Political Notebook

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Assailed by White, Moses ridicules him

Rep. Win Moses recently was dragged into the Charlie White saga as the embattled secretary of state sent a letter to prosecutors vaguely alleging wrongdoing by the Fort Wayne Democrat.

At the end of a complaint about one of the special prosecutors on his criminal case – White is accused of felony voter fraud – he said this: “Next, I intend to send information delving into the mystery of Win Moses ‘home’ in Fort Wayne (potential homestead fraud and voter fraud) while he resides in Indianapolis.”

Moses has owned a home in Indianapolis for more than a decade, while living in an upscale Fort Wayne apartment. He has been open about the home in Indianapolis, including when he mistakenly claimed a homestead property tax deduction on it back in 1998.

He said he uses it as a second home – staying there during the legislative session and often on weekends during the summer because it has lake access.

The three-bedroom home has 3,200 square feet and has been up for sale for months at $699,900. The house includes a designer kitchen, sauna, fireplace in the master bedroom and more. The tax bill – without a homestead – is nearly $10,000 a year.

Moses said his wife stays there more than he does and that he absolutely lives and works in Fort Wayne.

“I am a lifelong vigorous, happy Fort Wayne voter,” said the former city mayor. “Charlie White is an indicted, thrashing politician who would accuse the pope of blasphemy if he thought it would help him.”

Pushing politics

While the Fort Wayne city election season has been eerily quiet for the past several weeks, City Council President Mitch Harper has made some small efforts to remind people it is still campaign season.

He has sent press releases on the past two Tuesdays from his campaign. The first was to thank the council’s appointments to the redevelopment commission regarding its position on The Harrison project. The second, however, was more political in its endorsement of Republican clerk candidate Zach Bonahoom’s plan to reduce paper use in the clerk’s office.

While a Republican council member endorsing a Republican candidate is no real shock, this one carries some potential baggage. As council president, Harper has to work closely with Democrat Clerk Sandy Kennedy, who no doubt will notice his support of her challenger.

“I have been pushing for advances in technology to be applied to what is, importantly, the ‘People’s Business.’ There has been some resistance from those who are comfortable with the old ways of doing business,” he wrote in the release, an apparent critique of Kennedy, who has held office since 1984.

Kennedy and Harper have had their flare-ups already this year, and this likely won’t do anything to douse the embers.

Schrader strategy

The Allen County Election Board will take the rare step of meeting in executive session this week to discuss the pending legal case with Tommy Schrader. The private meeting is the first for the board under Zach Klutz, who serves as president, which might have more to do with the fact it doesn’t get sued very often. Klutz acknowledged the oddity of the closed-door session, but he said it does have a legitimate purpose.

“There is a need to be able to discuss litigation strategy without your opponent sitting across the table,” he said.

The board will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Klutz’s work office to discuss the matter.

Much too busy

You’d think being Charlie White’s spokesman would be a full-time job. But apparently not.

A.J. Feeney-Ruiz, communications director and deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State White, makes about $60,000 working for the state.

But last week he announced he is now doing public relations and marketing consulting for a new Internet security firm on the side.

And he also recently decided to run for the Indianapolis City-County Council – against the Democrat who lost to his boss in the 2010 election.

And in his spare time Political Notebook has learned he is finishing his master’s in business administration and also is studying for the bar exam.

To reach Political Notebook via e-mail, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. To discuss this entry of Political Notebook or others, go to the Political Notebook topic of “The Board” at www.journalgazette.net.