless WISHTV-8 is using Shella to further their Secular Agenda they need to reign him in or ask him to decide which employer he wishes to work for.

Vote them all out in 08. Term Limits, Repeal the Property Tax, eliminate county assessors & trustees, and demand representation by your elected officials.

Bauer & the Troll "Need to Go"

Anonymous said...

The bill ending lifetime healthcare says that a person had to resign before August 1 of this year to get the benefit. Whetstone left after that, he and the others who resigned since that time do not get the benefit, according to the statute. Gary, you're a good lawyer, check the statutus -- do you disagree?

Advance Indiana said...

"The bill ending lifetime healthcare says that a person had to resign before August 1 of this year to get the benefit."

That's what you and I understood it to mean, but I'm told by sources that legislators are being allowed to take advantage of it if they gave notice by a certain date of their intent to resign, even if they didn't give up their seat until after that date. The media should have been asking Speaker Bauer for a list of all of those who told him they were going to resign by that statutory deadline. I guess that required too much work on their part to do that.

Anonymous said...

Shella is just a shill for the democratic party here. Always has been, always will be.

Everything he reports has his usual liberal slant.

Anonymous said...

Actually, can't we just get a list of who is taking up the plan?

Anonymous said...

Wilson, haven't you learned by now that some of heartless, cold S.O.B.s on this blog will never feel shame.