RICH JAMES: Here are some additional Christmas gifts

2013-12-25T00:00:00Z 2013-12-25T00:10:08Z RICH JAMES: Here are some additional Christmas giftsBy Rich James
December 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I suspect Santa will have forgotten to deliver some gifts today. I’ll help him out with presents to the following:

  • South Shore Air Show: A new home along Lake Michigan.
  • Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas: Something bigger than being mayor.
  • Chicago Blackhawks: Their third Stanley Cup in the last five years.
  • Indiana University: Another “I” on the Old Oaken Bucket in 2014.
  • Gary: The big break the city so deserves.
  • State Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City: A statewide future.
  • Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh: A reunion with the Democratic Party he deserted.
  • Chicago Cubs fans: More crying towels.
  • Proponents of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in Indiana: A resounding defeat.
  • Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz: The continuing strength to ward off the barrage of Republican attacks.
  • Lake County Sheriff John Buncich: Re-election in 2014.
  • Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority: A commitment from Gov. Mike Pence for ongoing state financial support.
  • Cline Avenue Bridge: Someone in Indianapolis who cares.
  • South Shore Railroad: Someone to come up with a local funding formula for expanded commuter rail.
  • Illiana Expressway: The fast track.
  • Indiana Tea Party: Last rites.
  • President Barack Obama: A Republican House that cares more about the country than itself.
  • Lake County Solid Waste Management District: Somewhere to put our garbage other than in a landfill.
  • Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.: Whatever it is that he’s trying to find.
  • Lake County Republican Party: Signs of life.
  • U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville: A statue along Lake Michigan recognizing his success in reclaiming the shoreline.
  • South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Speros Batistatos: Someone to tell him he isn’t always right.
  • Gov. Mike Pence: Truth serum when it comes to public education.
  • Indiana Democratic Party: Another Frank O’Bannon.
  • Indiana University basketball: Another national title in 2015.
  • Northwest Indiana elected officials: Someone to recognize, then act on, the fact there is too much government.
  • Gary/Chicago International Airport: Airplanes stacked up awaiting landing.
  • Merrillville’s Century Mall: Tenants.
  • Chicago Bears: A win Sunday over the dreaded Green Bay Packers.
  • Hillary Clinton: The presidency.
  • Merrillville: City status and a mayor to stop the bleeding.
  • Schererville, Dyer and St. John: Consolidation into one government.
  • Griffith, Highland and Munster: The same as above.
  • Gary: Enough population growth to again be Lake County’s most populous city.
  • Indiana General Assembly: The ability to recognize Northwest Indiana is a pretty darn good place to live.
  • Shared Ethics Advisory Commission: More and more members.
  • Indiana Republican Party: Another Dick Lugar.
  • Portage Mayor James Snyder: One-term status.
  • Northwest Indiana trade unions: The strength they once enjoyed.
  • People of Northwest Indiana: The ability to embrace what they have, because it represents an awful lot of good.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at The opinions are the writer’s.

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