FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Candidates Wrap Up Campaigning Before Election DayNOVEMBER 5TH, 2018 MEGAN DIVENTI EVANSVILLE, INDIANAAfter months of campaigning, both Republican and Democratic candidates were underway pushing voters to the polls for Tuesday’s election.“There have been lots of people who have wanted to talk and who seem to be excited about getting out and voting,” says Edie Hardcastle, Indiana State Senate candidate District 49.Hardcastle says it’s important to talk with people about why they should vote and why their vote is important.“It’s really one of our last days of getting Out The Vote weekend and so what we’re doing really today is what we’ve been doing the last six months which is going out and knocking on doors and talking to voters about the issues,” says Hardcastle.Hardcastle says talking with people face-to-face is an effective approach to get their message across.“That’s why we make it such a big push the weekend before the election not only to make people aware the election is happening, but like if they have questions like where to vote or whose on the slate, if they need a ride to the polls, we can give them all that information,” says Hardcastle.Meanwhile, at the Vanderburgh County Republican Headquarters, County Commissioner District 2 candidate Mike Duckworth says the weekend before election day is a culmination of 11 months work.“In some of these races it could be very close, so picking up two or three or five votes here and there could be the difference,” says Mike Duckworth, County Commissioner District 2 candidate.Campaign volunteers were also busy sending text messages, making calls, and putting up signs.“They are indispensable,” says Hobart Scales, a campaign volunteer. “Campaign volunteers are the most important piece of any campaign and so having them here doing that work, that’s it. That’s everything.”Democrats and Republicans alike worked hard urging people who haven’t voted to make sure they do.“We want folks to take a look at our qualifications and our experience and make their decision,” says Duckworth.Monday is the last day to vote early. Vanderburgh County races will include Prosecutor, County Commissioner, State Senate District 49, and State Representative District 74 and 76.
GREGG CALLS FOR GREATER TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT RECORDSINDIANAPOLIS – Ahead of Wednesday’s one-year anniversary of Governor Mike Pence’s failed attempt to launch a state run news service, “Just IN,” today John Gregg called for dramatic improvements to the Indiana’s public records laws.“While this governor would have created a taxpayer funded propaganda machine to control what information reporters and the public have access to, I want to throw open the doors of state government,” said Gregg, a former university president, businessman and Speaker of the Indiana House.“Times have changed. With advances in technology and following the lead of other states and communities, similar to what Mayor Pete Buttigeig did in South Bend, we can make our state government one of the most open and transparent in the nation,” added Gregg. “Hoosiers expect and deserve no less.”According to a 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity, Indiana received an ‘F’ for access to public information.Under Gregg’s “Open Government Initiative,” the third policy proposal of the campaign, the following changes would be made:• Mandate a 10 Day Turnaround on Public Information RequestsUnder Gregg’s proposal, government agencies would be required to produce documents following a public records request within 10 business days. If an agency is unable to fulfill the request because of the size, scope or complexity of the request, it could seek an extension or exemption from the Office of Public Access Counselor. Under current law, agencies are only required to acknowledge receipt of the request and there is no time limit for fulfilling it.• Strengthen the Powers of the Public Access CounselorTo improve access to public records, Gregg’s plan calls for giving the Office of Public Access Counselor the authority to review information a government agency wishes to be withheld to determine if it should or should not be made public. The office would also be granted power to compel agencies to release information. Existing law only allows the Public Access Counselor to issue non-binding advisory opinions• Create an Public Transparency Commission Once in office, Gregg will create a Public Transparency Commission made up of experts in the field to review the state’s existing public access laws and make recommendations to improve them. Among other items, the commission would be asked to study giving the Public Access Counselor new enforcement powers, eliminating existing exemptions in public access laws, the creation of a formal appeals process for when information is not released and appropriate staffing and budgeting levels for the Public Access Counselor. The commission would work throughout 2017 with the goal of presenting its findings and recommendations to the 2018 General Assembly.• Create an Open Data Portal in IndianaIn addition to making recommendations about the state’s open records, Gregg will ask the commission to work with his staff to launch an Open Data Portal for state and local government agencies. Building on existing efforts, the goal of the portal would be to provide Hoosiers with access to real time budget information, GIS maps, contracts, reports and various data sets from a range of state, local and federal sources. The data would be searchable, could eventually be linked with similar portals in Indiana communities and other states. Availability of this data will lead to greater accountability within agencies, a more data-driven approach to addressing issues and a deeper understanding of government operations by the public. And, as more data is uploaded to the portal, fewer public information requests will be required, saving time and money.“These common sense steps will give Hoosiers access to the data and information that their tax dollars already paid for and in a more timely, efficient and responsive manner,” added Gregg. “It’s my hope that this will not only lead to greater engagement with the public, but new collaborations and innovations that improve the services government provides.”Gregg pledged to work with the General Assembly to enact measures requiring legislation and would issue executive orders to establish others. A native of Sandborn, John Gregg has worked throughout the public and private sector. He served as President of Vincennes University, Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, worked for two Fortune 500 companies and is a practicing attorney today. A father of two, he holds an associate’s degree from Vincennes University, a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, a master’s degree from Indiana State University and a law degree from Indiana University.For more information on John Gregg or his campaign for Governor of Indiana, please visit www.greggforgovernor.com or call 317-231-7100.FOOTNOTES: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Friday?Please take time and read our newest feature article entitled “HOT JOBS”posted in this section are from Evansville proper.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] “Readers Poll” question is: If the election was held today for State Representative District 77 who would you vote for?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail