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.

JOE DONNELLY

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

Doh!

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!