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Friday, July 29, 2016
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Thursday, July 28, 2016 10:08 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
INDIANAPOLIS – If there was an understatement enunciated on Tuesday when Indiana’s sensational political cycle reached another apex on a cascading range, it was newly minted Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Holcomb saying, “This year, as many of you know, has taken many twists and turns and I am ready to take this next call and lead us to victory.” He preceded that observation by saying, “We’ve got work to do and a short time to get there.”
    
Just minutes after Holcomb won a second-ballot nomination by the Indiana Republican Central Committee, after leading 11-9-2 over U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita on the first ballot, Politico reported that a main stanchion for the Holcomb nomination, having access to Gov. Mike Pence’s $7.4 million campaign fund, wasn’t completely correct. And as Holcomb, Brooks and Rokita made their cases before the committee, this dilemma didn’t come up, informed and reliable sources tell HPI.
    
In Pence’s two-week mad dash to the vice presidential nomination, the critical decision that wasn’t made was moving those funds to either the Republican Governors Association, the Indiana Republican Party or a specific candidate. When Pence accepted the nomination on July 20, the money fell under new FEC guidelines. “Since Day One of his governorship to yesterday, this has all been about Mike Pence,” one influential Republican told HPI. “There was not adequate time to research all the issues.”
    
On Wednesday morning, Republican kingmaker Bob Grand told HPI, “It’s all going to get worked out. It’s not a problem and it’s not going to be a problem. Eric Holcomb is going to have plenty of money to run this race. A fair amount of it will come from the Mike Pence campaign. The other piece is there’s a lot of money being raised and people are really energized about the race.”
    
Holcomb said Wednesday at his first joint appearance with John Gregg, “I’ll let Gov. Pence speak for every penny he decides to spend. I am concerned about raising the money I need. I am confident I can do that. We’ll raise the millions it will take to get the message out over the next 100 days.”
    
Holcomb ended up with the support of the financial tandem of Grand and Dan Dumezich.
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  • By SHAW FRIEDMAN
    LaPORTE – Sorry, Fox News. That dog won’t hunt. In the hours after Hillary Clinton announced her choice of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) as her vice-presidential pick, certain voices on the right clucked that there might be resistance from factions within the Democratic Party to the supposedly “safe” choice of Tim Kaine vs. what some viewed as more “inspiring” picks like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Fact is, once again, the talking heads at Fox have not done their homework. As former head of the Indiana Progressives PAC, I’m in a pretty good position to spot a “progressive” when I see one, and I have to say, as one who has followed Tim Kaine’s career, this is a guy whose progressive values were formed early and mainly through his religious upbringing as a Catholic in the Jesuit social justice tradition.
  • By RICH JAMES
    MERRILLVILLE – There doesn’t seem to be an end to the saga of Randy Palmateer and a March drunken-driving arrest. So widespread is the story that it extends this week to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Palmateer is the business manager of the 25,000-member Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council. The March arrest was the second in five years. And, as was the case with the first one, this one was reduced to reckless driving, as are many drunken driving charges in Lake County. It wasn’t terribly surprising that Palmeteer had his March drunken-driving arrest reduced to reckless driving even though it was his second in five years. The Building and Construction Trades Council can be a powerful force in statewide and local elections. To anger the organization’s leader isn’t a wise political move. The Palmateer case prompted The Times of Northwest Indiana to investigate how drunken-driving cases are handled in Lake County. When it was learned that the majority of drunken-driving charges were reduced to reckless driving, The Times turned the issue into a crusade.
  • By CRAIG DUNN
    CLEVELAND – I confess that I wasn’t really looking forward to attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It had the potential to range all the way from nauseating to dangerous, based on the hype leading up to the event. Advance news reporting by the major media outlets predicted deep divisions in the convention between Trump supporters and anti-Trump forces, deadly terrorist attacks, paralyzing traffic jams caused by civil disobedience and a list of speakers that excited no one. Once again, the big media got it wrong, totally wrong. The Republican National Convention was an outstanding success. It was full of drama, full of excitement and a good showing for Team Trump. As to the location, I don’t want to hear another person refer to Cleveland as the “Mistake on the Lake.”  Cleveland rocked, literally and figuratively. Cleveland is a great city with big city attractions and some of the friendliest people in the nation. Of course, the big worry going into the RNC was the question of public safety. We were told there would be thousands of protesters wreaking havoc on Cleveland and the convention. The reality was that Cleveland was possibly the safest city in the United States last week, as thousands of imported law enforcement officers and a shortage of serious protesters made for a great environment.
  • BY: MARK SOUDER

    FORT WAYNE – The Democrats have given us deja vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra in this time warp. Clinton.  Bayh. Gregg. Even the Russians are back. This year Indiana and national Democrat Party have chosen to offer voters a full slate of retread tires. Hillary Clinton, defeated by Barack Obama eight years ago, has re-emerged. She was impatiently tapping the table, chair and floor waiting for the Obama interlude to end so we could bring back the glorious days of the Clinton Era. At least Hillary offers the historic chance for America to establish that failure is not because you are a woman or a man. Failure in governing is not because one is white, black or brown. She has already proven that women can use unfair methods to get nominated. Now Hillary wants the opportunity that liberal ideas are the problem, not gender or race.  But this is an undeniable fact. No one should underestimate the inspiration she is far beyond just grown women. The fact is that little girls across this nation feel differently about their potentials this week. That isn’t just Democrat hyperbole.  In Indiana, the Democrat retreads offer no such breakthroughs. They are just old tires. Bayh has launched his campaign with an attack ad on Todd Young’s supposed desire to destroy Social Security.

  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND – The Republican National Convention is over. Questions remain. Q. Was the convention a success for Donald Trump? A. There were ups and downs for Trump. No matter what the TV pundits say, the verdict that counts is being delivered this weekend in the polls of Americans showing whether Trump got a convention bounce in support and, if so, whether he has caught up in the presidential race. Q. The most important event was Trump’s acceptance speech. Did he hit a home run or strike out in seeking to convince voters that he is presidential, not a buffoon; a steady leader, not a loose cannon? A. No home run. His speech lacked the cadence of stirring oratory and dragged on at times, no doubt losing viewers in many homes around the nation as he spoke for over an hour and a quarter. But he didn’t strike out. Trump touched all the areas of fear and anger that won decisive support in the primaries. He didn’t let down those primary supporters. Nor did he go off script with some controversial insult. Let’s say he hit a double, getting halfway there. Now he needs to move to third base and home in the debates and campaigning in order to score the winning run. Q. How did Indiana Gov. Mike Pence do in his speech accepting the nomination for vice president? A. Great. Pence spoke clearly and confidently about conservative principles.
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  • Holcomb mulls LG list and gender inclusion
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb now faces a critical lieutenant governor selection and he will certainly be looking at gender. Asked about forming a ticket, Holcomb said, “We have much work to do today. I’ve told the state committee I want to get their advice and counsel and we’ll start doing that now.” Friday is the filing deadline for candidacy and the Central Committee will reconvene next Monday to formally select a running mate, though Holcomb will have significant input in that process. Holcomb said Wednesday, “I have received over the last 24 hours a lot of interest from folks inside the typical box to outside the box. I don’t want to rule anything out at the moment. We’ll know a lot more by the week’s end. I do want someone who is willing to work every day to make this state better.” That list will almost certainly include Secretary of State Connie Lawson (who, sources tell HPI, was invited to be vetted for the Ellspermann opening last winter), Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, Auditor Suzanne Crouch, State Sen. Erin Houchin, as well as LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, an early Holcomb backer who nominated him at the Indiana Republican Convention in June. Another source said that Holcomb has his eyes on retired Maj. Gen. Erika Stuterman of Lafayette and Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.
  • Pollster Conway cites hidden Trump voters
    By MAUREEN HAYDEN
    CNHI Statehouse Bureau


    INDIANAPOLIS – A Donald Trump adviser predicts a record turnout for the celebrity real estate developer, saying he has tapped deep pools of resentment and angst, and some of his supporters are too embarrassed to admit it. “There are a lot of hidden Trump voters - people who find it’s not socially desirable to admit to be voting for Donald Trump,” Kellyanne Conway, a pollster, told a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council on Wednesday. Conway was joined at the gathering of conservative state lawmakers by another Trump surrogate, economic adviser Steve Moore, who said his supporters are more likely to watch professional wresting than Fox News. “I don’t love Donald Trump, but I love his voters,” said Moore. The group expected to hear from Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, but he backed out of a scheduled keynote speech to stay on the campaign trail. Pence is now slated to speak to the group Friday. Conway, who also has polled for Pence, is credited with helping coax Trump into picking the Indiana governor as a vice president, calling him a “window to party unity” after a fractious GOP primary fight.
  • President Obama 'passes the baton' to united Democrats

    By THOMAS CURRY and MARK CURRY
        
    PHILADELPHIA – President Obama spoke of optimism and how he is ready to “pass the baton” onto nominee Hillary Clinton when he spoke to a “crazy united” Democratic National Convention. “We don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands – this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot – that’s the America she’s fighting for.”  Obama also took the opportunity to thank Bernie Sander’s supporters, essentially extending an olive branch to the Sanders supporters who have not come around to Hillary yet. “We all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket.” It came on the third night of the Democratic National Convention, Democrats rolled out their most star-studded speaking line up yet, creating a stark contrast to the Republican National Convention that saw many high ranking Republicans sit out; including the staple Bush family.

  • HPI Analysis: Hoosier evangelicals migrate toward evolving Trump
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    CLEVELAND – One of the biggest surprises of the Donald Trump phenomenon is his strength with evangelical voters. While Trump won the Indiana primary with 53% of the vote and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz polled 37%, he won the born-again evangelical Christian vote 51 to 43% over Cruz, according to CNN exit polling data. Among white born-again Christian or evangelicals, the numbers were almost identical: Trump 50% and Cruz 44%. Among the 18% who attend religious services more than once a week, Cruz had 61% to Trump’s 33%, but those numbers quickly shifted to a 49-40% advantage for Trump over Cruz among those who attend church once a week, to 54-33% for those who attend a few times a month, and 69-22% among those who attend a few times a year. There were early precursors to this, as Trump showed similar strength in states like South Carolina and Alabama when the field included 17 candidates. When the dust settled and Trump won the nomination after the May 3 Indiana primary, Trump had carried 39% of the total GOP primary vote to Cruz’s 33%.
  • Holcomb's dramatic rise brings him the gubernatorial nomination
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb found a mid-summer way station on one of the most stunning rises in Hoosier political history, winning a 12-day gubernatorial nomination sprint after Gov. Mike Pence had ascended to the vice presidential nomination. In the span of five months, Holcomb had evolved from a third-place U.S. Senate candidate to the party’s gubernatorial standard bearer in the most unpredictable election cycle during the state’s bicentennial year. “We’ve got work to do and a short time to get there,” Holcomb said after defeating U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita and State Sen. Jim Tomes in a 22-vote Indiana Republican Central Committee caucus Tuesday. “Let me just say how honored and gratified I am at this expression of support.” “This campaign officially kicks into high gear,” said Holcomb, who lost a state representative race in 2000 before becoming Gov Mitch Daniels deputy chief of staff in 2005. “This year, as many of you know, has taken many twists and turns and I am ready to take this next call and lead us to victory."
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  • Pence says Trump's Russia hack remarks were 'laced with sarcasm'
    "What's remarkable to me is once again the national media takes what was clearly a sarcastic comment made by Donald Trump after he and I since condemned any potential activity by Russia or any other foreign power.” - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to Laura Ingraham on Donald Trump’s call for Russians to hack Democratic and Clinton campaign emails, saying the comment was “laced with sarcasm.” During his Florida press conference on Wednesday where the Russian remarks were made, Trump also said he wanted to power to access private emails. “Honestly, I wish I had that power,” Trump said. “I’d love to have that power.” It is unclear whether those remarks were also laced with sarcasm.
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HPI Video Feed
Young's first Senate ad aimed against Bayh
Republican Senate candidate Todd Young's first TV ad aimed at Democrat Evan Bayh.

RGA ad links Gregg to Clinton, coal
The Republican Governors Association TV ad links Democrat John Gregg to Hillary Clinton and coal.

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2 videos
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Trump taxes

Should Donald Trump release recent tax returns, like every major party nominee has done over the past 40 years?


 

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