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Indy Star: Suppressing the vote in Johnson County

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-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Indy Star: Suppressing the vote in Johnson County

Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:51:39 -0400

From: Gary Reform Moody <garyx56@comcast.net>

To: stareditor@indystar.com, karen.crotchfelt@indystar.com, jeff.taylor@indystar.com, doug.wilson@indystar.com, bryan.sturgeon@indystar.com, patrick.peregrin@indystar.com, jenny.green@indystar.com, jenny.green@indystar.com

CC: david.lindquist@indystar.com, gary.varvel@indystar.com, erika.smith@indystar.com, matthew.tully@indystar.com, dan.carpenter@indystar.com, russell.pulliam@indystar.com

 

Gary "Reform" Moody for Johnson County Surveyor

299 ½ W. Madison St.

Franklin, IN 46131

 

October 18, 2012

 

Jeff Taylor, Editor and Vice President

c/o Letters to the Editor

The Indianapolis Star

P.O. Box 145

Indianapolis IN 46206

 

Editor:

My name is Gary "Reform" Moody, and I am an independent write-in candidate for the office of Johnson County Surveyor.

In an article published online on September 13 entitled "General election questions & answers", the Indianapolis Star advertised the following:

    "Indystar.com/votersguide will be updated to include all the candidates and ballot questions from six counties -- Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion..."

In early October I contacted the Star regarding your Voter Guide. I was told by your Local Editor, and quite rudely, that the Star has a policy of not listing write-in candidates in your Voter Guide. No reason was offered, and when asked, she would not explain your policy.

According to the Secretary of State's 2012 Election Administrator's Manual, "All candidates, regardless of party affiliation (major party, minor party, independent, write-in), must meet the same qualifications before the candidate may run for a particular office." Furthermore, under Indiana law:

IC 3-5-2-54 "Write-in candidate" means a candidate:

        (1) who has filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate; and

        (2) whose declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate has been accepted by the appropriate authority under IC 3-8-2-5 and IC 3-8-2-6.

Therefore, I am a candidate, and should be listed in your voter guide with "all the candidates" as you advertised. Currently, your Voter Guide lists the incumbent, and next to that states "No other candidates are running." That is not simply incorrect, that is an outright lie being told by the Indianapolis Star. Any citizen should be shocked and outraged that the Indianapolis Star is actually subverting the election in Johnson County, and God knows where else in the region.

My candidacy is important for Johnson County, which has a sorry record in recent years of uncontested elections for many offices. The incumbent County Surveyor is now in his 28th year in office. I am fighting his practices which have wreaked widespread environmental damage upon Johnson County. He taxes thousands of citizens needlessly, wastes huge sums, and I've reported him for breaking environmental laws. I'm trying to improve Johnson County and curb corruption here. We need good government and the rule of law, and the Indianapolis Star is undercutting those efforts by its Orwellian, and frankly childish, pretense that I don't exist.

The Indiana Constitution affirms citizens' right to vote for the candidate of their choice, in "free and equal" elections. The Indianapolis Star should not deny Hoosiers, and specifically the citizens of Johnson County, those rights.

 

Sincerely,

Gary "Reform" Moody

Vote Independent. VOTE REFORM!

http://votereformindiana.com

http://www.facebook.com/GaryReformMoody

 

cc: Indiana League of Women Voters, Hoosier State Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: RE: Candidates, Democracy, & ad space in the Star

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2012 15:56:56 -0400

From: Poortinga, Kevin <kpoortinga@gannett.com>

To: Gary <garyx56@comcast.net>Hi Gary,

I apologize for the delay; I understand your point about inclusion of all candidates.

Let me speak to Jeff on Monday morning, get a better understanding of why we haven’t opened up our guide to write-in candidates, and determine next steps. [HASN'T HAPPENED, WON'T REPLY.]

Thanks,

Kevin

From: Gary [mailto:garyx56@comcast.net] 

Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 4:17 PM

To: Poortinga, Kevin

Subject: Candidates, Democracy, & ad space in the Star

Importance: High

Mr. Poortinga:

I wonder if you could help clear up some strange misunderstandings on your staff.

Please see the message below from the Johnson County Clerk. First of all, there's been some confusion because Roberts and I were inadvertently left off of the list of candidates. Then, when I check with your Local News staff, I was told "we don't list write-in candidates." It was only via a helpful person at WTHR that I discovered the County Clerk's error.

Today I spoke with Leisa Richardson about your voter guide, and I must say, I can't believe that a newspaper would employ someone who is so irresponsible and arrogant. As I tried to explain, and as the message below states, write-in candidates are "candidates." You ran an article in September, still online, which stated that the voter guide will "include all the candidates and ballot questions from six counties -- Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion..."

As I've tried to explain to your new editor, I'm running in a one-party county against an otherwise unopposed incumbent who's in his 28th year in office. People don't like him, they think he's been there too long, and he's caused lots of waste and environmental damage, among other things. Whatever the problem is with folks at the Star, please help me sort it out.

I've spoken with Aaron Sproul in display advertising, and I want to buy space in shopLocal, as I've been intending to for some time. But it's just unacceptable for Star management to behave this way, and to basically throw an election in Johnson County out of sheer agnorance. Nor should the Star be doing this to anybody anywhere in the 6 counties. We're talking about a digital voter guide, for pity's sake.

You'd be doing both myself and the public a big favor if you would help straighten this mess out. Thank you.

 

Gary W. Moody

 

From: Higdon Reagan - Voter Registration 

Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 2:56 PM

To: 'Ann Goeller'; 'Joseph Pete'; 'fox59news@fox59.com'; 'leisa.richardson@indystar.com'; 'newsdesk@wthr.com'; 'jeff.taylor@indystar.com'; 'sgaler@wthr.com'

Subject: Johnson County Write-In Candidates

 To whom it may concern:

 There has been some confusion as to whether we have any write-in candidates in Johnson County. We do. They filed all the correct paper work to be declared a write-in candidate during the time frame that they could. Please reflect this information on your candidate lists. Their party affiliation that they declared on their paperwork is to the left of their name.  

 They are as follows:

I

Moody

Gary (Reform)

County Surveyor- WRITE IN CANDIDATE

(317) 736-8137

299 1/2 W. Madison St.

Franklin

IN

46131

R

Roberts

Kenneth P.

County Council @Large- WRITE IN CANDIDATE

(317) 549-5302

672 Johnson Ave

Franklin

IN

46131

Here is the Indiana Code that specifies what clarifies someone as a candidate:

 IC 3-5-2-6

Candidate-(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), "candidate" means a person who:

        (1) Has taken the action necessary to qualify under Indiana law for listing on the ballot at an election or to become a write-in candidate;

        (2) Has publicly announced or declared candidacy for an elected office; or

        (3) Otherwise seeks nomination for or election to an elected office, regardless of whether the individual wins election to the office.

Our county website has been updated with the newest candidate list. Please call if you have any questions.

Thank you,

 Reagan Higdon

Deputy Clerk

Johnson County Voter Registration

& Marriage Licenses

Phone: 317-346-4467

Fax: 317-736-3798

www.indianavoters.in.gov

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