September 19, 2022

We need to reboot Indiana. Why? Bad Indiana Code (legislation) created a dysfunctional system that has no respect for Hoosiers. I am a capitalist. Every day I work to grow Hoosier businesses and help Indiana compete.

First, because of the outrage that I hear from Hoosiers over his recent votes, I need to briefly mention my opponent, Rep. Tim O’Brien. O’Brien not only voted to remove all exceptions for ending a pregnancy, knowing it would force a 10-year-old rape victim to bear the child, but also voted to deny women the freedom to get birth control directly from pharmacists, like women, have the freedom to do in many states, including Arizona, West Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, etc. 

Simply, “life” beginning at conception is a minority religious doctrine, and it is fundamentally anti-American to force religion on Americans (Indiana is not Afghanistan). Rep. O’Brien demonstrated that he does not represent our District, as well as his lack of respect for Hoosiers.

In less than a single two-year term in office, since a political caucus appointed Rep. O’Brien showed himself to be one of the most extreme examples of the self-serving Indianapolis insiders responsible for the decline of the Indiana economy, education, and the political toxicity harming all Hoosiers. In fact, a new bi-partisan organization, ReCenter Indiana, just launched to send home these extremists harming our state.

We need to replace top-down Indianapolis-driven government with bottom-up local control that serves Hoosiers, not politicians. 

I am running to fix a structural problem in the \Indiana Code that will empower Hoosiers to solve the problems of:

  1. Economic decline, as measured by, e.g., profit margins and wage growth (46th in the US).
  2. Education decline, as measured by, e.g., populations with STEM credentials (42nd in the US).
  3. Political decline, as measured by, e.g., voter participation (46th in the US).

All Hoosiers need to be aware that Indiana is racing down the wrong track. Three separate reports have detailed the decline of Indiana over the past 10-15 years. James Briggs’ summarizes the reports in a May 28, 2022 article from the Indianapolis Star:

“The state’s inability to educate children… is pushing Indiana toward an economic crisis… a reckoning is looming… the governor… and the Indiana General Assembly are going to have to act with urgency… Brookings, American Affairs, and Ball State University have each published deep dives with similar findings: Indiana is underperforming the nation by most metrics, it caters too much to low-paying jobs and does not do enough to educate citizens or attract new residents with college degrees.” – read the full quote at city-countyobserver.com

These reports explain why business margins and worker income are shrinking – “the most rapid decline in the state’s history” – why Hoosiers are struggling, and why Indiana companies, like Eli Lilly, are investing billions in states like Massachusetts and North Carolina, instead of Indiana. These reports contradict the fiction we hear from the politicians about how well Indiana is doing, especially the economy, including fiction my opponent spreads within these pages about delivering “wins for all Hoosiers” (while trying to buy your vote with tax cuts and checks).

The evidence proves that neither the supermajority nor the Governor (who I voted for) has a clue about how to get Indiana on the right track, which explains why the politicians distract Hoosiers from their failed leadership by manufacturing social fights. These concocted political fights are what create the toxic political culture that drives away graduates from our great universities and the corporations that need them. 

Indiana government, based on the poorly written Indiana Code, exacerbates destructive parochialism and general economic dysfunction with top-down, ill-conceived, misdirected, poorly understood initiatives. This has created a competitive disadvantage for doing business in Indiana – ask Hoosier businesses.

Hoosier businesses are struggling in Indiana’s dysfunctional economic system, especially advanced industries (like manufacturing), which is why they are losing “competitiveness”, falling 40% below the national average in change in output since 2007 – 40% below average is failure – explaining our shrinking margins and why Indiana ranks 46th in wage growth (see Brookings’ report at IndianaGPSProject.com).

One employer explained it to me this way: “We’re busting our tales swinging hammers when the rest of the world has nail guns.”

If we do not fix this, more Hoosier businesses will be forced to relocate to states with functional economic systems that enable them to compete with technology, infrastructure, and talent, and Hoosier families will face hard decisions to move to states where our children will have the opportunity to thrive.

FOOTNOTE: The City-County Observer posted Jason Salstrom’s (D) letter without opinion, bias, or editing. For questions or to learn more about Jason Salstrom’s positions or campaign, he can be reached at jason.salstrom@gmail.com or 812-483-0935 or visit the campaign website www.hoosiersforlocalcontrol.com 

The City-County invites Tim O’Brien (R) candidate for the District 78 State Representative seat by submitting his political platform article to the city-countyobserver@live.com  

We will also publish his articles without basis, opinion, or editing.  




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