Government Elective Offices

POLITICAL PARTY ORGANIZATION

Citizens have a better opportunity to express themselves in government through political parties.  At Hoosier Boys’ State (HBS) you will be assigned to a political party – The Nationalist or The Federalists.  Party affiliation is determined at random by a computer program that makes the room assignments.  Precinct assignments are made at your first city/county meeting.  These parties, of HBS, have no significance whatsoever and exist only during the week of HBS.

You will be immersed in the life of a political party.  You will participate in party caucuses, develop party platforms, and run for office as a member of your political party.  A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of the same political party.  In politics, a political (party) convention is a meeting of a political party, typically to select party candidates. You will participate in party conventions for your city, county, and state.  Party platforms are the collective thoughts of individuals in a political party and represent ideas developed to promote the party aims and ideals at party conventions.  Platforms afford the opportunity of analyzing problems that affect constitutes in a city, county, or state.  Indiana law provides for the nomination of party candidates by a party primary election.  Citizens will petition to run for city and county offices and the winners will be determined by the party primary election.

Every citizen will participate in his political party and contribute his best judgment toward the selection of candidates for office. Major issues involving party ideals should be clearly defined so that all groups of people will understand just what the party represents.  Citizens should then expect the ideals of their party to be carried out should their party’s candidates be carried in power by the general vote of the people.  These ideals should not only be made effective by the officials elected to office, but by the party leaders who drafted the platform and campaigned for the men elected to office.

Your party should give sincere thought and careful deliberation to the platform.  The candidates on your party’s city, county, and state ticket will campaign for the general benefit of all citizens.  The ideals and principles embodied in your platform will no doubt be the basis of the campaign.  The success or failure of your party will depend largely on the soundness and popularity of your party platform.

The greatest young minds from Indiana have gathered at Hoosier Boys’ State.  Each citizen should help develop the ideals and aims of their particular party in the party conventions.  You should discuss possible issues with the members of your party so you may be of constructive assistance when your convention is held for the purpose of drafting a platform and selecting candidates for your party’s ticket.  You are encouraged to highlight issues that are important to not only people your age but people of all ages that may be based on your experiences from your home communities and the State of Indiana.  It is hoped that the issues you raise at HBS are noticed by current political figures from your communities or the state.  Remember – This could result in very positive changes for all citizens.

Go into elections to win.  But most importantly, remember, if you lose,  you continue to be a citizen and can continue to take constructive action to make things better.

State Party Conventions

Each city precinct will elect two delegates from each party to serve as delegates to the Party State Convention.  There will be ten (10) Federalists and ten (10) Nationalists from each city.  The two cities will form a county delegation of twenty (20) delegates which will attend the Party State Convention

Duties of the Political Party Officers

PRECINCT COMMITTEEMEN AND VICE COMMITTEEMEN

Precinct Committeemen and Vice Committeemen are elected by the voters of their political party in each precinct and serve as the voting delegates to the County and State Conventions.  They cannot run for any other Political Party Office.  As representatives of the precinct voters, they are duty bound to give support to any candidate from their precinct, city, and county before pledging (trading) votes with others.  They elect the City and County Chairmen.

CITY CHAIRMAN

City Chairmen are elected by the by a caucus of the party precinct committeemen and vice committeemen.  The city chairmen recommend to the county chairman those city voters who can serve on the Rules, Platform, and Credentials Committee.  The City Vice Chairman acts in the City when the Chairman is absent.

COUNTY CHAIRMAN

The County Chairman serves as one of eight county chairmen on the State Central Committee.  They strive to fill their county slate of county elected officials. He should be familiar with parliamentary procedures.  The County Chairman is in charge of his delegation at the meetings of the State Convention.

STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

The State Central Committee is comprised of the eight county chairmen of their party.

The STATE CHAIRMAN is selected from one of the eight.  He presides at all meetings of the State Central Committee, conducts business of the State Party Organization meeting and the State Convention meetings, and presides at the political party rally, where he introduces the party candidates for State Elective Offices.  He should be familiar with parliamentary procedures.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

The Keynote Address sets the tone of the entire Convention, stating clearly and concisely the party’s platform as prepared by the Platform Committee and adopted by the voting delegates at the State Convention  

POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEES

RULES: The rules committee suggests a set of rules to govern the convention meetings, as well as, rules for the campaign.  The Chairman must read the rules to the delegation at the request of the State Chairman.

   CREDENTIALS

The Credentials Committee is responsible for registering all delegates for convention meetings.  The Chairman of the committee must make a report to the convention body as to the number of certified delegates at the request of the State Chairman.

   PLATFORM

The Platform Committee will draft a list of their party’s views on various topics of current interest to the State Government. Individuals on this committee must be able to express themselves in writing and be willing to lead the Party Platform discussions in their county

   CAMPAIGN

The Campaign Committee will choose and seek approval from the HBS Office all campaign signs, logos, phrases, and such for their party.

Members of these committees cannot:

   be County Chairman or County Vice Chairman

   be on the Election Board.

Nominations from the Party State Convention for State Elected Offices are as follows:

Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Superintendent of Education. (Candidates for State Office do not have to be a convention delegate but it is advantageous to aspiring candidates to be a convention delegate)

Every citizen must petition for an elective office or an appointed political city, county, or state office. Below is a quick breakdown between the various levels. For more information about each position, scroll further down.

CITY

  • Mayor
  • City Clerk
  • City Judge
  • Five (5) City Councilmen
  • Four (3) Representatives from each city – a House body of sixty-four (48)
  • Unelected, but decided among your peers
    • Precinct Committeman
    • City Chairman

COUNTY

  • Judge of the Circuit Court
  • Prosecuting Attorney
  • Clerk of the Court
  • Treasurer
  • Auditor
  • Recorder
  • Sheriff
  • Coroner
  • Surveyor
  • Assessor
  • Five (5) County Councilmen
  • Three (3) County Commissioners

STATE

  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Secretary of State
  • Auditor of State
  • Treasurer of State
  • Attorney General
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Unelected, but decided among your peers
    • State Committeman

CITY JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Mayor

The Mayor is the chief administrative officer and serves as Chairman of the City Council.  The Mayor shall exercise general supervision over the subordinate officers and be responsible for the efficiency of the City’s Government.  He shall appoint the heads and employees of various departments. He shall sign all bonds, deeds, and written contracts. He shall approve/disapprove within one (1) HBS day any ordinances passed by the City Council; call monthly meetings of Department Heads and issue proclamations commemorating special events, weeks, days, etc.

City Clerk

Every City must have a Clerk or Clerk-Treasurer.  He shall have custody of the records, books and papers of the City Council.  The Clerk issues licenses, records the proceedings of the Council, has custody of the City Seal and is authorized to administer oaths and take depositions.  The Clerk-Treasurer also handles the funds of the City under the direction of the City Council.

City Judge

The judicial power of a City is vested in the City Court and its jurisdiction generally covers trying cases in violation of City Ordinances, including traffic laws and is limited to misdemeanors.

City Councilmen (5)

The City Council is the City’s legislative body.  It is the duty of the Mayor to preside at all meetings and of the Clerk-Treasurer to serve as Clerk.  All official meetings of the Council are public.  In addition to all powers specifically enumerated-every city or town- may exercise any power or perform any function necessary in the public interest, which is not prohibited by the Constitution of the State or the Constitution of the United States, and which is not specifically denied or vested by law in another government entity. Currently there are 51 enumerated powers – Consult “Here is Your Indiana Government” book.

COUNTY JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Judge of the Circuit Court

In order to be eligible to preside, a Circuit Court Judge must be admitted to the practice of law.  He shall name all employees of his court.  The courts jurisdiction shall cover cases in equity, criminality, divorces and all matters not specifically conferred on some other court, board or officer.  The Judge has the power to request from the Governor the use of State Police to maintain order during an emergency.

Prosecuting Attorney

The Prosecuting Attorney represents the State of Indiana and prosecutes violators of state statutes in various courts having criminal jurisdiction.  Because the prosecutor is elected for a judicial circuit in the same manner as a judge, the prosecutor must be a practicing attorney.

Clerk of the Circuit Court

The duties of the County Clerk are many and varied, such as attending all sessions of the Circuit Court and any other County Courts: filing, recording and entering all orders pertaining to civil, juvenile and criminal matters.  The Clerk shall serve ex-officio as a member and Secretary of the County Election Board and the County Commission on Public Records, and as a member and Clerk of the County Board of Canvassers.  The Clerk is ex-officio Voter Registration Officer of the County.  The Clerk also issues marriage licenses, receipts and pays out all support monies in dependency cases, keeps birth certificates, and other such duties as described.

Auditor

The Auditor is the general bookkeeper of the County.  He serves as Secretary of the Board of County Commissioners and has the responsibility for the payment of claims. He is also Secretary of the County Board of Review and Secretary of taxes assessed against each taxpayer. The Auditor writes and signs checks authorized by the County Welfare Board for recipients of assistance and burial of the poor.

Treasurer

The function of Treasurer is to collect, to retain custody of and disburse county funds. The Treasurer collects delinquent taxes, local and state general property taxes, and inheritance taxes.  The Treasurer must send to each taxpayer a statement of property taxes owed.

Recorder

The chief function of the Recorder is that of preserving public records, including deeds, mortgages, liens, leases, armed forces discharges, bankruptcy notices, and other duties as described.  The monetary acquired by the Recorder for his services becomes property of the County.

Sheriff

The Sheriff shall serve as conservator of the peace, serves as an officer of the courts involving serving warrants, subpoenas, etc., collecting delinquent taxes; conveys to state charitable institutions and correctional institutions persons committed thereto.  Attends sessions of the County Council and executes its orders; serves processes for the County Board of Review and attends meetings of the County Commissioners and executes their orders.

Coroner

The chief responsibility of the Coroner is to determine the manner of death in cases involving violence, casualty or unexplained circumstances.  The Coroner may also act as a peace officer if the Sheriff is incapacitated or disqualified.  The Coroner is the only County Official who may arrest the Sheriff.

Surveyor

The primary duty of the Surveyor is to survey and keep records of all section corners throughout the County, and supervise all civil engineering work of the County.  He is required to prepare, maintain and keep in custody a legal survey record book showing maps of each section, grant, tract, subdivision or group of such areas.  He serves as an ex-officio member with the County Commissioners, the Drainage Board and as an ex-officio member of the County Planning Commission.

Assessor

This office functions under the direction of the State Board of Tax Commissioners. He will advise and instruct all township assessors in his county.  He will supervise the county-wide assessment of real estate and personal property.  He is the County Inheritance Tax Appraiser and is a representative of the State Inheritance Tax Division.

County Commissioners (3)

The Board of County Commissioners is responsible for the administration of all County business.  Their duties include controlling, maintaining and supervising county property; audits and authorizes claims against the county; receives bids and authorizes contracts; supervises construction and maintenance of roads and bridges; exercises the county’s power of domain and appointing County and Township Officials.  The Commissioners serve as the County Board of Finance with the Auditor serving as Secretary.

County Council (5)

The financial powers are placed in the County Council which serves as a check on the County Commissioners.  They have exclusive power of fixing the rate of taxation and making appropriations to be paid out of the County Treasury.  They also can authorize the incurring of County indebtedness within the constitutional limitations.

State Job Descriptions

Governor

The Governor is the Chief Executive of the State.  It is the duty of the Governor to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.  He is Commandeer-in-Chief of the State’s militia and may use them “to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion”.  The Governor may recommend legislation to the General Assembly, may call special sessions of the Legislature and may veto any bill passed by the Legislature.  He has the right to appoint and remove personnel in the Administrative Department.  Additional responsibilities include ceremonial duties, serving as honorary or functioning chairman of various boards and activities, and being the titular head of a political party.

Lieutenant Governor

The party’s nominee for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run as a team, insuring that those elected will not be of opposite political faiths.  The primary function of the Lieutenant Governor is to preside over the Senate.  The Lieutenant Governor may act as Governor, performing duties of the Governor if the Governor is incapacitated or disqualified.  By statute the Lieutenant Governor is made Commissioner of Agriculture, where he is charged with the conduct of the Indiana State Fair.  When the Legislature is not in session, much of the Lieutenant Governor’s time is devoted to the direction of the Department of Commerce.

Secretary of State

A major function of the Secretary of State is attesting official state documents such as constitutional amendments, statutes and proclamations and commissions issued by the Governor.  The Secretary of State keeps and preserves the Constitution of the State and the State Seal.  By virtue of office, serves as a member of the State Board of Canvassers, Commissioner of Public Record, the Corporation Survey Commission and the Code Revision Committee.

Treasurer of State

The Treasurer of State is the receiver and custodian of all state revenue or money, and pays out the money upon warrants issued by the Auditor of State.  The Treasurer is also an ex-officio member of many governing boards and commissions.

Auditor of State

The traditional function of this office is that of bookkeeping and auditor of receipts and disbursements of the State.  The Auditor is also an ex-officio member of many governing boards and commissions.  The Auditor examines and approves all county tax charges, and makes distribution to local government units of motor vehicle funds, alcoholic beverage taxes and cigarette taxes.

Attorney General

As the Chief Legal Officer of the State, the Attorney General is charged with representing the State of Indiana in lawsuits in which the State has an interest.  Interpretation of statutes and application of the law to specific questions is furnished to the Governor, members of the Legislature, State Officials, various counties, municipalities and other public groups.  By virtue of the office the Attorney General is a member of many governing boards and commissions.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Establishing basic policy for the State’s Public School system is the primary responsibility of the State Board of Education through the offices of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The Board is divided into three commissions consisting of six appointive members and the Superintendent.  The Superintendent is a member and chairman of each commission.  The Commissions are 1. General Education, 2. Textbook Adoption, and 3. Teacher Training and Licensing.  By virtue of the office, the Superintendent serves as a member of many other boards and commissions.

State Senators and Representatives

The Indiana Legislature has a membership of 50 Senators and 100 Representatives.  The State is divided into Legislative Districts based on population.  The Indiana General Assembly has the broad powers to enact laws, and these powers are restricted only by the Constitution of the United States and Federal Laws enacted there under the Constitution of the State of Indiana.  Bills may originate in either House, and may be amended or rejected in the other; except that bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. HBS shall have 4 senators per county, 32 total.  Each city shall have 3 representatives, 48 total.

Form and Content of Bills and Resolutions shall follow the “How a Bill Becomes a Law” process found in the Chamber of Commerce book “Here is Your Indiana Government” (see books for specific section)

Bill forms, Resolution forms, and Concurrent Resolution forms can be obtained from the Assistant Deans in charge of the House of Representatives and the Senate.