Thoughts from D.C.

January 21, 2009
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Here’s what IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger wrote last night after the inauguration. (That's her above with President Obama on the TV screen to the right.)

Considering I was at my first inauguration in 2005 as grad school student and a Washington, D.C., correspondent, I wondered how the 2009 and 2005 inaugurations would compare. Now, I'm here as a media representative and a person on vacation, so I'm trying to find the balance between the two. This year, I made more contacts before the big event and was able to meet up with or at least share a few text messages with them.

At the Indiana Society of Washington, D.C.’s inaugural ball Jan. 19, the only event to which I had a media pass or ticket, I spoke with Jennifer Wagner, an attorney and former reporter. She showed me where state Attorney General Democratic candidate Linda Pence was sitting, who in turn helped me see where Indiana Rep. Ed DeLaney, a Democrat, and his wife, Indianapolis attorney Ann DeLaney, were sitting.

I connected at the same event with Bloomington attorney Betsy Greene, her law partner, and the other attorneys at their table, as well as a number of other attorneys.

Even though President Barrack Obama didn't show up, many congressmen from Indiana, along with Sen. Evan Bayh, his wife, Susan, and others were recognized at the dinner. Unfortunately, it was announced Sen. Richard Lugar couldn't attend due to illness.

Right before I left, I also spoke briefly with Republican Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.  Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who contacted me before I left for D.C., was also in attendance.

The mood in D.C. is also difficult to describe in words. Most people I've seen have been elated to be here -- whatever the reason.

Look for more about the inauguration and the Hoosiers who attended (including one person from Indiana marching in the parade with others pushing lawnmowers) in the Feb. 4-17, 2009, issue of Indiana Lawyer.
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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

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