Government Staff Changes and Cheese Sculptures – Open Item
Our work following the emails requested by Associated Press reporter Tom LoBiondo and the response that was received when someone asked for public information about that request continues. Derek Trovilion wrote an excellent piece explaining why he filed an additional public records release and what is at stake in the education debate as the focus of Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz continues to be directed on her predecessor’s work.
As government has grown larger there has been more and more attention focused on the staff members who serve politicians. Many times these are the people who are making key decisions because the bandwidth of the people they serve is clogged with many projects. Rohit Kumar, the staffer for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) responsible for “selling” controversial legislation like the bank bailout to Republican lawmakers, is leaving the Hill to be a stay at home dad according to Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post. While Montgomery’s piece lauds Kumar’s skills and the contributions he has made to helping the White House get business done with Republicans still holding some influence in the legislature, many activists who disagree with the direction the legislature has taken will be glad to see him leave. Regardless of political persuasion, I think we can all applaud Kumar’s reason for leaving – supporting your family is vital and working on the Hill complicates family life considerably.
Back to Indiana, Laura Newberry of the Indianapolis Star has a great article about Sarah Kaufmann, who has been carving cheese sculptures at the Indiana State Fair for the last eight years. There are some pictures of what she’s been able to do working with cheese, it’s pretty impressive! Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully reflects on the meaning of the state fair and how it brings Indiana together. Not the hard-hitting stuff you might be used to from Tully but a nice read as we wind down the week.
In other news, Kevin Leininger of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes that Fort Wayne is reportedly considering annexation, and his editorial board is not happy that Fort Wayne is considering the idea. In my piece for the Indianapolis Business Journal‘s Forefront section, part of my idea for simplifying government structure would allow residents some protection from unwanted annexations by providing them a municipal government structure. If they’d want to leave that structure there would have to be a vote, something that Indiana law does not provide for those being annexed outside municipal boundaries.
Casino revenues are down from the same month last year at the northwest Indiana riverboats according to Keith Benman of The Times of Northwest Indiana. This marks the sixth out of seven months this year casino revenue is down. This trend is somewhat troubling as casino revenue is a major component of the state budget – if the trend continues it may become more difficult to balance the budget down the line.
Finally, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorializes on what Allen County school corporations are doing to comply with IHSAA’s decision that would allows schools to include homeschool students in athletic activities. Only one of the four school corporations has issued a policy on the matter and they believe homeschool parents won’t like it.
As always, please let us know if you have any news or thoughts on the news in the comments section below. We’ve received a number of nominations for Tweet of the Week, and we’ll be opening the ballot for voting on that high honor just before noon.