Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Charlie White Survives Recount Panel Hearing

The three-member Recount Commission (two Republicans and one Democrat) unanimously judged that Charlie White  was eligible to run for Secretary of State, despite Democrats' contention that he committed voter fraud.  However, the Commission chair scolded White for "treading on the line" of legality.  Democratic Party chair Dan Parker said this in a news release:
“Anyone on the street looking at the facts in this case should be outraged that the state's third highest-ranking official, a man who's been indicted on seven felony counts and who's supposed to be in charge of our elections, is caught up in a mess like this. That he might skate on a technicality doesn't make the outcome of this process just or fair."
A criminal trial on seven counts of fraud and perjury charges now awaits White, starting on August 8. A conviction on any of the charges would result in his removal from office.  Parker expressed the hope that criminal proceedings in this matter will sort out differently: "While Indiana's election laws may be vague on the issue of residency, Indiana's criminal laws are clear, and we have faith that the criminal court system will bring Charlie to justice for his malfeasance."  Here is the AP story on the decision and reactions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Got Dinner Plans?

On Saturday the President's re-election campaign issued a request for supporters to tell the President what they would talk to him about if they had dinner. You can see responses on Twitter at #DinnerWithBarack.  This morning they announced a contest for donors to actually have dinner with the President.  Here's the link to the contest entry form. Then they upped the ante even further. (This is a very funny video.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Indiana Legislation Loses Ground in Two Federal Court Decisions

Friday was a tough day for the Indiana legislative agenda. The state lost two federal cases concerning controversial legislation passed in the last session--its immigration bill and its bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

On Friday U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued an injunction preventing Indiana's new immigration law from being enforced. She found two of the law's primary provisions to be "seriously flawed": one preventing the use of identification cards issued by foreign consulates and another that allows people the whose immigration status is questionable to be arrested. She said the banning of consulate issued cards stepped into areas of federal authority. The arrest provision, Judge Barker said, violates constitutionally-protected due process and search and seizure provisions. You can read more about this ruling here.

Also on Friday U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a preliminary injunction against the state's legislation to prevent the use of Medicaid funds for services from Planned Parenthood of Indiana. She sided with federal officials who argued that  states can't disqualify Medicaid providers because they provide abortion services, nor can they restrict Medicare recipient's choice of a health care provider. Read more from the Journal Courier here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

President's Weekly Address, 6/25/2011

This week the President speaks from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on the role of advanced manufacturing in helping revive the economy and in "nation-building at home."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Leading Ladies

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Sheila Klinker at the state Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

President's Address on Afghanistan

In case you missed it, here is President Obama's address on the winding down of the war in Afghanistan.

Jobs Are Here

A job fair at Ivy Tech attracted over 600 job seekers and 42 employers in search of new employees. The fair was sponsored by Greater Lafayette Commerce and Tecumseh Area Partnership. The success of the fair "shows our community is rebounding, and it shows that we have jobs for people," says Sascha Harrell, economic development program manager at Greater Lafayette Commerce.  Read more from the J&C here.  Coverage from WLFI is below.

Ivy Tech hosts job fair: wlfi.com

Sunday, June 19, 2011

President's Father's Day Address

This week President Obama uses his regular weekly address to reflect on fatherhood, including his own experience as a son and as a father.  It's surprisingly personal and well worth watching.  Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Smart Traffic Signals a Smart Investment

Have you noticed that hitting green lights as you drive through Lafayette has gotten easier in the last couple years?  That's because of a system of "smart lights" that have been installed by the city.  Today 62 of the city's 85 traffic signals are part of the city's Advanced Traffic Management System. Lights in the system contain computers that monitor traffic conditions and transmit them to a central control center where needed adjustments can be made.  This system will be growing as major arteries in the area will come under city management.  Read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Charlie White's Hearing on Vote Fraud Will be Televised

Secretary of State Charlie White does not want his hearing before the state's Recount Commission to be televised, but the Commission voted that the hearing would be filmed and streamed live online.  White's attorney has objected, because, according to the AP, 'they would record highly personal conversations about White's former and current marriage that are at the center of the case." What?  The "center of the case" is whether White fraudulently voted in the May primary claiming his ex-wife's house as his residence so he could remain eligible for his seat on the Fishers city council after he'd moved out of the city with his new wife.  White's attorney also objected to a private investigator hired by Democrats asking "highly personal questions" about White's current wife's ex-husband.  White's attorneys would love for this case to seen as a domestic dispute rather than a case of vote fraud against the state's highest election official. Read the entire AP story from the Journal Courier here.

Public Records Seminar

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and a panel of speakers will conduct an open seminar on Indiana's public record and open meeting laws in Purdue's Stewart Center, Room 322 next Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. Please pre-register at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2471.htm.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lafayette Council Votes Unanimously for SIA Abatement

SIA will invest $14 to $19 million in its Lafayette plant to start making a new Subaru engine here. That will create 20 to 40 new jobs in the community (a low estimate, according to SIA VP Tom Easterday). On Monday the Lafayette City Council unanimously approved a seven-year tax abatement on the new new equipment valued at about $314,000 or about $45,000 a year, probably the equivalent value of one of those positions. Councilman Steve Meyer is pleased that these figures were included in the SIA proposal: "I think it's helpful for us to see this because it's helpful for us and the public to understand. When they think of tax abatements, they think that you get a huge windfall, when technically it's really not." Mayor Roswarski was very supportive:
"I certainly pledge my support for this abatement. From everything that we look at, it is certainly a positive to have that manufacturing done here. It creates good paying jobs with benefits, and I think by now I don't have to tell you that SIA is a tremendous community partner."
You can read more about the tax abatement from the Journal and Courier here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Donnelly Will Give Weiner Money to Charity

WISH reporter Jim Shella reports Rep. Joe Donnelly has decided to give the $5,000 that Rep. Anthony Weiner contributed to his campaign to charity. In so doing, he called for Weiner to resign:
“Enough is enough. It’s time for Congressman Weiner to resign. His actions have disgraced the Congress. Everyone should be focused on jobs and the economy and his refusal to do the right thing is a distraction. I will donate the $5,000 I received from his campaign committee prior to 2011 to charities in Indiana.”
Read more from Shella's blog here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Republicans Demand Donnelly Return "Tainted" Weiner Campaign Money

Republicans are insisting that that Joe Donnelly return S5000 in campaign funds that they clalimed as "tainted" by Rep. Weiner's deplorable actions on the internet. The logic of that seems pretty slippery. Donnelly was one of 16 Democrats charged with receiving approximately S75,000 from the Weiner campaign. Read more here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

President's Weekly Address, 6/4/2011

This week President Obama talks about the revival of the automotive industry, a key component in Indiana's, and Greater Lafayette's, economy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Health and Human Services: Banning Planned Parenthood Illegal

Yesterday the federal Health and Human Services Department declared that Indiana's ban on Medicaid funding for the services of Planned Parenthood is illegal. In a letter to Indiana's Medicaid director, Medicaid Administrator Donald Berwick noted that federal law requires that Medicaid beneficiaries be able to obtain services from any qualified provider. Though not explicitly stated, it is understood that the state could face millions in fines if it persists in enforcing the new state law. Here is coverage from the Indianapolis Star. Below is WISH coverage.