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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Gov. Mike Pence delved into foreign policy at a Berlin hotel near the Brandenburg Gate last week, with advance text leaked to Fox News, suggesting serious consideration of a 2016 presidential run is underway.
Gov. Mike Pence delved into foreign policy at a Berlin hotel near the Brandenburg Gate last week, with advance text leaked to Fox News, suggesting serious consideration of a 2016 presidential run is underway.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:41 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
ISLAMORADA, Fla. - Gov. Pence, you’re busted!
    
For a man who has not spent one minute thinking about running for president in 2016, the milepost flash came last Thursday afternoon when Fox News First revealed an exclusive advance copy of remarks the Indiana governor would be making at the historic Adlon Hotel near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. This was a national advance that eluded the Hoosier press.
    
This would be no economic development announcement creating German jobs for Hoosiers in LaPorte, South Bend and Columbia City.
    
We’ll let Fox News pick up the narrative: He will decry “Russian aggression” and call on President Obama to resurrect a planned missile-defense shield for Eastern Europe that Obama scrapped in 2009. Pence, who said he will make a decision on a potential 2016 presidential run in the coming months, is in Germany on a privately funded trade mission. But touting his decade on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Pence will strike a hawkish tone. From the prepared remarks provided to Fox News First: “With Russian aggression on the rise, clearly conciliatory diplomacy has failed. While sanctions are of some value, in the interest of our alliance, I believe the United States and the EU must respond with deeds more than words to strengthen our economic and strategic defenses.”
  
You can debate the notion that Pence’s assessment may have problems (both the New York Times and Economic Times portray the pre-sanction Russian economy as one in significant contraction, with an alarming flight of capital and talent well underway) just as you could when he compared a pre-surge Iraq market bazaar to one in Bargersville.

The key line in the Fox report is that Team Pence is conveying that a presidential decision will be made “in the coming months,” which differs from the official line to Indiana press that all systems are “go” for a 2016 reelection; that the governor is simply politely listening to national overtures. The signals from the Pence administration have been mixed and confusing for six months now. Last fall, senior Pence administration officials indicated to HPI he was a sure bet for reelection advising a “follow the money” script, but a couple days later he contradicted that assessment in an interview with the Washington Post.
    
All of this should be enough for Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long to rethink their 2016 political plans.
    
What is obvious here is that Team Pence is doing everything they can to stoke what appears to be a “draft Mike” campaign aimed at the current GOP presidential vacuum.
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  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND - Today is Dyngus Day. Well, maybe not everybody knows. Thus, for newcomers who never heard of such a thing _ also for others who never go Dyngusing or go and don’t quite understand why _ I again fulfill my obligation to explain this event. Q. Where did Dyngus Day come from? A. Poland. It’s traced back to a spring observance there, where dousing maidens with water was a feature. The splashing is said to have been inspired by the mass baptisms when Christianity was embraced by Poland in 966. That’s 1,048 years ago, just before the Cubs last won the World Series.
        
     
  • By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    INDIANAPOLIS - Seated across the table from me at Cafe Patachou were Drs. Tim Brown and Larry Bucshon. Dr. Bucshon was a heart surgeon from Newburgh. Dr. Brown is an emergency room physician from Crawfordsville. What made this breakfast meeting extraordinary is that Brown is the powerful Republican chairman of the Indiana House Ways & Means Committee, which plays a huge role in developing $30 billion biennial budgets. Bucshon is the Republican congressman from Southwestern Indiana. The two were embarking on a statewide “listening tour.” In more than three decades of covering Indiana politics, I cannot remember a legislator and member of Congress doing anything like this. And it couldn’t come at a better time. The Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” – had just passed its first signup deadline.  
  • By MAUREEN HAYDEN
    INDIANAPOLIS – The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week. Of 50,000 public school teachers graded by their principals, less than one-half of 1 percent were deemed “ineffective.” Almost everyone else – 97 percent – was considered good or good enough.  
  • By RICH JAMES
    MERRILLVILLE – Probably the worst kept secret in Lake County politics is that Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. would like to one day replace U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Merrillville, in Congress. Because Visclosky is virtually unbeatable, McDermott would have to wait for him to retire before having a chance. One thing that could give McDermott an advantage once Visclosky has stepped down is the fact that he is the Lake County Democratic chairman and has firm control of the organization. McDermott took a rather bold step about a week ago when he said converting Lake County into a single municipality is the best way to achieve true regionalism. 
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Bayh discusses 2016
Former Indiana governor and senator Evan Bayh talks about 2016 and a possible candidacy (WTHR-TV)
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  • Nisly challenge to Kubacki now 'tossup'
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Family Groups and the Tea Party has State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki firmly in their sights, to the point that Howey Politics Indiana has moved the HD22 Republican primary into “Tossup.” Curt Nisly's challenge to Kubacki, R-Syracuse, is using dozens of Tea Party volunteers to drop off leaflets at homes across the district. A letter to the editor campaign is also taking place in the Warsaw Times-Union and the Kosciusko County news webpage StaceyPage.com.
     
  • Drs. Brown & Bucshon on health tour
    By MATTHEW BUTLER
    and BRIAN A. HOWEY

        
    INDIANAPOLIS – It’s somewhat ironic but Indiana’s most unhealthy congressional district is represented by the delegation’s sole physician, heart surgeon Larry Bucshon. His 8th Congressional District in the state’s southwest was found the least healthy of all nine districts and ranked 401st out of the nation’s 435 congressional districts. At least that’s the findings of Gallup-Healthways’ 2013 State of American Well-Being Index. His district should not be construed as a Hoosier outlier. The general impression for the entire state is not good. Seven of the nine districts fall in the bottom 40% of the nation with health rankings ranging from 271st to 401st. As a whole, the state did not fare well on the 2013 Well-Being Index, ranking 40th in the country. “Southwestern Indiana, I can tell you, is called the heart attack belt,” he told the gathering. “The reason is we have a pretty significant incidence rate of obesity, cigarette smoking, and other poor quality lifestyle choices. We have some challenges we need to work on. We’re not doing that well compared to the rest of the states.”
     
  • Bates responds to church lawsuit, alleges smear
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - The Don Bates Jr. Republican state treasurer campaign has been subjected to an array of blog posts concerning a lawsuit filed in 2010 from the Bible Missionary Church in Winchester in Randolph Superior Court and his lapsed financial planning license. Sources tell HPI that a preliminary hearing is set for April 24 and a trial for next August. The suit is based on a land transaction between two churches and a road right-of-way claim by the State of Indiana involving $7,900. The Bates campaign responded by providing HPI a four-page affidavit notarized in January 2014 in which the  North Central District Bible Missionary Church, Inc., says the Winchester church is no longer affiliated with the denomination.
     
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  • Axelrod doubts Jeb Bush will run in 2016
    “I have some real doubts as to whether he’s going to run. Running in the Republican Party today is a hard thing to do, and I don’t think Jeb Bush wants to run for president and have to subjugate his principles like the last two nominees did.” - Democratic consultant David Axelrod, speaking on a potential 2016 presidential run by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. 
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Dem Gov

Who would be the best gubernatorial nominee for Indiana Democrats in 2016?


 

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