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Sunday, November 19, 2017
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Indianapolis mayors Stephen Goldsmith, Richard Lugar, Joe Hogsett, Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard gather to honor the former senator. Lower photo, Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann talks with Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Shelbyville's Tom DeBaun and Richmond's David Snow. (HPI Photos by Mark Curry and Brian A. Howey)
Indianapolis mayors Stephen Goldsmith, Richard Lugar, Joe Hogsett, Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard gather to honor the former senator. Lower photo, Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann talks with Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Shelbyville's Tom DeBaun and Richmond's David Snow. (HPI Photos by Mark Curry and Brian A. Howey)
Saturday, November 18, 2017 10:52 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS  – The contrast between the inertia in Washington and what’s being accomplished in cities across Indiana is striking. 

Traveling throughout the state this past year, I found fascinating pockets of innovation and growth from the new parks and amphitheaters forged by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., and Joe Stahura of Whiting, the creation of new city centers in Mayor Jim Brainard’s Carmel, Scott Fadness in Fishers and Andy Cook in Westfield. Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Fort Wayne’s Tom Henry have evolved and renewed their downtowns with stadiums and the type of amenities that attract a younger workforce. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is transforming downtown Evansville with a $380 million transfusion bringing a new convention hotel, one of the state’s first land-based casinos, several new businesses, and a medical education and research facility.

These are Republican mayors leading Democratic majority cities, and vise versa.

We see this in smaller Indiana cities, with mayors like Tom DeBaun in Shelbyville working to bolster the education opportunities of his workforce; Bedford’s Shawna Girgis, who forged a Stellar City plan and has been cited by Indiana University for advancing public health care in rural communities; former Franklin mayor Joe McGuinness (now INDOT commissioner) who has revamped the entry to his city off I-65 through downtown; to Nashville Town Manager Scott Rudd, who is pushing everything from broadband expansion to a civic performing arts center and trails linking the town to Brown County State Park.

The power of locals took on greater enunciation on the 25th floor of the Indianapolis City-County Building on Monday, where four mayors – Democrats Joe Hogsett and Bart Peterson and Republicans Greg Ballard and Stephen Goldsmith – gathered to honor former mayor and senator Richard Lugar by naming the new civic plaza in his honor. If there was irony in a national context, the plaza is a block away from City Market; at the behest of Eli Lilly Jr., Mayor Lugar in the early days of his administration was urged to save the historic building. Lugar did, the market bustles today, and he would launch his presidential bid there in 1995, on the same day of the Oklahoma City bombing. It was a campaign that was aspirational, if ultimately unsuccessful.

There were two subtexts to this gathering. The first echoed an Indianapolis Progress event at the University of Indianapolis several years ago, sans Hogsett and including the late Mayor Bill Hudnut. “They lined up all of us as mayors in sequence and we went through our experiences and one of the things that almost every citizen grasped was that each one of us built upon what one had done before,” Lugar said. “I remembered that very favorably.”
  • 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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  • Rokita revives residency issue against Messer
    "What's best for our family is living right here amongst our constituents, amongst our neighbors in Brownsburg, Indiana. You only have to look to [Richard] Lugar [and] Evan Bayh to see how the Indiana electorate treats someone who doesn't really live in this state and has lost touch." - U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita to WIBC’s Tony Katz, in reference to his criticism of U.S. Senate primary opponent Luke Messer, who moved his family to Washington while he serves in Congress. Messer told Katz, "The Hoosiers I talk to put their family first and they respect that a member of Congress would put their family first too.“ Sens. Lugar and Bayh lost Senate bids in 2012 and 2016 with residency one of the issues that came up during the campaign.
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  • The slitherly slope and redemption
    Here are some thoughts on the “Pervnado” that is sweeping Hollywood, Capitol Hill, newsrooms and statehouses, though things at the Indiana Statehouse have been quiet.

    Does it make a difference when a decades-old allegation comes up that the perpetrator apologizes? Particularly if there’s no specific evidence? We’ve watched Kevin Spacey, Sen. Al Franken and comedian Louis C.K. seek some measure of atonement for their inappropriate behavior, while Republican Alabama U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has been accused of pedophilia, has not and remains defiant? Ditto for comedian Bill Cosby.

    As any crisis communicator will tell you, coming clean and being contrite is the better long term strategy even if one takes big losses in the short-term. And Americans have a penchant for redemption, as past controversial figures ranging from Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda, Kobe Bryant to Barney Frank and even Presidents Clinton and Nixon eventually were restored some degree of trust and popularity.

    Is it inconsistent for U.S. Rep. Luke Messer to call for the resignation of Sen. Franken for one ribald photo and an inappropriate and slithery pass a radio personality Leanne Tweeden, while President Trump escapes a similar assessment despite a dozen or so similar complaints and the Billy Bush “Access Hollywood” tape?

    Just asking, as we watch many powerful figures tumble down the slithery slope.  - Brian A. Howey, publisher
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