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Letters

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Let’s laud Leonard for show of integrity

Bosma
Leonard

An injustice has been perpetrated by Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma. I’m not speaking about HJR 3, but about Speaker Bosma’s weak personal constitution regarding the bill.

In Speaker Bosma we have a man charged by the citizens of Indiana with a duty. He must uphold the tenets of governance and be a good curator of the process of creating the laws and structures of the state as put into place by our forefathers.

Not only have the actions taken by the speaker shown a lack of respect for these governing structures, Speaker Bosma has gone a step further and shown a lack of personal character.

He has absolved himself of personal responsibility and had the audacity to place blame for his own actions on my representative, Dan Leonard.

Please allow me to introduce you to Rep. Leonard – Dan is a family man, a small business owner, a community leader and an excellent representative for the citizens of Huntington. He has been a member of the Indiana House for the past 12 years with an almost unheard-of 100 percent voting attendance record, and he was named legislator of the year in 2006.

I know personally that Dan has great respect for his office, great respect for the establishment and the institution as a whole, and believes strongly in his role in our representational government.

He also firmly believes in his prerogative not to specify what his vote will be prior to actually casting the vote. Throughout his 12 years of House service, he has never told anyone how he was going to vote prior to casting that vote.

Dan has never allowed himself to be pigeonholed into a position prior to a vote but has always allowed himself the maximum amount of time to perform due diligence through research, constituent meetings, public committee testimony and self-education on the issue at hand.

To maintain integrity in the process of how our country is governed, we must encourage and applaud this behavior – the behavior of a true democratic leader.

The speaker is blaming Leonard for political games being played related to passage of HJR 3 because Dan wouldn’t commit to the speaker how he planned to vote on the issue in the Judiciary Committee.

The speaker blames Dan for this when, in fact, Dan is simply acting with the integrity that he always has displayed.

Had the speaker simply let the committee process play out as intended, there is a distinct possibility Dan would have voted in favor in Judiciary and the resolution would have gone to the full House.

For some reason (that only Speaker Bosma himself knows), the speaker wouldn’t take the chance on what the outcome would be by following the established committee process and playing fair.

Instead, the speaker made the choice to divert the already-in-process bill from the Judiciary Committee to the Elections Committee – where he was sure he would have the votes to pass as he desired – and blame Leonard for this action.

Republican, Democrat, independent or otherwise – all Hoosiers, and in fact all Americans, need to elect their leaders to represent with integrity first, and to represent with intent second. Intent-based representation without integrity is meaningless. We must demand our leaders act with proper respect to the governmental process, regardless of whether they think they are going to “win.” When you “win” by disregarding the rules and the procedures, you are ultimately losing – an unclean victory is no victory at all.

Dan Leonard has been a true leader and representative in this situation. A true leader must examine the situation at hand, meet with his constituents, examine his personal beliefs, weigh those personal beliefs against the beliefs and betterment of his constituency, and, above all, maintain integrity in the process of becoming educated in an issue to ultimately cast the most informed vote. When the citizens of Huntington, of Indiana and of America as a whole go to the ballot box again in November, I hope and pray that they remember this and elect hundreds of Dan Leonards – and dismiss all Brian Bosmas.

Richard Najuch is a resident of Huntington. He wrote this for The Journal Gazette.

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