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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Flip Side

Indiana Parley did a somewhat tongue-in-cheek analysis of Kevin Knuth's 2005 "State of the Allen County Democratic Party" speech on the eve of his 2006 address.

IP received a comment in reaction to that post from Deb. She wrote:

When will we see the same treatment of the GOP 2005 State of the Party address?

Well, Deb, that time is now. What follows is an analyis of Steve Shine's 2005 "State of the Allen County Republican Party" speech on the eve of the county Republican meeting this coming Saturday at the War Memorial Coliseum.

Like much of life these days, Indiana Parley outsourced the job. Not overseas, mind you; we kept it in the Hoosier State. It was outsourced to a Democrat - a liberal Democrat.

At first, IP thought it might be possible to do the analysis in-house. There were a couple of problems with that scenario. The main one was that my primary judgment was not with its content. It was that the speech was too long. What the speech needed most was a pair of scissors - it needed a copy editor first, not a critic.

In the end, IP made the judgement to farm out the task. You can judge the result for yourself. The author asked to remain anonymous and, after some discussion, IP decided to honor that request.

The product below was not produced by the staff or owners of Indiana Parley. Any comments made are not the views or opinions of the staff or owners of Indiana Parley and are solely those of the author.

Again, the format will be the text of the speech interspersed with the comments of the critic. We are retaining a two-color format to distinguish between the speech text and the commentary. The original speech text by Mr. Shine is the darker color; the commentary is in red.

2005 State of the Party Address
by Steven R. Shine

Thank you, Attorney General Carter, for your kind words of introduction.

We are honored that you took time from your busy schedule to be here today for this fifth annual celebration of the State of the Allen County Republican Party. There are many Republicans in Indiana in whom we take great pride.

Earl Langrebe and Chip Edwards, to name two that come to mind.

Among those accomplished public servants, you stand out as a genuine friend of the people.

From day one, you have taken to heart the significance of the job entrusted to you, and you’ve never lost sight of the good that it could do.

In 2001 you took the helm of an office that was in disarray and badly in need of a mission, and transformed it into a force for good in the everyday lives of all Hoosiers.

Personally knocking on the door of every women’s health clinic and asking for the private medical records of their patients has brought joy to our hearts and put fear in the hearts of the evil doers.

Your goal of bringing peace and quiet back to the dinner hour succeeded with the passage of Indiana’s Telephone Privacy Law –– better known as the no-call list. With your help, more than 3.5 million of us have been able to say “No” to unwanted telemarketing calls by adding our names to one easy-to-use list.

I wonder if Dale Sturtz and a few other Democrats may have spearheaded that idea. But once Attorney General, Steve Carter did run like heck to get in front of the parade to act like a leader.

The results of your first term as Attorney General have been magnificent... you’ve cleaned up Lake County politics.

It was the least Carter could do after the Democrats cleaned up Fort Wayne and Indianapolis politics.

You dramatically increased the return of unclaimed property to Hoosiers. You doubled the collection of money owed to the state and you cut in half the amount of money Indiana pays out in tort claim lawsuits and settlements.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicle License Branch broken leases won’t be settled for another year.

Thank you again for being here, and for being one of the many reasons Republicans have to celebrate the results of 2004. Isn’t it amazing, the difference a year can make?

Now that was prophetic.

On Election Day 2004, we delighted at one Republican success after another, from the White House to the Statehouse and the Courthouse. At the county level, Republican candidates won every single race. Our ticket leader, Allen County Coroner Dr. Jon Brandenberger, earned over 83,000 votes.

Thank God the dead can’t talk or vote.

In the race for Allen County Commissioner, the Democrats fielded their best candidate in a very long time. Yet our candidate for Commissioner, Nelson Peters, won by nearly 30,000 votes. One of the secrets to our insurmountable turnout in November was a get-out-the-vote partnership between the Allen County GOP and the Mitch Daniels for Governor Campaign.

And those paperless ballot machines from Diebold.

Together, we ran telephone banks, (the training learned in 2002 in New Hampshire paid off) recruited volunteers and registered people to vote. Together, we put out yard signs, knocked on doors and energized an electorate that was screaming for change. By turning out our base in historic numbers, Allen County helped Mitch Daniels carry Indiana –– and carry the Governor’s Office back into Republican hands for the first time since 1988. While the job isn’t officially his until next week, OUR Man Mitch has already shown this his will be an administration remembered for its committment to ethics, innovation and dedicated public service.

To say nothing about toll roads, time changes, and license bureau closures

A new era is about to dawn in Indiana. Our comeback is about to begin.

For that reason and so many others, it gives me great pride to come before you today –– for the fifth consecutive year –– to report that the State of the Allen County Republican Party is exceptionally strong. As this New Year begins, the Allen County GOP holds its strongest claim ever on the title, “Indiana’s Premiere Political Organization.”

Fully funded by (insert name of insurance salesman for county) who insures the party faithful - a good return on the public tax dollars.

The New Year never comes without change and this year will be no exception. As 2005 gets underway, we must bid farewell to a few good friends.

Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Larry Borst

After 40 years of leading City and County government, Allen County Commissioner Ed Rousseau retired at the end of 2004. Every corner of this county bears his fingerprints, (but mostly his footprints) from General Motors and Glenbrook Mall, to Uniroyal Goodrich and the Airport Expressway. Ed, you never stopped standing for your convictions. When cancer came along a few years ago, you told it to “take a hike” and you kept right on going. There are many people in this community, Ed, who are living great lives because of the work that you did. They thank you, and we thank you. We know that there will be many more opportunities ahead for you to contribute to our lives.

We also bid farewell in a few days to Wayne Township Assessor Jerry Zuber. Jerry has served this community with distinction for a decade, a difficult decade of reassessments and the transition to a new, market-based system of taxing property. His dedication to his work and his community shows. As he prepares to leave this demanding job, Jerry remains one of Allen County’s most respected and beloved public servants. We salute you, and we thank you for 10 years of dedicated service.

In 2004 we lost a great friend, State Senator ““Bud”” Meeks, who passed away in March. Bud represented Allen County in Indianapolis since 1998, after serving as Allen County Sheriff from 1975 until 1982. He served us proudly in many roles, including that of President of the National Sheriffs' Association. We will forever be thankful for Bud’s service and his friendship, and for the dedicated service of his wife, Marge, who continues to help us make headquarters tick.

A man that all politicians could take a lesson from when it comes to acting like a gentleman, showing human kindness and treating your adversaries with decency and respect. In the dictionary there is a picture of Bud beside the word “comity.”

The 2004 election was a reaffirmation of the values and ideas which we Republicans stand for.

Big spending, broken promises, and bazillions for corporate America.

The re-election of President Bush by more than 3 million votes showed that Americans have no appetite for the politics, practiced by others, of anger and division. They want leadership and they demand results.

Bring ‘em on, Mission Accomplished and, oh, by the way, you’re doing a good job Brownie.

For that, they turned to Allen County Republicans in historic numbers. Last year, I stood in this same place and told you that “Difficult days only make us stronger. Difficult times only make our victories sweeter.” Well, this past Election Night was pretty sweet...(An omen for the difficult days of 2005) In addition to a new Commissioner, we elected two new at-large members of County Council, Paul Moss and Patt Kite, and re-elected a third, Roy Buskirk. (I know what moss and a kite are but what the heck is a buskirk?)

We re-elected a Republican Treasurer and Surveyor, Bob Lee and Al Frisinger, and sent Mark Souder back for his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He won’t keep his promise to only serve 6 terms, there are lighthouses to save and Reagan’s picture isn’t on the dime yet. Besides he is one of only two Representatives to vote for torturing terrorists.

And how about our results at the Statehouse? In a few days, leaders we re-elected in 2004, including David Long, Bob Alderman, Randy Borror, Jeff Espich, Phyllis Pond and Mike Ripley, (you take Bob Alderman out of that group and you have a cure for insomnia) will return to a General Assembly in which Republicans hold majorities in BOTH houses. For the first time since 1982, Republicans –– with Allen County leaders at the forefront –– will hold both houses of the Legislature and the Governor’s Office. Allen County’s delegation will enjoy unprecedented prominence in the years to come, with David Long serving as Senate Majority Leader,

“Let the word go forth that I will fight the little towns of Allen County and they shall not have a say in County government as LONG as there is a Fort Wayne.”

Jeff Espich chairing the House Ways and Means Committee (It’s a tough job cutting services to the people while protecting the corporate interests of Indiana, couldn’t do it without the help of the News Sentinel and Journal Gazette.) and our other representatives leading other important committees and subcommittees. At long last, Indiana will get to see the quality of leaders that Allen County sends to the Statehouse. (Why have we been waiting all this time?) As the General Assembly tackles a dizzying array of tough issues, including balancing a budget drowning in red ink, (that will take its toll road to solve) Allen County will show Hoosiers what leadership and fiscal discipline REALLY mean.

Yeah, carrying the Governor’s water at the expense of their constituents. May I suggest a time, change, closure of license bureaus and move others to buildings that the party owns so they can collect higher rents. Oh and he’ll sell the toll road to some foreigners. Why keep an asset that can make us money? Almost forgot lets blame the high property taxes on the Democrats and just to keep the peoples minds off this so they won’t know what time we hold hearing on these matters – let’s change the time.

The victories we enjoyed on Election Night felt like wonderful gifts, (political capital – the Republican gift card to Wal-mart) but we know that they were not. Because we are in an unprecedented position of power as we enter the New Year, we must be more diligent, more responsible and more worthy then ever before. Our friends and neighbors throughout this community did not give us a gift –– they gave us yet another opportunity to prove ourselves.

And line pockets with the dividends from the sale of the toll road

We are humbled by your support. No matter how large our margins of victory may be, we will never take success for granted, nor will we ever forget WHY you believe in the GOP.

Why is it they believe in the GOP? Wasn’t it supposed to be about balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility and less property taxes?

We will always hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. Our bedrock principle will always be that Allen County Republicans stand for public service as much as we stand for winning. If you look at the statistics, 2004 can be considered nothing but an absolute success. After the challenges of 2003, we gathered ourselves up and worked harder than ever before to elect great candidates across the board.

And 2005 was so great once Republicans had a chance to control all three branches of the State Government.

How did we do it? By recommitting ourselves to the basics. (Smoke and mirrors, selling the toll road, closing the license bureaus, and changing the time. Heck, after all, these voters told Republicans it was time for a change.)

We redoubled our efforts to build Indiana’s strongest precinct organization. After all, our precinct committeemen and women are the grassroots of Republican success. Without them, the voters don’t know us. Without them, our polling places don’t open. They are the friendly, familiar face that our neighbors associate with the Republican Party. We worked harder than ever before to communicate with these essential foot soldiers in our organization, and to recognize how truly essential they are to our success. As you will hear in a few moments, we will empower precinct committeemen and women even more in the year to come. (At this point why didn’t Steve thank the party workers for being so good that they were able to do all of this with his blunders and side taking in inter-party squabbles.)

Our organizational efforts paid off handsomely, with 100 percent of our precinct boards filled well before Election Day. We maintained a full-time headquarters and staff, an asset that also paid huge dividends in the weeks before November 4th. Hundreds of people, hoping to register, to vote absentee or just to find information, came through these doors and found the help they needed. In 2004, we also met with Republican elected officials, the public face of all that we do, to find out how the Allen County GOP could serve them more effectively –– both inside and outside our own organization. At the end of this meeting, we came away with a list of almost 100 ideas.

Probably most were about how he should turn over the day to day duties to someone else, stay in the background and keep quiet.

This is important input, because, as an organization, the Allen County Republican Party can help our elected officials be even more successful, Republican officeholders need to know that we stand for more than getting them elected. This organization will be front and center to support their needs and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as they serve in office. When the results of 2004 are weighed, it is these efforts that will have made the difference. Historic levels of fundraising, (thank goodness for the insurance guy) an aggressive voter ID program, (made easier because Republicans will now require all of us to have picture ID’s) our best get-out-the-vote effort ever (Diebold will help make that exercise easier) and an army of volunteers bigger than any we’ve ever been able to field While television commercials, e-mail and web sites have become the leading tools of today’s campaigns, we proved in 2004 that the grassroots –– one-on-one contact with the people whose support we ask for –– counts as much as ever. So many times before, I have said this to you - Allen County Republicans are about more than the sum of the elective offices they hold.

We are about the sum of the contributions we make. We are about the number of diverse opinions, perspectives and faces we contribute to the political process. Once again in 2004, we fulfilled that promise. In September, our GOP Action Team, led by Mike Foster, sold barbeque chicken dinners at Georgetown Square Shopping Center that raised several thousand dollars to benefit the Martin Luther King Montessori School. This is a school that fills a vital role in our community by giving an educational head start to underserved, at-risk children.

Two years ago, we formed the GOP Action Team to find ways that we might contribute more to the Allen County community. Since then, the GOP Action Team organized school supply giveaways, a veterans’ fair and an elder law seminar. In 2003, the team held a “Support Our Troops” yard sign sale that raised $10,000 for the Allen County Council of Veterans. But this fundraiser for The Martin Luther King Montessori School was particularly special. The school provides preschool care to children age three to five. It is one of only two schools in the United States that offer top-tier, affordable Montessori education to low-income families.

In 2005, Republicans should have been asked to volunteer time at the License Bureaus so that they may get the license plates out on time.

As citizens above all else, we felt it was important to help this school fulfill its mission of building minds and building futures. Congratulations, Mike, and to the rest of the GOP Action Team for making a meaningful contribution to our community. A job well done!

We showed our enthusiasm on many fronts in 2004, in ways both large and small. On October 18 nearly 1,500 people joined us for the Allen County GOP Bean Dinner. It was our biggest event ever, as Michael Reagan He was a better pick than Nancy with stem cell research and all) delighted and touched us with stories of his father, former President Ronald Reagan, who sadly passed away in June. What a wonderful way to remind ourselves and our community, just weeks before Election Day, of the REAL values that Republicans stand for. Ronald Reagan taught the world the value of strength through willpower, values and compassion.

I’ll never forget the help he gave the nuns and priests in El Salvador.

In 2005 and beyond, we will continue to lead by doing what’s right and doing the things that inspire trust in our friends and neighbors. To begin this effort, I’m pleased today to announce two upcoming projects. (The closure of license bureaus and the sale of the toll road) In early 2005, Allen County Republicans will conduct a bi-partisan ethics seminar for elected officials countywide. Governor-elect Daniels has pledged that his administration will insist upon the highest standards for ethics and performance, (Tom Delay and Duke Cunningham and Ralph Reed will be coming to town)(After all he learned about both in Washington DC) and we will reinforce his commitment here at the local level.

Ask that insurance guy for another donation.

Improving the faith of citizens in government is a job for all of us, and the Allen County GOP will do its part.

Wanted them to buy that blind faith argument again. How did that go? “Just Trust Us”?

Allen County Republicans have led the way in recent years by training local officeholders and their employees in ethics and public records. As we do it again in 2005, I invite our friends in the Democrat Party to join us.

Thanks but no thanks. Hey, why don’t you invite that insurance guy.

Together, let us send a message to the people of Allen County. Let us send a message that adherence to the highest standards of ethical behavior shall be our hallmark. Citizens expect that they can trust the officeholders they elect. Our ethics seminar will reinforce that message and demonstrate clearly what is expected of those who are entrusted with the solemn duty of being stewards of the public’’s trust.

Your only in trouble if you get caught, and, thank God, there are not any Indian tribes in Allen County with casinos or wanting one.

A few minutes ago, I paid tribute to the work of our precinct committeemen and women. Without them, our organization simply does not function. During 2005, an off year for elections, we will be working on a new project to empower our precinct chairs like never before –– our first- ever Countywide Republican Convention, to be held on February 25, 2006 at the Memorial Coliseum. We will conduct this convention specifically to give our precinct chairs a more direct say in what our organization does. No longer can we only call on these dedicated Republicans to do just the hard work on Election Day.

Our precinct chairs represent the real grassroots of this community. They are elected, almost at a neighbor level, by their friends and neighbors. They are the face of the Republican Party at church, at the grocery store and at the PTA. For the past 12 years, empowerment has been the hallmark of the Allen County GOP. The other 91 counties in this state envy the example we have set here. Our prosecutor is a woman, and the majority of our County Commissioners are women.

And the insurance guy supports them all.

Allen County Republicans elected the first African American to serve as President of County Council, and they elected the first Hispanic American to sit on the same body.

We have led the way in empowerment, and in making sure that everyone with a stake in this party has the chance to put his or her hands on the wheel of power.

Our 2006 County Convention will be another step in our growth as an organization dedicated to its stakeholders –– all of them. It will be another GIANT step toward truly revitalizing the grassroots of our party.

The 2006 County Convention will be a first. The precinct chairs will have the chance to vote in a non-binding straw poll of our primary candidates. For the first time there will be an event dedicated solely to making the precinct chairs an integral part of shaping, testing and –– perhaps ultimately –– choosing those who will represent us in the 2006 election.

They could bring in Joe Andrews, our fomer Democratic State Chairman, to show how to run the straw poll and divide a party.

This will be much more than a show. (This will be a first class dog and pony show) The County Convention will lay the groundwork for an important election year. In 2006, we will elect a Sheriff, a Prosecutor, two Commissioners, four County Council members and many, many more. We must keep burning the fires in 2006 that we lit in 2004. We have heard that the opposition can’t win... Allen County is just too Republican. But you need only look to the first floor of the City- County Building for proof that the opposite is true. In 2006, we will be running against a Democrat incumbent in a county race, the race for Allen County assessor. Under the right conditions, a Democrat CAN win in Allen County.

Steverino got that right.

You have my pledge that your Allen County Republican Party will redouble its efforts this year and next to assure our continuity of success. In closing, I hope that you look forward to the future as much as I do. This year, we won’t get the chance to meet on Election Night. But we will have many chances to talk along the way, and many reasons to celebrate being Allen County Republicans.

It can be called, “Success with Mitch how we got the Ox out of the Ditch.”

Thank you again for all that you do. The demands on your time are immense, and I appreciate all that you give to the Allen County GOP. Our success belongs to you! Thank you for coming, and have a wonderful 2005.

Sorry Mitch, I just couldn't finish this dribble. The combination of an acidy tone and the length of the speech were too much for me.
It's a shame that the anonymous commentator doesn't know the Shine and a bunch of grouchy incumbents have axed this "straw poll" without telling anyone.
Gee Mitch, I thought you had forgotten or ignored me. But, you came through. Thank you for striving for at least a bit of balance--I know it was hard for you! But, kudos! Yeah, I agree, the speech was Waaay too long...But I applaud the effort to address it.
Perhaps you should keep a Democrat guest writer around...it would keep thing interesting! It is just too easy to read only those blogs that agree with what we think we know or believe...a bit of diversity of thought is always a good idea--thanks for your efforts!
Sorry..I had to sign in as anonymous above... password failed!
Who gave the speech before Lincoln at Gettysburg, Shine?
Looking over this "edited" version their is something missing-

On the version that is on the Libertarian blog, Shine was beaming about the "THOUSANDS of dollars" that their community action team raised for the MLK montessori school.

However, according to their reports, they only raise $1500.

misleading at best.
Your eyesight may need to be checked. The same language is in the version posted here.

We strive to be accurate.

Anonymous, your apology would be welcomed.
SO Sorry- you are correct. Just WAYYYYYYY too much to read!
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