Saturday, February 23, 2008

Local Tax Protest Movement Produces Just One Serious Candidate

The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy has a good run down of local political races today. One item of note is the only race I can identify where a serious candidate has stepped forward from last year's property tax protest movement to challenge an incumbent legislator. I'm, of course, speaking of Ken Morgan, who is running against Sen. Teresa Lubbers. O'Shaughnessy writes:

Another race that will be watched is that of Sen. Teresa Lubbers, R-Indianapolis. Lubbers is endorsed by the Marion County Republican Party, but her northern Marion County district was among the hardest hit by soaring property tax bills last year.

It was that issue that prompted Ken Morgan, a retired federal employee, to run against her in the primary.

"I had no interest in being a politician at all," Morgan said. "Two things set me off. One of them is property taxes and, second, the lack of a truly open, democratic process."

While Lubbers is heavily favored to win, Morgan said the same was said of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson before November's election put Republican Greg Ballard into office.

The anger that helped elect Ballard is still there, Morgan said, and he believes it will only get worse once people get their new property tax bills.

Lubbers said that "nothing is more important" in the part of the district where both she and Morgan live than property taxes. It's why she has made the issue her focus "every day since the property tax bills hit the mail boxes" last year, she said.

During last year's property tax protests, many people who contacted Sen. Lubbers found her to be arrogant and indifferent towards their concerns. I know she has also been a disappointment to others within the party who thought she would stake out more socially moderate positions in the Indiana Senate like those of former Sen. Virginia Blankenbaker, the last female Republican legislator in Indianapolis who strayed from the far right's religious dogma. Instead, Lubbers votes down the line with Eric Miller on almost every issue, which is clearly out of step with many of the Republicans in her district. Morgan could also make an issue of how much money her husband socked away for their family's household as a six-figure paid media flack for Gov. Daniels. And remember that DNA testing lab Indianapolis Public Safety Director Scott Newman made bucco bucks helping to start up? Lubbers' husband, Mark, had a piece of that action as well. Strand Analytical Laboratories won a big contract with the Indiana State Police while Mark Lubbers was pulling down $126,000 a year as an outside consultant for Gov. Daniels.


Anonymous said...

I will be very, very happy to vote against Lubbers.

For some reason, the Dems won't oppose her and I am very grateful to the Libs for doing it.

Wilson46201 said...

Attorney Todd DeGroff is the Democratic challenger to Teresa Lubbers in Senate #30.

I do hope the Libertarians challenge her too!

Anonymous said...

Since more than 50% of a person's tax bill goes to education, you would think more citizens would have filed as candidates for school board. According to the Star, only 10 candidates have filed for the 5 seats up for election in IPS. And the two longest serving incumbents Mary Busch (32 years on the board) and Marianna Zaphirou (14 years on the board) are running unopposed.

Sean Shepard said...

Wilson -

Libertarian Steve Keltner is running for that race. Ken Morgan, as I understand things, did a very classy thing and spoke with Mr. Keltner before officially announcing he was running.

Steve is an excellent candidate and Mr. Morgan is a fine gentleman as well.

Anonymous said...

Todd DeGroff is no slouch.

He was the attorney for neighbors of the Kite project near 86th/Haverstick (Woodfield, Whole Foods).

You know the project, was the one where your bud King Ro's wife ruled incorrectly on a major rezoning case. Again. And which the Council only supported by a 16-13 vote, and only after King threatened fellow Dems on the council if they opposed his wife's stupid decision.

ALl without a whit of evidence required by law for a stautory variance.

Justice won out though. The developer ultimately dumped the project.

Todd has tilted at windmills, and an inept Judy Conley. So petite Sen. Lubbers is no different.

And I mean petite in every sense of the word--physically, and representationally.

Maybe, finally, her husband's reputation for pissing folks off, will come home to roost. She's dodged it for years.

Anonymous said...

I truly thought about getting into politics but quickly realized the constituents wanted a gas bag lawyer type with no scruples, loyalties or ethics. All I could offer was common sense and a desire for true representation and positive actions reflecting the needs of the people. No way in hell anyone like that could be elected here!