PENCE TELLS NH GOP 'WE DID OUR DUTY' ON JAN. 6: In his second public address since leaving office, former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday put a little space between himself and his ex-boss, saying he and former President Donald Trump might never “see eye to eye” on the Jan. 6 insurrection (Politico). “As I said that day, Jan. 6 was a dark day in history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured,” Pence said. He didn’t mention the insurrection in his first post-vice-presidency speech, in South Carolina in April. “And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence said on Thursday at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner in Manchester, N.H., referring to the counting of Electoral College votes. “You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day, but I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.” He then accused Democrats of using the Capitol riot to divide the country and distract Americans from the Biden administration’s agenda. “We must move forward,” Pence said. The room was nearly silent.

 

17 CAPITOL COPS STILL OUT WITH RIOT INJURIES: Nearly five months after the January 6 Capitol riot, at least 17 police officers remain out of work due to injuries sustained during the attack (CBS News). At least 10 Capitol Police officers were out with injuries as of Thursday, according to a source on Capitol Hill and at the police union, while as of Friday, seven members of the D.C. Metropolitan Police force remained in a "less than full duty status" due to the events of the riot, a police spokesperson said. In total, more than 150 officers were injured in the attack: 86 Capitol Police officers reported injuries, the sources said, along with 65 members of the Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Robert Contee testified in January. Contee also said that even more D.C. police officers sustained injuries they "did not even bother to report," including scratches, bruises and eyes burned from chemical spray. Violence that day left officers with head wounds, cracked ribs and smashed spinal disks, according to Capitol Police Labor Committee Chairman Gus Papathanasiou.

 

INDEMS LAUNCH AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN TOUR: The Indiana Democratic Party launched its statewide American Rescue Plan Tour Thursday in Fort Wayne (WANE-TV). Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta participated in a kick-off event at 5 p.m. at the Allen County Courthouse in downtown Fort Wayne. The tour will “help deliver the good news about President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package and how it’s helping all of Indiana’s 92 counties and its communities – like Allen County – put the pandemic firmly in the rearview mirror,” the state Democratic Party said in a news release. Allen County will receive $73 million, Fort Wayne will receive $50 million, New Haven will receive $3 million, and Allen County schools will receive $130 million through the federal relief package.

 

LONG SAYS ROKITA SHOULD RECUSE HIMSELF: Former state senator David Long says Attorney General Todd Rokita should recuse himself in his case with Gov. Eric Holcomb (WPTA-TV). “The Governor, like all governors faced an unprecedented situation,” Long insisted on our latest episode of Political Radar. You’re flying blind a little bit. How do you make the right calls? One of those calls was to sue the General Assembly after Republicans overrode a Holcomb veto of HB 1123. The new law would allow legislators to call themselves back into session to debate any emergency orders a governor might issue. “Now they’re lawyered up and headed to court, but I still feel like there might be a path to work things out. I sure hope they can,” said Long. Further complicating matters is the involvement of Attorney General Todd Rokita, who inserted himself into the fray by arguing that Holcomb’s lawsuit against the Legislature is unconstitutional. “He represents both sides and that’s a problem. Frankly, I wish the AG would step aside and allow each side to have its own attorneys.” Long believes political ambitions are also factoring into Rokita’s involvement. “This is political. The AG is probably running for governor in 2024 when Holcomb’s term is finished. There’s politics involved in this.”

 

BOEHNER SAYS GOP ELECTION LAWS UNDERMINING CONFIDENCE: Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday criticized his party for recently enacting strict voting rules in states around the country, saying the "very partisan way" it's happening will only undermine people's confidence in the electoral process (CNN). "What concerns me is the fact that it seems to be happening in a very partisan way. You know, people need to have confidence in the election process, and I think what gives -- typically, what would give them confidence is to see a state legislature working in a bipartisan fashion to make any changes they feel that are necessary," Boehner told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "Newsroom" when asked why Republicans have been passing restrictive voting laws. "And so the appearance of these partisan changes, in my view, really undermine the confidence that people should have in the election process," he added.

 

WHITE HOUSE TELLS EXECS TO REVIEW RANSOMWARE PLANS: The White House told corporate leaders they should immediately begin developing plans to counter ransomware attacks after a spate of hacks have crippled key U.S. businesses, from Colonial Pipeline Co. to global meat producer JBS SA (Bloomberg News). “To understand your risk, business executives should immediately convene their leadership teams to discuss the ransomware threat and review corporate security posture and business continuity plans to ensure you have the ability to continue or quickly restore operation,” Biden deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger wrote in a memo distributed by the White House. The stark warning is the latest effort in the scramble by the Biden administration to respond to the recent attacks, which have also impacted health services in multiple European countries, insurance firm CNA Financial Corp., and even a ferry authority operating in Martha’s Vineyard. The White House urged companies to create offline backups of crucial information that can be easily restored if they’re subject to ransomware attacks, and to update and patch their IT systems regularly.

 

IU, PURDUE OFFERING PRIZE MONEY FOR VAX PROOF: Indiana University is offering more than $70,000 from prize drawings for students and employees who provide proof that they’ve received COVID-19 vaccinations (Columbus Republic). The award program announced Thursday comes after the university stepped back this week from a plan to require shot documentation ahead of the fall semester amid protests from many state officials. IU, instead, will still require COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees but let them attest to having received the shots without providing documentation. IU’s incentive program will have at least two student winners and one employee winner selected for three weeks beginning June 10 at each of its campuses across the state. Those winners will get up to $500 in their choice of gift cards or other prizes. A grand prize announced July 2 will have a student winning one year of in-state tuition credit for their campus and an employee winner choosing between a pair of season tickets for either the Indianapolis Colts or Indiana Repertory Theatre. Purdue University plans a similar drawing, with vaccinated students eligible for 10 prizes of a full year of in-state undergraduate tuition.

 

STATE SEEKS $620K FROM SB SCHOOLS FOR PHANTOM ON-LINE STUDENTS: The state is asking South Bend's school district  schools to repay more than $620,000 after an investigation found the district claimed money for dozens of Rise Up Academy students who never logged into online classes (Lanich, South Bend Tribune). The Indiana Department of Education asked state auditors to look into enrollment at the alternative school after a complaint that Rise Up students were not receiving an adequate education, according to a State Board of Accounts report published this week. Auditors reviewed enrollment and attendance figures dating to July 2018 and found dozens of students counted in the district's requests for enrollment-based funding who had never logged into South Bend's online learning platform. South Bend school administrators admit some students' lack of participation in online learning was overlooked during enrollment counts, and the district has already paid back more than $360,000 in state money.

 

U.S. TO SEND 80M VACCINE DOSES OVERSEAS: President Joe Biden announced on Thursday the first details of the U.S. sending 80 million COVID-19 vaccines overseas with the aim of "ending the pandemic globally" (ABC News). The Biden administration has been under pressure to provide other hard-hit nations with some of its abundant supply and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said at a White House briefing that some of the initial doses would go to India, Gaza and the West Bank and other nations and areas he said were "facing crises." White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the donations would be "surplus" from the supply the U.S. needs and would include the FDA-approved Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but not the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

 

HOW MLB PITCHERS GETTING THE UPPER HAND: New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom has made throwing over 100 miles per hour look ordinary this season. But as he blew another 101.4 mph heater past a hopeless batter in the first inning on Monday night, deGrom reminded the world that it is not just speed that is devastating hitters this season (Wall Street Journal). The ball whizzed past the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Josh Rojas for strike three in the place where batters are helpless in 2021: the top of the strike zone.   High fastballs are the No. 1 tool pitchers have leaned on to tame batters in a season that is already being defined by a jarring decline in hitting across the majors. Scoring is down. On-base percentage is down. The league is on pace to post its lowest batting average in history. And nearly a quarter of all plate-appearances end in strikeouts. Pitches that are at least 3 feet off the ground—up in the strike zone for most batters—have accounted for 22.2% of pitches this year, according to tracking data from MLB. It’s the highest proportion since 2011.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: End of week observations: Why hasn't the Holcomb administration used a vaccine lottery to up the state's flagging inoculation rate? The rate began falling just about the time that Gov. Holcomb and his health team ended their weekly Zoom conferences. Mike Pence showed last night in New Hampshire why he offers a much brighter future for the GOP than Donald Trump. On Jan. 6, Pence said, "We did our duty." That could be his 2024 campaign motto. Finally, the White Sox and Cubs are both in first place in their MLB divisions. You don't suppose . . . ? - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

MAYOR HENRY PONDERS 5TH TERM: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is considering another bid for the executive office. During an interview on ABC21’s Political Radar Thursday evening, Henry backtracked from previous statements that his fourth and current term would be his last. “At that time after ultimately 16 years of being Mayor, I felt that was probably a sufficient amount of time to do whatever I needed to do,” explained Henry. “I still feel that way. However because of the momentum in Fort Wayne, things have changed significantly from where they were two years ago. I thought by now the momentum would have leveled out but people keep coming to our city wanting to invest in Fort Wayne.” Former city councilor Tim Pape, a Democrat, previously told ABC21 that he is considering a bid for Mayor. But another Henry campaign would likely dash those plans. So far, the Republican challenger would be Tom Didier, who just weeks ago announced his campaign a full two years before the election in 2023.

 

PENCE OFFERS MORE DIFFERENCES WITH TRUMP: Mike Pence’s mention of Jan. 6 wasn’t the only time the former vice president hinted at his differences with Trump on Thursday (Politico). “Some people think we’re a little different,” Pence said, drawing laughs from the crowd. “But I think what President Trump showed us was what Republicans can accomplish when our leaders stand firm on conservative principles and don’t back down.” After touting the Trump administration’s moves on key talking points like immigration, trade, the economy and election integrity, Pence bashed President Joe Biden for what he called “campaigning as a moderate” and then governing as the “most liberal president since FDR.”

 

PENCE PUSHES BACK ON CRITICAL RACE THEORY: Mike Pence also pushed back against “critical race theory,” which seeks to reframe the narrative of American history (AP). Its proponents argue that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of land and labor. But Republicans have said concepts suggesting that people are inherently racist or that America was founded on racial oppression are divisive and have no place in the classroom. “America is not a racist country,” he said, prompting one of several standing ovations and cheers during his speech. “It is past time for America to discard the left-wing myth of systemic racism,” Pence said. “I commend state legislators and governors across the country for banning critical race theory from our schools.”

 

TRUMP TO SPEAK IN DALLAS IN JULY: Former President Donald Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Dallas in July, Fox News has learned, in what will be one of his most high-profile public appearances since leaving the White House. "CPAC’s theme for 2021 is America UnCanceled," American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement about Trump speaking at the CPAC event in Dallas. "We’re honored that he’ll join us in Dallas and remind us that freedom means never being silenced." The Dallas event will run from July 9 to July 11.

 

AFP TARGETING LEGISLATIVE REPUBLICANS: An influential fiscally conservative political group is pushing back on Indiana lawmakers — primarily Republicans — who voted against or tried to water down an unsuccessful sentencing reform bill this past legislative session (Lange, IndyStar). Americans for Prosperity, a group that spent millions attacking Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly during his re-election bid, is sending out mailersin phases that thank some lawmakers who supported House Bill 1202 andcriticizeothers who voted against it, starting with Indianapolis Republican Sen. Michael Young. That bill in its earlier form would have allowed a parole board to discharge nonviolent incarcerated Hoosiers — usually convicted of drug-related crimes — early, if they exhibited good behavior and were sentenced prior to the criminal code revamp in 2014. That 2014 bill shortened sentences for certain crimes but was not retroactive.

 

LARA TRUMP SAYS TRUMP WON'T BE 'REINSTALLED' IN AUGUST: Lara Trump on Thursday appeared to deny reports that former President Donald Trump has been telling allies he expects to be reinstalled in the White House in a matter of months, as her father-in-law continues to promote his false election fraud claims and former administration officials have mused publicly about a coup attempt (Politico). “As far as I know, there are no plans for Donald Trump to be in the White House in August. Maybe there’s something I don’t know,” Lara Trump told “Fox & Friends” in an interview. “But no, I think that that is a lot of folks getting a little worked up about something just because maybe there wasn’t enough pushback, you know, from the Republican side,” she said. “So no, I have not heard any plans for Donald Trump to be installed in the White House in August.”

 

Polls

 

REPUBLICANS DON'T SEE LEADERS AS CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH: Most voters in both major parties believe their ideological views are moving away from party leaders, but the view is more pronounced among Republican voters. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 28% of Likely Republican Voters believe the attitudes of GOP voters remain about the same as those of the party’s leaders. Fifty percent (50%) say Republican voters are becoming more conservative than the GOP leadership, while 15% think these voters are becoming more liberal.

 

REPUBLICANS BACK MEDICARE NEGOTIATIONS: A majority of polled Republicans backed giving Medicare the authority to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, according to a survery released Thursday (The Hill). A West Health/Gallup poll showed widespread support for giving the federal government “a major role” in negotiating drug prices, with 61 percent of Republicans and 97 percent of Democrats saying they backed such an initiative. Overall, 81 percent of respondents said they supported Medicare negotiations to regulate drug costs.

 

Congress

 

HOUSE JUDICIARY TO INTERVIEW McGAHN:  The House Judiciary Committee is poised to question former White House counsel Don McGahn behind closed doors on Friday, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part of investigations into former President Donald Trump (AP). The long-awaited interview is the result of an agreement reached last month in federal court. House Democrats — then investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct the Justice Department’s probes into his presidential campaign’s ties to Russia — originally sued after McGahn defied an April 2019 subpoena on Trump’s orders.

 

WALORSKI INTRODUCES CAREGIVER RETIREMENT BILL: U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) today announced the reintroduction of the Expanding Access to Retirement Savings for Caregivers Act (Howey Politics Indiana). The bipartisan bill would allow individuals who took at least one year out of the workforce for the purpose of caring for a family member to begin catch-up contributions to their eligible retirement accounts in years prior to age 50.  “Taking time away from work to care for a loved one often results in missed opportunities for hardworking Americans – especially women – to save for retirement,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “These caregivers should not be penalized for putting their families first. This bipartisan bill would ensure these caregivers have access to critical retirement savings tools by allowing them to start catch-up contributions to their retirement accounts sooner.”

 

General Assembly

 

BLACK CAUCUS SETS VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS: The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’s upcoming town halls will provide an update on the past legislative session and gather input on what the focus should be next year (Smith, Indiana Public Media). The annual community meetings will start June 3. Typically, the IBLC town halls are held in person, in at least three communities around the state. Last year, because of the pandemic, they went virtual. And Caucus Chair Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) said they’re virtual again this year because they have a bigger reach. “When we were doing it in person, we were only reaching about 100 people per location that we went to," Shackleford said. "We learned last year with the virtual that we were able to reach almost 10,000 people.”

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB CASE TO BE HEARD JUNE 16 - Marion Superior Judge PJ Dietrick has set a hearing in case between Gov. Eric Holcomb and the General Assembly over emergency powers for 1:30 p.m. June 16 (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). It is not on the merits of the lawsuit but instead on Attorney General Todd Rokita's motion to strike the attorneys and all filings by Holcomb.

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MAKES 2 JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS FOR ST. JOE, TERRE HAUTE - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced two judicial appointments (Howey Politics Indiana). St. Joseph County Superior Court: The governor named Cristal Brisco as his appointment to the St. Joseph County Superior Court. Brisco has served as a Magistrate Judge in St. Joseph County since 2018. She previously was with Barnes & Thornburg, the City of South Bend, and Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. She earned an undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University and a law degree from Notre Dame Law School. Terre Haute City Court: The governor named Kenneth McVey as his appointment to the Terre Haute City Court. McVey has been an attorney with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos, & Newlin in Terre Haute since 2008 where he specializes in social security disability law. He previously served in the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office in the Child Support and Criminal divisions. He earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and a law degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Law. Brisco and McVey will be sworn in on dates to be determined.

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MAKES MARSHALL, WAYNE JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced two more judicial appointments (Howey Politics Indiana): Marshall County Superior Court: The governor named Matthew Sarber as his appointment to the new Marshall County Superior Court, set to begin on July 1, 2021. Sarber has served as Deputy Prosecutor with the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office since 2016. He previously served as a public defender in Marshall County and in private practice. He earned an undergraduate degree from Manchester University and a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law. Wayne County Circuit Court: The governor named April Drake as his appointment to the Wayne County Circuit Court. Drake has served as Deputy Prosecutor with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office since 2011 and has been Chief Deputy since 2016. She previously served as a public defender and in private practice. She earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown College and a law degree from Indiana University Mauer School of Law. Sarber and Drake will be sworn in on dates to be determined.

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB APPOINTMENTS: Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced several appointments to various state boards and commissions (Howey Politics Indiana).

 

Coroners Training Board: The governor made two new appointments to the board, who will serve at the pleasure of the Governor: The Honorable Christopher Brown (Milltown), Crawford County Coroner. The Honorable Joani Shields (Ellettsville), Monroe County Coroner.

 

Graduate Medical Education Board: The governor made three reappointments to the board, who will serve until December 31, 2022: Dr. Steven Becker (Evansville), associate dean and director of the Indiana University School of Medicine–Evansville; Dr. Michelle Howenstine (Zionsville), senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education with the Indiana University School of Medicine; Dr. Tom Sonderman (Columbus), vice president and chief medical officer at Columbus Regional Health. The governor also made two new appointments to the board: Harry “Clif” Knight II (Carmel), assistant dean of Clinical Affairs at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, who will serve until December 31, 2022. Curt Ward (Zionsville), director of medical education and designated institutional official at Ascension St. Vincent, who will serve until December 31, 2021.

 

Indiana Charter School Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2023: Beth Bray (Carmel), program officer with the Walton Family Foundation

 

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Board of Trustees: The governor made one reappointment to the board, who will serve until May 31, 2024: The Honorable John Boyd (LaPorte), Laporte County Sheriff. The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until May 31, 2024: Jeff Balon (Valparaiso), chief of the Valparaiso Police Department.

 

Indiana Emergency Response Commission: The governor made two new appointments to the commission, who will serve at the pleasure of the governor: Vincent Griffin (Carmel), retired former vice president for Environmental and Energy Policy with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce; Stephanie McKinney (Hazleton), deputy director for the Gibson County Emergency Management Agency

 

Indiana Parole Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2025: Mia Kelsaw (Fort Wayne), who will serve full-time with the board.

 

Indiana Retirement Home Guaranty Fund Board of Directors: The governor made four reappointments to the board, who will serve until March 31, 2023: Lorene Burkhart (Carmel), representing residents; John Dattilo (Zionsville), CEO of BHI Senior Living, Inc.; Steven Johnson (Indianapolis), assistant vice president with Simon Property Group; Doris Brauman-Moore (Avon), attorney with the Brauman Moore & Harvey Law Offices. The governor also made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until March 31, 2023: Robert Reynolds (Carmel), representing residents.

 

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission: The governor made one reappointment to the commission, who will serve until March 31, 2025: Jim Huston (Brownsburg), who serves full-time with the commission. The governor also reappointed him as chair of the commission.

 

Integrated Public Safety Commission: The governor made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve at the pleasure of the governor: Ben Hunter (Indianapolis), associate vice president for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, and Superintendent for Public Safety;

 

Judicial Nominating Commission for the Allen Superior Court: The governor made three reappointments to the commission, who will serve until June 30, 2025: Benjamin Eisbart (Fort Wayne), retired former vice president at Steel Dynamics; Angela Moellering (Fort Wayne), president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Indiana; Mark Terrell (Fort Wayne), CEO of Lifeline Youth & Family Services, Crosswinds, and Lasting Change.

 

Mining Board: The governor made two new appointments to the board, who will serve until May 31, 2025: Brandon Flath (Linton), construction foreman at Sunrise Coal; Kevin Hills (Chandler), mining program director at Vincennes University.

 

Occupational Safety Standards Commission: The governor made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until May 31, 2024: Murray Miller (South Bend), business manager and secretary-treasurer for the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 645.

 

State Board of Cosmetology & Barber Examiners: The governor made four reappointments to the board, who will serve until April 30, 2025: Diana Bonn (Muncie), owner of Identity Salon; Rev. Gregory Kenny, Sr. (Fishers), CEO of Kenny’s Academy of Barbering; Victoria Ross (Petersburg), lead educator/Esthetics with The Salon Professional Academy Evansville; Diana Weisheit (Lynnville), owner/operator of Diana’s Casual Cut; The governor also made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until April 30, 2025: Kendra Forrester (Indianapolis), occupational therapist.

 

Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until July 31, 2022: Bradley Fishburn (Syracuse), senior engineer with Bennington Marine.

 

Underground Storage Tank Financial Assurance Board: The governor made two reappointments to the board, who will serve until May 31, 2023: Kim Logan (Indianapolis), deputy treasurer and director of operations with Indiana Treasurer of State Kelly Mitchell. Tom Navarre (Valparaiso), vice president of Family Express Corp. The governor also made six new appointments to the board, who will serve until May 31, 2023: Mark Aldous (Indianapolis), producer at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Matt Forrester (Madison), retired former regional chairman for German American Bank; Jason Lenz (Montpelier), CEO of Creek Run LLC; Trout Moser (Bluffton), president of National Oil & Gas, Inc. Toby Rickabaugh (Indianapolis), environmental professional with Marathon Petroleum. Nivas Vijay (South Bend), senior project manager and COO at Heartland Environmental Associates Inc., and principal/COO with Seratech Drilling & Exploration, LLC.

 

SUPREME COURT: RUSH TABS MASSA TO HEAD LAKE JUDICIAL PANEL - The soon-to-be reconstituted panel tasked with evaluating and recommending Lake Superior Court judicial candidates for appointment by the governor has a new chairman (Carden, NWI Times). Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush announced Thursday she's selected Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa to serve a four-year term as chairman of the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission beginning July 1. Massa was appointed to the state's highest court in 2012 by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. His rulings include the landmark 2018 Gunderson v. State decision affirming the shoreline of Lake Michigan is owned by the state and open for recreational use by all Hoosiers.

 

PURDUE NW: EASES COVID POLICY FOR FULLY VACCINATED - Purdue University Northwest will be adapting some of its COVID-19 policies and procedures as cases continue to decline and vaccinations rise (Hilton, NWI Times). A message sent to students, staff and faculty Wednesday said the new protocols based on the latest federal, state and local guidance were effective immediately. The policies outlined in the message include masking, exposure to a positive case and campus COVID-19 testing. In the letter, PNW said the COVID-19 vaccine is not required, but is strongly encouraged by health officials. The new policies are different for people who are vaccinated and people who aren't.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN OFFERS GOP TAX CONCESSION - President Biden signaled at a private meeting on Wednesday that he would be open to significant revisions on the size of his infrastructure package and how it would be paid for in order win Republican backing, outlining a plan for about $1 trillion in new spending financed through tax changes that do not appear to raise the top corporate rate (Washington Post). While Biden has not abandoned his support for the tax increase generally, believing profitable companies must pay their fair share, the moves still mark a potential new concession in stalled talks over funding to improve the country’s roads, bridges, pipes and ports. At issue is the component of Biden’s original infrastructure plan that would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, unwinding the tax cuts the GOP adopted in 2017. Republicans have described this change as a political nonstarter as they seek to protect one of their accomplishments under former president Donald Trump.

 

WHITE HOUSE: 4 PINOCCHIOS FOR BIDEN ALZHEIMERS CLAIM - "You know, if we don’t do something about Alzheimer’s in America, every single, solitary hospital bed that exists in America — as the nurses can tell you — every single one will be occupied in the next 15 years with an Alzheimer’s patient — every one,"  President Biden said in remarks on the economy in Cleveland, May 27. Washington Post: “Normally when a politician makes a detailed claim like this, we can quickly find a possible source … from which the factoid was plucked (and possibly twisted). But we could not find anything. We consulted with many experts on Alzheimer’s disease, but they were stumped, too. This seems to be a Biden original.”

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN NOT REVEALING TRUMP SECRETS - Almost five months in office, President Biden has disappointed Democrats who hoped he would throw open some of Donald Trump’s closed books on issues like diplomacy with Russia, his tax returns and Justice Department deliberations (Washington Post). Biden has given his congressional allies what they want on a lot of big-ticket items: Major reversals from his predecessor’s approach to economic investment, racial equity, climate policy, immigration, the Iran nuclear deal and so on. But on a range of matters related to transparency and accountability, the new administration hasn’t been as reliable a partner for those in Biden’s party who seek evidence Trump successfully shrouded improper or even illegal behavior using executive power. In some cases, Biden’s hands are arguably tied by law or precedent. In others, his administration has chosen to act with the effect, if not the intent, of protecting the former president.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule: 9 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 10:15 a.m.: Biden will speak about the May jobs report. 10:55 a.m.: The Bidens will depart Rehoboth Beach, Del., getting back to the White House at 12:20 p.m. President Biden will meet with Queen Elizabeth next week (BBC). The meeting at Windsor Castle on Sunday 13 June coincides with the end of Mr Biden’s visit to Britain for the G7 summit of leaders from the world’s biggest economies. More from the White House on next week’s schedule: Biden will meet with British PM Boris Johnson on June 10. He’ll attend the G-7 Summit in Cornwall from June 11-13. He’ll take part in the NATO Summit in Brussels and meet with Turkish President Erdogan on June 14. He’ll take part in the U.S.–EU Summit and meet with King Philippe of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister De Croo on June 15. Then it’s on to Geneva, where Biden will have his summit with Russian President Putin on June 16. He’ll also meet with Swiss President Parmelin and Foreign Minister Cassis.

 

LABOR: JOBLESS CLAIMS DROP TO 385K -  The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fifth straight week to a new pandemic low, the latest evidence that the U.S. job market is regaining its health as the economy further reopens (AP). The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims dropped to 385,000, down 20,000 from the week before. The number of weekly applications for unemployment aid, which generally reflects the pace of layoffs, has fallen steadily all year, though it remains high by historical standards.

 

FBI: PROBE OF DeJOY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS - The FBI is investigating political contributions made by former employees of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a previous business, a spokesman said Thursday (The Hill). Mark Corallo, a spokesman for DeJoy, confirmed the existence of the investigation in a statement to The Hill, but stressed that the postmaster general did not knowingly violate any laws. “Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector,” Corallo said. “He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them.”

 

EPA: REVISES PORTER COUNTY OZONE LEVELS - Environmental groups say the U.S. EPA's recent decision to revise ozone nonattainment designations will require industries in northern Porter County and several other Chicago-area counties to take steps to reduce air pollution (Reese, NWI Times). The Environmental Law and Policy Center and Respiratory Health Association said they joined with other groups to challenge the Trump administration EPA's 2018 findings that several counties did not contribute to air pollution in nearby areas, where ozone levels violated EPA's National Ambient Air Quality Standard. The groups said the finding was flawed and "inappropriately exempted the counties from regulatory requirements for actions to reduce pollution." Ann Jaworski, a staff attorney at the ELPC, said, "It's refreshing to have an EPA that won't let polluters off the hook.

 

OBITUARIES: F. LEE BAILEY DIES AT AGE 87 - F. Lee Bailey, one of the nation’s most storied criminal trial lawyers and a tenacious defender of O.J. Simpson, Patty Hearst and a host of other famous and infamous clients in a tumultuous career punctuated by his own collisions with the law and his eventual disbarment, died June 3 at a hospice center in the Atlanta area. He was 87 (Washington Post). His son Bendrix Bailey confirmed the death but did not cite a specific cause. Mr. Bailey was celebrated in some corners and scorned in others as he represented a broad swath of deeply unpopular suspects ranging from mutilation murderers and international drug lords to get-rich-quick-scheme artists. In the courtroom, he fascinated the public with his cool, pointed oratory and prodigious memory as well as his relentlessness.

 

MEDIA: TAPPER WON'T BOOK REPUBLICANS WHO SUPPORT THE BIG LIE - CNN's Jake Tapper confirmed what’s been apparent since Jan. 6: Republicans who push election fraud conspiracies are not welcome on his show. “It’s not a policy, but it’s a philosophy where I just don’t want to deal with it,” Tapper told Kara Swisher on her NYT podcast, “Sway,” last week . “I mean, there’s about a third of the House Republican caucus that I am willing to book. I could name them to you if you want.” “Moral posturing” is how Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” described such blanket bans on Republicans who voted against certifying the election. “I don’t think moral posturing goes well with news gathering,” Wallace told us in a statement, adding: “There are plenty of people I would like to have on Fox News Sunday that voted to challenge the election — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy for one. And I don’t have any rule about what the first question has to be. I have asked plenty of guests about voting to challenge the election and about Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection. But I cover the news, wherever that takes me.”

 

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - CBS “Face the Nation”: Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Brian Moynihan, and Scott Gottlieb. “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Panel: Doug Heye, Susan Page and Marie Harf. MSNBC “The Sunday Show”: Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Liz Abzug, Michael Waldman, Tyler Titus, Stuart Stevens, Max Boot, Rosa Brooks and Annette Gordon-Reed. ABC “This Week”: Panel: Rahm Emanuel, Donna Brazile, Jason Riley and Justin Amash. CNN “Inside Politics”: Panel: Amy Walter, Kaitlan Collins, Errol Louis and Julie Hirschfeld Davis. NBC “Meet the Press”: Panel: Kimberly Atkins Stohr, Lanhee Chen, Anne Gearan and Chris Matthews.

 

ILLINOIS: FREE BEER WITH COVID VAX - Get the shot, then relax with a shot, or a beer. That’s the incentive for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 under legislation Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Wednesday (AP). The plan was sponsored by Rep. Mike Zalewski of Riverside and Sen. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, both Democrats. It intends to draw customers back to the bar by offering a free drink with proof of vaccination. It also extends the pandemic-era law that allows the sale of cocktails for pickup or delivery, which helped liquor sellers through the crisis which closed business doors.

 

KENTUCKY: GOV. BESHEAR TO ANNOUNCE VAX INCENTIVES - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is set to hold a news conference, announcing new incentives for getting the COVID-19 vaccine (WFIE-TV). The governor is also expected to talk about eviction prevention which is set to expire at the end of the month.

 

MLB: CHISOX HOMERS DEFEAT DETROIT 4-1 - Yoán Moncada and Jake Lamb supplied the early power. Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson delivered late (ESPN). Lance Lynn came through with another solid start, and Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa moved into position to make a jump on baseball's career wins list. Moncada and Lamb hit two of Chicago's four home runs, La Russa closed in on John McGraw for second place and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Thursday night.

 

MLB: REDS DOWN CARDINALS 4-2 - Jesse Winker hit a two-run homer, Vladimir Gutiérrez earned his first career win and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Thursday night (ESPN). Gutiérrez (1-1) pitched five innings of two-run ball, settling down nicely after a shaky start. He allowed three hits, struck out three and walked three in his second big league game.

 

MLB: SF DOWNS CUBS 7-2 -  Brandon Crawford homered and drove in four runs, Anthony DeSclafani pitched six solid innings and hit an RBI double, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 on Thursday night (ESPN). Buster Posey and Alex Dickerson added two hits apiece to help the Giants win the opener of a four-game series between two of the hottest teams in the National League.

 

Local

 

BLOOMINGTON: SPIERER TIPS KEEP COMING - The investigation into the disappearance of an Indiana University student 10 years ago continues as police say they keep receiving tips (AP). Lauren Spierer was 20 when she vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out partying with friends in Bloomington. Searches around the city and the surrounding wooded countryside that’s dotted with lakes and water-filled limestone quarries failed to turn up any sign of the Greenburgh, New York, woman. No one has ever been arrested or charged in Spierer’s disappearance, but Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff said it has never been considered a cold case. “That has never been the case regarding Lauren and there has always been something to follow up on,” Diekhoff said. “In the last three to four years, for example, investigators have executed at least 10 search warrants and received approximately 800 tips.”

 

INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT ANNOUNCES $3M ANTI-CRIME EFFORT - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Thursday announced a plan to spend more than $3 million on violence-prevention measures. The announcement comes after a spike in violent crime in 2020, including a record number of homicides (Miller, IBJ). The proposal, which requires approval from the City-County Council, will likely be presented to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee on June 9. Under the plan, more than $1.5 million will be directed toward improving capabilities at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Another $370,000 will go to domestic violence reduction, $350,000 to mental health capabilities, $390,000 to juvenile intervention, and $680,000 to expand staffing capacity at the Assessment and Intervention Center. “The city must work now to provide residents with the resources and support that they need to cope with the stress, the trauma and the pain that no doubt will outlast this pandemic. ” Hogsett said.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: COUNCIL REPUBLICANS RESPOND TO HOGSETT CRIME ADDRESS - Indianapolis City-County Council Republicans on Mayor Joe Hogsett's Address on Rising Violence in Indianapolis (Howey Politics Indiana). "The Hogsett Administration finally held a press conference to unveil its plans to address the historic public safety issues facing Indianapolis. While Council Republicans certainly appreciate that Democrat leadership in this city finally wants to at least talk about the record violence in Indianapolis, we fear the proposed solutions are just that, talk. The Mayor and his team did not attempt to brief a single Republican Councilor of these new plans or include any of us in today's announcement. As such, we are still digesting these proposals. Unfortunately, after a quick reading, much of what was announced today seems to be throwing more money at some of the same programs that clearly are not working."

 

INDIANAPOLIS: $1.5M RAISED FOR FEDEX MASSACRE VICTIMS - It’s been six weeks since a gunman killed eight people inside a FedEx ground facility in Indianapolis (CBS4). In that time, the community has rallied behind the victims, survivors and their families and raised more than $1.5 million. “When an event like this happens, people feel helpless and want to help,” said Jeffrey Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund.

 

EVANSVILLE: TROPICANA CASINO CHANGES OWNERSHIP - Tropicana Casino posted on its official Facebook page Thursday afternoon saying they are open (WFIE-TV). This comes after we received reports that people were waiting to get into the casino in downtown Evansville, but they were denied. Callers to our newsroom say they’re being told a change in ownership happened today, and the Indiana Gaming Commission wouldn’t let them in.

 

ROCHESTER: FORMER COUNCILMAN SENTENCED FOR SEX CRIME - A former Rochester city councilman who resigned after his arrest on charges of sex crimes involving a minor last year was sentenced Thursday (WSBT-TV). Gary Clevenger Jr. was given one year probation and a suspended one-and-a-half year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony neglect of a dependent. Court documents show the victim in the case was between 14 and 16 years old.

 

ELKHART: DAM CAUSES ST. JOE RIVER FLUCTUATIONS — In a relatively dry spring, the St. Joseph River is lower than usual, exposing gravel beds in South Bend that usually don’t surface until mid- to late summer (South Bend Tribune). The culprit, apparently, was a faulty sensor in Indiana Michigan Power’s hydro-electric dam at Johnson Street, east and upstream of Piechorowski’s home in Elkhart.

 

HAMILTON COUNTY: COUNCIL PASSES FUNDING FOR CAREER CENTER - The Hamilton County Council took a first step toward establishing a cross-community career center Wednesday by allocating $425,000 to support the program’s first three years (Christian, IBJ). The Hamilton County Economic Development Corp. will receive the funding and is expected to act as a clearinghouse for the newly proposed Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement. The decentralized career center’s development team of local educators and workforce leaders plan to leverage existing facilities at area schools in an effort to keep students and the money they spend on their career and technical educations in Hamilton County. If all goes as planned, the program is slated to begin in the 2023 school year and will be self-sustaining within two years. “This is an exciting time for the students in Hamilton County who will soon have access to new career considerations,” Hamilton County Councilman Steve Nation said in a written statement.