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Monday, September 22, 2014
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Monday, September 22, 2014 1:12 PM
By CRAIG DUNN

KOKOMO – The Indiana State Legislature is not the private piggy bank of any representative, senator or special interest. The legislature belongs to the people of Indiana and exists only to serve the people of Indiana. Call me old-fashioned, but this is what I believe. This is why I find the case of Rep. Eric Turner so disturbing. It was always troubling enough to see Rep. Turner busying himself with his personal war on same-sex marriage and its failed attempt to legislate human rights, but it was his overt pimping for special interests that concerned me the most.

I’m no political prude who doesn’t understand that any good politician must keep an eye on their campaign funding and allow groups who share a common interest to share in the cost of democracy. However, asking people who support your natural beliefs to contribute to your campaign is a far cry from being a legislator for hire. I’m sorry but I always had the sickening feeling in my gut that Eric Turner was more interested in attending to the needs of friends and family rather than putting his constituents first.

Is this just my opinion or is it verified with the facts? Experts claim that the shortest path to the truth is to follow the money. Well, the shortest path to the truth about Eric Turner is littered with special interest cash. I have seen some pretty ugly campaign finance reports over the years but Rep. Turner’s take the cake. I took an in-depth look at the Turner campaign finance reports for 2011, 2012 and 2013. They are not held in secret. You may find them on the secretary of state’s website.

According to the year-end campaign finance report for 2011, 99.93% of Eric Turner’s $80,105 contributions were from special interests. If that was bad, 2012 was worse. Turner’s haul of $93,000 was 100% from special interests! His campaign haul in 2013 was $67,952, over 98% of it coming from special interests. Come on! Weren’t there some residents of Grant, Tipton or Hamilton counties who wanted to support their state representative because of all of the good things he had done for the folks back home? Apparently not.
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  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    WASHINGTON - In the television age of Indiana politics, we’ve had a couple of governor vs. governor races, the most recent when Mitch Daniels defeated Gov. Joe Kernan in 2004. In 1972, Doc Bowen defeated former Gov. Matt Welsh. So for the political junkies, the notion of former Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh challenging Gov. Mike Pence was as enticing as a Sox vs. Cubs World Series. But it wasn’t meant to be and the reason is the political legacy of Gov. Daniels. In the past generation, Indiana has seen two dynastic political juggernauts generated in Bayh and Daniels. In an era of two-party competitiveness at the gubernatorial level, both Bayh and Daniels revived their parties and control of the Statehouse second floor extended beyond their respective two terms in office. So what occurred last week was, essentially, the latter trumping the former in terms of political legacy. 
  • By CRAIG DUNN
    KOKOMO – Cecil E. Roberts, United Mineworkers of America international president, was immensely proud when he strode to the podium the day after the Kentucky presidential primary in 2008 and announced his union’s endorsement of Barack H. Obama for president of the United States.  Mr. Roberts stated, “Senator Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families.  He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families.” Not content to make merely one misguided statement, Roberts followed up with, “Senator Obama is from a coal state.  Senator Obama will work to ensure the future of American coal and the jobs that go with it.”  Thus spoke Cecil E. Roberts for the 105,000 active and retired coal miners in the United States. Oops! Fast forward to October, 2008, just before the election, Mr. Roberts could not have missed the video recording of an interview given in January to the San Francisco Chronicle where Barack Obama promised to bankrupt any new coal plants.  “Holy blackouts Batman, you mean we endorsed a guy who hates us!”
     
  • By SHAW FRIEDMAN
    LaPORTE – Recent news that the Indiana Toll Road’s operators, Spain’s Cintra and Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd,. are threatening a bankruptcy filing and that various banks and hedge funds are lining up to protect their interests in bankruptcy court should have Hoosiers scratching their heads in wonderment. Remember the unmistakable promises by our governor at the time, Mitch Daniels, who bragged that his sale (er, 75-year lease) of the toll road to a foreign consortium was the “best deal since Manhattan was sold for beads” and that if the road went belly up, the state could simply take it back. Tell us, where in the fine print is it written that bondholders, banks and lienholders now have to take a back seat to the State of Indiana as we reclaim “our” toll road?  Perhaps, you can spare a minute and give your friend, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, a call and let him know where in the agreement the state’s interests somehow trump those of the bondholders. 
  • By MORTON J. MARCUS
    INDIANAPOLIS – Evan Bayh has made it official: He will not run for governor in 2016. His reason: He could not have the impact he would like to have since the General Assembly will be firmly in the hands of the Republicans. This is consistent with his longterm position as a figurehead rather than a leader of the Democratic Party. In effect, Bayh has conceded political control to Indiana Republicans for the next decade. What an opportunity for Republicans! Now they can be true to themselves over the next few years. Now they can come out in support of toll roads for Indiana.
             
     
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Bock begins 'Disaster' ad
2nd CD Democrat nominee Joe Bock is running his third TV ad called "Disaster." To watch all TV ads by Bock and Rep. Jackie Walorski, see the HPI Video tab on the menu bar at the top of this homepage.
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  • Rep. Turner to resign after election; joining Christian group
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Eric Turner announced on Friday he will seek reelection, resign in November and join the Atlanta-based Christian organization EQUIP. The move comes less than a month after Speaker Brian Bosma removed Turner from House leadership after ethics controversies. Turner issued the statement from his personal spokesman at Bose Public Affairs and not the House Majority media office. Turner has represented HD32 for 24 years after he was originally elected as a Democrat. He faces Democrat and former Statehouse journalist Bob Ashley in the November election. “It has been the honor of my life to represent constituents of my district in the Indiana House of Representatives,” said Turner. “I will forever treasure the opportunities I have had to make Indiana better. My wife, Cyndy, and I look forward to this new chapter in our lives, where we can share our skills and abilities with an outstanding Christian ministry, as well as enjoy time with our nine, soon-to-be 11 grandchildren,” said Turner. Bosma removed Turner from leadership after the Cicero Republican made more than a $1 million after his family sold a nursing home business to an Ohio company. Turner ran into ethics problems after he lobbied against legislation that would have impacted that business. Last Spring, the bipartisan House Ethics Committee cleared Turner of violations.

     
  • Indiana delegation mulls strategy to confront terror army

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    WASHINGTON - Indiana’s Congressional delegation was split on a House bill that would train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday. The House passed the measure 273 to 156 and the Senate will vote today. There were 159 Republicans and 114 Democrats supporting the bill and 71 Republicans and 85 Democrats voting against. It found House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi backing the bill, but opposition came from both liberal Democrats and GOP hawks. 
    Republicans U.S. Reps. Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman voted against the measure along with Democrat U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky. The rest of the Indiana House members voted for, and Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly indicated they would support the measure on Thursday.

     
  • HPI Interview: Bayh talks of his decision, Dem future, middle class
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – A couple of hours after former governor Evan Bayh announced he would take a pass on the 2016 gubernatorial race, he conducted this telephone interview with Howey Politics Indiana. Bayh called his decision a “governing one, not a political one,” said he had no plans to ever seek elective office again, and vowed to continue his public service by helping the coming Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, as well as work with academia, foundations and political organizations such as No Labels to improve the lives of Americans and the middle class. HPI: How did you come to your decision to pass on a third term as governor? Bayh: My decision was really a governing one, not a political one. If I was going to run for an office as important as governor, it was because I would have a substantial, positive agenda I thought I had a reasonable prospect of getting done if people put their confidence in me. 
     

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  • Democrat nominee Ashley reacts to Turner resignation after election
    “The voters, not some nameless politicians, should have a say over who will represent them. I will serve them vigorously. I won’t have to resign because of some ethical transgressions that I’m embarrassed about.” - HD32 Democratic nominee Bob Ashley, reacting to State Rep. Eric Turner’s decision to seek reelection, then resign to join a Christian advocacy group in Atlanta. Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody said Turner’s resignation “is yet another example of Statehouse Republicans’ lack of respect for the will of Hoosiers.” 
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Obama ISIS

Did President Obama make the appropriate case for U.S. and coalition military action against ISIS?


 

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