Bosma issues challenge
Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma told a story Sunday evening at the Harrison County Republican Central Committee’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner about a young fighter pilot during World War II who was disappointed when he was ordered back to his aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington, before seeing a mission through. He was low on fuel.
But as chance would have it, the pilot spotted Japanese bombers heading toward his unsuspecting comrades on Feb. 20, 1942.
Without the sophisticated radio communication and radar detection of today, the pilot ‘did the only thing he knew how to do,’ Bosma said. ‘He fought.’
During the air battle, the young fighter pilot shot down three opponents and broke up the attack.
About 18 months later, the war hero himself was killed.
Bosma told the story to show that people have the opportunity to be whatever they want.
The pilot, Navy Lt. Edward H. (Butch) O’Hare, was the son of an attorney who worked for Chicago mobster Al Capone. When Butch was born, his father decided he had ‘gone down the wrong path’ and started turning the mob in to the police. The huge Chicago airport is named after Butch O’Hare.
Bosma said Hoosiers can’t accomplish things by sitting on the sidelines.
‘If we see a job that needs to be done, we need to do it,’ he said. ‘It may not be glamorous.’
That work carries to the state level, too.
‘If you don’t worry about the direction of our state, it simply won’t happen,’ Bosma continued. ‘Together we can make Indiana better than it is.’
Bosma challenged Harrison County Republicans not to be content with where Indiana is now, not with 117,000 jobs lost since December 1999, a state that’s fifth in in the nation in bankruptcy filings, and the loss of 96,000 college students taking jobs out of state after graduation.
‘While the economy’s been tough, the state hasn’t done it’s job,’ Bosma said. ‘It doesn’t take a math major or economist to know you can’t spend more than you take in.’
The attorney said last year’s election was about reform that resulted in the creation of the Child Services and Agriculture departments, improvements to the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, passage of a law that now requires photo identification of voters, and an independent audit of the state’s lottery system, which had never been done its 12 years of existence.
Referring to a call in this newspaper’s Live Wire, Bosma said Harrison County would have lost millions of dollars if he had not ‘stepped in’ and changed wording in the budget to prevent that.
Some people in Indianapolis asked Bosma why he would do that. His reply, he said, was, ‘Southern Indiana’s important,’ just like every other place in the state.
‘Indiana is not all that she can be, not yet,’ he said. ‘It’s a battle, not of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. Everyone has well intentions at the state level.’
The battle is between those ‘satisfied with the status quo and those who want better,’ he said.
Larry Shickles, chair of the Harrison County Republican Central Committee, said he was ‘amazed’ at the number of people in attendance for a non-election year.
‘There’s a lot of energy and excitement right now,’ he said.
Indiana Ninth District Congressman Mike Sodrel spoke briefly about his recent trip to visit Southern Indiana troops and meet leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan regarding the War on Terror.
Unlike the situation a year ago, when Afghans claimed not to see anything when questioned by soldiers trying to stop insurgents, Sodrel said the troops now report cooperation.
‘Afghans are tired of warfare,’ he said. ‘They’re ready to start a new life.’
There are two solutions for that. The short-term one is to ‘capture or kill’ the insurgents, Sodrel said, while in the long run the Afghanistan government has to stop creating them.
‘They have to teach them usable skills,’ he said.
While he knows he hasn’t made everyone happy during his short time in office, Sodrel said, ‘We’re making progress, despite what you might read in the newspapers or see on TV.’
Shickles presented the Chairman’s Award to two recipients: Lori Davis, former county party secretary, for her ‘dedication to the central committee’ and assistance to Shickles the past three or four years, and to the late Noel Jacobs, who ‘took a real interest’ in Shickles’ political career and encouraged him to serve as county party chair. Jacobs’ widow, Rosie, accepted the award.
Shickles announced that the Outlook Dinner will be Nov. 19.
‘I challenge everyone here to bring one person with them who’s not been here before,’ he said, ‘and look for people who might be interested in running for office.’