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Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Indiana House Ways & Means Chairman Tim Brown (left) and U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon commenced a statewide health care tour of Indiana this week. Both medical doctors are seeking health information as both believe the Affordable Care Act won't be repealed. (HPI Photos by Matthew Butler)
Indiana House Ways & Means Chairman Tim Brown (left) and U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon commenced a statewide health care tour of Indiana this week. Both medical doctors are seeking health information as both believe the Affordable Care Act won't be repealed. (HPI Photos by Matthew Butler)
Friday, April 18, 2014 9:16 AM
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. Neighboring Ohio and Kentucky are reportedly worse off at 46th and 49th, respectively. Illinois (22nd) and Michigan (37th) fared better. West Virginia was ranked last while Hawaii was first. Overall, the rustbelt and south comprised the entirety of the fifth quintile (bottom 20%). If one were to average all six categories of Gallup’s Well-Being Index, Indiana falls in the fifth quintile of states.

“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.”
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  • 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. 
  • By ROBERT KRAFT
    CARMEL - In late March most of the United States pretty much ignored the 100th anniversary of the birth of Norman Borlaug, the man most responsible for the current phenomenon of engineered food in the world’s diet. The one notable exception to the general indifference to Borlaug’s centennial was that of his native state of Iowa, which used the occasion to enshrine him as one of that state’s two honorees in the National Statuary Hall in the U. S. Capitol.  To do so, Iowa had to remove the statue of James Harlan, a college president, U.S. senator and secretary of the interior in the Andrew Johnson administration. (For the record, Indiana’s two honorees are Civil War Gov. Oliver P. Morton and Civil War general and Ben Hur author Lew Wallace). Dr. Norman Borlaug, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was a plant scientist and innovator who is widely known as the father of the Green Revolution.  
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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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  • 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.
     
  • Horse Race: Seybold leads fundraising; little $$ for CD challengers
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold continues to hold a significant cash-on-hand and fundraising lead over his two Republican state treasurer opponents. Seybold raised $40,204.86 for the quarter and posted $47,651.86 cash on hand. Don Bates Jr. raised $20,129.50 and posted $23,555.40 cash on hand. Kelly Mitchell raised $22,015.50 and had $11,455.87 cash on hand.

        
     
  • HPI Interview: Bosma sees jobs 'cusp'
    By MATTHEW BUTLER
    and BRIAN A. HOWEY

        
    INDIANAPOLIS – House Speaker Brian Bosma highlighted his multiyear effort to reform the state’s tax code and improve its business climate in order to attract investment and jobs to the state as he sat down with HPI on Tuesday as part of our review of the 2014 session. It followed our interviews with Gov. Mike Pence and Senate President David Long. Overall, the Speaker echoed what Gov. Pence told us last week: No single tax cut or incentive attracts new investment and jobs to Indiana, but rather a whole host of attractive factors. He stressed, like other leaders at the Statehouse, this is a work in progress and the challenge is to maintain and improve the pro-growth trajectory of the state. We discussed Indiana as the most manufacturing-intensive state in the union and the need to maintain that strength while also diversifying the economy with finance, biotechnology, tech start-ups, and services. He said recent reforms should be attracting more banks and insurance companies back to the state.
     
     
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  • Pence blasts Obama diplomacy with Russia in Berlin
    “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. And, with continued instability in the Middle East, Iran’s ongoing effort to develop long-range missiles and nuclear technology, and Putin’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, I believe we must take immediate steps to deploy a robust missile defense in Europe – especially Poland and the Czech Republic – to protect the interests of our NATO allies and the United States in the region.” - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, delving into foreign policy in Berlin Wednesday, fueling more speculation about the 2016 presidential race. 
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Dem Gov

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







 

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