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Friday, February 24, 2017
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Friday, February 24, 2017 10:59 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Mayor Pete makes his final pitch for DNC chair

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is making his final pitch for his DNC Chair bid that comes to a head on Saturday in Atlanta. Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Mayor Pete noted that there are less votes at stake than for a typical high school class president contest. “We’re finding that the two major candidates can’t get a majority of votes,” he said of Tom Perez and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. “I’m living what the other candidates say we need to deliver. Why wouldn’t you want someone from the Millennial generation running and winning in a bright red state?”

Buttigieg is hoping that Perez and Ellison won’t clinch on a first ballot, and then he’ll make the “everybody’s second choice” case articulated by Howard Dean on Wednesday, perhaps winning on a second or third ballot. If he wins, “I’ll step down as mayor for it’s a full-time job.” He added, “We’re on our back foot as a party and with redistricting not that far away, we have to have a strategy.”

2. President Trump talks fake news at CPAC

President Trump had a rollicking speech before CPAC this morning and clarified his remarks on the press being the “enemy of the American people.” Trump said, “We are fighting the fake news. It’s phony, it’s fake. A few days ago I called fake news the enemy of the people. They make up sources. They are very dishonest people. I call the fake news the enemy of the people. All of a sudden the media says I’m against the media. I’m not against the media, I’m not against the press. But I am only against the fake news media or press. They shouldn’t be able to use unnamed sources. Put their name out there. Let them say it to my face. I love the 1st Amendment. Nobody loves it like me. Who uses it more than I do? It gives me the right to criticize fake news and do it strongly.”

Trump also talked about his upset victory last November. “The media didn’t think we would win. The pundits didn’t think we would win. The consultants who suck up all that money, they’re really good at sucking up people’s money, especially my opponents, they didn’t think we would win. They all underestimated the power of the people, you. The people never get it wrong. The era of empty talk is over.”

3. Rep. Banks concerned about Trump/Kremlin ties

We sat down with freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Banks on Thursday and he is very concerned about the reports of the Trump campaign in contact with the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign. He called “Russia a dangerous actor on the world stage,” and thus interference in the U.S. presidential campaign is “deeply troubling.”
  • 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



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  • White House asked FBI to discredit Kremlin/Trump campaign story
    "We didn't try to knock the story down. We asked them to tell the truth.” - Presidential press secretary Sean Spicer, reacting to reports from CNN and Fox News that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Trump's campaign advisers were in frequent touch with Russian intelligence agents during the 2016 election. Such a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations, both Fox and CNN reported. FBI Director James Comey rejected the request for the FBI to comment on the stories, according to sources, because the alleged communications between Trump associates and Russians known to U.S. intelligence are the subject of an ongoing investigation.

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  • Congress has authority to review Trump tax returns. It should
    Harvard Prof. Mihir Desai and Edward Kleinbard, a former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, write in the Washington Post that Congress has the authority via the federal tax code to review President Trump’s tax returns. You can read their article by clicking here. Trump broke modern precedent by being the first presidential candidate in modern times to refuse to release his taxes. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius writes today, "We may be missing the forest for the trees in the Russia story: The Kremlin's attempt to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is part of a much bigger tale of Russian covert action — in which Donald Trump's campaign was perhaps a tool, witting or unwitting." With Kremlin interference in the 2016 presidential election, a development some in Congress have called an “act of war,” and with reports that the Kremlin and senior Trump campaign officials were in consistent contact, which was a story CNN and Fox News report on today, Members of the Indiana Congressional delegation should join a call for a review of the President’s tax returns. There is too much at stake and too much we don’t know.  - Brian A. Howey, publisher

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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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