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Friday, August 18, 2017
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Friday, August 18, 2017 10:09 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Trump’s worst week yet

Your Friday power lunch talking points: In the past six days, President Trump attributed racial violence and hatred “on many sides.” On Tuesday, he talked about the “very fine people” within the emerging KKK/neo-Nazi/white supremacist movement who were “quietly” protesting. On Wednesday, business leaders fled his advisory councils, which Trump quickly disbanded. On Thursday, he was castigating Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham, a week after he did the same to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And on Thursday, Republican Sen. Bob Corker said, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. Without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.” And Republican Sen. Tim Scott said he could no longer “defend the indefensible” adding Trump’s “moral authority is compromised” on his Charlottesville reaction.

After the terror attacks in Barcelona, Trump retweeted a historically debunked story about World War I Gen. John Pershing. Trump explained in South Carolina in 2016: “He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And to the 50th person he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, OK?” The story is not true. And it was hardly a clarion call for unity. Through all of this, Hoosier Republicans summoned enough courage to denounce bigotry, but remain mute on a president who is clearly coming off the rails.

2. Pence compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt

We learned that Vice President Mike Pence was cutting his South American tour short, rushing back to D.C. and then to Camp David where he will meet with President Trump. Pence said in Panama, “In President Donald Trump, the United States once again has a president whose vision, energy and can-do spirit is reminiscent of President Teddy Roosevelt. Then, as now, we have a builder of boundless optimism, who seeks to usher in a new era of shared possibility. Then, as now, we have a leader who sees things not just as they are but for what they could be. And then, as now, we have a president who understands, in his words, 'a nation is only living as long as it is striving.'" Therein lies the reason why Hoosier Republicans remain mute.

3. Hoosier Democrats call for hate crime legislation

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane is calling for hate crime laws in 2018. “We in Indiana have turned our heads at these kinds of events for far too long,” Lanane said. “From racial slurs painted on Muslim and Jewish community centers to hatchet attacks of foreign exchange students, to bomb threats and acts of violence; Indiana needs to put their foot down and actively condemn these heinous acts. I am encouraged to hear that Speaker Brian Bosma has opened his eyes to this fact and is now calling for an Indiana hate crimes law, as the Senate Democrats have done for a number of years now.” And Sen. Greg Taylor said in an op-ed, "Events in Charlottesville this past weekend have finally alerted my colleagues in the legislature, as well as Gov. Holcomb, to the possibility that hate crimes legislation is needed in Indiana. It will be critical to the success of this bill for all people to be protected regardless of their perceived race, color, creed, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.”
  • REP. YOUNG TO POST $1M FOR QUARTER: Just days before he makes a presumptive Republican U.S. Senate bid official, U.S. Rep. Todd Young scorched the fundraising circuit, preparing to post $1,024,908 for the second quarter (Howey, Howey Politics Indiana).

     

    HARRISON QUALIFIES FOR INDY MAYORAL BALLOT: Rev. Charles Harrison is now prepared to throw an interesting wrench into the Indianapolis mayoral race (Howey Politics Indiana). Allies of the United Methodist pastor filed more than 6,600 signatures to gain ballot access as an independent last week. Sources with the Marion County Voter Registration have confirmed 3,200 signatures, with another 150 pages yet to be counted, meaning Harrison qualifies for ballot access.

     

    DAILY WIRE RESENT DUE TO TECHNICAL GLITCH: We are resending today’s HPI Daily Wire due to technical glitches. We apologize for the inconvenience.

     

    SANDERS SURGE WORRIES CLINTON CAMPAIGN: The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing garnered by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there (New York Times).

     

    INDIANA TEACHER POOL DRYING UP; ‘POLITICIANS’ BLAMED: School leaders in south-central Indiana are reporting that the number of applicants they get for teaching positions has declined in recent years (Ladwig, Greensburg Daily News). They blame primarily state funding constraints, which depress teacher wages, and a blame-the-teachers mentality of politicians and the media, which is pushing teachers out of the profession and prompting fewer high school grads to consider teaching an attractive career. Budd said that the number of applicants has declined especially for math, sciences and foreign languages. “It has become a real struggle,” Budd said. “The pool of applicants is definitely dried up.”

     

    TEACHING LICENSES DOWN 88%: Annual state data reveal that the number of teaching licenses the state issues has fallen a whopping 88 percent in the last six years (Greensburg Daily News). According to the Indiana Department of Education, the state issued in the 2007/08 school year about 7,500 teaching licenses. In 2013/14, the most recent year for which data were available, the state issued just 934 licenses.

     

    GM REBUFFS FIAT/CHRYSLER MERGER: John Elkann, chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and scion of Italy’s Agnelli family, isn’t giving up on forging a partnership with General Motors Co. , despite being rebuffed by his Detroit rival twice in the past four years (Wall Street Journal).

     

    ZODY WANTS DETAILS ON CANCELED PORTER-NOVELLI CONTRACT: Indiana Democrats have sent the Republican Pence administration a formal request to release documents showing what the state got for its money when it hired a New York public relations firm to deal with the damage inflicted by a new religious objections law (Associated Press). Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said Monday that he wants Gov. Mike Pence's office to release contracts, messages and emails related to the agreement with Porter Novelli.

     

    HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Hoosier taxpayers paid $365,000 to the New York PR firm Porter Novelli to repair the state’s post RFRA damage. We ought to be able to see what we paid for. Remember, Public Servants (this includes you, IEDC), you work for us, the taxpayers. - Brian A. Howey

     

    CLICK HERE TO READ TODAY'S FULL HPI DAILY WIRE.

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  • Sen. Corker says Trump lacks 'stability and competence'; U.S. faces 'great peril'
    “We’re at a point where there needs to be radical changes take place at the White House itself. It has to happen. I think the president needs to take stock of the role that he plays in our nation and move beyond himself - move way beyond himself - and move to a place where daily he’s waking up thinking about what is best for the nation. The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. And we need for him to be successful. He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great. Without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.” - U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN, to Tennessee news media about President Trump. The comments come as Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his trip to South American, returning to the U.S. tonight. But Pence said in Panama Thursday, “In President Donald Trump, I think the United States once again has a president whose vision, energy and can-do spirit is reminiscent of President Teddy Roosevelt.”

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  • Presidents Bush 41, 43 denounce racism
    Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush released a joint statement on Wednesday, denouncing racism, anti-Semitism and hatred after the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.” The statement came a day after President Trump backtracked on a Monday statement where he denounced alt right groups, saying the there were “fine people” in the KKK, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. The Bush statement did not mention President Trump. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
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