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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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Sunday, August 14, 2022 10:56 AM

By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - On Election Day 1986, Hoosier voters in House District 37 delivered an emphatic message to Speaker J. Roberts Dailey. He had spent much of the previous decade blocking a constitutional referendum on a statewide lottery. On this day, he would lose 25 of 29 precincts in his stunning upset loss to Democrat Marc Carmichael.

And, lo and behold, two years later the constitutional lottery referendum was passed by Hoosier voters, some 63% who supported the change.

In his book “Mr. Speaker,” Dailey acknowledged, “My strong opposition to legalizing gambling in Indiana probably had a lot to do with my defeat for reelection in 1986. The opposition said I refused to permit the people to make a decision on the matter by referendum. I regret that the issue became the ‘speaker’s power’ rather than the validity of endorsing gambling."

I tell this story because on Sept. 15, the right to have an abortion in Indiana closes to a 10-week window for pregnancies that came about due rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother.

While there were few who testified in favor of Senate Bill 1 during two weeks of debate during the Indiana General Assembly's special session, lambasted by pro-lifers that it wasn’t comprehensive enough and pro-choice advocates that it infringed on the rights of women, it passed the Indiana Senate 28-19 and the House 62-38. Gov. Eric Holcomb quickly signed SEA1, saying, “Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life. In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support."

Those majority votes on SEA1 do not accurately reflect the will of Hoosiers. A poll conducted in late July by Indy Politics and ARW Strategies showed that most Hoosiers think abortion should be legal in all or most cases at 54%, while 40% said it should be illegal in all or most cases.

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  • By CURT SMITH
    INDIANAPOLIS  – After a troubling and difficult process for pro-lifers, Senate Enrolled Act 1, which limits abortions in Indiana, passed the Legislature and was signed into law late Friday night. To begin with, the original draft of SB1 was a gut punch to the pro-life community. After nearly 50 years of advocating for women and unborn babies who have been harmed and killed by the abortion industry, SB1 had a pro-life veneer but contained policies at odds with pro-life principles and even current law. That context is important because everything that happened from the introduction of SB1 forward was guided by the weak language that started the process. Pro-life legal experts from Indiana and around the nation, along with pro-life Hoosier doctors and medical experts, worked around the clock to recommend language to fix the myriad problems of SB1. Some were adopted, some were not. But SB1 as passed looks very different than when introduced, which is key to acquiescence from the major pro-family groups like Indiana Right to Life and the Indiana Family Institute.
  • By MORTON J. MARCUS
    INDIANAPOLIS – Too often we must admit to being ashamed to be Hoosiers. Most of those times are related to the behavior of our legislature and our governor. This is one of those times. The behavior of our political “leaders” with regard to the abortion issue is despicable. Is there another word for it? A woman (or a man) has the right to control the use of her/his (not their!) body. To deny that right, even in the case of suicide, is contrary to the dignity of each individual. If you believe God made us in His image, then we are each a distinct person capable of and responsible for our behavior. We do have responsibilities with regard to others, but we also must be granted freedom from the dictates of others when our actions do not abridge those of others. Cells lodged in the body of a woman, with or without her consent, are hers to keep or discard as she chooses until they become viable human beings. And what right does the man have who helped form those cells? None, if he failed to take precautions to prevent impregnation. And only a very limited claim, if the pregnancy was mutually desired, but later rejected by the woman.
  • By KELLY HAWES
    ANDERSON – During a debate in the Indiana House of Representatives, John Jacob repeatedly accused his fellow lawmakers of condoning murder. Jacob, a Republican from Indianapolis, exhorted his colleagues to stand up for the unborn. “I am pleading with you,” he said. You could hear the anguish in his voice as he repeated his argument: Life begins at fertilization. Abortion ends that life. Abortion is murder. House Speaker Todd Huston reminded Jacob not to question the motives of his colleagues, but Jacob wouldn’t bend. “There is a right and a wrong, Mr. Speaker,” he said. “Murder is wrong.” It’s worth noting that Jacob’s theory on when life begins isn’t supported by science. In an essay for the Guttmacher Institute, public policy expert Rachel Benson Gold noted that theologians and philosophers had been debating the question for centuries. Does life begin when the infant draws that first breath or sometime sooner? It’s a debate, she wrote, that might never be settled. “However, on the separate but closely related question of when a woman is considered pregnant,” she wrote, “the medical community has long been clear: Pregnancy is established when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the wall of a woman’s uterus.”
  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND – Sen. Todd Young prevailed over Senate tribalism – Red Tribe vs. Blue Tribe – to win bipartisan passage of legislation to compete with China on scientific innovation and production of microchips vital for everything from missile defense systems to new cars and smartphones. The Indiana Republican was co-author of the bill with Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democratic majority leader. Passage came after Young’s persistent efforts to persuade a sufficient number of fellow Republicans that it was good for America, not just a political plus for President Joe Biden, and to convince Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, not to block the vote. Seventeen Republicans voted for the $280 billion “Chips and Science Act,” approved 64-33. It provides $52 billion to microchip manufacturers to incentivize production in America, lessening reliance on foreign production that was interrupted during the pandemic and supply-chain woes. The shortage has plagued the auto industry.
  • By MICHAEL HICKS
    MUNCIE – I’ve been living in Rustbelt towns in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana for more than two decades. One shocking thing I continue to hear is the belief that something will cause an increase in factory jobs. Whether this fantasy is heard on the national stage or in cities and towns, I remain stunned by the ignorance that otherwise intelligent people have about manufacturing in the United States. One trick I have to show how misinformed folks are about factory employment is simply to ask, “When was peak manufacturing production in the USA?” The answers range from 1942 to the 1970s. The correct answer is 2021. That’s right, the inflation-adjusted peak year of manufacturing production in the USA was 2021. That shouldn’t be too shocking to folks, but apparently it is. I then ask, “When was peak manufacturing employment in the USA?” The answer there is 1979, which seems not to shock too many people. Here in Indiana, the answers are 2021 and 1973, respectively. So what’s been going on, and why do so many folks believe that salvation in the form of factory jobs is right around the corner?
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  • Horse Race: Wesco, Milo, Nisly, the Stutzman are potential 2nd CD candidates; Swihart to play role
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – With funeral services for the late U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski concluding today, attention now shifts to the November concurrent elections called by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Our short list of candidates includes former 3rd CD congressman Marlin Stutzman and his wife, former state representative Christy Stutzman. Both have been active in the 2nd CD, having bought Amish Acres (now called “The Barns”) in Nappanee with Christy Stutzman promising an announcement on Monday. Another name is former LaPorte mayor Blair Milo, who lost the 1st CD nomination to Jennifer-Ruth Green in the May primary. LaPorte straddles the 1st and 2nd CDs. From the General Assembly, we’ll be watching State Reps. Timothy Wesco of Elkhart and Jake Teshka of South Bend. State Rep. Curt Nisly tweeted out a “Nisly for Congress” logo Wednesday night and filed his candidacy with the secretary of state on Thursday. Importantville reported that former disgraced attorney general Curtis Hill has been making calls about the seat. Dean Swihart, husband of the late congresswoman, says he plans to weigh in. "There are certain realities that we must face as part of this process, and I have been asked by many of you if I will be weighing in on Jackie’s replacement for the 2nd District Congressional seat based on the notice issued today from the Indiana GOP," Swihart said. "There was nothing more important to Jackie than public service, and as part of her legacy I know she would want to weigh in on her successor."
  • Horse Race: Gauging 17 Indiana Senate races; GOP super majority likely to survive
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – With the new abortion restrictions in place following the Senate passage of SB1 and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signing, the key political question is whether this controversial legislation will change the political dynamic. Howey Politics Indiana analysis of Indiana Senate races reveals that out of the 17 contested races in November, potential pickups remain elusive for Democrats. HPI rates only SD31 (Sen. Kyle Walker v. Fishers Councilwoman Jocelyn Vare) as a tossup. We rate five races – SD 1, SD11, SD26, SD45 and SD47 – in our “Leans” category, with four of these currently held by Republicans. Eight Republicans – State Sens. Rick Niemeyer in SD6, Liz Brown in SD15, Travis Holdman in SD19, Ronnie J. Alting in SD22, Jon Ford in SD38, Eric Bassler in SD39, Chip Perfect in SD43, and Jim Tomes in SD49 – are unopposed. HPI will analyze Indiana House races in next week’s edition.

  • Indiana legislators pass most restrictive abortion ban, Gov. Holcomb signs bill

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - After hours of some of the most emotional testimony in modern history, the Indiana House passed SB1 62-38 Friday afternoon, putting the state on a path to pass some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court relegated Roe to the dustbin of history. The Indiana Senate by a 28-19 vote passed the new restrictions that advocates say will prevent 99% of abortions. 
    Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law late Friday night. “Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life. In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support,” Holcomb said in a statement. The law goes into effect Sept. 15. “These actions followed long days of hearings filled with sobering and personal testimony from citizens and elected representatives on this emotional and complex topic,” he continued. “Ultimately, those voices shaped and informed the final contents of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face.”

  • Funeral services set for Rep. Walorski
    Details regarding the visitation and funeral for late U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski have been announced. Walorski died in a two-vehicle crash in Elkhart County on Wednesday. Three others were killed in the crash, including two of Walorski’s staffers. According to Palmer Funeral Home, visitation will be held at Granger Community Church on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Her funeral will also be held at Granger Community Church on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 11 a.m.
  • HPI Analysis: As Indiana prepares to restrict abortion, Kansas speaks
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – For nearly eight hours on Tuesday, the Indiana House Criminal Courts Committee heard polarizing testimony on SB1, with virtually no one supporting the bill. For activists like David Mervar who often wore pro-life T-shirts and MAGA hats, abortion was, plain and simple, “murder” and OB-GYNs are “baby killers.” There were a dozen or so physicians who testified in white coats. “I am asking you to let me do my job,” Dr. Caroline Rouse, a physician with Riley Children’s Health’s Maternal Fetal Medicine. “My job is to predict and prevent complications and death as best I can. Not to wait until catastrophe occurs and then act. In cases where pregnancy increases the risk of serious complications and death, discussing abortion is my medical and ethical responsibility.” “The current wording of impairment of life or physical health is not only too broad, but it also fails to give clear guidance for physicians to determine whether a pre-viability delivery would be allowed,” Dr. Christina Francis, an OB-GYN from Fort Wayne. “This has the danger of either allowing abortions for any reason or making physicians hesitate to intervene in a potentially life-threatening situation.” Then there was “Norma,” a grandmother who had been raped and kept her baby, who showed up at the podium with a poster of her extended family, prompting State Rep. Timothy Wesco to post a photo on Facebook, saying, “This is Norma. Tragically conceived. Triumphantly alive! And a proud grandmother!”
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  • Christy Stutzman to seek 2nd CD
    "This has been such a difficult week and amidst all of the heartbreak, there has been much speculation. I wanted to let everyone know that regarding the caucus and special election to fill the Indiana 2nd Congressional district seat left vacant by the sudden loss of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, I will be making an announcement next Monday, August 15th. I would ask for your prayers." - Former Republican legislator Christy Stutzman, on Facebook announcing she week seek the open 2nd CD nomination, which the caucus will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 20. State Rep. Curt Nisly filed on Thursday with the Indiana secretary of state's office and Importantville reports that disgraced former attorney general Curtis Hill may run. The seat is open due to the death of U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski. Stutzman resigned her Indiana House seat shortly after she was reelected to HD49 in 2020. Hill lost renomination for attorney general in June 2020. Nisly lost his GOP primary race in May. Dean Swihart, husband of the late congresswoman, has said he will weigh in to her successor.
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