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Saturday, February 4 2012

Amplifications Regarding Charlie White

I'm not an attorney, but I wanted to get to the actual laws regarding the Charlie White case because I found the press coverage confusing. I do that by starting with the the story as reported in the web edition of the Evansville Courier & Press

From the newspaper, paragraph 3.

But the governor said he was holding off on naming a permanent replacement because a judge could reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, allowing White to regain the office.

This is a correct summary of the statement the Governor released. But it ignores Indiana Code 3.8.1.5(d) , which states:

The subsequent reduction of a felony to a Class A misdemeanor under IC 35-50-2-7 or IC 35-38-1-1.5 after the public announcement of a felony... does not affect the operation of subsection (c).

This section of the law describes candidacy and not a condition for an officeholder who is convicted of a felony. There is a separate statute (IC 3.5.1.38) for felonies committed while in office which appears to allow for Mr. White's return.

However, because at least one of Mr. White's felonies was committed before taking office, one can certainly argue that he could have been a convicted felon prior to taking office if the criminal justice system had worked more quickly. This would become a question for the courts, but only if the Hamilton County Superior Court were to downgrade the felony convictions to misdemeanors.

The second legal issue presented in the article relates to the assertion of Democratic state chair Dan Parker that Democrat Vop Osili should take office. I understand that this is what was ruled by Marion County judge Louis Rosenberg on multiple occasions, most recently on December 21, 2011. This is accounted for in IC 3.12.11.25(a)

Except as provided in subsection (b), whenever the commission makes a final determination under section 18 of this chapter that the candidate who is subject to a contest proceeding is not eligible to serve in the office to which the candidate is nominated or elected, the candidate who received the second highest number of votes for the office is entitled to a certificate of nomination or certificate of election even though a certificate may have been issued to another candidate upon the tabulation of the votes.

However, I reference IC 3.8.8.8(b) and (c) which seems to contradict 3.12.11.25:

(b) If, after the election, it is determined as provided by law that the individual was not qualified to be elected to the office, it shall be considered that: (1) an eligible candidate of the same political party, if any, as the ineligible candidate had been elected; and (2) a vacancy in the office occurred after the election. (c) The vacancy in the office shall be filled as otherwise provided by law.

If this is the applicable section, then the Governor would appoint Mr. White's permanent replacement. The ambiguity is somewhat removed by the section title of 3.8.8.8: "Effect of candidate who withdraws receiving most votes in election; filling vacancy" (emphasis added).

Because there is at least the potential for ambiguity, I believe this case will end up with a decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, and I suspect it would lean towards the Governor appointing White's replacement.

Saturday, March 26 2011

Some Serious Reading

I started off at WISH-TV's web site for some info on the weather up their way (Indianapolis). I ended up at Deanna Dewberry's blog. She is having her third bout with breast cancer, and one of the stories she related was especially touching.

http://blogs.wishtv.com/2010/12/23/...

She tells the story of a very young woman who is in foster care and battling a severe form of cancer and she met at her oncologist's office. An update in February revealed that the girl was not doing well.

This reminds me of a woman who I met at a different oncologist's office in Indianapolis now nearly six years ago. This lady had esophageal cancer, and had been told it was inoperable. She was frail looking, and said she was unable to eat because of the pain. She was going to begin a new round of chemotherapy that day. I had been reading a magazine article about Micheal Phelps before she began to chat with us. There was no way I could stop listening to her and read Sports Illustrated.

I heard a talk today from Dr. Stephen C. Jacobson of Indiana University. Much of his research is related in some way to diagnosing cancer. I will forever be supportive of research like his. Today also happens to be the day when Relay for Life is held.

The fact that I stumbled on Deanna's very well-written blog on that same day seems more than serendipitous.

Thursday, December 9 2010

Producer - Talent confidentiality

Bob Lamey, longtime radio broadcaster for the Indianapolis Colts has been roundly criticized this week for some comments he made off the air last Sunday as the Colts entered their first three-game losing streak in years.

Kent Sterling's Opinions
What he said

I don't have any personal connection to Bob Lamey. Never spoken to him personally or anything. I've also never personally spoken to Kent Sterling, but I disagree with him soundly.

Let's say I'm the producer in question, and let's say that I'm not recording the game. But I do listen to the feed from the stadium during the commercial breaks, and I hear Lamey say that Manning ought to be benched, in favor of Curtis Painter, who looked laughably bad in the pre-season. It seems to me that Kent Sterling would instruct me to bottle that up and never tell anyone about it.

My journalistic senses tell me this story is far too juicy to pass up. I'm hearing the Colts #1 homer tell me that Manning should be benched. I'm pretty likely to at least tell some of my co-workers, my girlfriend, the guys at BW3's what he said.

Of course, in the absence of a recording, the name talent could deny, deny, deny and probably never face consequences. But I don't feel there should be implicit confidentiality just because two guys work together and one of them is famous. There might be some level of understanding if the talent is friendly but gaffe-prone (and in my opinion, Lamey is gaffe-prone even when he's on the air). There might be some level of understanding if the sporting team being broadcast is truly awful. But I can find no reason why Lamey has a legitimate complaint with the team, nor can I see a reason why his comments should have been kept private.

Now, the staff at 1070 the Fan in Indy might need to face some music, because, while I don't necessarily feel that the talent's ramblings should be kept confidential, they probably didn't need to make one of their fellow hosts (the Colts air on 1070) look stupid.

Sunday, November 28 2010

An Early Checkup on College Basketball

At the beginning of the season, I was told that Butler and Purdue would combine for more wins than the other D1 men's basketball programs put together. Here's a look at the status after most teams have played five or six games. (Notably, this post comes on the heels of both Butler and Purdue getting upset on Saturday)

Continue reading...

Monday, August 16 2010

LIN Media Experiment: Commenting with Facebook Credentials

This is slightly old, but I just became aware of it last evening.

In July, LIN Media rolled out a comment system based on Facebook Connect. WISHTV.com was one of the first adopters. This expanded their base of potential commentors from a few thousand to a million instantly.

And apparently it brought chaos. As blogged the following day: Whoopsie. How did this happen? Why did users not self-censor their thoughts to a level that most parents could live with?

I suggest there are a few elements:

  • An exceptional story. The shootings that are referenced in the links above are the same ones I commented on the day they took place, and while my blog post was not supportive of Indiana Black Expo for its history of violence, I did not descend into out and out racism. (Although that's a matter of opinion)
  • A new system. Regular comment-writers probably did not realize that their old stored credentials which showed only a username had been replaced by their new (and also stored) Facebook credentials. They were not expecting their name to be associated with their comments.
  • Racism Itself - It isn't always clear what is racist and what is not. I'm sure there are at least a few people who would say any condemnation of Indiana Black Expo is racist.

Publishing on the Internet with one's real name is still a relatively new idea. Based on the responses to Jason's original blog post, a number of people remain uncomfortable with it (or at the very least, uncomfortable with Facebook).

It would be an interesting experiment. If everyone published under their real name, people with obscure names would seem to be at a disadvantage. People searching for "Chris Smith" become increasingly unlikely to find the right Chris Smith.

Sunday, July 18 2010

Indiana Black Expo Strikes Again

Tonight, Indianapolis Metro Police report eight people have been shot near the Indiana Convention Center. The event which has been going on all week is the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.

Now, if you look at the crime statistics for the downtown Indianapolis area, you'll find they are very low. Let me define "downtown Indianapolis" as the area between West and East streets and the North and South splits of I-65/I-70.

Looking at the data in the last 90 days, there were 110 "crimes against persons" reported in the area. There were six cases of aggravated assault and three rapes reported. The vast majority of the reports (estimate 80%) filed by IMPD for the previous 90 days were for unaggravated assault.

Eight shootings is unheard of.

There is historical precedent, though, for a spike in violent crime the week of Black Expo. The 2007 expo saw shots fired into the air, but no one injured. People were shot in 2006. Fatal shootings were recorded twice in the 1990s, and Mike Tyson began his trek to infamy by raping a woman, also in the 90s.

Its so unfortunate that the event has been tarnished so many times. The Summer Celebration itself is a very good thing for the community. The security concerns outside the expo are puzzling to me. There is always a heavy police presence, yet incidents like this continue to happen.

What more can the city of Indianapolis and IBE do?