An image.
Login | Subscribe
GO
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
An image.
An image.
  • A changing tide on medicinal marijuana
    CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has changed his mind on medical marijuana. He writes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a hardliner against pot, saying, “I feel obligated to share the results of my five-year-long investigation into the medical benefits of the cannabis plant. Before I started this worldwide, in-depth investigation, I was not particularly impressed by the results of medical marijuana research, but a few years later, as I started to dedicate time with patients and scientists in various countries, I came to a different conclusion.”

    And that conclusion? “Not only can cannabis work for a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and pain, sometimes, it is the only thing that works. I changed my mind, and I am certain you can, as well. It is time for safe and regulated medical marijuana to be made available nationally. I realize this is an unconventional way to reach you, but your office declined numerous requests for an interview, and as a journalist, a doctor and a citizen, I felt it imperative to make sure you had access to our findings.”

    Gupta’s special report on “Weed 4: Pot vs. Pill” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday. It comes as James Higdon writes about “Legal Marijuana’s Big Moment” coming when former Republican House Speaker John Boehner “flipped” on the topic and became an adviser to a medicinal marijuana group. As the late John Lennon might have put it, strange days, indeed. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • Hill challenging Holcomb? A fool's errand

    A couple of rival publications have suggested Attorney General Curtis Hill is pondering a 2020 Republican primary challenge to Gov. Eric Holcomb. If this is a trial balloon, it is destined to go limp in the corner with the post-party dirt devils, if not a sheer bust by pinprick. Holcomb’s favorables have consistently been in the 60th percentile. He is widely admired, even by Democrats. There hasn’t been a hint of scandal. He responds to crisis (i.e. East Chicago lead, Department of Child Services) with swift resolution. His policy has been focused, determined and successful.

    Usually at this point in the cycle there is a conspicuous Democrat beginning to make the rounds. There is no such person thus far in 2018, though John Gregg has been traveling the state lately, mostly recently Richmond on Wednesday. The notion that a Republican could beat a popular governor in a primary is ... lunacy. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • The Hoosier morel watch
    As the late George Harrison might have put things, it's been a long, cold lonely winter. But with these April showers comes the notion of morel mushroom season. So it was worth stopping by the Gatesville Country Store in Brown County to pick up early intel on how things are shaping up. My friend Robin reports that REMC linemen working in the woods are seeing some early activity this past week. There will be a cold snap on Monday, which might retard progress a bit, but by next weekend when temperatures recover, we expect the morel season to be in full pop and bloom. Keep an eye on the Daily Beacon for further updates. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Henry becoming most beloved Hoosier First Dog
    At the federal level, we’ve seen an array of first pets at the White House, from FDR’s Fala, Nixon’s Checkers, and LBJ’s famed beagles Him, Her, Edgar and Freckles whom he sometimes held aloft by their ears. Bill Clinton had Socks (a cat), Gerald Ford had Liberty, Bush43 had Barney (who I actually met during a White House chase) and the Gipper had Lucky, Rex, Victory and Peggy.

    But on the state level, no dog or cat has anything on Henry Holcomb. The Hoosier First Dog is playing an increasingly visible role as Gov. Eric Holcomb’s friend, confidant, advisor and messenger. On Thursday, there was Henry wearing a yellow safety jacket with the Gov pushing work zone safety and Drive Smart. Henry (can we call him “Hank”?) has a Twitter account and has been showing up at political fundraisers. Henry has hung out with MC Hammer and First Lady Janet and he even got a shoutout on “Jeopardy” when Daniel Carden was a champ.

    We can’t recall a First Hoosier Dog (or any pet) quite as conspicuous or adorable. Henry has even declared the Gov to be “truly man’s best friend.” The Howey Beagles (Lucy and The Bear) are becoming big fans. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Speaker Ryan won't seek reelection to House
    House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek reelection this year, adding yet another marker on what is looking to be a dreary mid-term election cycle for Republicans. He becomes part of a wave of about 25 House Republicans and almost a dozen committee chairs who have decided not to run in President Trump’s first mid-term. Ryan is just 48 years old, has young children, but reluctantly took the job after Speaker John Boehner retired in 2015. Ryan was the GOP vice presidential nominee under Mitt Romney in 2012. Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Russian sanctions? It's about time
    After more than a two-year bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this week we find President Trump slapping sanctions on 17 senior Russian government officials and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport. The punitive actions come in response to Putin’s interference in the 2016 American election and  aggressions in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria. "We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful," President Trump said.

    Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Saturday, “The Trump Administration continues to hold bad Russian actors accountable for their lawless actions on the international stage. Today’s actions by @POTUS show STRONG leadership and send a CLEAR message: malign activity won’t be tolerated by the U.S.” To which we say, it's about time.
    - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Hoosier soybean angst
    Hoosier farmers deep in Trump country continue to express angst about the President’s tariffs, which brought Chinese retaliation against two Indiana mainstays, pork and soybeans. China purchases 61% of total U.S. soybean exports, and more than 30% of overall U.S. soybean production. Ed Ebert, senior director of grain production and utilization for Indiana Soybean Alliance, explained, “We’re going through our fourth year of a downturn in agricultural prices, and commodity prices in general, both on the soybean and corn side. So, we’ve got farmers that have been looking at commodity prices that put them at break-even, or, in some cases, even lower than break-even prices. This is not good news in that environment.”

    While the message has been consistent with Hoosier ag groups, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, who had been sounding alarms about tariff impacts, is changing her tune, saying its “all talk.” She told WNDU-TV, “I agree with this concept of tariffs. I get the trade imbalance. I get weeding out the bad guys and I get going after China but you’ve got to do that, there’s got to be a balance making sure that at the same time that we’re going and punishing bad actors like China but we’re not hurting U.S. manufacturers at the same time.” 

    Bloomberg’s Josh Green observes: “Trump won eight of the 10 states with the largest soybean acreage, all of them in the Midwest. Many of those same states are now host to some of the country’s closest races for Senate (Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota) and governor (Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Min- nesota).” - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Kennedy King events this week in Indy
    The 50th anniversary of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s historic speech in Indianapolis, announcing the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will be commemorated by several events this week. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center, the acclaimed 2008 documentary “Ripple of Hope” by filmmaker Don Boggs sheds light on the fateful night of April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis. It will be followed by a panel discussion. At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, at the Landmark for Peace Memorial, 1702 N. Broadway, civil rights pioneer and U.S. Rep. John Lewis joins with Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and daughter of RFK. At 5 p.m. Wednesday at the memorial, national and local dignitaries will be on hand for the official commemoration event, featuring songs, remarks and remembrances by civic leaders, religious leaders, artists, and more. Watch for our historic perspectives on the events a half century about in Thursday's weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Jack Howey's 92nd birthday
    It’s the publisher’s privilege to wish my father, Indiana Journalism Hall of Famer Jack E. Howey, a happy 92nd birthday today. He was born in Michigan City, raised in Gary and Hobart, where he was a top trumpeter in a great high school band, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was editor of the Indiana Daily Student and a founding committee member of IU’s Little 500. He and my mother, Mary Lou Howey, are the middle link of three generations of Hoosier journalists. They chose to live in Indiana, working at medium and small market newspapers at the Michigan City News-Dispatch and the Peru Daily Tribune when they could  have gone the big metro route. He played an out-sized role with the Associated Press Managing Editors and helped forge Indiana’s Open Door Law. Both have played essential roles in the editing of Howey Politics Indiana over the past 24 years. Cheers, Dad. I love you dearly. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Indy World Trade Center gets final OK as Amazon HQ2 looms

    A key new cog in Indiana’s economic development became a reality when the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) approved a final license for a new entity in Indianapolis. “Receiving this final license from the WTCA governing body is great news for Indianapolis and the State of Indiana,” said former Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, chair of WTC Indianapolis. “Our organization has received tremendous support from Hoosier business leaders, trade associations, academia, and state and local government officials to develop a WTC. I’m proud of all the excellent work by our team.”

    “We couldn’t be more pleased with the development of a World Trade Center in Indiana,” said Indiana Commerce Secretary Jim Schellinger. “As we work to take Indiana to the world and bring the world back to Indiana, these resources and partnerships will be key. And Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett added, “The World Trade Center Indianapolis is a welcome addition to our city. Indianapolis has grown into a dynamic global business hub and today’s announcement is yet another example of that. Our workforce continues to evolve and access to a global trade network through the new World Trade Center will increase our ability to connect with international partners to grow our economy.”

    This development comes as Indianapolis is one of 20 finalists for the Amazon HQ2 project that could bring 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investments to Central Indiana. The new WTC comes along with new direct flights to Paris, Austin, Tex., and Seattle, Amazon's current headquarter city. The direct flights to Paris and Seattle begin in May. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • The last shard of GOP's fiscal responsibility gone

    Any notion that the Republican Party has any shard of integrity left on fiscal prudence vanished on Friday when President Trump begrudgingly signed the $1.3 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill after a bizarre veto threat that caught the West Wing and Capitol Hill off guard. While it gives the Pentagon its biggest funding boost in 15 years, it increased federal agency spending by more than $300 billion. The House and Senate passed the 2,200-page bill with most Members not even reading it. It is drawing criticism from conservative commentators  like Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and Mark Levin.

    Trump said in signing (with Vice President Pence standing in the wings after convincing him not to veto), "There are a lot of things that I’m unhappy about in this bill," he said at a news conference. "There are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill. I will never sign another bill like this again.” Trump called it a "ridiculous situation."

    Axios reports that Trump’s veto feint "is the hardest I've seen ever seen the base turn on Trump over anything,” according to a former Trump aide. "A big reason why people voted for him was because of his apparent willingness to stand up to the entrenched political class in both parties. Voters wanted a fighter who wouldn't back down to 'the swamp' like a 'typical politician.'

    The Washington Post describes this “breathtaking contradiction”: After winning the House majority in the 2010 midterms, GOP lawmakers forced a major fiscal showdown with President Obama that ended with the Budget Control Act of 2011. That law was supposed to cut federal spending by nearly $1 trillion through a decade of spending caps to federal agency budgets.

    “When Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party,” said U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. “The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty.” Out-going Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., added, “There are a lot of discussions about the fact that maybe the Republican Party has lost its soul.” And Matt House, communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, tweeted, "I, for one, am tired of all the winning." Whew. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • Filling in the blanks of CIA nominee Gina Haspel
    President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director is Gina Haspel, the first female to be nominated for the top spy job. The Wall Street Journal reports there is no public information about her. She isn’t on any social media page, LinkedIn, high school or college alumni linkup group or even sites such as ancestry.com. She has no record of public speeches, writing or congressional testimony.

    On Thursday, the CIA revealed some details: She’s from Ashland, Ky., graduated with honors at the University of Louisville with degrees in languages and journalism. She’s single, age 61, is a fan of Johnny Cash and keeps a life-size cut out of the country star in her office. She was stationed with the State Department before moving into counter terrorism. Her first day on that job was Sept. 11, 2001. The WSJ reports: With that, she would forever become affiliated with one of the agency’s most controversial programs.

    Now that is one spooky resume, and I say that with a sense of admiration. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • The book on Pence
    There have been a number of biographies on President Trump, but none on Vice President Mike Pence. That is about to change. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael D'Antonio (“The Truth About Trump”) and former IndyStar and current AP reporter Tom LoBianco have both been in Indiana in recent weeks researching books on the former Hoosier governor. We can expect new information on Pence’s evolution from a failed congressional candidate, think-tank president, his ascent into Capitol Hill leadership, to a governorship and now a heartbeat away. The curtains will be pulled on Pence’s early relationships, finances and modus operandi.

    The rush to publish comes as President Trump acts more erratic in the face of the Russia collusion probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. There has been widespread speculation on whether Trump will finish his term, either voluntarily or as the result of scandal. Thus, there is a growing information thirst about a potential “President Pence.”

    The first spate of books center on the frivolous, or the family’s pet rabbit, with daughter Charlotte Pence and wife Karen penning “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of a Vice President,” and HBO’s John Oliver’s competing “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.” In the latter, the subject is about gay rabbits falling in love. Is this a great country, or what? - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • The coming first 'OJ Moment' of the 21st Century
    In modern American media, we’ve had a couple of those “OJ Moments” when the nation was transfixed by an event that wouldn’t be characterized as a natural disaster, a shuttle explosion or a terror attack. There was the 1994 O.J. Simpson slo-mo Bronco chase, and of course the sensational double homicide trial acquittal in October 1995. I was lucky to find a seat in a packed Loughmiller’s Pub near the Statehouse for the 10 a.m. verdict.

    Americans are now on the precipice of perhaps the first OJ Moment of the 21st Century: The March 25 “60 Minutes”  interview between Anderson Cooper and Stormy Daniels, the porn star and apparent past lover of President Trump. The president’s lawyer is suing the porn star for $20 million for violating a bizarre $130,000 non-disclosure agreement forged just days before Trump’s historic presidential election upset in 2016 that the White House has acknowledged. Stormy’s lawyer, the media savvy Michael Avenatti, called the suit “bogus” and hinted on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" that Stormy faced “threats” and that there are even more Stormys out there in the apparent billionaire’s murky, grabby past. The White House finds itself immersed in a PR crisis manager's nightmare.

    This story has all the ingredients for an OJ Moment: Sex, lies and perhaps even some videotape. So Americans will be gathering on the final Sunday evening of March, perhaps with Super Bowl style parties with menus (say, raw oysters, almond butter, anything banana or eggplant related) conjured with a glint of humor, to watch Stormy Daniels tell us about her sex with the married, future POTUS. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • A boost for rural high speed broadband

    One of the most important bill for rural Indiana counties easily passed the Indiana House on Wednesday night and is headed Gov. Eric Holcomb. House Enrolled Act 1065 would create a grant program for qualifying broadband deployment projects in unserved areas of the state, and defines upload and download speeds for “qualified broadband service.”

    Those speeds stand at 10/1 Mbps, while FCC benchmark is 25/3 Mbps. Access to high-speed internet is critical for Hoosier families, students and businesses, and this technology is often taken for granted where services are easily accessible. “It remains a priority of mine to ensure Hoosiers have access to these vital services, and to give our communities the resources necessary to be successful,” said State Sen. Erin Houchin, who sponsored the bill. “It’s an important step toward closing the broadband gap in rural Indiana.”

    The bill passed the House 94-1 and the Senate 46-2. Nashville Town Manager Scott Rudd called the bill a good start. “It’s not everything we wanted, but better than nothing.” - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • Americans love a sex scandal
    Americans love a sex scandal. Not just us in the “lamestream media” where stories like Bill & Monica and now Donald & Stormy can fuel cable ratings. No, even the folks on Main Street in Dickeyville and Easytown, Ind. (look ‘em up) will lap up the steamy and tawdry details of an illicit tryst, even if it’s consensual.

    Conventional wisdom is that the apparent $130,000 Donald Trump payoff of porn star Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 election for her silence will sink a public official. But President Clinton survived and his Democrats did just fine in the 1998 mid-terms when Republicans were convinced that big congressional gains could come from Monica’s stained blue dress. The Monica Lewinski/Bill Clinton scandal prompted Special Counsel Kenneth Starr to veer into that territory, resulting in the second U.S. Senate impeachment trial that did not result in conviction. There is rampant speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may find himself under similar cover. 

    Our take: Trump supporters (including Vice President Pence and wife Karen) considered his foibles, factored them in when they opted into the epic deal, and are willing to live with the lewd and lascivious conduct in exchange for pro life judges and cuts in EPA regulations. The big question is how will it play out for the hundreds of female candidates running in the 2018 “pink wave/#metoo” cycle and to what degree to their supporters turn out? - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Rokita's debate decision a big gamble

    One can imagine that Rep. Todd Rokita and his campaign team thought long and hard about becoming the first major statewide candidate in a decade to duck the Indiana Debate Commission. It fits into his “defeat the elite” slogan and Trumpian era battles with the press. It is also brinksmanship. While our sources are telling us this race is a within the margin of error tossup between Rokita, Luke Messer and Mike Braun, several give Rokita a nominal edge because he has run and won statewide twice.

    The visuals of his absence at the April 30 debate and a second he is ducking may fuel his hard core supporters. But for the undecided Republicans, and there will likely be a significant number of them even in late April, the notion that he won’t be there to make a final pitch could be a blunder in the same vein of Richard Mourdock overplaying his hand on the 2002 Republican Convention floor, which helped Rokita win the secretary of state nomination. If you’re Mike Braun, you’ve got to be loving this Rokita decision. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

  • Hoosier voters know a wuss when they don't see one
    Paging Zach Galifianakis, paging Zach Galifianakis. Can you and your two ferns come to Indiana?

    On Friday, the Indiana Debate Commission announced that Republican U.S. Senate candidates Luke Messer and Mike Braun will participate in the April 30 event. And Todd Rokita? He won’t appear at any event that isn’t “organized and moderated by conservative Republicans,” according to Bryan Reed of the campaign. Rokita will appear at an Allen County GOP event moderated by WOWO’s Pat Miller, who Rokita calls a “trusted conservative voice.” But he’s skipping two debates. The logic problem here is that if Rokita is nominated and defeats U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, he will represent all Hoosiers, even moderate and, gasp, liberals.

    In Hoosier parlance, Rokita is a wussy.  He is involved in a Senate race. When you’re in a competitive race, you compete at all stops, just as he did on the floor of the 2002 Indiana Republican convention when he won the secretary of state nomination in an intense three ballot race against Richard Mourdock, Mike Delph and Dr. John McGoff. Just as his new mentor, President Donald Trump, repeatedly did in 2015 and 2016 when he debated more than a dozen times.

    This time Rokita refuses to contrast himself before a statewide TV audience, just as every other U.S. Senate candidate has over the past decade. As Messer’s campaign notes, “This primary is an audition for the strongest candidate to defend the Trump-Pence agenda without making mistakes. Todd Rokita's campaign knows he's a weak debater, gaffe-prone, and with too much public exposure he'll likely destroy his own campaign.”

    That, is the definition of a “wuss.” Ask any good Hoosier. Perhaps Galifianakis will loan Indiana Debate Commission President Gerry Lanosga one fern on April 30. Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • Trump's 'Nixon to China' moment with Kim
    First, President Trump ducked into the White House press room on Thursday and promised big news. Then came the announcement he will be meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, perhaps by May. Trump tweeted, “Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

    The news seemed to catch Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by surprise. The Trump administration has no South or North Korean ambassador, nor is there a head of State’s East Asian portfolio. But talking is a much better idea than the bellicose rhetoric, the missiles lobbed over Japan and comparing of nuclear button sizes we watched over the past year. 

    Trump needs to buckle down, do his homework and seize what could be his “Nixon to China” moment. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
  • An American 'president for life'?
    A week after Chinese President Xi had his nation’s constitution altered and perverted making him “president for life,” we hear President Trump tell a group of Republican insiders that, perhaps, the U.S. should go the same path. "I think it's great,” Trump said. “Maybe we'll give that a shot someday." 

    Do you think this idea is “great?” Can you imagine the reaction to this of Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison who risked their lives to create this grand American experiment? Do you remember Benjamin Franklin’s response to the question, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” The response was: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
    - Brian A. Howey, publisher
Looking for something older? Try our archive search
An image.
  • Former Sen. Coburn endorses Mike Braun
    "I am pleased to support and endorse Mike Braun, Indiana Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Like myself, Mike is a social & fiscal conservative who supports term limits. As a successful businessman, Mike brings the very knowledge and background that is badly needed in our U.S. Senate today. Mike's opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects together with his proven leadership abilities will make him a highly effective U.S. Senator." - Former Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, endorsing Mike Braun for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination. Braun said, "I'm beyond honored to have earned the support of one of my idols in the U.S. Senate, Tom Coburn.”
An image.
  • A changing tide on medicinal marijuana
    CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has changed his mind on medical marijuana. He writes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a hardliner against pot, saying, “I feel obligated to share the results of my five-year-long investigation into the medical benefits of the cannabis plant. Before I started this worldwide, in-depth investigation, I was not particularly impressed by the results of medical marijuana research, but a few years later, as I started to dedicate time with patients and scientists in various countries, I came to a different conclusion.”

    And that conclusion? “Not only can cannabis work for a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and pain, sometimes, it is the only thing that works. I changed my mind, and I am certain you can, as well. It is time for safe and regulated medical marijuana to be made available nationally. I realize this is an unconventional way to reach you, but your office declined numerous requests for an interview, and as a journalist, a doctor and a citizen, I felt it imperative to make sure you had access to our findings.”

    Gupta’s special report on “Weed 4: Pot vs. Pill” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday. It comes as James Higdon writes about “Legal Marijuana’s Big Moment” coming when former Republican House Speaker John Boehner “flipped” on the topic and became an adviser to a medicinal marijuana group. As the late John Lennon might have put it, strange days, indeed. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

An image.
HPI Video Feed
An image.
An image.




The HPI Breaking News App
is now available for iOS & Android!










An image.
Home | Login | Subscribe | About | Contact
© 2018 Howey Politics, All Rights Reserved • Software © 1998 - 2018 1up!