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Sunday, September 25, 2016
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Sunday, September 25, 2016 12:15 PM

By BRIAN A. HOWEY

NASHVILLE, Ind. - It’s not quite a Joe Namath style guarantee, but on Sunday morning just hours before the first presidential debate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence promised that Donald Trump will “absolutely” tell the truth when he’s on stage with Democrat Hillary Clinton. Pence, appearing on CBS “Face The Nation,” said he was confident of Trump’s ability to be truthful. Pence explained, “He’s going to speak the truth to the American people, that’s why you see the tremendous momentum in this campaign. I think Donald Trump always speaks straight from his mind and straight from his heart.”

Trump faces Clinton at 9 p.m. Monday night at Hofstra University in the first of three debates which could determine the course of the election. Trump has tightened the race in a number of swing states and in a national Washington Post/ABC Poll, she led 46-44% with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 5% and Green Party nominee at 1%.

Pence’s guarantee comes as three news organizations - Politico Magazine, the Washington Post and New York Times - published analyses of Trump’s level of truthfulness and, well, it’s a different take than what you hear from Pence. Politico reported that it “chose to spend a week fact-checking Trump. We fact-checked Hillary Clinton over the same time too. We subjected every statement made by both the Republican and Democratic candidates – in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter – to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.”

The Post’s take: “An examination of one week of his speeches, tweets and interviews shows a candidate who not only continues to rely heavily on thinly sourced or entirely unsubstantiated claims, but uses them to paint a strikingly grim portrait of America.”

And this from the New York Times: “All politicians bend the truth to fit their purposes, including Hillary Clinton. But Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive. However, a closer examination, over the course of a week, revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction.”

The chart with this story is from the Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact website, which rates 77% of Pence’s statements as either half true, mostly false or false, though he doesn’t have a “pants on fire” designation. About 50% of Clinton’s statements are in that territory and as for Trump, 85% of his statements are in that category, reaching a level where he was awarded Politifact’s 2015 “Liar of the Year” designation.

 

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  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    NASHVILLE, Ind. - A couple of decades ago, I had a chance to see and hear jazz great Dave Brubeck play the Elco Theater in downtown Elkhart. It was a mesmerizing concert. At one point, Brubeck sat his piano in the spotlight and began a cadence, “The Peace of Jerusalem, the Peace of Jerusalem,” tapping his foot and clicking his fingers. His quartet picked up on the reponsorial and it sent great joy through the crowd. After the concert, many of us crossed Main Street to Flytrap’s, a downtown restaurant, and as we sipped cocktails and awaited dinner, I could see a entourage cross the street. The door swung open, and there was Brubeck himself adorned in a great coat. There was a pregnant pause, one of almost disbelief, and this was followed by an emotional, rousing standing ovation. A great man was in our midst. It was a spectacular display of the art of leadership: The broaching of a grand concept and then its articulation through a cultural media, hitting a chord with those who listened. Politics is quite a different genre, I bring this up as Hoosiers and Americans prepare for one of the most fascinating, and potentially consequential two weeks in the early years of the 21st Century. On Monday, presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet for the first of three debates, and the stakes are utterly epic. As Clinton put it earlier this week, “The next 50 days will determine the next 50 years.”

  • By CRAIG DUNN
    KOKOMO – When you take on the job of a political party chairman, you enter your tenure with visions of political lollipops dancing in your head. You imagine all of the nifty things you’ll accomplish in the name of the cause. You salivate over creating targeted marketing programs, systematic fundraising processes and candidate development.  Then, very quickly, perhaps within two or three days, you realize that you are going to be doing things that no one told you about. Scrubbing toilets at Republican Headquarters, I realized that there might be things that I would be called upon to do that weren’t in the brochures touting the glamorous and exciting lifestyles of a Republican County chairman. Ten years into my sentence, make that service, as a GOP chair, I’ve done things that I never anticipated doing and seen events that amaze and astound. I’ve done some things they just can’t get laboratory rats to do, all in the service of my party. Last April, our Republican HQ started being bombarded with telephone calls asking when we would have Donald Trump signs for distribution. The callers were polite but quickly became agitated when told that sign distribution during primaries was largely up to the individual candidates.
  • By MORTON J. MARCUS
    INDIANAPOLIS – A reader from Bloomfield wants economists to explain why free trade does not deliver benefits as advertised by politicians. Free trade is a concept, not a reality. It is much like other concepts so dear to some economists and most politicians, such as pure competition, open markets, free enterprise, level playing fields, the gold standard, and the ever-popular balanced budget.  But we do not live in the world of concepts. Our world has millions of people demanding protection from change. When they get that protection, it is usually at the expense of other people who are worse off. Many Hoosiers use the loss of Indiana’s jobs at Carrier to Mexico as an example of the injustice of trade deals and free enterprise. But do we hear Hoosiers complain when the Indiana Economic Development Corporation announces a company moving jobs from another state to Indiana? Or from one Indiana county to another?
  • By LEE HAMILTON
    BLOOMINGTON – Does the ubiquity of information available through social media really help citizens understand complex issues, weigh competing arguments, and reach discriminating judgments about politics? I’ve been involved in politics for the better part of a lifetime, and have spoken at a lot of public meetings over the years. One question I’ve heard more than any other: “If I want to be an informed citizen, which sources of information should I consult?” For many years, I had a set answer: Read one or more of the respected national news sources, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, The Economist, etc. I’m not sure how good that answer was at the time, but I know for certain it would be woefully inadequate now. Younger people, in particular, get far more of their information from social media than from traditional news sources. The internet and social media have upended our expectations of what it means to be well-informed. Platforms and websites that take advantage of online and mobile connectivity are like a firehose, providing enormous quantities of information, opinion, news, statements, videos, images, analysis, charts, graphs, all of it instantly available.
  • By RICH JAMES
    MERRILLVILLE –  While the latest poll shows Democrat Evan Bayh leading Republican Todd Young by four percentage points in the race for the U.S. Senate, the margin likely is much different in Northwest Indiana. For two generations, this corner of the state has been Bayh country. It began with Birch Bayh, Evan’s father, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and reelected twice. Birch Bayh, of course, lost a 1980 bid to become the first Hoosier to be elected to four terms in the Senate, falling victim to the national push in 1980 to throw out the most liberal from the Senate. Bayh’s loss, of course, had a substantial impact on history, in that he was defeated by Dan Quayle who went on to become vice president. The senior Bayh had a host of backers in Northwest Indiana, particularly then-East Chicago Mayor Robert A. Pastrick, who had a knack for turning out huge Democratic pluralities on Election Day. If Pastrick wanted something out of Washington, Bayh provided it. In fact, it was Pastrick who was on hand to greet Evan Bayh when he made his first Northwest Indiana appearance after announcing he intended to seek the Senate seat both he and his father formerly held. Besides Pastrick, the senior Bayh was the darling of labor unions who controlled the Region politically until their numbers began to dwindle in the 1980s.
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  • Gregg picks up State Police Alliance nod
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - In a state facing a spreading heroin/carfentanil epidemic, gubernatorial nominee John Gregg became the first Democrat to pick up the endorsement of the Indiana State Police Alliance on Friday. It comes on the heels of the Fraternal Order of Police nod in August. The Indiana State Police Alliance Political Action Committee, which represents 1,100 active and more than 700 retired members, focuses on promoting better law enforcement and support for Indiana state troopers. Following a candidate forum earlier this summer, the membership voted to endorse the Gregg/Hale ticket. “In John Gregg and Christina Hale, we will have true partners in the Statehouse once again,” said Wayne Flick, ISPA PAC member. “They have demonstrated their understanding of the issues we face and have detailed, well-thought out plans to improve public safety across the state. ISPA PAC looks forward to working with them to make Indiana an even better place.” Flick said at a Statehouse press conference “that it was apparent our Indiana State troopers” believe Gregg “will work endlessly to improve our equipment, work conditions and compensation.”
  • INGov: Holcomb calls LGBT 'old news' as civil rights passes in Tippecanoe
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – As this week unfolded, Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Holcomb issued his first white paper plan titled, “Taking Indiana to the Next Level,” a four-pronged approach focused on keeping and training talent, infrastructure investment and innovation, keeping energy costs low, and maintaining fiscal discipline. But the parallel news coverage diverged into the LGBT civil rights expansion, which Holcomb described as “old news,” and the I-69 construction work stoppage. While Section 5 work between Bloomington and Martinsville resumed on Monday, Fitch downgraded the projects bonds to “junk” status. And complicating the “old news” equation, in the same news cycle, the Republican Tippecanoe County commissioners unanimously approved LGBT protections, joining the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette. The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported the passage occurred after “heated” discussion centering on the so-called “bathroom issues” involving transgender Hoosiers. Just before the vote, Commissioners Tom Murtaugh and Tracy Brown explained why they would not change their vote. “This ordinance focuses on employment, housing and public accommodations,” Brown said. “Again, public accommodations most likely means restrooms, but I don’t think that should be our sole focus.”
  • HPI Analysis: Tsunami unlikley to impact down ballot races
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY   
        
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – Any notion of a Barry Goldwater or George McGovern style electoral fiasco swamping congressional and Indiana General Assembly races here on the eve of the first Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton debate now seems far-fetched, as polls show a partisan and polarized race tightening up nationally. A wide sweeping tsunami is now unlikely, though not completely out of the question. As the WTHR-Howey Politics Indiana Poll revealed earlier this month, many Republicans have come home to the Trump/Pence ticket, and that is good news for U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and 9th CD nominee Trey Hollingsworth. With little less than two months to go, such an electoral tidal wave is still possible, particularly if Trump or Clinton stumbles in emphatic fashion, setting off a ripple that turns into a wave.
        
  • Roving Pence begins to address festering Indiana problems

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. – It rained on Gov. Mike Pence in Williamsburg, Va., Tuesday as he continued his historic vice presidential candidacy. Back home in Indiana, the issues continue to drip, drip, drip, finally gathering the roving governor’s attention. After weeks of silence on the lead contamination crisis that forced 1,000 East Chicago residents out of their homes, Gov. Pence had a phone conversation with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro Tuesday morning, then fired off a letter with a number of questions. While work on I-69 resumed on Monday after weeks on no progress, Indiana Finance Authority Finance Director Dan Huge testified before the Interim Roads and Transportation Committee and said the project between Bloomington and Martinsville won’t be completed for another year. It came as Fitch Ratings downgraded the I-69 bonds to junk status. It all prompted Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton to say that the delay is “a major cost to us from what the road should have been and more danger for drivers.” And on the heroin front, the carfentanil-spiked opioid being pushed by an Ohio-based drug cartel, has made its way into Muncie after leaving its deadly carnage in Shoals, Martinsville and LaPorte over the past week, pushing its way into Indiana from Dayton and Cincinnati where there have been dozens over overdoses.

  • 9th CD: Hollingsworth, Yoder spar over tax return release
    By THOMAS CURRY

    GREENWOOD -  Candidates seeking to represent the 9th district in the U.S. House of Representatives participated in their first, and possibly only debate yesterday, trading barbs over taxes, the health care mandate, I-69 and other issues. Democrat Shelli Yoder and Republican Trey Hollingsworth met at the Vallae Vista Conference Center in Greenwood during an event hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and attended by members and business owners.  The most interesting and loaded question of the debate came at the close of the event when an audience member asked Hollingsworth if he would release his tax returns to promote transparency. Hollingsworth answered, "My opponent is obsessed with my taxes. I am obsessed with your taxes."
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  • Lugar still undecided on presidential race
    "I'm just watching carefully. The world is a very dangerous place. We have a great military, the best in the world, but we have a great number of challenges, we have to keep NATO together... we also have to deal somehow with the Middle East, all at the same time... neither of the major candidates has really spelled out strategy that might meet the agenda I`ve just presented. This may be hard to do in a campaign, but it`s essential because we will not have success without leadership that understands historical aspects, all the strategic problems that are there. I'm hopeful in the final days of campaign there`ll be more evidence that the candidates are on top of these problems." - Former U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, saying he is still undecided in the U.S. presidential race, to Fox59.
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HPI Video Feed
Lugar undecided in presidential race
Former U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar tells Fox59 he's undecided in the presidential race.

Hillary Clinton's "Mirrors" TV ad
The Clinton campaign highlights Donald Trump quotes on women.

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2 videos
HPI Horse Race
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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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