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Tuesday, January 21, 2020
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020 10:53 AM
Ain’t God good to Indiana?
Folks, a feller never knows
Just how close he is to Eden
Till, sometime, he ups an’ goes
Seekin’ fairer, greener pastures
Than he has right here at home.


By CRAIG DUNN

KOKOMO —  Reporter William Herschell wrote these words in 1919, but they are just as true today as they were then. What prompted me to recall these lines written so long ago, that became so famous that they grace a bronze plaque in the Indiana Statehouse? Why, Illinois, of course!

Illinois, home of incarcerated former governors, middling sports teams and mountains upon mountains of budgetary red ink in Chicago and in the state capitol, Springfield.  Illinois, the state that is called home by more than 200,000 fewer residents than five years ago. Illinois, the tax-and-spend state that has become the poster child for Democratic government mismanagement.

Illinois citizens, including my two daughters, awakened this past week to welcome in the New Year and nine new Illinois taxes totaling $1.7 billion. This new spate of taxes are in addition to 11 new taxes authorized last year that, in addition to the new taxes and fees, will gleefully extract $4.6 billion from the good people of Illinois. And, mind you, this does not even include the new taxes coming from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot!

Illinois is firmly in the grip of what former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels liked to call a “death spiral,” the process of budget deficits leading to tax increases leading to business and population loss, leading to more budget deficits…You get the picture. It isn’t pretty and it is almost impossible to escape without some cataclysmic event or a complete political overhaul.  

If only these new taxes could pull Illinois out of its current power dive, perhaps the sacrifice would be worth it. However, the Illinois Policy Institute believes that the operating budget will still be $1.3 billion in the red. Another analysis from the organization found that the $45 billion capital plan, which is partially funded by the new taxes, contains at least $1.4 billion worth of waste. Of course, waste is always in the mind of the beholder. New pickleball courts, dog parks and renovations of privately owned businesses may be perfectly reasonable to the budgetary elites in Springfield. “Would the last person left in Illinois, please turn the lights off on the pickleball courts?”
  • 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

     

    CLICK HERE TO READ TODAY'S FULL HPI DAILY WIRE.

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  • Gov. Holcomb files for reelection
    “Indiana is on a roll and we’re not taking our foot off the gas. While the names on the ballot will be Suzanne’s and mine, we’re representing a statewide team that is mobilized, energized and organized for victory in Indiana. Teamwork will bring home the checkered flag on Election Day and teamwork will ensure we’re Putting People First for four more years.” - Gov. Eric Holcomb, in filing for reelection at the Indiana secretary of state's office Tuesday morning.
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  • Pence, Holcomb, Buttigieg head 2020 HPI Power 50
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY in Indianapolis
    and MARK SCHOEFF JR., 
    in Washington

    As we unveil the 2020 version of the Howey Politics Indiana Power 50 List, Hoosiers appear to be relatively satisfied with their state government, unsure about the federals and specifically President Trump, and are most concerned about health care and the economy.

    These are the latest survey numbers from the We Ask America Poll conducted in early December for the Indiana Manufacturers Association. They accentuate the formulation of our annual Power 50 list headed by Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Eric Holcomb, former South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, and the state’s two Republican senators who will likely sit in judgment (and acquittal) of President Trump in an impeachment trial later this month. 

    As Pence appears to be heading off thinly veiled attempts by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to get him off the 2020 ticket, Hoosiers by 47.4% approve to 47.7% disapprove of President Trump’s job performance. This is consistent with 2019 polling by Ball State University and Morning Consult. On the national right/wrong track, just 37% of registered voters in Indiana feel that the country is headed in the right direction, while a majority, 52%, say that things have gotten off on the wrong track, including 51% of independents and 26% of Republicans. Among female voters, the right/wrong track split is 29%/58%.

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