PENCE REFUSAL TO OVERTURN ELECTION ENRAGED TRUMP: Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election enraged President Donald J. Trump, who in a series of meetings leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, had alternately cajoled and tried to browbeat him into doing so (New York Times). The blowup between the nation’s two highest elected officials then played out in dramatic fashion as the president publicly excoriated the vice president at an incendiary rally and sent agitated supporters to the Capitol where they stormed the building — some of them chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” Evacuated to the basement, Mr. Pence huddled for hours while Mr. Trump tweeted out an attack on him rather than call to check on his safety. It was an extraordinary rupture of a partnership that had survived too many challenges to count. The loyal lieutenant who had almost never diverged from the president, who had finessed every other possible fracture, finally came to a decision point he could not avoid. He would uphold the election despite the president and despite the mob. And he would pay the price with the political base he once hoped to harness for his own run for the White House.

 

JUDGE LUTTIG DESCRIBES 'REVOLUTION WITHIN CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS': J. Michael Luttig, a retired federal appeals court judge who consulted with an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, said that had the vice president obeyed Trump’s orders not to certify the Electoral College votes, it would have “plunged America” into “a revolution within a constitutional crisis” (New York Times). Judge Luttig was one of two witnesses appearing at the third public hearing held by the House select committee investigating the riot at the Capitol and the actions of former President Donald J. Trump leading up to it. Judge Luttig spoke in relation to the intense pressure campaign on Mr. Pence by Mr. Trump and his allies, who pushed the vice president to insert himself into the certification of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6 to prevent Joseph R. Biden Jr. from being declared the winner. Judge Luttig consulted with a lawyer for Mr. Pence, who had aides gathering information to affirm his belief that he did not have the authority to do what Mr. Trump wanted. Judge Luttig testified that had Mr. Pence complied, it would have set up a volatile situation. “There was no support whatsoever in either the constitution of the United States or the laws of the United States for the vice president, frankly, ever to count alternative electoral slates from the states that had not been officially certified by the designated state official in the Electoral Count Act of 1887,” Judge Luttig said.

 

INSURRECTION MOB WAS WITHIN 40 FEET OF PENCE, FAMILY:  Donald Trump's closest advisers viewed his last-ditch efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject the tally of state electors and overturn the 2020 election as “nuts,” “crazy” and even likely incite riots, witnesses revealed in stark testimony to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday (AP). Gripping new evidence also detailed how the mob that stormed the Capitol that day came within 40 feet of where Pence and his team were sheltering, highlighting the danger Trump had put him in. With live testimony, including from Pence’s counsel, and other evidence from its yearlong investigation the panel is dissecting as unlawful and unconstitutional the plan from conservative lawyer John Eastman to reverse Joe Biden's election victory. The pressure Trump put on Pence, including at a Jan. 6 rally, led directly to the insurrection at the Capitol, the panel said. “Are you out of your effing mind?” said Eric Herschmann, a lawyer advising Trump, told Eastman in recorded testimony shown at the hearing. “You’re going to turn around and tell 78-plus million people in this country that your theory is this is how you’re going to invalidate their votes?” Herschmann said. He warned: “You’re going to cause riots in the streets.”

 

JOHN EASTMAN SOUGHT TRUMP PARDON: John Eastman, a conservative lawyer advising President Donald Trump, sought a presidential pardon after pushing a plan to overturn the 2020 election that he knew to be illegal, evidence and testimony showed during a hearing Thursday by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection (Washington Post). Eastman had aggressively pushed a plan for Vice President Mike Pence to use his authority to help overturn the results, but acknowledged to Pence attorney Greg Jacob that the plot violated the law and would lose at the Supreme Court “nine to nothing,” Jacob testified. Eastman went on to invoke the 5th Amendment more than 100 times when he testified before the select committee.

 

DOJ SEEKS JAN. 6 TRANSCRIPTS: The Justice Department on Thursday revealed a deepening rift with the Jan. 6 House select committee, accusing the panel of a “failure” to share its 1,000 witness transcripts (Politico). Department officials say those documents would aid the prosecution of people who breached the Capitol, including leaders of the Proud Boys. “The Select Committee’s failure to grant the Department access to these transcripts complicates the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” the department wrote in a letter Wednesday, signed by Criminal Division chief Kenneth Polite Jr. and National Security Division head Matthew Olsen, as well as the U.S. attorney for D.C., Matthew Graves. The Justice Department officials said it was “critical” that the panel provide prosecutors “copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews.”

 

MAYOR DENNIS ANNOUNCES HE HAS ALZHEIMER'S:  The sun is setting on John Dennis' final term as West Lafayette mayor, and while he never planned to run for a fifth term, his announcement Thursday indicated the next 18 months will be different than the previous 14 years (Wilkins, Lafayette Journal & Courier). "I was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's," Dennis said during an interview Thursday afternoon. "I'm doing fine, but this puts the importance of my family and close friends at the forefront of my priorities for the future." "I'm good in the moment," Dennis said, admitting his speaking and some of his memory are affected by the disease for which there is no cure. Dennis said he found himself searching for words, forgetting why he went into a room and losing his train of thought while speaking with people or to groups. "My intentions have always been to retire at the end of this term," he said. "My intention is to finish strong. My family time is becoming more precious with each day. I am taking medication, which is helping."

 

DERECHO SLAMS BABY FORMULA PLANT; DISRUPTS PRODUCTION: Severe weather has forced Abbott Nutrition to pause production at a Michigan baby formula factory that had just restarted after being closed for several months, contributing to a national shortage (AP). Production for Abbott’s EleCare specialty formula has been suspended, but there is enough supply to meet demand until production is restarted, the company said. Abbott had prioritized ramping up production of the specialty formula for infants with severe food allergies and digestive problems who have few other options for nutrition. Abbott says it needs to assess damage and re-sanitize the factory after severe thunderstorms and heavy rains swept through southwestern Michigan late Monday. Spokesman Jonathon Hamilton said flooding hit a few areas of the factory, but he declined to provide more specific details about damage. The storm also brought high winds, hail and power failures to Sturgis, Michigan, where the factory is located. The company expects production and distribution to be delayed for a few weeks as it cleans the plant.

 

BIDEN SAYS AMERICANS 'REALLY DOWN': President Joe Biden said Thursday the American people are “really, really down” after a tumultuous two years with the coronavirus pandemic, volatility in the economy and now surging gasoline prices that are slamming family budgets (AP). But he stressed that a recession was “not inevitable” and held out hope of giving the country a greater sense of confidence. Speaking to The Associated Press in a 30-minute Oval Office interview, the president emphasized the battered economy that he inherited and the lingering psychological scars caused by a pandemic that disrupted people’s sense of identity. He bristled at claims by Republican lawmakers that last year’s COVID-19 aid plan was fully to blame for inflation reaching a 40-year high, calling that argument “bizarre.” As for the overall American mindset, Biden said, “People are really, really down.”

 

ABORTIONS UP 2% IN INDIANA: The rate of Indiana abortions increased by 2 percent from 2017 to 2020.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, 7,880 abortions were performed in the state in 2020 (Ryan, Indiana Public Media). The number and rates of U.S. abortions have increased from 2017 to 2020 after a long decline. In 2017, nationwide abortion figures reached their lowest point since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Seven abortion centers currently perform surgical abortions in Indiana, according to the Indiana Department of Health’s website. Abortion is legal in Indiana through 21 weeks and six days after the first day of a pregnant person's last menstrual period, according to abortionfinder.org. Exceptions may be made to save the pregnant person’s life or preserve their physical health.

 

SEN. YOUNG OPTIMISTIC ON GUN FRAMEWORK: Congress is still mulling over the language of a possible bipartisan deal on gun control legislation (Darling, WIBC). Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, has been the point man on the negotiations on the Republican side of things, something that has Indiana’s Republican senator, Todd Young, feeling comfortable about the process. “I’m actually really encouraged that we have Sen. John Cornyn walking point on this negotiation. Like me, he is someone who has received an A+ rating from the NRA,” Young said on Bloomberg TV Radio. “He wants to make sure that our children are protected, that mentally ill people are not getting their hands on guns if they present a harm to others or to themselves.” Both those points are mainstays of the framework being discussed and are two tenants that Young can get behind.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: On Thursday, ABC News published a Jan. 6 photo of the Pence family in the ceremonial Senate office, with Karen Pence rapidly closing curtains, the Pence brothers glancing at each other while the vice president’s daughter has a shocked expression on her face as the din of the mob arose about them. We later learned that this mob, chanting "Hang Mike Pence," had come within 40 feet of the family, while President Trump continued to sending incendiary tweets to the mob. That Judge J. Michael Luttig described a "revolution within a constitutional crisis" is a stunning milepost in the fragile American democracy and, perhaps, the darkest day of the American presidency. Had Pence succumbed to Trump's pressure, there would have been violence in the streets. Judge Luttig's final statement: “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy. They would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020. I don't speak those words lightly. I would have never spoken those words ever in my life, except that that's what the former president and his allies are telling us.” - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

LAWSON ENDORSES SULLIVAN: Former secretary of state Connie Lawson sent a letter to Republican convention delegates, urging them to nominate her successor, current Secretary of State Holli Sullivan (Howey Politics Indiana). “As secretary of state I worked with Holli as a state representative to pass vital legislation to safeguard the integrity of elections,” Lawson writes. “I encourage you to vote to Holli.”

 

INDEMS SAY HOLCOMB SHOULD THANK BIDEN FOR READI GRANTS: The Indiana Democratic Party  asked Gov. Eric Holcomb to be honest about the real reason behind Spencer County’s bright economic future: the American Rescue Plan (Howey Politics Indiana). Holcomb is expected to address the Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce this morning, and there’s no doubt he’ll tout the state’s READI program as the reason why the community has better days ahead. But here’s the kicker: President Joe Biden’s Rescue Plan is paying for the programs Holcomb will celebrate during today’s luncheon (Howey Politics Indiana). “Gov. Eric Holcomb owes President Joe Biden a big ‘thank you’ for fully-funding the state’s READI program. Thanks to Indiana Democrats, new workforce and economic opportunities will help communities like Spencer County thrive,” said Lauren Ganapini, executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, Holcomb’s Indiana Republican Party said no to the projects the governor celebrates because they put their national partisanship ahead of the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Hoosiers. The Indiana GOP: no plans, just partisanship.”

 

INDEMS TOUT $19M IN ARP FUNDS: The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated how President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan is delivering (again) for Hoosiers across Indiana. This time, the COVID-19 Relief funds are investing about $19.3 million in projects across Vanderburgh County - including for paving roads, improving both security measures and mental health resources in the County Jail, and community development. These investments will help fix the F-rated quality of life created under the Indiana Republican Party’s 18-year control of the state government - and it’s Democrats who are correcting this partisan mess.

 

State

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL: ROKITA ANNOUNCES $2.9M SETTLEMENT - Attorney General Todd Rokita has finalized a $2.9 settlement for Hoosiers with software company Intuit over alleged deceptive advertising for its TurboTax program — and his office’s recoveries for Hoosiers have now surpassed $385 million since he took office in January 2021 (Howey Politics Indiana). “At my inauguration, I committed to the people of Indiana that my administration would serve with servants’ hearts,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The work we have put into recovering funds on behalf of Hoosiers is just one manifestation of this spirit.” The sum of total recoveries represents the work of four divisions: Complex Litigation, Consumer Protection, Litigation and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Recoveries refer to money obtained via consumer settlements and court judgments involving civil penalties, restitution, contract or loan cancellation, costs and/or other financial recoveries. More than $44 million of the money recovered goes to Hoosiers in the form of restitution or canceled contracts. That is the case with the $2.9 million settlement with Intuit, which came in the form of an agreement of voluntary compliance.

 

ISP: WARNS OF PUPPY SCAMS - Indiana State Police is warning Hoosiers about online puppy scams (WTHR-TV). The post in Putnamville reports it is looking into incidents where people purchased puppies using social media platforms. ISP said Hoosiers are paying for the puppies and are then given an address. Once they get to that address, they realize they have been scammed and are out the money.

 

SBA: SEEKS $1.1M FROM ANDERSON BOOKKEEPER - The Indiana State Board of Accounts is asking a former food service department bookkeeper to repay more than $1.1 million to the taxpayers following a special audit of the Anderson Community School Corporation (Kenney, WRTV). Carla Burke was hired by the Anderson Community School Corporation in 1998, and was named food service department bookkeeper in 2006. She was responsible for maintaining the financial records for the school lunch fund extracurricular account (ECA) including reconciling the bank account, maintaining vendor invoices, preparing checks to vendors, as well as filing the department’s federal and state payroll withholding taxes. During an audit of the school district, auditors with the State Board of Accounts found checks meant for vendors were issued and cashed by Burke.

 

PURDUE: NATIONAL GROUP CRITICAL OF PRESIDENTIAL HIRE - A national group representing university professors is calling Purdue University’s presidential hiring process “disturbing” (Thorp, WBAA). Last week, the successor to current president Mitch Daniels was announced at the board of trustees meeting. That announcement came as a surprise to all three chapters of the Purdue American Association of University Professors, who released statements criticizing the process for being secretive and not allowing for faculty input. Now, the national arm of the AAUP has weighed in - noting just how unusual it is not to include faculty in the decision. Mark Criley is with the AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance. He said a 2021 survey found 94 percent of doctoral institutions involved faculty in a presidential search. “It’s a very rare thing across all four-year colleges, but especially at doctoral institutions. It’s a widely shared norm, and that I think reflects the significance of having the faculty involved,” he said.

 

IU: COLLABORATION OF UKRAINE CULTURE - Local professionals and students are working to help preserve Ukrainian culture as Russia tries to overrun Ukraine (Vaughn, Indiana Public Media). It started on the first day of the invasion. Some Ukrainian cultural researchers reached out to Iryna Voloshyna, a PhD candidate in Indiana University’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, asking for help finding a safe space for their collections. Voloshyna in turn reached out to Jessica Turner of the American Folklore Society housed at IU. Together they networked with national and international organizations and colleagues to create and maintain a cloud storage environment to preserve large amounts of “heritage research data.” “The kind of work ethnographers, ethnomusicologists and folklorists are working on,” Turner said. “Collecting interviews, recording songs, and [collecting] photographs of traditional cultural expression, and heritage art … so these are researchers that had a lot of years’ worth of that kind of material on hard drives that they were really worried about losing.”

 

Congress

 

WALORSKI AUTHORS CHOICE FOR CHILDREN ACT: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), as first reported by the Washington Examiner, introduced the Educational Choice for Children Act, which would support parents’ right to choose school options that work for their family. Specifically, this legislation would expand education freedom and opportunity for millions of students by providing a charitable donation incentive for individuals and businesses to fund scholarship awards for students to cover expenses related to K-12 public and private education, amounting to $10 billion on an annual basis (Howey Politics Indiana). Rep. Walorski introduced the Educational Choice for Children Act alongside House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), House Committee on Education and Labor Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Rep. Jim Baird (R-Ind.), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-Iowa), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate. “Our children’s education is the key to America’s future success. Every child should have the opportunity to live the American Dream – regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic background,” said Rep. Walorski. “Offering families school options will help millions of children access the best possible education for them. As we look to our nation’s future, this investment will restore power to parents and equip every American child to thrive.” “Giving parents the ability to make decisions over their child’s education puts that child’s needs first,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bill provides yet another opportunity to empower parents and allow millions of children to thrive in a school that’s best for them.”

 

SPARTZ INTRODUCES BILLS ADDRESSING HOSPITAL PRICING: U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (IN-05) introduced several healthcare bills to improve hospital competition and healthcare value (Howey Politics Indiana).“The current hospital price situation is unacceptable and unsustainable,” said Rep. Spartz. “We, as a government, created this powerful monopoly problem, and now owe it to the American people to fix it.”Based on RAND studies performed by the Employers’ Forum of Indiana, Indiana has some of the highest prices of healthcare in the nation and significant hospital market consolidation.

 

YOUNG INTRODUCES TSA/DISABLE VETERANS BILL: bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to provide disabled veterans Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre√® passed the Senate by unanimous consent (Howey Politics Indiana). TSA Pre√® is already offered to active duty, reserves, and National Guard service members at no cost. The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act will expand this program to include veterans who are amputees, paralyzed, or blind. Currently, there are approximately 70,000 amputee veterans, 100,000 paralyzed, and 130,000 blind veterans in the United States. Passing through airport security with prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids presents a challenge to these individuals when traveling. “The VETS Safe Travel Act was written for veterans with disabilities who dread the airport because of the indignities they will endure at security checkpoints. This bill will help veterans travel easier by providing them with Pre√® benefits. I’m glad our bill finally passed the Senate, and I urge the House to pass it quickly,” said Senator Young.

 

YOUNG TO SPEAK AT NATIONAL ADOPTION CONFERENCE: On Friday, June 17, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) will deliver remarks at the National Adoption Conference hosted by National Council For Adoption in Indianapolis at 11:45 a.m., Indianapolis Marriott Downtown (Howey Politics Indiana).

 

JAN. 6 PANEL SEEKS GINNI THOMAS TESTIMONY: The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is likely to request an interview soon with Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, its chairman said on Thursday, after fresh evidence surfaced that she had been in contact with an architect of former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election (New York Times). “We think it’s time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee,” Representative Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, told Axios. “It’s time for us to invite her to come talk,” he told CNN.

 

THE SENATE and HOUSE are out.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: DR. FAUCI HAS COVID - Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of America’s pandemic response through two White House administrations, has tested positive for the coronavirus (AP). The 81-year-old Fauci, who is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots, was experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, according to a statement Wednesday from the National Institutes of Health. Fauci has not recently been in close contact with President Joe Biden or other senior government officials. He tested positive on a rapid antigen test. He is following public health guidelines and his doctor’s advice, and will return to work at the NIH when he tests negative, according to the statement.

 

WHITE HOUSE: STAFF SHAKEUP UNDERWAY - The White House has faced a slew of departures recently, with several top officials announcing at once that they are moving on after 18 months in the administration during a time when President Biden’s job approval rating continues to sink amid consistently poor marks politically (The Hill). While 18 months is typical for staff turnover in the White House, it comes at a perilous moment for Democrats ahead of crucial midterm elections. “Given the complex challenges that the administration is facing, these departures are coming at an inopportune time,” said Democratic strategist Joel Payne.

 

WHITE HOUSE: HARRIS LAUNCHES TAX FORCE ON ONLINE ABUSE - Vice President Kamala Harris and administration officials on Thursday launched a task force dedicated to fighting online harassment and abuse, which they warned can be a precursor to real-life violence (ABC News). “The internet is an essential part of life in the 21st century,” Harris said, but for many — particularly women, people of color, and people who are not heterosexual — “the internet is a place of fear." The task force will address several issues, including prevention of online abuse and services for people who are targeted. It is scheduled to issue recommendations for the federal government and private companies in 180 days.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule — 7:30 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. — 8:30 a.m.: Biden will host the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. — 11 a.m.: Biden and first lady JILL BIDEN will depart the White House en route to Rehoboth Beach, Del., where they are scheduled to arrive at 11:55 a.m. VP Harris: — 10:05 a.m.: The vice president, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will depart D.C. en route to Pittsburgh, Pa. — 1:15 p.m.: Harris will participate in a conversation with community members about removing and replacing lead pipes. — 3:25 p.m.: Harris, Emhoff, Fudge and Regan will leave Pittsburgh to return to D.C. — 4:30 p.m.: Harris and Emhoff will visit Dulles International Airport to meet with aviation and transport workers who are working to deliver infant formula.

 

STATE: DONNELLY RETURNS TO MICHIANA - Former Indiana Senator and current Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, returned to the Michiana area on Thursday evening. Donnelly spoke at the monthly neighborhood meeting of the Mishawaka City Council about his work in Rome. “Hard work helping others do your job. Do it well, walk humbly, that's who we are. I try to be reflective of our community,” said Donnelly. In an exclusive interview with ABC57, Donnelly says that White House officials and the Vatican are particularly concentrating resources on the war in Ukraine, speaking personally with Pope Francis on the churches’ role. "And he looked and he said, 'Joe, I’m trying so hard. and I just can't crack this one. We're working on it.' And I was like, wow. You could see the weight of the world was on his shoulders. So, it was really moving,” said Donnelly.

 

STATE: ASSANGE TO BE EXTRADICTED TO U.S. - The British government on Friday ordered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face espionage and hacking charges. Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision, the British Home Office said (Washington Post). Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for the latest updates on Russia's war in Ukraine. Assange has been held in a London prison since 2019, after seven years evading arrest by seeking political asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy. His attorneys argued that he was at high risk of suicide under the restrictions he might face while in U.S. custody.

 

TRANSPORTATION: 1,500 FLIGHTS CANCELED - Airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights in the U.S. on Thursday, one of the worst days yet for travel as the peak summer vacation season heats up (AP). At LaGuardia Airport in New York, more than one-third of all flights were scrubbed, and more than one-fourth of flights were dropped at nearby Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey, according to tracking service FlightAware. FlightAware said 23, or 6%, of incoming flights and 17, or 4%, of outgoing flights from Indianapolis International Airport were canceled on Thursday. The cancellations came less than three weeks after airlines kicked off the summer travel season by canceling about 2,800 flights in a five-day stretch around the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

 

FREDDY MAC: MORTAGE RATES UP 5.78% - U.S. mortgage rates reached their highest level in more than 13 years, the latest sign of market tumult tied to the Federal Reserve’s campaign to cool inflation (Wall Street Journal). The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.78%, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday, the highest level since November 2008 and well above the 3.11% recorded near the end of last year. Last week, Freddie Mac reported an average mortgage rate of 5.23%.

 

MEDIA: USA TODAY REMOVES 23 FABRICATED STORIES - USA Today on Thursday said that it had removed 23 stories from its website after an internal investigation found that one of its journalists had apparently "fabricated" quotes in her stories (CNN). "After receiving an external correction request, USA Today audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda," said an editor's note written by USA Today's managing editor of standards, Michael McCarter. "The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others." "As a result," the note added, "USA Today removed 23 articles from its website and other platforms for not meeting our editorial standards."

 

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - ABC “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Panel: Chris Christie, Heidi Heitkamp, Jonathan Karl and Averi Harper. “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Panel: Ben Domenech, Catherine Lucey, Howard Kurtz and Harold Ford Jr. CBS “Face the Nation”: Scott Gottlieb, David Malpass, Ibram X. Kendi. CNN “Inside Politics”: Jonathan Martin, Audie Cornish, Tarini Parti, Melanie Zanona and Carrie Cordero. NBC “Meet the Press”: Panel: Peter Alexander, Brendan Buck, María Teresa Kumar and Betsy Woodruff Swan.

 

NEW MEXICO: COMMISSIONER REFUSES TO CERTIFY ELECTION RESULTS - A New Mexico county commissioner, awaiting sentencing for his January 6 conviction, said Thursday that he plans to defy a state Supreme Court order and will not vote to certify the results of a recent primary election in a flareup over vote-tallying machines that's drawing attention and alarm from national voting rights advocates (CNN). "I'm not planning to move off my position," Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin said in a telephone interview with CNN on Thursday. "Why have a commission if we just get overridden by the court system?"

 

NBA: GOLDEN STATE WINS 4TH TITLE IN 8 YEARS - As the final seconds wound down in Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, Stephen Curry crouched down on the baseline and placed his head in his hands (ESPN). At center court, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole shared a long embrace. On the left side of the court, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala exchanged several high-fives before going in for a hug. Golden State was just two seconds away from clinching its fourth NBA title in the past eight years. "This one is definitely different because of the three years of baggage we carried coming out of that Game 6 in 2019," Curry said.

 

MLB: CUBS FALL TO SAN DIEGO 6-4 - Joe Musgrove pitched seven effective innings in his third straight win, and the San Diego Padres handed the Chicago Cubs their 10th consecutive loss with a 6-4 victory on Thursday (AP). Musgrove (8-0) permitted two runs and five hits, struck out a season-high nine and walked one. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his 12 starts this year. San Diego improved to 7-2 in its last nine games with its first four-game series sweep of Chicago since Aug. 16-19, 2010, at Wrigley Field. The Padres’ 41-24 record matches their best 65-game start since 1998, when the club won the NL West and advanced to the World Series.

 

Local

 

FORT WAYNE: CITY MAKES ARRANGEMENTS FOR STORM CLEANUP -  The City of Fort Wayne today announced that it will assist with a residential cleanup of tree debris from the hardest hit areas of the City from this week’s severe weather (Howey Politics Indiana). Beginning Monday, June 27, City crews and contracted crews will focus efforts in the Waynedale and Aboite areas. Maps of the areas are attached. Areas inside the purple lines will be the serviced areas. It could take a few weeks for the work to be completed. Crews will make one pass through the affected areas, so residents should have tree debris set out at the curb. Starting the work on June 27 will allow residents time to get materials to the curb and for downed power lines to be removed and repaired. Residents who have the means to do so are encouraged to continue using the drop-off sites that have been established: The City’s Biosolids Facility at 6202 Lake Ave. for tree branches and tree limbs from residential areas. Republic Services is also accepting tree debris at their compost site at the landfill, 6231 MacBeth Rd.

 

FORT WAYNE: NO POWER FOR WAYNEDALE UNTIL WEEKEND - The Waynedale area of Fort Wayne was hit very hard by Monday’s derecho. Power was still out on Wednesday night when officials with Indiana Michigan Power suggested the outage may stretch into the weekend (WPTA-TV). In a release to media, a company spokesperson said line workers have been slowed by numerous downed trees and broken power poles. Initial estimates pointed to restoration of service by late Thursday night. With no power, most businesses in Waynedale are closed. Employees at the Kroger store told ABC21 that a generator is powering the store but that cold food could not yet be sold.

 

FORT WAYNE: DERECHO SNAPPED 340 UTILITY POLES - The extent of damage continues to grow and I&M’s latest assessment shows crews have found more than 340 damaged or broken poles, more than 50 damaged transformers as well as nearly 700 individual spans of downed wires (WANE-TV). Fallen trees are also hampering restoration efforts as crews must clear limbs from roads in order to access equipment that needs repaired.

 

WESTFIELD: GRAND PARK BIDDERS REVEALED - The majority of the companies that expressed interest to Westfield about purchasing or operating Grand Park have a focus in sports and entertainment (Carloni, IndyStar). At least three of them have connections to former professional athletes in the NBA and the MLB. Eighteen companies told Westfield earlier this year they planned to submit a bid to either purchase or enter a public-private partnership to operate the 400-acre sports campus. Nearly all of the companies made the April 1 deadline to inform the city of their intent. Only Eastern Sports Management missed the cut off. The companies that made the deadline have until June 22 to submit bids.

 

CLARKSVILLE: TOWN DENIES IT DENIED HIV PD CANDIDATE - An attorney for the Town of Clarksville is denying allegations that it revoked a job offer to a prospective police officer because of his HIV diagnosis (Boyle, Indiana Public Media). The U.S. Justice Department claimed the decision was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in a federal lawsuit filed in April. The lawsuit alleges Clarksville officials offered the man a job with the local police department in 2015, conditional upon passing a state-mandated medical examination. The Clarksville Metropolitan Board of Fire, Police and Safety Commissioners rescinded the offer weeks later, after the medical examiner advised against hiring the man because his HIV diagnosis posed “a significant risk of substantial harm and safety” to coworkers and the public. Clarksville’s attorney submitted the town’s answer to the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Monday. In the new document, the town’s attorney claims it did not discriminate or violate the ADA or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 

BLOOMINGTON: COUNCIL OKs CITYWIDE INTERNET - City council approved an agreement Wednesday with Meridiam, the company interested in building a high-speed internet system in Bloomington. The council also delayed the Johnson Creamer apartment project until later this summer before recessing for summer (Abshier, Indiana Public Media). High-speed internet is coming to almost all of Bloomington, and a new internet service provider could offer it in town before the end of the year. Bloomington’s project is attached to plans for a similar network in Columbus, Martinsville, and Shelbyville. The Council voted 8-1 in favor of establishing a tax increment finance (TIF) district for Meridiam’s open-access, fiber optic system. The project promises to bring 1 Gigabit per second to at least 85 percent of Bloomington within the next three years. Overall, the company will invest $50 million in the system, but will receive more than $10 million in tax credits.

 

LaPORTE: SCHOOLS CONDUCT SAFETY REVIEW FOLLOWING TEXAS MASSACRE — La Porte Community School Corp. will be reviewing its school safety measures (LaPorte Herald-Dispatch). “That’s a very important topic of course. It’s one of our three main domains that we work to continuously improve,” Supt. Mark Francesconi told the La Porte Community Schools Board of Trustees on Monday.

 

MADISON COUNTY: LIKENS WINS COUNCIL RECOUNT -  A recount has confirmed that Diana Likens won the Republican Party nomination for the 2nd District seat on the Madison County Council by three votes (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). It was the second recount conducted in Madison County in the past three years that showed no change in the final results. A recount commission appointed by Madison Circuit Court Division 6 Judge Mark Dudley conducted the recount of the results Thursday and showed no change in the certified numbers. Likens received 1,271 votes to Devin Norrick's 1,268. Norrick filed for the recount shortly after the May 3 primary election.

 

ALLEN COUNTY: JUDGE DISSATISFIED WITH JAIL PLAN — Condemning the indifference in Allen County, a federal judge Thursday didn’t hide his dissatisfaction with the Allen County Commissioners who weren’t able to produce a long-term plan to either build or otherwise replace the existing downtown jail where overcrowding and lack of staffing have led to inhumane conditions (WANE-TV). “I’m really interested in the long-term plan,” Judge Damon R. Leichty told the county’s lawyers, Ted Storer and Laura Maser. A report due July 14 “better darn well include the long-term plan,” he added. Leichty was in town for a status hearing at the downtown federal courthouse where attorneys for Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux and the commissioners were ordered to appear after he laid down conditions in a court opinion March 31.

 

BOONE COUNTY: FACEBOOK LAWSUIT DISMISSED - A lawsuit filed last month against Boone County for blocking a resident from the county’s Facebook page was dismissed this week, according to court documents (Bradley, IBJ). Kevin Dininger claimed the county violated his First Amendment rights when he was blocked from the county government’s page after he commented on an April 14 post about delays on a justice center expansion. Dininger wrote that he intended to vote for Boone County commissioner candidate Tim Beyer, who challenged and defeated incumbent Tom Santelli in the May 3 Republican primary. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on Dininger’s behalf. Boone County released a statement on May 24 that said an internal investigation revealed Dininger was inadvertently blocked and that the situation was “rectified.”

 

TIPPECANOE COUNTY: TRUSTEE UNDER INVESTIGATION - Fairfield Township and Trustee Taletha Coles remain under criminal investigation. Her board continues to push for financial records as they ponder using a new state law to remove her from office (WLFI-TV). Coles on Tuesday night handed over a trove of documents. Buried in the stack of papers was a 2019 police report in which she makes surprising allegations. "We got none of it," says township Board Member Rocky Hession, noting he's still waiting for Coles to fulfill a records request for township receipts and bank statements during her tenure. What Trustee Taletha Coles handed over after Tuesday's meeting, Hession says, didn't fit the bill. "There's no receipts, no statements, no anything like that," he says. Buried in the stack of papers, though, was a 2019 police report. "I have no understanding of why she gave it to us," Hession says. "She didn't mention it at the time. ... It talked about records being destroyed." According to the report, Coles accused employees of "shredding large quantities of documents from the filing system at the office," and she suspected they were "trying to sabotage her out of loyalty to" former trustee Julie Roush, who was elected county clerk the same year.

 

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY: COUNCIL BICKERS, PASSES PAY RAISES - The Bartholomew County Council has voted to raise pay for certain county employees starting next month, capping off about a year of discussion, debate and stalemate on the issue while staff continues to leave county government in droves (East, Columbus Republic). The council voted 6-1 Tuesday to amend the county’s salary ordinance and increase salaries for 169 employees to the average or mid-range level of pay of those doing the same jobs in other counties based on a recent salary study and recommendations from department heads, according to figures provided by the Bartholomew County Auditor’s Office. Council President Greg Duke was the only member to vote against the raises. The raises, which take effect July 1, will cost the county about $263,954 this year, well below the $1 million the council set aside during last year’s budget process for the purpose of raising salaries, according to figures from the auditor’s office.