Thursday, April 9, 2015

Help Take a DENT Out of Local Corruption


Candidate complaints call for withdrawals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Election Board is reviewing new complaints filed against 27 candidates in the Fort Wayne municipal primary. Gina Burgess, who is also running for city council at-large on the Democratic ticket, filed the 40 allegations on Tuesday.
“Most of these mistakes are things people have taken for granted, but there’s actual legal statute out there [that dictates it],” Burgess said. “Minor things or not, they’re still legally required things.”
Burgess’s complaints include saying candidates didn’t use their correct name on filing forms, didn’t appropriately show they are in good standing with their political party and didn’t disclose all their economic interests. In her complaint, she said “evidence would be presented at a hearing on the matter” and she requested that “candidates listed be compelled to produce documents either [to] confirm or refute the allegations.”
“People are not reporting their business interests, not reporting their spouse’s employment and not reporting their spouse’s business interests,” Burgess said. “The standard is what [the name is] on your birth certificate is what you have to have on your CAN-42 form. When I started looking at the seriousness of the mistakes by the incumbents, I thought, ‘Wow! Something needs to be done here. We’re getting further and further down a slippery slope.'”
Burgess is asking for the Election Board to hold a hearing and for candidates in violation to withdraw from the race, or face a potential perjury charge, which is a Class D Felony.
“This is about principle and procedures and I think things will change for the better in the future, but that change has to start somewhere,” Burgess said. “Politically, this will be painful for me because I made people mad on both sides of the aisle. I did this non-partisan.”
Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics and a former Election Board member said it’s too late for candidates to be taken off the ballot, even if they wanted to be.
“Early voting has started. The ballot has been mailed out, in some cases,” he said. “It is not possible to get names off the ballot. There’s also a deadline by which these complaints have to be filed and those deadlines passed a long time ago.”
Downs also said some of the alleged violations don’t actually break the law.
“If she would have read the next section, she would have seen that nicknames are perfectly acceptable to have on the ballot. You have to look at the rest of the Code and you can’t read it in isolation,” Downs said.
Indiana Code states that questions concerning the validity of a candidate have to be filed 81 days before the primary election, which would have been February 13.
But, Burgess said the Allen County Election Board mishandled complaints filed within that deadline by Democratic mayoral candidate David Roach. The board held a hearing on February 18 in which it did take one candidate off the ballot and dismissed the rest of the complaints. Roach is now appealing in court. On Facebook, Burgess wrote to the board, “if you are willing to engage and settle the matter of Roach v ACEB before the primary” then she would drop her complaints against the 27 candidates.
“I’m willing to withdraw them even though they are valid because I believe the Election Board will be more vigilant in the future, but this other case needs to stop being in legal limbo and needs to move on,” Burgess said.
Downs was at the hearing for Roach’s complaints and said he thinks the board did take them seriously.
“[Roach] did himself some damage by saying he looked for evidence and couldn’t find any, but you should keep looking. I can make that same claim about anybody, and that’s not a credible reason to investigate,” Downs said.
Burgess argues that the Election Board is picking and choosing when to investigate complaints or not and that its members need to be consistent. Downs said that there has to be a credible reason for the board to launch an investigation beyond the documents that are filed with the board.
“Someone saying I don’t think you’ve listed all your economic interests is not a credible reason. I can say that about anybody. There has to be a reason to investigate and simply saying there is one is not one,” Downs said.
Tom Hardin, a member of the Election Board, said they received Burgess’s complaints and he and his fellow members are reviewing them. He didn’t know when or if a hearing would be held. The board’s next regular meeting is April 15.
The primary election is May 5.

  • Another democratic pawn trying to clean the slate so that she can feel some sense of accomplishment. If only she had the intelligence to come up with a better plan.

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        Wait, she's complaining about people not following the rules... but yet she herself isn't following the rule by turning in the complaint late.... not voting for her, she seems a little crazy if you ask me.

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            Well we know not to vote for her psychotic stalker self. What a creep.
            Her crooked Democratic self is trying to be Obama's IRS and Justice Department all in one! Targeting her opponents like a certain community organizer does. Hmmmmmmm.
            It's the progressive/socialist way.
            Sad. Very very sad.

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                If your going to file a complaint then do it before the deadline and send it certified mail. Then neither side can fool around in this monkey business. I agree with Downs.

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                    Gina Burgess needs to get a hobby and leave politics to the grownups.

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                        Wow, a democrat that seems to be concerned about fair elections. Hey, was that a pig that just flew by?!


                        FROM THE INBOX— Lots of stuff from the inbox, many praises and many criticisms. And some confusion. So let me address what I can here.
                        CONFUSION OVER LATE FILING: Some folks are wanting to criticize my allegedly not following the rules due to the lateness in which I’ve turned in my Complaint. Its understandable how there would be confusion. First, if you are seeking to remove a candidate from the ballot, you had until February 9th to do so. Or 3 days after the filing deadline. Folks—when you have so many candidates from both sides that have to be reviewed, there is no logistical way to adequately review some 50+ candidates. I think the total number of candidates this year was actually over 100, but I don’t know that for sure. With this many candidates, no one---not even the newspapers with their paid staff—could have reviewed everyone in a timely manner. Besides, a complaint can be filed anytime. A candidate challenge, however, can only be filed up to a certain date and time. Second, I am not seeking to remove a single candidate from the ballot. If a candidate finds himself or herself in a position where he or she has committed perjury, I have asked the election board to be lenient and permit these folks to voluntarily withdraw from the ballot—if state law allows such withdrawal. Third, I am asking for those withdrawals before May 1st because most people will vote on May 5th and I am trying to minimize voter disenfranchisement. If this matter gets resolved after the Primary, whoever is out as a matter of law will be replaced by a party caucus. That’s not what elections are supposed to be about. This is also why I am willing to withdraw my complaint if the ACEB agrees to move forward with the appeal of Mr. Roach.
                        LEGAL NAMES AND BIRTH CERTIFICATES: Many of you believe that using your legal name is a bit of a nuance. But please understand that candidate filing forms are legal documents, signed under oath. Like any legal document, it requires your legal name. You wouldn’t go to a lender and take out a loan in your nickname. It’s the same principle. I agree that the name issue seems like small potatoes, but then again---it’s a pretty easy thing to remedy. How? Simply show us your birth certificates.
                        STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTEREST: Andy Downs is correct when he says that “Someone saying I don’t think you’ve listed all your economic interests is not a credible reason….” That is why I am more than willing to present evidence at a hearing. All the ACEB needs to do is set one up. Some of you are asking why I am not disclosing this information now. The reason is that I am trying to give the candidates involved in this mess as much of an out as possible. Remember, my goal is not to hurt the candidate. Also, again, we have a situation that is pretty easy to remedy--provide your 1040 forms and supporting documents so that a compare and contrast can be done with the Statements of Economic Interests. That won't account for everything--like board appointments, but it will account for a majority of things.
                        WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? THE GOAL? The ultimate goal is to improve and restore integrity to the electoral process as well as to increase accountability where candidates and elected officials are concerned. If you noticed, all the incumbents---including both top Mayoral candidates---failed to disclose one or more economic interests. Its one thing not to disclose your legal name, but it’s a bigger issue when you are not disclosing where your financial ties are. Also, from a procedural perspective, the ACEB erred when it began this thing of picking and choosing when to investigate complaints or not and that it needs to be consistent.
                        DO I HAVE AN AX TO GRIND WITH THE ACEB? Absolutely not. Matter of fact, I have a high degree of respect for the ACEB. The rank-and-file members are hard working, underappreciated, and some of the nicest people around. The ACEB board has come a long way in the past four years in that they are more vigilante of open door laws, making sure hearings occur under oath, explaining procedures during hearings, and avoiding having elected members sit in proxy of regular board members. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for improvement and regrettably the February 18th hearing revealed that improvements are still needed.
                        DO I HAVE AN "AX TO GRIND" WITH LOCAL DEMOCRATS? No. Actually, it was painful to have to list certain people. From incumbent Geoff Paddock—who I have the utmost respect for---to newcomer Michelle Chambers, who shares several of the same views that I do. If anything, I think this presents an educational opportunity for Allen County Democrats as a dozen of its newcomers made a series of mistakes, many of which are minor. Maybe the Party needs to include this as part of their candidate training curriculum?? It’s really unfortunate because many new candidates got involved to make a difference.
                        DO I HAVE AN "AX TO GRIND" WITH LOCAL REPUBLICANS? No. Matter of fact, part of my action was inspired by Republican Tom Smith---whom, I generally disagree with. Because he was so forthcoming in most areas, I was really surprised by the areas that he didn’t disclose on his Statement of Economic Interests. Also, I think this presents the same educational opportunity for the GOP that it does for the Democrats.
                        YOU ARE THE ONLY DEMOCRAT CONCERNED WITH FAIR ELECTIONS, WHY AREN’T YOU A REPUBLICAN? There are several of you asking this question and I don’t think that is a fair question. I am not the only Democrat concerned with Fair Elections. There are many Democrats concerned with fair elections. I am probably one of the more outspoken Democrats on the matter. But definitely not the only Democrat concerned with fair elections, rule-abiding candidates, etc.
                        ARE YOU GETTING HATE MAIL AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT THAT? I wish I could say that I wasn't getting hate mail, but you are always going to have some of that. There is no way that everyone is going to agree with everything all the time. I'm doing what I always do about hate mail--ignore it. Really, what else can I do??
                        Unlike · Comment · 
                        • You and Phyllis Strahm like this.
                        • Audrey Miller-Queckboerner There's no reason to have campaign finance laws if they aren't going to be upheld.
                          4 hrs · Like
                        • David Christopher Roach or city code legally requiring FWPD over age 60- to mandatory retirement - which hasnt been upheld for 20 years- ( PSD York's statement at city council meeting- 4-7-2015?
                          the cops take an oath to uphold and enforce the laws on the books as written until changed.. ALL laws..
                          I had Tim Pape make some snide remarks to me on a 21AliveTV "political radar"- 2 two! times about the "rule of law"- so- HE was a councilman in the time period in question- not a PEEP! nor from the others- its a perfect election year hot potato- oh- you want cops out at 60- your e against public safety- etc- 
                          how much is this little change in city code going to cost us in terms of public safety- bunch of old geezers- keeping all the secrets- covering their behinds- what skeletons are in the FWPD locker since 1982?- plenty- 
                          the US military has strictly enforced mandatory ages. 
                          at 60 yrs old- FWPD- AND- the FWFD- for that matter- gives them time to relax; do other things for a year or 2 till their social security kicks in- AND- their police pensions..
                          MY POINT? which i stated at open mic night march 24th city council meeting- is fort wayne govt has little regard for the law- upholding it; obeying it, folowing it- and pretty mcuh does what it pleases.. - the terM "OUTLAW ROGUE REGIME " comes to mind. 
                          the county govt is little better- the jail; the courts, the ACEB- 
                          I received a letter from the ACEB attorney- saying they would not act until after may 5th, "becuase we have an election to run, and cant be bothered with your trivial complaint"- was the intent i read between the lines- then the judge who normally handles this recused himself. i requested a special judge- per court rules- and thats where everything sits- grounded like that cruise ship- stuck on a rock- inti they take their jolly time to "get around to it".
                          break a law like drinking and driving; or smoking weed; and the axe of justice is well- a lot faster..- 
                          equal justice under the law? well- evidently not..
                          All im trying to do - is raise the bar-
                          Take Mayor Henry- ( google " mayor "thomas henry"-
                          click on the wikipedia post to the right- where it says THOMAS CHARLES HENRY- written from a waynedale news interview- which the mayor writes a regular column- as do other local elected officials..
                          it says charles- not christopher- so why does the mayors ACEB candidate filing paperwork say Thomas CHRISTOPHER HENRY?
                          I have been repeatedly stonewalled by the mayors office and city attorney- carol helton- and semantic weasely word games- like google- you have to find the precise words to get precisely what you want- OR NOT.
                          what else has the mayor been lying to us about?- he lied about not knowing what the city police were doing to the homeless- " i know nothing"- 
                          how hard is it- to just show us the birth certificate- and put this annoying matter ro rest.?
                          by the way- Mayor Henry was ALSO BORN IN MARION COUNTY- INDIANAPOLIS- per his votes registration card- And we know all the information needed to obtain a copy of his birth certificate- with or without his cooperation- except the marion county rules are different than Allen county birth records information- 
                          A subpoena may work- but again- why stonewall it? be open; honest, transparent? 
                          YOU KNOW Steve Shine ; and the GOP- will open fire with this- again- the MAYORS CHARACTER DEFECTS- and the right wing birthers will have a field day with this- a tabloid circus-
                          why spend a million bucks on fielding a republican mayors campaign- when you can open with this; have the mayor fired for perjury; - a big enough felony- class D- same as a repeat drinking and driving arrest- and removed from politics forever- well- that thorn( prick?lol)- os removed..
                          much as i loathe mitch harper- well- like Harvey dent- im of 2 minds- guess ill flip my coin in november?
                          AND- any replacment the DEMS caucus in- will NOT win- rick stevenson- because face it- fort wayne is too full of bigots- to ever elect a black man as Mayor- no matter how nice he may be.. and the numbers arent there.
                          Winmoses? karl bandemer? all damaged goods- i dont know who else- geoff paddock?- doubtful - ROACH? HEHEHEHAHAHAHA HOHOHOHO- as if!! I think i cant do any worse; and how worse can things get? what if i was really good at it? but we likely will never know.
                          so- the least we can all do- is demand the ACEB "clean up GOTHAM CITY of the stench of incompetence, and corruption; raise the bar; and restore integrity to the system; right?
                          theres nothing but good that can come from that, right?
                          so- we need to all demand the ACEB; and the courts act ASAP; and do their jobs..- the business of we the people?
                          because under the "rule of law"- once you start picking and choosing what laws to enforce- it becomes a slipper slope towards arbitrary tyranny- Anarchy- chaos- ( and im an agent og chaosss- the joker to harvey dent-the hospital scene)
                          its all part of the plan- so- you either die a hero; or live long enough to see yourself become the villain..Help take a DENT out of corruption.. Gotham needs a "white knight"..

                        LET'S NOT MUDDY THE WATERS: In a WANE-TV interview, Andy Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Politics, states: “If she would have read the next section, she would have seen that nicknames are perfectly acceptable to have on the ballot. You have to look at the rest of the Code and you can’t read it in isolation."
                        Andy, Andy, Andy -- I knew your Dad and he would be shaking his head at such non-sense. You are better than that.
                        Yes, you can have a nickname on the ballot---there's even a special place on the CAN-42 form for a nickname.
                        BUT, to get your name placed on the ballot, you have to "sign up" using your legal name, signing the document with your legal name, and affirming the information on the form is true and accurate using your legal name.
                        That is why Indiana statutes spell the matter out. Otherwise, why would the applicable statute (I.C. 3-5-7-4) reads: "For purposes of PLACEMENT of a candidate's name on the ballot, a candidate's legal name is ... is considered to be the name shown on the candidate's birth certificate." (emphasis added)
                        The name used to request placement (declare candidacy) on the ballot is the legal name--which is clearly defined as the name that appears on one's birth certificate. The name actually listed on the ballot can be the candidate's choice of legal name or nick name. Ironically, this information is pretty well spelled out in the last paragraph of the CAN-42 form.
                        Again, you are better than this. Please stop "muddying the waters" and causing unnecessary confusion. People deserve to understand what is going on.

                        FindLaw provides Ind. Code § 3-5-7-4 : Indiana Code - Section 3-5-7-4: Candidate's legal name for Lawyers, Law Students, etc.
                        Like · Comment · 
                        • Gina Burgess For those wanting to see Andy Down's direct quote, please visit:

                          The Allen County Election Board is reviewing new complaints filed against 27 candidates in the Fort Wayne...
                          15 hrs · Like
                        • Douglas B Pritchett Andy Downs is a political hack of the first magnitude. Why TV stations think he's an objective expert are idiots. Another reason why I'm sick of politics and and those that make the process so disgusting.
                          10 hrs · Like · 2
                        • Elizabeth Monique my legal name is not the name on my birth certificate, are you telling me I would have to file a special form to run for office under my legal (married) name?
                          9 hrs · Like
                        • Elizabeth Monique Unless it's just legal jargon I'm not familiar with (which could very well be) I read the term "placement" here to signify the order in which names are placed (which I assume to be alphabetically?) on the ballot, not just declaratory status. Are you sure this measure wasn't initiated to stop people from using nicknames or initials in conjunction with their name to get themselves listed first on the ballot? Presumably in a time period in which it was uncommon for women to run for office due to the odd definton
                          9 hrs · Like
                        • Douglas B Pritchett Keep in mind these forms and procedures are the work of lawyers, and since 90% of our legislators are lawyers, its all by design to complicate and confuse non-lawyers (the little people) and dissuade them from running for office. Its not unlike what we saw in the deep south in the late 60s. Make the process so complicated and obtuse, that mere mortals need not apply.
                          9 hrs · Like
                        • Elizabeth Monique Douglas, I would agree except that it seems like in this particular instance the non- politicians (and non-lawyers) are the ones employing all the little nuances...
                          7 hrs · Like · 1
                        • Gina Burgess Elizabeth Monique -- There are special provisions in place in the statute I cited above specifically for married people. Please go back and read the statute included above for more details.
                          7 hrs · Like
                        • Gina Burgess Elizabeth Monique -- As I told Alyssa Ivanson Wane-tv, I'm not a particular fan of the name requirement, but there is a reason that some state legislator saw fit to make that a statute and was able to get the rest of the legislature to agree such that it became a law. Perhaps this is a law that needs to be changed. But, until that time, it is the law---a law that this non-lawyer did not create---and as such, it should be enforced. If we don't expect our elected officials to play by the rules, then how can we hold them accountable in other areas? And really, at the end of the day---this whole thing could be put to bed for several of the candidates in question if they just produce their birth certificate and be done with it.
                          6 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
                        • Dean Robinson Elizabeth Monique refers to the rules as "little nuances." Rules are rules, just like "loopholes" are rules. One would think that citizens would get tired of having to follow rules and laws while politicians and elected officials constantly get a pass. Just a little nuance, I guess.
                          6 hrs · Like · 3
                        • Dean Robinson Andy Downs is the lazy reporter's best friend.
                          6 hrs · Like · 2
                        • Joseph Townsend Andy downs helped me during the scheibenberger issue in understanding the statute. So I have generally had a very good relationship with him and he's always been accessible to me as a republican.
                          6 hrs · Like · 1
                        • Elizabeth Monique Dean Robinson- I couldn't agree more. My use of the word nuance was meant in response to Douglas's implication that the laws are made intentionally complex in order to allow politicians to use outsider's confusion as a tool to play against them. I simply meant to point out that that did not appear to be what was happening here. Loophole would have been a better word than nuance, I wish I had thought of it 
                          6 hrs · Like · 2
                        • Elizabeth Monique And gina, I apologize, I did not read the full statute due to time constraints. And I hope you did not take the term "non-lawyer" as an insult, it was simply meant to distinguish since the implication was that lawyers were taking advantage of the general population.
                          6 hrs · Like · 1
                        • Gina Burgess Elizabeth Monique -- Absolutely no need to apologize. No offense was taken. But thank you for clarifying--I really appreciated that.  Regarding your not reading the statute--you weren't the only one. 
                          5 hrs · Like · 1
                        • June Angela They would have fun with me. My legal name is different than my birth cert. I changed my name a long time ago. I still run into problems. I also knew Mike Downs. One of my favorite professors. I miss him.
                          4 hrs · Like
                        • Audrey Miller-Queckboerner Lawmakers love to make more laws that are not enforced. Political campaign yard signs is another example. They are not supposed to be in right of ways in the city limits of Fort Wayne but every election cycle we always see them there and no one removes them.
                          4 hrs · Like · 1
                        • Gina Burgess June Angela -- If your legal name is different from your birth certificate, as is the case for may married and divorced women as well as older adopted children, there are provisions for that in the code being sited above. Regarding Mike Downs--he was truly one of the best professors at IPFW. One of the courses he taught was Political Theories, which didn't discuss politics like you'd think it would. Instead it discussed the necessity for rules in a society with a special focus on political philosopher Thomas Hobbes and Leviticus. Can't believe I still remember that actually...LOL! 
                          3 hrs · Like
                        • June Angela Gina, I took that class Loved it. Still have the book. My senior seminar with Dr Downs was Machiavelli.
                          2 hrs · Like
                        • Dean Robinson The band Van Halen was once notorious for requesting strange concert rider items, like a bowl of M&M's with no brown M&M's. It wasn't so much about the candy. It was about making sure the venue managers actually read and realized the band's technical requirements. When it comes to government and politics, there are no small details. Candidates may as well get hip early.
                          1 hr · Like
                        • David Christopher Roach Andy Downs- is not a lawyer; and as such- has no credibility at to what "IS" is. -and a waste of IPFW resources- you want to cut wasteful useless spending? 2 words- andy downs.. 
                          why doesnt the media ever consult with that lady instructor at the IIT law school? SHE's a Lawyer- and neutral- 
                          IPFW just cut 400.00 bucks?- plenty- eliminating the Tennis team- anf other programs- as "wasteful spending- YET- IPFW continues to fund the "mike downs center of Indiana politics"- just what IS that exactly? a bunch of andy downs fathers kinck knacks and trinkets that were collecting dust in his fathers office? and so now Andy is the curator?- ANDY DOWNS- IS 100 000 BUCKS of "wasteful spending by IPFW"-
                          what does the beady eyed schmuck do all day anyway? teach a few sections of freshman political science 101? any part time Ad junct Graduate teaching assistant can do that- for thousands cheaper..
                          Ive Tech has many political science 101; 201- classes- where you learn more for cheaper- and the credits transfer to IPFW 
                          I have had my "run ins with mr Downs- when he was the ACEb board member- one was a filed a campaign complaint against my self- SERIOUSLY- charging ME that I wasnt a legitimate democratic party nominee for Sheriff; and wanted the ACEB to go through the charade to prove me wrong- - to make a point- the local democrat party - was shunning me- blacklisted; black balled; airbrushed- like i didnt exiost- no replies to any phone calls; e mails- short of "media stalker behavior"- of tracking each and every one of the central committee members; and showing up on theior doorsteps- early in the morning; or whenever- with someone with a video camera and confronting them; amking a nuisance etc- well-

                          anyway- I have in my e mail archives- several exchanges- where basically Andy Downs wouldnt give me my day in "court" at the ACEB-
                          hes no longer a member by the way- a proxy- he was "handy" at the feb 18th meeting in case TIM PAPE recused himself "sua Sponde"- as he legally, and ethically should have done. 
                          of course- legaly and ethically and ACEB- in the same sentence is an oxymoron of the highest order. LOL>> but not lol'ing..

                          Andy downs is a waste of IPFW resources; his mioke downs center should be boxed up and archived in the helmke library basement( and how does a civil servant public servant like the helmkes amass such a fortune to buy a university building? just asking..)
                          anyway- a PHD in political science? what does he do al day anyway? grade a few papers? do opposition research by wtching fox news; listen to talk radio all day? loll- grade a few papers? schtupp a few co- eds? 
                          waste of TV air time- waste of AIR..
                          1 min · Edited · Like 
                        David Christopher Roach you can have any 20 letter "nickname" you want- state law is very vague on this- as compared to oh- Nevada state law- which is VERY narrowly defined and specific- as long as your stated nickname isnt "Elect David "Legalize-Marijuana" Roach-because we cant have "legalize marijuana anywhere where voters might actually have that on a alllot to vote for.. right ANDY> ? steve shine says its only for things like bob, tom, jerry, mike, steve; and so on- but then ANDYS NOT A LAWYER- steve shine is..and so is that IIT law school professor; dean of the college of law- - and mr downs? just a freshman poly-sci 101 adjunct part timer... waste of IPFW cash- that could be better spent funding oh a tennis team perhaps?

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