March 6, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters from Thursday, March 6, 2014


---- — Annual dinner a big success thanks to many

I wanted to thank everyone for turning out last Saturday for the annual Cass County Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. It was a sell-out again this year with an estimated 200 people in attendance. I have a list of people to thank for making this such a successful event. I’ll start with U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly. He’s one of us. That’s all there is to it. He represented Cass County and Hoosiers as our Congressman and we are awfully proud to now call him Senator.

The Democratic candidates for Secretary of State, Beth White, and for State Auditor, Mike Claytor, also made appearances. These are two great individuals who will serve Indiana proudly when elected in November. Our local candidate for Prosecutor, Mark Leeman, gave the most inspired talk of the night though. He has passion and commitment to his profession, the law and Cass County. All five of the Democratic candidates for the 4th congressional district were on hand as well. Former mayor Mike Fincher took the stage to thank everyone for supporting the party, but most of all to thank the wives and families of the candidates and officeholders who play such a critical role in their success. The American Legion could not have been more accommodating on the evening and provided an outstanding venue for this year’s event. Also, our friends at Amelio’s & Ike’s provided another outstanding meal this year, as we have come to expect.

Final thanks go to the Democratic Central Committee members Liz Troxell, Jim Musselman and Sue Shannon with a special shout-out to former chairman Matt Meagher who is a huge help in getting the word out each year which helps to fill those table.

The surprise speaker on the night was Ron Blackman, owner of Blackman Excavation. Ron was the lucky ticket holder who won the cash drawing for the night. We do what is called a 50/50 drawing. People buy tickets and at the end of the evening we draw out the winning number. The winner gets 50 percent of the money collected and the other 50 percent of the pot goes to the Party. When I invited Ron to the stage to collect his winnings he asked if he could speak for a minute.

As I yielded the microphone to Ron I was expecting a thank you, or perhaps a nice to see everyone comment, but instead, Ron gave the cash winnings back to the party. While Ron works hard for the money he earns, he said the importance of the Democratic Party at this time was more critical to his future than the hundreds of dollars he had just won. At the end of the night, no speech by any politician held a candle to Ron’s.

See everyone at next year’s dinner and at the polls in May and November. Make a difference. Vote!

Paul Ulerick

Cass County Democratic Party chairman