Real March Madness – Indiana Says No To Leadership & Open Mindedness

Real March Madness – Indiana Says No To Leadership & Open Mindedness

Indiana Legislature Tells The NCAA, NFL, NBA, Eli Lilly, GenCon, Amazon, Salesforce, YPO, The Chamber of Commerce and Others to Take a Hike

Really? Is this what we elected a super majority of Republicans to do? Apparently, the leadership decided it made sense to push through the “Religious Freedom Act”. I wrote a piece called “It’s 2015: Where Have All The Leaders Gone?” last week, I had no idea how timely that was. Here is a recent story on the issue.Indiana closed for business

Indiana House OKs controversial religious freedom bill

The basic argument of those in favor of these laws seems to be quite weak. This post discusses the fact that the language is very similar to existing law at the Federal level and in the state. If that is so, why is it needed?

Indiana’s So-Called ‘Right to Discriminate’ Law Appears Very Similar to Existing Federal Law

I have yet to hear or read a strong argument in its favor. This is an issue drummed up by those wanting to drum up issues and make a seemingly principled stand on what other people do in their private lives. The hypotheticals they use like a caterer who does not want to serve a gay wedding are simply dumb. If any business like that really does not want to get someone’s business for any reason, they could simply make their bid not competitive and lose out to others. The idea you need a law to turn away business is the very example of conservatism gone amuck.

One of the more ridiculous arguments for a change in the language put forth was “A House committee last week tried to assuage the concerns of some business interests, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, with an amendment that exempts employers from any lawsuits brought by employees under the legislation.” They completely miss the point.

Have any of these people voting for this considered what this legislation actually permits? What if a Muslim shop owner decided their religion prevented them from serving Christians or Jews? Or Visa versa? Under the language of this legislation, that would be permitted wouldn’t it? How about another example, where a restaurant owner believes adultery is against their religion and refuses to allow people they suspect of committing it to dine in their establishment based on their religious conscience. How about couples living together in sin, unmarried, against the teaching of an owners religion. Who gets to decide? The idea that small government conservatives would put into place a framework for the state to arbitrate these questions strikes me as worse than counter intuitive.

And while I do not agree with much of what passes for journalism on MSNBC, this story was well done on putting this in perspective nationally and why this fight is not only wrong but in the end will cause damage to Indiana and ultimately will fail – Why ‘religious freedom’ laws are doomed

The bottom line is why do we have such an activist state government that feels it necessary to make a law like this? Starting with Governor Daniels and continued under Governor Pence, the state has done a great job of attracting businesses and rebuilding the economy in spite of the ridiculous headwinds from Washington. Indiana has a great track record in this regard, especially relative to its neighbor states of IL and MI. So why risk that momentum and progress now?

Consequences:

The big table top game convention that brings 56,000 people and $50 million to the State and is Indianapolis’ second-largest convention, is threatening to relocate its massive late-summer annual event to another city if Gov. Mike Pence signs the controversial “religious freedom” bill into law added in a letter to the Governor “Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years,” GenCon CEO Adrian Swartout said Monday in a letter to Pence.

GenCon threatens to exit Indy over ‘religious freedom’ measure

The Backlash to the Anti-Gay Backlash: “Religious Freedom” Bills Fail, As More People See What They’re Really About

My question is: how long can an organization like the NCAA or a company like Eli Lilly or Amazon who keeps expanding here stand by and do business as usual in such potentially hostile environment to their employees, customers and constituents. Many of my CEO friends around the world in Young Presidents Organization (YPO is a group of over 22,000 CEOs with a combined $6 trillion in revenue and 15 million employees) have been sending messages to the effect of “REALLY Smoke, what kind of state do you live in?” In the case of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed similar legislation when confronted with the uproar of the NFL (and Super Bowl pullout) and the business community. Governor Pence, do you think we are immune to this? Do you think you are standing on principle? If so it is the wrong one.

How long until the NFL pulls the combine? How many NCAA tournaments do you think we will land going forward. Oh and by the way, what great timing Legislature to put Indiana in the national spotlight during March madness.

Conservatives Against Close Mindedness

Yes, one can be a conservative and be completely opposed to this kind of legislation and behavior. In fact, it is the opposite of true conservatism. This is government intervention at its worst. I’m a long time supporter of conservative causes and of many Republicans, who cannot reconcile this. For example, I whole-heartedly supported the Indiana legislative takeover led by Mitch Daniels and others that was mainly about fixing the education system in Indiana. The fact is the Teachers’ Union had a lock on the legislature and a group of like-minded business people and conservatives got together and supported state legislative candidates and made them competitive for the first time. This led to the current makeup of the legislature here. And there are many good things that have come out of that takeover. That said, this is not one of them.

In fact, it makes me want to put a fund together of like-minded people to knock off the knuckleheads who voted this legislation into law.   While I’m glad the Democrats (and 5 brave Republicans) all voted against this, I certainly don’t want to see the teacher’s union back in control preventing all kinds of experimentation and change in our troubled education system, but I also don’t want to see the current crop of “leaders” in place. Is there not a sensible center? How about a group of fiscal conservative, libertarian minded folks who can knock off the current group and create the kind of government that this state and its people deserve?

Who is with me?

Supporting the “Religious Freedom Act”:

Voting Yes:

Republicans: Arnold, Aylsworth, Bacon, Baird, Behning, Borders, Bosma, Braun, Tim Brown, Burton, Carbaugh, Cherry, Cook, Cox, Culver, Davisson, Dermody, DeVon, Fine, Friend, Frizzell, Frye, Gutwein, Hamm, Harman, Heaton, Judy, Karickhoff, Koch, Lehe, Leonard, Lucas, Mahan, Mayfield, McMillin, McNamara, Miller, Morrison, Morris, Negele, Nisly, Ober, Olthoff, Price, Rhoads, Richardson, Schaibley, Slager, Smaltz, Milo Smith, Soliday, Speedy, Steuerwald, Sullivan, Thompson, Torr, Truitt, Ubelhor, VanNatter, Washburne, Wesco, Zent, Ziemke.

Democrats: None.

Voting No:

Republicans: Beumer, Clere, Eberhart, Kirchhofer, Saunders.

Democrats: Austin, Bartlett, Bauer, Charlie Brown, DeLaney, Errington, Forestal, GiaQuinta, Goodin, Hale, Kersey, Klinker, Lawson, Macer, Moed, Moseley, Niezgodski, Pelath, Pierce, Pryor, Riecken, Shackleford, Vernon Smith, Stemler, Summers, Wright.

EXCUSED (not sure why you can be excused from something like this) Dvorak, Harris, Huston, Lehman, Porter, Wolkins.

At the very least, the businesses that choose to not serve Gays or Muslims or Jews or Adulterers or whatever this bills proponents and the supposed beneficiaries of it are really after, should be required to place stickers that get applied to the front door of their establishments and to be put on an easy to find list on the web. Those who think this is some great move to respect individual’s religion don’t get to have it both ways – The ability to discriminate based on your conscience AND the ability to remain anonymous. You may well choose to not serve someone out of your religious conscience under this law, but we don’t need a law to choose not to do business with you.

 

3/29 UPDATE: Well its been quite a week and Indiana has taken a beating on the national and international stage. Based on everything I’ve read including the law itself (here), this explanation in the Weekly Standard and a balanced analysis in the Star (here) and this lawyers blog post (here) among other things, I stand by my remarks above.   One thing I’ll add, the fact that similar laws exist around the country does not mean they are right.  There are so many laws on the books that may have made sense at one time or another, but today make no sense.  The attempt to balance an individuals right to practice their chosen religion with the basic right to not be discriminated against is not difficult in my mind.  No one has the right to discriminate for any reason.   Governor Pence, that was the right answer on today’s  This Week show with George Stephanopoulos.

Aside from that, the shear political ham handedness of the Indiana Republican leadership (who I supported and elected) is breathtaking.  Every lead in to the Final Four this weekend will have this issue front and center (assuming the NCAA does not pull it at the last minute).  The damage being done economically and reputationally to our state will take many years to overcome. And why?  What compelling reason or case was there that drove this?  You who practice politics for a living, have no excuse.   The damage to my business, my friends, and to my state of over 25 years gives me a high level of motivation to work to get you out of office.

 

April 4 Update:  An excellent post #RFRA firestorm overview…@CarlyFiorina ​ has it right. “Creating an Artificial Divide in Indiana

My 2015 Superbowl Ad Recap

My 2015 Superbowl Ad Recap

Slide1

That was a great Super Bowl! Well, as great a game as it could be without the Colts in it. That said, I’m sure many of you joined me watching the actual big game – the commercials. I did not evaluate every one, but the most notable discussions (I posted on Facebook and Twitter as the night went on and had lots of interesting interaction) I recap below.

My comments denoted with @smokewallin. Where others commented or tweeted I list their Twitter handle.

Interesting Comments and Un-categorized:

@smokewallin: Pretty close.. RT @jack_welch: Product Managers….every day try to design a perfect product like NFL

@smokewallin: Really? RT @adage: Whoa RT @LoctiteGlue Hey, @BUDWEISER! Stop bidding on our ad keywords. Love, Loctite

@smokewallin: Wix.com websites.. Farve & Carve… nice ad! Worked

Farve & Carve

NASCAR

@smokewallin: Nice @NASCAR @nbc ad at end… @DISupdates coming soon! #SuperBowl #superbowlcommercials

video-undefined-2541D2B800000578-109_637x358

BUDWEISER:

The horses saving the puppy from wolves was beautifully done.  There was a lot of push back from the craft beer world on the This BUD’S FOR YOU slaming craft beer. My sentiment was ABI (Anheier-Busch Inbev) is simply playing to their strength and their core audience with the through-back ad.   The PacMan ad for Budlight did not work for me though.

@smokewallin:Big Beer fights back Craft beer .. @Budweiser “Let them sip their Pumpkin, Peach Ale we’ll be brewing golden suds” nicely done4 target!

This buds for you This Buds for you horse

@smokewallin: I think @Budweiser bringing back old school works better than Pacman @budlight hard to see how it connects #upforanything #SuperBowl commercials

@smokewallin: Play to your strength? RT @businessinsider: People are slamming Budweiser ad that mocks craft beer http://read.bi/1BR2DGF 

@smokewallin: Play your strength? RT @adage: Look what came back at the #SuperBowl: An old slogan http://trib.al/oYGzM1N 

Here is one example of the craft beer world reaction from the Ashley V Routson aka “BeerWench”

https://twitter.com/TheBeerWench Hazzah ‪#craftbeer! Budweiser has officially admitted to being threatened by us, albeit passive aggressively though a Super Bowl commercial.

Soft Drinks

Coca-Cola a big win with their positive message. Love the reply to negative tweets and see message. Oh and thanks for the retweet Coke! Pepsi with their half time extravaganza with Katy Perry did well. Most seemed to like the show and it was well executed.

@smokewallin: Coca-Cola #makeithappy nice sentiment. #superbowlcommercials

@smokewallin: Thx RT @CocaCola: @SmokeWallin #MakeItHappy is more than a # Reply 2 negative Tweets + see! http://bit.ly/1BgZw8b 

Coke happyimages-4

AUTOS

Fiat had the best ad, hands down. The little blue pill told a whole story in a short spot. Loved it! Liked the Harry Chapin ad (and song), but the message might be mixed up a bit… I expected the kids to leave at end and become a race driver, just as the dad was hanging it up – it would have matched the story of the song. Mercedes-Benz tortoise and the hare was cute and effective.

@smokewallin: The @FIATUSA 500 and the little blue pill… told a whole story.. nicely done! #SuperBowl commercials

fiat images-5 fiat2

Mercedes-Benz USA nice touch on old tortoise and hare fable.. tortoise gets the “girl”.. cute

@smokewallin: Nissan Kid growing up with Racing dad while Harry Chapin Cats In the Cradle plays… worked #superbowlcommercials

nissan racing growing up

@smokewallin: This land was made for you and me.. @Jeep Nice touch making it international! @FIATUSA #SuperBowl commercials

@smokewallin: Ok, Being a Dad… @Toyota USA hits home… Nice.. but did all these companies discuss the Dad theme? #SuperBowl commercials

@smokewallin: concur RT @adage: We’ve reached Peak Dad with that one. #withdad @nissan #SuperBowlads

@smokewallin: the BMW i3 ad with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric flash back to what is the internet was cute. #superbowlcommercials

Fast Company @FastCompany @BMW‘s #SuperBowl ad takes @katiecouric and Bryant Gumbel back in time: http://f-st.co/t3jR3wa  by @jeffcbeer

katie and bryant - BMW electric

The Kia ad with Pierce Bronson was actually pretty good as well.

Insurance

Nationwide was a fail mainly because it was such a serious ad and using a horrible thought like losing a child to an accident did not fit Superbowl. The American Family Insurance ad with Jennifer Hudson was cute, but pretty short and kind of got lost.

@smokewallin: Didn’t like Nationwide Insurance kid who will never grow up- I get it but not really mood of the Superbowl to me. #SuperBowl commercial

 

Medicine and Soap:

Dove was a great feeling ad, but kind of letdown when it got to the product. Jublia did not work and was not cleaver.

Dove

@smokewallin: exactly RT @marcmalkin: That dad’s commercial was good until they showed it was for soap. Kinda killed the emotional buzz #SuperBowl

 Jublia

@smokewallin: Jublia… uhm.. no. #SuperBowl commercials

@smokewallin: My sentiment… ugh RT @adage: Talk about turf toe. @kenwheaton gives Jublia commercial 1.5 stars.

jublia toe

%d bloggers like this: