The Kosciusko County Democratic Jefferson Jackson Hall of Fame Dinner was held on Saturday evening, at the Wagon Wheel 2517 Restaurant in Warsaw. Kosciusko County Democratic Party Chairman John Bonitati was pleased with the off-election year turnout. He opened the meeting stating that the recent federal government shut down hurt many Americans and the economy and we need leaders from the Democratic party who will provide solutions to our problems, not political grandstanding.
David Kolbe, who recently announced his candidacy for District 22 State Representative, spoke first. He outlined his vision of the leadership if elected. Said Kolbe, “It is time that we embrace a third way.”
He asserted that democracy best exists in the political center. While outlining traditional progressive values Kolbe announced that Democrats must consider the values expressed in conservatism. Kolbe advocates what he calls “fusion” politics, hoping to bring together Democrats, disgruntled Republicans and disenchanted independents. He added, “We can win because our ideas are better.”
Justin Kuhnle, United States 3rd District Congressional candidate, also spoke about investing in public education and the importance of creating affordable healthcare for all to benefit our working class. He talked about reducing spending and creating efficiency in running government.
Indiana 8th District State Sen. Jim Arnold was the last speaker. Sen. Arnold stated, “My question to Rep. Walorski, and I intend to ask her this when I see her, is please explain to me how your ‘no’ vote this past week on ending the nation’s shutdown helped in any way to return good hard working Americans back to work, open up government services that people dearly rely on such as parks and memorials along with helping to avert a financial crisis that we are still continuing to work through? The message sent by her and all ‘no’ voters in D.C. should be a clear message to all voters as to who really cares about the working people in this great nation.”
Sen. Arnold went on to say, “If you are all wondering about how we have arrived at this point in our nation’s government, be it federal, state or local, and why we can’t get past the partisanship and fighting, I suggest you do one thing: look in a mirror. Each and every one of us must share in these problems because of the way we determine how and whom we vote for.”
The evening ended with Art Brown receiving the “Democrat of the Year” award for his extraordinary efforts and many hours helping the party. Brown is also the director of communications for the Kosciusko County Democrats.