We all know the story of Chicken Little, the loud fowl who ran around warning the sky was falling, the sky was falling. Of course the sky wasn’t, but CL’s reputation took a real hit over the false prediction.
Maybe I’m a bit like Chicken Little. Don’t think so, but let’s just put it out there that it’s a possibility.
With that said . . .
Anyone else surprised by some of the things coming out of the Indiana Legislature this year? Anyone followed the dramatics of April Johnson, the woman who lost the primary for county commissioner but won the election for precinct party chair?
Interesting stories.
Let’s start with the state. Thanks to an absolutely unpredictable pandemic, we can reasonably predict that revenues are going to take a hit, which means the state will be extra tight with the purse strings.
Understandable, sure, but it’ll still tick some folks off.
Which is why a few things don’t make much sense now. For example, it seems like the state is dipping their toes, ankles and pretty much everything up to the hip in local business. We could go through some examples, but I don’t want to get sidetracked on one specific topic (and Lord knows wind turbines can sure do that in Montgomery County).
The bigger point / question is why would the state legislature, completely controlled by Republicans, start stepping on local toes?
If that’s right, then here’s some very unsolicited advice for our honorable Reps. Brown and Negele – proceed with caution. Caution like juggling-hand-grenades-while-walking-through-a-minefield kind of caution.
Follow along, if you would.
A lot of folks are still reeling from the riot in D.C. I don’t care if you are on the left or the right, what happened was astounding and a significant number of Americans are still processing it. No, no, no, I don’t mean those who scream that Trump was robbed and had an election stolen from him. And no, no, no, I don’t mean those who think Trump is worse than Satan, Hitler and my third period high school math teacher.
I mean us folks in the middle. In my humble opinion (and this is my two cents after all), the 85 million who voted for Biden and the 75 million who voted for Trump would’ve voted for damn near anyone else with a brain, a pulse and some patriotism . . . had the option been available. We’ve been saddled with the lesser of evils for a long time and people are getting tired of it. Why? Well, Reps. Brown-Negele, because folks are trusting our government less and less. You guys are taking over local decisions. You are attacking the First Amendment and trying to hide public information. About the only thing you aren’t doing is making a lot of friends with the very folks who vote. It hasn’t mattered up to now, but I’m guessing that’s changing. And if it is, you might face some election challenges you haven’t had before.
Along those lines, one person who’s really hoping for a change is Johnson. You may recall that she was charged with the fact that she supported an Independent candidate for county commissioner (who was running against a Republican, namely John Frey).
In my view, ain’t nothing wrong with that. It’s a free country and we all get to support whoever we think will serve people best.
Except . . .
Except for the fact that April was elected to represent a precinct of Republicans. So when Frey complained (and he did), the matter went to GOP hierarchy. Former Sen. Randy Head is the district chair and headed up a hearing with district officers Negele, Rep. Beau Baird and Fountain County Councilman Dudley Cruea.
“It was only a one-issue decision,” Head, a 1991 Wabash College grad, said Tuesday. “The complaint alleged that she violated the rule and the rule says if you are going to be a precinct committeeman you have to be a Republican in good standing. And to be a Republican in good standing you can’t support someone running against a Republican.”
Head would not say what the vote was, but it was either 3-1 or 4-0, because had it ended in a tie the matter would not be over.
Actually, it may not be over. Johnson said she is writing a letter to State GOP Executive Director Matt Huckleby. She said she does not believe the hearing took place within the allowed timeframe from when Frey filed the complaint in December.
“She brought that up,” Head said. “But I explained that I asked (John) to withdraw it, and he did. He refiled it at a later date. I’m confident that things were done within the timeline allowed by the state.”
She also brought up other examples, to no avail.
Montgomery County GOP Chair Dan Guard now has the whole thing in his lap. He has 30 days to name a replacement for Johnson.
Frey said that he didn’t have anything personal against Johnson – he just didn’t think it was right that she worked against a Republican while holding the office of precinct chair.
Johnson, however, said this fight is important.
“I’m just being transparent,” a frustrated Johnson said Tuesday. “Whether you loved or hated President Trump a lot of people felt like he was honest. He was transparent. But he was utterly villainized. I read that 75 percent of Republicans would support him still. We are just heading down a path that many people are concerned about. We are heading toward communism. Black Lives Matter is a communist organization. But we lift them up. I think this is a matter where we need some people to stand up and speak their mind.
“If John is embarrassed by this, he should be. There have been others who have been precinct chairs and supported independent candidates. There was an article the other day from David Hadley about wetlands and I really liked it. Can I talk to him (Hadley is a Democrat)? It makes people nervous now to have conversations.”
For now, Johnson is out as precinct chair and is fighting for what she believes is the right thing. How’s that going to turn out? Stay tuned.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.