HISTORY SUGGESTS MYERS MAY BE LONE DEM IN GOV RACE: Dr. Woody Myers is set to become the first Democratic gubernatorial contender. He kicks off his campaign at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the old Wishard Hospital ER, where he used to treat and teach (Howey Politics Indiana). He will be introduced by Baron Hill. Myers becomes the first entry of a trio of candidates pondering a run, with State Rep. Karlee Macer and State Sen. Eddie Melton weighing bids. Don't be surprised if Myers is the only Democrat in the race  by the time of the IDEA confab at French Lick in late August. Why? First, Myers can self fund to an extent (his Conrad Hotel condo is worth a reported $4.5 million). Second, Democrats have a historic aversion to contested INGov primaries (Matt Welsh, Larry Conrad, John Hillenbrand III, Wayne Townsend, Evan Bayh, Frank O'Bannon and John Gregg were nomination shoo-ins). The notable exception was the 2008 slugfest between Jill Long Thompson and Jim Schellinger. JLT won the primary by less than 1%, then lost in a landslide to Gov. Mitch Daniels without much funding. Third, both Macer and Melton would have to give up their General Assembly seats to run. Melton is a lock on his Gary seat and the Dems would retain it if he runs for governor. Macer has defended her Speedway seat, but if it opens, Republicans would have a shot. Super minority Dems can't afford to lose any more seats. For Melton and Macer, floating a gov bid this cycle is good politics. It puts their names out in the gubernatorial context, setting up potential runs in 2024 when the seat will likely be open.

MYERS SEEKS TO END 'ONE PARTY RULE':  Dr. Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner and congressional candidate, is done thinking about it. He's running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2020 (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). “I think it's time for a change. It's been 15 years of one-party rule,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Journal Gazette. “It's time for an overhaul in the leadership of our state and time for new ideas to be given a shot. What we're doing now isn't working like it should.” At least two others are contemplating a run – Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, and Rep. Karlee Macer, D-Indianapolis. Myers, 65, said he has been looking for another opportunity to serve since he came in second in the 2008 primary for the nomination in the 7th District congressional race. “I could never get it out of my system. I knew that I had something to offer. I knew that I wanted to give voters the chance to hire me to help fix things that needed to be fixed,” he said of jumping in the governor's race. “I look at this as a challenge, as an opportunity.” In 2008, Myers put more than $1 million of his own money into the campaign – something he said was necessary because of the short time between a March special election to fill the seat when Julia Carson died and a May primary. But he said he is not going to do that this time. Instead, he will start working immediately on fundraising. His initial goal is raising $15 million, with an eye toward $20 million. “I'm going to do my best to convince the people in the state and the people I have known for years and years to invest in this campaign,” Myers said.

KUDLOW SAYS U.S./CHINA TRADE TRUCE MAY NEVER HAPPEN: The United States and China may never be able to reach a trade deal because of the difficulty in resolving the relatively few remaining issues on the table, a top U.S. official said Tuesday (Politico). During an interview at CNBC's Capital Exchange event in Washington, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he was an optimist by nature and still believed a deal was possible. But he used a football analogy involving his favorite team to illustrate the potential for the Trump administration to fall short. "It's like being on the seven-yard line at a football game," Kudlow said. "And as a long suffering New York Giants fan, they could be on the seven and they never get the ball to the end zone." "When you get down to the last 10 percent, seven-yard line, it's tough," he added, referring to the negotiations. Kudlow also reiterated the president's expectation that China would quickly begin making major purchases of U.S. agricultural products while the talks resume. "Soybeans, wheat and energy, possibly. That's very, very important," Kudlow said. However, no such sales have been reported in the 10 days since Xi and Trump agreed to restart talks.

PENCE REACTION TO ACCESS HOLLYWOOD TAPE REVEALED: Tim Alberta's new book "American Carnage" about the Trump takeover of the Republican Party was excerpted in Politico Magazine today, featuring the Access Hollywood tape that almost blew up the campaign: There was one politician whose reaction Trump worried about: Pence. Their ticket had been a shotgun marriage, one of convenience more than love. Yet Trump had grown unusually fond of Pence. There was a sincerity to his running mate that he thought rare and endearing. Certainly, Trump found Pence a bit alien: the way he was always praying; the way he referred to his wife, Karen, as “Mother”; and the way the couple was constantly holding hands. (“Look at them!” Trump would tease. “They’re so in love!”) But he appreciated the earnestness with which Pence seemed to believe, as so few in the party did, that Trump was a decent person. Trump had worked hard to earn that faith. On the night of the October 4 vice presidential debate, he even left a voice mail for Pence letting him know that he would be saying a prayer for him.Speaking in Ohio just after the Access Hollywood bombshell dropped, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence had initially dismissed the news as just another media hatchet job. Yet soon after, he called Trump from the road, checking in as he did daily, sounding upset. He advised Trump to offer a sincere apology. That was the last anyone had heard from the VP nominee. Pence himself was nowhere to be found. Pence had gone back to Indiana and bunkered down, cutting himself off from the outside world, praying with his wife about what to do next and telling his advisers that he wasn't sure he could continue with the campaign. To the extent Trump felt regret, it was over disappointing the Pences. "Oh boy," he said Friday afternoon after hanging up with his running mate. 'Mother is not going to like this.'" She was apoplectic, warning her husband that she would no longer appear in public if he carried on as Trump’s running mate. He, in turn, hinted to his advisers that his time on the trail might be up.

STATE COULD SEEK $40M FROM VIRTUAL SCHOOLS: Two school years after a student died, Indiana Virtual School kept him on its rolls and received state funding to educate him. Five years after two students moved to Florida, they reappeared on enrollment records for Indiana Virtual School and its sister school. And nearly every one of the more than 900 students kicked out of Indiana Virtual School and its sister school in the 2017-18 school year for being inactive were re-enrolled the next school year, included in per-pupil funding calculations that netted the two online schools more than $34 million in public dollars last year (Wang, Chalkbeat). These were among the ways that Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy allegedly inflated their enrollment to at least twice its actual size, according to the findings of a state examiner’s investigation released Monday. Now, the state could demand that the schools — slated to close next year amid widespread mismanagement — return about $40 million in funding for students they never educated. The Indiana State Board of Education is set to discuss at its Wednesday meeting whether to claw back money from the virtual schools, which have been the subject of numerous Chalkbeat articles examining financial conflicts of interest and dismal academic performance. Board members could vote to recover half of the money that the schools received over the past three years by reducing state funding going forward.

HERTEL TO HEAD SOUTH BEND PD SHOOTING PROBE: Ric Hertel, the special prosecutor reviewing last month’s fatal shooting by a South Bend police officer, outlined his plans Tuesday for what he described as a thorough re-investigation of 54-year-old Eric Logan’s death (Sheckler, South Bend Tribune). Hertel said he and Indiana State Police investigators on his team were in South Bend on Monday, speaking with Logan’s family and members of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, which conducted the initial investigation of Logan’s shooting before county Prosecutor Ken Cotter recused himself from the case. Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Hertel said his investigation could involve a wide range of steps, including speaking with witnesses, reviewing the evidence already collected and overseeing forensic testing of evidence. “We want to explore every possible lead for an independent, thorough review of what happened on June 16,” he said.

EVA KOR SERVICES SET: Funeral and memorial services for Eva Mozes Kor have been set (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The funeral and visitation will be held at DeBaun Funeral Home in Terre Haute, IN. The visitation is scheduled for Saturday, July 13th, from 4 until 8 p.m. EDT. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. EDT on Sunday, July 14th. Interment at Highland Lawn Cemetery will follow the service at 11:30 a.m. However, due to limited seating, the family encourages the public to attend one of the two memorial services in lieu of the funeral. This will allow the funeral home to comfortably accommodate family and close friends during this particular time. Terre Haute public memorial service: Sunday, August 4th, at 2 p.m. EDT, Tilson Auditorium, Tirey Hall, 200 North 7th St., Indiana State University, Terre Haute. Indianapolis public memorial service: Sunday, August 18th, at 2 p.m. EDT, Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University, 4602 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request donations be made to the CANDLES Eva Kor Legacy Education Fund and/or the WFYI/Ted Green Films "Eva" Education Program.

MOST OF GDP HAPPENING IN A FEW MAJOR CITIES: For all the talk of American cities undergoing a renaissance, economic success has been concentrated in a few standout metropolises while the rest struggle, Kim Hart writes for the debut issue of our new weekly newsletter, Axios Cities. The top 25 metro areas (out of a total of 384) accounted for more than half of the U.S.'s $19.5 trillion GDP in 2017, according to an Axios analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data. This winner-take-all dynamic has led to inequalities and rising tensions that are helping to drive politics off the rails: The newest and best-paying jobs are clustered in cities like San Francisco, New York and Seattle. A widening chasm separates them and struggling post-industrial ones like Cleveland, Detroit and Newark. Distressed areas are fading as their populations age and young workers head to coastal cities. In Texas, almost all the net growth in jobs from the "Texas Miracle" went to four metros — Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — while the state's poorer, smaller towns saw no growth or losses. Escalating housing prices are creating urban fault lines between those who can afford a home of any size and those priced out. The median home value is more than $1 million in more than 200 U.S. cities.

ROSS PEROT DIES AT 89: Ross Perot, the wiry Texas gadfly who made a fortune in computer services, amazed the nation with audacious paramilitary missions to Vietnam and Iran, and ran for president in 1992 and 1996 with populist talk of restoring Norman Rockwell’s America, died on Tuesday at his home in Dallas. He was 89. The cause was leukemia, a family spokesman, James Fuller, said (New York Times). In 1992 he became one of the most unlikely candidates ever to run for president. He had never held public office, and he seemed all wrong, like a cartoon character sprung to life: an elfin 5 feet 6 inches and 144 pounds, with a 1950s crew cut; a squeaky, nasal country-boy twang; and ears that stuck out like Alfred E. Neuman’s on a Mad magazine cover. Stiff-necked, cantankerous, impetuous, often sentimental, he was given to homespun epigrams: “If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.”

TRUMP PRAISES ACOSTA; HAD FALLOUT WITH EPSTEIN: President Trump praised Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Tuesday and said he felt “very badly” for him, as calls mounted for his Cabinet member to resign over his handling, as a U.S. attorney, of an earlier sex crimes case involving financier Jeffrey Epstein (Washington Post). Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump also said the White House would look closely at the circumstances surrounding a 2007 plea deal overseen by Acosta that a growing number of Democrats argued Tuesday was far too lenient on Epstein. “I feel very badly, actually, for Secretary Acosta because I’ve known him as being somebody who works so hard and has done such a good job,” Trump said of Acosta’s tenure as labor secretary. “I feel very badly about that whole situation, but we’re going to be looking at that, and looking at it very closely.” Trump told reporters that he knew Epstein from Palm Beach but that the two “had a falling out” about 15 years ago. Trump did not elaborate on what happened. “I was not a fan of his,” the president said of Epstein.

PEW SHOWS NEWSPAPERS CONTINUE TO TANK: The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year (Pew Research). Weekday print circulation decreased 12% and Sunday print circulation decreased 13%.The total estimated advertising revenue for the newspaper industry in 2018 was $14.3 billion, based on the Center’s analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. This is down 13% from 2017. Total estimated circulation revenue was $11.0 billion, compared with $11.2 billion in 2017.According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics, 37,900 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers, or film and video editors in the newspaper industry in 2018. That is down 14% from 2015 and 47% from 2004. Median wages for editors in 2018 were about $49,000, while for reporters, the figure was about $35,000.

LOCAL TV NEWS FOLLOWING NEWSPAPERS: In 2018, viewership for network local affiliate news stations (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) declined in key time slots – morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.), evening (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and late night (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) – according to Comscore StationView Essentials® data (Pew Research). The average audience (defined as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a time period) for the morning news time slot decreased 10% in 2018. Local TV average audience for the late night and evening news time slots also declined (14% for both). Audience for the midday news (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and prime news (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) time slots both declined 19%.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: In Thursday's weekly Howey Political Report we'll do an exclusive deep dive into the emerging Indiana gubernatorial race. Look for it around 9 Thursday morning. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

McGRATH TO CHALLENGE McCONNELL: Retired Marine and previous Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath on Tuesday announced that she is launching a 2020 challenge against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in Kentucky (The Hill). McGrath released a three-minute campaign video, titled "The Letter," that depicts her and other Kentuckians writing letters to their senator with concerns about health care, jobs and affordable college that were ignored. “Everything that’s wrong in Washington had to start some place. How did it come to this?” McGrath said in the video. “That even within our own families, we can’t talk to each other about the leaders of our country anymore without anger and blame.” She said McConnell “was elected a lifetime ago" and has "bit by bit, year by year — turned Washington into something we all despise.” McGrath also claimed that “budgets and health care and the Supreme Court are held hostage” in a Congress led by the Republican leader who has been in the Senate since 1985. “A place where ideals go to die,” she added.

BIG TENSIONS OVER GOP'S 'WIN RED' FUNDRAISING: Tensions over the future of the GOP’s grassroots fundraising are reaching a breaking point, with the national party turning to strong-arm tactics to get Republicans behind its new, Donald Trump-endorsed platform for small donors (Politico). The Republican National Committee is threatening to withhold support from party candidates who refuse to use WinRed, the party’s newly established online fundraising tool. And the RNC, along with the party’s Senate and gubernatorial campaign arms, are threatening legal action against a rival donation vehicle. The moves illustrate how Republican leaders are waging a determined campaign to make WinRed the sole provider of its small donor infrastructure — and to torpedo any competitors.

Presidential 2020

NH REP ENDORSES BUTTIGIEG: State Rep. Matt Wilhelm (Manchester), a two-term AmeriCorps alumnus and state service commissioner for Volunteer NH, is endorsing Mayor Pete Buttigieg for president. The Mayor’s proposal, called “A New Call to Service”, will fully fund the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and then build a network of one million national service members by the 250th anniversary of America’s Independence in 2026 (Howey Politics Indiana). “Last week, Mayor Pete issued a bold plan to dramatically expand voluntary national service in America,” said State Representative Matt Wilhelm. “As a state service commissioner with Volunteer NH and a two-term AmeriCorps alumnus, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of civilian national service to unite diverse Americans and solve problems. I was particularly inspired by Mayor Pete’s commitment to building out regional service ecosystems and empowering our local leaders to create and expand service year positions to address NH-specific challenges like affordable housing, the opioid and mental health crises, and educational inequity.

BUTTIGIEG RETURNING TO NH THIS WEEKEND: On Friday, July 12, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will make his eighth trip to New Hampshire to discuss his bold new plan to reignite a sense of unity in America by dramatically increasing national service opportunities (Howey Politics Indiana). Dubbed “A New Call to Service”, the Mayor’s initiative will build a network of 1 million National Service Members by the 250th anniversary of America’s Independence in 2026. The Mayor will attend a house party in Rye, a Meet Pete! event in Dover, join a tour of downtown Rochester with City Councilor Jeremy Hutchinson, and headline a House Party in Laconia.

BIDEN EARNED $15M IN TWO YEARS: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earned $15.6 million in the two years after he left the Obama administration, according to newly released financial documents (Wall Street Journal). The former vice president, who has built his nearly five-decade political career as an advocate for middle-class families, made millions of dollars through paid speaking engagements, sales of his 2017 book and his role as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

BIDEN CHANGES STRATEGY: Joe Biden intended to stay above the fray. He wasn’t going to punch down at opponents, or embark on any apology tours for past votes or statements. Creating a sense of inevitability was the goal (Politico). That strategy is now out the window. Since Kamala Harris cold-cocked him on the debate stage two weeks ago, Biden has had to recalibrate. The former vice president, who rarely submits to TV news interviews, granted a sit-down to CNN. His surrogates have been unleashed to deliver more pointed attacks on Harris.

STEYER ENTERS DEMOCRATIC RACE: Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal activist who earlier this year said he would not pursue the Democratic nomination for president, reversed course on Tuesday, announcing his campaign for president in 2020 (ABC News). "The other Democratic candidates for President have many great ideas that will absolutely move our country forward, but we won’t be able to get any of those done until we end the hostile corporate takeover of our democracy," Steyer said in a statement, released alongside his announcement video.

STEYER DROPS $1.4M IN AD BLITZ: Billionaire activist Tom Steyer’s campaign rolled out a seven-figure television ad campaign promoting his nascent campaign, the largest single television ad buy in the Democratic presidential primary (Politico). The pair of ads are backed up by $1.4 million dollars in spending, according to details of the ad campaign shared first with POLITICO. They will run nationally on CNN and MSNBC and locally in the four early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — for two weeks, from July 10 to July 23. “I left my business to combat climate change, fix our democracy, and hold President Trump accountable,” Steyer said in one of his new ads. “Last year, we ran the largest youth voter registration in history, helping double turnout and win back the House.”



Congress

CARSON LAMENTS SUIT TO END OBAMACARE: As the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Republicans’ Texas v. U.S. lawsuit, Rep. André Carson responded to the GOP’s latest efforts to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as well as every last benefit and protection provided by the Affordable Care Act (Howey Politics Indiana). Rep. Carson highlighted the devastating impact that the GOP lawsuit could have on hard-working families throughout Indiana. “Hoosiers want their representatives in Washington to strengthen and expand critical care that helps working families thrive,” Rep. Carson said. “But this disastrous lawsuit, if successful, could rip coverage away from millions of Americans and destroy life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions. For years, Republicans have worked to overturn, weaken, and downright sabotage the Affordable Care Act, which has culminated in this lawsuit.” If the Texas v. U.S lawsuit is successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act, the health and financial well-being of Hoosier families will be severely damaged: 497,000 Hoosiers could lose coverage; 50,000 Indiana young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care; 2,745,700 Hoosiers living with pre-existing conditions could once again be denied coverage, which the Affordable Care Act outlawed; 2,915,827 Hoosiers could once again have to pay for preventive care, including flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms; 121,432 Indiana seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs.

YOUNG SPONSORS ORGAN DONOR BILL: U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced legislation that aims to deliver more life-saving organs to patients by establishing clear, accountable metrics for organ procurement organizations (OPOs). Currently, the 58 OPOs in the United States maintain control over the organ procurement process, but questions surround the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of these organizations (Howey Politics Indiana). “In Indiana there are more than 1,300 Hoosiers currently in need of a transplant, and nationally more than 113,000 people die annually waiting on an organ. After carefully studying this issue, it’s clear that the best way to save lives is to bring greater transparency, oversight, and accountability to the organizations responsible for getting organs from the donors to the patients who need them. This legislation will ensure that organ procurement organizations are no longer operating in darkness,” said Senator Young.

YOUNG PUSHES FOR LEICHTY CONFIRMATION: This week, the Senate plans to vote on a number of judicial and executive branch nominees, including Damon Ray Leichty of South Bend, Indiana, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). Senator Young today spoke of the need to swiftly confirm Leichty: “This week, we will be renewing our efforts to confirm more of President Trump’s exceptional federal court nominees. In this instance, the state of Indiana will be confirming… Damon Leichty, to serve on the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana. When President Trump and I were elected to federal office… the state of Indiana was experiencing a judicial emergency, meaning we had a very serious case overload. It took a long time for people to have their cases heard. As the Reverend Martin Luther King once said, ‘Justice too long delayed, is justice denied.’ We are trying to make sure that justice is brought to the people of Indiana and beyond. I look forward to confirming Damon Leichty this week so that he can get to work on behalf of Hoosiers.”

LUGAR RANKS LIFETIME SENATE BIPARTISANSHIP: The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University today jointly released updated lifetime Bipartisan Index rankings of U.S. Senators who have served since 1993. The non-partisan tool measures the degree to which Senators work across party lines (Howey Politics Indiana). The lifetime Senate scores show a wide variance among current Democratic presidential candidates, ranging from former Vice President Joe Biden, who placed in the top quartile of the rankings, to Senator Bernie Sanders who placed 247th out of the 250 Senators covered by the Index. “The new data provides historical context for the challenges to bipartisan collaboration in the Senate over the last twenty-six years,” said Lugar Center Executive Director John Lugar. “But it also shows that legislators can work to build consensus with members of the opposite party regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.”

DONNELLY RANKS 3RD, YOUNG 4TH ON LIST: Former Indiana U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly ranked third on the Lugar Center list and Sen. Todd Young fourth (Howey Politics Indiana). Other Hoosiers and notables include Sam Nunn sixth, the late Sen. Richard Lugar ranked 29, Pat Moynihan 73, Evan Bayh 75, John McCain 82, John Glenn 95, Ted Kennedy 133, Mitch McConnell 148, Hillary Clinton 171, Strom Thurmond 175, Barack Obama 182, Chuck Schumer 183, and Dan Coats 237.

PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS RANKED BY LUGAR CENTER: In the updated rankings, Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME) was the top scoring sitting Senator ranking 2nd on the lifetime list.  Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R, RI) retained his status as the most bipartisan Senator of the past 26 years (Howey Politics Indiana).  At the bottom of the list, former Sen. Jim DeMint (R, SC) continued to occupy the last spot (250th) in the Index. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D, VT) ranked the lowest of any Senator currently in Congress (Howey Politics Indiana). In addition to Sen. Sanders, seven other current Democratic presidential candidates received scores for their performance during their time in the Senate. Vice President Joe Biden (D, DE), who served in the Senate from 1973-2009, was the top scorer among this group, ranking 47th. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D, MN) joined Senator Biden as the only other Senator among the candidates to have a positive lifetime Bipartisan Index score. She ranked 78th out of 250. Michael Bennet (D, CO) ranked 143rd, though his score was below 0.00 (the historical average for Senators). All other Democratic Presidential candidates had scores in the bottom quartile of the 250. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) was 195th; Sen. Cory Booker (D, NJ) was 214th; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) was 234th; and Sen. Kamala Harris (D, CA) was 246th.

HOUSE ON VERGE OF SUBPOENA BLITZ: The House Judiciary Committee will vote this week to authorize a bevy of new subpoenas on the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at the border and on President Trump’s possible obstruction of justice, summoning some of the biggest names to surface in Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation (New York Times). The votes, scheduled for Thursday, will jolt two of the Democrats’ highest-profile oversight investigations into Mr. Trump and his administration, and are certain to further inflame relations with the White House. Among the targets are Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general; Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff; Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller as the special counsel; Corey R. Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager; and David J. Pecker, who as the head of American Media took part in a hush-money scheme.

McCONNELL, OBAMA DESCENDANTS OF SLAVE OWNERS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday confirmed that he is a descendant of slave owners and reiterated that he still opposes government reparations for descendants of American slaves (NBC News). At a press conference following a closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans, McConnell was asked whether he was aware that two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners in Alabama before the Civil War and whether the revelation would cause him to reconsider his position on reparations. "I find myself once again in the same position as President [Barack] Obama. We both oppose reparations and we both are the descendants of slave owners," he said, before moving on to another question.



General Assembly

MELTON CALLS FOR CHARTER ACCOUNTABILITY: State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) had the following reaction to an investigative story on Indiana’s virtual charter schools by Chalkbeat (Howey Politics Indiana). “I have pushed for accountability for education funding in Indiana, whether it be traditional public schools, charter schools or private schools that receive public money through school vouchers. Virtual charter schools need to be held to this same standard. Education in Indiana already has been underfunded for years, and budgets have been strapped. The last thing we need is virtual schools taking money from the state that doesn’t even go towards educating children. Chalkbeat uncovers some shocking revelations that must be addressed by our state. Why are virtual schools receiving money for deceased children and children who have moved out-of-state while children who are alive and in Indiana are barely getting enough funding to provide them with a quality education? This is a huge problem.”

GIAQUINTA WARNS HILL SEEKING TO END HIP2.0:  Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) today issued the following statement regarding the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Howey Politics Indiana): “Indiana Republicans remain silent about the Indiana Attorney General’s support for a lawsuit being heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act and strip health care coverage from over 400,000 Hoosiers using the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). “House Democrats remain focused on ensuring all Hoosiers have access to health care, including millions of Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions. Thanks to our caucus, Indiana law requires all insurance plans to offer coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. It’s becoming more and more clear that we’re the ones fighting for health care while our friends across the aisle either don’t want to talk about it or prefer to support a lawsuit that will take coverage away without a replacement plan in place.”

State

JUSTICE: SUPREMES TO REVIEW GARY GUN SUIT - The Indiana Supreme Court is being asked to overturn a May 23 Court of Appeals ruling that revived a long-running lawsuit seeking to hold numerous gun manufacturers responsible for the costs of 1990s gun violence in the city of Gary (NWI Times). In a request for transfer to Indiana's high court, the gun manufacturers argue that state and federal law provide them legal immunity against Gary's lawsuit, and the Court of Appeals erred when it reversed Lake Superior Judge John Sedia's decision last year to dismiss the city's case.

EDUCATION: PURDUE RAISES $2.5B - Purdue University says its multi-year fundraising initiative is now the biggest effort to raise funds in the school’s history. The university says Tuesday that the “Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University ” campaign has generated $2.529 billion as of June 30, well above its $2.019 billion goal (AP). The campaign was launched in 2012 and publicly announced in 2015. The fundraising effort is ending as Purdue celebrates its sesquicentennial and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing where Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. “Ever True” led to more than 1 million gifts from 209,551 donors across 113 countries. Of those gifts, 387 were of $1 million or more, and more than 740,000 were $100 or less.

EDUCATION: RICE TO SPEAK AT DePAUW - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at DePauw University on Oct. 8 as part of the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series (Indiana Public Media). Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009. She was the first African-American woman to hold the position. The Ubben Lecture Series was established in 1986 by DePauw alumni Timothy and Sharon Ubben as a way to bring international leaders to the Greencastle liberal arts school.

EDUCATION: BSU OFFICE MOVING TO ANGIE'S LIST SITE -  Ball State University has signed a one-year renewable lease for a new site for its Ball State CAP: INDY program. The program will operate from the former Angie’s List campus on the Washington Street corridor beginning in August (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). Ball State CAP: INDY’s new home will serve the program’s growing numbers. The facility will focus on students in the master of architecture and master of urban design programs. Ball State CAP: INDY will also host meetings and events for professional partners such as The American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, American Planning Association and American Society of Landscape Architects.

EDUCATION: IU TO REMOVE SWASTIKA TILES - Tiles with swastikas have been removed from the walls inside an Indiana University building. They will be sanded to remove the symbol and remounted, according to an email from Tom Morrison, IU’s vice president for capital planning and facilities. The goal is to have the project finished early in the fall 2019 semester (Rollins, Bloomington Herald-Times). As of the deadline for this story, Morrison said in the email he was still gathering information about the cost of the project but that funding would come from the IU Bloomington provost’s office. He referred questions about the reason for removing the swastikas from the tiles to Provost Lauren Robel.

EDUCATION: WHITE HOUSE TO HONOR HOOSIER STUDENTS - Five Hoosiers have been named recipients of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to researchers starting their independent careers who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology (Inside Indiana Business). The honorees will be presented with the award July 25 during a ceremony at the White House. The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers honors the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and to the community through scientific leadership, public education and community outreach. The award winners are: Amanda Hummon, University of Notre Dame, National Science Foundation; Rebecca Kramer, Purdue University, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Mary Murphy, Indiana University, National Science Foundation; Megan Thielges, Indiana University – Bloomington, National Science Foundation; Pinar Zorlutuna, University of Notre Dame, National Science Foundation.

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: MULVANEY WANTS TRUMP TO DUMP ACOSTA - President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are moving quickly to back up beleaguered Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. But pressure is rising from other corners of the White House, with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney privately urging the president to dismiss him (Politico). Mulvaney told Trump on Monday that the continuing drip of damaging information surrounding the 2008 agreement Acosta struck to keep billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein from a heavy jail sentence would hurt the administration, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

WHITE HOUSE: ACOSTA DEFENDS EPSTEIN PLEA DEAL - Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta defended his handling of a case involving a billionaire accused of exploiting underage girls, in the face of calls from top Democrats that he resign since he oversaw the matter while he was a federal prosecutor (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Acosta struck a plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2008, when he was the U.S. attorney in Miami, that has come under scrutiny because it ended with a federal nonprosecution agreement that critics said was too lenient. This week, federal prosecutors in New York charged Mr. Epstein with two counts related to sex trafficking of minors. On Twitter, Mr. Acosta said Tuesday: “With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator.” He said he supported the fresh effort by prosecutors to “more fully bring him to justice” based on new evidence and testimony. “The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” he wrote.

WHITE HOUSE: JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP TWITTER OPPONENT MOVE - President Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media (Washington Post). The decision from the New York-based appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users who were critical of the president or his policies. Public officials who take to social media for official government business, the court said Tuesday, are prohibited from excluding people “from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

WHITE HOUSE: JUDGE BLOCKS TV AD RULING - A federal judge Monday blocked a major White House initiative on prescription drug costs that would have required drugmakers to disclose their prices in TV ads. Indianapolis-based manufacturer Eli Lilly was one of three plaintiffs in the lawsuit. HHS Secretary Alex Azar was once a top executive at Lilly (Indiana Public Media). The narrow ruling by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., struck down a requirement that was set to go into effect within hours, on Tuesday. Drugmakers, including Lilly, had argued that requiring them to disclose list prices amounted to coercion that would violate their free speech rights under the Constitution. But in his 27-page ruling Mehta avoided debating the First Amendment, saying simply that the Trump administration had failed to show it had legal authority under the statutes that govern federal programs such as Medicare to require price disclosure. He wrote that neither the law's "text, structure, nor context evince an intent by Congress to empower (administrative agencies) to issue a rule that compels drug manufacturers to disclose list prices."

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP LOBS INSULTS AT BRIT ENVOY - The special relationship between the United States and Britain descended into name-calling on Tuesday, with President Trump tweeting that the British ambassador is “wacky” and “a very stupid guy” and “a pompous fool” (Washington Post). In a trio of posts, Trump went on to insult outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May for her “failed Brexit negotiation.” Trump boasted that he told May how to do the deal, “but she went her own foolish way — was unable to get it done. A disaster!” The president’s tirade gave a third day of life to controversy over leaked diplomatic cables in which British Ambassador Kim Darroch described the Trump White House as “inept,” “dysfunctional” and “unpredictable.”

WHITE HOUSE: U.S./CHINA TRADE WAR FAR FROM OVER - A recent meeting between the leaders of China and the U.S. brought optimism a deal to end the trade war could be reached, a year after it began. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the trade war enacted by President Donald Trump against China, and the billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs between the two nations (Hoosier Ag Today). An agreement signed by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, however, is not a done deal, according to the South China Morning Post, which points out that little has changed since the two leaders last met. Despite the agreement to return to the negotiating table, neither side has agreed to any changes, following the stalemate earlier this year in what was expected to be the final round of talks. For now, the truce signals a pause in hostilities between China and the United States. The trade war has harmed U.S. agriculture, as China targets U.S. agricultural commodities in its retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., including nearly all U.S. ag products shipped to China.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP HERALDS BOEING DEAL WITH EMIR - President Trump doubled as chief dealmaker on Tuesday. While hosting Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House Opens a New Window. , he disclosed an incoming order for Boeing Opens a New Window (Fox News). “We're going to be signing a document today, very large transaction,” said Trump. “It’s a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of Boeing jets, that means a lot of jobs,” he added without elaborating. Following the meeting, the White House released specifics on the transaction, which includes five Boeing 777 freighters. The value of the deal, which was first announced at the Paris Airshow, is nearly $2 billion.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE - President Trumpnwill leave the White House for the Ronald Reagan building at 11 a.m., and will speak at 11:10 about advancing American kidney health. The president leaves at 11:50 back for the White House, and that's it for his public schedule today. Vice President Mike Pence will speak to Air Force personnel stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday during a daylong trip to California. Pence is expected to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:30 p.m. following stops in the San Joaquin Valley for a fundraiser and visit to a farm outside of Lemoore for a talk about trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a copy of the vice president's public schedule. While at the base, he will receive briefings at the Combined Space Operations Center on launch operations around the globe and deliver remarks to the base. Pence Tuesday announced plans for him to visit San Diego County later this week, part of a three-day swing through California and Texas to visit constituents, military bases and immigrant detention centers (Fox5). Pence is expected to arrive in San Diego on Wednesday night, then visit U.S. Naval Amphibious Base Coronado on Thursday. While at the base, Pence is also expected to tour the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro, which is normally home-ported in Kodiak, Alaska, and conducts drug seizures in international waters. While in San Diego, Pence will also attend a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

LABOR: ACOSTA DEFENDS EPSTEIN PLEA DEAL - Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who is under fire for the deal he previously cut with Jeffrey Epstein, went on the offensive on Tuesday, saying he supports the new charges against the billionaire financier while defending his own past actions (Politico). "The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," tweeted Acosta, who had cut a 2008 deal with Epstein that allowed him to avoid significant prison time. "With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator," he continued. "Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice."

JUSTICE: JUDGE WON'T ALLOW CENSUS CASE ATTORNEY SWITCH - A federal judge in New York on Tuesday denied a bid from the Justice Department to replace the team of lawyers on the case about the census citizenship question, writing that its request to do so was “patently deficient” (Washington Post). The department had earlier this week announced its intention to swap out the legal team on the case, without saying exactly why.

PENTAGON: 4TH OF JULY GIG COST $1.2M - President Trump's "Salute to America" Fourth of July celebration cost the Department of Defense $1.2 million, the Pentagon told CBS News on Tuesday (CBS News). That figure does not represent the full cost of the event to taxpayers, but it does include the cost of flying hours and transportation for tanks and fighting vehicle platforms. Funding for the demonstrations, a Pentagon spokesman says, came from the services' training budgets for flying hours, and additional funds were used for the transportation of equipment.

IMMIGRATION: BORDER CUSTODY CASES DROP 28% IN JUNE - The number of people taken into custody along the U.S. southern border fell 28 percent in June, a drop that U.S. authorities say reflects the early impact of Mexico’s crackdown on Central American migration (Washington Post). Border crossings typically rise in the spring and slump during the scorching summer months, but the drop registered from May to June was significantly larger than in previous years, according to Homeland Security statistics released Tuesday. U.S. authorities detained 104,344 people along the border last month, down from 144,278 in May. June was the fourth month in a row in which border arrests exceeded 100,000, and the total was more than twice the 43,180 people taken into custody in June 2018 and a nearly fivefold increase over June 2017, when authorities detained 21,673.

INTELLIGENCE: COATS SELLS REGAL BELOIT STOCK - Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently cut back on his investment in Regal Beloit stock (Barron's). Coats disclosed that he sold Regal Beloit stock (ticker: RBC) valued in the range from $100,001 to $250,000 on April 26. Specific values aren’t required for disclosure, only ranges. Coats reported the sale in a form he filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on May 15, but his filing didn’t receive its third and final approval until July 3. After then, it was publicly posted to the OGE site. Coats’s office didn’t respond to a request to make him available for comment on the stock sale.

MEDIA: CHICAGO DEFENDER GOING DIGITAL - The Chicago Defender, an influential African-American paper for more than a century, will print its last issue today and switch to digital-only (Chicago Tribune).

Local

CITIES: ACTIVISTS SEEK SGT. O'NEILL RESIGNATION - Several South Bend activists and a family member of Eric Logan expressed their frustration at the lack of changes following the police shooting of Logan on June 16. They also started a petition demanding that Mayor Pete Buttigieg recommend punitive action against the officer (Indiana Public Media). At the site where Eric Logan was fatally shot, activists called Sgt. Ryan O’Neill’s paid leave since the incident “unfair” to Logan’s family and to taxpayers. The group then went to the South Bend Mayor’s office to deliver a petition asking Buttigieg to call for O’Neill to resign and that be be placed on unpaid leave. When they arrived, only an intern was available to receive the message. They decided to keep the petition, but say they will return again with more signatures.

CITIES: INDYGO TAPS NEW CEO - The IndyGo Board of Directors has selected Inez Evans as the organization's next president and chief executive officer. Evans, who currently serves as chief operating officer for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in California, will begin her new role in August (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). She will succeed Michael Terry, who in January announced plans to step down from the position. IndyGo Board Chair Juan Gonzalez calls Evans "an ideal fit to lead the organization during a period of considerable growth." In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Evans said she is looking to jump into the role as IndyGo continues plans for several major projects, including the Red Line. "IndyGo has a great team there and a great infrastructure internally, great partnerships externally with the city and city council and has built great relationships with the community," said Evans.

CITIES: WEST LAFAYETTE SEEKS NEW CONTRACTOR FOR CITY HALL - West Lafayette City leaders are left looking for a new contractor to finish the new city hall (WLFI-TV). On Monday morning the city's redevelopment commission said they, "mutually parted ways" with Garmong. That's according to director of development Erik Carlson. Garmong and Berglund Construction partnered to work on the project a little less than a year ago. Berglund focuses on historical conservation. City leaders were adamant the Morton Community Center keep most of its classic look. The 90-year-old building is on the National Historical Registry list. Within the last 10 days, Garmong decided Berglund would no longer be a part of the construction team. That violated the contract between West Lafayette and Garmong.

COUNTIES: MALWARE ATTACKS IDLES LaPORTE COMPUTERS - All La Porte County government emails, and the county website, will be out of commission for "at least a couple of days" following a malware virus attack on Saturday morning (Michigan City News-Dispatch). La Porte County Board of Commissioners President Dr. Vidya Kora said Sunday evening that he advised county employees and members of the public needing to access any county government email or website that the system will be inoperable as authorities respond to a “malicious malware attack that occurred on Saturday morning that has disabled our computer and email systems.” An insurance policy taken out last year will help the county recover, Kora said. “Fortunately, our county liability agent of record, John Jones, last year recommended a cybersecurity insurance policy which the county commissioners authorized from Travelers Insurance" he said.