I Rest My Case

Okay-I probably won’t really “rest my case” so long as Indiana lawmakers continue to prove my point–but I thought I’d give readers a smattering of information about the government produced by Indiana’s gerrymandering. 

First up: we’ve recently learned that Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas will offer an amendment to the state budget bill–and it’s a doozy. Lucas wants to provide a $2000 tax credit for any Hoosier citizen who purchases an automatic or semi-automatic gun in the next two years.

You read that right. At a time when the proliferation of weapons more suited to war is facilitating daily mass shootings, Lucas wants to encourage people to add to their arsenals. 

Our daughter occasionally looks at Lucas’ Facebook page, and reports that it’s a fetid swamp of racism, anti-Semitism, pro-Trump conspiracies and–of course–“Second Amendment” devotion. Lucas was quoted defending his proposal by saying

“I am very concerned about the safety of our Hoosier families during this next national election period”, said Rep Lucas. “In a circular logic that makes perfect sense to me, our system of elections is breaking down and every citizen needs to be prepared to defend themself from the angry, armed mobs I anticipate we will see”, Rep Lucas said.

Indiana doesn’t keep all of its wacko extremists in the General Assembly; we send more than our share of theocrats and culture warriors to Washington. I’ve mentioned Jim Banks before; currently representing Hoosiers in the House, Banks now intends to run for the Senate seat being vacated by yet another culture warrior, Mike Braun, who wants to be Governor. 

Banks recently emphasized his anti-choice credentials in a radio interview.

Hoosier congressman seeking to represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate is expressing support for reducing abortion options in other states.

During an interview on Fort Wayne’s WOWO-AM radio, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, responded favorably Thursday to a suggestion by host Pat Miller that more needs to be done to restrict abortion in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24, 2022, Dobbs decision repealing the right to abortion established in 1973 by Roe v. Wade.

“Our work as a pro-life movement is far from over,” Miller said. “If a young lady can hop in a car in Fort Wayne and in an hour and a half she can be in a place in Michigan, or in just under three hours she can cross the line into Illinois, and achieve what she was (un)able to do with abortion clinics here in Indiana, the fight is far from over.”

Banks subsequently denied that he wants to impose travel restrictions on Indiana citizens (someone who had actually read the Constitution evidently pointed out that such a restriction would likely be struck down), but re-affirmed his support for a national ban modeled on the one passed by Indiana’s legislature, currently embroiled in a challenge pending  before Indiana’s Supreme Court.

Banks has been busy in the House of Representatives.  According to State Affairs,  Banks recently formed the “anti-woke” caucus.

Earlier this month, he formed the “anti-woke caucus,” explaining at the Claremont Institute, “This utterly un-American doctrine would be comical were it not so powerful and it is powerful because it is enforced not only by every major national institution. It is promoted and funded by the federal government itself.”

Shades of Ron DeSantis…

Then of course, there’s the ongoing saga of Todd Rokita, Indiana’s current Attorney General, who is positively frantic to prove that no one can outdo him when it comes to pandering to the deplorables. I’ve previously posted about Rokita’s tenuous connection to ethics, conclusions that have recently been corroborated by a court decision confirming that his constant PR efforts violate Indiana law.

Rokita has been in the news most recently for his vendetta against the Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on the ten-year-old rape victim from Ohio.  He also made news by defending Kanye West,after West’s anti-Semitic comments hit the news, tweeting

“The constant hypocrisy from the media is at an all-time high. They have now gone after Kanye for his new fashion line, his independent thinking, & for having opposing thoughts from the norm of Hollywood.”

I could probably devote several other posts to Rokita, but he is so widely despised (even by members of his own party) that it hardly seems worth the trouble.

I don’t for a minute think these extremists represent the average Hoosier, but thanks to the GOP’s chokehold on Indiana elections, they’re what we get.

I’ll just end with a great quote from comic Jim Gaffigan.  

“I’m from Indiana… In Indiana it’s not like New York where everyone’s like, ‘We’re from New York and we’re the best’ or ‘We’re from Texas and we like things big’ it’s more like ‘We’re from Indiana and we’re gonna move.’”  


  1. My hubby and I joke after reading or seeing something like this:

    “Have you no shame/decency?”

  2. “Indiana doesn’t keep all of its wacko extremists in the General Assembly; we send more than our share of theocrats and culture warriors to Washington.”

    Maybe these words coming from Sheila will be heard; no one seems to have heard my repeated plea for people to vote in all elections because those at the top didn’t start at the top; they came from local and state elections. A few years ago, someone from southern Indiana who reads this blog thanked me for letting him know there was a Primary Election in a few days, he had been totally unaware of it. So had I till a Democratic nominee wannabe E-mailed me for a donation. The Presidential Election years draw the attention; this inaction to slow or halt the action of such as are in control at the top today, got to the top due to local and state elections being ignored. Of course our own extremists do NOT represent the average Hoosier or the majority of Hoosiers but…they work behind and show up at all elections.

    People of my generation will soon be gone; those few I have contact with who have decided not to vote or won’t part with their money to support or post yard signs during elections are usually the whiners who complain the loudest about our condition today and their vote being meaningless. And they are NOT Republicans. I am waiting to hear which Democrats in this city and state will oppose such as Lucas, Banks and Rokita or bring forward and support viable candidates to oust them locally before they can get to the top. I saved my Joe Hogsett for Mayor yard sign and will put it out soon; I had my Andre Carson sign out last October, the only yard sign in my small neighborhood. The only positive sign was the lack of Trump yard signs; one across the street from me was posted for a few days then taken down, but no Democratic yard signs either. On one of our few decent weather days in December I went for a walk; found a former neighbor friend raking leaves and tried to carry on a conversation with her but she kept turning away. Her face was screwed in a distasteful attitude as if I smelled bad; I later realized I was wearing my President Obama ball cap. She used to be a friend; we shared friend connections, laughter and tears and complaints about street conditions, etc., but never passed a word about politics or politicians between us. She thinks she is still paying me back for voting for the colored guy 15 years ago; this is the basis of what we are paying for today. And I would vote for him again in a heartbeat!

  3. I wonder how many people will realize that the crowds that Banks anticipates will be the right-wing whackos who vote for him, who will be after “normal” people who do not. Will he be happy if they defend themselves against the angry mobs out to take part in another insurrection?

  4. Terry Franzman–The Liberty Fund was founded by Pierre Goodrich, and has always been philosophically libertarian. I haven’t followed it the past few years, so I don’t know whether–like so much of the Right–it has become more radical or strident.

  5. Terry, based on the Wikipedia page you shared, at one glance, I would call them Friedmanites. They would be aligned with the Libertarians like the Koch network. They are economically “radical” and have alliances with multiple voting blocs.

    As Koch learned, Libertarians do not have the votes to gain power. However, if they make alliances with other special interests (like Christian fundamentalists), they can gain enough power to overthrow the GOP and ensure politicians subscribe to their economic philosophy.

    The Koch network supplies the money to elect their candidates based on targeted demographics so these “politicians” can do their schtick and not worry about money. These sellouts are looking for the money once in office or preferably before.

    This, IMHO, is why the GOP looks like it’s “gone bonkers.” They are appealing to their voting blocs or special interests. I think it reflects their base exceptionally well. We must go beyond the cartoon show and peer through the closed doors of ALEC and dark money to see the real goal behind the funders.

    Why do you think the GOP wants to eliminate the IRS?

    Their dark money interests don’t want to be investigated. All the speeches and media rants are cartoon shows. As Banks proved, he tries to appeal to his whacky base of voters to gain power for his donor network. When you don’t have to worry about money, you DO NOT have to “measure your words.”

    The two ?’s are who funds these people and what voters they are targeting. This is why it looks like GOP voters are casting ballots against their best interests. All the politicians are sellouts, including Democrats.

  6. Right on, Paschal!

    They all seem to have missed the point of last year, or maybe they think they have everything locked up so tightly, they needn’t worry about the electorate. Sadly, they might be right.

  7. Thanks for sharing Jim Gaffigan’s quote – I’ll make good use of that.

    Regarding ethics:
    The US supreme court refuses to abide by any sort of ethics at all and members of Congress, state attorney generals and state legislatures ensure that there are absolutely no teeth available to enforce the small amount of ethics they are supposed to follow.

    There are probably third world countries with leaders who have higher ethical standards than those of the above-mentioned categories, and it wouldn’t take much at all to be judged as more ethical.

  8. JoAnn, Indiana continues to find fewer and fewer Democrat candidates to run for office because they have to work extremely hard and spend massive amounts of time and money while the R candidates can basically sit back and do nothing because they know they will win the contests that are locked up by gerrymandering. The same holds true for local candidates in rural areas.

    Look at last year’s winner for Secretary of State – Diego Morales easily won, even though he is a liar, had been fired two or three times, can’t seem to hold down a job, claimed to be a veteran, but was in the National Guard for only 6 months with no explanation about the short time, sounds very unintelligent when he talks, and on and on. Destiny Wells was, by far, a much better candidate. There really was no comparison between the two.

    The bottom line is why put yourself through all the trouble to run for office when you already know there is no possibility of winning? Indiana voters have proven over and over that they will put Satan in office before they would consider an intelligent and ethical Democrat. Look at the tough choice the Rs had for attorney general candidates at their convention when choosing between Rokita or Hill. They didn’t like either one of them, but made a choice and then the voters put Rokita in office. Democrat Weinzapfel was ethical and extremely qualified, but didn’t have a chance in the election.

    The right wing media has been a God-send to republican candidates.

  9. Indiana is fun, but haven’t you folks been following our NC Lt. Governor, likely to be governor in 2024? How about a contest of most scary states (hmmm, too early for Halloween ’23)? I nominate FL for 1st, TX for 2nd…then it’s tough…

    The “Stupid/Stupor” Bowl?

  10. “…Rokita…is so widely despised (even by members of his own party)”—then how in ever-loving hell did that worm get nominated, much less elected? (Apologies to invertebrates everywhere.”

  11. Gerrymandering results in our utterly ridiculous legislature (and US Reps), but not in statewide races or races held within traditional boundaries like counties. The reality is that Indiana is just too uneducated and stupid to climb out of its bottom-feeder existence. The brain drain insures that the smart families leave, and the right wing gang in charge isn’t about to improve the situation. In fact, they are currently doing everything within their power to further destroy education.

    Horses, water, thirsty forever… whatever.

  12. First up, I’ve read HB1347 and it is encouraging people to take firearms training and to purchase firearms storage. Or are you talking about HB1348, which allows law enforcement agencies to trade confescated weapons for new equipment for their debts? Or are you talking about HB1117, second amendment protections? Or are you talking about HB1227 School distribution of firearms safety? Or are you talking about HB1614 Repeal of involuntary firearms removal. Or are talking about HB1619 lawful carry by legislators and staff? Which is the doozy? Also, please state where the reference to Banks wanting to give a $2000 Tax Credit to purchase guns. I haven’t been able to locate a reference.

  13. How likely is it that Lucas’s propose welfare-for-gun-owners amendment will be passed into law?

    In practice, I expect such a tax credit would work a lot like the 2008-era first-time-homebuyers-credit. That is, the sellers will immediately pump up the selling price to ensure that most of the money goes directly to them.

  14. we have crowd funding, instant crowd source,crowd control, flash mobs,(music vids) .. and other crowd making issues. how about a full monte of internet and phone crashes of your issuee.
    seems indiana isnt much diffrent from any red state supremacy. maybe a little org,may send some insight,hey,just because we refuse to vote for ya,doesnt mean i dont count.. since georgia has now decided its broad and vauge terroists on the books state law, is to be used as a deterant to public marches,(peaceful) maybe its time to slam em where they work,and were they work from. a constant barrage of useful insight to their thinking may also be the subject matter. pass it on to the local indy news and see what happens. P.S. as a trucker who unfortunatly has to pass thru your fair burg, would you mind much for a complete bypass of your congested,behind the times highway updates.. my stress level would be reduced.

    note, take heart, seems Sir Rodney Stewart has spoken, maybe its time for the radio waves to again pass on how the people feel. like the anti war vietnam era, it worked, at least it kept those who actully relise there is another person next to you,who feels the same way.

  15. So what are these AR15 radicals afraid of?… People hitting them over the head with cardboard signs? Libs who are coming after them reading poetry? Radical writers like Maya Angelou? Or communists like Rod McCuen? How about Emily Dickinson? Sure she’s dead but her super-lib poetry lives on. What does Cumbauya really mean? Oh, the Humanty!

  16. “First up: we’ve recently learned that Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas will offer an amendment to the state budget bill–and it’s a doozy. Lucas wants to provide a $2000 tax credit for any Hoosier citizen who purchases an automatic or semi-automatic gun in the next two years.” LUCAS not Banks.

    As for Banks, think about the logistics of enforcement of his travel ban proposal. Will women of childbearing years traveling to and from the state have to have proof of pregnancy documentation? Who will enforce it and how will such enforcement be funded? Will there be guards at all border crossings checking documents? Welcome to Gilead.

  17. Republicans promise that everything bad is caused by liberals, that their plan to eradicate them is to shoot them and/or defund government, and you’ll know them by their skin color and different cultures. All of that instead of governance.

  18. My husband and I were seated in a restaurant in Columbus last weekend, when lo and behold in strolls Jim Lucas. My husband quickly got the waiter to re-seat us away from Lucas (the tables were literally about 12″ apart). He knows me well. My tendency to be outspoken + my total loathing for Jim L = A quick end to a fun date night.

  19. The former Republican Party has been captured by libertarian interests (see Koch, CATO, the Heritage Foundation et al) and are, inter alia, proposing abolition of the IRS, a 30% sales tax in lieu of an income tax we have had since 1913, 10 year olds bearing children, and other such insults to public order and integrity and a fair distribution of the fruits of our economy – and all as cover in the name of the “freedom” to end any resistance to their unbridled greed.

    It’s as though citizenship is a one-way street, i.e., get everything one can without any thought whatsoever of one’s responsibility to those whose efforts make such social and economic thefts possible – the rest of us. One of the definitions of the libertarian order is that they don’t believe in government, and the current captors of the Republican Party with their “no governing” but lots of “investigating” provide the evidence of the libertarian captors’ takeover of that now defunct party (other than, of course, in re tax cuts, since libertarians don’t believe in taxes at all).

    Nobody likes to pay taxes, but I recall the statement of a philosopher whose name I don’t recall, i.e., that “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” and when I look at some of the libertarian captors and their uncivilized proposals who are pretending to be members of the now defunct Republican Party today, his message rings true to a fault. Citizenship is a two-way street without which democracy is impossible, and our democracy can be lost by our failure to demand that all citizens live up to its requirements just as a 1/6 experience can wrest it from us on the streets. So as a political proposition, let’s demand it.

  20. Nancy @ 9:58; I am 85 years old, voted in my first election in 1958, as an Independent voter for many years. I worked for Indianapolis Republican City Government from 1972 to 1994; the last 2 years, 3 months and 11 days of my employment there was a preview of the Trump administration and also seems to be when Democrats began fading into the background. In my many years of looking for political yard signs there has always been a vast majority of Republican signs with very few Democratic support for candidates. It gets back to the voters; Democrats do put little effort into political campaigns, why would they want to work hard and spend money for people who do not work for or with them?

    The past two years I have been receiving more Democratic mailings seeking support and with information regarding what they want to do for Indiana and asking my views and needs. I have responded to them and maintained my memberships in InDems, DNC, DCCC and DSCC annually for a number of years. Early last year I stopped all memberships in national organizations and support groups for the needy which I have supported for years so I could use what money I could for Democratic candidates in Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona and Texas. Not that anyone cares what one old Indiana voter does regarding politics; there are few left on this blog who repeatedly complained and ridiculed us, that we did nothing or what we did do was wrong. Recently Sheila seems to be gaining readers and commenters here; maybe…maybe this means there is a turnaround in voter interest. Or maybe not, to quote Stephen King; “All we can do is all we can do. If it is not enough it will have to be enough.”

  21. JoAnn,

    Don’t “spray and pray” all DEMS (especially with $). Read their websites, posts, ask them about key issues via email. If they won’t engage, why focus on them? You are their “customer”.

  22. Lester; after 22 years working in, for and with Indianapolis Republican City Government I certainly know better than to “spray and pray” all Dems. You can’t possible work in either party administration without being aware of the opposition. I read Democratic websites, posts, respond to surveys and petitions, I E-mail them and ask questions and voice my opinion. I AM doing all that I can do and I pay attention to what the Republicans are up to on line, in E-mails, on on social media, MSNBC, CNN, local NBC news and I also go to Fox News for what and if they are reporting on primary issues. I am not their customer and am certainly not anybody’s fool.

  23. JoAnn – sorry I wasn’t clearer. I simply meant “pick and choose” the best DEMs rather than go with all of them. Apologies.

  24. I am so glad I moved and no longer have to listen to the daily rants of the uneducated Repugs spewing their hate. I liked in Owensboro KY so I saw plenty of Braun’s advertising when he first ran for the Senate. What a POS and not that’s not a slanderous description, it’s fact based.

  25. Lester; no apology needed, I just disagree with you regarding your “spray and pray” comment. Example; I have a Democratic City Councillor (there are other party members of the same ilk) who does not respond to problem issues in low to middle-income areas he is responsible for. Come election day and he is the nominee, do I vote for him again, vote for a Republican or not vote at all? We are in a democracy life-and-death numbers game and Republicans are ahead in this cover-all Bingo game. George Santos is an excellent example on the Republican side.

  26. JoAnn…..if you vote for a Radical, you only enable and encourage the pack. Personally I would vote for the Dem or better yet an Independent as a protest vote (but not if it would ensure a Radical win). Not voting has never been my thing.

  27. The Liberty Foundation isn’t Libertarian. It appears the Radicals have subverted it for their own purposes. I would caution dismissing the below quote simply because it came from Wikipedia.

    In his book The Assault on Reason, Al Gore wrote that between 2002 and 2004, 97% of the attendees at Liberty Fund training seminars for judges were Republican administration appointees. Gore suggests that such conferences and seminars are one of the reasons that judges who regularly attend such conferences “are generally responsible for writing the most radical pro-corporate, anti-environmental, and activist decisions”. Referring to what he calls the “Big Three”—the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center, and the Liberty Fund—Gore adds, “These groups are not providing unbiased judicial education. They are giving multi-thousand-dollar vacations to federal judges to promote their radical right-wing agenda at the expense of the public interest.

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