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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Tuesday, September 02, 2014 4:28 PM

WEST BADEN, Ind. – In the most conspicuous forum where some of the earliest comparisons of the 2016 presidential field emerged, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence assumed the role of the “happy warrior” who vowed to “out work ‘em” in the months ahead. Pence was on the bill for the Americans for Prosperity’s “Defending American Freedom Conference” in Dallas along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Cruz seemed to depart with the most momentum, as delegates chanted on Saturday, “Run, Ted, run” and others expressed doubts about Paul’s willingness to use U.S. military force abroad.

But momentum for a presidential prospect 18 months before the first caucus and primary votes are cast is as good as flotsam in the dustbin of history.
Pence articulated a state-based rationale for the next president. He received a standing ovation after saying, "There are some people who say that we need a governor as president and I'm sympathetic to that.”  Pence appeared on a panel called “Tightening the Belt on Government Spending.” Pence boasted of Indiana’s $2 billion surplus, the largest school voucher program in the nation, the second lowest corporate tax rate in the U.S., the creation of 80,000 jobs, and an unemployment rate of 5.9%, down from over 8% when he took office. “A state government budget should not grow more quickly than the family budget,” Pence said.

Pence entered the conference with a splash article by Politico that suggested that the Hoosier governor could have the financial support of the affluent and powerful Koch Brothers, suggesting that support could jump-start a Pence presidential bid.
He told delegates not to "confuse the national government with the nation. The American people are strong, resilient and capable. We can bring the nation back. Be confident, be optimistic, be happy warriors."
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    NASHVILLE, Ind. – Sometime between Labor Day and Sept. 10 when he appears at a Northwest Indiana One Region event, Evan Bayh is expected to make a decision that will have emphatic political ramifications for Indiana over the next decade. The decision is whether he will seek a third term as governor. It will be as important as the 2002 decision Mitch Daniels made to enter the 2004 gubernatorial race, or Bayh’s 1987 decision to run for the first time. Both those decisions ushered in more than a decade of political dominance, with Bayh igniting a 16-year Democratic gubernatorial and Daniels’ decision that cued up a 12-year run for the GOP that extends to this very day. Current conventional wisdom that dominated the Indiana Democratic Editorial Association convention last weekend in French Lick was that Bayh won’t run. In two recent interviews, Bayh called a candidacy “unlikely.”  The probable calculus running through Bayh’s mind are the two super majority legislative chambers where Republicans hold a 69-31 House advantage and 37-13 in the Senate that would make governing tough. He cited “polarization” in questioning whether he could effectively govern. However, other influential Democratic sources tell me they are not sure Bayh has made a decision. “I would hope that is the case,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., who along with John Gregg are planning 2016 runs, but have seen money hard to raise as long as Bayh is potentially in the equation. “Otherwise why wouldn’t he have announced he wasn’t running by now?”
    INDIANAPOLIS – Loretta Rush was already well known around the Statehouse – especially among tour guides – before she was sworn in as the first female chief justice of Indiana’s Supreme Court. Rush, who was first appointed to the court in late 2012, is a walker and a talker. It’s common to see her taking laps around the third-floor atrium outside her chambers while reading a legal brief, or popping into the courtroom to greet visiting schoolchildren. The longtime juvenile court judge has an affinity for children. She suspects what they’re thinking as they look around the somber courtroom with its heavy, dark-paneled walls and portraits of 107 almost all-male justices who came before her. “It’s important for kids to see that we’re real,” Rush said. “You walk into that courtroom and what you see are those pictures of old, frowning guys.”  One day, as she greeted a class of fourth-graders, she heard two small voices ring out: “You were our judge!” 
    NDIANAPOLIS - Lately, at least in Indianapolis, nice people have been making noises about taxing neighbors who do not live in Marion County but work there. In the case of a commuter tax, fairness and efficiency means getting people who work in your county to pay part of the expenses for public services. These include police, fire, sewers, mosquito control, street lighting, pavement maintenance, snow removal, flood control, traffic regulation, emergency response and other aspects of civilization in the 21st century.  Approximately 300,000 workers pour into Marion County each day. At the same time, about 116,000 workers leave Marion County daily to work elsewhere. (These numbers, for 2011, come from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data base of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. If you prefer, you can use the Indiana Department of Revenue’s numbers of 184,000 coming into and 44,000 leaving Marion County in 2012. The differences are due to the widely varying sources of the two originating organizations.) According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, commuting accounted for a $16.6 billion outflow of earnings from Marion County and a $3.1 billion inflow in 2012.   
    South Bend Tribune

    SOUTH BEND - Indiana prefers a citizen legislature, one where members with full-time occupations other than legislator go to Indianapolis for sessions, utilizing expertise in their varied occupations, and then return home to live and make a living among their constituents. Sounds nice. And it should be. But do those occupations sometimes lead to conflicts of interest, where legislators push or oppose legislation because of how it affects their personal income in their full-time jobs, ignoring the best interests of the state? Should we worry? After all, our citizen legislators have codes of ethics and ethics committee watchdogs to spot possible abuses.
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Gov. Pence speaks to AFP in Dallas
Gov. Mike Pence speaks to the Americans For Prosperity "Defending the American Dream" conference in Dallas last weekend.
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  • Speaker Bosma banishes Rep. Turner from GOP leadership

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - House Speaker Brian Bosma announced on Friday that he is banishing State Rep. Eric Turner from House Republican leadership after the Cicero lawmaker made more than $1 million on a nursing home deal and his family, more than $1 billion. The unprecedented move in modern Indiana General Assembly history came after a nurssing home company owned by Turner’s family was told to an Ohio company for $2.3 billion. It came after the House Ethics Committee determined last spring that Turner had not violated ethic standards. “There is no more important precept in a free democratic system than the expectation of impartial decision making by elected policy makers,” Bosma said in a surprising statement on Friday. “In a part-time legislature we each carry with us our own personal conflicts and influences and we must continually be on guard to set them aside, or recuse ourselves entirely from influencing that matter. Our greatest concern must be the confidence of the public in their elected officials.
  • Horse Race: Bock begins TV ad campaign
    INDIANAPOLIS — The 2nd CD showdown between U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and Democrat Joe Bock is now fully enjoined as the challenger began his TV ad campaign on Wednesday. Bock’s ad shows him packing his bags, with the candidate’s voice over: “I’ve been around the world, but it was no vacation.” Instead, Bock describes his missions to earthquakes, terrorism and civil wars. “Now the crisis is here at home,” Bock continued. “Politicians look out for themselves, instead of the middle class. They shut down the government and risk our paychecks, but keep getting theirs. Washington’s a disaster. I’m ready to go to work.”

  • Aging Indiana ranks low nationally in elder care
    INDIANAPOLIS – If a recent national study is to be accepted, Indiana is one of the worst states in the union for people growing old and frail. Moreover, it’s considered the very worst state in terms of support for family caregivers. Conducted jointly by the SCAN Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and AARP, “Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and Family Caregivers,” was released in June and ranked Indiana 47th out of all states and the District of Columbia, besting only Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Minnesota ranked first. The dubious distinction in a state that in a policy sense has achieved an array of tax cuts that are supposed to create a better business climate went unnoticed by Indiana’s media, whereas other recent studies such as those on childhood wellbeing have received attention. Today, Hoosiers 65 and older are 13.7% of the population; by 2030 their share will reach 20% with one in three Hoosiers over the age of 55. Indiana’s population between 2005 and 2040 will see a total growth of 15%, but an astounding 90% increase in those 65 and older. With the elderly living longer, the simple increase in numbers will place unprecedented burdens on Indiana’s health care infrastructure.

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  • HD22 Democrat nominee Kolbe files election board complaint
    "It just seems to me a candidate should not have a government contract with an election board. It just looks terribly bad and alarms us." - HD22 Democratic nominee David Kolbe, who filed a complaint to the Indiana Election Division last week on Republican nominee Curt Nisly’s web development contract with the Elkhart County Clerks office.
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Will Evan Run?

Do you believe Evan Bayh will run for governor of Indiana in 2016?


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