Thursday, January 12, 2006

GOP Chair Kittle Resigns - Libertarian State Chair's Perspective on Same

Here's the Libertarian Party of Indiana press release on GOP state chairman Kittle's resignation:

"Kittle Steps Down from GOP Post

Governor'’s government consolidation plan possible cause

At 9:00 a.m. in the governor's state house office, Governor Daniels stood alongside legislators and association executives touting his vision for overhauling county-level government. His plan outlined in HB 1400 will lead to the elimination of hundreds of elected officials across the state.

By mid-afternoon, Republican Party Chairman Jim Kittle was confirmed to be stepping down from his post.

"It's not surprising to me," remarked LP State Chairman Mark Rutherford. ‚"While no one has said there's a correlation between the consolidation proposal and Kittle stepping down, I could imagine there being some disagreement on the matter. Could it be enough to lead to his resignation? I think it's possible."

The governor's proposal allows county governments to consolidate townships, eliminating the positions of township trustees, township board members and township assessors. Many politicians get their start at this level.

Rutherford continued, "I can see Kittle viewing this as an unnecessary effort for the GOP to champion, especially at the risk of alienating several hundred elected Republican activists. The governor has not shown how elimination of these positions will make Indiana run more smoothly. Many conservatives believe your township government is where you can make a real difference at a local level. Beyond being upset by the certain political hit the GOP will take, Kittle very well could subscribe to this theory."

In addition to the consolidation of county governments, HB 1400 provides for increased sales taxes, food and beverage taxes, inn keepers taxes and the creation of a new local option income tax, more commonly referred to as a municipal income tax. The LPIN is in opposition to HB 1400.

Mark W. Rutherford is the longest serving state political party chairman in Indiana. He has served as the Libertarian Party chairman since January 2000."

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