Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rep. Milo Smith Blocks Vote on Nonpartisan Redistricting in Indiana

According to an article in the Columbus Republic, Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) is continuing to hear from angry Hoosiers who had hoped to be more fairly represented in our legislature by ending gerrymandering through a nonpartisan redistricting commission. Smith said he "has concerns with House Bill 1014 because it could waste legislative time and taxpayer dollars and diminish the integrity of the General Assembly."

And how would that occur? HB 1014 requires the General Assembly to approve the commission's redrawn district map, and if it turned down the commission's proposal, Smith asks, “How are people going to feel about that? They are going to say we (the General Assembly) never had any intention of approving the commission’s redistricting.” One man's "logic" is derailing any consideration of redistricting, but when the man chairs the Indiana House Elections and Apportionment Committee, he can prevent a bill from coming to a vote in his committee--even one co-authored by House Majority Leader Brian Bosma.

We in Tippecanoe County aren't Rep. Smith's constituents, but he would surely want to hear the feelings of citizens from throughout the state about how they are being represented--or misrepresented--in the legislature. Call Rep. Milo Smith at 317-232-9620 and demand him to bring HB 1014 to a vote!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Buttigieg Earns Endorsements for DNC Chair

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has earned the endorsements of nine other mayors in his bid to become DNC chair. These include the mayors of New Orleans, Austin. and Santa Fe. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Buttigieg part of "a new generation of leadership." Landrieu continued, "Mayor Pete understands that the most successful progressive leadership and best ideas are coming from outside of the Beltway. We must be united to respond to this new administration. Pete is the best person to unite us." Austin Mayor Steven Adler said that Buttigieg "stands out as one of the strongest and clearest voices for and from the future of the Democratic Party." Former DNC chair Howard Dean also praised Buttagieg on Hardball tonight. Read more about Buttigieg's endorsements here.

CNN is sponsoring a debate among the DNC candidates on Wednesday, February 22 at 10 p.m. on CNN. It will be moderated by CNN's Dana Bash and Chris Cuomo. The election of the chair will be on Saturday, February 25.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Donnelly Will Vote Against Sessions for Attorney General

Senator Joe Donnelly has announced that he will vote against Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general. In a newsrelease, Donnelly explains his opposition:
"I am concerned that the wide range of opposition to Senator Sessions’ nomination from civil rights advocates, including many Hoosiers, will impede Senator Sessions’ ability to work effectively with many communities across the country to carry out the important mission of the Justice Department. I am also concerned Senator Sessions will support recent actions taken by the administration on refugees and visa holders. For these reasons, I am unable to support his nomination to be the Attorney General."
You can read Donnelly's entire press release here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Immigration Rally at Purdue

About 200 people gathered on the Memorial Mall at the heart of Purdue's campus to protest President Trump's immigration executive order today. Many speakers addressed the group, including students who had been separated from loved ones and graduate students who were afraid to leave the country. David Sanders, president of the University Senate, assured the international faculty and students that they have the full support of the Senate. You can read the J&C coverage of the event here and see WLFI coverage below.



Mitch Daniels Blasts Trump's Travel Ban, Briefly

Purdue President Mitch Daniels expressed his opposition to President Trump's travel ban in a brief statement: “The President's order related to immigration is a bad idea, poorly implemented, and I hope that he will promptly revoke and rethink it. If the idea is to strengthen the protection of Americans against terrorism, there are many far better ways to achieve it.” As typical, Daniels is brief and to the point. He says the right things about Trump's executive actions, which is fine as far as it goes.

However, the Association of Public and Landgrant Universities (APLU) has posted the statements of 135 public university presidents here, and they are all longer than two sentences. They express strong support for their institutions' international faculty members and students, the importance of international cooperation in research, the fear and confusion of the university's international faculty and students, where people could seek help with immigration issues, etc. Read a bit of a statement from IU's President Michael McRobbie:

"At Indiana University, we embrace openness to the world. This has long been a hallmark of great global universities such as ours that seek to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country and champion the cause of greater cultural understanding.

The executive order issued on Friday that bars citizens and refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation, a diversity of community and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and engagement in the economic, civic, cultural and social development of our state, our nation and our world."

And there's five more paragraphs in that vein! Would it be unreasonable to hope to hear a bit more from President Daniels on this issue that is vital to the life of the university and the nation?

Joe Donnelly Opposes Tillerson and DeVos

Senator Joe Donnelly announces he will vote against Trump's nominees for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.





Be sure to call Senator Donnelly and thank him for his votes! (202) 224-4814

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ready for Action

Great turnout for two local events to encourage participation in grassroots political action--Who's Left: Local Action for Lafayette Activists today and Tippecanoe County Democratic Party's Candidate and Volunteer Information Session on Wednesday night (here is J&C coverage). The next generation of progressive leadership for our community will emerge from those in these rooms.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Support Redistricting Reform

From Heather Maddox: Tomorrow call your state representative and senator and ask them to support HB 1014 by Rep. Jerry Torr and demand that it get a vote on the floor. It's important for constituents to pick their legislator, not the legislator pick their constituents. Redistricting reform will lead to citizen control of redistricting, fairer and more competitive districts, and will help ensure that not one party have too much control in the Indiana General Assembly.

Here is a copy of House Bill 1014 and here is a link to find your legislator.

The Women's March

In Lafayette.
















In Indianapolis.









And around the world.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Obama's Impact on Indiana

Brian Howey, Indiana politics columnist, published an analysis of President Obama's impact on our state. Below are a few highlights.

In February 2009 at the beginning of Obama's term "the U.S. had a 7.8 percent jobless rate, Indiana stood at 10 percent and Elkhart County stood at 15 percent, on the way to 19.5 percent later that April. Kokomo would see its jobless rate hit 18.9 percent. As Obama leaves office, Indiana now stands at 4.2 percent, Elkhart 3.3 percent and Howard County at 4.1 percent." Thanks, Obama.

As a result of Obama pumping $80 billion into the auto industry to save it, "Indiana is now second in auto production in the United States. The GM plant in Fort Wayne has seen its workforce grow from 2,400 to 4,000. Almost $5 billion have been invested in plants in Kokomo, Tipton, Bedford, Marion and Fort Wayne." And $70 billion was repaid by the automakers. Thanks, Obama.

Though Hoosiers rejected Obamacare politically, they did not reject its services. "Former Gov. Mike Pence’s innovative Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 (which is part of Obamacare) has seen enrollment increase from 193,573 in 2015 to 359,612 in 2016 and a projected 457,739 in fiscal year 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1,489,805 people in Indiana are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. An estimated 224,000 Hoosiers have health insurance today because Indiana expanded Medicaid under the ACA. In the individual market, HHS says 168,884 people in Indiana have coverage through the ACA marketplace. Up to 2,796,375 people in Indiana have a pre-existing health condition but have access to insurance." Thanks, Obama.

Don't let anyone tell you Obama did nothing for Indiana! You can read Howey's entire analysis here.