MYERS EXPECTED TO ENTER INGOV RACE WEDNESDAY: This should be a milestone week in the Indiana governor's race. Gov. Eric Holcomb kicks off his reelect at the historic "Hoosiers" gym in Knightstown at 1 p.m. Saturday. And while he still doesn't have an opponent, Kate Shepherd told Howey Politics Indiana that Dr. Woody Myers will be making an "announcement about his future" at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in front of the former Wishard Hospital Emergency Room where he used to see patients and teach critical care and emergency medicine. Shepherd said she has been hired by the Myers campaign. The Indianapolis native was the youngest state health commissioner in Indiana history and served under both Governors Evan Bayh and Robert D. Orr. Dr. Myers is scheduled to be introduced at the event by former Indiana Congressman Baron Hill. State Rep. Karlee Macer is working on emptying her nest (i.e. two of her kids are getting married), and State Sen. Eddie Melton is doing a listening tour with Republican Supt. Jennifer McCormick, creating the most interesting story line, but no challenger.

HERTEL NAMED SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN SOUTH BEND PD CASE: Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel will be named special prosecutor assigned to South Bend Police Department officer-involved shooting that occurred on June 16, 2019 (Howey Politics Indiana). Hertel will be announced at a press conference with Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter at 10 a.m. today at the South Bend City-County Building. Hertel will introduce himself and explain the role of the special prosecutor in the investigation of the South Bend Police Department officer-involved shooting that occurred in South Bend, IN on June 16, 2019 by Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, resulting in the death of 54-year-old Eric Logan. Carter will explain the role of the Indiana State Police in this investigation.

SEN. LUGAR TO BE BURIED AT ARLINGTON ON JULY 24: The late U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar will be buried at 9 a.m. on July 24 at Arlington National Cemetery (Howey Politics Indiana). The Lugar Family invites you to join them for the internment service. A reception will follow at the Women in Military Service of America Memorial, on the Cemetery grounds.

PENCE TO VISIT SOUTHERN BORDER FRIDAY: Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the southern border Friday, the same day that House Democrats are holding a hearing on dangerous conditions at overcrowded migrant detention centers (USA Today). Pence tweeted Monday that he is going to McAllen, Texas, home to one of the federal detention centers contributing to what federal investigators have called a "ticking time bomb." Pence said he will be accompanied by his wife and a bipartisan delegation of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  An inspector general's report released last week described conditions at overcrowded detention facilities in the Rio Grande Valley as “a ticking time bomb." Border Patrol managers told investigators that men had clogged toilets with Mylar blankets or socks to get out of cells during maintenance.

SWALWELL BECOMES FIRST DEM TO DROP OUT OF RACE: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on Monday, making him the first major candidate in the crowded 2020 primary field to end a presidential bid (The Hill). "After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination," Swalwell wrote in a message on his campaign website on Monday. "My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran," he continued. 

WHAT? PETE WORRIED? Mad Magazine will cease publication. Brian Doherty blames Mayor Pete Buttigieg at "Trump insulted Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg by tweeting that America wasn’t ready to elect Alfred E. Neuman (Mad’s goofy mascot who came to appear on every cover) president; Buttigieg purported in his youthful way to not have any idea who Trump was talking about, marking Mad as hopelessly irrelevant."

TRUMP PRAISED EPSTEIN, NOTED HIS DESIRE FOR YOUNGER WOMEN: After reports emerged that the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors, links between the billionaire and President Donald Trump have drawn attention (Business Insider). A Trump biographer, Tim O'Brien, tweeted the quote on Saturday. It came from a New York magazine profile of Epstein, in which Trump said: "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life." Few photos exist of Trump and Epstein together, but a 2000 photo shows the pair with Trump's then-girlfriend, Melania, and Epstein's then-girlfriend, the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2017, Politico reported allegations that a woman claiming to have been part of a sex-trafficking ring run by Epstein was recruited directly by Maxwell in 1999 from Mar-a-Lago, where the woman, who was then 15 years old, worked as a locker-room attendant. Known for socializing with politicians and royalty, Epstein’s friends once included U.S. President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton, and according to court papers Britain’s Prince Andrew (Reuters). None of those people was mentioned in the indictment.

EPSTEIN HAD TROVE OF LEWD PHOTOS OF GIRLS: Federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a criminal indictment Monday charging multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls, allegations that have circulated around the politically connected businessman for years (CNN). According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2005, Epstein ran a trafficking enterprise in which he paid hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his Upper East Side home and his estate in Palm Beach, worked with employees and associates to lure the girls to his residences and paid some of his victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse. "In this way, Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit, often on a daily basis," Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. Epstein, 66, was arrested Saturday night at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey aboard his private jet upon returning from Paris.

SEC. ACOSTA TIED TO EPSTEIN SCANDAL: White House officials are closely watching the coverage of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s past involvement as a prosecutor in billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal in 2008, acutely aware that negative publicity could harm him beyond repair, according to four people familiar with the situation (Politico). “The next 72 hours are critical for Acosta,” according to a former Trump adviser, who remains close to the White House. “This is a settled matter for people in the White House….but it’s usually the response that kills you.” So far, the expectation in the West Wing is that President Donald Trump is likely to give Acosta the benefit of the doubt because of the allegations of assault by women that he says have been falsely made against him and his most recent nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, according to the people. Also, Epstein’s circle of friends included Trump and former President Bill Clinton, complicating the situation for Trump.

TEEN USE OF MARIJUANA DIPS IN LEGAL STATES: New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens’ odds of using pot (AP). One reason may be that it’s harder and costlier for teens to buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries than from dealers, said lead author Mark Anderson, a health economist at Montana State University. The researchers analyzed national youth health and behavior surveys from 1993 through 2017 that included questions about marijuana use. Responses from 1.4 million high school students were included. There was no change linked with medical marijuana legislation but odds of teen use declined almost 10% after recreational marijuana laws were enacted. The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

JFK JR.'S FINAL DAYS SAGA INCLUDED TRIP TO ARGOS, INDIANA: Vanity Fair details the sad struggles of John F. Kennedy Jr. in an article "You Just Don't Wallow In Death, You Move On" by William D. Cohan with the story bringing him to Argos, Ind., on Nov. 22, 1997, some 34 years following the assassination of his father, President Kennedy. "On November 22, 1997, John and Carolyn went for three days to Argos, Indiana, of all places, to the headquarters of Buckeye Industries," Cohan writes. "A Buckeye executive was dispatched to Chicago and flew Carolyn and John back to the Argos area on a private jet. John had two purposes for the trip: to get his basic flight-instructor rating for the Buckeye, and to trade in his single-seat Buckeye Falcon 582 for a new Buckeye Dream Machine, a powered parachute. Carolyn took her first solo flight in Argos, and she seemed to love the experience as much as John did. 'Now you know why we are here,' he told her after she had landed, “to get a two-seater so we can fly together.” They went out to breakfast with the Buckeye executives, who completely fell for John and Carolyn. They especially found Carolyn to be warm and funny—and very pleased to be out of the Manhattan spotlight." JFK Jr., his wife and sister-in-law would die in a Piper Saratoga plane crash off Martha's Vineyard in July 1999.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The Indiana gubernatorial race will take shape this week with Gov. Holcomb's official kickoff in Knightstown on Saturday and Dr. Myers expected entry on Wednesday. We’ll be on the scene for both events. Look for full analysis in Thursday's weekly HPI. - Brian A. Howey


GOP HD31 CAUCUS SCHEDULED: Indiana Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer has officially called a caucus of eligible precinct committee members to fill the upcoming vacancy in the office of House District 31 (Howey Politics Indiana). The seat is currently held by Rep. Kevin Mahan, whose resignation from the Indiana House of Representatives will be effective July 31, 2019. The caucus will be held at 6:30 p.m. ET, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Ivy Tech Community College at 261 Commerce Drive, Marion, IN 46953. The individual selected at the July 30 caucus will fill the remainder of Rep. Mahan’s term. “Hoosiers across Blackford, Delaware, Grant and Wells counties will miss Rep. Mahan’s service at the Statehouse,” said Hupfer. “He’s been a leader on critical issues addressed in recent legislative sessions, ranging from providing great government service to keeping Hoosier children safe.”

INDEPENDENT TO RUN FOR RICHMOND MAYOR: Thomas Owens will run as an independent against Democrat incumbent Dave Snow and Republican challenger Jamie Lopeman in the November (Richmond Palladium-Item).

SCHMITZ MAY NOT QUALIFY FOR INDY BALLOT: John Schmitz, an independent candidate running for mayor of Indianapolis, has more than enough signatures to be allowed on the ballot. But many of those have not counted as signatures for him by the Marion County Board of Voter Registration, putting his candidacy in jeopardy (WRTV). An independent or minor party candidate must get a number of signatures equal to 2% of the votes cast for secretary of state in the 2018 General Election, so Schmitz needs 6,106. He said he has more than enough — more than 8,000. But as he’s presented them to the Marion County Board of Voter Registration for verification, many have been thrown out. He calls it an “unwinnable situation.” “I feel like we’ve done the work,” Schmitz said. “I feel like the people we’ve talked to want us on the ballot.”

Presidential 2020

TRUMP/PENCE MAGA RALLY SET FOR AUG. 1 IN CINCINNATI: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. announced that President Trump and Vice President Pence will host a Keep America Great rally on Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 pm EDT at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati (Howey Politics Indiana). This is the 29th rally that President Trump has held in Ohio and the fourth rally in Cincinnati since he first began his race for president in June, 2015. “President Trump looks forward to celebrating his achievements with the great men and women of Ohio,” said Michael Glassner, Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. “With a stunning 224,000 jobs created in June, 3.1% wage growth over the last year, and unemployment at its lowest point since 1969, President Trump continues to reach new economic heights and create opportunity for Americans across the nation.”

BUTTIGIEG FACES HOMOPHONIA IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Mayor Pete Buttigieg remains a top-five candidate, buoyed by prodigious fundraising, crisp communication, and a desire for generational change. But a question hangs over the campaign: Will his momentum stop at the doors of the socially conservative black churches of South Carolina? ( Buttigieg is already starting at a disadvantage: 17% of Democrats said they would not back a gay candidate for president, according to a Gallup survey released in April. Nationally, support for the LGBTQ community among African-American Democrats lags behind their white counterparts, with just 68% favoring laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing, compared to eight in 10 white Democrats, according to poll results released earlier this year by the Public Religion Research Institute. The numbers are lower when it comes to gay marriage. The same poll shows 48% of black Protestants favor allowing gay couples to marry legally, compared to roughly two-thirds of white Protestants and Catholics. An ongoing Pew Research Center poll registered similar findings: Just four in 10 black Protestants — a group that includes roughly 70% of all black South Carolinians — support same-sex marriage.

WARREN RAISES $19M WITHOUT ANY FUNDRAISERS: Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign announced Monday she raised $19.1 million in the second quarter of the year, more than tripling her first-quarter total despite holding no fundraisers (Politico). The haul far exceeded expectations, as Warren surpassed both Bernie Sanders ($18 million) and Kamala Harris ($12 million) and came close to Joe Biden ($21.5 milllion). Her outpacing of Sanders is particularly notable, given the army of small-dollar donors he amassed in 2016 and their similarly progressive stances. The eye-popping total is a validation for Warren after months of second-guessing from Washington strategists who questioned the wisdom of publicly vowing not to hold fundraisers or do “call time” with wealthy donors during the primary.

GABBARD ACCUSES HARRIS OF BIDEN 'PLOY': Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is accusing her Democratic presidential primary opponent Sen. Kamala Harris of staging a "political ploy" to smear former Vice President Joe Biden's reputation and his record on civil rights (CBS News). In an interview on CBSN's "Red & Blue" airing Monday, Gabbard said Harris has been "leveling this accusation that Joe Biden is a racist — when he's clearly not — as a way to try to smear him." She tweeted a similar sentiment earlier in the day.


BANKS LAUDS 'UNALIENABLE RIGHTS COMMISSION' CREATION: U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) released the following statement regarding the establishment of a Commission on Unalienable Rights by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Howey Politics Indiana). Said Rep. Banks, “The unalienable rights codified by Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence were deemed ‘self-evident’ to all freedom-loving Americans and serve as the bedrock of our nation’s principles.  While many countries throughout the years, and through the United Nations, have expressed their shared belief in these human rights, the many crises that currently threaten human dignity and liberty have cast a shadow of doubt as to whether or not this is actually the case. To properly confront these pressing issues, American policies must accurately reflect these ‘unalienable rights’ and be crystal clear as to what these rights entail.  Today, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo showed the world that America, and specifically this administration, will have no equal when it comes to promoting freedom at home and abroad through the establishment of a Commission on Unalienable Rights. The Commission will be an invaluable resource to U.S. diplomats and the Secretary of State as they do the patriotic work of promoting the liberties and freedoms that were endowed by our creator to all men, women and children.  Freedom loving people everywhere thank the President and Secretary for their tireless work toward this noble goal.”

CBO SAYS MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE WOULD KILL 1.3M JOBS: Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, as House Democrats have proposed, would cost 1.3 million Americans their jobs but deliver a raise for 17 million workers, according to a newly released study from the Congressional Budget Office (Wall Street Journal). The nonpartisan agency prepared the report on the effects of lifting the wage from $7.25 an hour ahead of next week’s expected House vote on a bill that would gradually lift the pay floor to $15 an hour by 2024. The study, released Monday, estimates that in an average week in 2025, a $15-an-hour minimum wage would boost the pay of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour. It could also possibly lift the pay of 10 million workers who otherwise would earn slightly more than $15 an hour. Raising the federal minimum to that level would lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, the CBO said. But the report’s median estimate showed 1.3 million workers would become jobless because of the law. Projected job-loss outcomes range from between about zero and 3.7 million workers.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ANNOUNCES TEACHER COMPENSATION HEARINGS - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today announced the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission will launch a series of input sessions as part of his effort to make teacher pay competitive with surrounding states (Howey Politics Indiana). The commission and advisory council, which includes education and business leaders, have been tasked with providing recommendations for how to achieve competitive compensation for teachers. The commission will deliver the recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly prior to the 2021 legislative session. During the input sessions, members of the commission and advisory council will seek ideas and solutions, and listen to issues and concerns: Monday, August 19: Indianapolis; Saturday, August 24: Evansville; Tuesday, August 27: Elkhart.

OCRA: 5 COMMUNITIES RECEIVE GRANTS - Lt. Gov. Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs awarded five communities a grant to help celebrate Downtown Development Week (Howey Politics Indiana). “Having our communities take the celebrations to the Next Level through these grants really enables them to come up with creative, unique ways to showcase their downtowns,” Crouch said. “I look forward to visiting these towns in October.” Downtown Development Week, taking place Oct. 7 – 12, 2019, will honor Indiana’s cities and towns’ commitment to preserve and invest in their downtown. Communities across the state will host various events and activities to showcase the uniqueness of their downtowns and city centers. “Last year’s inaugural Downtown Development Week was warmly welcomed with more than 30 communities across the state hosting events," said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “We are excited that these five awarded communities are working to make their downtowns a major stimulator for economic growth and talent retention.”

IDEM: AIR QUALITY WARNING ISSUED - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for Tuesday, July 9, 2019 in the following areas: Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Morgan and Shelby Counties. Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

INDOT: 1-465 HEARING SET WEDNESDAY - A public open house will be held on Wednesday to discuss the I-465 reconfiguration project (Fox59). The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is hosting the event and is asking the public to voice their thoughts on I-465 construction scheduled to begin in 2021. Part of Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Roads initiative, the project involves I-465 on the south side of Indianapolis from just west of U.S. 31 to the I-465/I-65 interchange and I-465 between the I-70 interchange and Mann Road. Plans include widening of I-465 in both directions and the building of retaining walls, according to INDOT. The reconfiguration of the I-465/U.S. 31 interchange and the replacement of multiple bridges will also be discussed. The open house will be held Wednesday, July 10 at 6 p.m., beginning with a presentation from INDOT at 6:30 p.m., at Decatur Central High School Cafeteria located at 5251 Kentucky Avenue.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP OFFICIALS TO BRIEF SENATORS ON ELECTION SECURITY - Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration will brief senators on election security on Wednesday amid bipartisan agreement that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, according to a senior Senate aide (Politico). Wednesday’s briefing, requested by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), will be open to all senators and is expected to include officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, the aide said.

WHITE HOUSE: CUOMO SIGNS BILL TO SEEK TRUMP TAX RETURNS - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed an amendment to New York law that would allow Congress to get hold of President Donald Trump's state tax returns while the legal battle for his federal returns rages on (CNN). The law, which takes effect Monday, requires the state's tax commissioner to provide New York state tax returns to Congress upon request from the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation and mandates the removal of any federal tax information that might appear on state returns. Despite this, there are no immediate plans for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to request Trump's state tax returns as the law outlines, according to a Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation. Utilizing the New York law could complicate the battle the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee has already been waging in court to obtain six years of the President's personal and business federal tax returns.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP WON'T DEAL WITH UK AMBASSADOR - President Trump on Monday said he would “no longer deal with” the U.K.’s ambassador to the U.S. after leaked cables revealed the diplomat’s blunt assessment of the Trump administration (The Hill). “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him,” Trump tweeted, referring to Kim Darroch. The British embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Even as Trump bristled at being criticized in secret diplomatic notes, he went after outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, who expressed “full faith” in Darroch, over her handling of Brexit. “What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way,” Trump wrote, adding that “the good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister.” Darroch wrote in secret cables to top officials in London that Trump is viewed as “insecure” and “incompetent.” He said there are doubts in Washington about whether the White House “is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less faction-riven, less diplomatically clumsy and inept.” The British government has expressed regret to Trump administration officials for the leak.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP UPSET WITH FOX NEWS - While it was not clear what President Trump was specifically responding to, he was particularly annoyed by Fox correspondent Greg Palkot's live report from a sports bar in France, where patrons erupted in a 'F--- Trump' chant, according to two advisers not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions (AP). The president's frustration with the network has grown in recent months. He has angrily told confidants he is confused about why Fox News sometimes 'goes negative' in its coverage of his administration when it features an unflattering portrait of his White House, the advisers said. Trump was particularly annoyed at Fox's coverage when he saw his ties to billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein being played up on the other networks.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE WARNS IRAN - Vice President Mike Pence warned Iran Monday not to test the administration’s patience after Tehran said it began enriching uranium to 4.5%, breaking the limit set by its nuclear deal with world powers (Washington Times). Speaking to the annual Christians for Israel summit in Washington, Mr. Pence noted Iran’s announcement that it was exceeding the threshold set in the 2015 agreement. “Iran should not confuse American restraint with a lack of American resolve,” Mr. Pence said. “We hope for the best, but the United States of America and our military are prepared to protect our interests and protect our personnel and our citizens in the region.” He said the U.S. “will continue to oppose Iran’s malign influence. We will continue to bring pressure on their economy. And under President Donald Trump, America will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE BLASTS AOC - Vice President Pence on Monday tore into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for likening detention facilities near the southern border to "concentration camps" as he spoke to a pro-Israel group in Washington, D.C. (The Hill). The vice president did not mention Ocasio-Cortez by name, but seized on her remarks in a lengthy portion of his speech that began with his recollection of visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp earlier this year. "We must never allow the memory of those lost in the Holocaust to be cheapened as a cliché to advance some left-wing political narrative," Pence said at the Christians United for Israel’s annual summit. "Sadly, in recent weeks, that’s exactly what some Democrats have done in the national debate," he continued. "Last month, a leading Democrat in Congress actually compared our U.S. Customs and Border Protection detection facilities to concentration camps."

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - The Emir of Qatar will arrive at the White House at noon, and will meet with the president after that. At 12:20, the president will participate in "a commercial signing ceremonies viewing" before lunch with the emir. At 1:35 p.m., the emir will leave the White House.

WHITE HOUSE: BILL CLINTON STATEMENT ON EPSTEIN - Angel Ureña, spokesman for former President Bill Clinton, issued this statement last evening: "President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York. In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation. Staff, supporters of the Foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip.

He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein’s New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail.  He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida."

JUSTICE: BARR SEES LEGAL WAY FOR CENSUS QUESTION - Attorney General William Barr said Monday he sees a way to legally require 2020 census respondents to declare whether or not they are citizens, despite a Supreme Court ruling that forbade asking the question (AP). In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said the Trump administration will take action in the coming days that he believes will allow the government to add the controversial census query. Barr would not detail the plans, though a senior official said President Donald Trump is expected to issue a memorandum to the Commerce Department instructing it to include the question on census forms.

STATE: POMPEO INTRODUCES 'UNALIENABLE RIGHTS' COMMISSION - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday unveiled a new Commission on Unalienable Rights, a panel he said is aimed at providing him with “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy” (Politico) The panel will be headed up by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former ambassador to the Vatican under George W. Bush. Glendon is also a social conservative who has been a prominent anti-abortion voice, which could lend credence to the concerns among human rights activists that the commission is a ploy to undercut LGBTQ and women’s rights under the guise of religious liberty. In remarks at the State Department on Monday, Pompeo noted that “words like ‘rights’ can be used by good or evil,” decrying how some have “hijacked” human rights rhetoric to be used for “dubious or malignant purposes.”

EPA: NEW ETHANOL RULE ANGERS CORN FARMERS - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2020. President Trump claims to be a big supporter of renewable fuels, but his agency, the EPA in their latest proposed rule, released over the holiday weekend, would hurt ethanol demand (Truitt, Hoosier Ag Today). “The proposed rule is a direct contradiction to the President’s commitment to the RFS and to the ethanol industry,” said  Geoff Cooper, with the Renewable Fuels Association. The proposed level of ethanol to be blended in 2020 would be 15 billion gallons, unchanged from the level set in 2019. Cooper notes the agency did not address the issue of small refinery wavers or the court-ordered make up of lost demand from 2016. “We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule,” said National Corn Growers Association President and Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp.

MEDIA: LEFT WING WEBSITES COMING - Left-leaning media companies designed to counter the rhetoric of the Trump White House and its conservative media machine are growing ahead of the 2020 election, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer reports: ACRONYM, a progressive nonprofit led by veteran Democratic consultant Tara McGowan, plans to invest more than $1 million over the next two years in The Dogwood, a new hyper-local digital news site for residents of Virginia. Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron announced last week that he’s joining a new progressive website, Front Page Live, which aims to be the Drudge Report of the left. David Bohrman, a former CNN executive and MSNBC consultant, last year launched Political Voices Network, which aimed to compete with right-wing digital streaming networks like CRTV and Sinclair.


CITIES: BUTTIGIEG ADDRESSES COUNCIL ON POLICE SHOOTING         - Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday told the city’s Common Council that he’ll ask the Board of Public Safety to conduct a “community-oriented” review of officers’ use of deadly force, body cameras and suspect pursuit policies, and he pledged to implement any resulting policy changes by the time he leaves office at year’s end (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Buttigieg said he’ll ask the board to host a series of public meetings “that will allow for an opportunity both to educate the public and for the public to educate us ...” The mayor gave the council an update on his administration’s response to the June 16 fatal shooting of Eric Logan, who is black, by white officer Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, something the city and nation are closely watching in light of Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. “I think these steps are urgent no matter what the investigation determines,” Buttigieg said. “If an investigation comes back and says that the shooting was not avoidable and that the officer followed every policy, we’re still left with the fact that there is tremendous concern and anguish, even, in the community over the relationship between the police department and communities of color. What we saw in the days and weeks after the shooting is much bigger than the incident itself.”

CITIES: INDY COUNCIL SETTLES LEGAL CLAIMS FOR $125K - The Indianapolis City-County Council has settled legal claims by two city employees that they were wrongly fired from their jobs by former President Stephen Clay for $125,000 (WIBC). The claims stemmed from the time  Clay was President and fired two employees; then Council Clerk Natrina Debow and SaRita Hughes who was the assistant Clerk at the time.

CITIES: PORTAGE CLERK PROVIDES DOCUMENTS -  Clerk-Treasurer Chris Stidham has provided Portage officials with the documents requested involving allegedly unapproved payments to three companies by his office (NWI Times). Copies of the checks in question, invoices and account registers were provided to Mayor John Cannon, Board of Works Member Ron Necco, Attorney Gregory Sobkowski and media outlets, including The Times Media Co.

CITIES: IMPD MAKES COMMAND CHANGES -  Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Bryan Roach announced command staff changes focused on leveraging the experience of IMPD leaders to ensure continuity in investigations and operations (Howey Politics Indiana). Craig McCartt, a 24-year veteran of the IMPD and recent graduate of the FBI National Academy, has been appointed Deputy Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division. Jerry Leary has been appointed Commander of East District. Since joining what was then IPD in 1995, Leary has remained dedicated to building connections with Indianapolis neighborhoods, serving in roles ranging from patrol officer, to district shift supervisor, as a district crime specialist, and most recently as the Day Shift Captain on East District. Karen Arnett, who has served on the IMPD for more than three decades, will move to East District as the new Day Shift Captain. Arnett most recently served as Night Watch Captain, previously serving as Commander of both Downtown and Northwest districts, as well as in the Homicide Branch working to build stronger relationships with the community.

COUNTIES: FORMER PORTER ELECTION OFFICIAL WANTS REINSTATEMENT - A former high-ranking Porter County election official is asking a federal judge to reinstate her on the county government payroll (NWI Times). Kathryn A. Kozuszek claims in a request for a preliminary injunction that her removal from voter registration and election duties by Porter County officials was an improper act of political retribution for her outspoken criticism of their handling of last fall’s vote tally.