3 CANDIDATES FILE FOR 2ND CD: Three Republican candidates have filed to run for the 2nd District congressional seat left vacant by the recent death of Rep. Jackie Walorski. Those candidates are Christy Stutzman, Curt Nisly and Tiernan Kane (Stover, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). That list could grow next week, however, as candidates can file until 72 hours before the caucus, which is set for 11 a.m. Aug. 20. Stutzman previously served one term in Indianapolis as state representative in the 49th district. She won a second term in 2020 but resigned just weeks after the election to spend more time on her family’s business, citing the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. She’s also the wife of former U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who represented the 3rd District from 2010 until 2017. Nisly has served in the state House since 2014 but recently lost in this year’s Republican primary to Rep. Craig Snow after their districts were combined during the redistricting process. Tiernan Kane works as an attorney at Cooper & Kirk, a boutique law firm. He previously clerked for Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Kane has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School.

 

SEC. GRANHOLM EXPECTS GAS PRICES TO FALL FURTHER: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday projected an ongoing decline in gas prices to continue but expressed uncertainty given potential changes in global events that would impact supply levels. In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with guest anchor Brianna Keilar, Granholm cited a recent short-term outlook from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicting the average price for a gallon of gasoline to dip to $3.78 in the fourth quarter. “We hope that that’s true,” said Granholm. “But, again, it can be impacted by what’s happening globally,” she added. “The president has done more than any president in history to make sure that the price, insofar as he’s got control, continues to decline, and has included asking for increased production both domestically and overseas.”

 

REP. McCAUL CALLS TRUMP SEARCH RHETORIC 'INFLAMMATORY': Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday said Americans deserve more details on what led to the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, but he expressed concern over some recent rhetoric from Trump attacking the agency. “There is something like a healthy skepticism about law enforcement, certainly, but for the former president to be using the language that he is when there is this level of threat against FBI agents — would you call on him to tone it down?” asked CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan. “I think it’s inflammatory,” McCaul responded. “I don’t want to put any law enforcement in the bullseye of a potential threat. And that’s someone who’s worked with law enforcement most of my career.”

 

TRUMP, GOP SHIFT DEFENSE OF CLASSIFIED DOCS:  First he said that he was “working and cooperating with” government agents who he claimed had inappropriately entered his home. Then, when the government revealed that the F.B.I., during its search, had recovered nearly a dozen sets of documents that were marked classified, he suggested the agents had planted evidence (New York Times). Finally, his aides claimed he had a “standing order” to declassify documents that left the Oval Office for his residence, and that some of the material was protected by attorney-client and executive privilege. Those are the ever-shifting explanations that former President Donald J. Trump and his aides have given regarding what F.B.I. agents found last week in a search of his residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. Trump and his allies have cast the search as a partisan assault while amplifying conflicting arguments about the handling of sensitive documents and failing to answer a question at the center of the federal investigation: Why was he keeping documents, some still marked classified, at an unsecured Florida resort when officials had sought for a year to retrieve them?

 

McDERMOTT SHUTS DOWN BASKETBALL COURTS AFTER 2ND SHOOTING: A man was shot to death in Hammond's Dr. Martin Luther King Park on Saturday night, the second shooting that occurred there in three nights. Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. has instructed the Hammond parks department to shut down all three basketball courts at MLK Park indefinitely (DeVore, NWI Times).  In response to the "recent spate of violence in MLK Park," McDermott announced all of the park's basketball courts would be closed as of Sunday. McDermott said that he does not currently have a timeline for reopening the courts and that he is "waiting for the situation to cool down." "This park is named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of peace. I cannot sit by and watch this beautiful park be a haven for violence. The stupid acts of a few, if left unchecked, will ruin this park for the vast majority of law abiding and peaceful families, residents and users of the park," McDermott wrote in a statement to The Times.

 

GANNETT PREPARES FOR MORE INDYSTAR LAYOFFS: Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. confirmed Friday that it’s laying off some of its newsroom staff, part of a cost-cutting effort to lower expenses as its revenue crumbles amid a downturn in ad sales and customer subscriptions (IBJ). The McLean, Virginia-based company declined to provide details about the number of people losing their jobs. In a statement, Gannett spokesperson Lark-Marie Anton cited a need “to take swift action given the challenging economic environment. These staffing reductions are incredibly difficult, and we are grateful for the contributions of our departing colleagues.” Gannett, which owns USA Today, The Indianapolis Star and more than 200 other daily U.S. newspapers with print editions, ended last year with more than 16,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s annual report. The payroll included more than 4,200 reporters, editors and photographers. The layoffs are the latest sign of the unrelentingly tough times in the newspaper industry, which has been steadily shrinking for more than a decade as more advertising shifts from print to digital and readers turn to other online outlets for information and entertainment.

 

 

A YEAR SINCE TALIBAN RETOOK CONTROL: A year ago today, the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan. Since then, life for most of the country's 40 million residents has gotten worse: 1. The economy has imploded, Axios' Felix Salmon reports. 2. Humanitarian catastrophe: Economic privation, a severe drought and other factors have left about 24 million Afghans — more than half the country's population — in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. Aid groups say their biggest challenge over the past year has not been security concerns, but a shortfall in funding compounded by the fact much of the world's attention turned to Ukraine following Russia's invasion in February. 3. Deteriorating human rights: The Taliban promised they had changed, especially on human rights. A year later, the group's promises remain unfilled. Schools are still closed to most girls and young women after sixth grade. Taliban officials have cracked down on the media. Human rights groups have documented arbitrary arrests and summary executions of dissidents.

 

INDIANA IN NEW COMING 'HEAT BELT': A new study reveals the emergence of an Extreme Heat Belt from Texas to Illinois and Indiana, where the heat index could reach 125°F at least one day a year by 2053, Andrew Freedman writes in Axios Generate. That sweltering region includes St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, Indianapolis, Tulsa and Chicago. By 2030, some coastal areas in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic may also experience days with a heat index above 125°F, the report found. The findings come from a hyperlocal analysis of current and future extreme heat events published today by the nonprofit First Street Foundation. The report examines current and future heat risks down to the property level across the country, joining similar risk analyses First Street has completed for flooding and wildfires.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: President Biden has yet to recover from his polling dive after the first images of the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul. It's been a year now and despite recent congressional achievements, Biden remains about 10% below where he was in July 2021. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

YOUNG PUMPS GAS IN LAFAYETTE: Indiana Sen. Todd Young surprised many of his Lafayette constituents Friday afternoon when he stopped by a gas station to help pump people’s gas and talk about issues in Indiana (Lafayette Journal & Courier). Young stopped by the Marathon gas station along Twyckenham Boulevard, as part of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity's “True Cost of Washington” gas rollback event. For a two-hour period, customers were met with a temporary price of $2.38 a gallon when they drove up to the pump. Americans for Prosperity wanted to highlight the prices of gas currently compared to when President Joe Biden first came into office. A sign leads a row of vehicles behind the Marathon gas station on 96 Twyckenham, in Lafayette, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. The sign says, "$2.38 gas line starts here." “I want the people of Lafayette and really throughout Indiana to know that I’m attentive to the gas price challenges that people are experiencing. $2.38 was the price of gas when President Biden and Kamala Harris came into office, it’s now almost 4 dollars, $3.88, is the average here in the state of Indiana,” said Young.

 

BIDEN APPROVAL HASN'T RECOVERED SINCE KABUL FALL: The fall of Kabul to the Taliban sparked a new crisis for the Afghan people, and a sobering reality check about what two decades of Western intervention couldn't accomplish (Axios). Independents' divided approval of Biden dropped during the withdrawal and hasn't rebounded. Democrats' high approval of Biden declined during the withdrawal, then rebounded — only to begin a longer slide since the fourth quarter of last year as inflation took off. Biden's approval rating was 49% at the start of August 2021, according to Gallup polling. A month later, after the completion of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, it was 43%. Today, it's 38%.

 

GOP PROJECT TO SPEND $3M: The Republican Accountability Project’s nonprofit arm is dropping a $3 million ad buy today “setting out to remind voters in seven critical swing states of what happened Jan. 6, 2021 — a message they believe will resonate with some traditional Republican voters they hope to peel off from the Trump base in the party,” Natalie Allison reports (Politico Playbook). “The organization’s television and digital ad campaign, shared exclusively with POLITICO, includes footage of Donald Trump supporters beating police officers at the Capitol, messages from self-identified Republicans opposing Trump and commentary from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the ranking member of the House Jan. 6 committee, who has defied her party to spotlight Trump’s role in the Capitol attack.”

 

State

 

NCAA: NIT AT HINKLE IN '24 - The NCAA announced Friday that the NIT semifinals and final will be played at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in 2023 and Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2024 (AP). The NIT has been played at Madison Square Garden in New York every year but two since 1938, with the 2020 tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 event held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The NIT board also selected former coaches Rick Byrd, Bob McKillop and Gary Waters to join the NIT committee.

 

Congress

 

SCATHING REPORT COMING ON AFGHAN PULLOUT: At the height of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan there were only 36 State Department officials on the ground at the Kabul airport to process Afghans who were trying to evacuate, according to a soon-to-be released report from House Republicans, despite the department’s claims that they had surged resources to handle the crowds desperately trying to flee (CNN). This figure — which meant there was “roughly one consular officer for every 3,444 evacuees” — is one of several previously undisclosed details outlined in the highly critical report examining the chaotic US withdrawal last August. The House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans’ report, which is being published around one year after the country’s capital fell to the Taliban, reveals additional new details about the Biden administration’s failure to adequately plan for and execute the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The report, a final draft of which was obtained by CNN, also says the administration did not accurately portray the nature of the events on the ground and failed to put a plan in place to prevent American-trained Afghan commandos from being recruited by America’s adversaries.

 

General Assembly

 

YODER HAS CONCERNS OVER SEA1: Some Indiana lawmakers are concerned about what laws will be put in place after Indiana’s recently passed near-total abortion ban (Moore, Indiana Public Media). Indiana Senator Shelli Yoder said she questions what contraceptive laws and punishments for doctors practicing abortions could come next. “Senate bill 1 did not criminalize traveling out of state, but how quickly and stalkish we could become in Indiana to try to change that has me very concerned,” Yoder said. Yoder said she’s discouraged by how the bill affects women’s rights and freedoms. She says the bill’s language reflects the continuing mistrust of women who are victims. “We are not trusting women and now it’s on the physician to make sure,” Yoder said.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN PREPARING NEW MESSAGE - President Joe Biden and his entire administration are readying for a roadshow with a simple message: We did what we said we would do (Politico Playbook). The White House, looking to capitalize on his string of policy and political wins, is launching a travel and media blitz over the next few weeks as it looks to beat the historical midterm odds in less than three months. The details of the victory lap were outlined in a White House memo from deputy chief of staff JEN O’MALLEY DILLON and senior adviser Anita Dunn to chief of staff Ron Klain, exclusively obtained by Playbook. The upbeat tone of the memo reflects a larger feeling inside the White House that, after months of bad news, Biden’s presidency has reached an undeniable pivot point with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden is expected to sign sometime this week.

 

JUSTICE: FBI ACHIEVED TOP PRIORITY ON TRUMP DOCS - The FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property dealt with the Justice Department’s most urgent priority in the monthslong showdown, according to officials, which was retrieving classified information (Wall Street Journal). Investigators are now pursuing the next steps of the department’s criminal investigation into the handling of national security material and presidential records, a process that may take many months to play out, and will be shaped by several factors. They include what specifically investigators find in the seized documents; why they ended up at Mar-a-Lago; who accessed them at the Florida resort; and the actions of Mr. Trump and his lawyers as the two sides negotiated for months in the spring for the return of the records, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

 

ILLINOIS: 3 SHOT OUTSIDE SIX FLAGS - Three people were shot in the parking lot of Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., prompting a heavy police response (NWI Times). Initial reports indicated the injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening. The amusement park, which closes at 8 p.m., was evacuated. The three people were injured outside the park when shots were fired from a single vehicle, according to a spokesperson for the park, which is located about 45 miles north of Chicago. Park security and on-site Gurnee (Ill.) Police Department Substation officers responded immediately.

 

MLB: SOX SWEEP DETROIT 5-3 - AJ Pollock and Andrew Vaughn homered, Lance Lynn threw six solid innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep (NBC/Chicago). Pollock, Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu each had two hits for the White Sox, who remained 2 1/2 games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland. Harold Castro homered and Javier Baez had two hits for the Tigers, who have dropped seven straight and 10 of 11. Detroit struck out 14 times. The White Sox climbed to three games over .500 for the first time since April 17, when they were 6-3. Chicago last swept a team July 1-3 at San Francisco.

 

MLB: REDS DUMP CUBS 8-5 - Jose Barrero hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Cincinnati's three-run fifth inning, and the Reds stopped a five-game slide with an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday (ESPN). “It meant a lot that I could contribute to the victory," Barrero said through an interpreter. “I felt better today. I still have to work on a couple things. I’m working on cutting down on my swing and try to hit it up the middle.”

 

Sunday Talk

 

JEAN-PIERRE SAYS DOJ NOT POLITICIZED: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday pushed back on Republicans who are vocally accusing the Biden administration of politicizing the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) for searching former President Trump’s Florida property last week. “This is not about politicizing anything,” Jean-Pierre told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl. “That is not true at all,” she continued. “And I would remind our folks on the other side that the FBI director was appointed by the president’s predecessor.”

 

JEAN-PIERRE SAYS BIDEN 'GETS' LOW APPROVAL: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday responded to recent polling showing record low approval ratings for President Biden, saying, “We get it.”  “We’ve said this before. It’s like, we get it. We understand what the American people are feeling at this time,” Jean-Pierre told ABC’s Jonathan Karl on “This Week.”

 

SCHIFF DOUBTS TRUMP 'DECLASSIFIED' DOCS: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday questioned former President Trump’s defense that he had declassified documents seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago estate last week. “We should determine whether there was any effort during the presidency to go through the process of declassification,” Schiff told CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan. “I’ve seen no evidence of that, nor have they presented any evidence of that,” Schiff added.

 

JOHN DEAN PREDICTS 'EGG OVER FACE' OF TRUMP BACKERS: John Dean, former President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, predicted on Sunday that media supporters of former President Trump will have a “egg all over their face” when the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into matters involving classified documents comes to an eventual end. During an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” host Brian Stelter asked Dean for his thoughts on the conservative media’s response to the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in which many right-leaning voices have lobbed attacks on law enforcement and claimed the probe is politically motivated. Some TV cable news hosts such as Fox News’ Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity have gone so far to say “they have declared war on us and now it’s game on” and that the search was a “clear and gross abuse of power." When asked to respond to an array of news clips over the past week, Dean said: “Well, I think that they don’t seem to want to appreciate that the FBI and other federal law enforcement as well as state and local, they enforce search warrants every day, against every kind of person.”

 

BESCHLOSS CALLS TRUMP CLASSIFIED DOCS UNPRECENTED: Presidential historian Michael Beschloss on Sunday said former President Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office did not align with the actions taken by his predecessors. “We have never in history seen a former president take ultra-classified documents, stick them in his basement, loosely watched by government standards, and with the shadow of we still don’t know what his motive was,” Beschloss said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

 

GOV. HUTCHINSON DEFENDS FBI: Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday defended the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, saying critics in the GOP need to “pull back on casting judgment.” “The FBI is simply carrying out their responsibilities under the law, a lawful search warrant that a magistrate signed off on. And they didn’t go in there with FBI raid jackets. They tried to constrain their behavior carrying out that warrant,” Hutchinson said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling on fellow Republicans to “stand with” law enforcement. “If the GOP is going to be the party of supporting law enforcement, law enforcement includes the FBI,” he added.

 

GOV. HOGAN WON'T RUN AS INDEPENDENT: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R)  said on Sunday that he has not considered running for president as an independent candidate, a suggestion that came from his own lieutenant governor. While Hogan avoided answering the question of whether he would run in 2024, he told moderator Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week,” that running as an independent wasn’t something he’s contemplated. “That’s not something I’ve ever considered, no. But I can — I can tell you, I understand why all the people are talking about that because they’re frustrated with both parties, and a majority of people are really kind of fed up with Democrats and Republican and all this angry rhetoric and toxic, divisive politics,” Hogan told Karl.

 

SEN. ROUNDS DODGES TRUMP SUPPORT QUESTION: Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) on Sunday declined to answer when asked if former President Trump is qualified to run for a second presidential term and whether he’d support Trump in a reelection bid. “I’ll keep my powder dry with regards to your last question,” Rounds told guest moderator Andrea Mitchell on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think right now we’re going to focus on the 2022 election. We want to retake the House. We definitely want to retake the United States Senate,” he said.

 

SEN. KLOBACHAR CONDEMNS GOP CRITICISM OF FBI: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Sunday condemned GOP criticism of the FBI following its search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property as “dangerous to our country,” hailing the agency for not bowing to partisan politics. “This is beyond politics,” she told NBC “Meet the Press” guest anchor Andrea Mitchell. “They’re simply doing their jobs,” Klobuchar said. “And we have to let them do their jobs.”

 

REP. BOWMAN DODGES BIDEN IN '24 AGAIN: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Sunday joined a chorus of other Democrats in avoiding answering a question about whether President Biden should run in 2024 but said “if” he does, the New York Democrat would support him. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” guest host Brianna Keilar asked Bowman of Biden “do you want him to run again?” “Well, I want us to keep winning as Democrats right now in the House,” Bowman replied. “I mean, we’re talking a year or two away. I’m not thinking a year or two away.”

 

REP. TURNER DEMANDS DOJ ANSWERS: Republican lawmakers on Sunday continued to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for even more information about the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago as many continued their unwavering support of the former president while casting doubt on the operation and its findings so far. Trump himself has condemned the search, calling it an “unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid.” Some Republicans have joined the former president in decrying the DOJ’s move as politically motivated, while others have questioned the basis of the search and called for more oversight. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Attorney General Merrick Garland “has a lot of questions to answer” about whether the “unprecedented” search was justified and necessary. “They had other options. I’m certain that you have to understand that going into his house, especially the former president, President Biden’s political rival, into his house for nine hours, is the most intrusive, invasive — and Attorney Garland’s got to justify that,” Turner said.

 

Local

 

INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT EYES MONUMENT CIRCLE PROJECT - Eight years after the Ballard administration started work toward completely rebuilding the streets on Monument Circle—work that never commenced—Mayor Joe Hogsett’s team is dusting off the plans and strategizing how to turn the project into reality (Shuey, IBJ). But city officials still haven’t solved the problem that’s kept the project on the shelf: finding as much as $60 million to pay for it. Still, they’ve been busy with other street repairs that they say will build the case for federal funding for the Monument Circle project—namely on Market Street east and west of the Circle. That work is done on the block that includes both the City-County Building and Indianapolis City Market, and it’s nearly finished in the block immediately west of the Circle. The Department of Public Works is now laying the groundwork for the next Market Street phases. But the larger goal is to persuade federal officials, as well as state leaders, that streets and sidewalks on the Circle itself must be addressed.

 

PORTER COUNTY: COMMISSIONER OPPOSES OPERA HOUSE SPENDING - Porter County Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, said he opposes spending $6.5 million to renovate and expand the Memorial Opera House (Ross, NWI Times). “I think it’s irresponsible at best to even consider it,” Biggs said. The county is at least $2 million in the red when it comes to maintaining roads each year, the county ambulance system doesn’t have a funding source and the results of a wage study aren’t in yet, he said. County employees are leaving for better-paying jobs elsewhere.