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Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Friday, August 28, 2015 10:09 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
FRENCH LICK – It was a tumultuous month for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly. He voted to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, one of just two Democrats to do so, and sided with Republicans on opposing the Obama Administration’s new Clean Power Rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. And there is the festering HIV epidemic and heroin problem that are gripping much of the state. Donnelly acknowledged the growing scope of problems, particularly in rural areas. He told HPI of marching in a parade recently, he and his staff throwing Tootsie Rolls to children along the way. He noticed a mad scramble for the candy, and then disheveled kids followed them asking for more. “And then it dawned on me, this was their breakfast,” Donnelly said.
    
Howey Politics Indiana sat down with Sen. Donnelly Friday evening at the French Lick Springs Resort just before Donnelly went across the street to address the Orange County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on the array of issues that have dominated headlines.
    
HPI: It’s been quite a month for you, with your Planned Parenthood defund vote that prompted Kathy Davis to resign from your campaign, and then your position on the new EPA rules. Has it been one of the tougher periods in your public service?  Donnelly: It’s a month where we’ve dealt with some of the more challenging issues that face our country and people are passionate about. They all arrived at the same time.
    
HPI: I wrote that there were votes to give on Planned Parenthood, and your staff said it was a vote of conscience for you. Walk me through how you came to your vote. Donnelly: What I tried to do was what I always try to do, which is to do what’s right for our state, our people and our country. The way I came to my decision was I viewed a lot of the videos and Indiana’s Planned Parenthood is fine. Gov. Pence had them inspected, they are following the rules, following what they are supposed to do. Unfortunately, my vote is not just about Indiana, it’s funding for all states. If you saw some of those videos, there’s a real concern as to the way actions are being taken, whether they comport with federal law. I felt an obligation to make sure that all laws are being followed. That’s what the people of Indiana expect of me. I have supported women’s health care time after time after time, including federally qualified health centers.
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  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    FRENCH LICK –- Along State Road 150 near the tiny hamlet of Prospect, the signs were conspicuous: “Fire Mike Pence.” And “Hire John Gregg.” With 2012 Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Gregg consolidating his hold on a rare second nomination (that last losing nominee to get another chance occurred in 1936), he began pressing Gov. Mike Pence on the jobs front when he addressed the Orange County Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Dinner last Friday night. Gregg said he watched Pence on television about three months ago with a Western Indiana jobs announcement. “He was bragging there were going to be jobs in Terre Haute,” Gregg said. “There would be 180 jobs that would pay $11.80 an hour. Now I’m watching with my mother, who is 84. My mother said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money.’ Now I said, ‘Mom, let’s make that $12 and multiply it by 40.’ She said, ‘$480.’ I said round it to $500, now multiply that by 52, and she said, ‘That’s only a little more than $25,000. How do you raise a family on that?’” It was an interesting day to draw the contrast. Earlier, Gov. Pence heralded the news of “record high private sector jobs.” The jobless rate had come down to 4.7 percent, its lowest point since November 2007. Some 59,000 jobs have been created so far this year, adding up to 2,614,800 private sector jobs, or as Pence put it, “More Hoosiers are employed in the private sector than at any other time in the state’s history, breaking the record last set in March 2000.” 
  • BY: MARK SOUDER
    FORT WAYNE – Donald Trump is no conservative in philosophy or temperament. He is no populist either. Like the equally pompous bully, William Randolph Hearst, Trump is a rich phony who loves power. True populists rise up from among groups of similar people with grievances, ranging from railroad rates to whiskey taxes, alcohol abuse to anger at eastern bankers. Trump is a billionaire who bilks gullible people out of their money, builds residential towers for millionaires, and represents a lifestyle true grassroots populists have hated since America’s founding. Andrew Jackson probably would have challenged him to a duel, in which he was proficient.  Trump is no Ross Perot either. Perot had his inconsistencies (his company was heavily dependent upon government contracts) but he used charts, graphs and detailed presentations. He treated things seriously. He often was wrong but at least he tried to understand and knew it was complicated. About the only thing Trump has in common with Perot is that if he runs for president as an independent, he likely will elect another Clinton and possibly spoil another potential Bush presidency. Trump is a variation of Huey Long. The Kingfisher, as Long was called, was basically dictator of Louisiana for many years. He wanted to be president.  
  • By LEE HAMILTON
    BLOOMINGTON – The vigor of our system depends on the vote of each citizen. We have to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. The campaigning for next year’s elections is starting to draw more attention, and with it comes a focus on voters and their mood. Which is all well and good, but it leaves out of the equation one large bloc of citizens, people who are eligible to vote, but don’t. Over the years, a fair number of people I’ve encountered have confessed that they do not vote, and I often surprise them by pressing them on why they don’t. We need to modernize the system. Democracies like Australia and Canada invest serious money in their election infrastructure and conduct widely acclaimed elections. Ours, by contrast, is fragile and uneven. We’ve already had one presidential election decided by courts on a question of failed infrastructure. More embarrassing cases will certainly occur. 
  • By PETE SEAT
    INDIANAPOLIS – Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and one-time U.S. Senate candidate, found herself the talk of the town following an impressive performance in the first presidential debate of the 2016 cycle. Her crisp responses and sharp critiques of Hillary Clinton, Fiorina's go-to punching bag, earned her major plaudits from every corner of the media and political worlds. And rightfully so. But can she capitalize on this? There is undoubtedly a growing sense within the Republican primary electorate that Fiorina should be included on the main stage when the candidates next gather for two more rounds of debate at the Ronald Reagan Library on Sept. 16. But to get there she must overcome two big hurdles, turning fans into voters and CNN's debate requirements. 
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Delph on a Senate run
State Sen. Mike Delph discusses a potential Republican U.S. Senate run on WTRV's "This Week."
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  • HPI Analysis: Democrats unite as Pence, Gregg spar on jobs
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    FRENCH LICK –- For the first time in half a decade, the stars seem to be aligning for the super minority Indiana Democrats. In John Gregg, they have a pending standard bearer who has learned the lessons from what is now seen as a heart-breaking loss to Gov. Mike Pence in 2012. His early gubernatorial rivals in Supt. Glenda Ritz and State Sen. Karen Tallian fell by the wayside in a span of two weeks, and have coalesced around the former speaker. There is some talk of an alternative, but other than Tom Sugar, no other credible candidate is emerging. Judge Lorenzo Arredondo gives the party a conspicuous Latino presence in the attorney general race as Republican presidential contenders Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz have launched broadsides at the most potent emerging demographic. As for a possible Gregg-Tallian unity ticket, Gregg told Howey Politics Indiana on Saturday morning, “We’ve talked,” without going into any further detail.
     
  • Horse Race: Holcomb confident, Delph ponders, Stutzman faces shutdown
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY  
        
    INDIANAPOLIS –  The spinning rumor mill flips out mirages, like the one where U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita runs for attorney general, and a “soft landing” is created for Eric Holcomb to exit the Senate race for the 4th CD. Holcomb has heard the rumors, and quickly puts them to rest. “Susan Brooks is my congresswoman,” Holcomb told Howey Politics Indiana over club sandwiches at The Old Point Tavern Wednesday afternoon. “The latest rumor is even more convoluted. I don’t live in the 4th. I have 100% interest in what I’m doing now and zero interest in any other. I don’t have to slam the door shut because it was never open.” Driving the rumor was Holcomb reporting $200,000 on the second quarter FEC report, well behind U.S. Reps. Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman. Holcomb said he has 12 fundraisers scheduled for September, including one at the Schererville home of Dan Dumezich. “I’m confident my campaign will be adequately funded. I am confident we will have the funds to get our message out,” he said.
     
  • 9th CD Democrats coalesce around Shelli Yoder
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    FRENCH LICK - Ninth CD Democrat Shelli Yoder picked up the support of two potential primary opponents in French Lick over the weekend. J.S. Miller, speaking at the Orange County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Friday night, introduced Yoder and said he would not seek the Democratic nomination. On Saturday, 2014 nominee and former Seymour mayor Bill Bailey confirmed to Howey Politics that he would be endorsing Yoder, the Monroe County councilwoman who lost to U.S. Rep. Todd Young in 2012. “I’ve already run once,” Bailey told HPI at the West Baden Springs Hotel where he was attending an art show, confirming that he won't run for a second time. Yoder told Orange County Democrats, “We can win this election,” after Young shifted his sights to the U.S. Senate race.
     
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  • IndyStar plans 'aggressive, orchestrated' civil rights campaign
    “We plan to follow up this fall with an Editorial Board campaign aimed at convincing state political leaders to adopt a law modeled after Indianapolis’ 10-year-old human rights ordinance. Those leaders also made an important commitment that day, a pledge to lead a statewide conversation about expansion of the civil rights law during the 2016 legislative session. We will push to ensure that commitment is kept. We will invest our time, energy and passion — and whatever influence we can muster — to help make Indiana an even better place to call home. And we unwaveringly believe that means building a state where discrimination is not tolerated in any form." — IndyStar Publisher Karen Ferguson Fuson, Executive Editor Jeff Taylor and Opinion Editor Tim Swarens in a statement posted on the IndyStar website, but not included in the printed Friday edition. The 4 a.m. posting came after a Breitbart article written by Tom Rose said the Star would “help plan and coordinate an aggressive, highly orchestrated campaign to persuade” the General Assembly to pass a civil rights expansion in 2016. It prompted Tea Party activist Monica Boyer to call for a boycott of the IndyStar and its sponsors. 



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