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The Friend Report

March 22, 2011

One of the responsibilities of this position is that I listen to all kinds of comments. They can be positive or negative, critical or complimentary. Regardless of what is said, I attempt to listen to each one and understand the logic or position of the person delivering the message.

There is a hard and fast rule that I apply when reading letters, however. The letter must be signed. Anonymous letters of disagreement do not move my opinions or judgment at all. The letter usually finds a home in the circular file (trash can) under the desk.  So, if you attempt to write a critical message to me and not sign your name, save yourself the time, effort and postage because an unsigned letter will be treated poorly. If you write me a letter, have the courage and courtesy to sign your name.

Sunday was the first day of spring and most of us are ready for warmer, more pleasant weather. Yes, we’ll be mowing and working outside, but what a welcome change from the cold, snowy and drab days of winter. Rumor has it that on the first day of spring, Indiana House Democrats will stick their heads out of a hotel in Urbana, IL to see if they can see their shadow.

The better weather has no effect on their decision to return to their duties, but the warmer weather may just give them a case of “quorum fever.” That is a condition where an individual is struck with such a feeling of responsibility that they return to the Indiana statehouse, complete a quorum and actually consider and vote on bills! We sure could use an epidemic of “quorum fever.”

Occasionally, after doing chores at our hog barn, I stop to see the grandkids. They live nearby. The five year old sometimes will say, “Grandpa, you stink like the hogs!” My response is, “But it will wash off.” She always tells me to go take a shower before I go to a meeting or anywhere else. She is right, of course. The nature of animal agriculture is that there are identifiable odors from being around animals and facilities. That is just the way it is.

This current situation in the Indiana House stinks as well. Wednesday, March 23 will mark the longest

strike/walkout/standoff/boycott in U.S. history.  That is not a record I ever wanted to be a part of. In fact, it stinks! The more discouraging part is that this smell won’t wash off for a long, long time.

The foolish actions of a few are denying all Hoosiers their rightful representation. Our current situation needs to get back to the normal conduct of business by the legislature.

This walkout stinks and the smell won’t wash off. Our absent members need to return and work it off.

Perhaps you can tell that the frustration level is extremely high. Continue to communicate. It is the only way to participate in government effectively.

More later,

Bill Friend