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Indiana Clerk's Association
City of Indianapolis
Community Action Drug Coalition
Association of Indiana Counties
Porter County Clerk and Election Board member Dale Brewer, a Republican, told Dame that it has been a pleasure to have worked with her.
Until then, though, Brewer will remain in office and will work closely with the Voter Registration Office. Brewer and Kozuszek haven't exactly been political friends. In 2004, Brewer filed a voter fraud complaint against Kozuszek's two adult children, claiming that they voted in Porter's town election the year before even though they lived in Chesterton. Of the three members, only Brewer wanted to forward her complaint to the prosecutor. Later, the Kozuszek children filed their own complaint -- a federal lawsuit -- against Brewer and Chesterton Police Chief George Nelson in his capacity as a Chesterton poll worker. Brewer, too, said the responsibility to work together on the elections comes first. "We've got a job to do, and we'll get it done," she said.
There were 68 precincts to count Tuesday, which is far less than when the equipment failed during the general elections of 2000, said Porter County Clerk and Election Board member Dale Brewer.Porter County had the largest percentage of voters show up at the polls that year among all 92 counties in Indiana, she said.
Dale Brewer: Bringing balance to Statehouse Brewer also criticized Tallian's legislative mailings that Brewer contends are politically oriented though taxpayer funded.Brewer also criticized Tallian's legislative mailings that Brewer contends are politically oriented though taxpayer funded.Brewer also took Tallian to task for voting for the new fireworks law without a provision for home rule.Because the Senate is likely to remain Republican-controlled after the November elections, Brewer said she can get legislation passed."My opponent can't.If she authors a bill, she's not going to get anywhere."Brewer also said she would bring geographic balance for Porter County to the Indiana Statehouse.Now in her second and final term as Porter County Clerk, Brewer said that of the two candidates, she is the only one who has a well-rounded knowledge of local government, its needs, and the impact of new laws enacted by the General Assembly."I work on legislative issues all the time as clerk," she said.Brewer started working for the county government part-time in 1985 in the assessor's office, before moving to the auditor's office where she was quickly named executive deputy.She is now president-elect of the Indiana Clerk's Association and is a member of the Community Action Drug Coalition, the Mayor's Commission on Domestic Violence, and assorted other committees involving county clerks and election boards.She said this is the third time party officials have asked her to make a run for state senator."I can get things done.I can build consensus.I do it all the time," Brewer said.Tallian and Taxes"I pay my taxes," Brewer said.Brewer blasted Democrat incumbent Karen Tallian for three years of delinquent property taxes on her Ogden Dunes home that temporarily placed Tallian's home on the county's tax sale list.Brewer doesn't buy it.She called Tallian's late tax payment a "deliberate neglect" of her responsibilities, both as a taxpayer and as a public official entrusted to make decisions on taxes; she said she could see one late payment, but not three."When she doesn't pay her tax bill, who doesn't get the money?"Brewer said, citing towns, libraries, schools, and "our children.""Who takes the burden?All other taxpayers," she said.Brewer said by attributing the matter to an error, Tallian is essentially saying that she should be trusted to spend taxpayers' money but shouldn't be held accountable to pay her own taxes."It's kind of like a slap in the face," she said.Brewer further took Tallian to task for what she termed an abuse of her franking privileges -- taxpayer-funded mailings -- that she said were "blatantly political."Brewer pledged that if elected, she would not put out any legislative-related mailings after August 1 unless paid for through campaign funds.Brewer further faulted Tallian for her vote on the new fireworks law since it did not include a provision that would allow local entities to make their own more restrictive rules."I really think you ought to know what you are voting for before you vote," Brewer said.Toll RoadBrewer had plenty of good things to say about the Indiana Toll Road lease: The proceeds have so far generated $48 million in interest that can be used for such things as health care for the uninsured; the proceeds have created jobs and economic development, including a $250 million worth of work on the Toll Road; the funds shored up the Regional Development Authority; and the proceeds paid off the Toll Road bonds and paid back the borrowed funds from the teacher's pension fund.And, Brewer cited the millions in payments to counties, cities and towns."I haven't seen anybody turn down the money," she said.The Toll Road lease made good economic sense for the state and the region, Brewer said, "whether people want to realize it or not."Despite all her positive comments, Brewer said she can't say for certain that, had she been in office, she would have voted for the bill that cleared the way for the lease.But instead of flat out opposing it, she said she definitely would have looked for "compromise and concession" if she had concerns.Brewer added that by this year, the state had paid down only $80 million of $280 million worth of bonds issued to build the Toll Road.It would have taken the state another 130 years to pay off those bonds, she said."Guess what?The Toll Road is paid off.And we still have money in our pockets to spend."Now that the road is leased, Brewer said it will be important that state legislators are "good custodians" of the money, and to make sure that the proceeds are not pilfered away except for road projects as intended.State Park Hotel, BMVBrewer doesn't support the Daniels administration on two other issues: the hotel in the Indiana Dunes State Park and the closure of the Chesterton license branch.She said she doesn't think there's room in the state park for a hotel."They have a beautiful campgroud.That's our hotel," she said.She also said in order for her to justify a state park hotel, all the other hotels in the area would have to operating at full occupancy all the time.But in that absence of that, a park hotel would take up land meant for the public."Isn't that the ides of a state park -- to give access to the public?"she said.As for the BMV, Brewer said she would propose legislation to reopen license branches in growing communities, such as Chesterton.Brewer said she can understand the administration's need to cut costs, but that growing communities like Chesterton will eventually need a license branch.At the very least, she said, the state could set up kiosks with limited BMV services in different locations so that people would have a more convenient way to renew their license.Brewer also called for expanding the state's health insurance program for poor children, dubbed CHIP, to include services provided in other states.The CHIP program is good, she said, "to a point."In this part of the state, many people take their children to Chicago hospitals for care, but CHIP only covers in-state care."Common sense has got to be brought in here," she said, noting that in this part of the state, Chicago is much closer than Indianapolis.TaxationBrewer supports a state measure that would require local government to institute zero-based budgeting as the first step in reforming the property tax system."What we have now is not working.That ought to be apparent," she said.Under the state's current system for local taxation, local government budgets get to increase a certain amount every year.But Brewer said there is nothing that says that local government should be entitled to an increase every year, and that if required to start their budgeting process from scratch, and justifying the needs line item by line item, many local budgets may not need an increase every year.She said she would not support repealing the state's Circuit Breaker tax cap, saying that there seems to be a "panic happening" about the legislation's impact on local budgets before anyone knows for sure if there will be budget cuts and if so, how severe.She expressed some support for Hometown Matters proposal, which would allow communities to impose a variety of new taxes as an alternative to property taxes.She said the people who are most affected by local government ought to have a say in how their government services are financed. Abortion, GaysWhen asked what voters can expect from her on abortion-related bills, Brewer said only: "I'm a pro-life person."While she is conservative on some issues, and liberal on others, Brewer said voters can expect her to take anti abortion votes.On the issue of a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, Brewer said she believes "we ought to stay out of people's bedrooms."On the other hand, she also said she believes that marriage should be only between a man and a woman and that if a vote were taken on a constitutional amendment to that effect, she would vote in favor.Posted 10/27/2006
Republican board member Dale Brewer, the Porter County Clerk, cast the sole vote in support of a further investigation, citing discrepancies in two addresses used by both Kozuszeks.Brewer, who was the one who brought the original complaint against the Kozuszeks, said an unbiased review by the prosecutor would settle the issue for all concerned."That way, there's no question in anyone's mind," she said.Brewer strongly defended her decision to raise the challenge, noting that the purpose of a challenge is to bring out more information.If questions about potential violations aren't investigated, Porter County could end up like East Chicago."I won't allow that to happen," Brewer said.She said challenging questionable ballots "is protecting the right of every voter in Porter County."Stankiewicz had harsh criticism of the way that both Brewer and Chesterton Police Chief George Nelson handled the matter, saying that he believes Brewer and precinct inspector Rita Newman -- who spoiled both Kozuszek ballots after Brewer's challenge -- were "duped" by Nelson, a Republican poll worker, and that they relied on incomplete, "selective" information about the Kozuszeks.Stankiewicz charged that through his role as police chief, Nelson knew about a police report in October that listed a Chesterton address as the residence for both Wesley and Nicole and informed Brewer about the potential discrepancy. Stankiewicz said Brewer and Nelson should have shared the information with the full election board in advance, which would have allowed election officials to consider other records, such as the Kozuszeks' driver licenses, vehicle registrations, showing that they lived in Porter.Brewer countered that no one could have possibly known ahead of time that any possible violation occurred, since election day had yet to arrive, and that she found no reason to bring up the issue in advance."There was no pre-meditation here," she said.But she said while checking on the Chesterton polling site on election day, Brewer saw Wesley Kozuszek working the polls and then remembered Nelson's comment, made to her after a poll worker training meeting, indicating that the Kozuszeks lived in Chesterton.Brewer said she checked absentee ballots and discovered that both Kozuszeks had already voted in Porter.
Dale Brewer, Porter County Clerk