Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party!! May you and your families have a blessed holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Ideologue and the Realist

Here's how a rigid ideologue responds to the calamity in Newtown: “This is not about access to guns. This is about access to schools. We need to stay focused on making sure our kids in school are secure.” The speaker is Indiana Governor-Elect Mike Pence, who also says he supports the rights of law-abiding Hoosiers to keep and bear arms and will continue to "defend that right,” according to reporting in the Indy Star. Is Pence's the response Pence is offering to stunned Hoosiers to continue to let maniacs continue buy assault weapons at gun shows without a background check and then post armed guards at grade schools to keep the kids safe from those same maniacs? Does anyone feel better now?

The Governor-Elect is regarded as a skilled politician, but he could certainly take a lesson from fellow gun-rights advocate, Senator Joe Donnelly: "You know, I'm a Dad too. My kids are a little older now, but I think of when they were 6 and 7 years old, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again." While Donnelly didn't commit to supporting any specific legislation, he did indicate an openness fueled by Newtown: "We're going to begin that discussion over in the Senate side very soon, and I'll be a part of that discussion." Whether Donnelly eventually votes for anything like universal background checks for guns purchases or bans on automatic weapons and gun clips over 10 bullets remains to be seen, but at least he sounds like a reasonable man trying to absorb what has happened in our country. Read more about Donnelly's response to Newtown on CNN here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

President's Speech at Newtown Interfaith Vigil

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

President's Statement on Newtown Shooting

An emotional President Obama responds on Friday to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and calls for action to prevent further such incidents "regardless of the politics."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Republican Sore Loser: Richard Mourdock

Republicans seem to be developing a real taste for sour grapes. Now Richard Mourdock's campaign crew is publicly complaining of his treatment at the hands of "the liberal media." Here's what Mourdock Finance Director Ashlee Walls wrote in an email soliciting funds to cover campaign costs:
"In our case, we found our campaign caught in the liberal media crosshairs. Never has Indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias by reporters more interested in defeating conservatives than reporting the news. We fought back and invested heavily in a last-minute push to combat the slew of false accusations Democrats and the liberal media churned up to distract voters."
Stating the obvious, Jason Linkins observes in the Huffington Post that "Mourdock wasn't undone by a 'false accusation,' he was undone by words that he said out loud at a public, televised debate, that reporters were watching."

Tim Swarens in the Indy Star is even harsher on Mourdock: "Let's be blunt: That is such complete nonsense that only someone as out-of-touch with reality as Mourdock could believe it." Swarens points out that Mourdock other conservatives fared well in Indiana:
"Mourdock didn't lose because the news media selectively targeted him for persecution out of all of the conservatives on the ballot in Indiana this year. On the same day that they chose Donnelly over Mourdock, Hoosier voters also elected conservative Mike Pence as governor, chose conservatives to represent seven of Indiana's nine districts in the U.S. House, and handed conservative Republicans supermajorities in the Indiana House and Senate. Mitt Romney won Indiana in what amounted to an uncontested walk."
Swarens concludes "Richard Mourdock was a weak candidate. And Indiana voters were smart enough to figure that out on their own, 'liberal media' notwithstanding."

Daniels Says Business Not Comfortable with Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment

Governor Daniels indicated on Wednesday that some business leaders are telling him that a constitutional ban on gay marriage would inhibit their ability to recruit top candidates. "I've heard from a number of them, as recently as this morning," Daniels said.

The governor also indicated that businesses were uncomfortable with the amendment's strictures on any legal recognition of gay relationships, including benefits. "They wouldn't want their ability to offer benefits and that sort of thing limited. That they think it's fair, and they think it's important — at least in the case of some of their employees," Daniels observed. The governor would not weigh in on this issue directly as he is "transitioning out" of the political arena.

(We can't help but wonder why existing statutes wouldn't be as concerning to businesses as a constitutional amendment. And were their concerns not voiced as the legislature passed statutes against gay marriage or were they ignored?)

Read more about the governor's comments here.

Indiana Republican Legislative Bloopers

Indianapolis Star columnist Dan Carpenter did a nice piece on the recent stumbles of Indiana Republican legislators that attracted the kind of attention a state doesn't want. Included among his "gems" are Rep. Bob Morris's crusade against the Girl Scouts; making a man who does not believe in evolution chair of the Senate committee on education; and Senator Dennis Cruise's legislative attempts to inject creationism into Indiana science classrooms.

Carpenter notes others, and with Republican supermajorities in both legislative bodies and a more ideological incoming governor, the blooper reel is bound to continue. (Seriously, does our state need the spectacle of a constitutional amendment to forever ban gay marriages?) He concludes, "Regardless of ideology, we deserve better." You can read Carpenter's column here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

54% of Hoosiers Oppose Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment

With the General Assembly poised to take up a superfluous constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Indiana, a new Ball State/WISH survey shows that 54 percent of Hoosiers oppose the amendment and only 38 percent favor it. It also shows that 45 percent of Hoosiers favor allowing gay couples to marry and 45 percent oppose them. And 55 percent favor civil unions with 37 opposed. Maybe Indiana is no longer the close-minded state that Governor-elect Pence and Speaker Bosma thought it was. Read more here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

J&C Editorial Blast's Kruse's "Academic Freedom" Proposal

Editors at the J&C have blasted Sen. Kruse's proposed defense of ignorance legislation that would require teachers to offer "research" evidence to support any classroom point that is challenged by a student. They conclude: "Indiana schools don’t need this sort of 'academic freedom.' And Indiana doesn’t need another reason to look like the backwater hinterlands." Amen to that. You can see the entire editorial here.

Two Thirds of Hoosiers Don't Want Pence's Tax cut

A new survey show that 64 percent of Hoosiers would prefer to have the money that Governor-elect Mike Pence has promised them as a tax break reinvested in our state, especially for education and worker training. Legislative leaders are already skeptical about another tax cut. Last month House Speaker Brian Bosma said,“Any tax cut has to be sustainable. Not just in a two year budget period but sustainable in the long haul.” Here's the story from WISH reporter Jim Shella.

Donnelley Visits Lafayette Mental Health Agency

Senator-elect Joe Donnelly stopped in Lafayette on Sunday morning to visit a local mental health agency. Here's coverage from WLFI.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kruse "Truth in Education" Bill Gives Students Classroom Filibuster

Some Indiana Republicans are not only anti-teacher, they appear to be anti-knowledge. After their attempt to insert the religious doctrine creationism into Hoosier science classes failed last year, they have replaced it with a new way to perpetuate ignorance. Senator Dennis Kruse has proposed a "truth in education" bill which he explains as follows: “If a student thinks something isn’t true, then they can question the teacher and the teacher would have to come up with some kind of research to support that what they are teaching is true or not true.” Aside from being completely unenforceable, it provides any enterprising seventh grader with the means to filibuster the educational process for his entire class: "I don't believe that leaves are green because of chlorophyll; please prove it. I don't believe water is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, etc." Has Senator Kruse never been in a classroom?

Kruse is upfront about this bill being a substitute for his failed creationism bill. His new bill “will be a totally different approach. It won’t mention religion. It won’t mention creation. It will just basically try to establish truth in our public schools.” In reality it would allow a few ideological diehards or dedicated ignoramuses to block the conveyance of truth in Indiana's classrooms and to sink Indiana further into the educational backwaters. Surely such nonsense will not receive serious consideration in our legislature. Surely.

Monday, December 3, 2012

J&C Takes Daniels to Task on Ritz Election Comments

Today the Journal and Courier took Governor Mitch Daniels to task for his comments last week suggesting that there had been illegal activity by teachers in their fight to defeat State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. Here's the ending of the their op-ed:
Last week’s comment was one wild swing from the governor — even if it’s true and he’s ready to prove it. (And ready to take the counter punches.) Right or wrong, teachers showed in November that they know how to handle themselves when they feel threatened. Calling their actions illegal is a good way to rile them again.

Not a smart move for a guy who said he was ready to set partisan politics aside and take the reins at Purdue.
You can read the whole editorial here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Daniels Suggests Illegal Activities in Ritz Campaign

The Indianapolis Star reports that Gov. Mitch Daniels has suggested that Glenda Ritz's defeat of Tony Bennett was not entirely on the up-and-up. on Wednesday he said the following at a meeting of Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education: "If you're a fan of anything-goes politics, it was a creative use of illegal -- but still creative use -- of public resources. We got emails sent out on school time by people who were supposed to be teaching someone at the time, all about Tony Bennett. We have parents who went to back to school night to find out how little Jebbie is doing and instead they got a diatribe about the upcoming election."

Gov. Daniels saw Ritz's election as a reactionary spasm against Bennett's "progressive" reforms of public education: "Despite the great progress that's been made in states like ours, the forces of reaction never quit. The last twitch of the dinosaur's tail can still kill you and that's what happened." The democratic notion that an election represents the people's judgment on a candidate or a set of policies seems beyond conception here. Is it a genetic characteristic of Republicans that they lack the gracious loser gene?

Read the Star's story here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

President Appoints Jill Long Thompson to Ag Post

Today President Obama named Jill Long Thompson, former Democratic congresswoman and gubernatorial candidate, to be the chair and chief executive officer of the Farm Credit Administration. She was undersecretary for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Clinton administration from 1995 to 2001, and was CEO of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy. Read more about her appointment here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ritz Can Refocus Education Reform Without Republican Legislature

Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction feels her office has the ability to act without approval from the Republican-dominated legislature. "I believe there's policy and implementation that goes in a different direction from what we're doing now," Ritz told the Times of Munster. Though she can't, for example, reverse the vouchers program, she plans to direct the Department of Education to do a better job supporting local schools instead of just telling them what to do: "We're going to be doing quite a different approach, a real, real bottom-up approach in providing professional development, resources and any type of support that might be needed." She also plans "to be working with the community to make plans and put in motion action that will actually address the challenges." You can read the Munster times article here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Obama Shops Local

In recognition of Small Business Saturday, President Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha shopped for Christmas presents at One More Page, an independent, neighborhood bookstore in Arlington, Va.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How Ritz Won

Brian Howey provides a detailed analysis of how Glenda Ritz defeated the incumbent Tony Bennett through social media. He says they used a social media strategy that based on two models: the 2008 Obama campaign and the tactics of the Arab Spring. Howey quotes campaign coordinator Dave Galvin saying, “It was a David versus Goliath scenario and we didn’t even have a slingshot." Read Howey's analysis here.

Thanks from Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly sent a letter of thanks to Indiana voters over the holiday.

In this season of giving thanks, I am writing to thank the people of Indiana for giving me the chance to serve as the next U.S. senator from Indiana. Our country faces major challenges, and I look forward to bringing the bipartisan Hoosier common sense to the U.S. Senate that Indiana families use every day. My approach is to put the people of our great state first and foremost. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with members of both parties as we move Indiana forward. This time should be focused on family and friends and helping those in need; however I also wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve you as your next senator. Again, thank you for this honor and privilege. I look forward to bringing your voice to the U.S. Senate.


U.S. Senator-Elect

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New House Leadership

The new House leadership style of Democrat Scott Pelath is beginning to emerge. In an AP story focusing on bi-partisan statements from Speaker Brian Bosma included the following the House Democratic leader:
“Politics is a very difficult business, and the best metaphor is family. Sometimes families bicker, sometimes families argue, sometimes families hurt each other’s feelings. But we are a family and we share a vision for Indiana that we’re going to articulate."
There is also the following released by the Indiana Democratic Party.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Secessionists Emerge from Woodwork . . . Even in Indiana

Jim Shella reports that since President Obama's re-election petitions for secession of some states have emerged from all 50 states. There's one for Indiana that has 14,000 signatures, but Shella reports that most of the signers aren't residents. How are Hoosier Republicans responding? Tim Brown of Crawfordsville (who formerly represented parts of Tippecanoe County) was hardly discouraging: “Everybody has a right to sign a petition that they feel comfortable with.” And House Speaker Brian Bosma had this to say: “We’ll work through this. The Republic will survive." The republic will survive what? What crisis of the republic is represented by the democratic re-election of Barack Obama of these United States? This is precisely not a crisis; the people spoke through a democratic election and that is how the republic works. Republicans need to acknowledge that, and they need to clearly and emphatically reject their brethern who do not. Several Southern Republican governors have come out in opposition to the petitions, reports Huffington Post. Isn't it time for an Indiana governor or governor-elect step up to the plate?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pence and the Indiana Healthcare Exchange

[Secretary Sibelius has now pushed exchange deadline back to December 14.]

Does the date Nov. 16 ring any bells? That's the day that Gov. Daniels has to tell the federal government, based presumably on the advice of Governor-elect Pence, how Indiana will proceed on a healthcare exchange. The choices are to create a state-run exchange, to place Hoosiers in a federally run exchange, or create a hybrid system. You may recall that John Gregg thought the hybrid system would give Hoosiers the most flexibility--he's a pragmatist, after all. Back in August Pence wrote to Gov. Daniels that he was opposed to a state-based or hybrid exchange because of political, regulatory, and legal uncertainty. In the meantime, Democrats derailed any political threat to the plan by holding the Presidency and the Senate, and legal questions were resolved by the Supreme Court upholding its constitutionality.

Pence also argues that the exchange would cost Indiana $50 million a year, completely rejecting the notion that Hoosiers will save anything on insurance costs, despite the fact that such group purchase plans save people money in any number of settings. So it would appear that what remains is ideology, of which we will see a lot in the next four years.

Ironically, Pence's position will force Hoosiers onto the tender mercies of the despised federal government for their health care insurance. Presumably, Gov.-elect Pence is apparently prepared to put ideological purity above what he would consider best interests of his constituents.

Howey: Ritz a "Campaign Pioneer"

Here is political columnist Brian Howey's take on Glenda Ritz's victory over Tony Bennett for state Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Democrat Glenda Ritz’s upset of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett opens a new era of campaigning. She raised about $250,000, compared to more than $1.5 million for Bennett, who spent most of his money on TV. But network affiliate TV viewership is in rapid decline, and Ritz campaign operative Dave Galvin designed a social media program using Twitter and Facebook that looped in scores of teachers who were upset with the Bennett reforms. Ritz became a campaign pioneer.
At the national level, analysts are saying that 2012 was the first election in which social media really mattered, and that was evident right here in Indiana. You can read Howey's column here.

Donnelly's Road to Victory

The Capitol Hill newspaper of record, The Hill, has published a three-page article on how Joe Donnelly won his Senate seat. It features:
--State Party director Dan Parker holding meetings with potential candidates until it was decided who would run for what offices. Quoting Parker: “I don’t know who you are, but one of you is running for Senate and one of you is running for governor.”

--The apparently common knowledge that a Democratic candidate can't win in Indiana if the Presidential candidate loses by more than 15 points.

--Donnelly running on the Frank O'Bannon Plan: “We got about 15 percent of Republicans, got the majority of independents, [in addition to] Democrats. It’s not complicated. You reach out to everybody.”
It's a fun post-election read. Check it out here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gov. Pence and Ideology

A post-election editorial in the Journal Courier raises the question of whether Governor Pence will work as an ideological culture warrior (as he did in Congress) or as a jobs-focused pragmatist:
Does Gov.-elect Mike Pence understand that his primary job is to be economic developer and job creator par excellence? With the Republicans’ super majority in the Indiana House and Indiana Senate, he could bulldoze social issues. But he is a one-term governor if he does not pay enough attention to the economy and the state budget.

Another editorial in the Indy Star warns of the temptation to overreach presented by a super-majority:
To their credit, Pence and House Speaker Brian Bosma both are promising to work with Democrats and emphasizing budgets, jobs and expansion of education opportunities rather than digressions such as further restrictions on abortion and religion-oriented public school curriculum. . . But there is little doubt that cultural battles will arise. A vote on sending a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to a referendum is a virtual certainty, for example. How the supermajority handles this and other volatile matters will go far toward determining how effective it is in on essential matters such as taxes, economic development, environmental protection and education that cross ideological lines.

And in his Sunday feature in the J&C, Dave Bangert notes that Gov. Pence's evangelical allies are planning to mount another effort to promote the teaching of creationism in Indiana science classrooms, even though courts have found that explicitly unconstitutional. How will Gov. Pence react to that agenda?

Can these tigers change their stripes? Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Poll Shows Donnelly Up 47-36

In the first bipartisan poll since Richard Mourdock's remarks on rape indicates that Donnelly has jumped to an 11 point lead, 47 percent to 36 percent, and that women voters are driving that surge. A late September Howey/DePauw University poll had Donnelly up just two points. The poll also showed John Gregg trailing Mike Pence by only seven points, and Glenda Ritz trailing incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction incumbent Tony Bennett by just four points. Momentum seems to be with our side! WE need to get every vote out! Read more about the poll here.

Cornstuble Protests Fliers

District 26 candidate Rick Cornstuble has objected to mailings sent by the Indiana Democratic Party that use a very negative tone. Cornstuble told the Journal and Courier, “I was not consulted or even told about these mailings by the state party. My committee and I made a decision at the very beginning of the campaign that we would deal with the issues and nothing else. I do not approve of the tone of these mailers." Chairperson Heather Maddox said the local party had been unaware of the mailings. "It wasn’t a tone we use or would ever use,” she said. “I think it was way overboard. It says it’s not approved or endorsed by the candidate, and it’s not.” Read the J&C article here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Crucial Endorsement for Mitt Romney


Joe Donnelly Here Friday; Gregg Closing In!

Joe Donnelly, leading in the race for the Indiana Senate, will be in Lafayette tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 2. At 2:30 he will be at at 2:30 at our Coordinated Campaign HQ, 3107 Olympia Drive in Lafayette off Concord Road. To see a Google map, click here.

The Washington Post reported yesterday on a poll that shows Donnelly ahead of Mourdock by seven points, 43 percent to 36 percent. The same poll put John Gregg just three points behind Mike Pence, 47 percent to 44 percent. Read the Washington Post coverage here. Looks like John is a little ahead of schedule: he'd said we wanted to be within the margin of error by the weekend and he's already there! Let's do everything we can to put him and Joe over in the ultimate poll ofn Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obama Campaign: We Will Win If We Do What We Need to Do

If you're feeling at all doubtful about the presidential race, here's just the medicine you need! In the video below Obama/Biden Campaign Manager Jim Messina explains why they feel confident about the swing states: large early voting advantages, getting "sporadic" voters (ones who didn't vote in the midterms) to the polls, and Democratic registration advantages. Messina says the President will win if we do what we need to do.

Need more? This morning on Morning Joe David Axelrod made a bet with conservative host Joe Scarborough: If Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania (states the Romney campaign claims are in play), “I will come on ‘Morning Joe’ and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years." Conversely, if the President wins either North Carolina or Florida, Scarborough will have to grow a mustache. Axelrod is as serious about his mustache as John Gregg, so he must be pretty confident!

As Jim Messina says, we just need to do what needs doing: work for candidates we care about, vote, and help others vote. Even if Indiana doesn't go for the President this time out, we can help turn a Republican Senate seat blue, give the President an ally in the Indiana statehouse, and help keep Indiana government balanced.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Donnelly Ad Is Mourdock's "Greatest Hits"

Joe Donnelly's opponent for the Senate has a knack for making statements that are pretty extreme, like any good Tea Party candidate. Donnelly's campaign has collected these into a kind of "greatest hits" ad.

John Gregg in Lafayette

John Gregg and Vi Simpson stopped in Lafayette on Sunday and met with supporters (including Heather Maddox) at 9 Irish Brothers. John indicated that internal polling said he had closed the gap between himself and Mike Pence to six points (in August he had been behind 18 points), so it's clear the momentum is with Gregg/Simpson. “Our goal is to be within the margin of error by the weekend and by Tuesday to overtake him, and we can do it,” Gregg said. Read the J&C coverage here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Something God Intended to Happen

"Even when life beings in that horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen."

Richard Mourdock's appalling statement has set off a firestorm of controversy, including a call for him to apologize from Mike Pence. Here's a summary of responses from the Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps the most disingenuous is a statement issued by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas:
“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous.”
It is a gross distortion to tie Joe Donnelly to Mourdock's position by asserting that Mourdock's statement was nothing more than a bland observation on the holiness of life. Whether the "that" in Mourdock's statement refers to the pregnancy or the rape that produced it, Mourdock attributes the causal chain to the intention of God; God couldn't have intended the result without intending the cause.

In attempting to control the damage, Mourdock actually doubled down on his position: "I spoke from my heart. And speaking from my heart, speaking from the deepest level of my faith, I would not apologize. I would be less than faithful if I said anything other than life is precious, I believe it's a gift from God." Obviously, he was saying more than life is precious.

If you think there is a context problem here, watch the video of of Mourdock's entire response to the question.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nelson and Rokita Debate

The one and only 4th District Congressional debate was held last night on the Purdue campus, featuring Democrat Tara Nelson and incumbent Republican Todd Rokita. In the debate Nelson spoke of keeping US jobs at home: "As a manager, when I was asked to offshore my team, I created a business case to keep their jobs here. I think we need more people fighting for our jobs here and that's what I intend to do." on the subject of college debt, Nelson spoke against interest on loans: "We also need to eliminate tax interest rates from our student loans. We're making money off of our future, and I think we need to look at education as an investment in our entire country."

WLFI coverage is here and Exponent coverage is here.

You can hear excerpts or the entire debate on WBAA's site here.

Campaigning in 4th District, Nelson Learns from Sheila

In an article contrasting the styles of campaigning in Indiana's 4th Congressional District, the J&C quotes Democrat Tara Nelson citing Sheila Klinker as her model for campaigning at community meetings: "In a 16-county district, you can't go door-to-door and meet every person, so I'm going out to large community events." Nelson thinks her campaign message is being well received after they've heard incumbent Todd Rokita: "I hear concerns about unemployment, Social Security and Medicare benefits, especially after people hear Todd Rokita talk about cutting spending and entitlement programs. When people hear my message of reducing military spending instead of taking away the social safety net, they like my message better."

You can read the J&C article here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mark Straw Debates Alone for District 13

Democrat Mark Straw was scheduled to do a series of forums with his Republican opponent Sharon Negele, but she declined, calling the forums "an eleventh-hour political maneuver," according to the Journal and Courier. The newly created District 13 includes parts of Tippecanoe County and has no incumbent. Straw has been keeping his forum schedule in Waynetown, Remington, Williamsport, Lafayette, and Wednesday at the Benton County Library in Fowler at 7 p.m. You can read more about Straw's efforts here and at his website www.strawforindiana.us.

Gregg Is Spirited in Second Debate

If you missed the second debate among the candidates for Indiana governor (it seems not to have been broadcast on television), you can see it here. John Gregg was generally credited with being more aggressive against Mike Pence, going after his attendance record at House votes and his lack of legislative output. Gregg's best line of the night focused on Pence's work habits: "This race is about being a workhorse, not a show horse. And the way you show up, you wouldn't even be a show horse, you'd be a one-trick pony."

You can read the South Bend Tribune's coverage of the debate here.

Superintendent Candidate Ritz to Debate Bennett Wednesday

Wednesday night will feature a debate between the candidates for Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Republican incumbent Tony Bennett and Democrat Glenda Ritz. The debate will occur at Wabash College in Crawfordsville starting at 5:30 p.m. All available tickets have been taken. A 33-year teacher, Ritz opposes the state's focus on standardized testing, the A-F school grading system, and the privatization of public schools. She is a plaintiff in the suit against Indiana's private school voucher program. You an hear the debate live at www.wabash.edu/live.
Read more about the debate and the race here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lugar's Office Protests Flier Claiming Mourdock Endorsement

Former Senator Richard Lugar's office has protested a flier implying that Lugar has endorsed Richard Mourdock, insisting that the man whom Mourdock ousted in the Republican primary has not endorsed him. Hoosier political analyst Andy Downs notes that Lugar has not protested Joe Donnelly's claims to ties to Lugar:
“Donnelly has been talking about how much he has worked with Lugar. If Lugar were aggressively supporting Mourdock, he would have come out publicly, I think, and told Donnelly to step back from that, or put some sort of qualifiers on that cooperation,” Downs said. “By not doing that, he’s allowing Donnelly to legitimately try to influence Lugar supporters.”
Read the Indy Star article and see the flier here.

Springsteen Runs Out of Rhymes for "Obama"

As Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen campaigned for President Obama in Ohio today, Bruce took a minute to demo his attempt at a campaign song for the Obama campaign. Like the President in Denver last week, even the Boss can have an off night. The campaign will probably stick with "We Take Care of Our Own."

Bruce did some some serious writing on the President's behalf in an open letter posted to his website. Here's some of what he said:

Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”
You cna read the whole letter here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

From a "One-point Plan" to a "Sketchy Deal": Obama's Greatest Hits from Debate Two

Here is Politico's list of the five best Obama lines in the second debate:

1. “Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”

2. “When he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considers themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about: folks on social security who have worked all their lives; veterans, who sacrificed for this country; students, who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this country’s dreams; soldiers, who are overseas fighting for us right now; people who are working hard every day.”

3. “We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for that.”

4. “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it doesn’t take as long.”

5. “Gov. Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said, ‘Here, I want to spend $7 [trillion] or $8 trillion and we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it.’ You wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal and neither would you, the American people.”

We'll stop gloating pretty soon now.

Debate Two: All the Signs Say Obama Won!

The CNN poll had President Obama winning the second debate by 46 to 39. Perhaps a better measure is what the odds makers saw. Here's what the Washington Post reported on that subject:
The votes on well-known political betting site Intrade.com reflected a jump in the president’s chances from 61.7 percent just before the debate to 64.1 percent shortly afterward. Similar jumps could be seen in other markets, too. At the betting site Betfair.com, the president’s chances jumped 2.7 percentage points during that period, and on the Iowa Electronic Markets, run out of the University of Iowa, his chances were up about 2.4 percentage points in that time frame.
Another measure of Obama's victory is Republicans' finding others to blame. Rush Limbaugh, as reported in Politico, landed on moderator Candy Crowley: “She kept feeding Obama lines. She did, folks, she kept feeding him lines. She kept prompting him. You Democrats, he couldn’t have done this last night without her assistance.” Or how about this? “She committed an act of journalistic terror or malpractice last night. If there were any journalist standards, what she did last night would have been the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber. But there aren’t any journalist standards anymore." Try speaking the words "Rush Limbaugh" and "journalistic standards" in the same sentence without laughing. Another tell of losing: Republicans whining about Michelle Obama's clapping, though, as was pointed out, not for her husband but for Candy Crowley, as reported by Politico.

You can relive the whole evening below.

Gregg on the War on Public Education

StateImpact, the NPR program that looks at education-related issues in states, has published a side-by-side comparisons of John Gregg's and Mike Pence's positions on education. Here's a strong statement from Gregg about the value of public education:
“This current administration has declared war on public education. The day I’m elected is when the war on public education and public educators, our schoolteachers, quits. That fear of this high stakes testing is legitimate because there’s a mindset that wants to do nothing, I’m convinced, but constantly beat down our public schools. And I don’t think that solves the problem. I’m not a fan of vouchers.”
You can enjoy the entire interview with John Gregg here. You can read about Gregg's and Pence's views here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Senate Debate Draws National Coverage

Joe Donnelly more than held his own in last night's debate among Senate candidates, and the debate was picked up in national media outlets. The Huffington Post headline picked up on Donnelly's quip that that Hoosiers won't believe Mourdock as a moderate because they're "not that dumb." Here's the succinct summary from The Hill:
The first Indiana Senate debate featured both Republican Richard Mourdock and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) trying to define each other along partisan lines, with Mourdock accusing Donnelly of voting in lockstep for Obama's agenda and Donnelly accusing Mourdock of being "an unapologetic leader of the Tea Party movement." Donnelly attempted to frame himself as bipartisan by touting his work with Sen. Dick Lugar (R) on the auto bailout, a reference to the moderate incumbent defeated by Mourdock's primary challenge. But Mourdock worked to hang the stimulus and Obama's healthcare reform around Donnelly's neck throughout the debate.
Here's a Washington Post summary by Melinda Henneberger, who argues that Joe Donnelly benefits from the presence of Libertatian Andrew Horning because he draws off Republican voters. You can see the entire debate below.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hockema's Ad at Jeff: Rookie Mistake or Political Calculation?

In today's J&C Dave Bangert offers an extended examination of Chuck Hockema's unauthorized use of Jefferson High school facilities in an ad for his campaign against Sheila Klinker. Bangert cites several other uses of public school or Purdue events in previous local political ads, but, as a commenter on the J&C website notes, those occurred at public events and Jeff facilities are normally secured when not in use, and presumably only accessible to authorized persons.

Bangert is inclined to view this as a "rookie mistake" on Hockema's part, though he sees it as a "pretty big" one. Sheila Klinker disagrees: “You just can’t make politics part of a public school system. It’s not right.” Heather Maddox too: “I just think it sets a bad precedent all around. And to the general public, it does imply an endorsement, in my opinion."

The head of Purdue's Political Science Department thinks Hockema's use of school property is strategic: “The symbols are very, very important. ... Here, it’s trying to link him to education. That’s been Sheila Klinker’s issue — what she’s been known for. If he has any wits about him, he’s thinking very consciously about that. There’s a strategy there."

Rookie mistake or political calculation? As Prof. Clawson says, "I tell my class that there’s nothing in a campaign advertisement that’s a mistake."

You can read Bangert's piece here.

A Week of Debates

Hope you have your evenings cleared for some big debates this week!

Monday , Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. is the senate debate featuring Joe Donnelly; you can see it on WFYI and other local media.

Tuesday, Oct. 16., at 9 p.m. is the second presidential debate, this time in a town hall format; it will be on all the media.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. the second gubernatorial debate will occur in South Bend; most local media outlets will cover it.

Then we'll enjoy days of ongoing debates about the debates!

For those of you who miss the broadcasts, we'll try to provide video links to these events as they become available.

Gregg Strong in Governor Debate

John Gregg performed well in Wednesday's debate among gubernatorial candidates. He focused largely on his bi-partisan credentials and his opponent's lack of them, as in the following spoken directly to Congressman Pence: “You talk about bipartisanship,” but you’ve always been the lead attack dog on people in my party. You know the candidate and the congressman, they’re two different people. You have to look beyond the rhetoric.”

Here is good summary of the debate's highlights from the Indy Star. If you missed it, you can see the entire debate below.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Clinton Fires Up Indiana Democrats

Here is WISH TVs coverage of Bill Clinton's visit to Indianapolis yesterday to kick off the "get-out-the-vote" effort. Looks like classic Clinton.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clinton to Kick Off Indiana Get-Out-the-Vote Drive!

Bill Clinton will be in Indianapolis on Friday for the "Hoosier Common Sense" rally to kick off Democrats' get-out-the-vote campaign! It will occur at 10:30 a.m. at North Central High School in Indianapolis. You can register for one free ticket at the Indiana Democrats' site here. Read the Indy Star article here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bayh Contributes to Party for Final Campaign Surge

Indiana Democratic Chair Dan Parker writes:

I wanted you to know the identity of the generous Hoosier donor who agreed to match federal donations to the Indiana Democratic Party last week. Thanks to a pledge from former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh, we were able to match almost $9,000 in contributions through midnight last Friday.

Gov. Bayh has pledged significant additional support for our federal election efforts this year. He knows how difficult these last few weeks will be, and he knows how important it is to invest in our campaigns now. Gov. Bayh’s generous support of the Indiana Democratic Party, past and present, has kept us financially competitive over so many years.

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly expressed his gratitude to Gov. Bayh for his longstanding commitment to the Indiana Democratic Party and his support for its federal campaigns this year.

"Gov. Bayh's generous investment in the Indiana Democratic Party means we're better equipped to send strong, principled leaders to Washington to make sure middle-class Hoosiers have a voice as we work together to find solutions to our most difficult problems."

Please join me in thanking Gov. Bayh for his generosity and continued leadership in the final weeks of this election!

4th District Candidate Forum Set for Oct. 22

A candidate forum for Indiana's 4th District U.S. congressional seat is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Purdue University's Mallett Theatre in Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts.

WBAA Public Radio at Purdue, the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette and the Greater Lafayette Commerce will host the event that is open to the public and will feature the candidates, Republican Todd Rokita, Democrat Tara Nelson and Libertarian Benjamin Gehlhausen. Each of the three will make a brief opening statement and answer questions from the audience. Questions for the candidates may be submitted in advance via email tonews@wbaa.org. The forum will last one hour and will be broadcast live on WBAA-AM 920 and streamed live online at the station's website,http://www.wbaa.org

Pao Hall is located at 552 W. Wood Street, West Lafayette. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Free parking is available in the Marstellar Street Garage, adjacent to Pao Hall.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Profiling Purdue's Role in District 26 Race

The J&C has printed a perspective on the District 26 race between Democrat Rick Cornstuble and incumbent Randy Truitt. Both feel that the cost of Purdue should be managed through reductions in administrative costs. According to the J&C,
"Truitt favors a policy that would limit tuition increases to no more than the rate of inflation . . . but he’d rather the trustees, those closest to the financial books and charged with running the universities, operate higher education without such heavy-handed measures from the Statehouse.

Cornstuble’s philosophy is to set expectations, guidelines and goals for universities and hold them accountable to hit those goals, not run state colleges from the Statehouse. If those expectations are met, Cornstuble believes costs could be contained."
You can read the whole analysis here.

Howey Says Pence Plays "Cat and Mouse" with Cultural Issues

Indiana political analyst Brian Howey has written that Mike Pence is being too clever about cultural/moral issues in this campaign. Pence's campaign is focused strictly on jobs and related economic issues. Howey observed that in his campaign kickoff speech Pence was explicit about his support of several specific moral/cultural issues:
“To restore our economy we must reaffirm our respect for the institutions and traditions that nurture the character of our people. As your governor, I will stand for the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and the importance of organized religion in everyday life. To build an even better Indiana, we must recognize every day that our present crisis is not just economic, but moral.”
The link to economic issues seems pretty strained there, and almost all of his subsequent rhetoric has focused on economic issues. Howey notes that at least three cultural issues are emerging on the legislative agenda--chemical abortions, so-called "personhood" (that was so restrictive that it was rejected by voters in Mississippi), and creationism. And don't count on the gay marriage amendment being out of bounds either. Howey insists that Pence should speak out on these issues:
"At some point – perhaps during the three debates next month – I hope Hoosiers will hear in Pence’s own voice what moral policy issues will emerge that in the past he said should not be met with silence. It’s fair and appropriate voters understand what’s coming prior to Nov. 6."
Read Howey's column here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fast Talk in Sandborn

Here's the latest installment of John Gregg's Sandborn ads.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Whose Scarier? Closet Liberal Donnelly or Tea Party Extremist Mourdock?

Lesley Weidenbener, political analyst for the Louisville Courier Journal, writes that Republicans' chief strategy against the surging Joe Donnelly is to suggest that he is only pretending to be a bipartisan moderate and is, in reality, a closet liberal who will return to his roots once in office. In other words, their counter to the robust argument that Mourdock is a Tea Party extremist is a pretty weak, "So's he!"

Weidenbener cites polling that indicates that voters aren't buying: "In an analysis in Howey Politics Indiana, pollster Fred Yang said the poll also found that 'voters are more concerned that Mourdock is a Republican who rejects compromise (41 percent) than that Donnelly is a Democrat who votes the party line on key issues (35 percent).'"

You can read Weidenbener's column here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Howey Blasts Mourdock

Political columnist Brian Howey portrays Richard Mourdock harshly in his opinion piece that appeared in today's J&C. Mourdock, who has hardly been seen lately, "is hiding from voters, instead using the millions of dollars of Super PACs who are buying his vote for the TV ads you see every day." Mourdock's stated opposition to working with Democrats leads Howey to conclude that there is "a temperament issue" with Mourdock that merits consideration by voters: "The question voters should be asking is this: Does this candidate want to be a legislator who gets things done? Or a partisan warrior in a system that is already gridlocked as the extreme wings drive the party agendas?" Read Howey's entire analysis here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Donnelly's Hoosier Common Sense Middle

Here's a new ad for Joe Donnelly staking out the "common sense middle" against Mourdock's partisan extremism.

Economic Patriotism

Here's President Obama's new video stating his plan for moving forward. In it he coins the phrase "economic patriotism," which we'll probably hear more of. Some commentators think the video has the feel of a final argument. To see the plan he references in the video, click here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pence Pushes "Marriage Impact Statements"

Mike Pence is proposing using the preservation of traditional families as a standard for legislative initiatives by requiring "family impact statements" for all proposed legislation. Pence argues that there is casual link between single-parent families and poverty and a correlation between two-parent families and success in standardized testing. Pence wants Indiana to become the first state to use marriage and its "success formula" as a means to combat poverty. Let the social engineering begin!

John Gregg asks a simple question about Pence's initiative: “Why on earth are we talking about the state promoting marriage when unemployment is over 8 percent?” Gregg continues,“Hoosier families come in all shapes and sizes, and our next Governor needs to be a Governor for them all, not just those that fit in Congressman Pence’s social agenda.” Read more here.

The idea doesn't get a warm reception from mothers interviewed by WANE news below.

Tara Nelson Campaign Ad

Here's a 30-second spot in support of Tara Nelson's campaign for the District 4 congressional seat currently held by Republican Todd Rokita. You can contribute to Tara's campaign at Act Blue here.

Gregg: "I've Delivered Results"

Here's John Gregg speaking for about two minutes on a radio talk show about why he should be governor. Gregg's main point is that he has accomplished things as House speaker in a bi-partisan fashion.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Guy Who Doesn't Write Off Half of America

Gregg and Simpson Announce Infrastructure Plan

Today John Gregg and Vi Simpson announced their plan to improve Indiana's infrastructure. The plan gives Indiana potential access to $3.5 billion to spend on infrastructure projects throughout the state without dipping into existing reserves, and could create 97,300 Indiana jobs. Gregg says, “Nearly all businesses in Indiana, large or small, local or global, rely on a robust transportation infrastructure to enable not only their growth, but their very survival. To compete globally, Hoosier businesses must be able to move freight via the fastest and most cost-effective mode of transportation over land, across the water and through the air.”

The plan also calls for moving forward immediately on university construction projects that have already been approved. There are currently $227 million worth of projects which have already been approved for bonding by the Indiana General Assembly, most of which have also been approved by the joint Budget Committee, but have yet to released for bidding.

You can read more about the Hoosier Handshake infrastructure plan here.

Another Poll Showing Donnelly Ahead

A new internal poll shows Joe Donnelly three points ahead of Richard Mourdock, 45 percent to 42 percent. A similar poll in August showed him with a one-point lead. Read more from The Hill here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gregg's New "Rainy Day" ad

Here's the latest of John Gregg's wonderful campaign ads.

Senate Dems Give $516K to Support Donnelly

Joe Donnelly got a lift from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Friday. They announced plans to contribute over half a million dollars to support a statewide ad campaign for Donnelly. An Associated Press article called that "a $516,000 bet next week that Rep. Joe Donnelly can beat Republican Richard Mourdock in the race for Indiana's open seat." Obviously, they wouldn't be placing that bet if they thought the candidate didn't have a good shot.

Even though Republican special interest groups have been pouring money into the state to support Richard Mourdock, Donnelly is apparently holding his own: "In total, Democrats tracking Indiana ad spending say Mourdock and his allies will have spent $2.9 million on air by the end of next week, while Donnelly and his supporters will have blasted out $3.3 million."

Read more about the Senate Democrats' contribution here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Washington Post's Cillizza Analyzes Donnelly's Position

Washington Post political analyst Chris Cillizza devoted his column today to analyzing Joe Donnelly's situation in his Senate race against Richard Mourdock. He notes that turning Richard Lugar's seat to the Democrats would be a major accomplishment. He thinks it's a challenging but doable task:
To win, Donnelly has to defy the increasingly Republican tilt of the state and outpace his party’s presidential nominee there. These are no small tasks and for that reason Mourdock should still generally be regarded as the favorite. But Donnelly’s performance so far has put him in a strong position to compete. And that’s welcome news for Democrats looking to hold their slim majority in November.
You can read Cillizza's column here.

Voting Sites Set for Tippecanoe County

You can see a listing of all voting sites in Tippecanoe County offered by the Journal and Courier here. Early voting starts October 27.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Debate Schedule Announced for Senate and Governor

The Indiana Debate Commission has announced the schedule for debates among the candidates for Indiana's open Senate seat and the governorship.

Confirmed dates, times and locations for the gubernatorial debates with Republican Mike Pence, Libertarian Rupert Boneham and Democrat John Gregg are:

Date: Wednesday, October 10
Broadcast time: 7 p.m. EDT
City: Zionsville, Ind.
Venue: Zionsville Performing Arts Center

Date: Wednesday, October 17
Broadcast time: 7 p.m. EDT
City: South Bend, Ind.
Venue: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Date: Thursday, Oct. 25
Broadcast time: 7 p.m. EDT
City: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Venue: WFWA-TV PBS 39

Tentative dates, times and locations for the U.S. Senate debates with Republican Richard Mourdock, Libertarian Andrew Horning and Democrat Joe Donnelly are:

Date: Monday, October 15
Broadcast Time: 7 p.m. EDT
City: Indianapolis
Venue: WFYI-TV

Date: Tuesday, October 23
Broadcast Time: 7 p.m. EDT
City: New Albany
Venue: Paul W. Ogle Cultural & Community Center, Indiana University Southeast

We will announce broadcast information when it becomes available. Read the Commission's statement here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Against One

Joe Donnelly is up against Richard Mourdock and Chris Chocola, the leader of the Club for Growth and the man Donnelly defeated for his current seat in the House of Representatives. The Club for Growth is launching an $800,000 ad campaign depicting Donnelly as a "Washington liberal," and Mourdock has begun parroting that line. Club for Growth advertising played an important role in defeating Richard Lugar in last spring's Republican primary. Read more here.

New Donnelly Ad Puts Mourdock at Odds with Ryan

Here's the latest ad from Joe Donnelly, this time putting some space between Richard Mourdock and Paul Ryan. If Paul Ryan thinks your position is extreme, it's probably pretty extreme!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New John Gregg "Hometown" Ad

Here is the third John Gregg ad based in his hometown. Funny but pointed.

From Heather Maddox: Keep the Convention's Energy Alive!

"And [President Obama] believes that when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity...you do not slam it shut behind you...you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed." First Lady Michelle Obama

"We can not afford to double down on trickle down..." former President Bill Clinton

"Never ever, never been a good bet, it never makes sense, to bet against the American people!" Vice President Joe Biden

"We also believe in something called citizenship -– a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations." President Barack Obama

I don't know about you but I am full of optimism, enthusiasm, and hope after this week!! It is so nice to see people talking about how great this country is and how alive the American dream is, as opposed to doom and gloom we heard last week. Because you and I know this country is about the spirit of its people--the people who work hard every day to make it the great place it is, and who just want a fair shot. The difference, my friends, is this-we believe what Michelle Obama said so elegantly, that when you succeed, you don't slam the door behind you, you reach back and hold it open for those trying to get through!

We need to take this energy and keep it alive all the way to November 6. Our success is going to lie in voter turn-out, so we need to get our folks registered and to the polls. We need to make phone calls, we need to canvass, we need to write letters to the editor, we need to donate what money we can, we need to canvass, we need to keep fighting!

As Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts said "I will not stand by and let him (President Obama) be bullied out of office--and neither should you!"

We need to stop letting them bully the President, and bully us. We need some brass, as President Clinton said, and we need to stand proud as Indiana Democrats!

Democratic Convention Highlights

What a great week for Democrats! Below we've posted videos of some of the best speeches in case you missed them or just want to enjoy them again. In addition to the President, Vice President, First Lady, and former President, here are links to Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator John Kerry, Mayor Julian Castro, and former Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ale to the Chief: White House Releases Beer Recipes

As you contemplate how to spend your Labor Day, you might consider that next year, with a little industriousness, you could be enjoying the holiday with the official beers of the Obama White House. The President paid for beer making equipment and ingredients and White House chefs have been experimenting with three ales, all containing honey from the White House bee hives. In response to many public requests, the White House has released the recipes for the ales here and the video below. Enjoy!

Gregg Takes Pragmatic Position on Affordalble Health Care Act

Gov. Mitch Daniels has conferred with all three candidates to succeed him about how to proceed with funding for Medicaid in the context of a Nov. 16 deadline to state to federal authorities how the state wishes to proceed. Predictably, Mike Pence expressed his absolute opposition to doing anything two weeks ago. Daniels met with John Gregg last week and he took a less predictable, more nuanced stance. Here's some of what Gregg reported that he shared with Gov. Daniels, as summarized in a column by Brian Howey:

"I want to make this clear, it does not matter whether you support the Affordable Care Act or not, whether you love it or hate it, it is the law of the land. My job as governor will be to protect the best interests of the people of this state and enforce the law in a way that will benefit all Hoosiers and make health care more affordable and more accessible for all Hoosiers."

"Our belief is that the most responsible position for the governor to take is the one that Gov. Daniels has been pursuing all along – to meet deadlines and apply for grant monies available to keep all options open to us.” He said Daniels’ actions have brought $8 million to the state.

And for the first time in this campaign, Gregg and Pence exchanged shots. Gregg chided his opponent, saying, "Unfortunately, Congressman Pence has chosen to do nothing. In doing so, he makes the choice to abdicate his responsibility and throw Hoosiers under the federal bureaucracy bus, the same bureaucratic bus that he claims he so adamantly opposes."

Howey's conclusion about the positions of the two major candidates is that "we find the Democrat taking a pragmatic approach to the law, while Pence has adopted an ideological stance that will likely be more politically popular."

This is precisely why John Gregg needs to be governor: Hoosiers can't afford to spend four years under Mike Pence's ideological bus.

You can read all of Howey's column here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Republican Convention Trailer

Here's a special preview of this week's upcoming Republican Convention courtesy of the Obama campaign.

The Heavy Artillery

Here's a new Obama ad featuring former President Bill Clinton. Seems like it hits the right notes in the distinctive, clear voice America appreciates.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Second "Down Home" Ad for John Gregg

John Gregg's campaign offers its second light-hearted ad featuring his hometown of Sandborn, Indiana. Here is Matthew Tully's analysis of the ad's effectiveness--which is that it works because you will remember it.

Bayh Campaigns with Donnelly

Bayh campaigns for Donnelly

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pence Advises Daniels: No Healthcare Exchange for Indiana

Governor Mitch Daniels is conferring with the candidates to succeed him about creating a healthcare exchange for Indiana citizens. He must inform the federal government of the state's intention by November 16, only weeks before he will step down from the office. Predictably, Mike Pence is opposed; yesterday he declared: "There is too much uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act for Indiana to even consider implementing our own exchange. The national debate is far from over and the regulatory, fiscal and legal implications have the potential to cost Hoosier taxpayers and employers millions." Daniels has estimated that the exchange would cost Hoosiers at least $50 million a year. Gov. Daniels has not yet conferred with John Gregg.

One wonders if either Republican's calculations include savings the state and individual Hoosiers would enjoy from lowered insurance costs from the exchange. If the state does not form an exchange, Hoosiers would have to rely on federally operated ones, a fate one would assume Republicans would not wish on their worst enemies (but would accept for Hoosiers). You can read more from the Indianapolis Star here.

Gov Candidates Participate in Forum

The three Indiana gubernatorial candidates participated in a a forum moderated by former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice, Randall Shepard. The format had each candidate interviewed by Shepherd for 25 minutes about tax policy, education and work force development, and energy and the environment under their leadership as governor. So far there does not appear to be video of the event available. Here are summaries from the Indianapolis Star and from the Gregg campaign.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin and Pence

John Gregg is pointing out that there is little daylight between Mike Pence's position on abortion and Congressman Todd Akin's. Below WISH reporter Jim Shella discusses how the Akin controversy may impact the Indiana governor's race.

Controversial abortion comments may affect Indiana governor's race

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Poll Shows Donnelly with an Edge

A new Garin-Hart-Yang poll shows Joe Donnelly with a 45/43 lead over Richard Mourdock for the Senate seat. That's within the four-point margin of error, so it still very close, and 12 percent remain undecided. But this race is definitely winnable with every Democrat's support for Joe! In fact, you can contribute right now by clicking here. Here's a link to the polling data.

Lt. Governor Candidates Debate

Apparently there was a debate between the three candidates for Lieutenant Governor yesterday at the State Fair. Who knew? Apparently it was attended by about 300 people, was not televised, and there are no plans for another such debate. It was focused around agricultural issues (hence the venue?) since the Lt. Gov serves as the state's Secretary of Agriculture. Here's a pretty good summary by the Evansville Courier Press.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chant in Iowa: "Four More Beers"

At the Iowa State Fair, President Obama turned down a smoothie in favor of a pork chop and a beer. Later he paid for ten beers (out of his own wallet)for folks hanging around the beer tent, provoking a chant of "Four more beers, four more beers."

Raw Video: Obama Surprises Iowa Fairgoers by associatedpress

Time's Swampland campaign blog discusses the role of beer in Obama's effort to reinforce his regular-guy image as opposed to the tee-totalling Romney's rich-guy strangeness; read about it here.

Wait a minute . . . they've got beer at the Iowa State Fair?!?

Michelle Obama Fundraising in Indy

First Lady Michelle Obama will attend a fundraiser for her husband's presidential campaign on Aug. 23 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tickets begin at $100 will support the Obama Victory Fund.

New Gregg Ad Features Sandborn Roots

John Gregg's campaign has released this get-to-know-me ad featuring some of his pals from Sandborn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Inspector General Rules Daniels Can Lobby as Purdue President

Indiana 's inspector general and the Indiana Department of Administration’s executive director of executive branch lobbying have ruled that it would not be a violation of the one-year “cooling off period” required by the State Ethics Code for Mitch Daniels to lobby the legislature as Purdue's president next year. Both opinions are informal, however, and are not binding. Only the full ethics commission can issue an official advisory opinion. You can read more here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mayor Roswarski Campaigning with John Gregg

John Gregg campaigning in Battleground with a friend.

Poll Shows Statistical Tie in Senate Race

A Rasmussen poll shows Richard Mourdock at 42 percent and Joe Donnelly at 40 percent, but it has a five point margin of error. Perhaps more importantly it shows Mourdock winning just 75 percent of the Republican vote and Donnelly winning 85 percent of the Democratic vote. Donnelly also seems to have with more independents going his way. So it would look like the key is getting more Democrats and independents to vote--winning the ground game! Read more here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy Birthday President Obama!

Today is President Obama's birthday (51 and still smiling). Below an audience in Florida sings "Happy Birthday" to him. You can sign an electronic card for him here. And if you think about it for a minute, you can probably figure out an appropriate birthday gift as well!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Attorney General Concedes Indiana Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on the Arizona immigration law, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has conceded that key portions of Indiana's new immigration law are likewise unconstitutional. “The Supreme Court made clear that immigration enforcement is a federal government responsibility,” Zoeller said. (Did he need the Supreme Court to tell him that when the Constitution is pretty clear about it?)

The Indianapolis Star reports that House Speaker Brian Bosma, "regretted allowing the section regarding warrantless arrests to remain in the bill." But does "regret" adequately cover passing highly questionable legislation for political positioning? Happily Bosma indicated that the next legislative session will be too busy with other matters to dabble again in federal jurisdictions. Read the Indy Star's story here.

Locally, law enforcement officers seemed generally relieved by Zoeller's concession. West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski, who lobbied against the bill, said “It looks like common sense prevailed.” Lafayette Police Chief Don Roush said, “We do not work or enforce immigration laws.” Read more from the Journal and Courier here.

Donnelly on Hardball

Joe Donnelly got a sympathetic hearing from Chris Matthews' Hardball on MSNBC.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chatham Square Wins State Community Achievement Award

Lafayette officials have learned that Chatham Square and the neighborhood revitalization work in Glen Acres and Vinton neighborhoods have received the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns’ Community Achievement Award for 2012. The city will will formally receive its award at an Indiana Association of Cities and Town’s luncheon on October 3. Congratulations, Mayor Roswarski and all who have worked on the Bridgeway/Chatham Square project for more than five years! Read more here.

Gregg Announces Plan for Equal Pay

The newest element of John Gregg's plan for Hoosier prosperity, his Hoosier Handshake, is a plan to take steps to equalize women's pay in the workplace: "It is hard to believe that in this day and age wage discrimination is still something that exists, but the sad truth is that women in Indiana still only make 74 cents to the dollar that men make-- and even less if that woman happens to be African American or Hispanic. This doesn't only hurt women-- it hurts their families, and especially their children." Gregg noted that Indiana's pay gender gap is the fifth worst in the country, a fact he finds "unacceptable." You can read the proposals in Gregg's plan here

Saturday, July 28, 2012

President's "I Believe" ad

Here's a great new positive ad from President Obama. Reminds us of what we loved about him in 2008.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

House Democrats Select First Woman as Leader

In a party caucus held here in Lafayette at the IBEW hall, Indiana House Democrats voted to replace Pat Bauer, Democrats' House leader for a decade, with Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond, who was elected to the party's number two position of floor leader in November 2010. Lawson will serve as interim leader until the November elections and says she will not run for the leader position permanently. Lawson will be the first woman to serve in this role in Indiana. Bauer said, "Representative Lawson is a great leader. She has a great background, particularly in standing up for working people. She will respect the candidates we have working hard every day. They are really the future of our party and they deserve recognition and support. Linda also knows how to treat staff at the Statehouse and on the campaigns."

Looking forward, Bauer emphasized the importance of supporting Democratic candidates: “After today, I hope we’ll get back to the business of helping members retain their seats and helping candidates be victorious in their elections. We must get back to a unified effort of supporting all of our great candidates and members." You can Rep. Bauer's entire statement on the leadership change here.