Monday, May 30, 2011

Gov. Daniels Explains His Decision

Sporting a large bandage on his head from his run-in with a gym door, Gov. Daniels explains his decision not to run for president to Christian Amanpour.

The President in Joplin

Here is President Obama speaking to the people of devastated Joplin, Missouri at a memorial service for the tornado victims there. The President's remarks begin at about 14 minutes in.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekly Address, 5/28/2011

With the President traveling, Vice President Biden handles the weekly address, discussing the remarkable revival the the US auto industry.

Subaru Will Build New Engine in Lafayette

SIA in Lafayette will be the site for the manufacture of the first engine that Subaru has built in 20 years. Subaru engines have typically been built in Japan. "Lafayette has been very supportive of us, so it made sense financially to create this engine here," said Rachel Hazaray, associate counsel with SIA. The new engine operation will create 20 to 40 new jobs for Lafayette, jobs that average $50,000 in salary. SIA is seeking a seven-year tax abatement on equipment to be used in the manufacture of the engine. "Getting the engine here is a very big step for this community, so we're very, very supportive of this abatement," said Mayor Roswarski. You can read more about SIA plans here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wasserman-Schultz Headlines State Party's Jefferson/Jackson Dinner

Democratic Party National Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be the dinner speaker at the Indiana Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner on Friday, June 11 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis. She represents Florida's 20th District.

The Congresswoman took the helm of the national Democratic party on May 4, pledging to “work every single day” to re-elect President Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot: “We must trumpet President Obama’s agenda from the rooftops. We must make sure that our friends, our neighbors, and everyone in our communities sees that President Obama and Democrats are delivering on the kind of change that is making America stronger.”

You can reserve your ticket for the event here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vi Simpson Won't Run for Governor

Sen. Vi Simpson has announced that she will not seek the democratic nomination for governor. That leaves John Gregg as the only declared Democratic candidate. You can see Sen. Simpson's statement and a statement from Party Chair Dan Parker here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Supreme Court Says Charlie White Investigation Should Go Forward

On Friday the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the state Recount Commission should consider whether Charlie White was a valid candidate for Secretary of State because of charges of voter fraud (falsely using his ex-wife's address so that he could maintain a spot on his city council). State Democrats had filed a complaint with the state's Recount Commission, but the commission refused to hear the complaint. On April 7 Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled that the Democrats' complaint is valid and that the commission must hear it. White and the Recount Commission appealed to the Supreme Court, but on Friday the Supreme Court dismissed both of their appeals. Here's coverage from the J&C.

Tippecanoe County Unemployment Continues to Go Down

According to the April report from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, job creation in Tippecanoe County helped the unemployment rate drop to 6.3 percent last month, down from 6.9 in March. That is the lowest since 5.9 percent in December 2008. It is the fifth month in a row that the unemployment rate has declined. Read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Gov. Daniels Won't Run for President

Citing family concerns, Governor Mitch Daniels has opted out of the 2012 presidential race, a race in which many thought he had a good shot at the Republican nomination. In a statement released to the press last night, the Governor said, "On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more." An email sent to his supporters early this morning echoed that theme and introduced a note of regret: "The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry." Here is Indy Star coverage of the his public statement and here is its coverage of the email to supporters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Will Daniels' Healthcare Record Play with the Tea Party?

As Governor Daniels comes closer to a decision about a presidential run, many Democrats are finding things to like about his stance on healthcare reform, things that may not exactly endear him to the Tea Party. For example, a group called Protect Your Care has launched this meaty online ad graphically showing that Daniels does not toe the Tea Party Line on healthcare. Huffington Post notes several points of congruence between Daniels' health reforms and Obama, and it published a 2003 quote from the governor in which he endorses something very un-Republican: "We really have to have universal coverage," Daniels said. Here is the Huffington Post article.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maddow Goes After Daniels on Women's Health

On Monday night's Rachel Maddow Show the hostess lit into Gov. Mitch Daniels for attempting to enhance his conservative credentials by supporting the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Maddow sees that as less an abortion rights issue than a disregard for women's health in general, arguing that Daniels has cut off about 9,000 Hoosier women from preventive healthcare.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Local Dems Like John Gregg

Former Speaker of the House John Gregg will be a welcome gubernatorial candidate for local Democrats. "I think he'll be an excellent governor," said Heather Maddox, party chairwoman. "I think the people here in Tippecanoe County will relate to him really well," Maddox plans to host Gregg for June event. Sheila Klinker, served with Gregg when he was in office from 1986 to 2002, thisnks hios conservatism will be popular a conservative Democrat who was popular on both sides of the aisle. "I think that will help him," Klinker said. Read more about Gregg's reception here.

Rokita: Republicans Put My House Outside My District as "Comeuppance"

Todd Rokita's house is about 500 yards outside the newly redesigned District 4 that he would like to continue representing. The US Constitution does not require that individuals reside in the Congressional district that they represent, but it's certainly desirable. So who put Rep. Rokita's house outside his district? Answer: Republicans, who, says Rokita, don't like him so much. The Columbus Republic published an AP report saying Rokita "believes the redistricting proposals he pursued as Indiana's Secretary of State may have annoyed some state lawmakers, who then drew him out of his district. As secretary of state from 2003 to 2010, Rokita championed a nonpartisan redistricting process that the Republican-controlled General Assembly declined to follow in this year's redrawing of legislative districts."

This was, says Rokita, "kind of a comeuppance thing." You've got to love it when Republicans exercise "comeuppance" on each other. Here's the Columbus Republic story.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Democratic Happy Hour

Please join us for a special two-hour, double-header Democratic Happy Hour on Thursday, May 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sgt Preston's Purdue Room. Cost is $10 and will include light appetizers, lemonade, and iced tea. Cash bar service will be available. We will be joined by up-and-coming Representative Scott Pelath from House District 9 in LaPorte County and our own Sheila Klinker to talk about the grueling, just-completed legislative session. We will also be joined by Mayor Tony Roswarski and some of our other municipal candidates.

John Gregg for Governor; John Gregg for Indiana

Leading off with a porch swing and a pitcher of iced tea, Democrat John Gregg is launching his campaign for governor with this low-key, down-home video. Check out his campaign website here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Governor Signs Abortion Bill; Judge Lets Planned Parenthood Defunding Stand

Today Indiana became one of the country's most restrictive states with regard to abortion and the first state to cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood as governor Mitch Daniels signed the just-passed abortion bill. Planned Parenthood and tuhe American Civil Liberties Union promptly filed for an injunction and temporary restraining order to delay enforcement of the law. ACLU director Ken Falk said, "Family planning dollars fund preventive health services that are critical to low-income and vulnerable women and their families. It is unlawful, unnecessary and cruel to deny these populations health services that they desperately need." However US District Judge Tanya Pratt refused to grant the restraining order because she was not convinced that enforcement would do "immediate and irreparable harm." However, the injunction will be decided by July 1.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time for Gov. Daniels to Get In or Get Out

Writing for the Daily Beast, Jill Lawrence says that Gov. Mitch Daniels' coy, hard-to-get positioning with respect to a presidential run isn't serving him well. "Get in or out, but do it soon. There’s such a thing as playing too hard to get, and it can be risky," she writes. George Washington was famously reluctant to assume to mantle of the presidency, as was Eisenhower, but she cites the more recent case of 2008 reluctant candidate (and presumed savior of a weak Republican field) Fred Thompson, couldn't live up to messianic billing and flopped. See her piece in Daily Beast here.

Kokomo Turns It Around

Inside Indiana Business says the Bureau of Labor Statistics has cited Kokomo as the second largest job gainer among more than 370 metropolitan areas in this year's first quarter. It jumped 177 places on the Forbes magazine list of the "Best Cities for Jobs." Just three years ago that same magazine named Kokomo one of the fastest dying cities in the country. USA Today notes that some of Kokomo's recovery comes thanks to the Obama administration's investment in Chrysler:
After receiving $7.5 billion in U.S. and Canadian bailout money and emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler said it will spend $1.2 billion renovating and expanding its Kokomo factories to build a new generation of fuel-efficient vehicles. The company, which last week announced its first quarterly profit since reorganization, has added 400 jobs in the area since early 2010.
Good to hear our neighbors are doing well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

President at Allison Transmission in Indy

On Friday President Obama visited Allison transmission Plant No. 7 in Indianapolis to show how we are addressing the high price of gas by promoting hybrid vehicles. "This is where the American economy is rebuilding and where we are re-energizing our factories. This is where the jobs of the future are at," the President said to about 800 workers at Allison. Read more about the President's visit here.

President Obama's 60 Minutes Interview on Bin Laden's Death

The President gave a detailed interview on the Bin Laden operation last night on 60 Minutes. CBS prevents us from embedding the video here, but you can see the entire interview with Steve Kroftt on YouTube here. Note that the interview is in three parts.

Donnelly Will Run for Senate

Second District Rep. Joe Donnelly announced today that he will run for the US Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Lugar. Donnelly launched his campaign with this fine video.

State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker had this to say about Donnelly's candidacy:
“This is a great day for Indiana Democrats and an exciting announcement for 2012. Joe Donnelly is a tireless advocate for Indiana’s middle class, and he’ll do in the U.S. Senate what he’s done as Congressman in the Second District: fight to make sure Hoosiers have jobs and can earn a decent living in order to take care of their families and retire with dignity. It doesn’t make any difference who Joe runs against next year. Hoosiers want a new U.S. Senator, and he’s the best candidate for the job. He’s a proven winner in tough elections, and he’ll be a great U.S. Senator for Indiana.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pence Will Run for Governor

To the surprise of no one, Rep. Mike Pence announced today that he will run for governor, having delayed his announcement for a few days because of the Bin Laden news. Indianan Democratic chair Dan Parker wasn't impressed: “A vitriolic critic with a megaphone does not a quality executive make, and he’d bring everything that’s wrong with Washington back to Indiana." Read more from the Washington Post here.

President Obama at Ground Zero

Just days after the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama visited New York City and Ground Zero. Below the President speaks to NY firefighters. (Apple users can view it on YouTube here.) You can also see him speaking with NY policemen here and laying a wreath at Ground Zero here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

President's Announcement on the Death of Bin Laden

Here is President Obama's historic announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Apple users can see the video here.

Bunder Wins Primary

West Lafayette District 2 councilman Peter Bunder won yesterday's primary against opponent Tom Herr. Thus far Republicans have not identified an opponent to Bunder in District 2. Here is the J&C coverage.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bunder Runs TV Ad

West Lafayette 2nd District Councilman Peter Bunder is running the TV ad below to support his bid to retain his seat in the May 3 primary. (Apple users can see the video on YouTube here.)

Daniels to Sign Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

The bill with some of the nation's most stringent anti-abortion provisions has been passed by both houses and is set to be signed by Governor Daniels. The bill also removes state funding for Planned Parenthood because of its support of abortion as a reproductive choice for women. If the bill is signed, Indiana will be the first state to defund Planned Parenthood. Read more about the bill from the Indy Star here.

Rep. Sheila Klinker, a pro-life Democrat, was among seven House Democrats who voted for the bill. She had voted in favor of the House bill which did not contain the Planned Parenthood language and was concerned when it returned from the Senate with defunding provision. "I was very perturbed by what the Senate put in there," she said. Read more about her vote here.

Republicans Back Off From "Charlie White Rule"

Republican leaders have agree not to pursue a change in the law that would have allowed Governor Danils to appoint a replacement for Secretary of State Charlie White if he is found to have been ineligible to run for the office because of alleged voter fraud. Current law requires that in such cases the illegitimate office holder be replaced by the second highest vote getter, which in this case would be Democrat Vop Osili. Republicans did indicate, however,that such a rule would be used in future cases. You can read more here.