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Thumbs down: Broken record

Attorneys for the State of Indiana took their show on the road last week, arguing for the defunding of Planned Parenthood in front of a three-judge panel in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Indiana is arguing that Planned Parenthood should have the Medicaid funds it uses to pay for health services to disadvantaged women cut off because it also provides privately funded abortion services. The American Civil Liberties Union defends the women's health care provider, saying that Medicaid funds should be pulled only if it can be shown that a provider has violated Medicaid's rules. "The fact that Planned Parenthood performs abortions doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the medical process," Judge Diane S. Sykes observed from the bench. "It's not akin to fraud." The Indiana law, signed by Gov. Daniels last May, has yet to take effect as its constitutionality has been called into question. Meanwhile, the state continues to spend taxpayer dollars attempting to justify this mean-spirited legislation.

Thumbs up: The more the merrier

Survivor champ Rupert Boneham has announced that he will seek the Libertarian Party's nomination to run for governor in next year's election. Boneham says the three top issues, as far as he's concerned, are jobs, education and correctional facilities. "I hope Indiana is ready for someone like me," Boneham told a crowd at American Legion Post 64 last Saturday. If nominated, Boneham will present an alternative to the two candidates already in the race: reactionary fundamentalist Republican Mike Pence and Democratic party tool John Gregg.

Thumbs down: Tax break broken

Republicans in the City-County Council scuttled a proposal to give qualified low-income hotel workers a $200 tax break at last week's council meeting. Unite Here, the organization representing the workers, wanted the tax break incorporated into the 2012 city budget; Republicans claim the break, if allowed, would cost the city $250,000 annually. Democrats who supported the idea said that money would flow back into the local economy. But it turns out the measure's defeat could serve a larger, strategic purpose. Unite Here spokeswoman Becky Smith told The Indianapolis Star her group wanted a vote so that everyone would know where council members stood before the municipal election, so that workers can campaign for candidates who support their interests.

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