Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daniels Appointment Causes Retired Dean to Cancel Gift to Purdue

Former Dean of Purdue's College of Education, Marilyn Haring, has written Purdue out of her will because of the appointment of Gov. Mitch Daniels as president. The gift bequeathed $1 million to the College of Education. Her email to the Board of Trustees explained her decision: “I regard the appointment of Mr. Daniels as a travesty and insult to academics. . . .Further, in his political career, Mr. Daniels has taken stands that are counter to all that I believe in, such as support for public education, equity and unions to protect and further the well-being of those who labor.” Read more here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pence Compares Healthcare Ruling to 9/11

In a closed-door meeting of the House GOP caucus, Rep. Mike Pence (and Republican gubernatorial candidate) compared the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Then he apologized: “I made an unfortunate statement. Let me just say my remarks at the Republican Conference, following the Supreme Court decision, were thoughtless.” According to the Indianapolis Star, "Pence, in a call with Indiana reporters, did not address whether he was comparing the justices to terrorists." Read more about Rep. Pence's executive temperament here.

Healthcare Reform Lives!

President Obama responded to the Supreme Court's historic ruling on the Affordable Care Act with a powerful accounting of what the act will deliver to people--just the right thing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Attorney General Needs to "Reassess" Indiana Immigration Law

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the Supreme Court ruling that overturned nearly all of the Arizona law will require a reconsideration of Indiana's own draconian laws passed in the extremist agenda of the the last legislative session. Among its Arizona-like features are, as reported by WLFI, "giving police the ability to detain illegal immigrants without a warrant and not allowing immigrants to use a foreign ID." Challenges to the Indiana law are likely to move forward now. Read more here and, for a more detailed examination, read the Star's story here.

O'Donnell Declares Victory in Arizona Ruling

In case you have any doubts that the Supreme Court's decision on the Arizona immigration law was a complete gutting of that law, listen to Lawrence O'Donnell's explanation.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Title IX

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal aid."

That is the the text of Title IX, the amendment that created the opportunity for young women to participate in athletics on an equal footing with boys. But its author, legendary Indiana Democratic Senator Birch Bayh, didn't have sports in mind but education when he inserted the Equal Rights Amendment's education provision into the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1972: "I thought that of all the areas of discrimination against women, the thing that had the greatest detrimental impact was not letting them have an education. If you give an education to a man or woman, or to a boy or girl, they have the freedom to do what they want in life."

Read Indy Star political columnist Matt Tully's wonderful article about Birch Bayh and the creation of the landmark Title IX here. Bayh speaks about the women in his life who influenced him to take a stance that changed so much for women in this country,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Haywood to Be Slated for County Council

Tippecanoe County Democrats will slate a candidate for a County Council at-large seat in the November election. Robert Haywood of Lafayette has submitted the necessary forms to be considered for the ballot. “Rob’s a great candidate. It was just circumstances that caused him not to be able to run in the primary,” said party chair Heather Maddox. Haywood will be slated at the June 30 party caucus at 10 a.m. at the IBEW, 2535 S. 30th St., Lafayette. Read more here.

Marion Featured in Pro-Obama Ad

A powerful new ad by the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action uses Marion, Indiana as a backdrop for a story of a profitable company being abruptly shut down by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital. The ad is airing in five battleground states to illustrate Mr. Romney's brand of business.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

From Governor to President

It appears that Mitch Daniels is getting a promotion--from Governor to President of Purdue University. This selection by the Board of Trustees has been a controversial one, and will probably remain so, but Gov. Daniels has certainly struck many right notes. In his gracious acceptance speech he indicated that he knew he had much to learn about the life of a university, that he will spend the six months before he takes office learning about the the institution, and that he would forego any partisan activities from this point forward.

Some of the complexity of his situation became apparent, however, when Daniels indicated that he would probably recuse himself from lobbying the state legislature on for the first year of his tenure because state ethics rules require a one-year “cool down” for public officials after leaving office. “Having been the author and a strong proponent of rules like that, you bet I’m going to live up to them,” he said. You can read more here.

Gov. Daniels has appeared to be both moved and excited to be given this opportunity. For the sake of our great university, we hope that Gov. Daniels' good intentions will come to fruition, that his enthusiasm will sustain itself and spread to others, and that he will find an appropriate inclusive leadership style to lead Purdue into a bright future.

You can read Gov. Daniels's remarks at the announcement ceremony here. And here is a J&C article exploring the challenge for Gov. Daniels to escape partisan identification.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gregg Preaches Cooperation at Jefferson Jackson Dinner

Democratic nominee for governor John Gregg continued to spread his gospel of bipartisanship, cooperation, and reason at Tippecanoe County Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner at the Lafayette Theater. Here are some highlights from his speech as reported by the Journal and Courier.

"I've been in Indiana all my life. I understand state government, but I've also worked for two Fortune 500 companies ... I think I'm in touch with Hoosiers and understand what Indiana needs. I'm running against a career politician who's out of state, out of touch, and has made a whole career dealing with nothing but social issues. He has done nothing in 12 years in Congress but want to de-fund Planned Parenthood."

"It's about bringing people together. We do that with dialogue. When I was speaker, I spent more time talking with my counterparts in the Republican Party than I did my own party. You have to talk, you have to listen and you have to show respect. It's all about us forging an agreement, and given the extremes on both sides, if you think it's about right and left, it's not. The election is about right and wrong. It's about bipartisanship, and trust me, being a Democrat in a Republican state, I understand bipartisanship."

"I'm a former president of Vincennes University. I've known for years the need for robotics, advanced manufacturing, laser optics, tool and die. What was interesting was for a person that talks about less government, (Pence) wants to create regional committees. The best ideas do not come out of Washington or Indianapolis or out of regions. We don't need more government. We need local control."

You can read more J&C coverage of the event here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Convention Emphasizes Bipartisanship

In opposing a slate of extreme right wing Republican candidates, Democrats offered a message of bipartisanship. "Talk to Democrats. Talk to independents, and please talk to those Dick Lugar Republicans," said John Gregg, nominee for governor. "Tell them that if they believe in working together, if they believe in true bipartisanship, then they just need to stand with us, because they've just been told they're not welcome in their party anymore." Senate nominee Joe Donnelly framed the election as a referendum on extremism: "This election is about very, very clear choices, extreme partisan politics versus Hoosier common sense." Here is coverage from the Indianapolis Star, and here is coverage from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

Gregg Endorses and Dems Nominate Ritz for Superintendent

On Thursday gubernatorial candidate John Gregg strongly endorsed 33-year teacher Glenda Ritz for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Gregg said, "The days of demonizing, disrespecting and discrediting teachers is over. . . . under a Gregg administration and a Superintendent Ritz administration and with Lt. Gov. Vi Simpson, teachers will have a voice." Ritz said that controversial Republican incumbent Tony Bennett has failed at "building alliances to move education forward for this and future generations." Bennett's emphasis on testing has "directed millions of our dollars that could have gone to improving student resources and teacher training to instead fund high-stakes testing." Ritz said she believes in "more teaching, less testing" and more local control of schools. Ritz was nominated at the Democrat's state convention over the weekend. Read more from the Indianapolis star here.

President Obama as "Dad"

Here's a sweet Father's Day video featuring the First Lady about President Obama as a father to his daughters. From time to time it's nice to see our leaders as just human beings.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daniels: Gov't Works Better Without Public Unions

When Fox news anchor Chris Wallace asked Gov. Mitch Daniels whether he believes that there should be no public worker unions, Daniels said "yes." He elaborated “I really think government works better without them. I really do.” Daniels explained that there was, in his view, a "fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group sitting on both sides of the table. ... Money is being devoured by very high salaries, almost bulletproof job protection and huge pensions,” he said. Later he acknowledged that that “absolutely there’s a place [for unions] in the private sector.” He views the Wisconsin recall election as a "turning point" in the perception of public sector unions. Read more from the Washington Post here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Here It Comes! Karl Rove Ads Target Donnelly

The Star's Mary Beth Schneider reports that Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS super PAC will launch a full assault on Joe Donnelly starting Thursday morning, June 7 at a cost of $475,000 to $600,000. Thank you, Citizens United. Donnelly’s communications director, Elizabeth Shappell, said that “Karl Rove and his shady, billionaire backers are trying to buy Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.” Read more here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gregg Exposes Pence's Record on Women's Health

John Gregg says that a Mike Pence governorship would represent a threat to women's health because of his extreme positions. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider summarizes Gregg's as follows:
"He cited Pence’s record in Congress, including cosponsoring a bill that would have redefined rape so that Medicaid would cover abortions only if the rape was “forcible,” something Gregg argued was redundant; leading a fight in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood; and cosponsoring an effort to require women seeking an abortion before 12 weeks ofgestation to have an ultrasound that Gregg said would be physically invasive."
Read more from the Indianapolis Star here.