April 30, 2014 | 10:25 AM
Harrison County Republicans celebrated recent political victories and looked forward to continuing that success last Wednesday night at the 75th annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Lanesville Heritage Community Center.
Party chairman Scott Fluhr, who welcomed the 140 guests and introduced keynote speaker Brian Bosma, said it's an exciting time to be a Republican in Harrison County.
Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma shows off his new iPad cover, a gift from Harrison County Republican chairman Scott Fluhr (background), at the 75th annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Lanesville Heritage Community Center last Wednesday. Photo by Ross Schulz
Fluhr introduced all of the current elected officials, which he noted has become quite a lengthy list, including the three county commissioners (Jim Klinstiver, George Ethridge and Kenny Saulman).
"For the first time in Harrison County history, all three commissioners are Republican," Fluhr said.
Fluhr then read an excerpt from his Lincoln Day Dinner address in 2010 quoting Thomas Paine in the days of the American Revolution when he spoke of beginning the world over again.
"In our little part of the world, we talked of beginning the world over again," he said. "And that's exactly what we did in November 2010 ... And what a world we made."
Fluhr said the county is "immeasurably and indisputably" better off since that election.
He said the sheriff's department, under Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye, went from a "laughingstock" to one of the best in the state and the auditor's office, previously a mess, is now functioning properly and tax bills are sent on time.
"Harrison County is moving in the right direction," Fluhr said. "And we can keep moving in the right direction, or we can go backwards."
He said the Democrats, with their reckless spending, would cause the county to go backwards.
Fluhr didn't let the opportunity pass without taking a shot at President Barack Obama.
"It took less time to win World War II than it did to build the Obamacare website," he said. "(Rep. Todd Young) told me that."
Fluhr introduced Bosma, the Indiana Speaker of the House, by saying he's one of the "men in the arena," referencing President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt's famous speech.
Bosma said if he was dropped out of a plane to the building, after viewing silent auction items, such as a King James Bible, turkey call, marine knife and Barack Obama toilet paper, there'd be no doubt he was in Harrison County.
Bosma shared an emotional story about his father, a World War II veteran who never said much more than "I did my duty" about his service during the war. A couple of years ago, however, Bosma found out just what that duty detailed when he went through the family lockbox at the request of his mother. Bosma found a letter addressed to members of his father's division (71st) on the day after V-E Day (Victory in Europe, May 8, 1945). The letter said the division embarked on a five-month, 1,093-mile march, crossing five major rivers and capturing some 80,000 prisoners of war and, essentially, destroying Hilter's North SS, known as one of the fiercest forces of Hitler's army. The division was the eastern most of all the allied forces when the war came to a close.
"The heroism of the 71st Division was written in blood across Europe," Bosma quoted from the letter. "All my dad would say was he did his duty."
Bosma said there's all kinds of patriots today, including those in Indianapolis doing their duty for their constituents "and your children and grandchildren."
"We don't care what the other side says," he continued. "They can throw a fit in Illinois ..."
Bosma said he and his fellow Republicans will do what they can to make the future stronger while also keeping the past and present.
Before concluding the meeting, Fluhr presented the chairman's award to Paul Saulman and the Republican of the Year went to Seelye.
"He should have been Harrison Countian of the year," Fluhr said of Seelye.