The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Luci Snyder for City Council

Luci

Why Are You Running For Office?
I an running for re-election because after years on the Council and chairing the Finance Committee for the last 8 of them, I realize that the finances of this city are complex and, I believe, at a critical stage. What protections I used to think were in place were not of use as we found that there were ways around the rules….most of them perfectly legal. For those that were not, the issue was have to stop the behavior. State Board of Accounts, DLGF the Attorney General and finally legislative change. All have been explored. We learned that money budgeted for one use was taken for another….re-paving is a case in point. This office requires diligence and honesty.

What Are Your Qualifications For the Office You Are Seeking?
Every person on the Council brings a wealth of background, the more varied the better. Mine is that of a commercial real estate broker with a knowledge of values, contracts and even negotiating on behalf of the City with developers who, obviously want the best deal for their company while we are representing the interests of the taxpayer. I have served on the board of First Merchants Bank of Hamilton County, board of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce,president of my HOA and currently am a board member for the Humane Society and president of the Carmel Economic Development Commission. With that background I also have working relationships with the private sector as well as local and State officials.

What Would You Like to Accomplish When In Office?
I would like to insure the fiscal stability of the City while moving forward and investing in our growth. With the establishment of the new Stormwater Utility, the money currently secure for its intended purpose, I hope to keep up the infrastructure as the City is aging, to protect the values of our homes. I also value the varied neighborhoods, varied in size and price as our neighborhoods are our strength. I, along with Diana Cordray, put the Rainy Day fund in place. Our target is to maintain a balance equal to 10% of the General Fund budget. We have moved money out of this fund for unexpected expenses but have replenished those funds. I maintain that this money not only keeps our credit rating high as S&P now not only looks at the ability to raise taxes but at liquidity. The Mayor has for 3 years attempted to use this money for operations but to no avail.

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
Simple…..you can’t spend more than your income. You can’t keep borrowing for current projects, assuming maximum income to pay the debt, postponing principal payments, which payments may not be possible if the optimistic projections fall short. This is exactly what happen to the CRC. The Council had to basically become the guarantor for a new $180,000,000 loan which was backed by the residential property owner. The the CRC TIF income failed to cover the debt payment…a residential tax would be put in place. The Council avoided that, we hope, by putting in place a Special Reserve Fund and pledging the resources of the Rainy Day Fund.

What Will You Do to Promote Transparency to the Citizens When You Are in Office?
That is exactly what I have done all the time I have been in office….I don’t just make promises, I stand on a record of transparency.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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Candidate Meet and Greet

The Constitutional Patriots will be hosting a Candidate Meet and Greet for all of the Hamilton County candidates on Tuesday, March 17th at 7pm. We meet at Central Christian church, 1242 W. 136th Street in Carmel. Please share with your friends and neighbors and join us for an evening to get to know your candidates.

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Ball State study grades TIFs as ineffective as economic development tools

By Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly – February 5, 2015

An analysis of tax increment financing districts in Indiana counties by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research concluded that they are an ineffective development tool for Hoosier communities.

In fact, the CBER study found TIFs are associated with less employment, less taxable income and slightly higher tax rates and noted the process needs more stringent oversight, Ball State said in an announcement Monday.

TIF districts were created by the Indiana General Assembly in the 1980s and are run by redevelopment commissions. They were designed to allow local governments to redevelop distressed areas by making infrastructure improvements, such as new roads and sewers. TIFs provide incentives to attract businesses or help existing companies expand without tapping general funds or raising taxes.

CBER examined TIF districts in Indiana from 2003-2012, evaluating their impact on capital growth, employment and tax rates in counties.

“Overall, TIFs are not an effective economic development tool,” said CBER director Michael Hicks, who co-authored the study with Dagney Faulk, CBER’s research director, and Pam Quirin, a CBER graduate assistant. “In fact, we found that in the average county, creation of a TIF district led to fewer jobs in manufacturing and retailing as well as a slight drop in the number of businesses.

“This may happen because when businesses start up operations or move into the TIF districts, it shifts the number of jobs while others in the region suffer the job killing effects of higher tax rates,” Hicks said. “TIF districts also have no discernible statistical impact on sales taxes in counties. This may be because retail activity simply shifts from non-TIF districts to TIF areas.”

Local governments appear to be shifting the tax burden from TIF to non-TIF taxpayers to maintain constant levels of public service, Faulk said.

“While we cannot conclusively report that TIFs are the cause of higher tax rates on existing taxpayers, that is a very likely effect,” she said.

Other than increasing the assessed value of property within the districts, TIFs have little impact on economic development, Hicks said.

The report found the state’s aggregate net assessed value in TIFs increased from about $10 billion in 2003 to about $19 billion in 2012.

Researchers also discovered counties are accumulating debt to manage such projects. Indiana’s TIF districts had about 20 percent of the state’s $12 billion outstanding debt in 2013.

http://www.journalgazette.net/business/Ball-State-study-grades-TIFs-as-ineffective-as-economic-development-tools-4867684

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Questions for our Hamilton County Municipal Candidates

The Constitutional Patriots are mailing out a questionnaire to all 95 Hamilton County candidates that are running for office in the May 5th, 2015 primary. This includes Mayors, Clerk-Treasurers and Council members.

The questions are as follows:

1. Why are you running for office?
2. What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking?
3. What would you like to accomplish while you are in office.
4. How do you define “fiscal responsibility”?
5. What will you do to promote transparency to the citizens when you are in office?

Stay tuned for answers from the candidates that return the forms.

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ISTEP Exams Could Feel Like a Marathon for Students

There is a new concern over Indiana’s highly debated and much maligned ISTEP exams. This year’s new test will take students more than twice as long to complete. Shocked educators fear ISTEP will be an endurance test, with smart students failing because of fatigue.

At Beech Grove’s Central Elementary School, Lisa LaFavers is confident her third graders will pass their ISTEP exams, if they don’t pass out from exhaustion.

“They know the content,” she said. “I am confident they know the skills, but the endurance?”

It is a big question. Kids with attention spans of 10 minutes will endure a battery of tests lasting 12 1/2 hours – more than twice as long as last year. The exams are broken into several tests spread over days and weeks. Even so, LaFavers is worried. Are their brains going to be mush?

“By the end of the day, I think they will be mush, yes,” she answered.

Indiana’s Department of Education says the federal government requires that students are tested on the state’s new, more rigorous education standards. The new ISTEP exams require students to do more reading, more writing, more thinking. That adds up to more time.

At 12 1/2 hours, third graders have the longest testing time. The other grades average about an hour less. When Beech Grove City Schools Assistant Superintendent Laura Hammack saw the new testing times, she cringed.

“I don’t want sound dramatic, but it was a shock. We were so, so surprised,” she said.

Hammack is concerned with the possibility of falling test scores, as well as the logistics of administrating the longer exams.

The computer lab at Center Elementary, the principal says, will have to be used every minute of every testing day. Lost teaching time is another issue. ISTEP exams will cut in to as many as 12 school days.

“When we are taking extra hours away from the opportunity for teaching to deliver instruction to the boys and girls, the kids are missing out,” she explained.

None of it seemed to make much sense to parent Jaimie Sunderland. She’s worried about her third grader.

“I am. She will just lose focus and I don’t think she will do as she would normally do,” she said.

ISTEP testing begins in March. Teachers, students and parents will be working longer this year. More testing days means more days and nights of getting students to bed early, well-fed in the morning and into school.

Instead of running a mini, many believe this year’s ISTEP will have everyone running a full marathon.

http://www.wthr.com/story/28005526/istep-exams-could-feel-like-a-marathon-for-students

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Constitutional Patriots Meeting January 20th

Constitutional Patriots Meeting
Tuesday, January 20th, 7pm
1242 W. 136th Street, Carmel, Indiana

Join us for our first meeting of 2015 as we discuss the financial situation in Carmel with an emphasis on the 4CDC. Even though we will be discussing Carmel finances, this is happening in other towns and cities in Indiana so it affects all of us. We will have a panel who will comment on the report that was submitted to the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) last year. There will also be a time for questions and answers.

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Hoosier Action Alert

HOOSIER ACTION ALERT
COMMON CORE – THE BATTLE CONTINUES

While many are aware that Indiana’s “new” standards are a Common Core rebrand, some may be in the dark. Common Core lives through the newly adopted Indiana Core Standards. Our rebranded standards were approved by the Governor’s office and voted on and passed by the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education.

Tuesday, November 18th is organization day at the State House. This is a perfect day to call our elected officials to let them know that opposition to Common Core in Indiana remains strong! The calls we made on PARCC made a difference. They did hear us, so we need to continue to let them know we’re watching.

Please take the time to make three phone calls – one to your State Representative, one to your State Senator, and one to Governor Pence.

Politely tell them that Hoosier children across the state continue to be shackled to the Common Core, despite the passage of the repeal bill last session. Let them know that it is THEIR job to do what is necessary to make good on the pledge that Indiana would have internationally benchmarked standards, among the highest in the nation, as we did prior to the adoption of Common Core.

Also please let them know that it is time for Indiana to truly reclaim its sovereignty over K-12 education, by kicking the federal No Child Left Behind Waiver to the curb. Until Indiana frees itself from the NCLB waiver, it will be the federal government who remains in control of education policy, rather than elected officials at the state level.

Please follow up with letters and emails. DON’T STOP. Keep the contacts going and ask your friends to do the same.

Governor Pence – (317)232-4567

IN House of Reps. – (317)232-9400

IN Senate – (317)232-9600

Thanks!!!!

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100% of newly elected GOP Senators campaigned on repealing Obamacare

CNSNews.com

Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) all ran on a platform of repealing Obamacare.

Gardner touted patient-centered care and a full repeal and replacement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.

“Small businesses and the American people cannot afford President Obama’s countless new regulations and tax increases. There is a right way and a wrong to improve our country’s healthcare system, and the President’s healthcare law just isn’t working. We need patient-centered care and lower costs. It is not too late to start over with a full repeal and replacement of the President’s healthcare law,” Gardner said in a statement.

Daines echoed those statements, also calling to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Every American wants healthcare at a reasonable cost. No American wants a complicated plan full of false promises, special political favors, and costs we cannot afford. We should repeal Obamacare and implement an affordable health care system that actually improves the quality of health care,” he said.

Senate Georgia Perdue
Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue (AP Photo/David Gold)

Perdue noted on his campaign page that he was one of the millions who had their personal health care policy cancelled and would support free market solutions to replace Obamacare.
“Obamacare is an overreaching federal program that will actually reduce the quality of health care and increase costs. I am one of the millions of Americans that had my personal policy cancelled after being told I could keep it. To make matters worse, Obamacare is discouraging full-time job creation. The consequences of politicians passing a massive bill without reading it continue to emerge. We need to repeal Obamacare and replace it with more affordable free market solutions,” Perdue said on his campaign page.

Cotton signed the Club for Growth’s “Repeal-It!” pledge which states, “I hereby pledge to the people of my district/state upon my election to the U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Senate to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”

Ernst and Tillis have said they would repeal Obamacare.

Senate Iowa Ernst
Republican Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to veterans at a restaurant Monday, July 28, 2014, in Urbandale, Iowa.

“Joni is staunchly opposed to the Obamacare law. Joni supports immediate action to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats,” Ernst said on her campaign page.
“As North Carolina’s U.S. Senator, Tillis will push for repeal of Obamacare, a balanced budget, and conservative economic policy,” Tillis’ campaign page stated.

Lankford, a former congressman, has previously vowed to repeal Obamacare.

“I vowed to repeal this vastly unpopular law and today I joined more than 240 members of the House of Representatives to honor that commitment,” Lankford said. “Americans were rightly outraged by its passage and have continued to resist the job-destroying, government takeover of health care. Those voices have not been ignored and the pledge to make government smaller and less intrusive is well underway.”

Rounds campaigned on a platform of repealing Obamacare saying, “Republicans don’t have the votes right now to repeal Obamacare. We must take over control of the Senate which will require Republicans to pick up six seats this cycle. That is why this U.S. Senate race is so important. Please join me in the fight to repeal Obamacare. Our families deserve better.”

South Dakota Primary Rounds
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and candidate for U.S. Senate visits with supporters at his campaign headquarters in downtown Pierre, S.D., on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. He said the party is to thank supporters but not to celebrate victory, because there’s still work to be done.

Former congresswoman Capito voted for a full repeal of Obamacare, highlighting the massive tax increases that the law would impose on Americans.
“Americans of all ages and income brackets, and businesses across the country are learning the disturbing truth about the partisan legislation that was rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote. With the law’s full implementation looming, Americans are bracing for massive tax increases and daunting uncertainty. As health care costs soar, families’ access to care is limited and businesses contemplate closing their doors, it is time to fully repeal Obamacare,” Capito said.

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska also stated that part of his health care agenda would be to “lower costs and increase access to healthcare” with repealing Obamacare as the first bullet point to achieve that goal.

In Alaska and Louisiana where the Senate races have not been called yet, both GOP candidates have expressed that they would fight for a repeal of Obamacare.

Candidate Dan Sullivan of Alaska has said he would repeal and replace Obamacare as his campaign page reads, “As Alaska’s Attorney General, Dan sued to stop Obamacare. He will continue that fight as your U.S. Senator. It is time to repeal and replace Obamacare and empower Alaskans to make their own healthcare decisions not the federal government.

Louisiana’s Senate GOP candidate, Bill Cassidy, has also voiced support for the repeal of Obamacare, listing 10 reasons why it should be replaced. As a practicing physician, Cassidy has said that the ACA would drive up costs, endangers access to care, destroys jobs and increases taxes just to name a few.

“By definition, a law that creates over 150 boards, bureaucracies, and commissions does not empower patients. Repealing this law is the first step to enacting real health care reform that lowers costs and expands access to quality health care for all Americans,” Cassidy said.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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HOOSIER FREEDOM SERIES

WHAT DOES THE AMERICAN DREAM MEAN TO YOU?

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
7:00PM
DELAWARE TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER
9094 EAST 131ST STREET
FISHERS, INDIANA

For many Hoosier men and women, the American Dream means being able to turn passion into a profit. But the path to success isn’t always easy. Join us for a discussion with three entrepreneurs who have experienced firsthand the sacrifices and rewards of starting and maintaining a small business in central Indiana.

REGISTER TODAY!!
www.HoosierFreedomSeries.com

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 23

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Common Core’s Growing Unpopularity

Phyllis Schlafly | Aug 12, 2014

The highly acclaimed school standards called Common Core are becoming so unpopular that they may soon be politically untouchable. The critics are piling on from Glenn Beck to the Wall Street Journal, with senior academics and activist parents in-between.

The latest is a detailed criticism of the mathematics standards by a prize-winning math professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Marina Ratner. It is refreshing that her criticisms are very specific and include examples of assignments that parents can see are ridiculous.

Professor Ratner became alerted to the stupidity of Common Core by looking at the homework assigned to her grandson in 6th grade Berkeley middle school. Fractions are taught by having the kids draw pictures of everything, such as 6 divided by 8, and 4 divided by 2/7, and also by creating fictional stories for such things as 2/3 divided by 3/4. A student who gives the correct answer right away and doesn’t draw a picture or make up a story loses points.

Ms. Ratner concluded that Common Core is making simple math concepts “artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper, while the actual content taught was primitive.” The bottom line is that Common Core is inferior to the current good California standards, and the $15.8 billion spent nationally to develop and adopt Common Core was a gigantic waste.

College ready? That’s another deceit. Math experts are saying that Common Core standards are not preparing students for colleges to which most parents aspire to send their children.

The Common Core History Standards have just become available. Real scholars say they are a “stealthy” plan to teach kids a leftwing curriculum.

Scholar Stanley Kurtz says that the new plan for teaching American History is spelled out in the SAT college entrance and Advanced Placement exams. They pitch out “traditional emphasis on America’s founders and the principles of constitutional government” in favor of a leftist “emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity.”

According to Kurtz, “James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and the other founders are largely left out of the new test unless they are “presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.” The text of the new AP U.S. History exam has been closely guarded, revealed only to a few certified AP U.S. History teachers who are sworn to secrecy.

Parents who are attentive to their children’s studies and homework have been up in arms against Common Core for many months. Now Common Core has become such a big issue that it’s beginning to bring the politicians into line with what the public is demanding.

Indiana was the first state to show the political power of the anti-Common Core movement. The activist moms defeated a superintendent of education and several legislators on this issue.

Oklahoma made the biggest splash when the state legislature voted to repeal the state’s earlier endorsement of Common Core. The governor signed the repeal, but the unelected state board of education impudently filed suit to nullify the repeal, and then the Oklahoma state Supreme Court wisely upheld the elected legislature’s repeal.

South Carolina’s governor signed a bill repealing that state’s commitment to Common Core. North Carolina’s governor signed a more modest bill authorizing the state school board to tweak the standards.

The state of Texas, under Gov. Rick Perry, was smart enough to be one of the five states that never signed on to Common Core in the first place. But now the pressure is on to force Texas to use the new AP U.S. history exam anyway, and Texans claim that is illegal under state law.

Louisiana was one of the original 45 states that endorsed Common Core before the standards were even written. But one day Gov. Bobby Jindal actually read his son’s Common Core math homework, was shocked, and then issued an executive order to block its implementation in Louisiana.

Two more governors have just seen the light and turned against Common Core. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced that he wants the state legislature to repeal the standards when it reconvenes in January, and Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah ordered his attorney general to conduct a review of the controversial standards.

Hoping to line up the support of teachers, the Gates Foundation education chief is now urging states to wait two years before using Common Core tests to make decisions about teacher performance.

Like many do-gooders, Bill Gates is obsessed with the problem of inequality. However, Common Core’s way of trying to overcome inequality is by dumbing down all U.S. students and pretending, like the Lake Wobegon kids, that all children are above average.

Reacting to the growing opposition to Common Core, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest money bag for Common Core, is now urging states to have a two-year moratorium on all states and school districts about to make any high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned to the new standards.

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