Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 18, 2013

Public eye, Aug. 18, 2013

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Dems wary of vote centers

Howard County Democratic Party Chairman David Tharp appointed retired auto worker Glenn Rodgers and attorney Derick Steele as the Democratic Party’s representation to the newly-established committee on vote centers.

“Derick Steele and Glenn Rodgers are committed to making the voting process as easy and straightforward as possible for Howard County voters and will serve the citizens of Howard County and the Democratic Party well on this committee,” Tharp said. “Glenn brings decades of experience in the electoral process, a background in organized labor, and strong community involvement to the table. As an attorney, Derick brings a legal background and a commitment to looking out for everyone in our community. They have the passion, knowledge and experience necessary to study this complex issue.”

Tharp doesn’t sound entirely thrilled about the vote center idea, saying Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson, a Republican, had “attempted to ramrod this radical change through without following state law.”

“Vote centers are not a one-size-fits-all solution to electoral woes. A switch to vote centers would be one of the largest structural changes in the electoral process in generations. This is why we need to carefully study the issue and proceed based on facts, not unfounded claims,” he said in a statement.

Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn and local Republican JoElla Maugans are the Republican appointees to the committee.

Another try in 2014?

Kokomo attorney Hans Pate may be considering running against Howard County Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray, or at least he says he’s been urged to run by Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn and other local Republicans.

Pate narrowly lost the 2012 Republican primary for the Howard Superior Court 4 judgeship to George Hopkins, a race Pate said was as much about principle as it was the office itself.

Hopkins would have been too old to hold the post under former state law, but State Sen. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, spearheaded a drive in the Indiana General Assembly to remove the age limits. Pate said Thursday he didn’t think it was right “to mix the judicial and the legislative branches.”

“I’ve given it some thought, just primarily because I ran before,” Pate said of the Circuit Court race. “But I haven’t made any decision on anything.”

Get on with it, already!

Prior to Thursday’s big (and we mean big) YMCA announcement, Chrysler Group’s $500,000 check to the Y building fund was covered with a tarp. It was a large tarp, which also partially covered up most of the playground equipment at the YMCA’s day care facility on St. Joseph Drive.

Also behind the tarp were several little kids, who were patiently waiting for YMCA director Dave Dubois, Chrysler Group vice president Brian Harlow and Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight to make speeches. The kids were supervised, and happy to be there, but every kid has a limit to how much boring adult stuff they can sit through without fidgeting.

It was Goodnight’s misfortune perhaps to speak last, and by then, the kids were ready for the tarp to come down. They started hammering on the playground equipment as he spoke, so the mayor graciously abbreviated his remarks.