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Monday, August 29, 2016
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Sunday, August 28, 2016 5:04 PM
By JACK COLWELL

SOUTH BEND - Gov. Mike Pence will not be governor of Indiana next year. Nor will Pence be vice president, unless there are monumental events to avert the looming defeat of Donald Trump in the presidential race
    
Q. So, where would that leave Pence?
    
A. Perhaps closer to his goal than he would have been if he had declined the vice presidential nomination and had run instead for re-election as governor.
    
Q. Really? Losing for vice president, maybe with the GOP ticket trounced, could leave Pence still viable for his goal of president?
    
A. Quite possibly. In fact, it could be argued that the worse the trouncing for Trump, the better politically for Pence.
    
Q. Won’t Pence share blame if the Trump-Pence ticket is demolished?
    
A. No. Pence would get no blame. It wouldn’t be his fault. Pence would get credit from Republican leaders for trying to hold the party together and save Republicans in governor, senator and House races. They would think of how much worse things would have been if Pence wasn’t there to clean up after Trump’s messes. Many Republicans now lament that it’s not Pence leading the ticket. And that’s his goal - someday, preferably in 2020, to lead the ticket, to be the presidential nominee and win.
    
Q. Couldn’t Pence have been closer to a future presidential nomination by running for re-election as governor?
    
A. Probably not. He didn’t exactly gain national recognition during a first term as governor. There was no guarantee that a second term would have been smoother, less controversial and more impressive as Republicans looked for a 2020 presidential nominee. It was far from certain that he would win re-election. His job approval rating had been abysmal. He was in a toss-up race. Defeat would have ended his political career.
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  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    LaPORTE, Ind. -  For reasons that remain murky and muted by remnants of Gov. Mike Pence’s reelection campaign, no further direct money will end up in the coffers of Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for his bid to keep the office in Republican hands. “You’re not going to see a direct transfer from Mike Pence,” said Holcomb campaign manager Mike O’Brien on Tuesday. But O’Brien was quick to add, “We’ll be fully funded. Normally a candidate for governor spends four years stockpiling funds. We can’t do that. Our cash flow will be raise and spend.” O’Brien also said that many Pence donors are stepping up in his race against Democrat John Gregg, who has raised north of $10 million. “Their response has been fantastic,” O’Brien said. The campaign manager’s comments end speculation as to how much of Pence’s reported $7.4 million campaign war chest at the June 30 mid-year deadline will be transferred to Holcomb. On July 29, the Pence campaign transferred $1.25 million to Holcomb. But the unanswered question is why didn’t the Pence campaign take steps prior to July 19 to move a bulk of those funds, perhaps as much as $6 million, to either the Indiana Republican Party or the Republican Governors Association where they could have then been transferred to the new nominee?
  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND - Do you wake up at night frightened that Hillary is coming to take your guns? Do you break out in a cold sweat when you see a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, even if allegedly a Gold Star mother? Are you often depressed, frequently angry and unable now to envision what once was your American dream? You may be suffering from Hillaryitis Aggrevitis, known as H.A. Don’t suffer any longer from H.A. Trump Elixir can make you feel great again. So great. Believe us. Trump Elixir is a cure discovered by Dr. D.J. Trump. Only he knows the formula. Only Dr. Trump can make you feel great again. Rigged medical advertising regulations, enforced by dishonest establishment bureaucrats, require disclosure that Dr. Trump is not a medical doctor. But he knows so much more than those doctors. They’re losers. If they know so much, why didn’t THEY make America feel great again? Such losers. Believe us. Trump Elixir stops those Hillary nightmares. Gives you courage to push that Muslim woman off the street before she detonates a bomb. Restores your faith in the American dream. Believe us.
        
  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    INDIANAPOLIS – For a former senator and governor who used to win campaigns in landslide fashion, this past week for Evan Bayh was a wake-up call at how peculiar the 2016 cycle is shaping up. Bayh reentered Indiana politics in July just as suddenly as he left it in 2010. In a stunning switcheroo, the nominee Hoosier Democrats chose in last May’s primary, Baron Hill, quit and Bayh with his $10 million war chest that he’s sat on for six years was back! Since then it’s been reported that the state of Indiana has classified him as an “inactive voter.” It prompted him to tell WLFI-TV, “I voted in every primary and every general election for the last 25 to 30 years. I am an active voter in Indiana.” Bayh’s return in July was the bookend to his February 2010 bombshell just before filing deadline that he wouldn’t seek a third term.
  • By CRAIG DUNN
    KOKOMO – One month ago I traveled up U.S. Highway 35 from Kokomo to northern Indiana for a company golf outing. Highway 35 leads through a political mixture of both Democratic and Republican bastions as you snake your way to LaPorte. I found this trip noteworthy for the political yard signs that were sprinkled along the way. “Pence Must Go” and “Fire Pence” signs dotted the roadway in several locations.  I had seen the same signs in yards along Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis, ever since the heated brouhaha over the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act exploded in the public mindset. Mind you, these aren’t hand-painted signs by individuals expressing their anger. These signs are professionally done and distributed as part of a longterm strategy to win the 2016 Indiana governor’s race by vilifying Mike Pence. Oops! The problem with putting all of your chips on one number of the roulette wheel is that your number better come up or you are busted. With Gov. Pence accepting the vice presidential nomination on the Trump ticket, removing him from the Indiana ballot, the obsessive focus of John Gregg and the Democratic Party on a “Pence Must Go” strategy has left them flat busted.
  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND – Todd Young had it won. Until . . . Young, a Republican congressman from Bloomington, trounced another GOP congressman, Marlin Stutzman, the Tea Party favorite, in the May primary, capturing the party’s nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat at stake in Indiana. Baron Hill, the Democratic nominee, with little name recognition, little funding and little chance, was written off by Democratic fundraisers and political analysts in Indiana and around the nation. Young had that seat won. Until . . .  Until Hill dropped out in July, replaced by Evan Bayh. Young now faces a candidate with high name recognition from Bayh’s two terms as governor and two terms in the Senate, mostly favorable recognition. Young’s fundraising advantage is gone. Bayh has $9.3 million in funds from past campaigning. Analysts now see the race as a “toss-up,” maybe even with advantage to Bayh.
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  • Pence opens Trump campaign office in Carmel
    By THOMAS CURRY

    CARMEL - Gov. Mike Pence called on his fellow Hoosiers to push the Trump/Pence ticket to a nationwide victory. Addressing his supporters in a packed and newly opened Indiana campaign office in Carmel, Pence declared that “Indiana will be the first state to elect Donald Trump to the White House.” Pence thanked volunteers and campaign staff while urging them to talk to their neighbors, friends and coworkers about voting Trump come November. With national polling showing the Republican presidential bid in trouble, working to establish a strong ground game will be an integral part of the campaign. Pence also spoke on his family story and how he thought that his life was the “footstool of the American dream.” Mentioning his Irish immigrant grandfather, Pence said that “he never thought” that he would be running for vice president. The one-term Indiana governor said that Pence wants to spread that same belief in the American dream to every corner of the country.
  • Gregg/Hale will confront drug, mental health issues with plan
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    WEST BADEN, Ind. - It’s a story John Gregg has heard over and over and over again: Employers have job openings. They just can’t find enough applicants who can pass a drug test. When he broached the topic at a speech before the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns last winter, some 20 local officials, “mayors, clerk-treasurers, city councilmen followed me out the door to talk about it.” Another time it was a group of executives he met with in Indianapolis. It isn’t just those who can’t pass a marijuana screening, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee said in a sit-down interview with Howey Politics Indiana here at the Indiana Democratic Editorial Association convention. Cheap heroin is now available in rural areas across the state as well as cities and suburbs. “Were dealing with heroin addiction,” Gregg said. “It’s a mental health issue. There’s such a stigma attached to drug addiction. If someone has a mental health problem, people will say, ‘How can we help you?’ If it’s a drug addiction, they don’t know what to say. We’ve got to lose the stigma.”

  • Holcomb delivers $1 million in road funds to 'hub of awesome'
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    LaPORTE, Ind. - Tall and lean Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb cuts a far different profile from pudgy ol’ Santa Claus, but when he shows up in an Indiana city or town these days the reaction might be similar. Holcomb is in the process of handing out around $100 million in Community Crossings, the state’s local road and bridge matching grant program.  Appearing at a LaPorte Fire Department statement Wednesday afternoon, Holcomb delivered a $1 million check to Mayor Blair Milo, saying, “While other states struggle with infrastructure, Indiana has continued to invest in ours year after year after year without raising taxes.” He was joined by INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson and House Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday, who authored HEA 1001 which created the funding. Milo, who describes LaPorte as a “hub of awesome,” was extremely grateful, noting that her city’s pavement management system had identified $17 million in needs, calling the $1 million that Holcomb delivered on Wednesday “a significant step.” She added, “This is not an effort taken by any one person. Lt. Gov. Holcomb is a tremendous champion for our communities.”
  • Pence, Holcomb speed back to Indy in wake of tornado outbreak
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    LaPORTE, Ind. - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb was conducting official state business in LaPorte Wednesday afternoon when news came of a tornado that slashed through Kokomo. Alerted by a phone call from Howard County Republican Chairman Craig Dunn around 2:45 p.m., Holcomb was wrapping up an INDOT Community Crossings event with LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo when he and staff gathered in a conference room at a LaPorte Fire Department station. Dunn described a funnel cloud that ripped through about a four to six block swathe in a residential area of Kokomo as well as Marland Mall, with a seven mile trail of damage. With Gov. Mike Pence campaigning on the east coast, Holcomb quickly made contact with the state’s Emergency Operations Center, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and Gov. Pence, who, like the LG, was quickly returning to Indianapolis after a campaign stop in North Carolina.

  • Drake finds an 'excruciating' end to 8th CD recount

    By THOMAS CURRY

    INDIANAPOLIS - One hundred and eight days after the May 3rd primary, the Indiana Recount Commission announced Ron Drake the winner of the Democratic primary for Congress in the 8th CD Friday after a lengthy process that Drake called “excruciating, difficult and hard.” While the recount only changed the vote difference between David Orentlicher and Ron Drake by four votes, the effects of the recount are far greater, leaving Drake with less than 90 days to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon. Drake said that the recount “stopped me from campaigning. I couldn't tell people I was the nominee when I was not.”

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  • Chambers endorse Young over Bayh
    “Perhaps most powerfully, he ignored the wishes of Hoosiers and cast a deciding vote for Obamacare.” - U.S. Rep. Todd Young, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee, after receiving the endorsements of the U.S. and Indiana Chambers over Democrat Evan Bayh. U.S. Chamber Vice President Rob Engstrom says the decision to endorse Young was simple: The Republican voted with the Chamber 91% of the time. Engstrom compares that to Bayh’s 55% Chamber voting record. “The time has come to send a clear message to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Evan Bayh,” Engstrom said.
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HPI Video Feed
Gregg aims RFRA issue at Holcomb
Democrat John Gregg seeks to tie RFRA to Republican Eric Holcomb with this TV ad.

Holcomb's first TV ad
Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Holcomb's first TV ad recalls his decision to join the U.S. Navy.

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2 videos
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Trump taxes

Should Donald Trump release recent tax returns, like every major party nominee has done over the past 40 years?


 




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