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Thursday, September 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.”
  • Horse Race: Young answers plea from East Chicago, Bayh criticizes
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – With the Pence administration missing in action concerning the 1,100 East Chicago residents forced from their Calumet Housing Complex due to lead and arsenic contamination, city leaders were looking for help. They found it from an unlikely source: U.S. Rep. Todd Young, the Bloomington Republican running for the U.S. Senate against a favorite son, Democrat Evan Bayh. Young, who sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, introduced legislation on Monday to address the affordable housing shortage in East Chicago by targeting additional low-income housing tax credits to the impacted area. His legislation would give dislocated families who cannot find housing the opportunity to return to their community in the near future. “Entire lives are being uprooted by this disaster,” said Young.
  • Horse Race: Big donations continue to pour into gov race
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Big donations continue to pour into the Indiana gubernatorial race. Republican nominee Eric Holcomb picked up another $500,000 from the Republican Governors Association Right Direction PAC. Democrat John Gregg received $200,000 from the Committee to Elect Christina Hale and $300,000 from the National Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education PAC.
  • Holcomb, Gregg differ on an elected DOE superintendent
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – After four tumultuous years of policy and political sparring between Gov. Mike Pence and Supt. Glenda Ritz, one point of division between gubernatorial nominees John Gregg and Eric Holcomb is whether the state’s top education post should be elected or appointed. Lt. Gov. Holcomb, the Republican nominee, believes it should be appointed, though he was careful to say it is not a potential end-around if both he and Ritz are elected on Nov. 8. “I’m open to that,” he said of an appointed superintendent. “I stood on a stage with Democratic Chairman Dan Parker and we both agreed that position should be appointed. It’s not part of my agenda for 2017. We shouldn’t change the rules during someone’s term.” Gregg took an opposite stance, though he acknowledged his position has evolved. “I think it needs to continue to be elected,” Gregg said. “To change that now sends a really, really bad signal.”

  • HPI Analysis: An epic Clinton-Trump debate with impact unknown
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - With the whole world watching, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred in their first epic debate Monday night. It began with an innocuous greeting from Clinton, who said, “Donald, it’s good to be with you.” It ended in the spin room, where Trump’s entourage waded in and the candidate said, "I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, 'I can't do it. I just can't do it.' It's inappropriate. It's not nice.’ " The two battled over temperament, racism, his tax returns and her emails. Trump questioned Clinton’s stamina, saying, “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina.” Moderator Lester Holt then turned to Clinton and asked about that “look,” and Clinton noted that she had traveled to 112 countries as secretary of state, and negotiated trade deals and other agreements. If Trump did that, she said, “He can talk to me about stamina.” Holt allowed the two nominees to actually hold a conversation, and that was a revealing new wrinkle in this epic election.

  • Holcomb releases his education, workforce plan
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Holcomb continued to flesh out his policy agenda, announcing his “Excellence in Education & Workforce Development Plan” before 900 school board members and superintendents. “Whether a superintendent, a school board member, or the state’s Lt. Governor,” Lt. Gov. Holcomb said Monday morning as he appeared before the 67th Annual Indiana School Boards Association/Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents Fall Conference. “We all have an obligation to future generations to prepare them for life in a global economy that gets more and more competitive and interconnected by the day.” Holcomb said the aim of his plan would be to endure every Hoosier child “has access to exceptional early education and a safe, student-driven learning environment, is ready to enter the workforce or pursue higher education; and every out-of-work adult can retrain and develop the skills necessary in our 21st Century economy.


  • Pence guarantees Trump will 'absolutely' be truthful in debate

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - It’s not quite a Joe Namath style guarantee, but on Sunday morning just hours before the first presidential debate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence promised that Donald Trump will “absolutely” tell the truth when he’s on stage with Democrat Hillary Clinton. Pence, appearing on CBS “Face The Nation,” said he was confident of Trump’s ability to be truthful. Pence explained, “He’s going to speak the truth to the American people, that’s why you see the tremendous momentum in this campaign. I think Donald Trump always speaks straight from his mind and straight from his heart.” Pence’s guarantee comes as three news organizations - Politico Magazine, the Washington Post and New York Times - published analyses of Trump’s level of truthfulness and, well, it’s a different take than what you hear from Pence. Politico reported that it “chose to spend a week fact-checking Trump. We fact-checked Hillary Clinton over the same time too. We subjected every statement made by both the Republican and Democratic candidates – in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter – to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.”

  • Gregg picks up State Police Alliance nod
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - In a state facing a spreading heroin/carfentanil epidemic, gubernatorial nominee John Gregg became the first Democrat to pick up the endorsement of the Indiana State Police Alliance on Friday. It comes on the heels of the Fraternal Order of Police nod in August. The Indiana State Police Alliance Political Action Committee, which represents 1,100 active and more than 700 retired members, focuses on promoting better law enforcement and support for Indiana state troopers. Following a candidate forum earlier this summer, the membership voted to endorse the Gregg/Hale ticket. “In John Gregg and Christina Hale, we will have true partners in the Statehouse once again,” said Wayne Flick, ISPA PAC member. “They have demonstrated their understanding of the issues we face and have detailed, well-thought out plans to improve public safety across the state. ISPA PAC looks forward to working with them to make Indiana an even better place.” Flick said at a Statehouse press conference “that it was apparent our Indiana State troopers” believe Gregg “will work endlessly to improve our equipment, work conditions and compensation.”
  • INGov: Holcomb calls LGBT 'old news' as civil rights passes in Tippecanoe
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – As this week unfolded, Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Holcomb issued his first white paper plan titled, “Taking Indiana to the Next Level,” a four-pronged approach focused on keeping and training talent, infrastructure investment and innovation, keeping energy costs low, and maintaining fiscal discipline. But the parallel news coverage diverged into the LGBT civil rights expansion, which Holcomb described as “old news,” and the I-69 construction work stoppage. While Section 5 work between Bloomington and Martinsville resumed on Monday, Fitch downgraded the projects bonds to “junk” status. And complicating the “old news” equation, in the same news cycle, the Republican Tippecanoe County commissioners unanimously approved LGBT protections, joining the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette. The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported the passage occurred after “heated” discussion centering on the so-called “bathroom issues” involving transgender Hoosiers. Just before the vote, Commissioners Tom Murtaugh and Tracy Brown explained why they would not change their vote. “This ordinance focuses on employment, housing and public accommodations,” Brown said. “Again, public accommodations most likely means restrooms, but I don’t think that should be our sole focus.”
  • HPI Analysis: Tsunami unlikley to impact down ballot races
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY   
        
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – Any notion of a Barry Goldwater or George McGovern style electoral fiasco swamping congressional and Indiana General Assembly races here on the eve of the first Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton debate now seems far-fetched, as polls show a partisan and polarized race tightening up nationally. A wide sweeping tsunami is now unlikely, though not completely out of the question. As the WTHR-Howey Politics Indiana Poll revealed earlier this month, many Republicans have come home to the Trump/Pence ticket, and that is good news for U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and 9th CD nominee Trey Hollingsworth. With little less than two months to go, such an electoral tidal wave is still possible, particularly if Trump or Clinton stumbles in emphatic fashion, setting off a ripple that turns into a wave.
        
  • Roving Pence begins to address festering Indiana problems

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. – It rained on Gov. Mike Pence in Williamsburg, Va., Tuesday as he continued his historic vice presidential candidacy. Back home in Indiana, the issues continue to drip, drip, drip, finally gathering the roving governor’s attention. After weeks of silence on the lead contamination crisis that forced 1,000 East Chicago residents out of their homes, Gov. Pence had a phone conversation with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro Tuesday morning, then fired off a letter with a number of questions. While work on I-69 resumed on Monday after weeks on no progress, Indiana Finance Authority Finance Director Dan Huge testified before the Interim Roads and Transportation Committee and said the project between Bloomington and Martinsville won’t be completed for another year. It came as Fitch Ratings downgraded the I-69 bonds to junk status. It all prompted Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton to say that the delay is “a major cost to us from what the road should have been and more danger for drivers.” And on the heroin front, the carfentanil-spiked opioid being pushed by an Ohio-based drug cartel, has made its way into Muncie after leaving its deadly carnage in Shoals, Martinsville and LaPorte over the past week, pushing its way into Indiana from Dayton and Cincinnati where there have been dozens over overdoses.

  • 9th CD: Hollingsworth, Yoder spar over tax return release
    By THOMAS CURRY

    GREENWOOD -  Candidates seeking to represent the 9th district in the U.S. House of Representatives participated in their first, and possibly only debate yesterday, trading barbs over taxes, the health care mandate, I-69 and other issues. Democrat Shelli Yoder and Republican Trey Hollingsworth met at the Vallae Vista Conference Center in Greenwood during an event hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and attended by members and business owners.  The most interesting and loaded question of the debate came at the close of the event when an audience member asked Hollingsworth if he would release his tax returns to promote transparency. Hollingsworth answered, "My opponent is obsessed with my taxes. I am obsessed with your taxes."
  • HPI Analysis: Violence continues to stalk presidential race
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    OLDENBURG, Ind. – As the U.S. presidential election veers into its homestretch with dangers both foreign and domestic lurking out in the ether, the Putin wing of the Republican Party found itself once again enjoined in hair-trigger rhetoric. On Friday night in Miami, presidential nominee Donald Trump pushed the notion that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton seeks to abolish the 2nd Amendment. “I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” Trump said at a rally as the crowd cheered. “I think they should disarm. Immediately. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK? It’ll be very dangerous.”  The reason? Clinton is seeking to “destroy your 2nd Amendment,” a reference to his take on her gun control policies.
     
  • HPI Analysis: A tough week for Pence on the Hill and at home
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    WEST LAFAYETTE – The Trumpian march through the swing states polling tossups this past week has Democrats on edge and the fact is, Donald Trump can win the general election. It is being aided and abetted by the shoddy campaign tactics of Hillary Clinton, whose “basket of deplorables” remark last Friday was a Trump style gift. Throw in Clinton’s 9/11 fainting episode, her diagnosed pneumonia revealed through a shroud of Clintonian secrecy, and this presidential race to the bottom continues like none other. So this should have been a buoyant week for Gov. Mike Pence. Not! Pence is being pilloried not only by Mika Brezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for “Pencing the issues” (always a bad sign when your name becomes a verb), but his failure to get into the deplorable game has produced bad reviews from Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee. There was his homecoming back to Capitol Hill where he found congressional Republicans skeptical of Trump and Pence now heading the Putin wing of the GOP, and Trump’s treatment of women.
  • HPI Analysis: The Gary Johnson option to Clinton and Trump
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    WEST LAFAYETTE – When Hillary Clinton’s unfavorables are 62%, Donald Trump’s are 54% and Gov. Mike Pence stands at 45%, as they were in the WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll released last Friday, the obvious question in this strange, strange election cycle is whether Hoosier voters are open to exploring an alternative. Such an option showed up at Purdue University on Tuesday when Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson had a “conversation” with President Mitch Daniels, students, the public and press. The two walked through the issues for about 20 minutes and then fielded well over a dozen questions from students. The same invitation has been extended to both Clinton and Trump. Daniels ended the public proceedings by saying, “I want to thank our guest. You just gave a string of intelligent, candid, politically risky, unpredictable answers all apparently grounded in an apparent philosophy. What are you doing in this election?”
        
  • WTHR/Howey Politics Poll: Senate race tossup, Gregg up 5%
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – The revamped Indiana gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races are up for grabs in the latest WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll. Democrat John Gregg maintains a 40-35% lead over Republican Eric Holcomb in the race for governor, with Libertarian Rex Bell at 6%, while Democrat Evan Bayh’s lead over Republican Todd Young in the U.S. Senate race has dwindled to 44-40%. For Gregg, the new numbers actually show a decline from the initial April WTHR/Howey Poll that showed him trailing Gov. Mike Pence 49-45%. Pollster Gene Ulm of Public Opinion attributed Gregg’s decline to the unpopularity of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who trails Republican Donald Trump 43-36%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson coming in a 11%. Another 20% in that race are either voting for someone else, not voting or undecided. Pence is a fascinating element in both the presidential and gubernatorial races. He hasn’t helped Trump in Indiana; in fact the presidential nominee’s numbers have declined since the April WTHR/Howey poll. And because he is so polarizing, with a fav/unfav of 47/45%, Pence is of little help to Lt. Gov. Holcomb, whom he elevated to the post last March, then endorsed during the 12-day nomination sprint in July. Only $1.2 million of Pence’s war chest ended up with Holcomb.
  • HPI Analysis: Putin 'strong,' Russia united, journalists murdered
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – The Republican presidential ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence has offered up criticism of President Obama through the prism of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, they say, is a “strong leader” in a united country. It’s an unexpected turn when national Republican nominees laud a strongman who has been implicated in hacking the Democratic Party and intelligence officials believe he is covertly seeking to influence the U.S. election. Trump’s bromance with Putin goes back several years, surfacing in the context of the 2016 presidential race in December 2015 when Putin was quoted calling Trump "bright and talented" and "the absolute leader of the presidential race.” Trump responded by saying it was a “great honor. He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country.” It resurfaced this past week during NBC’s Commander in Chief Forum when Trump said, “Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader. We have a divided country.” Pence chimed in on Thursday, telling CNN, “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a strong leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country. And that’s going to change the day Donald Trump becomes president of the United States of America.” The reason Putin is such a “strong leader” is simple: He and his allies murder his political opponents and journalists. They’ve taken over independent media.
  • WTHR/Howey Poll: Trump has 7% Indiana lead over Clinton
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - The Donald Trump/Mike Pence presidential ticket has a 43 to 36% lead over Hillary Clinton in the latest WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson comes in at 11%. “Why is he winning?” asked Public Opinion Strategies pollster Gene Ulm. “Hillary Clinton. That’s the only thing. Voters are saying, ‘I don’t like that guy, but I hate the other one.’” The April WTHR/Howey Politics Poll conducted before the May 3 primary had Trump leading Clinton Trump 47 to 39%. That survey did not include Johnson, who had not yet been nominated. But the fascinating statistic is that Trump’s Indiana numbers have actually declined since Gov. Pence joined the ticket in mid-July.

  • Daniels praises Pence, wants Johnson included in debates
    By MARK SCHOEFF JR.

    WASHINGTON - Despite having a volatile presidential candidate with low approval ratings at the top of the Republican ticket, the party will likely avoid steep losses down ballot in November because the Democratic presidential standard bearer has her own popularity problems. That sums up a brief foray into political analysis by Purdue President Mitch Daniels during a Sept. 7 appearance in Washington. “It’s hard to imagine the election going real badly [for the GOP] not because, up to this point anyway, Mr. Trump has done things so well but because there appears to be a ceiling on Secretary Clinton that precludes a blowout,” Daniels said at a Purdue Presidential Lecture Series session featuring Michael McCurry, former Clinton administration spokesman and co-chair of the presidential debate commission.  

  • HPI Analysis: 'You ain't seen nuthin' yet' for Indiana election cycle
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – In an unprecedented and tumultuous election cycle in the midst of their bicentennial celebration, Hoosier voters have witnessed a lieutenant governor resignation, a presidential candidate clinch a nomination with the embrace of Bobby Knight, a vice presidential nominee, a Democratic U.S. Senate nominee swap out, and 22 obscure committee members choosing a new Republican gubernatorial ticket that largely played out in Ohio. Heading into a nine-week homestretch, President Reagan might have coined the apt phrase: “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.” In the next several days, Howey Politics Indiana in tandem with WTHR-TV will begin to set new trend lines in an epic election that will determine a new governor and, perhaps, control of the U.S. Senate. The coming WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll will recalibrate the John Gregg/Eric Holcomb showdown, as well as whether Evan Bayh’s out-of-left-field power grab will be enough to outlast Republican Todd Young. Since the 2008 cycle, HPI has been a consistent source of credible, independent media polling in Indiana gubernatorial, presidential and U.S. Senate races.

  • Gregg, Holcomb eye universal broadband, but funding elusive
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Gubernatorial candidates John Gregg and Eric Holcomb, appearing at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s Thriving Communities Forum, both said that expanding broadband capabilities and high-speed Internet throughout the state should be a priority.  But as more and more rural counties and towns seek the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s “Broadband Ready” designation and strive to become “Google cities,” unknown is how municipalities and providers will afford what is essentially the 21st Century version of rural electrifcation. Just this week, the IEDC gave the “Broadband Ready” designation to Merrillville, Decatur County received a $98,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to connect nine agribusinesses with more than 200 employees, and the Brown County Broadband Task Force was working on utility easement issues. What is unmistakable is that counties without high speed Internet stand to fall further behind.

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  • FBI's Comey says Russians are hacking state election systems
    “There have been a variety of scanning activities which is a preamble for potential intrusion activities as well as some attempted intrusions at voter database registrations beyond those we knew about in July and August. We are urging the states just to make sure that their deadbolts are thrown and their locks are on and to get the best information they can from DHS just to make sure their systems are secure.” - FBI Director James Comey, speaking to the House Judiciary Committee on what intelligence analysts believe are efforts by the Russian government to influence and disrupt the U.S. presidential election. Hackers have targeted at least 18 states.
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HPI Video Feed
Lugar undecided in presidential race
Former U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar tells Fox59 he's undecided in the presidential race.

Hillary Clinton's "Mirrors" TV ad
The Clinton campaign highlights Donald Trump quotes on women.

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2 videos
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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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