JuliaVaughn / Special to IBJ

Recent Articles

VAUGHN: Admitting problem is first step to ethics reform

June 14, 2014
While I was disappointed the House Ethics Committee didn’t even slap Rep. Eric Turner’s wrist for his behavior surrounding the failed nursing home moratorium, I was surprised and pleased the committee report admitted that our Legislature’s ethics rules and statutes are too lax.

VAUGHN: Turner stink should be cleansed from Statehouse

April 19, 2014
Now that April has arrived, it’s time for spring cleaning. Let’s hope the growing stink surrounding state Rep. Eric Turner prompts the General Assembly to begin a cleanup of its own.

VAUGHN: Fixing a rigged game requires neutral referees

February 15, 2014
Allowing legislators to draw their own districts is like the NBA allowing the home team to hire its own officials; it would be an obvious conflict of interest that would discredit the process and lead to unfair play. That’s why redistricting reform tops Common Cause Indiana’s legislative agenda and why I’m pleased that the House took action early this session by passing House Bill 1032.<

VAUGHN: Courts will decide basic election issues

November 30, 2013
Although voters in Marion County won’t cast ballots for City-County elections until 2015, two courts are considering cases that will have a major impact on local elections.

VAUGHN: Ag gag and its euphemisms are back

October 5, 2013
One of the most controversial proposals to emerge at the 2013 General Assembly has resurfaced as the topic of a summer study committee. Late last month, the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development focused on ag gag legislation that would make it a crime to expose illegal, inhumane or unsafe conditions at factory farms in Indiana.

VAUGHN: Stand your ground against tricky ALEC

August 3, 2013
With the controversial verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, attention has returned to the stand-your-ground law that was so central to the defense’s case. Attention has also returned to a key group behind the adoption of stand-your-ground laws in Florida and two dozen other states, including Indiana.

VAUGHN: IRS scandal overlooks larger issue

June 1, 2013
Common Cause founder John Gardner once said, “We share the conviction that as citizens we have every right to raise hell when we see injustice done, or the public interest betrayed, or the public process corrupted.”

VAUGHN: Expanding Medicaid would benefit all

March 30, 2013
In these pages last fall, I complained about gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence playing politics with the implementation of federal health reform. Unfortunately, now that he’s been elected governor, the game-playing continues and uninsured Hoosiers continue to be pawns in Pence’s game with federal officials.

VAUGHN: Action will make IEDC talk believable

February 2, 2013
When I first met Mike Pence back in the mid-1990s, he was working as a radio and TV talk show host in Indianapolis. I was a guest on his public affairs program many times and came to know the future governor as an affable and evenhanded host who made room for all points of view while clearly stating his own.

VAUGHN: Door keeps revolving at Statehouse

January 5, 2013
With Republican super-majorities in both Statehouse chambers and a newly elected governor eager to make his mark on state government, the upcoming legislative session could get controversial real fast.

VAUGHN: Super PACs still threaten democracy

December 1, 2012
Forget red states versus blue states. The color best representative of the 2012 election is green, as in greenbacks. The election was not only the most expensive in our nation’s history at $6 billion spent, but it also shattered the record by more than $700 million. More than 1,000 Super PACs were formed and they spent at least $970 million, much of it on negative television ads and direct mail.

VAUGHN: Election bullies threaten right to vote

November 3, 2012
With Indiana ranked a dismal 48th for voter turnout, you would think Republicans and Democrats could agree that our state needs to take aggressive steps to increase the number of active voters.

VAUGHN: Stop the campaign money shell game

September 29, 2012
While it is easy to see the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, since corporate-sponsored political ads have dominated our airwaves for months, it is much more difficult for voters to determine exactly who is paying for these ads.

VAUGHN: Pence plays games with the uninsured

September 1, 2012
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the vast majority of the Affordable Care Act, it threw a curveball to politicians like Gov. Daniels and Mike Pence, who were counting on the court killing the implementation of national health reform.

VAUGHN: Daniels won't admit costly FSSA mistake

August 4, 2012
With the Purdue University job awaiting him, Gov. Daniels is apparently taking a Rube Goldberg approach to state government.

VAUGHN: Citizens get high-tech shot at drawing maps

June 30, 2012
The mapping software provides all the tools.

VAUGHN: WellPoint's secret political spending continues

June 2, 2012
Full disclosure isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business.

VAUGHN: Ethics laws — enforcement = empty promises

May 5, 2012
All the ethics and disclosure laws on the books won’t make much difference if they are not aggressively and fairly enforced.

VAUGHN: Lengthy laundry list awaits White's successor

March 31, 2012
Lawson has more than just the image problem to work on.

VAUGHN: Crush corruption before it gets in the water

March 3, 2012
The mind-set seems to be that these are individual transgressions.

VAUGHN: Good news, bad news for public access

February 4, 2012
It is time to make a point with those hardcore offenders that keeping secrets from the public won’t be tolerated.

VAUGHN: Indictment reveals rotten culture at IURC

January 7, 2012
The Hardy/Duke scandal has left a dark stain of impropriety.

VAUGHN: Voters left out of Vaughn's power grab

December 10, 2011
His actions and the sweetheart deal with Brooks raise a long list of red flags.

VAUGHN: Shine more light on Duke/IURC secrets

November 12, 2011
Here's hoping Thomas is just slow to bait his hook and has a plan to get the big fish into the boat.

VAUGHN: Indiana's civic health is on life support

October 8, 2011
The way to begin to reduce the influence of wealthy campaign contributors is to institute a system of public financing.

VAUGHN: No reason to restrict satellite voting centers

September 10, 2011
Satellite early voting is a no-brainer and it’s a shame Republicans are hiding behind security and fiscal red herrings, since their concern is purely political; they simply believe early voting helps Democrats.
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...