SPEAKER RYAN STUMPS FOR ‘TRIPLE T’s IN SELLERSBURG: Less than 48 hours after vice presidential nominee Mike Pence headlined a Jeffersonville rally, House Speaker Paul Ryan was at a Trey Hollingsworth rally today at the Clark County Regional Airport to campaign for the 9th CD Republican and Senate hopeful Todd Young (Thomas Curry, Howey Politics Indiana).  The Speaker called it an effort to “get Republican voters to come home” and vote one week from today for Republicans throughout the ticket. It was the first stop for Ryan today ahead of five scheduled events at key House races across the country. Hollingsworth described the appearance attended by 90 Southern Indiana Republicans as encouraging Hoosiers to support the “Triple T's” of Donald Trump, Todd Young and Trey Hollingsworth. The second appearance by a major Republican leader shows that Southern Indiana is a critical area to the party this year.  Ryan spoke on how Hoosiers can dictate “the future of the Senate, the House and the world” on Nov. 8. “It is important that we vote in Republicans from the top of the ticket and down in order to make this country move forward. We have a choice between two futures. Are we going to choose wrong or are we going to seize the opportunity out in front of us?”  Ryan called Congressman Young “one of the hardest working members in Congress” and said that Hoosiers need to vote him into the Senate in order to benefit the country. Ryan and Young worked together on the Ways and Means committee which Ryan said has made them “close”. Young, who spoke to the media before taking the stage, said that he “hasn't seen” his opponent Evan Bayh on the campaign trail and that the recent Monmouth polling that revealed the Senate race to be tied shows that “our message and strategy is working.” Young described his race as “critical to the future of the Supreme Court” and that Indiana will decide who controls the Senate.

 

THOUSANDS OF ATTACK ADS UP TO THE VERY END: If it seems like most of the political commercials you're seeing on TV are attack ads, it's not your imagination (Segall, WTHR-TV). In the three most high-profile races in Indiana, candidates and the political action committees (PACs) that support them have been busy slinging a dizzying amount of mud at one another. An in-depth analysis by 13 Investigates shows just how negative this election cycle has been. The races for U.S. Senate, U.S House 9th District, and Indiana Governor have been flooding local airwaves with political advertising. WTHR aired 5,992 political ads for those races between Sept. 1 and Oct. 27. 13 Investigates examined each of those commercials and, not surprisingly, found the vast majority are attack ads designed to discredit candidates' political opponents. WTHR's analysis shows in the three major races in Indiana, 24% of the ads were positive, 61% were negative, and 15% were mixed. That means three of every four political commercials that aired during the past two months included at least one attack against a political opponent. Nearly two of every three ads failed to mention anything positive about either candidate. In the U.S. Senate race between Evan Bayh and Todd Young, 72% of the commercials have been all-out attack ads. Bayh and the PACs that support him aired 2,011 commercials on WTHR. Nearly 60% of them (1,182) were negative ads about Young. Young and his supportive PACs aired 1,557 political ads during the same time period. A whopping 89% of them (1,380) were negative ads about Bayh.

 

GREGG CALLS FOR SUPPORTERS TO REACH OUT TO REPUBLICANS: They feel the momentum and on Tuesday at a half a dozen barnstorming stops across southeastern Indiana, Democrat John Gregg and his running mate Christina Hale urged party faithful along with Republicans and independents to step on the gas and, perhaps, honk the horn (Howey Politics Indiana). “I’ve got to ask for a favor,” Gregg told several dozen voters gathered at the Shelbyville public square Tuesday morning. “Reach out and talk to independents and Republicans. Talk to three or four people in the next week. Will you do it?” He repeated the request 90 minutes later at Whisky’s Family Restaurant in this Ohio River city before several dozen Democrats. “Things are going great right now, but we’ve got seven days and we can’t slow down or even take a deep breath,” Gregg said a day after a Monmouth Poll showed him leading Republican Eric Holcomb 48-42% while picking up endorsements from several larger newspapers, including the IndyStar. He repeated the request 90 minutes later at Whisky’s Family Restaurant in this Ohio River city before several dozen Democrats. “Things are going great right now, but we’ve got seven days and we can’t slow down or even take a deep breath,” Gregg said a day after a Monmouth Poll showed him leading Republican Eric Holcomb 48-42% while picking up endorsements from several larger newspapers, including the IndyStar. “There are many Republicans who don’t believe their party represents them any more. Reach out to four to them.” As party elders Baron Hill, Judy O’Bannon, Susan Bayh, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and attorney general nominee Lorenzo Arredondo looked on, Gregg made this vow: “I will never embarrass you or the state. Let’s go get ‘em.”

 

TRUMP, CLINTON TIED IN ABC/WP TRACKING POLL: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are all but tied in the latest Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll, which finds Clinton backers slipping behind in enthusiasm even as the Democrat has an edge in early voting. The tracking poll finds little shift in Clinton's overall support following news of the FBI's renewed look at Clinton emails, but strong enthusiasm among her supporters fell behind Trump in combined Saturday and Sunday interviews. By 53 to 43 percent, more Trump supporters say they are "very enthusiastic" about him, compared with Thursday and Friday when Trump's edge was negligible (53 percent vs. 51 percent). Voter enthusiasm has been in short supply for both Clinton and Trump through the fall campaign and continues to lag excitement about candidates on the ballot four years ago. At this point in 2012, 64 percent of Obama supporters said they were "very enthusiastic" about him; Romney was only narrowly behind at 61 percent.

 

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT MODEL GIVES CLINTON 70% WIN CHANCE: Tuesday was another pretty good day of polling for Donald Trump. It’s also not an easy day to characterize given the large number of polls published. You could cherry-pick and point to the poll that has Trump up 7 percentage points in North Carolina, for example, or the ABC News/Washington Post national tracking poll that has Trump up 1 point overall. And you could counter, on the Hillary Clinton side, with a poll showing her up by 11 points in Pennsylvania, or a national poll that gives her a 9-point lead (Silver, FiveThirtyEight). Our model takes all this data in stride, along with all the other polls that nobody pays much attention to. And it thinks the results are most consistent with a 3- or 4-percentage point national lead for Clinton, down from a lead of about 7 points in mid-October. Trump remains an underdog, but no longer really a longshot: His Electoral College chances are 29 percent in our polls-only model — his highest probability since Oct. 2 — and 30 percent in polls-plus.

 

JANET HOLCOMB INJURED IN DOG ATTACK: “Janet is going to make it. The dog is going to make it.” - Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, informing Boone County Republicans in Zionsville Tuesday night that his wife, Janet, and his Schnauzer dog Henry were mauled in a dog attack in Winamac on Saturday (Howey Politics Indiana). Holcomb said his wife was attending a certified shooting and birding event near Winamac when a black lab attacked Henry. Janet Holcomb has been treated and released from the hospital.

 

PENCE HAS OPTIONS FOR A JOB IN 2020: If Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fails to claim victory come Nov. 8, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will be on the hunt for a new job (Rund, Roll Call). But even with a loss, the onetime six-term congressman will emerge from this election cycle having significantly raised his national political profile and establishing himself as a potential top-tier contender for his party's nomination in 2020. Capitalizing on those strengths won't be easy, however. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas is the only unsuccessful GOP vice-presidential nominee since the turn of the 20th century to later win the presidential nomination. Even so, all signs appear to point toward a future White House bid for Pence, which could hinge on the outcome of this election and the public's lasting perception of his oft-contentious running mate, according to numerous campaign and election experts interviewed by Roll Call. The governor's heightened political status is evidenced by the large number of Republicans who expressed their desire for Pence, not Trump, to headline the party's ticket after The Washington Post published a recording last month of lewd comments Trump made about women in 2005. "Traditionally, those people who do become party nominees have to become national figures in the election cycle before they win their nomination," said Lara Brown, interim director of George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. "At that level, Pence has done everything that he possibly could, given the constraints of this cycle."

 

ELECTION DAY PROMISES TO BE A MARATHON: Grab some toothpicks to prop open your eyelids because Election Day promises to be a marathon (Associated Press). Polls open before dawn on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and it will be Wednesday on the East Coast before the last votes are cast. It will be strictly a spectator sport for the estimated 46 million people who are likely to vote in advance. Oregon, Washington and Colorado are mostly vote-by-mail states. The presidential nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are expected to vote the old-fashioned way, trooping to their polling places in New York and undoubtedly trailed by cameras. Their running mates, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Mike Pence of Indiana, are likely to vote at home, later heading for New York to team up with their principals after spending much of the last three months promoting their respective tickets on their own. It's a curtain-closer on one doozy of a presidential election and on House and Senate races that will determine which party controls Congress for the next two years.

 

CUBS FORCE A SENSATIONAL GAME 7:  The sixth game of the World Series wasn’t yet an hour old, and already it had arrived at two separate moments on which it might pivot. Two on, two out in the first. One out, bases loaded in the third. Both times, Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs stepped to the plate and dug in (Washington Post). On the mound in the first instance stood Cleveland Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who possessed at that point a curveball that wouldn’t properly curve and a cutter that wouldn’t properly cut. On the mound in the second instance: right-hander Dan Otero, who arrived at the rubber as a parent walks into a toddler’s room, toys scattered everywhere, the mess Tomlin left behind. There will be a seventh and final game of this World Series between these two franchises, whose karma has been mostly catastrophic. Wednesday night, over the final nine innings of the year — or maybe more — one hex will be broken, the other will continue. That happy bit of history will occur because in those two moments, Russell took a pair of swings that pushed across six runs — including an absolutely crippling grand slam off Otero — and the Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory that equaled this World Series at three games apiece.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: So here we have it, in this election cycle of controversy and angst, the Chicago Cubs end up in a Game 7 of the World Series. You’ve gotta believe it’s going to come down to the bottom of the ninth, two out, bases loaded and . . . . Godspeed Cubbies. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

 

GREGG REPORTS $2.9M ON HAND, RAISED $2.4M: In the final public reporting before Election Day, today the Gregg for Governor campaign announced it had raised an additional $2.4 million in the pre-election reporting period and has more than $2.9 million cash-on-hand (Howey Politics Indiana). The pre-election reporting period starts Oct. 1 and covers all donations made through Oct. 24. Reports were due to the Secretary of State's office today. "The momentum is clearly with the Gregg/Hale team - and our continued fundraising strengthen proves that," Tim Henderson, Gregg for Governor campaign manager, stated in the announcement. "As we approach Election Day, we are a strong position and will have the resources needed to continue to push out our message and communicate with voters." Thus, far the Gregg campaign has raised more than $16.5 million, breaking all previous records for Democratic candidates for governor and approaching the all-time fundraising record of $17 million set by Mitch Daniels.

 

GREGG PROMISES PORT FOR LAWRENCEBURG: Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg blew through Lawrenceburg yesterday, but not before promising he would bring Indiana's fourth port to Whiskey City if elected (Awad, Lawrenceburg Journal Press). Gregg, who is leading Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb by eight to 10 points in most polls, said during his speech he would ensure the port for Lawrenceburg, and that Democrats have a fiscal plan to make it work. When interviewed later, Gregg said he was not aware of any other choices other than Lawrencebug for the port, but would be committed to studying alternatives if he was elected.

 

BAYH HUDDLES WITH MAYOR FREEMAN-WILSON: With just one week to go until Election Day, today Evan Bayh joined Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson to campaign across the Gary community and talk with Hoosiers about bringing more jobs to the Region, expanding economic opportunity, making college more affordable and encouraging residents to take advantage of early voting (Howey Politics Indiana). “It was a great honor to spend the day in Gary with Mayor Freeman-Wilson and talk with members of the community about ways we can work together to increase opportunities for young people and bring more jobs to the Region. By partnering with the city's leaders, I know we can revitalize the community and thereby help small business and manufacturers grow and expand their local workforce,” Evan said. “Whether it’s helping to foster job creation, making college more affordable, or protecting the retirement security our seniors rely on, I promise to be a champion for Gary in the U.S. Senate and to remain committed to the success of all its residents.”

 

YOUNG RUNS UNDER THE RADAR: Rep. Todd Young may well become Indiana's next senator, despite running an under-the-radar campaign against a Democratic heavyweight in a state where nearly half of the voters still have no opinion of him (Politico). Young's secret? Stay out of the national spotlight and let the race turn into a referendum on opponent Evan Bayh, the respected former senator and governor who's nonetheless been dogged by questions about his lucrative post-Senate career and skepticism about his Indiana residency. Less than one week before Indiana voters decide whether to send him or Bayh to the Senate, Young remains largely unknown across the state, with 45 percent of voters having neither a favorable nor negative view of him in a new Monmouth University poll released this week.  In the thick of his first statewide run for office, Young is furiously barnstorming, bringing in splashy surrogates and campaigning aggressively to prove Democrats — who believe he just may have hit his ceiling for support — wrong. “I work very hard. That’s why I spent a year and a half trying to earn the trust and support on the ground as opposed to entering this race 100 days out,” Young said in an interview with POLITICO during a small-business campaign swing. “I think it’s that sense that I share people’s values and have the ability to actually advance those values in Washington, D.C., that is leading to change in the poll numbers." “Todd Young is only a known entity in his district,” said former Indiana Democratic Party chairman Kip Tew. “Evan stabilized, and he had a good enough will in this state for long enough that clearly the negative ads had an impact with a certain percentage of voters, but not enough to make a difference.”

 

DEMOCRATS PLAN TO CONTACT 1M HOOSIER VOTERS: "Indiana remains home to two of the most competitive statewide races in the nation, and this weekend we have plans to contact more than one million voters to make sure they have a concrete plan to vote," according to an email distributed to Hoosier Democrats yesterday (Howey Politics Indiana). Signed by Peter Hanscom, coordinated campaign director, the email urged supporters from across Indiana to volunteer to assist the get out the vote effort.

 

INDYSTAR REPORTS YOUNG CAMP BANKS HEAVILY ON OUTSIDE GROUPS: Indiana senate candidate Republican Todd Young has benefited disproportionately from the influx of cash from outside Indiana (Cook, IndyStar). Outside groups have spent $24.3 million to help Republican Todd Young. The rest - about $14.6 million - has gone to Democrat Evan Bayh. The surge of so-called "independent expenditures" has allowed Young, a congressman from Bloomington, to close what would otherwise be a significant fundraising gap against a better-known opponent in a race that could decide which party controls the Senate next year. But experts say it also could make it more difficult for Young to operate independently in Washington if he wins. That's because outside groups like the ones funding his campaign can raise money in unlimited amounts, while donors to candidate campaigns can only give up to $2,700 per election. "It's easier to say no to someone who gave you $2,700 than someone who gave you $7 million," said Andy Downs, a political scientist at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

 

CNHI REPORTS BAYH BENEFITS FROM PRIVATE EQUITY CONNECTIONS: When Evan Bayh went to work for the New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management after leaving the U.S. Senate, he didn't just get a $2 million job (Murakami, CNHI). He also found some of the people who would become his largest campaign funders as he now tries to return to the Senate in one of the most closely watched races in the nation. Twenty-three Apollo Global employees and their family members have contributed to Bayh's campaign, including 15 who gave him the $2,700 legal maximum contribution, according to a CNHI newspapers analysis of more than 900 pages of Bayh campaign disclosure documents. In addition, 33 attorneys with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a New York-based firm that represents Apollo Global and other financial companies, each contributed $500 to $1,000 to Bayh's campaign. Bayh and his Republican opponent, Rep. Todd Young, have tried to portray the other as beholden to out-of-state interests. Young spokesman Jeff Kenworthy leapt on the donations from Bayh's former employers. However, Young is no stranger to out-of-state money. Indiana residents contributed only about 40 percent of the $4.8 million Young's campaign had raised from individual donors, according to separate analyses by the Public Interest Research Group and CNHI.

 

NO REPORTERS ALLOWED AT 2ND CD DEBATE: For the first time candidates met face-to-face in the race for Indiana's 2nd Congressional District (Kennedy, WSBT-TV). Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski faced off against Democrat Lynn Coleman in an hour-long debate hosted by WKUZ Radio in Wabash. Tuesday night's debate was broadcast over the radio from a studio roughly an hour and a half south of South Bend in the southern-most part of the district. Reporters were not allowed inside to watch the debate or record it. WSBT 22's Danielle Kennedy asked why journalists weren't allowed inside. "Oh, I don't know. The campaign teams both worked this out, and that's what they decided on. I'll be right back, and I'll be happy to answer more questions after that," Walorski said. Coleman had a different take on the situation. "Jackie (Walorski) continues to say that both sides agree to this, and that is not true. And when we asked her about it, she won't admit that's not true," he said. "And if she won't admit to that, what else will she not admit to what she's doing for the people in this district?"

 

YODER WANTS 'SLANDEROUS' AD TAKE DOWN: The battle for the congressional seat being vacated by Republican Todd Young has become contentious (WISH-TV). With just a week until Election Day, Democrat Shelli Yoder wants a campaign commercial for Republican Trey Hollingsworth taken off the air. The Republican National Congressional Committee ad accuses Yoder of voting for 25 tax increases while serving on the Monroe County Council. In a letter sent to TV station general managers, it asks them to remove the ad from air. A lawyer hired by the campaign called the ad "slanderous" and said she voted for just one tax increase. The ad is just part of the outside help coming in for the Hollingsworth campaign. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan campaigned for Hollingsworth in Sellersburg Tuesday. Last week Hollingsworth announced that he was spending $2 million of his own money on the race.

 

DESPITE ODDS, WELSH PREDICTS UPSET OVER MESSER IN 6TH: It seems like just about everybody is financially supporting incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Luke Messer in the 6th Congressional District election (Slabuagh, Muncie Star Press). The list of political action committees that donated a little over $1 million to Messer fills 32 pages, ranging from AFLAC PAC to Wal-Mart Stores for Responsible Government. In addition, Messer's endorsements include the National Rifle Association, Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Right to Life, and he has received $551,644 from individuals and corporate donors. While there are many other corporations and PACs, none is supporting Messer's Democratic challenger Barry Welsh, retired minister, author, freelance writer, photographer and Ball State University graduate who has hauled in $4,606 and is $3,100 in debt. "He does have all those corporations supporting him," Welsh told The Star Press. "My yard signs say I'm the people's candidate. He is the corporate candidate, and I am winning through social media. I honestly believe we are going to win this thing and shock the whole country... "

 

HENDERSON DISMISSES ETHICS CASE AMID ELECTION: Voters in Floyd County will decide between two well-known political names for circuit court judge next Tuesday: Longtime incumbent J. Terrance Cody and longtime Prosecutor Keith Henderson (Winer, Louisville Courier-Journal). But questions cloud the race, including whether Henderson could sit on the bench if he is suspended from practicing law because of an ethics case involving actions related to the David Camm murder case. At the beginning of August, David Pippen, a hearing officer from Indiana's Disciplinary Commission, recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court that Henderson be reprimanded for his actions in the Camm case. He wrote that Henderson violated ethics rules by pursuing a deal to write a book about the case between the second and third trials, court records say. But in October, a disciplinary commission attorney said Henderson should face suspension. Henderson, who maintains he did not violate state ethics rules because the book deal was canceled, said voters should focus on his record as prosecutor.

 

NEARLY $32K DONATION FOR TOWNSHIP SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: It's a familiar story: A big influx of money is shaking up a school board race in Indianapolis, with tens of thousands of dollars coming from out-of-state school reform advocates (McCoy, Chalkbeat). But this time there's a twist: The money is going to a candidate in Washington Township, a district with just 11,000 students where there have been few battles in the school reform war. In a district where candidates typically spend less than $10,000 on even the most competitive races, Deitric Hall, a local teacher, has raised more than $32,000. Nearly all that money is from a single political action committee: Leadership for Educational Equity, a Washington D.C.-based PAC that supports Teach for America alumni running for public office. It's a small-scale version of a phenomenon that has played out in urban districts around the country as outside campaign contributions have increasingly influenced pivotal school board races. But unlike in IPS, Washington Township isn't facing a pivotal election - and Hall's opponent had raised barely any money until this month. That has raised eyebrows in the area, where locals wonder why LEE, even given Hall's connection to TFA, would spend so heavily on the race.

 

MONROE COUNTY POLS UNITED ON INTEGRITY OF VOTE PROCESS: The Monroe County Democratic and Republican Parties released a joint press release on the integrity of the electoral process (Indiana Daily Student). The statement is in response to the Democratic and Republican Parties of Wayne County, Indiana, issuing a statement affirming the integrity of the same process. "We wish to echo that sentiment and assure voters that our system of elections is secure," said Mark Fraley, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party, in the release. There is no basis to suggest anything otherwise, according to the release. Regardless, both parties wanted to show their bipartisan election board works diligently with poll workers recruited by both parties and early and absentee vote workers appointed by representatives of both parties.

 

CODE ISSUE SHADOWS ST. JOE COMMISSIONER RACE: Code enforcement has suddenly emerged as an issue in the St. Joseph County commissioner race between Deb Fleming and Phil Dotson (Blasko, South Bend Tribune). Democrats are pouncing on the chance to portray Fleming, the current officeholder, as an absent landlord just days before the election, but she is downplaying the issue and says she has addressed the problems at a property she owns. In a letter dated Thursday, the city ordered Fleming and her husband, Robert Schell, to make repairs to a duplex on South 28th Street by Nov. 17. Responding to a complaint from a tenant, code enforcement inspected the property on Aug. 8 and 10 and found several violations, including a hanging light fixture and standing water in a crawl space. Responding to the letter Tuesday, Fleming, a Republican, said the issues cited by code enforcement had been addressed. "In fact, we were just going to call today to have code enforcement come inspect it," she said.

 

GOP ELECTION NIGHT PARTY AT INDY'S JW MARRIOTT: The Indiana Republican Party advised media yesterday evening that the GOP will host an election night party next Tuesday at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis (Howey Politics Indiana). In addition to supporters and volunteers, attendees include Chairman Jeff Cardwell, Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, Auditor Suzanne Crouch, Congressman Todd Young (IN-09), Speaker Brian Bosma, Prosecutor Curtis Hill and Dr. Jennifer McCormick.

 

PRIEBUS FACES CHALLENGE: A self-styled outsider conservative is preparing to challenge Reince Priebus for the leadership of the Republican National Committee if Donald Trump loses next week's election (Politico). Priebus has worked hard to lock down enough support to handily win if he chooses to run for reelection, but he’s not going to go unchallenged. Ned Ryun, a career GOP operative who is the son of former five-term Republican Congressman Jim Ryun, intends to run for head of the RNC if Trump loses and Priebus seeks reelection, two sources familiar with Ned Ryun’s planning tell POLITICO.



Presidential 2016

 

CLINTON UP 6% IN VA: The resurfacing of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and the FBI’s examination of new evidence pertaining to it do not appear to have hurt the Democratic presidential nominee in the swing state of Virginia, where she holds a 6-percentage-point advantage over Donald Trump 49-43% in a Winthrop Poll. Clinton leads the Manhattan billionaire, 48 percent to 42 percent, among Virginia’s likely voters in a four-way race that also includes the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

 

TRUMP SURGE IN NC: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is nibbling away at Hillary Clinton’s lead in North Carolina, according to a new poll (The Hill). The race between Clinton and Trump is now too close to call in Elon University’s latest survey of North Carolina. The Democratic nominee leads Trump 42 percent to 41.2 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. In last month's version of the poll, Clinton led Trump by nearly 6 points. This latest survey of 710 likely voters was conducted before FBI Director James Comey announced on Friday that the bureau is reviewing a newly discovered batch of emails possibly relevant to its investigation of how Clinton handled classified information on the private email server she used while secretary of State.

 

SLIM CLINTON LEAD WITH INDEPENDENTS: Hillary Clinton holds a slim advantage with independents, a group Republican Mitt Romney won by five percentage points in 2012, with almost half the voters in the crucial bloc saying renewed scrutiny of her e-mail won’t impact their vote (BloombergPolitics). Likely voters who don't identify with either party represented 29 percent of the electorate in the last presidential election and now back Clinton over Donald Trump 39 percent to 35 percent in a head-to-head contest, the latest Purple Slice online poll for Bloomberg Politics shows. When third-party candidates are included, she holds a three-point edge.

 

CLINTON GETS 28% OF GOP VOTE IN FLA EARLY VOTING: More than a quarter of Republicans who have already voted in Florida cast their ballots for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll (The Hill).  A TargetSmart/William & Mary poll released Tuesday showed 28 percent of early Florida voters picked Clinton over GOP nominee Donald Trump. The poll, which will be released in full Wednesday, was shared early with MSNBC.

 

5% CLINTON LEAD IN REUTERS/IPSOS POLL:  Democrat Hillary Clinton held a five percentage point lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday, down only slightly since the FBI said last week it was reviewing new emails in its investigation of the former secretary of state (Reuters). Some 44 percent of likely voters said they would support Clinton, while 39 percent said they would support Trump, according to the Oct. 26-30 survey. Clinton had held a 6 point advantage over Trump in the five-day tracking poll last Thursday.

 

TRUMP CLAIMS LATE SURGE, BUT DATA BACKS CLINTON: Donald Trump is claiming a surge of late momentum behind his presidential bid as Hillary Clinton rushes on air with TV ads for the first time in four blue states she supposedly already locked up (Politico). With less than a week to go, Clinton, with $153 million in cash to spend, is fighting to reclaim the narrative. And she’s taking nothing for granted in Colorado and Virginia, two swing states where she confidently pulled down ads months ago, and New Mexico and Michigan, blue states in which Trump is making a late play amid some signs that the race is tightening. Just as Clinton's own behavior may look more skittish than that of the typical candidate with a roughly 80 percent chance of winning the White House, Trump’s outward confidence also obscures the reality of a race that still favors his opponent, even after last week’s FBI shocker. Although one national tracking poll Tuesday showed Trump pulling 1 point ahead of Clinton, the GOP nominee spent Tuesday launching a last-minute ad blitz in two deep-blue states that he’s unlikely to win. And he will campaign tonight with Gov. Scott Walker (but without House Speaker Paul Ryan) in Wisconsin, a sign he is still struggling at this late stage to unify the Republican base.

 

EARLY BLACK VOTE DIPS BELOW 2012 LEVELS: A dip in African-American turnout has knocked Democratic early voting numbers off their 2012 pace in key battleground states like North Carolina (CNN). The trend is also evident in early vote data from other swing states that could play key roles in deciding the election, including Florida and Georgia. More Latino voters, however, are among the more than 24.4 million American voters who have already cast their ballots -- including 12.4 million in battleground states -- according to a CNN analysis of the latest early voting numbers. Republicans appear to be in better position than they were in previous presidential elections in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio, while Democrats have improved their standing in Colorado and Arizona.

 

BLACK VOTE DOWN IN NC, FLA, OHIO: The reasons for the decline appear to be both political and logistical, with lower voter enthusiasm and newly enacted impediments to voting at play. In North Carolina, where a federal appeals court accused Republicans of an “almost surgical” assault on black turnout and Republican-run election boards curtailed early-voting sites, black turnout is down 16 percent (New York Times). White turnout, however, is up 15 percent. Democrats are planning an aggressive final push, including a visit by President Obama to the state on Wednesday. But in Florida, which extended early voting after long lines left some voters waiting for hours in 2012, African-Americans’ share of the electorate that has gone to the polls in person so far has decreased, to 15 percent today from 25 percent four years ago. The problems for Democrats do not end there. In Ohio, which also cut back its early voting, voter participation in the heavily Democratic areas near Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo has been down, though the Clinton campaign said it was encouraged by a busy day on Sunday when African-American churches led voter drives across the state. The Clinton campaign believes it can close the gap, especially in North Carolina and Florida, by Election Day.

 

WHITE NATIONALISTS PLAN ELECTION DAY SURGE: Neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin plans to muster thousands of poll-watchers across all 50 states. His partners at the alt-right website “the Right Stuff” are touting plans to set up hidden cameras at polling places in Philadelphia and hand out liquor and marijuana in the city’s “ghetto” on Election Day to induce residents to stay home (Politico). The National Socialist Movement, various factions of the Ku Klux Klan and the white nationalist American Freedom Party all are deploying members to watch polls, either “informally” or, they say, through the Trump campaign. The Oath Keepers, a group of former law enforcement and military members that often shows up in public heavily armed, is advising members to go undercover and conduct “intelligence-gathering” at polling places, and Donald Trump ally Roger Stone is organizing his own exit polling, aiming to monitor thousands of precincts across the country. Energized by Trump’s candidacy and alarmed by his warnings of a “rigged election,” white nationalist, alt-right and militia movement groups are planning to come out in full force on Tuesday, creating the potential for conflict at the close of an already turbulent campaign season. “The possibility of violence on or around Election Day is very real,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Donald Trump has been telling his supporters for weeks and weeks and weeks now that they are about to have the election stolen from them by evil forces on behalf of the elites.”

 

CLINTON, OBAMA RIP TRUMP ON WOMEN:  With just a week to go and the race for the White House tightening, Hillary Clinton – with help from President Barack Obama – unleashed a fresh offensive Tuesday against Donald Trump and his vulgar comments about women. Trump strove to blend a quieter, presidential tone with his usual tough rhetoric, warning a Clinton win would “destroy American health care forever” (Associated Press). The White House contenders clashed from afar – Clinton in battleground Florida and Trump in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – with the sprint to next Tuesday’s finish well underway. “For my entire life, I’ve been a woman,” Clinton, who would be the nation’s first female president, declared in critical Florida. “And when I think about what we now know about Donald Trump and what he’s been doing for 30 years, he sure has spent a lot of time demeaning, degrading, insulting and assaulting women.” Trump has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, complicating his efforts to win over women in both parties. He has denied every accusation, but Obama said there was a pattern at work to which voters needed to pay heed. “This is a lifetime of calling women pigs and dogs and slobs,” Obama said at a rally in Ohio. “The part we’re concerned about is if we start acting like this is normal.”

 

FBI QUIETLY INVESTIGATES TRUMP/RUSSIAN TIES: The FBI has been conducting multiple investigations of alleged connections between Russia and Donald Trump, his presidential campaign or its backers. But none so far have yielded proof of criminal connections between the parties (CNN). US law enforcement and intelligence officials investigating hacks of Democratic Party organizations view Russian spy agencies as trying to sow chaos and confusion in the US elections, but not necessarily trying to help a particular candidate. The US government has publicly accused senior levels of Russian government of being behind hacks on Democratic groups and the release of sensitive documents online. The accusations including meddling in the 2016 election. But the government has stopped short of accusing Russia of trying to swing the election in a particular direction, and has also not formally accused Moscow of involvement in a hack of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta or of attempts to hack voter registration databases that have been detected. FBI probes into Trump-Russia ties yield little. The FBI has kept a close lid on any information related to its investigation of Moscow's connection to the Trump campaign.

 

FBI PROBES CLINTON PARDON OF MARC RICH: The surprise tweet from a little-used FBI account came about 1 p.m. Tuesday, announcing that the agency had published on its website 129 pages of internal documents related to a years-old investigation into former president Bill Clinton’s pardon of a fugitive Democratic donor (Washington Post). The seemingly random reminder of one of the darkest chapters of the Clinton presidency a week before the election drew an immediate rebuke from Hillary Clinton’s campaign — with its spokesman tweeting that the FBI’s move was “odd” and asking whether the agency planned to publish unflattering records about Republican candidate Donald Trump. “Will FBI be posting docs on Trump’s housing discrimination in ’70s?” asked Brian Fallon. For the second time in five days, the FBI had moved exactly to the place the nation’s chief law enforcement agency usually strives to avoid: smack in the middle of partisan fighting over a national election, just days before the vote. The publication of the files related to the Marc Rich pardon inquiry, which agency officials said was posted automatically in response to pending public records requests, came as the Clinton campaign and Democratic lawmakers continued to fume over FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision with less than two weeks before the election to announce that he was effectively resuming a review of Hillary Clinton’s email practices.

 

KNIGHT INTERRUPTS TRUMP TWICE: Bob Knight is a big fan of Donald Trump. And he's eager to support him at rallies. Real eager (Carter, IndyStar). Usually, a celebrity endorser might introduce the candidate during campaign events. And Knight did that. But during separate rallies Monday in Warren and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Knight walked out on stage while Trump was speaking and took the microphone for himself. In the first incident, Trump was hammering Donna Brazile, the interim head of the Democratic National Committee, who resigned as a CNN commentator amid allegations of inappropriate contact with the Hillary Clinton campaign. "Uh oh," Trump said as he saw Knight walking onto the stage. He immediately stepped aside and welcomed Knight, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him at the podium.  "I want to tell you that there will be no president who has ever been closer or who has ever had a greater respect for our military than Donald Trump will have."

 

EVANSVILLE RESIDENTS DONATE $100K TO CLINTON, TRUMP: Evansville residents donated almost $100,000 to the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates between April 2015 and August 2016 (Hall, IndyStar). Being the third biggest city in Indiana, it's not surprising to see Evansville was in the top 10 lists of donors for both candidates. Evansville residents helped nab the No. 2 spot among contributions to the Trump campaign in Indiana with almost $66,000. Evansville barely made the top 10 of Indiana contributions to the Clinton campaign, at about $30,000. There were no reported donations from Evansville residents to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's campaign during the 17-month span.

 

SANDERS TWEETS SEND LILLY SHARES ON BRIEF TUMBLE: A series of social media posts from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday sent shares of Eli Lilly and Co. briefly tumbling to a seven-month low (Briggs, IndyStar). Sanders' Twitter account posted a link to a Washington Post article detailing the decades-long price increase of a Lilly insulin called Humalog. The price of Humalog has risen from $21 a vial to more than $250 during the past 20 years, according to The Post. The tweets went out to Sanders' 2.7 million Twitter followers. They were not signed by Sanders, indicating they were written by members of his staff. After sharing The Post's article, Sanders' account posted several other messages that were sharply critical of the Indianapolis drugmaker. "Why has the price of Humalog insulin gone up 700% in 20 years?" one post read. "It's simple. The drug industry's greed." As Sanders' Twitter account blasted Lilly, the company's stock price fell by as much as 2.7 percent from its opening price to $71.85. That was the stock's lowest price since April. Shares quickly rebounded and closed at $72.98, down 1.2 percent for the day. Lilly in a statement defended its pricing of Humalog, noting the product's revenue has been lagging.

 

PENCE FAMILY HOSTS CAMPAIGN RALLY IN EDINBURGH: The Columbus Republic reported that around 70 supporters attended a rally held by family members of Republic VP candidate Mike Pence. 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. "They want to talk more about the celebrity than the issues," Gregory Pence said as more 70 people were arriving late Tuesday morning outside his Exit 76 Antique Mall for a mini Trump-Pence rally. That's frustrating for Mike Pence, the Columbus native who has been attempting to tell supporters what a Donald Trump administration would do during its first 100 days, his brother said. But the national crowds, as well as the media, don't seem interested in such details, Gregory Pence said. "They are interested in the buzz they saw on TV today," Gregory Pence said. "Drama is what people are most interested in."

 

TRUMP INDIANA IN EVANSVILLE, MT. VERNON & BLOOMINGTON TODAY: The Indiana Republican Party noted that the "Early for Trump" campaign will visit three southern counties today (Howey Politics Indiana). From 8-9:30 a.m. CT the group will be at Vanderburgh County GOP Headquarters in Evansville, with another appearance planned for 9:45-10:30 a.m. CT at Evansville's Civic Center Complex. For an hour beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT, the entourage will appear at the American Legion in Mt. Vernon, before moving on to Bloomington for an event at the Village Inn Restaurant beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

 

RENDELL CITES CLINTON ’MISTAKE’ IN COMEY ATTACK: Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton's campaign was making a mistake by attacking FBI director James Comey over how he handled recent developments into the investigation of Clinton's private server (CNN). "I think that's, I wouldn't do that," Rendell told radio host Rich Zeoli on 1210 WPHT Philadelphia. "Again, you know, I'm not running the campaign by any means, but I wouldn't do that. I agree with you." Earlier in the interview, when the host said he thought that the strategy of attacking Comey was a "mistake," Rendell replied, "I generally do as well."

 

NEPHEW SAYS BUSH43 MAY VOTE FOR CLINTON: George P. Bush said Tuesday that his uncle, former President George W. Bush, may join his grandfather George H.W. Bush in casting his ballots for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, according to the Associated Press. The Texas land commissioner made the comments while addressing a small Republican rally in San Marcos, Texas, on Tuesday night, saying that both former presidents in the family may "potentially" vote for the Democratic presidential ticket come Election Day. Later asked to clarify his comments by the AP, George P. Bush said that he was just "speculating" and couldn't say with certainty how they'd vote.



Congress

 

DONNELLY, COATS & VISCLOSKY URGE FAST ACTION ON EAST CHICAGO: U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), and U.S. Representative Peter J. Visclosky (R-IN) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro calling for a timely review and approval of the City of East Chicago's application for emergency funding yesterday (Howey Politics Indiana). According to a news release from Coats' office, the request from Donnelly, Coats, and Visclosky comes as part of the response to more than 1,000 residents being affected by the dangerous levels of lead and arsenic in the surrounding soil of the West Calumet Housing Complex. Donnelly, Coats, and Visclosky said in their letter, in part, "As you are aware, the City of East Chicago recently submitted an application for Emergency Capital Funds to ensure the safety and security of the site and, ultimately, the demolition of the housing structures. It is evident from our weekly discussions with HUD and the City that these funds are central to providing a long-term solution to address the public health crisis. As such, we respectfully request that HUD move quickly, consistent with U.S. law and public policy, to approve the Emergency Capital Funds for the City of East Chicago."

 

General Assembly

 

BARTLETT ASKS U.S. ATTORNEYS TO WATCH FOR VOTER INTIMIDATION: State Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) yesterday asked for "added vigilance" in responding to potential claims about voter intimidation during the Nov. 8 General Election (Howey Politics Indiana). According to a news item posted to the website of the Indiana House Democratic Caucus, Bartlett, chairman of the caucus and the Ranking Democrat of the Indiana House Elections & Apportionment Committee, wrote similar letters to David Capp and Joshua Minkler, U.S. Attorneys for the Northern and Southern districts of Indiana, respectively. While noting that he has "faith in our system and do not believe election fraud to be a serious issue in Indiana, I do have immediate concerns about possible voter intimidation due to the irresponsible claims by individuals in positions of authority and national political and media figures. As you well know, candidate Donald Trump, the nominee of a major political party for the presidency, has urged supporters "to go over and watch" voting sites in "certain areas," regardless of state laws or any formal training that permit and regulate such activity. It is my personal belief that such poll watching, which can take on a vigilante aspect when done poorly, will result in voter intimidation as people visit neighborhoods like the ones I represent."



State

 

STATEHOUSE: $900K IN SOIL & WATER GRANTS - The Indiana Department of Agriculture's Clean Water Indiana Program will distribute over $900,000 in grants to Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state (Saliby, Indiana Public Media ). Those districts are responsible for local conservation of natural resources. Clean Water Indiana Program Manager Leah Harmon says they received over 30 proposals requesting funds for projects such as fighting erosion and hosting educational events. "This was our biggest year ever as far as the requests for funding," Harmon says. "We also received the most applications we've ever received, but there's still a lot of work we have left to do." Other projects include maintaining pollinator habitats and promoting cover crop use in agriculture. About half of the proposals the Clean Water Indiana Program received were granted.

 

DRUGS: STATE RECEIVES $225K GRANT -  The state of Indiana will receive $255,000 per year for several years for programs aimed at preventing mental and substance use disorders (Associated Press). The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced Monday it was awarding funding to expand and enhance behavioral health care services for children, adolescents and young adults across the nation. The agency announced it was awarding up to $208,000 each year for up to five years support various activities for building a foundation for delivering and sustaining state-of-the-science substance abuse and HIV prevention services. The agency also is awarding up to $47,000 each year for up to four years to support efforts to prevent and reduce alcohol use among young people ages 12-20.

 

DEVELOPMENT: TRIMEDX TO GROW 100 NEW JOBS BY 2020 - Indianapolis-based TriMedx is growing its operations in the city (Ober, Inside Indiana Business). The health care technology company says the $21.5 million expansion will result in more than 100 new jobs by 2020. The company provides medical management and maintenance platforms to more than 1,800 facilities throughout the world. TriMedx currently employs 1,500 associates nationwide. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the new positions are expected to pay average salaries more than 80 percent higher than the state's average wage. The IEDC has offered TriMedx more than $1.3 million in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the job creation plans. The city of Indianapolis will offer work force assistance as well.

 

DEVELOPMENT: MANUFACTURING CONTINUES TO GROW IN S. IND. - This political season has highlighted the problems that some states like Indiana have had with companies closing down manufacturing operations and sending them to other countries, but in many parts of southern Indiana manufacturing has grown (Grant, Washington Times Herald). Radius Indiana has announced the development of a new tool called the RMI Index to measure the strength of manufacturing in the multi-county region. In compiling the data officials found that the number of manufacturing jobs in the region has increased by 2,734 in the last five years. The anchors are in the furniture and wood product businesses in Dubois County and the automotive sector in Lawrence County. Officials say Daviess County also shares in that success.

 

ENERGY: NIPSCO SUBMITS PLANS TO CLOSE PLANTS - NIPSCO has submitted a long-range plan to state regulators that calls for shutting down Bailly Generating Station, in Chesterton, by mid-2018 and two units at Schahfer Generating Station, in Wheatfield by the end of 2023 (Benman, NWI Times). The Bailly Generating Station is coal-fired as are the two units to be shut at Schahfer. Other Indiana utilities such as Duke Energy have also shut down significant portions of their coal-fired generating fleets in recent years. The closure of both coal-fired electric generating units at Bailly, and two of four units five years later at Schahfer, would impact approximately 250 employees. The utility's goal is to provide other jobs for those employees by working with union leadership, Sistovaris said.

 

EDUCATION: IUPUI TO LEAD $4.8M STEM EFFORT FOR MINORITIES - IUPUI will lead a $4.8 million statewide initiative to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who get degrees in majors related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal). The National Science Foundation awarded the grant to IUPUI to lead an effort called the Indiana STEM Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Partners include Indiana University in Bloomington, Ball State University in Muncie, Ivy Tech Community College and IU regional campuses in Gary and South Bend. The coalition aims to double in five years the number of STEM degrees awarded by the institutions to underepresented minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans. That would lift the number of degrees issued to 590 in the fifth year of the grant.

 

MIGRATION: STUDY FINDS MOST NEW HOOSIERS ARE FROM ILLINOIS - Indiana gained the most new households (on a net basis) from Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, New York and Pennsylvania, according to a study by Rachel Strange, a geodemographic analyst with the Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. The top five states drawing away households from Indiana (again, on a net basis) included Florida, Texas, Colorado, California and Tennessee. The study analyzed IRS data from 2013-14 to learn 92,200 households moved from one Indiana location to another; nearly 60,400 households moved out of state; and 55,600 households moved into Indiana from another state.

 

PRESERVATION: STATE CHIPS IN $50K FOR HIGHLAND THEATER - The state of Indiana is kicking in $50,000 to help pay for restoration of the historic Town Theatre in Highland (Carden, NWI Times). The lieutenant governor's Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Office of Tourism Development announced Thursday they are providing the money as part of a matching grant program that promotes quality of place improvements across the state. "The intent of this fund is to reward creativity and resourcefulness," said Mark Newman, state tourism director. "The impact to quality of life and ultimately tourism will be great."

 

Nation

 

IOWA: 2 POLICE OFFICERS AMBUSHED, KILLED - Two police officers in central Iowa were shot and killed Wednesday in a pair of “ambush-style attacks,” the Des Moines Police Department said (Washington Post). The first shooting occurred at 1:06 a.m. when an officer in Urbandale, Iowa, responded to a report of shots fired, Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesman for Des Moines police, told The Washington Post. The officer was shot while sitting alone in his patrol car and pronounced dead on the scene, Parizek said. About 20 minutes later, Des Moines police officers responding to the shooting came across a patrol car at an intersection about two miles away, where they found another officer with a gunshot wound, according to Parizek. The officer, who was among those responding, was transported to the hospital, where he too was pronounced dead.



Local

 

CITIES: PERU APPROVES SPENDING FREEZE - The Peru City Council last week voted to freeze government spending and withhold pay raises for employees in next year's budget as part of a five-year plan to replenish the city's reserve funds (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). Clerk-Treasurer Tish Soldi said no city department received an increase in spending in next year's budget, which set spending at 2016 levels. Although spending won't increase next year, some departments have reallocated their funding to bring on additional workers. The 2017 budget also restored holiday pay for the Peru Police Department and gave city firefighters an additional personal day, she said. Soldi said next year's budget takes the first steps in a five-year plan to stabilize spending and increase the city's reserve funds. The plan was developed by Umbaugh, an Indianapolis-based public-accounting firm which advises governmental units. The city this year signed a $35,000 contract with the company to review and analyze city finances.

 

CITIES: TOWNSHIP GOES TO COURT TO STOP GRIFFITH VOTE - While the Town of Griffith continues to prepare for its Dec. 20 secession vote from Calumet Township, the township trustee has taken steps to stop it (Quinn, Post-Tribune). A complaint for relief filed Monday in Lake Superior Court and obtained by the Post-Tribune says Calumet Township Trustee Kim Robinson is asking the court to stop the Department of Local Government Finance from changing the tax rate calculation "without notice" and "without affording the affected municipalities and townships an opportunity to be heard or plan for the change." It also asks the court to declare the Town of Griffith ineligible for secession. Griffith's argument to split from Calumet Township is that state law mandates townships keep spending within 12 times the state average. Griffith officials have argued that Calumet Township is above that mark but that number is different depending on the interpretation of "average" in the state law, officials said.

 

CITIES: EX-GASTON CLERK CITED FOR MISSING FUNDS - State auditors have turned over to the Delaware County prosecutor's office their investigation into missing funds from the town of Gaston (Roysdon, Muncie Star Press). The Indiana State Board of Accounts last week released an audit report that indicates auditors found that former Gaston clerk-treasurer Krista Harris couldn't account for several thousand dollars in town funds. Combined with penalties, interest and $1,668 in investigation costs, the state says that Harris owes $6,424. "This report was forwarded to the office of the Indiana attorney general and the local prosecuting attorney," the state's report notes. Referrals to those offices are common when the State Board of Accounts believes there is potential for criminal investigation and prosecution. The Star Press reported in 2013 and 2014 that auditors had begun examining Gaston's books after concerns were raised. The supplemental report released on Oct. 24 and posted late last week covers 2013, 2014 and 2015.

 

CITIES: LOWER ELECTRIC RATES ON WAY FOR LOGANSPORT - Customers of Logansport Municipal Utilities will soon see lower electric rates (WLFI-TV). Monday night, the Logansport Utility Service Board approved a five-year power agreement with Florida-based Next Era. Right now, the city has an existing agreement with Duke Energy - which is set to end on Dec. 31, 2018. The new agreement with Next Era will start in 2019. Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell said he's happy with the partnership, but he would like to see rates drop even sooner. "What we're trying to do though is to renegotiate the existing two years remaining on the Duke agreement to roll that into the new agreement," he said. Kitchell said he would personally like to see the rates lowered as early as the beginning of next year.

 

COUNTIES: LaPORTE COMMISSIONER ARRESTED - A Democratic LaPorte County Commissioner allegedly caught on video striking a parked car and then leaving the scene was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge (South Bend Tribune). Dave Decker, 71, will answer to the Class B misdemeanor charge of failure to stop and report an accident, which was filed Monday in LaPorte Superior Court 3. He could receive up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. Decker, who is up for re-election, posted $205 cash bond shortly after being booked into the LaPorte County Jail, police said.

 

COUNTIES: MONROE AUDIT REVEALS ERRORS - Bank statement balances were not reconciled to the Monroe County treasurer’s cash book and around $1.4 million in excise tax revenue was not distributed to governmental units such as cities and towns due to reporting issues, according to an Indiana State Board of Accounts audit for the year 2014 (Bloomington Herald-Times). According to the audit, bank statement balances were not reconciled to county Treasurer Cathy Smith’s cash book for the entire year of 2014. After a 2013 state audit highlighted similar problems, the county commissioners hired the consulting firm of Hartman and Williams for $150,000 to help with reconciliation of records up to Dec. 31, 2014.