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Dems slam Bush/Daniels

Despite being a non-election year, about 150 Democrats turned out either for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner or State Rep. Paul Robertson’s 63rd birthday Saturday evening at Corydon Central High School.
Robertson’s birthday joke set the tone for the evening as he, along with former State Rep. Dennie Oxley II, who also was the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor last fall, and State Sen. Richard Young sang the praises of the Democratic Party, which is still riding high after regaining control of the White House with the election of Barack Obama.
Adam Dickey, a representative for Indiana Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill, spoke on Hill’s behalf. After discussing Hill’s support of the COPS Improvements Act, a bill that has moved to the Senate and would add 50,000 police officers nationwide, including 674 in Indiana and 68 in the Ninth District, Dickey also explained how the congressman was successful in attaching an amendment to H.R. 1388.
‘The bill expands and allows for the sending of care packages to our troops fighting overseas,’ Dickey said.
Before closing, Dickey said rumors had been circulating about Hill possibly seeking another office.
‘I’m here to tell you today, that Baron Hill is running for Congress in 2010,’ Dickey said, pounding the podium and repeating himself for effect.
After McKenzie Taylor, 12, was given the Young Democrat Award, the featured speaker, Oxley, took to the mic.
He briefly discussed his and Jill Long Thompson’s unsuccessful bid last year for the top two public offices in Indiana.
‘It was truly a humbling experience and one that I feel like I was privileged to make,’ Oxley said. ‘We met veterans who couldn’t get medical care, but they still believed in our state. We met a businessman who offered health care to his employees instead of increasing his profit. For all those people and the countless others who are struggling to make ends meet, we have to keep fighting.
‘The (George) Bush-(Mitch) Daniels economy has crippled Indiana. Indiana ranks in the top 10 in foreclosures, job loss and bankruptcy. That’s unacceptable.’
Oxley said if Democrats could endure eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, they could get through another four years of Mitch Daniels.
‘We can do it by standing together. We must continue to fight for our working families in Indiana, for our communities, for growing good jobs. Together we can get Indiana where it once was and what it can be again,’ he said. ‘Indiana was a blue state in 2008 and we need to make sure it stays blue and becomes a darker and darker shade of blue every day.’
Robertson, who predicted Hill would be re-elected no matter who he was running against in 2010, spoke briefly and said he’s found the state’s budget and Indiana jobs are the most important issues in Indiana, yet Gov. Mitch Daniels wants to focus on reorganization of county government and property tax caps.
‘The reorganization effort presently has no legs, and that’s even with his own (Senate-controlling caucus), and at the very earliest property tax caps couldn’t even be put on the ballot until 2010,’ Robertson said. ‘The governor has lost his focus.’
Young agreed with comments Oxley also made about the consolidation of county government.
‘I have yet to go out somewhere and have someone tell me it’s a good idea. You would think it would happen at some point, but it hasn’t, nor do I think it will,’ he said.
Sharon Franks and Charles Allen were honored with the 2009 Outstanding Democrat awards, while Ed Sieg, Carole Gaither and Barb Mathes received the Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The Young Democrats prepared the meal, Jill Moss Robertson sang the national anthem, the Rev. Doug Finney gave the invocation and Carole Gaither led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joan Schickel honored several Democrats who passed away in recent years. Among them were: Annis Barrow (a retired, long-time employee of the Harrison County Court House); Chris Hauswald (nephew of Carol Hauswald, current Harrison County treasurer); Arthur Barks Jr. (precinct chairman for West Heth Township); Irma Finn (treasurer of the Democrat Women’s and Men’s Club and precinct chairman for Northeast Jackson Township); Ray Hickman (former Harrison County assessor); Iona Miller, (mother of Terry Miller, who is currently the District 3 Harrison County commissioner, and wife of the late Lewis Miller, who served as a Harrison County councilman and commissioner); Esther Byerley (an active volunteer in Democratic functions); and Donald G. Troncin (chairman for North Spencer Township).
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