"Meanwhile, in Indiana, moves are being made to actually make marijuana penalties harsher. A Senate committee in the most recent session voted, at the behest of Gov. Mike Pence, to include moving possession of between about one-third of an ounce and 10 pounds of marijuana from the highest-level misdemeanor to the lowest-level felony, with a prison sentence between six months and 2.5 years."
This information is inaccurate. Early on there was some misreporting that the changes made by the Senate amendment to HB 1006, which were pushed by Governor Pence, made our marijuana laws more harsh. It isn't true. Most media outlets eventually corrected the information. Unfortunately the misinformation is still out there on the Internet for people to pick up on.
Basically HB 1006 as originally introduced greatly decreased criminal penalties with regard to marijuana. The Senate's amendment made those penalties more harsh than they were in the House's bill. But the amended bill, which passed, still decreases marijuana penalties across the board. I went through the bill line for line and wrote a story of exactly how the penalties are being reduced.
My analysis that marijuana penalties were still being reduced was confirmed by legislators and an attorney from the state's public defender's office.
Redistricting 101. Spreading out the African-American vote to more districts helps Democrats, it doesn't hurt them. It allows them to use a solid Democratic voting bloc more efficiently. Republicans prefer the creation of more majority African-American districts because it results in packing a higher percentage of Democrats in fewer districts. Virtually every redistricting you see an alliance between Republicans and black Democrats . Black Democrats want to see more majority-minority districts created and Republicans are all for that. You end up with more African-American legislators but you end up with fewer Democrats overall.
And the Democrats didn't say the map Mayor Ballard signed into law on 1/1/2012 was illegal. They said, quite correctly that the law requires the council to redistrict in 2012. No one argued that the law prevents a 2011 redistricting. It was just a waste of time because the law mandates redistricting in 2012.
Maybe INDYCOG can spend a little time making sure Indy's bike lanes are safe and well-designed than simply mindlessly applauding every time a line is drawn on the pavement.
What is the concern about bikes being chained to the fence?
Abdul is right. The law is clear. It without questions requires that the directors be reappointed every year and their appointments to be approved by the council. The only decent legal argument for keeping Straub on after his reappointment fails is that the law does allow the Mayor to appoint an "acting" director. Still if that's used to subvert the intention of the statute, namely that director's appointments be approved by the council every year, a court is likely to have a problem with this obvious ruse to get around the law.
Abdul has previously tried to making a weaker legal argument, that the part of the statute that says a director serves at the pleasure of the Mayor completely invalidates the requirement that the appointments be approved by the council. That interpretation makes no sense. You don't interpret a secondary provision of a statute to invalidate the major provision. Nonetheless, that provision relates to the fact that the appointees serve at the pleasure of the mayor during their one year terms. That is contrasted to appointments to some boards where once the Mayor appoints, the Mayor has no right to remove before the end of their terms.
Paul K. Ogden, Attorney at Law
"They worried that the political neophyte would be little more than a puppet for the county's Republican organization."
One has to wonder what administration you've been watching. Ballard has had his strings pulled by profiteers in his administration for 3 1/2 years. Ballard hasn't been a puppet for the GOP organization, but rather for all the insiders who have been pocketing taxpayer money for 3 1/2 years. It's a shame that a publication like Nuvo can't bring itself to criticize corporate welfare schemes that make politically-connected insiders wealthy at the expense of taxpayers and schools, libraries, etc. You remain silent while the Citty hands out $33.5 million for the Pacers, $100 million for the North of South project, a Broad Ripple Parking garage for which the contract was handed out to the Mayor's largest financial contributor, Keystone Construction, which also hired the Deputy Mayor. And what about all the TIF money diverted to insider projects...which decimates the tax base, taking money away from libraries and the schools. This administration has been one insider deal after another.
Outside of the comment about the needless expansion of the existing smoking ban, I agree totally with Concerned Citizen. I have to wonder whether Hammer has been conscious the past 3 1/2 years. He seems to be completely oblivious to all the insider dealing and taxpayer giveaways that's taken place during this administration. I mean what else does Ballard have to do before Hammer will wake up? He sold the meters off for the next 50 years. He gave $33.5 million to the Pacers when there was no threat they were going to leave. I am a Republican and didn't like Peterson, but Ballard's been no better, and in fact has been worse in many, many ways.
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