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Friday, July 29, 2016
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Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:20 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence kicked off the infrastructure debate with a $1 billion proposal to repair state highways, interstates and bridges. Local government officials want the governor and General Assembly to take it several steps further, and provide what the Indiana Association of Cities & Towns calls a “sustainable” funding source. IACT President Matthew Greller told Howey Politics Indiana on Wednesday that the Pence plan is a good start. “The big thing is it’s good the administration is addressing infrastructure in a very serious way with a very serious proposal and a lot of money. But it includes no money for city and town streets and county roads. I’m disappointed because the vast majority of road miles in Indiana are maintained by local governments.”
  • Indiana delegates saw 'remarkable' Clinton speech of reckoning
    By THOMAS CURRY

    PHILADELPHIA - After three days of speeches focusing on trying to bring the party and electorate behind nominee Hillary Clinton, she took the stage for what some would consider an impossible task. Not only did she have to attract the most stubborn of Bernie Sanders's supporters into her campaign, humanize and relate herself to the public, of which only 38% like her, Clinton also had to follow the moving speeches given throughout the week from senators, mayors, governors, first ladies and presidents. The delegation had been built up for an epic speech, or as Indiana delegates remarked on the bus to the Wells Fargo Center “we are fired up and ready to cry.” And Clinton delivered, putting Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying, “He’s taken the Republican Party a long way, from ‘Morning in America’ to ‘Midnight in America,’” Clinton said.
  • Holcomb mulls LG list and gender inclusion
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb now faces a critical lieutenant governor selection and he will certainly be looking at gender. Asked about forming a ticket, Holcomb said, “We have much work to do today. I’ve told the state committee I want to get their advice and counsel and we’ll start doing that now.” Friday is the filing deadline for candidacy and the Central Committee will reconvene next Monday to formally select a running mate, though Holcomb will have significant input in that process. Holcomb said Wednesday, “I have received over the last 24 hours a lot of interest from folks inside the typical box to outside the box. I don’t want to rule anything out at the moment. We’ll know a lot more by the week’s end. I do want someone who is willing to work every day to make this state better.” That list will almost certainly include Secretary of State Connie Lawson (who, sources tell HPI, was invited to be vetted for the Ellspermann opening last winter), Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, Auditor Suzanne Crouch, State Sen. Erin Houchin, as well as LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, an early Holcomb backer who nominated him at the Indiana Republican Convention in June. Another source said that Holcomb has his eyes on retired Maj. Gen. Erika Stuterman of Lafayette and Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.
  • Pollster Conway cites hidden Trump voters
    By MAUREEN HAYDEN
    CNHI Statehouse Bureau


    INDIANAPOLIS – A Donald Trump adviser predicts a record turnout for the celebrity real estate developer, saying he has tapped deep pools of resentment and angst, and some of his supporters are too embarrassed to admit it. “There are a lot of hidden Trump voters - people who find it’s not socially desirable to admit to be voting for Donald Trump,” Kellyanne Conway, a pollster, told a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council on Wednesday. Conway was joined at the gathering of conservative state lawmakers by another Trump surrogate, economic adviser Steve Moore, who said his supporters are more likely to watch professional wresting than Fox News. “I don’t love Donald Trump, but I love his voters,” said Moore. The group expected to hear from Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, but he backed out of a scheduled keynote speech to stay on the campaign trail. Pence is now slated to speak to the group Friday. Conway, who also has polled for Pence, is credited with helping coax Trump into picking the Indiana governor as a vice president, calling him a “window to party unity” after a fractious GOP primary fight.
  • HPI Analysis: Holcomb faces a time and money gauntlet
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – If there was an understatement enunciated on Tuesday when Indiana’s sensational political cycle reached another apex on a cascading range, it was newly minted Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Holcomb saying, “This year, as many of you know, has taken many twists and turns and I am ready to take this next call and lead us to victory.” He preceded that observation by saying, “We’ve got work to do and a short time to get there.” Just minutes after Holcomb won a second-ballot nomination by the Indiana Republican Central Committee, after leading 11-9-2 over U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita on the first ballot, Politico reported that a main stanchion for the Holcomb nomination, having access to Gov. Mike Pence’s $7.4 million campaign fund, wasn’t completely correct. And as Holcomb, Brooks and Rokita made their cases before the committee, this dilemma didn’t come up, informed and reliable sources tell HPI.
        
  • President Obama 'passes the baton' to united Democrats

    By THOMAS CURRY and MARK CURRY
        
    PHILADELPHIA – President Obama spoke of optimism and how he is ready to “pass the baton” onto nominee Hillary Clinton when he spoke to a “crazy united” Democratic National Convention. “We don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands – this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot – that’s the America she’s fighting for.”  Obama also took the opportunity to thank Bernie Sander’s supporters, essentially extending an olive branch to the Sanders supporters who have not come around to Hillary yet. “We all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket.” It came on the third night of the Democratic National Convention, Democrats rolled out their most star-studded speaking line up yet, creating a stark contrast to the Republican National Convention that saw many high ranking Republicans sit out; including the staple Bush family.

  • HPI Analysis: Hoosier evangelicals migrate toward evolving Trump
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    CLEVELAND – One of the biggest surprises of the Donald Trump phenomenon is his strength with evangelical voters. While Trump won the Indiana primary with 53% of the vote and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz polled 37%, he won the born-again evangelical Christian vote 51 to 43% over Cruz, according to CNN exit polling data. Among white born-again Christian or evangelicals, the numbers were almost identical: Trump 50% and Cruz 44%. Among the 18% who attend religious services more than once a week, Cruz had 61% to Trump’s 33%, but those numbers quickly shifted to a 49-40% advantage for Trump over Cruz among those who attend church once a week, to 54-33% for those who attend a few times a month, and 69-22% among those who attend a few times a year. There were early precursors to this, as Trump showed similar strength in states like South Carolina and Alabama when the field included 17 candidates. When the dust settled and Trump won the nomination after the May 3 Indiana primary, Trump had carried 39% of the total GOP primary vote to Cruz’s 33%.
  • Holcomb's dramatic rise brings him the gubernatorial nomination
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb found a mid-summer way station on one of the most stunning rises in Hoosier political history, winning a 12-day gubernatorial nomination sprint after Gov. Mike Pence had ascended to the vice presidential nomination. In the span of five months, Holcomb had evolved from a third-place U.S. Senate candidate to the party’s gubernatorial standard bearer in the most unpredictable election cycle during the state’s bicentennial year. “We’ve got work to do and a short time to get there,” Holcomb said after defeating U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita and State Sen. Jim Tomes in a 22-vote Indiana Republican Central Committee caucus Tuesday. “Let me just say how honored and gratified I am at this expression of support.” “This campaign officially kicks into high gear,” said Holcomb, who lost a state representative race in 2000 before becoming Gov Mitch Daniels deputy chief of staff in 2005. “This year, as many of you know, has taken many twists and turns and I am ready to take this next call and lead us to victory."
  • Hoosiers see unity in Sanders speech
    By THOMAS CURRY

    PHILADELPHIA - With Democrats behind in the national polls for the first time, with another email scandal looming and with protesters dominating the headlines, the world's eyes were on Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday night as he attempted to unify the now divided party behind nominee Hillary Clinton. Sanders held true due to his message in the keynote address, with his signature citation of his individual donation numbers as well as warning about the increasing income inequality gap. “This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we currently experience, the worst it has been since 1928. It is not moral, not acceptable and not sustainable that the top one-tenth of one percent now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, or that the top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income. That is unacceptable. That must change.” said Sanders.  "Any objective observer will conclude that, based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States."
  • Holcomb predicts win as Brooks, Rokita refute funding assertion
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - The unprecedented Republican gubernatorial nomination sprint enters its final 24 hours with Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb claiming enough votes to secure the nomination, while his two main rivals dispute an assertion he made to the 22 Indiana Republican Central Committee members that he alone will have access to Gov. Mike Pence’s $7 million war chest. Holcomb is facing U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita in a race seeking a hard count and reflected in the facade of perception. Brooks released a letter to HPI from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, which said, “The RGA will wholeheartedly support the nominee you select. Period. And I have committed to Susan that I will work with her and my national network to raise what she needs to win.” Holcomb picked up the endorsements from Pence, Sen. Dan Coats, National Committeewoman Marsha Coats and Senate President David Long on Friday as he attempted to bat away the perception that Brooks was picking up momentum. As for Tuesday’s vote, Holcomb spokesman Pete Seat told HPI on Sunday evening, “We are confident we have the votes to win on Tuesday."
  • Holcomb lays claim to Pence's $7 million; nomination still in play
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb sent a letter to the 22 voting members of the Indiana Republican Central Committee, saying that Gov. Mike Pence’s endorsement is an “unambiguous demonstration of confidence” and suggested that he alone would have access to Pence’s $7 million war chest. Holcomb added, “I know from speaking directly with him that his support is not symbolic, but rather it is a commitment to the financial backing, staffing, and resources available through the Mike Pence for Indiana Campaign Committee. That is something no other candidate in this race can boast, and Gov. Pence has made it crystal clear that he will assist me in maintaining control of the Governor’s office.” Multiple sources have told HPI that Pence’s war chest will go to the nominee chosen on Tuesday morning.
  • HPI Analysis: Hoosier Republicans embrace their strongman
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - In a conversation last autumn, Indiana Republican National Committeeman John Hammond III took measure of the growing Donald Trump phenomenon and produced this theory: Some Americans want a “strongman.” A Yankee version of Vladimir Putin, who makes decisive decisions and takes dramatic action. As the Ukraine overthrew its Russian backed leaders, Putin initiated an insurgency and simply took the Crimea. No one could stop him. On Thursday night in Cleveland, Trump confirmed Hammond’s observation. In 76 rambling minutes, Trump fulfilled the desire by a shrinking white minority defined by a growing list of grievances, much of it situated in the Republican Party. Trump sees it as a Nixonian “silent majority,” which in 1968 it was. But demographically, this voting block will soon be an American minority. “The forgotten men and women of our country — people who work hard but no longer have a voice: I am your voice,” Trump declared, his face reddening as glistening with sweat as he continued. “I will restore law and order. I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored,” Trump added setting up the most chilling line of the night. “I alone can fix it.”

  • Holcomb gathers endorsements from Pence, Coats and Long

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Three days after Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb nominated Gov. Mike Pence for vice president, the governor has sent a letter to Indiana Republican Central Committee members endorsing his LG. Holcomb also picked up endorsements from U.S. Sen. Dan Coats and Republican National Committeewoman Marsha Coats, as well as from Senate President Pro Tempore David Long. “As I prayerfully considered the group offering themselves to succeed me, I concluded that I made my choice several months ago,” Pence wrote. “When selecting my lieutenant governor in March, the primary factor was who would be able to best serve the State of Indiana in the event I could no longer perform my duties as governor. As I concluded before, there is no better individual to lead our state than Eric Holcomb.”

  • Horse Race: Ground shifts under Young after Bayh entry
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CLEVELAND – Republican U.S. Senate nominee Todd Young went from a 48-to-30% lead over Baron Hill in an April WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll to trailing Evan Bayh 54-33% in a Garin-Hart-Yang Poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Young went from $1.23 million cash on hand compared against about $350,000 for Hill, to an almost 10-to-1 deficit against Bayh. He went from facing an opponent who had no reasonable expectation of launching a statewide TV ad campaign until October, to one where Evan Bayh was launching a statewide TV ad campaign two days after finally “deciding” to enter the race. Bayh went from getting a phone call from Hill “last Thursday or Friday” to announcing he would get in on Tuesday, to running high production quality ads a week later. Through it all, the Todd Young campaign has taken an Alfred E. Neuman “what, me worry?” approach to what has been an unprecedented sea change. They’ve watched this “safe” Republican seat flip to “Leans Democrat” in less than a week. There is a stay-the-course mentality in the Young campaign, despite the political earthquake. “We’re getting Todd around the state right now,” said campaign manager Trevor Foughty.
  • Progress in 8th CD Democratic recount
    By THOMAS CURRY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Progress is being made in the recount of the 8th CD Democratic primary between Ron Drake and David Orentlicher, but Recount Director Phil Sicusso told HPI he “wouldn’t hazard a guess” as to when the recount would be completed. The recount started last Thursday and has already proceeded through three counties, including Vigo county; the second largest in the 21 county district. Sicuso expected to get through three or six counties next week and that there should be “some pretty quick movement” in the next few weeks. The recount director assured that the commission is working “as fast as they can.” Drake and Orentlicher are separated by a mere 51 votes, less than 1/10th of a percent of the total ballots cast. Drake, who currently holds the lead, has said that the recount has hurt his ability to campaign and that “every day that goes by is another day we lose to make our case.”
  • Brooks brings impressive resume to GOP gubernatorial race
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CLEVELAND - She has worked with the mayor of Indianapolis on crime issues, led an 80-man U.S. district attorney office just after Sept. 11, run a small business and worked at Ivy Tech on workforce development and education issues. She’s a mom, raised $4.3 million in the last five years and she’s won every election with at least 58% of the vote. That is the pitch that U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks is making to the 22 members of the Indiana Republican Central Committee this week in Ohio for the open Republican gubernatorial nomination. Should she convince 12 of those voters next Tuesday, Brooks would become the first female GOP nominee with a real shot at breaking the ultimate glass ceiling on Nov. 8. And, she believes, her nomination would cause Democrat John Gregg to have to completely retool his campaign message. When interviewed Wednesday afternoon, Brooks was losing her voice. “I’ve visited with 11 of the 16 who are here so far,” the Carmel Republican said.
  • Holcomb counting on 12-year track record with GOP committee
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CLEVELAND - The perceived front runner in Indiana’s unprecedented gubernatorial race, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, believes the relationships he’s forged over the past 12 years with the 22 Republican Central Committee members gives him an edge over a field that is still gathering, with a showdown set for 10 a.m. July 26. “I know them. We’ve worked on issues together. We’re not meeting for the first time,” said Holcomb, who will gain precious national exposure when he nominates Gov. Mike Pence for vice president tonight at the Indiana Republican National Convention. “We have a reference about something we’ve gone through with most of them. I’ve admired what they’ve done for years and years, and what they’ve accomplished.”

  • Rokita makes a fact-based, low key case for the shotgun gov bid
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CLEVELAND - With the unprecedented Republican gubernatorial caucus just nine days away, wooing the 22 voting members of the Indiana Republican Central Committee will require a deft touch. Does the eventual winner pour it on and make an emphatic case? Or is the case made quietly on the various lounges, lobbies, cubby holes, alcoves and phone calls? U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, at the urging of his wife, is taking the subtle approach. “It is unprecedented,” Rokita said of the replacement process for Gov. Mike Pence’s gubernatorial nomination that began a mere two weeks ago. “I’m just taking it day by day. I’m taking a relaxed approach to the tiny universe of voters that I have, that’s these 22 people. A nomination with 22 people and 12 votes. My wife, told me, now Todd, your nature is to be Type A, aggressive. Just relax, go have a beer. They’re all friends. I’ve known most of these folks for years, since my first days of running for secretary of state.

  • Critical phase of Indiana governor race playing out in Cleveland
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CLEVELAND - The next critical phase of the Indiana gubernatorial race isn’t playing out in Hoosier cities and towns and across the amber waves of grain. It is beginning to take shape on the shores of Lake Erie and in unlikely places like the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. With Indiana’s Republican National Convention delegation gathered at a hotel near the airport, delegates are confronted with a micro campaign that will last a scant nine days before the 22-voting member Republican Central Committee settles on Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita. This trio resigned their nominations last Friday, and will curry favor with the committee, looking for 12 votes on July 26 to determine who will square off against Democrat John Gregg. It is unclear whether current State Chairman Jeff Cardwell will jump in, though several influential Republicans believe he has his hands full with the convention and the emerging Pence vice presidential bid.

  • Trump introduced Pence in New York
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - With the ticket appearing in the same mid-town Manhattan room where Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 “revolution” campaign, Donald Trump introduced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential nominee, vowing that he will be a “partner in this campaign and the White House to fix this rigged system.” Trump spent 29-minutes introducing Pence, saying he was “my first choice” after a number of media reports presented Trump as wavering and seeking ways to pull the selection back even after Pence had landed at a New Jersey airport late Thursday afternoon. But the official anointment came without the new “Trump/Pence” campaign logo, nor did Trump stand with Pence when the governor introduced himself. “I’ve found the leader to help us deliver a safe society and a really prosperous society. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was my first choice,” Trump said. “I admire the work he’s done in Indiana."
  • Republican gubernatorial field gathers; caucus set for July 26

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Within minutes of Donald Trump’s official selection of Gov. Mike Pence, a free-for-all commenced on who will fill the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita all withdrew their November nominations and will compete for the nomination when the Indiana Republican Central Committee convenes at 10 a.m. on July 26.
    Pence is signalling he will serve out his term, meaning that Holcomb won't end up in the office before the caucus. It is unclear if Pence will endorse a successor. “Now that Governor Pence has withdrawn from the ballot for governor, I am withdrawing from the ballot for Lt. Governor in order to seek the Office of Governor,” Holcomb said in a statement. Rokita, R-Indianapolis who represents the 4th CD, said as he filed his paperwork, “we've got to stay competitive. I intend to keep the state moving forward.”


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  • Holcomb names Crouch as LG nominee
    Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, the Republican nominee for Governor of Indiana, today announced that he has asked State Auditor Suzanne Crouch to serve as his running mate on the November 2016 ballot. Crouch, a native of Vanderburgh County, has served as State Auditor since January 2014. She previously was a state representative, county commissioner and county auditor. “Our State Auditor, Suzanne Crouch, brings to our ticket a strong record, an impressive resume and valuable experience in four separate and important roles in local and state government, at both the legislative and executive levels,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb. “She is full of energy and passion and is a natural at barnstorming the state. She is a relentless campaigner, a great fundraiser and will be the perfect governing partner if we are honored to serve as Governor and Lt. Governor.” “I know that working together, Suzanne and I will not only continue Indiana’s growth, but we will take the state we love to the next level. We will make Indiana the best state to live, work, play and stay.”
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HPI Video Feed
Father of slain American Muslim soldier rebukes Trump and Pence
Khizr Khan and his wife, father and mother of slain U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, rebuke Donald Trump and Mike Pence's proposed Muslim ban.

Young's first Senate ad aimed against Bayh
Republican Senate candidate Todd Young's first TV ad aimed at Democrat Evan Bayh.

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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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