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Rep. Repression

It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy: The more rabid the homophobic rhetoric, the more likely it stems from a closeted conservative longing for hot, same-sex action. Now comes poetic justice for Rep. Phil Hinkle, one of the Indiana state lawmakers who earlier this year voted in favor House Joint Resolution 6, which calls for a constitutional amendment dictating that marriage be defined strictly as a heterosexual institution. It seems his support of such legislation does not preclude trolling Craigslist in search of hot, young, male love for sale, as alleged in a recent Star exposé. Instead of refuting the report, which outlines a bizarre encounter between the lawmaker and an 18-year-old prostitute, Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, acknowledged "a shakedown" and referred the reporter to his attorney. Too bad johns rarely are locked up for solicitation; Hinkle may finally have found what he was looking for.



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Maid aid

The city's hospitality workers may be fighting an uphill battle in their quest for tax relief for the lowest paid among them, especially when the mayor is characterizing the city's 2012 fiscal outlook as "our toughest budget in years." But that didn't stop an estimated 500 community activists from packing the City-County Council chambers Monday night for the introduction of Proposal 242, which would offer annual tax relief of about $200 to downtown hotel workers making less than $25,000 a year. The total price tag of such is effort is estimated at $250,000. But, supporters ask, if the city can subsidize the Pacers, Lucas Oil Stadium or the North of South development, how about throwing some scratch to impoverished neighborhoods by allowing low-income workers to pocket a little extra cash? The proposal carries the support of four council sponsors and will receive a hearing Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m.



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Gag order

If the public is indignant or rude, then they don't deserve a voice. This, in essence, is the message the council sent Monday night when it rejected an attempt ask Metropolitan Development Committee to reconsider its decision not to accept public testimony at a recent hearing on a new nominee for the Board of Zoning Appeals. If people are falsely accused of unethical or illegal behavior, it discourages volunteers from accepting council nominations to the board, those in favor of muzzling public input argued. If you don't allow comment, fellow council members responded, how do you know what the public is going to say?

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