The continuing saga of the Indiana Youth Group License Plate. Unable to stop the scourge of pro-gay license plates through the democratic process; some legislators seized on a work around. They would put the Indiana Youth Group on double secret probation – subjecting the group to scrutiny, ostensibly for violating contract provisions by giving out low numbered license plates to preferred individuals. That this rationale is pretense becomes immediately obvious when one looks at the other plates doing the same thing with no consequence.
When investigating this maneuver, Indy Star journalist, Mary Beth Schneider spoke with BMV spokesman Graig Lubsen who must not have gotten the memo that the fix was in for the Indiana Youth Group. He was unexpectedly candid about the situation:
Graig Lubsen, communications director for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, said no decision has been made about the Indiana Youth Group contract. He said someone from the Senate had contacted the BMV about the contract issue this morning.
Lubsen said the contract bars groups from auctioning or selling the plates. But he added that traditionally, the BMV has allowed group to give out low-numbered plates as thank-you gifts to donors.
This is totally not what you want your guy to say if you want to maintain the pretense that this is totally not about politics and is not about treating one group differently but is totally about neutral enforcement of a generally applicable contract provision and gee, isn’t it unfortunate that your group happens to be unpopular among some people in well-connected political circles.
And, so, according to Jim Shella, Mr. Lubsen was fired the next day.
Graig Lubsen was a spokesman for the BMV who last week told a reporter that someone from the Senate had contacted the BMV about cancelling the youth group license plate. He told 24 Hour News 8 that he was fired the next day. Lubsen declined an on camera interview.
I had some interaction with Mr. Lubsen back in 2010 when I vented my spleen in my blog post entitled, “The Indiana BMV Sucks . . . But You Already Knew That.” He reached out to me and worked pretty diligently to help me with my particular situation and investigate what had gone wrong.