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Friday, October 21, 2016
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About Brian Howey & Howey Politics Indiana

HPI's Brian A. Howey (from top to right) with Sen. Dick Lugar and Sam Nunn somewhere over Siberia 2007; covering Sen. Evan Bayh's bombshell retirement in February 2010; in Moscow's Red Square in 2007; on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in October 2008; on Capitol Hill in 2007; in his hometown of Michigan City, IN in 2006; with Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg in Indianapolis in 2003; kayaking the Potomac River in 2007; with Vincennes U. Prof. Fred Walker Jr., in 2001; with U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly at Shapiro's Deli in 2012; with Gov. Mike Pence at HPI's North American HQ in 2013; with HPI Washington correspondent Mark Schoeff Jr. and University of Virginia's Prof Larry Sabato in 2004; at the Anderson Wigwam at a Hillary Clinton rally in April 2008; and on Capitol Hill in 2007.
HPI's Brian A. Howey (from top to right) with Sen. Dick Lugar and Sam Nunn somewhere over Siberia 2007; covering Sen. Evan Bayh's bombshell retirement in February 2010; in Moscow's Red Square in 2007; on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in October 2008; on Capitol Hill in 2007; in his hometown of Michigan City, IN in 2006; with Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg in Indianapolis in 2003; kayaking the Potomac River in 2007; with Vincennes U. Prof. Fred Walker Jr., in 2001; with U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly at Shapiro's Deli in 2012; with Gov. Mike Pence at HPI's North American HQ in 2013; with HPI Washington correspondent Mark Schoeff Jr. and University of Virginia's Prof Larry Sabato in 2004; at the Anderson Wigwam at a Hillary Clinton rally in April 2008; and on Capitol Hill in 2007.
Brian A. Howey is a third-generation Hoosier journalist with a career that has transcended traditional newspaper journalism to pioneering use of the Internet as a publishing medium. Howey Politics Indiana is one of the few subscriber-based journalism models that consistently earns a profit in an era where many publications and website content are given away to consumers expecting free content.

Howey’s life-long passion for political science and history have fueled his entrepreneurial journalism career. His company - WWWHoweyMedia LLC - publishes Howey Politics Indiana, a nonpartisan political news website. Howey has received national recognition as the best source of Indiana political news reporting. HPI features analysis and commentary by Howey and contributing columnists such as Morton J. Marcus, Jack Colwell, Lee Hamilton, Maureen Hayden, Craig Dunn, Larry DeBoer, Russ Stilwell, Chris Sautter, Shaw Friedman and Rich James.

Howey is also a syndicated newspaper columnist who reaches more than 300,000 readers a week in 30 local markets around the state. After leaving the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in 1993, he quickly expanded his column from Indiana’s second largest city to the Indianapolis News, the Indianapolis Business Journal and smaller newspapers in Northeastern Indiana. Today that column runs in all four corners of the state - the Angola Herald-Republican, Northwest Indiana Times, Dearborn County Register and the Evansville Courier & Press - and more than 20 other points between in such cities as Anderson, Bluffton, Columbia City, Kendallville, Decatur, Logansport, Terre Haute, Elkhart, Kokomo, Lafayette, New Albany and Jeffersonville. His writing has been honored by the Hoosier State Press Association, Associated Press, Indiana Policy Review Foundation, Toastmasters International and the Inland Press Association.

Howey forged his entrepreneurial journalism model in 1994 when he began publishing what was initially called The Howey Political Report in Fort Wayne in a collaboration with Nixon Newspaper Inc. He combined original reporting and commentary with an early news aggregation model just as the Internet began emerging as a critical communication avenue. The original HPR was printed weekly on paper, folded, stapled, stamped and mailed to more than 300 subscribers from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C., sometimes taking up to three days to reach some customers. Shortly thereafter, the fax machine became a choice transmission, allowing some subscribers to receive HPR within minutes of the final edit.

Howey moved HPR to Indianapolis in 1996 and set up an office in the Indiana Statehouse press shack area in the basement while growing his newspaper column to markets across the state and became a staple on political radio shows statewide. He began the HPR Forum Series, a day-long political event that featured national headliners like Prof. Larry Sabato, Stuart Rothenberg, Charlie Cook, Chris Cillizza, and Indiana personalities ranging from Tim Roemer, Richard Lugar and Govs. Mike Pence Frank O’Bannon, Joe Kernan and Mitch Daniels.

In 2000, working in tandem with the Going1Up newspaper software company in Kokomo, Howey began distribution via the Internet, eliminating the costly print and mail aspects in favor of email.Now all of his subscribers had access to his newsletter within minutes of publication. Concerned that his subscribers would balk at picking up the paper and printing costs, he began publishing the HPR Daily Wire, a “value added” sister publication that is essentially a daily executive news briefing of all things public policy and politics in Indiana. Within months, subscribers not only embraced the new product, they told Howey he should add it to his subscription program. Today it is a successful component that makes NewsLink a small but extremely profitable publishing company. The website www. has become one of the most popular Internet political sites in the state. While many people “blog,” Howey is virtually alone in not only earning money, but making a good living doing what he loves. Often described as a “blogger,” Howey typically responds, “I’m not a blogger, I’m a degreed journalist who actually picks up the phone to check out a rumor.”

Howey convinces Speaker Gregg on email access veto override

In 2001, while Howey was honored by Vincennes University as an "alumni of the year," he spent a luncheon meeting with then-House Speaker John Gregg. Howey implored Gregg not to bring for an override vote on a bill Gov. Frank O'Bannon had vetoed that would have prevented public access of official government emails. The week before, word came out that Speaker Gregg would hand down House Enrolled Act 1083 for an override of O’Bannon’s veto. O’Bannon was a publisher, and he understood that keeping e-mails by public servants out of the reach of journalists was a dangerous precedent. Howey wrote in December 2004, "I pleaded, begged and implored Gregg not to hand down the bill. He listened politely, but was noncommital. When I left the banquet hall, I used a 'Rexism' to describe what I had just done, telling a friend, “I feel like I just threw up in the punch bowl.”

A week later, Gregg refused to hand down the override. “You were not given the credit you personally deserved on the issue of the media bill and the override,” Gregg said. “You told me it would've been disastrous to hand it down and you were right. That is a decision I've never regretted and I owe you a big one on that.”

In 2003, concerned about the growing “spam” problem hitting email users, HPR and Going1Up shifted the newsletter to an email link system, that switched the newsletter from an email attachment to a direct access system via the website. When HPR had news to break, Howey would post on his website and that upload would trigger an email to subscribers - now increasingly using Black- berry and other hand-held devices - informing them of breaking news. “I was tweeting before there was anything to tweet with,” Howey explains. The night in February 2010 he broke the story about Dan Coats’ political comeback in the U.S. Senate race, patrons in the Canterbury Hotel bar in Indianapolis heard a series of beeps echo across the room before the news hit: “Howey says Dan Coats is coming back!” one person exclaimed, while igniting a buzz throughout the establishment. That has become commonplace in the Hoosier political scene.

Indianapolis Eye Online

In 2002, Howey entered the local magazine market when he be- gan publishing The Indianapolis Eye Online Magazine. The goal was to capitalize and bring the publication into print. As an online prototype, the Eye published for 23 months until funding ran out. While it eventually folded as a recession dried up capital, The In- dianapolis Eye was a precursor to things to come on the Internet, predating an array of online magazines that exist today. It won a Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for investigative journalism. Howey built a commentary section with the Eye that included such writers as Scott Jones, Mike McDaniel, Peter Rusthoven, Scott Newman, Sheila Suess Kennedy, Bill Moreau Jr., Robin Winston and many others. observed, “It’s always sad when a bold experiment in online journalism dies. Unless you’re from Indianapolis you might not be familiar with the Indianapolis Eye, which suspended operations in February after two years. In its short life the site had an impact, and that was recognized recently when it was named as a finalist for an IRE award, for its investigative report, “Too Little Too Late.” The story reported on how an Indianapolis company had raised nearly $200,000 selling patriotic posters nationally to raise money for victims of 9/11, but the money hadn’t been donated. According to IRE, after this story was published, the Attorney General’s office conducted an investigation and the money was finally donated to the appropriate charities. How ironic that, months after the publication ceases, it wins an award for an article titled, ‘Too Little Too Late.’”

HPR becomes Howey Politics Indiana

In 2007, sensing an epic political story at hand, HPR became “Howey Politics Indiana” to reflect the state it covers so well. It also formed a partnership with Gauge Market Research and at the onset of the coming political battle between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, HPI unveiled the Howey-Gauge Poll that conducted transparent political surveys beginning in February 2008. It conducted the first Clinton-Obama poll in Indiana, weeks before it became clear the Indiana Democratic primary would become to most riveting political event in Indiana since the Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, Roger Branigan presidential primary in 1968. Howey-Gauge polling consistently came within the mar- gin of error in both the Clinton-Obama primary battle and the Obama-McCain general election.

HPI became the go-to source for independent political news and analysis in the Hoosier State. Dur- ing the 2008 presidential race, he offered commentary on MSNBC’s “Hardball” and “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation” and was featured in a three-minute segment on the “CBS Evening News” with Katie Couric in late October.

Howey’s post-newspaper career - even though his writing is featured in this medium throughout the state - is living proof that a young journalist armed with a business plan, access to subscriber data, emerging technology, passion for the subject along with a significant dose of gumption and an attitude that the sky-is-the-limit can place a shingle on the Internet, turn a living profit and become a voice in the national conversation. In 2008 and 2010 the Washington Post cited Howey as Indiana’s top political journalist.

2012 Cycle Howey/DePauw Poll

In 2012, Howey lined up a bipartisan polling team of Republican Christine Matthews from Bellwether Research and Democrat Fred Yang from Garin-Hart-Yang. With DePauw University as an academic sponsor, the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll conducted four statewide surveys. In its early April survey, it found U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar with only 42% of the vote in his race against Treasurer Richard Mourdock, prompting HPI to put the Republican Senate primary race into "tossup." In a late April poll, Howey/DePauw found Mourdock leading by 10% and HPI forecast a landslide victory for the challenger, who won by 21%. In October, after Mourdock's controversial "God intends" rape comment at the New Albany Senate debate, Howey/DePauw polling had Democrat Joe Donnelly leading by 11% and HPI was able to forecast a Donnelly upset, as well as a tightening gubernatorial race between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg. The New York Times 538 blog would rate Howey/DePauw polling the fourth most accurate out of more than 100 polls conducted prior to the November 2012 election.

The Washington Post's "Fix" blog would site Howey Politics Indiana as one of the state's top political websites.

About Brian Howey

Howey is a native of Michigan City and Peru, where both his parents - Jack and Mary Lou Howey - were news editors. His father is a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. He grew up hanging around the newsrooms of the Michigan City News-Dispatch and the Peru Daily Tribune in the days of hot type and an ashtray on every reporter’s desk. His career has transcended the golden age of 35 percent profit margins to an industry staggered by speed and bad decisions, emerging as a well-positioned voice for the early 21st Century.

At the suggestion of Gov. Mitch Daniels, HPI has donated its complete archives to the Indiana State Library where they can be accessed online. Future researchers exploring turn of the 20th/21st Century Indiana will find Howey’s compelling voice describing the quickly changing life we live today.

Howey is a graduate of Prof. Fred Walker Jr.’s Vincennes University journalism program and achieved his B.A. in liberal arts at Indiana University-Bloomington, majoring in history. His career has been a market ladder from small town Indiana to the state capital, having written and edited at the Peru Daily Tribune, Vincennes Trailblazer, Indiana Daily Student, Warsaw Times-Union, Elkhart Truth, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and NUVO Newsweekly. He worked as assignment editor for WKJG-TV in Fort Wayne. He has been a contributor to the Indianapolis News, Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Monthly, Notre Dame Magazine, Indianapolis Business Journal, Newsday and many other publications.

With his eye is firmly on the future, Howey intends to convey and build upon his remarkable and evolving career by working with the next generation of journalists. “I wish I could say I had a master plan when I graduated from college and executed it perfectly,” Howey explained. “In reality, it was trial and error. Setbacks became opportunities. Technology became speed and I developed a voice to describe it all. I kept an eye fixed to the changing world around me and surfed the wave. Today we see newspaper reporters carrying video cameras and TV reporters posting copy on websites. Journalism is turning upside down and headed for the blender, but it’s still all based on content. I’m in the perfect position to help a young writer, photographer or designer make sense of it all.”

Howey lives in Indianapolis and Nashville, Ind., with his coondog Mollie and beagle Lucy. His son Thomas is studying computer technology at IUPUI in Indianapolis, his son Stephen lives in Fishers, and step-daughter Renee lives in Elkhart. Howey is an avid sailor (Hobie Cats), kayaker and follows his beloved Chicago White Sox, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Butler Bulldogs, Indiana Pacers and the IU Hoosiers.
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  • ISP Supt. Carter on the vote fraud probe
    “Let me be clear: Among the highest priorities of the Indiana State Police is ensuring the integrity of this election and that every Hoosier vote counts. It is very important to recognize that instead of telling Hoosiers they would cooperate with our investigation and working with Indiana officials to get to the bottom of the fraud issue, Patriot Majority USA instead launched a partisan advertising campaign accusing Gov. Pence of leading a ‘government attack against’ Hoosiers and the Indiana State Police of  ‘police intimidation. We at the Indiana State Police have one goal: To enforce the laws of Indiana, and in this case, the laws associated with voter registration to ensure every Hoosier who is eligible to vote can cast a vote with confidence that their vote will count and they will not be disenfranchised as a result of the criminal actions of others.” - Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter, on the voter fraud investigation.
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