TRUMP, OBAMA MEET FOR FIRST TIME: President-elect Donald Trump and President Obama met for the first time Thursday and pledged to work together, starting the whirlwind transition that will unfold over the next 10 weeks until Trump is sworn into office Jan. 20. An hour and a half after Trump entered the White House through the South Lawn entrance — avoiding news cameras and the president's staff — a group of reporters was ushered into the Oval Office, where the president and president-elect were seated in the high-backed armchairs at the end of the room (Washington Post). In a sign of how tensions between the two politicians have not disappeared in the immediate aftermath of the election, the White House did not arrange for the traditional photo-op between the current first couple and the incoming one, a custom that George W. Bush and his wife Laura observed when the Obamas visited the White House in 2008. Melania Trump met separately with Michelle Obama. Still, Trump told reporters Thursday that he expects to work closely with Obama now and in the future to seek his advice in guiding the country. He noted that a session that was supposed to last 10 to 15 minutes went on for an hour and a half. “As far as I'm concerned, it could have lasted a lot longer,” Trump said. “We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.” “So Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future,” he added, calling Obama “a very good man.” Obama, for his part, said, he was encouraged by "the interest in President-elect Trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces. And I believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face.”

 

TRIUMPHANT PENCE RETURNS TO INDY: Gov. Mike Pence has returned to Indianapolis to a big welcome home rally at Indianapolis International Airport (WTHR-TV). With his wife and daughter by his side, Pence spoke to cheering supporters at the airport after greeting Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb. "We are deeply humbled and moved by this warm Hoosier homecoming. In my life, I've been blessed in so many ways - blessed to represent my hometown in our nation's capital, blessed to have had the opportunity to serve as governor of the greatest state in the greatest nation on Earth. But I am deeply humbled to stand among my neighbors and friends with my family at my side, to know that it will be my great honor to take that lifetime of experience to serve as the vice president of the United States of America," Pence said. Pence appeared to be fighting back tears as he spoke.

 

PENCE TO PLAY ‘BIG ROLE’ IN NEW ADMINISTRATION: Mike Pence intends to take on a robust role as vice president, senior aides said, adding that his presence at a series of Capitol Hill meetings with Donald Trump on Thursday underscored his role (Politico). "Mike's presence in the meeting is an indication of the role Mike will play,” a senior Pence aide told reporters on the flight to D.C. “When Trump first vetted Mike, and they sat down and talked about it, Mike asked him how he envisioned the role of the vice president, and it was clear that Mike's experience on Capitol Hill, his experience of 12 years in the House, plus serving in leadership, his familiarity with members of the leadership team there, as well as being a governor and part of the RGA executive committee, he has a lot of relationships not just on Capitol Hill but across state capitals across the country." The aide continued, "So there is an appreciation that that is something Mike brings, so I think you will see Mike having a very active role as a liaison to Capitol Hill with both Leader McConnell and with Speaker Ryan.” Pence won’t be “pigeon-holed in a legislative role,” the aide added. “He’s going to have a broader role than that, but a key component will be legislative.”

 

PENCE TO COMPLETE TERM AS GOVERNOR: The Indiana governor's office says Vice President-elect Mike Pence will complete his term in the state's top office (Associated Press). Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks said Thursday that Pence will remain in office until his term ends Jan. 9. Pence will become vice president when President-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20. Republican Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb won the election Tuesday to succeed Pence. Governor-elect Holcomb left open the possibility of an early gubernatorial transition Wednesday saying that decision was up to Pence. Pence was elected governor in 2012 after 12 years in Congress.

 

TRUMP REVENGE TEAM GEARING UP: Donald Trump has 70 days to build a government and figure out how to run it, but some of his allies are spending the early days of his transition plotting revenge against those they believe slighted Trump — and them (Politico). Since Trump’s shocking upset victory in Tuesday’s presidential election, several people who worked on his team have discussed ways to punish Republicans who were hostile to the New York billionaire’s anti-establishment campaign, including blocking them from administration or transition posts, or lucrative consulting work, according to a handful of people involved in the conversations. They say that Republicans who opposed — or were seen as insufficiently supportive of — Trump have had their entreaties rejected by people around the president-elect, some of whom have expressed wonderment that former bitter critics are now asking for jobs, lobbying leads and even inauguration tickets. Even before Trump shocked the political world on Tuesday, one leading Republican policy adviser recalled being told second-hand that he was “non-grata” within Trump Tower for his outspoken criticism of the real estate showman-turned-candidate. And the website seen as the unofficial news organ of Trump World, Breitbart News — which was co-founded by Trump’s campaign chairman and possible White House chief of staff Steve Bannon — has signaled that it intends to continue its crusade against House Speaker Paul Ryan. The source suggested that Trump’s political operation would steer business away from Republicans who were involved in the #NeverTrump effort to block Trump from the GOP nomination.

 

TRUMP WON WITH LESS MONEY, STAFF, TV: The man who made “For the Love of Money” his television show’s theme song was outraised, outspent and out-advertised by Hillary Clinton's billion-dollar bid. Donald Trump beat her anyway (Fox News). The outcome underscores how, through the entirety of his successful White House bid, Trump did more with less. This included: A smaller, but more agile campaign staff (a reported 130 staffers to 800 for Team Clinton). A reliance on gut instinct over debate prep, extensive polling or new-age data mining. And a bare-bones ad operation that benefited from Trump’s unique ability to gain free media through TV show call-ins and Twitter tirades. Trump’s campaign also lagged behind that of Mitt Romney, the man who preceded Trump as Republican presidential nominee. Romney, the GOP and allied groups raised $1.019 billion in a losing effort. Trump and his allies raised $795 million, according to The Washington Post, and won.  Clinton, along with the Democratic Party and allied groups, raised $1.3 billion overall as of Oct. 19. The differences are even more stark when it comes to advertising.  The Clinton campaign and its allies accounted for about 75 percent of all TV ads aired during the general election in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to data from the Center for Public Integrity provided to Time. Yet Trump won all four of those swing states, beating Clinton by a combined 820,518 votes.

 

TRUMP VICTORY PROMPTS DELPH TO PUT IMMIGRATION ON HOLD: The Indiana Senate's study committee on immigration met six times this year and issued zero recommendations at its final meeting (Smith, Indiana Public Media). The committee chair says that's largely because of Tuesday's election results. Members of the study committee, including Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, expressed frustration at the final meeting over the state's inability to enact wholesale change on immigration. Committee Chair Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, says he's never been more hopeful the federal government will step up. "I don't think there's any question that President-elect Trump has very strong views in the area of immigration and national security," Delph says. "I anticipate that a lot of the concerns that have been raised and a lot of the issues that have been raised will be addressed at the federal level of government." Delph was asked if he expects President-elect Donald Trump to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico. "I think President-elect Donald Trump has promised a lot of things to the American people, and I take him at his word that he will fulfill all of his promises," Delph says. Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, says Senate Democrats will offer proposals next session that include providing driver's licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally.

 

INDY IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY GRESK TRIES TO CALM FEARS: An Indianapolis immigration attorney is trying to calm fears of people worried about deportation after Donald Trump won the presidential election Tuesday night (Thomas & Cox, WRTV). Paul Gresk also has a radio show on 107.1 FM four days a week, where he discusses issues that affect the Latino community. Since the election, calls have been coming in non-stop from those worried about deportation and Gresk is trying to allay some of those fears. "There will not be a wall," said Gresk. "What is possible and what is not possible. Mass deportation is not possible. It would take three years for a case to be heard in Chicago. There is a backlog nationally of immigration of about three years, about 350,000 cases." Gresk said if undocumented workers get caught today it could be 2020 before there would even be a hearing. "There could be a new president by then."

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: It’s time for everyone to get a grip and let the coming Trump/Pence administration evolve into a transition and ruling style. The riots by those on the left do nothing but further divide the country that has devolved into political shrapnel. We are all awaiting signs of how Donald Trump will govern, and we hope he moves away from his penchant for revenge to a mode of inclusiveness and study. It will be a fascinating thing to watch. Have a great weekend folks, and remember, our country is still great. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

 

EARLY ESTIMATES SHOW VOTER TURNOUT DOWN FROM 2012: Early voting in Indiana broke previous records by nearly 200,000 votes, but overall turnout is lower than expected (DeBattista, Indiana Public Media). As of Nov. 10 with 99 percent of precincts reporting, the WFIU-WTIU news team estimates voter turnout at about 56 percent. That's about 2 percent lower than 2012 and about 8 percent lower than 2008. Voter turnout among Hoosiers also varies by contest. For example, around 8,000 more Hoosiers voted in the U.S. senate race compared to the presidential race. The Indiana Secretary of State's office will report final voter turnout after county reports are filed on November 21.

 

ZODY STATEMENT ON ELECTION RESULTS: The following statement was posted yesterday to the website of the Indiana Democratic Party (Howey Politics Indiana). John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, stated: "While the results of yesterday's election did not go in our favor, the Indiana Democratic Party will continue to fight to protect public education and expand early childhood education, push for a long-term infrastructure solution in our state and grow wages. We will also continue to fight hard for equality for all Hoosiers and will continue working to restore Indiana's Hoosier Hospitality reputation. I couldn't be more proud of our candidates up and down the ballot who ran aggressive and professional campaigns based on issues important to Hoosiers. I know each and every one of these individuals will continue to be advocates for our values as a Party, and as a state. On behalf of the IDP, I want to thank all of them for their hard work and dedication. In doing so, we will immediately begin focusing on the 2018 mid-term elections."

 

WILL MCCORMICK BUTT HEADS WITH GOP LEADERSHIP? The stunning upset in Tuesday's state superintendents race that put an end to Democrat Glenda Ritz's tumultuous tenure as the state's top education official has left many of her supporters fearing for the worst (Cavazos, Chalkbeat). McCormick, the current superintendent of Yorktown schools, actually shares Ritz's views on issues like increasing teacher pay and adjusting school funding so it's more fair for poor children. But unlike Ritz, she's not as likely to butt heads with her fellow Republicans. She might speak up to defend teachers - and does differ from her Republican colleagues in some key ways - but McCormick will likely have an easier time than Ritz, a Democrat, working alongside the administration of Governor-elect Eric Holcomb and the Republicans who lead the state legislature based on what we know about their education priorities. This is particularly true when it comes to testing and preschool. Todd Bess, executive director of the Indiana Association of School Principals, said he's heard optimism from his members about McCormick's aim to have more frequent and direct communication between schools, districts and the Indiana Department of Education. "There were some thing that they both really have similar thoughts on," said Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. "They're both really concerned about testing and retention and compensation of teachers."

 

STRAIGHT-TICKET VOTING CARRIES MADISON COUNTY REPUBLICANS: If your name had Republican attached to it in Madison County, the odds were in your favor on Election Day (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Republican Party candidates swept almost all county offices losing only in the coroner's race and one of the county council at-large seats. Incumbent Lisa Hobbs held on to her seat on the Madison County Council and Marian Dunnichay was retained as coroner. Republicans picked up a seat on the county council, captured the Middle District commissioner position, gained the auditor and surveyor's office and retained the North District commissioner and judge of Madison Circuit Court Division 6. Tuesday's results hinged on straight-party voting with 3,100 more Republican ballots being cast than for the Democratic Party. Four years ago, Democrats held a 469 straight-ticket edge over the Republicans. That was trimmed to seven votes in 2014.

 

ALLEN COUNTY COUNCIL SEAT CONTROVERSY; WINNER IS DECEASED: How the third At-large seat on Allen County Council will be filled could still be up for debate. Republican Roy Buskirk was re-elected Tuesday night, but he died last Friday (Ivanson, WANE-TV). Head of the Allen County Democratic Party Jack Morris now says under Indiana law, all the votes for Buskirk are null and void and the fourth place candidate, Democrat Palermo Galindo, should win the seat. "I think the Democrats are trying to steal the election from the Republicans with an argument based on a weak set of facts that are distorted and an incorrect application of the law," Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine said. Morris said Indiana Code states the death of a candidate creates a "late candidate vacancy" and the party chairman should appoint a candidate to fill the spot. Another section then states that "a vote cast for a candidate who ceases to be a candidate may not be counted as a vote for a successor candidate." "Apply the law as it is. That's not stealing, that's just following the law," Morris said. On Monday, the day before the election, the Election Board met and by unanimous vote determined no changes to the ballot needed to be or could be made. Fellow Election Board member and Democratic appointee Tim Pape said based on his understanding of the law, they can't certify the votes for Buskirk. "The law is clear. It says when a candidate dies, the seat is vacant. Buskirk was not a candidate on Tuesday," Pape said.

 

IS ST. JOSEPH COUNTY STILL A SOLID BLUE? Donald Trump's success in America's Rust Belt was one of the keys to his presidential victory on Tuesday (Allen, South Bend Tribune). The outcomes in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania left Democrats wondering what went wrong for them and whether it was a one-time "Trump effect" or part of a deeper change in the region's politics. St. Joseph County - another place with an industrial heritage and traditionally Democratic leanings - could be part of the same political trend. Democrats, especially those running for federal and state offices, attracted less support here on Tuesday than they did in the previous presidential election year in 2012. Hillary Clinton garnered about 47 percent of St. Joseph County's vote on Tuesday, down from the 51 percent that Barack Obama posted here in 2012. Overall, Clinton beat Trump by only 200 votes in the county. Lynn Coleman, the Democrat who ran against incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski for Indiana's 2nd District seat in Congress, had the advantage of being a longtime South Bend resident with a history of community and municipal service. And he won 49 percent of the county's vote on Tuesday - but much lower than the 58 percent that Democrat Brendan Mullen won when he ran against Walorski in 2012. The Democratic candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and state schools superintendent managed to win majorities in the county, but by smaller margins than four years ago.

 

DEAN, ELLISON RUNNING FOR DNC CHAIR: Howard Dean announced Thursday that he will run to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee for a second time (The Hill). “The Dems need organization and focus on the young. Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again,” Dean tweeted Thursday afternoon. Dean, a former Vermont governor, served as DNC chair from 2005 to 2009. During the 2006 and 2008 elections cycles, Democrats gained 52 House seats, 14 Senate seats, 7 governorships and the White House in 2008. During his DNC tenure, Dean focused on a fifty-state strategy and to build up the party even in more Republican strongholds. Dean’s progressive group, Democracy For America (DFA), had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary, but the former governor supported Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, Sanders endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to be the next DNC chair. Ellison was an early endorser of Sanders in the Democratic primary.



Presidential 2016

 

PENCE MEETS WITH BIDEN: Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with Vice President Joe Biden for about 30 minutes at the White House on Thursday, according to a statement from Pence's press secretary Marc Lotter. Pence attended at Biden's invitation (Politico). The meeting was "warm and professional," according to the statement. "The two discussed the duties of the office of the Vice President," the statement said. "The Vice President pledged full support for a smooth transition."

 

TRUMP MAKES NICE WITH SPEAKER RYAN: The Donald Trump- Paul Ryan courtship has officially begun. The two men, at odds for almost the entire campaign, were all pleasantries and compliments Thursday after a meeting on Capitol Hill that would have been impossible to fathom 48 hours ago (Politico). It was the surest sign yet that they're ready to leave their acrimony behind and take full advantage of an all-Republican Washington as the Trump administration kicks off. Ryan gave Trump a brief tour of the Capitol, including a walk out onto the speaker's private balcony, with its expansive view over the National Mall — where Trump will be sworn in on Inauguration Day. “Donald Trump had one of the most impressive victories we have ever seen and we’re going to turn that victory into progress for the American people, and we are now talking about how we are going to hit the ground running to get this country turned around and make America great again," the Wisconsin Republican said after their meeting.

 

CONWAY MAY TAKE TRUMP JOB: President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested Thursday that she has been offered a job in her boss’ administration (Politico). “False. Could it be those "sources" want the WH job I've been offered?” she wrote on twitter responding to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman tweeting that sources say she is reluctant to take a job in the upcoming Trump administration. Conway embedded Sherman’s tweet in hers. It read, “Two sources say @KellyannePolls is saying privately she's reluctant to take administration job b/c she wants to keep running her business." Trump is said to be considering several of his closest campaign confidants for top jobs in his administration, including Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Corey Lewandowski and Reince Priebus.

 

TRUMP CONSIDERS BANNON FOR COS: President-elect Donald Trump is strongly considering naming his campaign CEO Steve Bannon to serve as his White House chief of staff, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Thursday. The White House chief of staff is typically tasked in large part with ensuring that all wheels are spinning in the complex White House organization, and the source said that some people in Trump's orbit do not think Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News who joined Trump's campaign in August, is the best fit for that position.

 

GIULIANI HEDGES ON LOCKING UP CLINTON: Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie -- two Donald Trump loyalists rumored to be under consideration for top law-enforcement positions in the incoming administration -- demurred Thursday when asked about the President-elect's resolve to follow-up on his campaign promise to put Hillary Clinton in jail. "I think it's a tough decision," Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day." "I think it's a tough one that should be given a lot of thought and shouldn't be an off-the-cuff answer. Equal administration of justice is one of our most important principles.” He added: "It's been a tradition in our politics to put things behind us. On the other hand, you have to look at how bad was it? Because suppose somebody comes along a year from now and is alleged to have stolen $50,000 from a charity -- and (Clinton) was never investigated for hundreds of millions."

 

TRUMP TO PULL OUT OF TPP: President-elect Donald Trump plans to move quickly to fulfill some of his most controversial campaign promises related to what he derided as “job-killing” trade policies, according to an internal transition team document shared with POLITICO. Within the first 100 days, his administration will drop out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and 100 days after that it could withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement unless certain demands are met, according to the described policy road map. Other first-day business includes labeling China a currency manipulator — something the Obama administration avoided in its eight years — and teaming up the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to examine all major proposed foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies to ensure equal opportunities for American investors abroad.

 

TRUMP BLASTS PROTESTS, BLAMES MEDIA: Donald Trump blasted the media late Thursday in his most aggressive tweet yet since he was elected president, alleging that the people protesting his victory were “incited by the media” (Politico). “Just had a very open and successful presidential election,” he tweeted from an Android phone. "Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in major cities across the United States since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night, with the slogan “Not my president.” Earlier Thursday, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called on Clinton and President Barack Obama to speak out against some protesters’ calls for violence.

 

OBAMA STILL DEEMS TRUMP ‘UNFIT’: President Barack Obama has taken a decidedly conciliatory tone in discussing the transition process between his administration and the incoming one of President-elect Donald Trump (Politico). But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that the president hasn’t changed his mind about the man who will be the next commander in chief. Earnest was asked during his daily press briefing about the president’s campaign trail rhetoric, specifically his remarks that Trump is “temperamentally unfit” and “uniquely unqualified” to be president. “Look, the president’s views haven’t changed. He stands by what he said on the campaign trail,” the press secretary replied.

 

WORKING-CLASS VOTERS FLIPPED SEVERAL HOOSIER COUNTIES: On his path to a resounding victory in Indiana, Republican President-elect Donald Trump's appeal to working-class voters flipped several traditionally Democratic counties and widened his margins in many red counties (Wang & Sikich, IndyStar). Around the steel mills of Northwest Indiana, union workers helped carry Trump to win LaPorte and Porter counties. Around the once-booming auto manufacturing hub of Connersville in Fayette County, disaffected and disillusioned workers struck by years of layoffs and plant closures delivered a decisive 70 percent vote for Trump. "I think that middle-, lower-class Christian Americans have just had it with the Democrats and all their nonperformance promises," said Will Statom, chairman of the GOP in Delaware County, which turned red for Trump. "It's overwhelming support for change."

 

BOSMA CREDITS PENCE FOR CALM DEMEANOR: When Tony Samuel predicted on Election Day that Donald Trump would win by 20 points in Indiana, House Speaker Brian Bosma laughed (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). But later that night it was Samuel, Trump's Indiana vice chairman, laughing as the Trump-Pence ticket did just that, and the pair went on to capture the presidency. Now many are saying Gov. Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, is due heaping credit for the surprise win. "I think he had an unheralded effect not just in Indiana," Bosma said. "I travel a lot... and I can't tell you how many times I had someone say, 'Wow, Mike Pence, he is just shining on the national stage,' and I agree. He stepped into a role that seemed to be made for him." Bosma said Pence brought a "healthy dose of calm reality" to the ticket and helped "smooth the edges" of some of Trump's positions. "Seeing Mike Pence there with a calm hand at the wheel... it gave (conservative Christians) peace about the candidacy, so I think it was substantial," he said.

 

TRUMP DRAWING TEAM FROM K STREET ‘SWAMP’: To shape his administration, President-elect Donald Trump is drawing squarely from the "swamp" he has pledged to drain (CNN). Trump's transition team is staffed with long-time Washington experts and lobbyists from K Street, think tanks and political offices. It's a far cry from Trump's campaign, which ended only Tuesday night, and message that he would "drain the swamp" in Washington. He has advocated congressional term limits and proposed a "five-point plan for ethics reform" that included strengthening restrictions on lobbying, including five-year bans for members and staff of the executive branch and Congress from lobbying, and expanding the definition of lobbyist to prevent more revolving door activity.

 

OIL EXEC LUCAS 'TOP CONTENDER' FOR TRUMP INTERIOR SECRETARY: Oil executive Forrest Lucas is still a "top contender" to become United States secretary of the interior when president-elect Donald Trump selects his cabinet, Politico reported Wednesday (Indianapolis Business Journal). A southern Indiana native who founded California-based Lucas Oil Products Inc. in 1989, Lucas is a former trucker known in his home state because of the 20-year naming rights deal for Lucas Oil Stadium he made in 2006 for $121.5 million. Politico first reported Trump's interest in Lucas as a candidate for the job in September. When reached by phone by IBJ on Wednesday afternoon, Lucas, 74, said he didn't know if he was on Trump's short list for the job. He indicated that he would be interested in such a position but that he's made no commitment. "It's a very important position and you need to have someone in there who knows what they're doing," Lucas told IBJ from California. Politico mentioned several other candidates for the job, including Donald Trump Jr.; Sarah Palin; venture capitalist Robert Grady; former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; and Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm.

 

COLUMBUS, HOME OF NEXT VICE PRESIDENT: Columbus awoke Wednesday to learn that its native son, Mike Pence, has become vice president-elect of the United States (Columbus Republic). Pence, 57, the Indiana governor, in mid-July added his name to the top of the Republican ticket by agreeing to Donald Trump's offer to become his running mate. After six terms in Congress and a four-year stint as governor, next stop for Mike Pence is the White House. While always introduced as the Indiana governor and GOP vice presidential candidate, Gregory Pence says most Americans now talk about his brother in an entirely different way these days. Just a week ago, Gregory Pence was helping the cause close to home outside the Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh - just outside of Columbus, where Mike Pence was born. More than 70 people showed up last Tuesday at the store owned by Gregory and Denise Pence for a mini Trump-Pence rally featuring Trump-Pence Indiana campaign chairman Rex Early, vice chair Tony Samuel and state director Suzie Jaworowski.

 

PENCE MOTHER SEES ‘BLESSING’: For Mike Pence's mother, Nancy Pence Fritsch, also of Columbus, the experience of having her son on the GOP presidential ticket is new, unusual, and - as she calls it - "a blessing." "Suddenly, my world became smaller," said Fritsch, who also attended last Tuesday's event near Edinburgh Premium Outlets (Columbus Republic). "That means my life now encompasses so many more people, philosophies and policies." The sight of watching her four sons, including Mike and Gregory, riding wagons in a 1964 campaign parade for GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was going through her mind during the event in Edinburgh, she said.

 

DOWNS EXPECTS PENCE TO PLAY MAJOR ROLE: An Indiana political expert says Gov. Mike Pence will likely play an influential role as Donald Trump's vice president (Brosher, Indiana Public Media). Pence served in Congress for six terms before becoming Indiana's governor, so he understands its inner workings. That's one of the reasons Trump chose Pence as his running mate. Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics Andrew Downs says Pence's experience means he's poised to act as a strong liaison between the White House and Congress. "That's the sort of position that, if used properly, could make him a very, very influential person," Downs says. "It also could be that he simply ends up being the courier or translator between the White House and Congress and he doesn't end up having much influence in what's going on." The White House is already making intelligence materials available to Trump, Pence and their transition teams.

 

TRUMP SEEKS FRAUD TRIAL DELAY: Attorneys for President-elect Donald Trump went to court Thursday to ask that a civil fraud suit against Trump scheduled to begin in less than three weeks be delayed, a reminder of the unusual complications facing Trump as he shifts from businessman to commander in chief (Washington Post). Trump’s attorneys said he will be too busy with the presidential transition to participate in the Nov. 28 trial involving his defunct real estate seminar program, Trump University. They asked that the trial be postponed until February or March, after he has taken office.

 

SANDERS STATEMENT ON TRUMP: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States (Howey Politics Indiana): "Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer. To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."

 

SANDERS URGES DEMOCRATIC LEADERS TO ENGAGE VOTERS: Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday that he and Democratic leaders must "get out from Capitol Hill and get on the road" to start engaging working people and bringing them into the political process (Gaudiano, USA Today). Following Democrat Hillary Clinton's loss of the presidential race to Republican Donald Trump, Sanders said during an interview with USA TODAY that Democrats must do a better job of communicating with voters across the country. The party must put equal energy into mobilizing grassroots support outside the Washington beltway as it puts into work inside the beltway, he said. "Find out how many Democratic leaders have been to the states of Michigan or Alabama or Utah," said Sanders, the Vermont independent who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders reiterated his call for a transformation of the Democratic Party and said Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and one of two Muslims in the House, should lead the Democratic National Committee.

 

PROGRESSIVES CALL FOR MORE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC AGENDA: Progressives were calling for a more liberal agenda for the Democratic Party Wednesday as they absorbed the shock of Donald Trump's presidential win and another two years, at least, of a Republican-controlled Congress (Gaudiano, USA Today). Trump's win underscored the divide among Democratic centrists and progressives allied with senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton's former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. Progressives say election results show the party must embrace economic populism, which many centrists have long considered a political loser. "If the Democratic Party is not clear as crystal on the side of the working man and woman of America, some opportunistic politician is going to pick up that mantle and create confusion," said Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. "I don't think anyone can deny that Trump tried to sound like an economic populist."

 

WHY DID TRUMP WIN DELAWARE COUNTY? Everybody in Delaware County on Wednesday seemed to be celebrating or worrying about the presidential election outcome - in addition to showering criticism on both candidates (Slabaugh, Muncie Star Press). Paul Loebe, founder of Vets for Bernie and regional field director for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, called the win "a repudiation of the status quo from working-class white voters who have been marginalized, denigrated and ignored by the Democratic Party." He's concerned about the future of his party. Longtime Democrat Steve Thompson, a deliveryman for a local superstore, voted Republican for the first time. "Trump speaks his mind and he'll help businesses maybe turn the country around and get some decent-paying jobs. I didn't trust Hillary. She's power-hungry. Trump is kind of arrogant and doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut." Trump won a little more than two-thirds of Delaware County's 78 precincts. The final vote was 24,217 for Trump and 18,100 for Hillary Clinton, or 53 percent to 40 percent.

 

KASICH PRAYS FOR TRUMP: Ohio Governor John Kasich said that he prayed for the success of president-elect Donald Trump on his plane on Thursday (Politico). “Today I said my prayers on the plane for the success of Donald Trump,” he said, adding, “and I think as Americans we all need to come together because it's the lives of our children.” Kasich also made a plea for all Americans to pray for Trump and said issues “won't be fixed overnight." The Ohio Governor praised President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s embrace of the outcome of the election, calling it “inspirational."

 

KREMLIN HAD CONTACT WITH TRUMP, CLINTON: The Russian government said Thursday that it maintained contact with representatives from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns (CNN). The assertion comes after Trump was repeatedly accused by the Clinton camp of having overly close ties to the Russian regime, connections that Trump consistently denied. "During this entire period, we not only sent some signals through some representatives, or private messages," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday about the communications with the Trump staff. "It was our clear position that we are ready for cooperation and working together and establishing normal relations," she added.

 

WHAT EXIT POLLING SAYS ABOUT ELECTION: It's been 36 hours (or so) since we were all witnesses to the biggest political upset in presidential history (Cillizza, Washington Post). As President-elect Donald Trump and President Obama huddle in Washington on Thursday, and as the gears of the incoming government begin to grind in earnest, I'm still totally captivated by the “how” of this election. How did this happen and what can we learn about ourselves and the country as a result? The best way to do that — still — is the exit poll, the national survey of voters that gives us a portrait of who we are and what we believe. As you might expect in an election this historic, there are lots and lots of remarkable — and remarkably contradictory — findings in the exits. My take-aways — offered only in the order I came up with them — are below.

 

1. Trump won the white vote by a record margin: In 1984, Ronald Reagan won the white vote by 20 points on his way to a 525 electoral vote smashing of Walter Mondale. Mitt Romney matched that 20-point victory in 2012 while losing relatively convincingly to President Obama. On Tuesday, Trump one-upped them both — literally. He won the white vote 58 percent to 37 percent. The white vote also continued its decline as a percentage of the overall voter pool. In 1984, whites made up 86 percent of the total electorate. That number was 72 percent in 2012. And 70 percent in 2016.

 

2. There was no surge of female voters: For all of the talk that Trump's comments about women — and the allegations of sexual assault made against him by a dozen women — would mean historic turnout among female voters (and a historic margin of defeat for Trump), it simply never materialized. Women made up 52 percent of the overall electorate in 2016 — down from 53 percent in 2012. And Hillary Clinton's 12-point margin over Trump among women was pretty darn close to the 11-point win among women that Obama claimed over Romney four years ago.

 

3. There was no surge of Latino voters: Trump built his campaign on a pledge to build a wall on our Southern border and make Mexico pay for it. All of that led to predictions of historically high Hispanic turnout, with many predicting that 2016 would be the election that Latinos emerge as the electoral force that their population numbers suggest they should be. It just didn't happen. In 2012, Hispanics made up 10 percent of the overall electorate. That bumped up, marginally, to 11 percent in 2016. And, far more interestingly, Trump actually performed better among Hispanics than Romney did — 29 percent to 27 percent. More tellingly, Clinton underperformed Obama's 2012 showing among Hispanics by six points (71 percent for Obama, 65 percent for Clinton), an underperformance that allowed Trump's slight overperformance among white voters to matter more.

 

4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice: In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn't; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points. Also, contrary to some of the conventional wisdom out there about the 2016 voter, this was a more highly educated electorate than in 2012. It split evenly — 50 percent for each — between college grads and non-college grads. Four years ago, 53 percent of the electorate was non-college grads as compared to 47 percent who had a college degree.

 

5. Trump did better with white evangelicals than Romney: Trump didn't do much to court white evangelical voters. And his personal story — three marriages, two divorces — doesn't seem like one that many evangelicals could or would identify with. But Trump actually did better among white evangelicals than Romney had in 2012; Trump won 81 percent of “white evangelical or white born-again Christians” while Romney took 78 percent. (White evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate in both elections.)

 

6. Trump didn't bring lots of new voters to the process: Just 10 percent of voters said that the 2016 election was their first time voting. Of that group, Clinton won 56 percent to 40 percent over Trump. Of course, new voters often overlap with younger voters who are eligible to vote for the first time; Clinton won among 18- to 24-year-olds by 21 points.

 

7. The economy was the big issue — and Clinton won it: A majority (52 percent) of voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country. (Voters were given a choice of four issues; “terrorism” was the second most commonly named “important” issue, with 18 percent choosing it.) Among those economy voters, Clinton beat Trump by 10 points.

 

8. This was a change election: And Trump was the change candidate: To me, this is the single most important number in the exit poll in understanding what voters were thinking when they chose Trump. Provided with four candidate qualities and asked which mattered most to their vote, almost 4 in 10 (39 percent) said a candidate who “can bring needed change." (A candidate who “has the right experience” was the second most important character trait.) Among those change voters, Trump took 83 percent of the vote to just 14 percent for Clinton.

 

9. Obamacare was a wind beneath Trump's wings: The late October announcement that the average premium for people in the federal insurance exchange of the Affordable Care Act would rise by an average of 25 percent landed like a lead balloon on a not-insignificant portion of the electorate. Almost half of the electorate (47 percent) said they thought Obamacare “went too far.” Trump beat Clinton 83 percent to 13 percent among that group.

 

10. Trump's personal image was and is horrible: Trump's victory should be in no way interpreted as a vote of confidence in him or his capacity to do the job. Less than 4 in 10 voters (38 percent) had a favorable opinion of him. Only 1 in 3 said he was “honest and trustworthy.” Thirty-eight percent said he was “qualified” to be president. Thirty-five percent said he has the “temperament to serve effectively as president.”

 

11. Clinton's email hurt her: Democrats spent the entire election — and the two days since the election! — insisting that Clinton's decision to exclusively use a private email server as secretary of state was a nonissue. Turns out they were wrong. Almost two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) said that Clinton's “use of private email” bothered them “a lot” or “some.” Among that group, Trump won 70 percent to 24 percent.



Congress

 

REPEALING, REPLACING OBAMACARE WON’T BE EASY:  President-elect Donald Trump has promised to dismantle Obamacare as one of his first acts after taking office (CNN). Yet he can't eliminate Obamacare on day one with the stroke of a pen. Killing the massive program that provides insurance to 20 million Americans would take time to work its way through Congress. Plus, there are many popular provisions that Trump has indicated he would retain in some form, such as covering those with pre-existing conditions. "I don't think anyone would want to pass a bill overnight that cost 20 million people their health insurance," said Michael Sparer, chair of health policy and management at Columbia University's School of Public Health. "The question is what does he really want to do."

 

McCONNELL DODGES SCOTUS STRATEGIES: On that frigid February day when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, Mitch McConnell made what appeared to be a potentially disastrous decision when he vowed to keep Scalia’s seat vacant until the next president took office. The Senate majority leader didn’t consult any of his colleagues, and Democrats promised to make him pay for blocking nominee Merrick Garland by taking back the Senate and keeping the White House (Politico). That, of course, didn’t happen. And you can argue with McConnell’s tactics and whether he invalidated the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, but you can’t argue with the results: He’s now on the precipice of altering the balance of the court for a generation, and there may be nothing at all Democrats can do about it. Not only that, there are indications that McConnell’s calculated gamble may have helped elect Donald Trump and keep his Senate under Republican control. McConnell gave nothing away Wednesday about his looming strategy to confirm a Trump-nominated justice. The Kentucky Republican dodged questions about whether he’ll change Senate rules to jam a conservative nominee down Democrats’ throats.

 

YELLEN TO TESTIFY BEFORE COATS COMMITTEE: A news release from the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats, indicated Janet Yellen will meet with the committee next Thursday (Howey Politics Indiana). The hearing, titled "The Economic Outlook," will begin at 10 a.m. in Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

 

DONNELLY CALLS FOR REXNORD TO EXPLAIN PLANS TO SHIP JOBS: U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) released the following statement, after Rexnord has declined to discuss its proposed plans to relocate its Indianapolis manufacturing operations to Mexico, impacting approximately 350 Hoosier families (Howey Politics Indiana). According to a release from the senator's office, Donnelly has repeatedly tried to set up a phone call with the Milwaukee-based CEO of Rexnord, and to date, the company has been unwilling to facilitate a conversation about why it is considering sending Hoosier jobs to Mexico. Donnelly said, "For nearly a month, I've been trying to better understand Rexnord's 'tentative' plan to outsource good-paying Hoosier jobs. Just like Carrier, Rexnord has refused to provide clear answers. While I understand Rexnord is in discussions with union officials, if a company plans to upend the lives of hundreds of families, the least it can do is be upfront about its desire to chase cheap wages."

 

DONNELLY STATEMENT ON VETERANS DAY: U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, posted the following to honor veterans today: "I want to take a moment to thank the brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and the loving families who support them. I urge you to take a moment to let the veterans in your life know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice. We owe our deepest gratitude to the nearly 500,000 veterans who call Indiana home and have served our country in every conflict dating from World War II."

 

BANKS ANNOUNCES TRANSITION TEAM: Congressman-elect Jim Banks announced the members of his congressional transition team, which will assist him as he prepares to take office as the Third Congressional District's representative in January, a news release stated (Howey Politics Indiana). The transition team will be chaired by Casey Cox, who formerly represented District 85 in the Indiana House of Representatives and currently is a lawyer with the Fort Wayne law firm of Beers Mallers Backs & Salin. Other members of the transition team will include: Jennifer Romano, Columbia City Councilwoman and Whitley County Chamber of Commerce Director; Larry Buzzard, Huntington County Commissioner; Linda Buskirk, president of Accountable Solutions, Inc. in Fort Wayne; and, Byron Lamm, local business and community leader, co-founder and president of the board of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. The five-member transition team will help Banks build his congressional organization and provide input on Third District priorities, the release stated.

 

WALORSKI THRILLED AT PROSPECTS OF NEW TERM: After winning her third term in the U.S. House and Donald Trump's presidential win, U.S. Rep. Walorski sees hope (Vandenack, Elkhart Truth). "I'm absolutely thrilled. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of history," she said. She also foresees change. "Now I see a path forward," she said by phone Wednesday, a day after thumping Democrat Lynn Coleman in the race for the 2nd District post and Trump's win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, unexpected by many. The American people, she said, "voted for change." With a Republican president and GOP majorities in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, she sees the demise of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, for starters. "I would say it's a reality more than a possibility. It will happen," she said, discussing the likelihood of a repeal. "I would say that the American people have spoken. This was a resounding victory across the country," she said.

 

General Assembly

 

BOTH PARTIES GET DOWN TO WORK: One day after the Trump train roared through Indiana, both Republicans and Democrats in Indiana are assessing the impact (Hoffmeyer, Statehouse File). "Hoosiers all over the state of Indiana said last night that they want to keep this state moving forward," Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb said. After winning his race, Holcomb spoke with both Vice President-elect Mike Pence and President-elect Donald Trump last night. He said he thanked Trump for drawing voters, who he believes have never voted before, out to the polls. Those voters affirmed the work of the state legislature, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said, by sending Republicans back to run the Statehouse. When the General Assembly returns to session in January, 70 Republicans and 30 Democrats will hold seats in the House. The Senate will consist of 41 Republicans and nine Democrats. As for the Democrats, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath said his party is ready to support good ideas and help articulate an alternate vision for the state when necessary. The first person Bosma reached out to Wednesday morning was Pelath. Both of the House leaders said they have a strong working relationship that they anticipate will continue.

 

SEN. TALLIAN ELECTED DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIRWOMAN: Yesterday, the Indiana Senate Democrats elected their leadership team for the 120th Indiana General Assembly and State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) was elected to a leadership position as the Caucus Chairwoman, a news release stated (Howey Politics Indiana). In this role, Sen. Tallian replaces State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) who retired at the conclusion of the 2016 legislative session. "I am proud to represent this caucus as the Senate Democrats' Caucus Chairwoman, and look forward to helping provide leadership during the 2017 session and in the years to come," said Sen. Tallian. "There is still work to be done to move Indiana forward and improve the lives of working Hoosiers. I am ready to get to work and help create better opportunities for Hoosiers across the state." Sen. Tallian's election as Caucus Chairwoman coincided with the re-election of State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) as the Assistant Minority Leader and State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) as the Minority Leader.

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS TO OFFER 3 IMMIGRATION BILLS: Indiana Senate Democrats announced Thursday they would push immigration-related legislation, while Republicans decided to take a wait-and-see approach (Osowski, Evansville Courier & Press). During the sixth and final meeting of the Immigration Issues Committee at the Statehouse, Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, said his caucus would be introducing at least three bills based on findings from the study committee. All the bills will aim to help the plight of undocumented people in Indiana. The first would deal with college tuition prices for undocumented immigrants in Indiana. Currently, college students who don't have documentation and want to go to school in Indiana have to pay out-of-state tuition costs, which can be thousands of dollars more per semester. Mrvan said he would want to introduce a bill allowing them to access in-state tuition. The other two bills will deal with documentation cards, including one that would simply show identification in case of emergency. Mrvan said he learned from testimony that law enforcement doesn't know how to find family members when dealing with undocumented immigrants. The final proposal will be a driver's license for illegal immigrants, which would help alleviate issues with those who are driving without proper documentation and insurance. The card that would allow them to operate a vehicle but couldn't be used for anything else, Mrvan said.



State

 

GOVERNOR: PENCE AT ATTERBURY FOR VETERAN'S DAY CEREMONY TODAY - Vice President-elect Gov. Mike Pence will join representatives from the Indiana National Guard and the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs at a Veterans Day ceremony at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh at 2:30 p.m., a new item stated (Howey Politics Indian). Gov. Pence will offer remarks. WCSI reported the event will be hosted at the bases's outdoor museum and memorial. The radio station noted attendees are advised to show up no later than 1 p.m.

 

GOVENOR: PENCE DIRECTS FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF TO HONOR HOOSIER - Governor Mike Pence directed flags at state facilities statewide be flown at half-staff for Army Private and Avon native Dakota Stump after he was killed in a car accident in Ft. Hood, TX, the governor's office announced yesterday (Howey Politics Indiana). Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the day of Pvt. Stump's funeral, Saturday, Nov. 12.

 

GOVERNOR: OCTOBER REVENUE UP 5.1%, MISSES FORECAST - The office of Gov. Mike Pence released the monthly revenue report for October, with General Fund revenue exceeding last year's figures but slightly off forecast (Howey Politics Indiana). A total of $1.163 billion was collected last month, or just under forecast by $18 million (1.5%), but still $56.7 million more than October 2015 revenue. Sales taxes accounted for $622.1 million, slightly off forecast $25.5 million more than collected last year. Income tax collections, totalling $463.6 million, were similar - short of estimate by 1.7% but a 5.8% improvement over last year. The $17.1 million collected in corporate taxes fell $8.9 million short of forecast but was $10.1 million more than last year. Riverboat wagering, at $20.3 million, was $2 million below estimate but $3 million better than last year. Racino wagering brought in $7.6 million, about $100,000 less than anticipated and $500,000 below October 2015 totals. Year-to-date General Fund collections total $4.762 billion, $75.7 million below forecast but $192.2 million better than last year. According to commentary provided by State Budget Director Brian Bailey, corporate tax collections for the year continue to underperform compared to forecast and compared to prior year collections. Corporate collections are $38.7 million (15.7%) below forecast year-to-date and $8 million (3.7%) below fiscal year-to-date collections through the same period.

 

LEAD CRISIS: EAST CHICAGOANS FAULT DELAY IN RELOCATION FUNDING - Some residents scheduled to leave the lead- and arsenic-contaminated West Calumet housing project over the weekend are reporting difficulty in getting Housing Authority staff to cut checks for relocation assistance (Cross, NWI Times). Latasha Marshall had keys in hand for a new apartment back on Oct. 28 - but she said she is still waiting on the $1,700 owed by ECHA to secure a moving truck and leave what she calls a toxic environment. Kate Walz, director of housing justice with the Chicago-based Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, said her team appealed to ECHA on Monday to issue checks on or ahead of the Veterans Day holiday. "They've known about this since the beginning of the week. They had an entire week to resolve this, especially when they had families personally coming in and begging them for a check so they could move," Walz said. Jewel Harris Jr., attorney for the ECHA, said checks cannot be issued today because of Veterans Day.

 

ECONOMY: LOCAL HI-TECH EXPECTS MINIMAL ELECTION IMPACT - One central Indiana entrepreneur says the latest election results likely won't have a big impact on the local tech community (Redman, Indianapolis Business Journal). "For the tech and innovation economy in Indiana, I think it means more of the same," said Launch Fishers Chief Executive Officer John Wechsler. "Especially when you look at the policies and practices that have been put in place." Those policies include Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's 10-year plan to invest $1 billion in the Hoosier economy to promote innovation and entrepreneurship around the state. Wechsler expects Governor-elect Eric Holcomb, who serves as lieutenant governor, to embrace Pence's initiatives. "Governor Pence's billion dollar challenge to the legislature and the plan to support entrepreneurs and innovators. I think that's just goodness for Indiana."

 

SAFETY: AS MANY AS 3,400 DEFECTIVE NARCAN KITS RECALLED - At least two Indiana health departments have stopped distributing free Naloxone kits to the public after a piece inside them was recalled by the manufacturer, possibly rendering them ineffective (Glavan, Fox59). The Indiana State Department of Health gave more than 3,400 of the kits to 20 counties in late August. The kits include the drug Naloxone, which is used to reverse and opioid overdose, as well as an atomizer which allows the dose to be sprayed into a patient's nose. The company which makes the atomizers, Teleflex Medical, recalled many of them last week. On Thursday, the Marion County Public Health Department informed people who received the kits at a free IMPD training on November 3 to stop using them, saying they're in the process of receiving replacement atomizers.

 

INDOT: INTERSTATE CLOSURES IN INDY THIS WEEKEND - Contractors for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) plan interstate lane and ramp closures at the locations and times listed below.  Construction schedules are subject to change and work may be postponed by inclement weather. I-65/I-70 downtown: One left lane of the southbound I-65 (Exit 111) and westbound I-70 (Exit 83A) ramp to Michigan St., Ohio St., and Fletcher Ave. will be closed at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 to paint pavement markings.  All ramp lanes will be closed south of Ohio St., and all traffic on the ramp will be diverted to Ohio St.  The Washington St. entrance ramp to southbound I-65 and westbound I-70 will also be closed.  The closures are expected to end at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. I-70 at Harding St.: Two right lanes of westbound I-70 and the westbound I-70 (Exit 78) ramp to Harding St. will close for bridge joint repairs at 5 a.m. until about 8 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. I-465 at IN 37/Harding St. One right lane of eastbound I-465 between State Road 37/Harding St. (Exit 4) and U.S. 31/East St. (Exit 3) will close at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 to paint pavement markings.  The lane is expected to open before 6 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. I-465 at I-65 south side: The eastbound I-465 ramp to southbound I-65 will close at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 for guardrail repairs. The ramp is expected to open before 6 a.m. on Sunday.  During the closure, traffic will be directed to take northbound I-65 to Keystone Avenue to access southbound I-65.

 

EDUCATION: PURDUE ATHLETICS TO RECEIVE MORE TV REVENUE - Purdue's athletic department won't see an increase in its annual administrative charge from the university, despite a boost in revenue on the way (Carmin, Lafayette Journal & Courier). The department currently sends $1.5 million to the university for overhead and administrative charges and that figure will stay the same, president Mitch Daniels said. The amount was reduced by $2 million about two years ago in an effort to help then-athletic director Morgan Burke offset sagging football ticket sales. The $1.5 million figure is comparable to other Big Ten schools. "The goal here is accuracy and fairness and we probably have a fair number now," Daniels said. Purdue is expected to receive around $38 million from the Big Ten and NCAA distributions during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

 

Nation

 

ECONOMY: GM LAYING OFF OVER 2,000 AS SALES SLOW - Shifting demand from cars to trucks and SUVS is forcing General Motors to lay off more than 2,000 workers indefinitely at two assembly plants in Ohio and Michigan starting in January (Associated Press). The company said Wednesday it will suspend the third shifts at factories in Lordstown, Ohio, and in Lansing, Michigan, because of the market change, which is growing and shows no sign of abating. About 1,250 workers will be furloughed at the Lordstown plant, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, starting Jan. 23. Another 840 will be idled at the Lansing Grand River factory, which makes the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car and the Cadillac ATS and CTS luxury cars, when their shifts end Jan. 16. "It's supply and demand, and right now the demand is not there for what we have," said Glenn Johnson, president of a United Auto Workers union local at the Lordstown plant east of Cleveland. Cruze sales are down nearly 20 percent this year even though a new version is only in its second year of production. Of the vehicles made in Lansing, ATS and CTS sales each are down about 17 percent this year, while Camaro sales are off 9 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Laid-off workers will get supplemental pay and state unemployment benefits that will amount to most of their wages for a year.

 

MEDIA: LEONARD COHEN DIES AT AGE 82 - Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era, has died, according to an announcement Thursday night on his Facebook page. He was 82 (New York Times). Mr. Cohen’s record label, Sony Music, confirmed the death. No details were available on the cause. Adam Cohen, his son and producer, said: “My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records. He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.” Over a musical career that spanned nearly five decades, Mr. Cohen wrote songs that addressed — in spare language that could be both oblique and telling — themes of love and faith, despair and exaltation, solitude and connection, war and politics.

 

OREGON: ANTI-TRUMP RIOTS IN PORTLAND - Police in Portland declared the city’s protests a “riot” Thursday night as throngs shut down streets, smashed windows, vandalized cars and set small fires into the early morning hours as part of a wave of protests in cities across the country against the election of Donald Trump. Around 4,000 people took to Portland’s streets at the peak of the demonstration, confronting drivers, spray painting buildings and smashing electrical boxes with baseball bats, Pete Simpson, public information officer for the Portland Police department, told The Washington Post. By early Friday morning, at least 29 people had been arrested in Portland, police said.

 

MAINE: VOTERS APPROVE REC POT - Maine residents have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state (CBS News). Maine joins California, Nevada and Massachusetts, which passed similar measures this year. Arizona rejected a similar measure. Recreational marijuana was already legal in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The final results on the referendum were tabulated on Thursday. The count took nearly two days because of how close the race was, within a fraction of a percentage point, and The Associated Press made the call Thursday afternoon. Supporters had already declared themselves the winners and had predicted home cultivation of marijuana would be legal by around Christmas. “The Maine people have passed it, and we should work on implementing it,” said Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey, of Auburn, who supported the ballot issue.



Local

 

COUNTIES: FBI RAIDS LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - The FBI and Indiana State Police raided the Lake County Sheriff's Department and were parked outside the sheriff's home early Thursday (Dolan, NWI Times). A number of FBI agents and state police investigators entered the offices of Lake County Sheriff John Buncich at the Lake County Government Center about 9:30 a.m. They left early Thursday afternoon with several boxes of documents they loaded into an FBI panel truck. Indiana State Police and federal investigators' cars, both marked and unmarked, were parked late Thursday morning outside Buncich's Crown Point home. FBI Special Agent Bob Ramsey, who appeared outside the sheriff's home, declined to comment further. Ramsey and Ryan Holmes, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said federal authorities were serving search warrants on the county sheriff. Holmes declined to comment on what documents are being sought or who is being targeted. Sources within county government said investigators were looking into rumors of bribery involving towing vendors and police, and were looking for towing contracts and campaign finance reports.

 

COUNTIES: MARION VOTERS APPROVE MASS TRANSIT TAX HIKE - Marion County residents voted for a tax increase in order to pay for a better bus system (Eaton, Fox59). IndyGo wants to add more routes, running earlier and later in the day. The tax increase is proposed to be 25 cents for every $100. For example, if you're making $40,000 annually, you could pay up to $100 extra. "Being able to get more people mobile that helps strengthen a city and strengthens families which makes us the city we want to be," said Shannon MacVean- Brown with IndyCAN. IndyCan is an organization that pushed the measure for months. Even though it passed with the voters, it still has to pass with city officials. City-County Council has the final say on the proposal. Council members can approve, deny or even lower the tax. "As it stands now I will, probably vote another no vote," explains Jason Holliday, city-county council member. Holliday represents Decatur Township, one of the areas that won't see the enhanced service. City-county council members are expected to hear the proposal at the start of the year.

 

COUNTIES: CLARK CLERK SAYS LATE COUNTS UNFAIR - By 2 p.m. Tuesday, Clark County Voter Registration volunteers began opening the 9,606 absentee and early voting ballots to be fed through a counting machine (Beilman, News & Tribune). But county results weren't finalized until 4:30 a.m. Wednesday - after the United States presidential race was called. "It's terrible that we didn't have the results," County Clerk Susan Popp said. "It wasn't fair to the voters, it wasn't fair to the candidates. It's unacceptable." The delay was caused by the machine that read the absentees, Popp said. Ballots were hand-fed through the machine, counting 350 per minute. But it spit out some batches that had write-ins, folded ballots or stray marks and stains. What was odd was that when run through a second time, many of these ballots were read just fine, she said. The machine is also brand new, only used by the county for the first time a year ago. "That machine just ran things much slower than it should have yesterday," Popp said. "That cannot happen again," Popp said.

 

COUNTIES: NEW SYSTEM, TURNOUT BEHIND DELAY IN ELKHART - Elkhart County's voting center system may be much more convenient for voters (Fouts, Elkhart Truth). For election workers, though, the new system, launched in 2014, can require three times as much work to tabulate results. Factor that with the high turnout at some voting centers in voting last Tuesday and the end result was final preliminary vote tallies for Elkhart County that weren't reported until after midnight, early Wednesday morning, according to Elkhart County Clerk Wendy Hudson. The 2014 change consolidated 88 vote locations around the county that served the 117 precincts here into 27 voting centers that allow voters to cast their ballot at any one of the sites. Before the change, voters could only cast a ballot at the sole vote location among the 88 that corresponded with their precinct. But now, election workers have to process 276 memory cards with vote totals from each machine at the 27 sites instead of just 88 memory cards used in the old system, according to Hudson. Complicating things last Tuesday was the stronger turnout than in any other election dating to 2014. Vote centers formally closed at 6 p.m., but those in line at vote centers when the hour came were allowed to wait and still cast a ballot, per state law, which meant the final ballot in Elkhart County wasn't cast until 8 p.m. By then, media outlets had already declared now President-elect Donald Trump the winner of Indiana's presidential race.

 

COUNTIES: BROWN MOVING TO 35-HOUR WORK WEEK - As part of bringing the county in compliance with labor laws, the Brown County Commissioners approved a new 35-hour work week for most county employees at their Nov. 2 meeting (Brown County Democrat). The new work week does not apply to employees of the highway department or to the sheriff's department. Office workers around the county had previously had a 40-hour work week including a paid hour lunch each day, said county commissioner Diana Biddle. Though some would take their lunch at their desks, others would to take a lunch break away from the office. Under current labor laws, that could be considered "ghost employment" when workers are paid for time not in the office, she said. Workers will not be paid any less than they had been, nor receive fewer benefits.

 

COUNTIES: BARTHOLOMEW SEEKING ANSWERS TO COURTHOUSE CRACKS - Bartholomew County Commissioners are trying to find a solution to the limestone cracking that is threatening the county courthouse foundation and the neighboring Memorial for Veterans (WCSI). The Commissioners agreed Monday to pay DLZ Engineering up to $7,000 to investigate the problems at the facilities. Charlie Day with DLZ said that the study would estimate the life cycle of the building with an emphasis on the building engineering, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning and the conditions of the structure itself. Day said that the work could take up to 60 days and the commissioners want a final report by the end of the year. County Commissioners approved the contract with DLZ earlier this week.

 

COUNTIES: HOWARD COUNCILMAN CHANGES POSITION ON JAIL - A Howard County Council member announced a change Wednesday in his position on utilizing the county's old jail as a work-release facility, a decision that could alter the outcome of an upcoming vote (Myers, Kokomo Tribune). Councilman John Roberts sent a letter to local media Wednesday morning, indicating he no longer agreed with his initial position against funding a renovation of the old jail on Berkley Road for a county work-release program. In July, the council voted down by a 4-to-3 margin a measure that would have funded a $1 million renovation of the old jail and kickstarted a work-release program toward a Jan. 1, 2017, start date. Roberts said his objections at the time revolved mostly around financial concerns and the old jail's potential inability to assist the county jail's rising population. The decision drew criticism from some in county government, specifically Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman, in part because the proposal's rejection cost the county a likely $1.2 million state grant.

 

COUNTIES: UNION JAIL WINS PRAISE FOR IMPROVEMENTS - Union County's jail is often overcrowded and understaffed, but improvements made at the facility won praise during the department's recent state inspection, Sheriff Dale Dishmond said (Tharp, Richmond Palladium-Item). "He (the inspector) said the jail looks better than he's ever seen it," Dishmond told county commissioners this week. A hallway was opened to make better use of space, floors are cleaner and the sally port, which provides garage access for the delivery of prisoners, now is being used for that purpose, Dishmond said. "We've put a lot of work into the jail," he said.

 

CITIES: MUNICE REFUSES TO DISCLOSE ATTORNEY FEES FOR FBI PROBE - City officials won't disclose how much they're paying an Indianapolis law firm to defend a federal court lawsuit and advise Mayor Dennis Tyler regarding an ongoing FBI investigation (Roysdon, Muncie Star Press). The city refused to release any information sought by The Star Press - the amount paid to attorneys from the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller or the number of hours they have devoted to the tasks - citing among other reasons attorney-client privilege. The Star Press did not seek details of the discussions between Ice Miller attorneys and Tyler or the defendants in the Shroyer Bros. federal court lawsuit, Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols and members of the Muncie Unsafe Building Hearing Authority. The lawsuit alleges the city shut out the Shroyers from demolition work in favor of Nichols, whose private contracting firms have won city contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

CITIES: TERRE HAUTE TO RAISE SEWER RATES IN TWO PHASES - By a 6-3 vote, the Terre Haute City Council voted to raise sewer rates in two phases - by 16 percent effective Dec. 1 and by another 5 percent on Jan. 1, 2018 (Loughlin, Terre Haute Tribune-Star) The council also voted to withdraw a hybrid plan that had combined a smaller sewer rate increase and a stormwater fee. Council member Earl Elliott proposed the new sewer rate plan, which was a reduction from the city administration's original proposal for a 33-percent sewer rate increase. Elliott said the council's goal was to "keep fees paid by the ratepayer to the minimum amount necessary" yet still fund the next phase of the long-term control plan, which will cost about $40 million and which will provide debt service reserves required by the Indiana Finance Authority. n response to the council's action, Mayor Duke Bennett said after the meeting, "I'm happy we got it behind us... The council came back with a little bit of a compromise. They wanted to do a smaller increase than what we had originally proposed."

 

CITIES: POLICE, FIRE UNIONS FILE GRIEVANCE IN ALEXANDRIA - The complaints against the office of the clerk-treasurer are mounting as the Alexandria police and fire unions have come together to file grievances for failure to properly maintain insurance records, costing the city tens of thousands of dollars (Bibbs, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Representatives from the Alexandria Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 124 and Alexandria Firefighters Local 1649 reported to the Alexandria City Council Monday that Clerk-Treasurer Janet Lynch had failed to remove at least two retirees from the insurance when they reached age 65. "The city is paying full freight per month for those guys when it should be only the supplement," said Local 1649 official Adam Matson. "It's gross negligence, and it's not being fiscally responsible with the taxpayer money. There is a problem in the office of the clerk-treasurer. There's been a multitude of things that should have been done in a timely fashion and they weren't." Lynch, who has served as the clerk-treasurer for about 25 years, refused to comment.

 

CITIES: ZIONSVILLE BUDGET COMES IN AT $29M - The town of Zionsville has approved its 2017 proposed annual budget of nearly $29 million (Johnson, Zionsville Times Sentinel). To support that budget, the town is looking to raise $11.4 million through the town's levy in 2017, compared to the $10.5 million certified levy ($12.4 million proposed) in 2016. As anticipated, the largest dollar increases in the proposed budget appear in the police and fire funds; the recent countywide approval of a new Local Income Tax to bolster public safety added about $1 million in revenue that can be raised, with most being earmarked for public safety. The largest percentage increase over 2016 appears in the local roads and streets fund, which is up more than 85 percent.

 

CITIES: EX-DALEVIILLE COUNCILMAN ARRESTED - An ex-Daleville Town Council member's alleged Election Day activities led to his arrest on Tuesday (Walker, Muncie Star Press). Jay A. Shellabarger, 52, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. by a Daleville officer, and was preliminarily charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief. According to Daleville police, Shellabarger had been observed on the grounds of Daleville Community Schools three times on Tuesday "without a set meeting." A court order, unrelated to Tuesday's election, apparently prohibits Shellabarger from visiting the schools except under specific circumstances. Voters from precincts 51 and 52 cast ballots Tuesday at the high school, in the 8400 block of Bronco Drive. On one of his visits to the school, the Daleville man allegedly used tape to attach two signs touting the candidacy of Democrat Melanie Wright, an incumbent state representative, to a sign promoting her opponent, Bill Walters, a Republican who now serves on the Daleville Town Council. At least some of Shellabarger's movements on school property were captured on video.

 

CITIES: PRIVATE, HIGH-DENSITY STUDENT HOUSE OK'd IN BLOOMINGTON - Bloomington City Council approved a development project Wednesday that will replace the current Dunnhill apartment complex near the intersection of 17th and Dunn streets near Memorial Stadium (Wright, Indiana Public Media). The facelift to the apartment complex will increase the number of bedrooms from about 330 to 746. The scale and density of the project has concerned some residents in the historic Garden Hill neighborhood just across the street from the complex. Council Member Timothy Mayer says a major concern is overflow parking, especially on event weekends. "The city is committed to working with that neighborhood to put in a neighborhood parking zone, which would then limit street parking to residents only," Mayer says. The 5-1 vote was accompanied three conditions from the council.

 

CITIES: PERU COUNCIL OKS 58% WATER-RATE INCREASE - Peru residents will pay 58 percent more for water next year, after the Peru City Council unanimously approved a rate hike Monday to keep the city's utility in the black and help pay for $7 million in major infrastructure upgrades (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). For an average home using 3,000 gallons of water a month, the increase comes out to an additional $8.69. The total bill would be $23.72. Peru Utility General Manager Joe Pandy told council members the rate increase was necessary to fully fund the city-run utility, which has on average operated at a $125,000 deficit every year since at least 2008.

 

CITIES: HAGERSTOWN AGREES TO BUY SOLAR POWER - The town has signed a letter of intent to buy solar power if the company providing electricity to the town builds a solar station there (Hansen, New Castle Courier-Times). Monday, town council agreed to allow American Electric Power (AEP) to conduct a 90-day study of town-owned land on the north side of West Lawn Cemetery. If AEP finds the site suitable for solar power generation, it will build and operate a solar array there