New blog to check out (and a race to watch)

Dateline: Fri 01 Sep 2006

K. Paul Mallasch is the editor of the online newspaper the Muncie Free Press, "serving all of East Central Indiana."

See the link, please....

http://www.munciefreepress.com/

Mallasch tells me he formerly worked for Gannett's Muncie Star Press and was "downsized," he said, after building up the paper's online division. He was with Gannett from 1998 to 2005. Now, he said, he is (like me) "much happier" on the outside.

Mallasch is covering an area of Indiana that for years has been thought of as the microcosm of the state. He has a very good post on Democrat candidate Susan Fuldauer, who is running for election in House District 88 to try to unseat the powerful R Brian Bosma, House speaker.

In Indiana, Mallasch's post points out, legislators must donate 5 percent of their pay to their own retirement. The state then kicks in 20 percent. This sort of wretched excess is exactly why Indiana is in such hot water today. But Fauldauer says it better:

"The current Republican leadership had an opportunity to end this fleecing of Hoosiers when they eliminated their life time health benefits perk, but instead they made every attempt to keep the `4 to 1 plan' alive and profitable," said Susan Fuldauer, Democratic candidate for House District 88.

"When we go to the polls, we elect men and women who we must be able to trust. Brian Bosma eliminated the lifetime healthcare benefits, but didn't put an end to the `4 to 1 plan.' If he ended one benefit, why didn't he put an end to this other gross misuse of public funds?"

Fauldauer continues:

"We can't even afford full-day kindergarten. But what is the state legislature doing to overcome these challenges? It is doing nothing," she said.

"We need leaders who know and care about what's really important to our communities, not to allow tax dollars to fund elite benefits for professional politicians. These are tax dollars that could be used more effectively for all Hoosiers. I pledge when I am elected District 88 representative, I will not enroll in the retirement plan; rather, I will work in a non-partisan fashion to devise a plan fair to elected officials and the citizens of Indiana. I encourage all Democratic candidates to pledge to the citizens of their House and Senate districts that they will do the same."

Time for a change? Anybody listening? I am, and I will be reading the Muncie Free Press -- serving all of East Central Indiana -- regularly.

UPDATE: Mallasch also has a blog about the media, in which he proposes -- and answers -- the question on all of our lips: is there hope for journalism?

Please check it out as well:

http://www.journalismhope.com/

contact me: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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