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Sunday, December 04, 2016
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Evan and Birch Bayh (top left) just prior to U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly's swearing in in 2013; Richard Lugar at the University of Indianapolis in 2015; and Sens. Lugar and Birch Bayh during the four years they served in the Senate together from 1977 to 1981. (HPI Photo by Mark Curry)
Evan and Birch Bayh (top left) just prior to U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly's swearing in in 2013; Richard Lugar at the University of Indianapolis in 2015; and Sens. Lugar and Birch Bayh during the four years they served in the Senate together from 1977 to 1981. (HPI Photo by Mark Curry)
Friday, December 02, 2016 1:26 PM

INDIANAPOLIS - For 50 years, from 1963 to 2013, there was either a Bayh or a Lugar representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate. Birch and Evan Bayh won five elections, while Dick Lugar lost a 1974 showdown with the elder Bayh, then rattled off six victories. All told, these two dynasties accrued close to 15 million votes.

A good part of their combined successes were prodigious political and state organizations that raised the bucks, stroked allies as well as the media, and dealt swift retribution for anyone who got out of line. There was an obsession for detail. I remember as a political reporter for the Elkhart Truth in 1988 when Evan Bayh was running for governor, my phone rang and there was Bayh’s campaign manager, Joe Hogsett, on the line. “How ya doing’?” he asked. “What are you working on. Anything I can help you with as far as our campaign goes?”

The political careers of the two Bayhs and Lugar, all once invincible, ended in defeat.

Birch Bayh lost to Dan Quayle in the 1980 Reagan landslide. He governed in big style as a liberal in a conservative state, authoring two constitutional amendments, Title IX, parting with President Lyndon Johnson on the disastrous Vietnam War while attempting to retire the Electoral College. He never won a Senate race by more than a few percentage points. Because of such risky positions, he stood the chance of getting washed out in a national wave that occurred with son as his campaign manager.  Evan Bayh won a term as secretary of state, two gubernatorial terms, the second in landslide fashion, then won two Senate terms with more than 60 percent of the vote. But Evan Bayh had national ticket ambitions, he governed in a cautious style as to not ruin his chances, and in 2010, sensing the aroused and zealous Tea Party movement and a controversial vote over Obamacare, he ducked a reelection bid that initiated his party’s six-year slide into oblivion.

Like the senior Bayh, Lugar governed at an epic level, rescuing Chrysler Corp in his first term, denouncing the election of Philippine tyrant Ferdinand Marcos, convinced President Reagan to oppose South African apartheid, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, joined forces with Democrat Sam Nunn to systemically round up, destroy and protect Russian nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act was a presidential-level achievement that probably saved civilization from a catastrophic terror attack on a Hiroshima scale. In 2006, Lugar was so strong, Democrats didn’t even oppose him. Believing an ascension into worldwide statesmanship, Lugar let his state organization wither. County chairmen couldn’t coax him to a Lincoln Dinner, and in 2012 he was defeated in the Republican primary, skewered over the fact he didn’t live here. The irony for a senator who had achieved policy that should have earned him a Nobel Peace Prize is that the Indiana Republican Party hasn’t even bothered to honor him.

Like Lugar, Evan Bayh fell this past November on the residency issue.
  • 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



    INDIANAPOLIS – Seated in Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma’s law offices overlooking Monument Circle, the first question posed during this interview was about the pending immigration bill facing Congress.
    “This is what’s on my mind,” Bosma interjected. “The contrast between Washington, D.C., and the state of Indiana. Let me wax philosophical.”
    Subsequently, the pundit recognized the Speaker from Indianapolis.
    Bosma then produced a prodigious stack of paper, which turned out to be the Indiana House agendas dating back to 2002 when he was minority leader. The stack was more than a half foot thick.
    “My frustration is with the way Washington handles issues because I had to talk recently, at one event, about the differences in Indiana 10 years ago and today,” Bosma said. “To do that, I keep copious electronic and paper files. I had a giant file in my desk drawer that said ‘prior agendas.’ And I pulled out our ‘New Direction’ agenda that our team put together in 2002. It said what we were going to do, it said why we needed to do it. And it told the story about what was really a dysfunctional state government, a dysfunctional economy, and dysfunctional fiscal house and it pledged to make a difference.”
    There followed a litany of Bosma-produced agendas: In 2009 it was “Moving Indiana Forward.” In 2010, it was the “Taxpayer Protection Plan.” In 2011, the “Strength in Indiana Pledge.”

    INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence has nominated Auditor Tim Berry to chair the Indiana Republican Party, two sources are telling HPI.

    Pence will recommend to the Indiana Republican Central Committee Berry, who is in his second term as auditor, when it meets on July 22 in Indianapolis to replace Eric Holcomb, who resigned to join the staff of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats.

    He also named 6th CD Chairwoman Misty Hollis of Richmond as state vice chair. Former campaign manager Kyle Robertson was named executive director.

    The selection is a critical one for Pence, who enters a key six-month period where he needs to build on his policy legacy, prepare the GOP for key mid-term elections next year, and either his own or a potential 2016 presidential bid.

    "Having won four statewide elections, Tim Berry knows what it takes to run successful campaigns in Indiana," Pence said. "Tim is a cheerful leader who is well known throughout the state to Hoosier Republicans and will help our party grow as we work towards our goal of making Indiana 'the State that Works.'"

    Click on the headline to read the entire post.
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  • Daniels calls on Trump to tackle the $14 trillion in national debt
    “It is an enormous impediment to long-term growth in this country. The president-elect didn’t cause this problem, but I think he is that president for whom it will not wait another four years. I’ve said in at least two presidential election cycles, this country cannot wait out another presidency without getting serious about this problem. I’m pretty sure I’m right this time.” - Purdue President Mitch Daniels, calling on President-elect Donald Trump to tackle the $14 trillion national debt. Daniels made his comments as one of three co-chairs of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group. In 2011 as the former White House budget director positioned for the 2012 presidential race, Daniels cited the "great red menace" of national debt in a speech to CPAC, then wrote about the topic in his book "Keeping The Republic."
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