Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lincoln Day Article

Attorney General Greg ZoellerThe Corydon Democrat had an article on their front page this week about our Lincoln Day Dinner:

Members of the Harrison County Republican Party gathered Sunday evening to honor the first GOP president, Abraham Lincoln. The group not only paid tribute to the country's 16th president and party founder, but also took the time to remember an influential Republican in Harrison County who recently passed away, James L. Shireman.

"Three words symbolized what Jim Shireman was about: God, family and country," Larry Shickles, former Harrison County Republican Party chairman, said.

Shireman served as the GOP county chairman from 1964 to 1974 and was as an adviser to former Indiana governors Ed Whitcomb, Dr. Otis Bowen and Robert Orr.

"Jim served in a lot of capacities," Shickles said. "He made a difference for this party, community and country."

About 150 people convened at the Lanesville Heritage Community Center for the 70th Annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

"Normally an off-year means a much smaller crowd," Scott Fluhr, party chairman, said. "We have an even bigger crowd this year than last year. Something's happened."

A couple of folks in the audience didn't hesitate to shout out what it was that they thought had happened — President Barack Obama.

Former State Rep. Billy Bright of North Vernon later in the evening expressed concern about the Democratic president.

"Mr. President, this is a Christian nation and we don't cover up crosses when we speak at churches," he said.

Bright also criticized Obama's comments about not being at war with radical Islam.

"Well, they're at war with you," he said.

Bright then recited a quote from Norman Thomas, a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."

The evening's keynote speaker was newly-elected Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Zoeller complimented his predecessor, Steve Carter, for elevating the stature of the position and said he "did a great job." Zoeller also spoke about identity theft and an online credit freeze program implemented to combat the fast-growing crime.

"You should have confidence in the system," he said.

Zoeller said even though his job is not politically driven, the way he performs the job should reflect the values of the Republican Party: fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty with individual responsibility.

The other scheduled speaker for the evening, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, was unable to attend due to education budget meetings in Indianapolis.

Other speakers were former Congressman Mike Sodrel and 2010 Ninth District congressional candidates Todd Young, Dr. Richard Moss and Travis Hankins. Herman (Bud) Bernitt also spoke, but said he is not yet officially running for the seat out of respect for Sodrel.

Also, Dan Dumezich, who may run against U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, spoke briefly as did Brett Loyd, who will take on Paul Robertson for the District 70 state representative seat.

The only candidate to announce running for a county race was Veterans' Service Officer Marion Wallace. Wallace will run for the District 2 county council seat currently held by Democrat William (Bill) T. Nichols.

Two awards were given at the end of the evening. Norman Dennison of Mauckport received the annual Chairman's Award, and Shickles was honored for his past service to the party.

There's also a nice gallery of photos taken during the event, which you can view here.