[r31] Mahan Messenger: "The Walkout" (1/23/2012)

Monday, January 23, 2012 7:00 pm

Start Date:  1/23/2012    
End Date:  1/23/2012    

I feel as if “the walkout” has become a movie that refuses to end and, instead, keeps playing over and over again. It’s all that the media is talking about; it’s all that everyone is talking about. However, this is not Hollywood, its Indiana and this isn’t a film, its real life; real life that affects real people that have real problems. I am trying to grasp why the House Democrats have only been present for five out of the 12 session days—putting a stop to the democratic process, again.

I am a freshman legislator in my second session and I would have never guessed when I was elected that I would spend most of my time explaining “walkouts” to my constituents. I go to public forums and after giving my general legislative wrap up, I would ask for questions and the first item people ask me about is the “walkout.”

What we are experiencing in Indianapolis is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an American issue. You get paid, you show up and you do your job—that is what we do in America. The House Democrats have been paid, but they haven’t shown up or done their job. 

Speaking of jobs and responsibility, most of you know that I spent most of my adult life in law enforcement. During that time, I was given the responsibility of responding to emergencies, pulling children from wreckage, delivering death messages, running into buildings when everyone else is running out and taking gunfire from unstable citizens. The hardest one of all, kissing my wife and kids every morning not knowing if I would return that night.

I could go on, but let me ask one question: Do you think there are many times I would have loved to have just gone home, sit in my office or simply refuse to show up and do my job? Absolutely.

However, I always remember what my Democrat mother taught me. “In life, you will receive an honest day’s pay with an honest day’s work.” Unfortunately, I can honestly say that this statement does not seem to ring true for about 35 individuals in our Assembly.

I make the following plea to all House Democrats: please stop playing games. When I have had to face such difficult challenges and issues, I could not play games. Why? Because my constituents and taxpayers expected me to do my job and that entails showing up to do it. Now is your time to step up and do yours.