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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gregg Promotes Pre-Kindergarten Education

Gubernatorial candidate John Gregg is arguing that Indiana cannot continue to be one of just eight states that does not spend any money on pre-school education. Mike Pence's campaign responded that the best pre-school education is "strong, healthy families." Read more from the Courier-Journal here.

Council Woman Ann Hunt Urges Adopt-a-Tree for Drought

At last week's Board of Works meeting West Lafayette Councilwoman Ann Hunt encouraged city residents to adopt a tree in response to the drought. Many young trees are distressed and could be helped by watering at a trickle three times a week.

Daniels Will Confer with Candidates on State Healthcare Exchange

Governor Mitch Daniels says he will confer with his potential successors before on the establishing of a health exchange in Indiana as called for by the Affordable Care Act. "I don't consider it right for me or my administration to make such a decision that the next administration then has to implement. So I'm going to have to find some way to get input from the next governor," said Daniels. Plans for the exchanges must be submitted to the federal government by November 16. John Gregg's spokesman says the candidate is eager to work with the governor to "make affordable healthcare available to all Hoosiers, while Mike Pence's spokesperson says he "will continue to work to protect taxpayers and individual freedom." You can read more from the Indiana Business Journal here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Donnelly Ad

Here's the latest ad from Joe Donnelly's campaign.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gregg Blasts Child Services; Proposes Changes

John Gregg got pretty worked up about the failures of Indiana's Child Services: “It is wrong — in fact it is dang near reprehensible to me — when people have children getting hurt, falling through the cracks, not getting the care they needed and at the same standpoint we have this agency saying, ‘Oh, we’ve got a surplus’ and they keep sending it back,” he said, in reference to the cuts taken by the department while the state claims a $2 billion surplus.

Gregg and running mate Vi Simpson then proposed a detailed plan to address the major issues in Child Services. “This department has failed the children of the state. Under a Gregg-Simpson administration, this department will become a priority,” said Simpson. You can read more here.

Michelle Obama Will Host a Fundraiser in Indy

So if you're thinking of contributing to the Obama campaign, here's an opportunity to do that and hang out with Michelle Obama! The First Lady will headline a fundraising event for the President at at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on July 22. A gift of $100 will get you in the door. Gifts of $1,000 or $10,000 will up your access. This event has been in the media, but we've not found information on how to register. We'll keep looking. If you find it, please let us know.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Star's Tully Sees a Strong Candidate in Donnelly

Indianapolis Star political analyst Matt Tully has published a piece on Joe Donnelly's strength as a candidate for Senate against Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Tully doesn't admire Mourdock's "partisan warrior" approach to politics: "Mourdock is the Energizer Bunny of juvenile political ideas. So it's been nice to see that his divisive brand of politics has caused him trouble recently and helped make Indiana's Senate race competitive." Donnelly, Tully says, provides a clear and unmistakable contrast. Tully write of Donnelly, "Mourdock's fortunes are not helped by the fact that his Democratic opponent is a workmanlike Blue Dog moderate. Joe Donnelly, a former small-business owner and current third-term U.S. House member from Northern Indiana, delivers a message built around two core ideas: create more jobs and turn Washington, D.C. into less of a toxic swamp." Read Matt Tully's study in contrasts here.

Vanity Fair Provides Detail on Romney's Wealth

Vanity Fair has published a substantive expose of Mitt Romney's wealth and the methods by which he hides it in offshore accounts and avoids taxation. The article has received quite a bit of press and is worth a look. You can find it here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HHS Finds Indiana's Exclusion of Planned Parenthood Is Illegal

The federal Health and Human Services Department has rejected that Indiana's legislation to prevent Medicaid recipients to use Planned Parenthood as a provider of services because Planned Parenthood provides abortions among its services. A letter from Donald Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)to Indiana's Medicaid office said that the bill violates federal Medicaid law because it discriminates against Planned Parenthood for reasons other than its ability to provide quality health services.

The letter also indicates that this finding should not come as a surprise: "We assume this decision is not unexpected. As the Indiana Legislative Services Agency indicated in its April 19, 2011, fiscal impact statement, 'While States are permitted to waive a recipient's freedom of choice of a provider to implement managed care, restricting freedom of choice with respect to providers of family planning services is prohibited.'"

The letter calls on Indiana to change its plan to conform with federal law, or the state could face penalties. HHS has not had to impose such penalties because other state have always changed their nonconforming laws. Read more from Huffington Post here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day Message from Joe Donnelly

Here's a reflection about July 4 from Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly.
Today we remember the men and women in uniform who gave their lives – from the founding of this nation until today – to enable us to have our freedom. As we celebrate our Independence at parades and barbecues, we are grateful for those men and women who continue to be and have been in harm’s way to protect the many freedoms we enjoy.

Campus Protest Against Daniels' Appointment

Protestors gathered on campus over the weekend to voice their concerns over the appointment of Gov. Mitch Daniels as Purdue's twelfth president. Among the approximately 75 who participated were former College of Education dean Marilyn Haring, who cancelled a $1 million gift to the University because of Daniels' appointment and drove from New York to attend the rally. “Let me begin by saying emphatically, Purdue is not broken and is not in need of a drastic and ill-advised political solution.... The appointment of a politician to head Purdue University is an affront — an insult — to the academic enterprise."

Gov. Daniels' response to the various protest has been fairly muted. He toled WISH-TV, "Minorities have their rights. The response to the appointment has been overwhelmingly positive by every measure. But it's a huge community — 40,000 students and thousands of faculty and alums — and of course not everyone will agree and I respect that."

Read more from the Journal and Courier here. And here is another story from WISH-TV.

Gregg Visits Lafayette, Talks Drought and Pence Extremism

John Gregg was in Greater Lafayette yesterday viewing drought damage at the farm of Steve and Deb Kerkhove. Gregg said the governor can be active in helping farmers when a disaster strikes: "The governor can seek from the federal government that it be declared a disaster area, and so I think it's being in touch with the farm and farming community.”

Gregg also commented on Mike Pence's comparison of the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare to 9/1. "We've tried to tell people for the last year and a half that he's extreme and not mainstream but he's managed to get by with it. Hopefully, this will cause people to take a look and see what he's been saying and see what he's really about," Gregg said.

You can read more about Gregg's visit from WLFI here. And below is some WLFI footage of an interview with candidate Gregg.

Gregg meets with farmers, responds to Pence's "9/11" comment:

Happy 4th!

Enjoy the Fourth of July. Be safe. Remember that personal fireworks are not allowed this year because of the danger of fire from the drought. However you can still enjoy Greater Lafayette's Stars and Stripes concert and the community fireworks display, which will be set to music originating at Riehle Plaza. You'll also be able to hear the music on WASK radio at 98.7 FM at 10 p.m. Read more here.

Too hot for you outside? You can watch the celebration at the White House featuring a concert, organized by the USO, to honor members of the U.S. military and their families from your computer. This year's program will feature a performance from country music star Brad Paisley. You can watch the concert just after 8:00 p.m. on, and if you stick around, you'll get a great view of the National Mall fireworks show -- from the South Lawn of the White House.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who Gets Hurt if Indiana Opts Out of Medicaid Expansion?

A significant part of the increase of healthcare coverage in the Affordable Healthcare Act come from the states expanding their Medicaid coverage to include more people. The federal government will assume the entire cost of this expansion for two years and then states have to pay for only ten percent of the increased coverage. The recent Supreme Court ruling allows states to opt out of this expansion without penalty. Despite the generosity of this offer, some states are arguing that the increase is an unmanageable burden. Indiana Business Journal estimates that if Indiana opts not expand its Medicaid package, 290,000 adult Hoosiers will go without health insurance. Gov. Daniels says it will be up to the next legislature and governor to decide if Indiana will expand Medicaid. Read more from the J&C here.

Democrats Slate Haywood for County Council

Rob Haywood has been selected by a caucus of Tippecanoe County Democrats to run for an at-large seat on the Tippecanoe County Council in November. With bachelors and masters degrees from Ball State, Rob teaches criminal justice for Ivy Tech. His career has also included working as a family case manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services where he investigated child abuse and neglect and worked with families to oversee their progress towards permanency for the children. We hope to hear more from Rob as the election campaign progresses. Read more from WLFI here.