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Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:00 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Walorski calls for Trump, Xi summit

Here are your Tuesday power lunch talking points: With another round of tariffs on China ($200 billion) and retaliation on just about every U.S. product, and both Presidents Trump and Xi defiantly guarding their super power status, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is calling on the two leaders to meet. “We need to hold China accountable for its unfair trade practices, but I am increasingly concerned about the harmful impact tariffs are having on Hoosier farmers and manufacturers,” Walorski said. “It’s time for President Trump and President Xi to meet face-to-face and find a long-term solution  that ensures American farmers, businesses, and workers are treated fairly. Until such an agreement is reached, the administration should work with Congress to minimize the negative effects of these tariffs.”

Trump believes that China will pay for the tariffs, when the reality is that it will be American consumers who foot the bill  while manufacturers and farmers twist in the wind. Trump tweeted: "Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable. If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'" And yetthere are signs Trump may be gaining the upper hand, per New York Times: “‘Chinese officials “are generally confused,’ said Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, a UCLA trade specialist, who has been traveling around China speaking with officials, businesspeople and workers. ‘They don’t know what to do. They worry that the tit-for-tat model is playing into Trump’s hands.’”

Walorski appears to be weathering a challenge from Democrat Mel Hall, though tariffs could be a defining issue  on this referendum election on Trump. Hall told HPI’s Jacob Curry, “Pork has dropped 44 cents, and milk has gone from about $22/100 to $13/100. So, farmers are really hurting. When it comes to tariffs, I think first of all ‘do no harm,’ and I don’t think all the costs of  tariffs have been well thought out.”

2. Kavanaugh twisting . . . 

We were struck by the almost nonchalant attitude President Trump displayed toward SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of high school era sexual assault allegations by Prof. Christine Blasey FordU.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly called for a delay on Thursday’s Judiciary Committee vote, it was, and now there is dual testimony under oath scheduled for next Monday. Trump said he was open to a “full process” and praised Kavanaugh as a “high quality individual.” But missing was the stinging tweets he often issues when feeling aggrieved. NBC’s Meet The Press  team sniffs a potentialHarriet Miers: “We wouldn’t be surprised if this hearing never happens — because Kavanaugh ultimately withdraws his nomination. He survived yesterday. But does he survive today?  Or tomorrow? Or Thursday? Or Friday?” Thirteen years ago, President Bush43 withdrew Miers nomination, and ended up with Justice Samuel Alito, a reliable conservative. Might Judge Amy Coney Barrett be the new Alito?

3. Kavanaugh peril for both parties

Sen. Donnelly was quick to call the a delay in the Brett Kavanaugh vote and was joined by potentially teetering Republicans Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, and Bob Corker. But a sensational Kavanaugh v. Ford hearing 23 years after Clarence Thomas v. Anita Hill is a completemid-term wild card. Republicans risk fueling the “pink wave,”  with a record number of congressional, Senate, gubernatorial and legislative female candidates. But Republicans tend to win cultural wars. So these allegations have become the “September surprise.” Wonder what October will bring?

4. Lawson holding candidate schools

With Russian election assaults continuing on the U.S. election process, Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced this morning she will be hosting “candidate schools” in Terre Haute, Evansville, Jeffersonville, Fort Wayne, Elkhart, Valparaiso, Lafayette and Indianapolis from Sept. 20-27. “Candidate Schools help new candidates understand the basics of cybersecurity and campaign finance, while providing a refresher to veteran candidates,” Lawson said. It will also bring about scads of earned media  in every market as she wages a reelection campaign against Democrat Jim Harper. We would be surprised if Harper enrolls in every session.
  • 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



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  • Chairman Brown still in critical, but making progress
    House Speaker Brian Bosma is in regular contact with House Ways & Means Chairman Tim Brown’s family, and Bosma reported today that Dr. Brown remains in critical but stable condition at the hospital in Ann Arbor. Brown was injured in a motorcycle accident near the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan. The family also conveyed that he has made positive progress since the accident.
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  • Bloomberg ponders 2020 presidential run as a Democrat

    Chalk this one up in the what-goes-around-comes-around category. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pondering a 2020 presidential run as a Democrat, telling the New York Times“It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today. That’s not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything, but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican. So if you ran, yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat.”

    Should he win the Democratic nomination, the billionaire Bloomberg would likely face President Trump, a billionaire Manhattan Democrat who turned Republican and has said he will seek reelection. - Brian A. Howey, publisher

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