MEARS DEFEATS MORIARTY FOR MARION COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Ryan Mears ended a controversial week by winning the Democratic caucus to become Marion County Prosecutor (Howey Politics Indiana). He began the week by announcing his office would no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases. By Friday his office had dropped charges in nearly 150 such cases. “I see this as a kind of opportunity to carry on with Terry’s legacy which I believe is, number one, acting with integrity, but also taking a hard line on violent crime and holding people who commit violent acts accountable.” Mears said with the out-going Terry Curry by his side. Curry resigned due to health problems. Mears ignited the scenario for his caucus election when he declared his office would no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett had backed Moriarty, his legal counsel, while Hogsett and IMPD took issue with the marijuana stance and IMPD Chief Bryan Roach said his officers would continue to make marijuana possession arrests. Mayor Hogsett said, "I want to congratulate Prosecutor Ryan Mears on his selection by caucus today. Indianapolis works best when it works together, and that’s nowhere more true than with our law enforcement community. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is a critical partner, and we will move forward in pursuit of a safer, more just city."

BUTTIGIEG MAKES PITCH TO INDY NAACP: Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign has a race problem. A Wintrop Poll out of South Carolina this past week revealed zero percent African-American support, and it hasn't been much better in a number of other surveys, where his total support has sagged into single digits. Thus, that he found himself in front of the Indianapolis NAACP Friday in his home state where he is devoid of conspicuous black support was an opportunity (Howey Politics Indiana). By the time he finished a keynote address and a Q&A session where he called for a "21st Century Voters Rights Act," he had earned two standing ovations. He spent much of the pre-speech dinner going table to table, pressing the flesh. Through it all, his calls to action and compelling observations seemed to resonate. It came in a state where African-American members of Congress, the General Assembly and the South Bend Council have been silent in their support for this 37-year-old mayor. "I have seen the possibilities — and the limitations — of what can be done in a diverse community while our nation continues to accept the unacceptable," Buttigieg said during his keynote. "I also come at this from a perspective shaped by my own story and my own search for belonging." Buttigieg's presidential prospects, well-funded to the tune of $51 million (more than frontrunner Joe Biden) are contingent on making inroads with black voters. He was presented a major challenge and negative national press coverage in June when a police action shooting took the life of Eric Logan, who he mentioned twice on Friday night. When HPI asked Indianapolis Council President Vop Osili if Buttigieg had made inroads with a previously skeptical audience, Osili paused briefly, then said, "He has more support tonight than he did last night."

ZELENSKY FELT PRESSURE, MIXED SIGNALS FROM U.S.: Two weeks after national elections in April vaulted him from the role of television comic to Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky got word that President Trump’s personal lawyer wanted to come to Kyiv to talk (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Zelensky and his advisers, many of whom were ex-producers and screenwriters, huddled over the request. Before his improbable rise, Mr. Zelensky didn’t know who Rudy Giuliani was, according to one aide. By now, though, Mr. Zelensky sensed trouble. In an April 7 appearance on Fox News, the former New York City mayor had made it clear he wanted information about his client’s political rival, Joe Biden, and his family. Mr. Zelensky, fearful of getting sucked into a foreign drama when he had plenty at home, declined to take the meeting. He got sucked in anyway. Over the next several months, Mr. Zelensky’s administration tried to sort through conflicting signals from Washington that have now become central to an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. A summit dangled by the U.S. leader kept receding. At the last minute, it was announced that Energy Secretary Rick Perry would be attending his inauguration instead of Vice President Mike Pence. Most worrying, for a country that depends on its strategic alliance with the U.S. to help fend off Russian aggression, the Ukrainians learned long after the fact that Washington had decided to withhold nearly $400 million in approved military assistance. “This is a damaging mess for Ukraine,” said Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s foreign minister until the end of August. “It has always been a key point of Ukrainian foreign policy to show we have U.S. support. We can’t afford to lose that.”

2ND DNI WHISTLEBLOWER TO EMERGE:  A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter (New York Times). The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said. The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, briefed lawmakers privately on Friday about how he substantiated the whistle-blower’s account. It was not clear whether he told lawmakers that the second official was considering filing a complaint.

TRUMP MAKES 'DEEP STATE' COMMENT ON 2ND WHISTLEBLOWER: President Trump took aim at a second unnamed intelligence official who is reportedly considering filing a complaint against Trump and testifying before Congress about the president's contacts with Ukraine's president on Saturday (The Hill). Trump tweeted that the official, whose identity remains a secret, was a member of the "deep state" conspiracy he has argued is working to undermine his presidency. "The first so-called second hand information 'Whistleblower' got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another 'Whistleblower' is coming in from the Deep State, also with second hand info. Meet with Shifty [Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Keep them coming!" Trump tweeted.

REPUBLICANS BEGIN TO SPLIT WITH TRUMP ON UKRAINE CALL: President Trump is pushing hard for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, but the prospect of using the Oval Office to go after a political rival is prompting some GOP senators to speak out (The Hill). Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have raised concerns, to varying degrees, about launching a politically motivated probe into the Bidens. Romney on Friday said Trump's call for China to investigate Biden was "wrong and appalling." "When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated," Romney said in a statement, which he also tweeted. A day later, Collins said it was "completely inappropriate" for Trump to urge China to investigate Biden and his son. "I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent," Collins told the Bangor Daily News. "It’s completely inappropriate." The Maine Republican has at times broken with her party on key votes in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.

TRUMP CALLS FOR ROMNEY IMPEACHMENT: President Trump resumed his attacks on Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Saturday morning, calling the 2012 GOP presidential nominee a “pompous ‘ass’ ” and calling for the senator’s impeachment a day after Romney criticized Trump for asking foreign leaders to investigate a political opponent (Washington Post). “Somebody please wake up Mitt Romney and tell him that my conversation with the Ukrainian President was a congenial and very appropriate one, and my statement on China pertained to corruption, not politics. If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!” Trump tweeted.

IS IT EVER OK FOR FOREIGN INVOLVEMENT IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Here’s the big question on which the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump could turn: Is it ever appropriate for a U.S. president to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival? Democrats seem to assume the answer is no, that this kind of request could never be proper, given the implications for our electoral system (Politico Magazine). “Smoking gun” is what they say about Trump’s urging Ukraine—and now also China—to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Republicans, meanwhile, contend that it is perfectly normal, and justified, for Trump as president to ask the Ukrainians to look into potential corruption that involves Americans and could, in theory, affect U.S. relations with that country. n 1804, Aaron Burr contacted the British government, apparently to peddle a plan for severing part of the United States to form a new country in western territory. In response, President Thomas Jefferson had Burr prosecuted for treason, and he was found not guilty. We can stipulate that Jefferson was excessively involved in the treason trial. In 1968 Richard Nixon was the Republican nominee attempting to wrest the White House from Democratic hands. During the campaign, Nixon went so far as to encourage an emissary, Anna Chennault, to intervene with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s peace talks to end the Vietnam War. Johnson by then had dropped out of the Democratic primary, but his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, would end up the party’s nominee—making Nixon, in effect, a political rival.

HOUSE COMMITTEES SUBPOENA PENCE DOCUMENTS: The committees leading the impeachment inquiry sent a letter to Vice President Pence asking for an expansive list of documents and communications to determine Pence’s knowledge of Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden (Washington Post). “Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” the letter reads. It specifically points to news reports that a member of Pence’s staff may have been on the call between Trump and Zelensky, and to Pence’s meeting with the Ukrainian president in September. They are also seeking all communication — “including but not limited to requests, suggestions, proposals, or other communications” — around Trump’s decision not to send Pence to the Ukrainian president’s inauguration in May as well as a call Pence had with Zelensky in September.

HOOSIER WOMEN GO TO OTHER STATES FOR ABORTONS: More than 18,000 women traveled out of Indiana to terminate their pregnancies in recent years, according to state and federal data, likely fueled by the closure of abortion clinics and new laws restricting access to the procedure (AP). While the number of abortions performed in Indiana declined by 14% between 2009 and 2017, The Indianapolis Star found that during the same period of time, the number of abortions sought out of state doubled. Thousands of women traveled across state lines to get an abortion, largely in neighboring states including Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. Abortion providers in Illinois handled almost four times as many abortions for women who traveled from Indiana than any other state during those years. Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute , a research and policy organization that collects and analyzes data on reproductive issues in the United States, said stigma, limitations and trouble scheduling abortions at an increasingly limited number of abortion clinics all play a role in the increase in out-of-state abortions.

MANUFACTURING BEGINNING TO TANK: U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies (Washington Post). September marked the worst month for U.S. manufacturing in more than a decade — since June 2009 — according to the closely watched Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index. Companies blamed Trump’s escalating trade war for many of their woes, putting pressure on the White House to show progress soon. Manufacturing remains a prominent industry in many swing states. “Global trade remains the most significant issue, as demonstrated by the contraction in new export orders that began in July 2019. Overall, sentiment this month remains cautious regarding near-term growth,” said Timothy R. Fiore, chair of ISM.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: With the election of Ryan Mears as Marion County prosecutor, we now have a marijuana island in thiw state. His office dismissed close to 150 possession cases on Friday, a day before he was elected to fill out Terry Curry's term. Prosecutors from around the state are not following suit. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

DONNELLY TO CAMPAIGN WITH MAYOR HENRY: Former United States Senator Joe Donnelly joins Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and his campaign supporters to knock on doors and educate voters about the election in November (Howey Politics Indiana). Senator Donnelly and Mayor Henry will be available for media interviews before a walk of the 1st District begins.

SMITH/HENRY RACE PROFILED: Public safety, economic development, city regulations, debt and budgeting are at the forefront of the minds of candidates vying for Fort Wayne's highest executive office (Gong, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). In separate interviews with The Journal Gazette, Democratic Mayor Tom Henry, 67, and Republican challenger Tim Smith, 50, outlined their thoughts about the state of the city and their plans for the future, should voters support them Nov. 5. Smith has said violent crime in the Summit City has increased 17% since Henry took office in January 2008. Citing statistics from the FBI and the Fort Wayne Police Department, Smith said Fort Wayne is not even close to being one of the safest cities in the Midwest. When it comes to police staffing, Smith said he will trust his chosen police chief to determine the number of officers. “It seems to me it wouldn't be too hard to look at the top 200 cities in America ... and say who's the safest? What's their ratio?” he said. “But I'm not going to make that decision. I'm going to hire a chief and tell her or him that is job one.” Henry disagreed with the assertion Fort Wayne is unsafe, stating that for residents who aren't involved in inherently dangerous activities involving guns, drugs or gangs, Fort Wayne is a safe place to live. Henry also disputed Smith's 17% figure, stating that by comparing figures from 2008 and 2018, Smith's numbers represent a snapshot in time and not a trend.  Henry added that the city has the lowest violent crime rate since 1988.

KOKOMO MAYORAL RACE PROFILED: The residents of Kokomo are electing a new mayor for the first time in 12 years. Democrat Greg Goodnight is stepping down after three terms (CBS4). Republican Tyler Moore and Democrat Abbie Smith are running for the position. Moore has been a Howard County Commissioner for ten years. He also owns a title company in Kokomo. Moore said he can give a voice to small businesses and help bring diverse development to the city. “As we all know relying on one industry can make things a little concerning at times,” said Moore. Democrat Abbie Smith said Kokomo needs a new way of doing things. “I have a collaborative leadership style, so, I do believe that the answers to problems lie within a community of people wherever that is so if you can ask the right questions and listen,” said Smith.

Presidential 2020

FOX NEWS POLL HAS BIDEN UP 9% IN WISCONSIN: Wisconsin voters are unhappy with how things are going in the country, oppose the border wall, think tariffs hurt the economy, and disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. That gives Democratic candidates the lead in each of the possible 2020 matchups tested in a Fox News Poll of Wisconsin registered voters (Fox News). Joe Biden bests Trump by 9 points (48-39 percent) and has the only lead outside the poll’s margin of error. Bernie Sanders is up by 5 over Trump (45-40) and Elizabeth Warren has a 4-point edge (45-41). In each case, the remaining 13-14 percent of undecided/third-party voters is enough to shift the race either way. Trump receives 41 percent support or less in each of the matchups -- well below the 47 percent he won the Badger State with in 2016. At the same time, none of the Democrats hit 50 percent.

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT POLLING HISTORIC: The poll numbers are in on impeachment, and it's not good news for President Donald Trump. A clear plurality of Americans approve of the House's impeachment inquiry into Trump, and they are split on whether they want to impeach and remove him from office (CNN). Americans are more eager to impeach Trump now than they were at similar points in the impeachment sagas of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. Impeachment actions usually start off as being unpopular with the American public. After the House voted to start an impeachment inquiry of Clinton in October 1998, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that 45% approved and 53% disapproved. But with Trump, those numbers are reversed. In an average of polls taken since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal inquiry last week, 51% support an impeachment inquiry. A minority, 44%, are against it. Back in October 1998, the vast majority of Americans were against impeaching and removing Clinton from office. In a CNN poll from then, only 31% favored impeaching and removing. The vast majority, 63%, were against it. The House Judiciary Committee voted to start an impeachment inquiry of Nixon in late October 1973. This was following the infamous Saturday Night Massacre, in which Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire an independent prosecutor looking into the Watergate scandal. A Gallup poll taken in the immediate aftermath found that just 38% felt that Nixon should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency. The majority, 53%, said that he shouldn't.

WARREN POSTS $24.5M: Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign said Friday that it raised $24.6 million in the third quarter and has $25.7 million cash on hand, further solidifying her rise to the top tier in the Democratic primary (Politico). The haul bests the $19 million Warren raised last quarter but trails progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose third-quarter total of $25.3 million is the biggest one so far from the Democratic presidential hopefuls. Despite neither candidate holding traditional high-dollar fundraisers, Warren and Sanders both significantly outraised former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($19.1 million), former Vice President Joe Biden ($15.2 million) and Sen. Kamala Harris ($11.6 million). Warren's team was alone among those campaigns to disclose its exact cash on hand.

SANDERS SUFFERED HEART ATTACK: Senator Bernie Sanders had a heart attack this week, his presidential campaign said on Friday as he left a Las Vegas hospital, following three days of near silence from the candidate and his advisers about his health (New York Times). Mr. Sanders, 78, had entered the hospital on Tuesday night after experiencing chest pain at a campaign event, and doctors had inserted two stents in a blocked artery, a relatively common procedure. But the campaign did not confirm that Mr. Sanders had had a heart attack until Friday, inviting questions about his condition, and his campaign’s transparency, as he remained off the campaign trail this week.

WARREN, SANDERS CHANGE FUNDRAISING: The latest batch of fundraising reports released this week confirmed a new reality of presidential politics: the traditional, big-dollar model of funding a presidential campaign is going the way of landlines and the VCR (Politico). With Elizabeth Warren’s announcement Friday that she had raised nearly $25 million in the last three months — slightly less than Bernie Sanders reported Tuesday — two candidates who didn’t hold traditional donor events became the top two fundraisers in Democratic primary. And they both blew past the ones who did. Warren and Sanders, who raised $25.3 million, both finished about $10 million ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden for the quarter.

BIDEN STRUGGLES WITH RESPONSE TO TRUMP: Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign was under attack, and he and his advisers were torn over what to do (New York Times). For more than a week, President Trump had been hurling unfounded accusations about Mr. Biden, his son Hunter and their dealings in Ukraine. Mr. Biden and his advisers debated whether to mount a fierce counterattack or to stick to a set of policy arguments he had been planning to roll out. Bad news loomed in the background: Mr. Biden’s poll numbers had already grown wobbly, his fund-raising was uneven, and cable news was flashing chyrons by the hour showing Mr. Trump’s wild claims. Mr. Biden himself was equivocating: He wanted to defend and protect his son, but he also believed the president was baiting him into a dirty fight. And as a lifelong adherent to congressional tradition, Mr. Biden was wary of acting hastily as an impeachment inquiry was getting underway. The strain grew so acute that some of Mr. Biden’s advisers lashed out at their own party.

NEW BIDEN CAMPAIGN MEMO: Joe Biden's campaign issued a memo to reporters that outlined a new strategy for dealing with President Trump's attacks on Biden and his son Hunter Biden (CBS News). The memo says the campaign plans to "focus on the issues that impact people's lives while simultaneously hammering Donald Trump for his unprecedented abuse of power and correcting the record on the mountain of lies Trump and his allies continue to spread about Joe Biden." The memo highlighted a new $6 million ad campaign across broadcast and digital platforms in four early contest states. The ad is called "Unhinged" and focuses on Biden's response to Mr. Trump's comments.

BIDEN DONORS CONVENE: Leading donors for Joseph R. Biden Jr. convened this weekend for their first donor retreat since he announced his candidacy and struck a determined posture as Mr. Biden’s campaign found itself under assault from President Trump, losing its clear front-runner status and lapped in the money chase by multiple Democratic rivals, most notably Senator Elizabeth Warren (New York Times). Over cocktails on Friday evening and a Saturday spent in a drab hotel conference room, Mr. Biden’s top financiers and fund-raisers received strategy briefings and PowerPoint presentations, and plotted the path forward for the former vice president, who suddenly found himself in fourth place in the money chase. Only hours before the gathering began, the news broke that Ms. Warren, now seen as Mr. Biden’s chief rival, had out-raised him in the last three months by nearly $10 million — $24.6 million to $15.2 million. He lagged behind Senator Bernie Sanders ($25.3 million) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($19.1 million), too.

WARREN'S CHALLENGE IS WITH BLACK VOTERS: For her most recent rally in South Carolina, Senator Elizabeth Warren chose Clinton College, a historically black institution in this racially diverse city. Her campaign handed out signs reading, “African Americans With Warren.” And in smaller print: “Black issues are American issues” (New York Times). But when Ms. Warren looked out at the audience, she saw mostly white faces. The view reflected perhaps her biggest political challenge as she seeks the Democratic presidential nomination: adding black voters to her base of support. African-Americans were critical to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton winning competitive primary contests and capturing the nomination. Like those earlier candidates, Ms. Warren faces multiple rivals who may splinter the electorate this winter, and running up the vote margin in predominantly black areas could once again deliver troves of delegates needed for the nomination.

BAYH SAYS HUNTER BIDEN UKRAINE DEAL 'LOOKS BAD': Former senator Evan Bayh said that Hunter Biden's deals in Ukraine are problematic (Howey Politics Indiana). "It was probably a better path not for Hunter Biden to go on the board of that company. I think it just looks bad,"  Bayh said on Fox News, after he was asked about Bill Maher's comment that Biden's Ukraine business dealings looks like "general swampiness."



Sunday Talk

CARSON, BUTTIGIEG COMMENT ON IMPEACHMENT: Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) appeared on this week's edition of IN Focus to discuss the impeachment inquiry and his work on the House intelligence committee that's investigating the President (CBS4). Amidst a flurry of new developments this week, Carson tells us he feels the House is headed towards articles of impeachment. "I think we are certainly headed that direction," said Carson, who also reacted to the President's remarks openly calling on China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. "For him to openly do this kind of call is blatant and its disrespectful," Carson said. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) also discussed the impeachment inquiry before a speech in Indianapolis on Friday evening. "What we know is this is an abuse of power of the highest order and I think the most important question in the weeks ahead in Washington will be whether Republicans in the House and Senate are reunited with their conscience," said Buttigieg.

HILL CONCERNED ABOUT MARION COUNTY POT PROSECUTIONS: The Marion County Prosecutor's office announced Monday the county will no longer prosecute simple possession of marijuana cases (CBS4). "This is something that has been on our minds and discussed internally for the last couple of years," said interim prosecutor Ryan Mears. "We have discussed this issue with different law enforcement partners...we think this is going to have a number of benefits to the community." Marion County is the first in the state to take this action, but not everyone agrees with the move. “I am concerned that this proclamation in Marion County will attract to Indianapolis people with a particular interest in communities where drug enforcement is lax," said Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill. "It seems to me a curious strategy to put out a welcome mat for lawbreakers in a community already facing challenges related to crime, homelessness and other social problems stemming from drug abuse.”

JEFFRIES SAYS TRUMP APPOINTEES 'UNNERVED' BY CALL: House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that moves by the intelligence community's inspector general and the CIA’s general counsel indicate President Trump’s own appointees are “unnerved by the lawlessness” of the Trump administration. Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Jeffries noted that the inspector general called the whistleblower report of Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a matter of “urgent national concern” and that the CIA counsel sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department regarding the complaint. “We have Trump appointees who are clearly unnerved by the lawlessness of this president,” Jeffries said.

DEMOCRAT CITES TRUMP ABUSE OF POWER: Democratic Rep. Val Demings (Fla.) said on Sunday that President Trump has "dangerously abused his oath of office." Demings, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said during an interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that "it's pretty clear"  Trump "tried to coerce a foreign country." "I do believe the president dangerously abused his oath of office and his executive powers," she said. 


Congress

WOODWARD SAYS GOP SENATORS 'CHOKING' ON UKRAINE CALL: Journalist Bob Woodward said on Friday that President Trump’s Senate allies are “choking” in their defenses of his call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which has become the center of an impeachment inquiry, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “I know Republican senators, and they are choking on this,” Woodward said during a talk in Spokane, Wash. “Whether they say that’s too much, I don’t know.”

General Assembly

BOSMA MAKES NEW COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS: House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) released several updated House standing committee assignments today due to member retirements this year (Howey Politics Indiana). Standing committee assignments are made biennially after each election. However, the retirement of State Rep. Dave Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) and departure of State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) left vacancies on several committees including two chair positions. Bosma said State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) will chair the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee and State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) will serve as chair of the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee. “Our team is fortunate to have a deep bench of talented legislators who are ready to step into committee leadership roles, and I’m confident they’ll hit the ground running next session,” Bosma said. “We also have two new caucus members who have a breadth of experience in the private and public sectors to draw on, which will be a tremendous asset for us. Our committees cultivate ideas and lay the ground work for legislation, which is critical to making the legislative process more effective and efficient.” State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) will step into the role of vice chair of the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee and State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) will serve as vice chair of the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee. Each of the new caucus members, including State Reps. Dollyne Sherman (R-Indianapolis) and Ann Vermilion (R-Marion,) will serve on the same committees as their predecessors. Sherman will serve on the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, the House Public Health Committee and the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee. Vermilion will serve on the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee and the House Insurance Committee. Bosma also selected State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis) to join the Indiana House Republican leadership team as assistant majority floor leader, which was vacated by Frizzell.

State

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB APPOINTMENTS - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today announced several new appointments and reappointments to various state boards and commissions.

Board of Trustees of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute: The governor made three new appointments to the board, who will serve until Sept. 30, 2022: The Honorable Darrin Dolehanty (Richmond), Judge of the Wayne Superior Court III; Cory Martin (Whitestown), executive director of the Indiana State Police Alliance;

The Honorable Andrea Trevino (Fort Wayne), Judge of the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division

Brookville Lake Regional Waste District: The governor made one reappointment to the board, who will serve until Sept. 30, 2023: Jeff Tebbe (Brookville), recruiter with Trustaff

Executive Board of the Indiana State Department of Health: The governor made four reappointments to the board, who will serve until Jan. 31, 2023: Dr. Naveed Chowhan (New Albany), physician with Baptist Health Medical Group; Brenda Goff (Mount Vernon), regional director for U.S. Sen. Todd Young; Antonio “Tony” Stewart (Kokomo), owner of Stewart’s Healthcare Consultants; Dr. Stephen Tharp (Frankfort), health officer for Clinton County. The governor also made two new appointments to the board, who will serve until April 30, 2023: Dr. C. Martin Hanneman (Centerville), dentist with C.M. Hanneman D.D.S. General Dentistry; Dr. Holly Robinson (Indianapolis), senior medical advisor at Eli Lilly and Company.

Indiana Land Resources Council: The governor made two reappointments to the council, who will serve until Nov. 30, 2023: Jeff Healey (Plainfield), vice president of Banning Engineering; Kara Salazar (West Lafayette), assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities with Purdue University. The governor also made one new appointment to the council, who will serve until Nov. 30, 2023: Seth Harden (Westfield), Upper Wabash River Project director for The Nature Conservancy.

Meridian Street Preservation Commission: The governor made two new appointments to the commission: Ed Fujawa (Indianapolis), deputy general counsel with the Indiana Department of Insurance, who will serve until June 30, 2020. David Roth (Indianapolis), vice president at Cripe, who will serve until June 30, 2021

Quarter Horse Breed Development Advisory Committee: The governor made one new appointment to the committee, who will serve until Sept. 30, 2023: Bruce Murphy (Crawfordsville), owner of Murphy Trailer Sales, who will serve as the committee’s chair

State Armory Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until April 30, 2021: Major General (Retired) Martin Umbarger (Bargersville), former Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard

State Fair Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until Sept. 30, 2023: Cheri Daniels (Carmel), former First Lady of Indiana.

IDOE: NEW MEAL PRICE GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED - The Indiana Department of Education released income requirements Friday for day care centers seeking to provide free and reduced price meals for low-income families (NWI Times). The 2019-2020 eligibility guidelines come as a part of the IDOE's Child and Adult Care Food Program seeking to improve the diets of young children as well as older and impaired adults, according to a department news release.

JUDICIARY: CATHOLIC BISHOPS CALL FOR END TO EXECUTION - Indiana’s Roman Catholic bishops are calling for a renewed moratorium on executions at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute (AP). The bishops of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Lafayette-in-Indiana and Evansville and the administrator of the Diocese of Gary issued a joint statement Friday saying the Justice Department’s decision in July to end a 16-year moratorium on executing federal inmates “is regrettable, unnecessary and morally unjustified.” Five inmates sentenced to death are scheduled to be executed over a six-week period starting in December. There have been only three executions since the federal death penalty was restored in 1988, the most recent in 2003.

TRAILS: 90 MILE ROUTE FOR WABASH RIVER PROPOSED - A proposed 90-mile pedestrian and bike trail along the Wabash River in northern Indiana is moving deeper into the planning stages. The nonprofit Wabash River Enhancement Corp. has used a $35,000 planning-to-plan grant to form a steering committee and create a master plan for the trail, which would run along or near the river in Warren, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Carroll and Cass counties. The Journal & Courier reports that project planners are now on schedule to have a final report, work plan, project schedule and cost estimate submitted this month to both the nonprofit and the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, which provided the grant money.

EDUCATION: BUTLER RAISES $171M - Butler University has unveiled a new strategic direction and, in conjunction, launched the public phase of its largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. The university says Butler Beyond seeks to combine tradition with innovation by continuing to deliver undergraduate residential education while expanding to offer new opportunities for lifelong learning and more affordable and flexible educational pathways (Inside Indiana Business). As part of the campaign, Butler is looking to raise $250 million by May 2022. The university began the quiet phase of the campaign in June 2015 and, to date, has raised more than $171 million from more than 27,000 donors. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Butler President James Danko said it is the perfect time for a new strategy, which evolved out the previous one, known as Butler 2020. "The disruption of higher ed is a strong impetus out there to be reviewing what we are and where we're going. It's also been an opportunity for us to assess the success, frankly, of Butler 2020. We had set out a pretty strong set of goals in that particular strategy and to make sure we're kind of on path for the next five to six years."

EDUCATION: NOTRE DAME PRO LANDS HIH GRANT - A researcher and professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award. The $1.5 million grant will allow Cody Smith to expand his research on non-neuronal cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). The award supports innovative research from early-career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degree or clinical residency. “I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to be selected for this New Innovator Award,” Smith said. “Even though my name is on the award, it is really the exceptional hard work and talent of the people in my lab that provided this opportunity. I am excited to see what we can discover together.”

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: NORTH KOREA CALLS OFF NUKE TALKS - North Korea says working-level nuclear talks with the US have been called off, on the same day they restarted (BBC). US and North Korean officials met in Sweden on Saturday, in the hope of breaking their stalemate. "The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke off," North Korea's top nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil. The meeting came just days after North Korea tested a new missile, in a significant step up from earlier tests. It was set to be the first formal working-level discussion since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met briefly at the inter-Korean border zone in June.

WHITE HOUSE: NEW ETHANOL PLAN UNVEILED - It’s been more than a month since President Trump announced he was going to unveil a biofuels package to restore demand for lost gallons of ethanol. Today, the White House has a plan (Davenport, Hoosier Ag Today). The plan will include reallocation starting in 2020 based on the prior three-year rolling average for ethanol and biodiesel that was lost when the Trump administration granted 85 small refinery waivers in the last three years, according to the White House. According to a source in the ethanol industry, there is no commitment to reduce the small refinery exemptions (SREs) in the future, and there won’t be renewable identification number (RIN) price caps or refunds.

ECONOMY: 136K JOBS ADDED - U.S. employers added a modest 136,000 jobs in September, enough to help lower the unemployment rate to a new five-decade low of 3.5% (AP). The steadiness of U.S. hiring, despite its slowing pace, may help ease concerns that the economy might be edging closer to a potential recession. Despite ultra-low unemployment, which fell from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny ... The unemployment rate for workers without high school diplomas fell to 4.8%, the lowest level on records dating to 1992. The rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, also a record low.

ECONOMY: U.S. TRADE DEFICIT WIDENS - The U.S. trade deficit widened in August for the first time in three months as exports increased but imports increased more. The politically sensitive gap with China in the trade of goods narrowed (AP). The Commerce Department said Friday that the gap between what the United buys and what it sells abroad rose 1.6% to $54.9 billion from $54 billion in July. The deficit had fallen in June and July. But it is still up for the year despite President Donald Trump's attempts to push it down by imposing taxes on imports and waging a trade war with China.

AUTOS: PROGRESS IN GM/UAW TALKS - A top union negotiator says bargainers are making progress on a contract that could end a 19-day strike against General Motors (Kokomo Tribune). United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) says in a letter to local officials Friday that talks have advanced on health care and a path for temporary workers to get full-time jobs. But he says wages, job security, skilled trades jobs and pensions remain unsettled. Dittes says they’ll keep working into the weekend in an effort to reach a tentative agreement. About 49,000 UAW members walked off their jobs on Sept. 16 when contract talks slowed. The strike has shut down GM production in the U.S. and forced factories in Canada and Mexico to close.

MEDIA: CREAM DRUMMER GINGER BAKER DIES - Ginger Baker, the prodigiously talented and volcanically temperamental rock drummer who helped form Cream, rock-and-roll’s first supergroup, and inspired awe and imitation in a generation of drummers, died on Oct. 6. He was 80. The Associated Press reported Baker’s family saying on Twitter that he died Sunday: “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning.” Gary Hibbert, a media representative for Baker’s family, confirmed his death, the AP said.

MISSOURI: 4 KILLED, 9 WOUNDED IN KC BAR - Authorities say a gunman entered a Kansas City, Kansas, bar and shot nine people, fatally wounding four (Washington Post). KSHB-TV reports that officers were called Sunday at 1:30 a.m. to the Tequila KC Bar for a shooting. Police said someone entered the bar and opened fire. Four people were shot dead inside the bar. Five others were taken to a hospital in stable condition for treatment. No one has been arrested in the shooting. Authorities do not know if there is more than one shooter. The motive for the shooting is also unknown.

Local

CITIES: ANDERSON COUNCIL PASSES $35M BUDGET - The city’s $35.3 million budget for 2020 was approved by the Anderson City Council on Thursday (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). The City Council voted to approve the 2020 budget presented by the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. and adopted several salary ordinances providing 3% pay increases for the clerk’s office, the city court, Anderson Fire Department executive staff, elected officials, department heads and non-union employees. “It has been a lengthy process,” City Controller Doug Whitham said. “We met with the mayor, department heads and city council members. There was a great deal of discussion.” He said the city has a current operating balance in the general fund of $11.8 million.

CITIES: MOTHER SUES GARY OVER DEATH OF SON - The mother of Ke-Monte Cobbs — a teenage robbery suspect killed by a Gary police officer more than two years ago — is suing city officials and the officer who shot her son, claiming excessive force (NWI Times). Tasheena Brooks filed the wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming Gary police Officer Justin Hedrick fired a fatal shot into the top of her 15-year-old son’s head as he lay on the ground the night of Aug. 1, 2017.

CITIES: 1 KILLED IN KOKOMO PLANE CRASH - A small plane has crashed outside of Kokomo killing one person (WTHR-TV). The FAA and NTSB have been contacted to investigate. It happened on the east side of Kokomo off of SR-22 and CR 300 E as you are heading towards Greentown. The coroner confirms the plane left the Kokomo Municipal Airport shortly before the crash. The identity of the crash victim will not be released until family is notified.

COUNTIES: JEFFERSON PROSECUTOR WON'T FOLLOW MEARS - Jefferson County Prosecutor David Sutter is not ready to follow the lead of Marian County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, despite also having a busy workload (Madison Courier). Sutter said possession of small amounts of marijuana make up very little of his workload as it is and he believes those cases should be handled individually rather than by blanket policy. “While prosecutors have absolute discretion in making charging decisions, prosecutorial discretion is best exercised on a case-by-case basis,” Sutter said Wednesday. “Marijuana remains illegal at the Federal level and in the State of Indiana. As the elected prosecutor, I took an oath to discharge my duties according to the laws of the State of Indiana.” Sutter noted possession of marijuana, less than 30 grams (essentially anything under one ounce) without a prior drug conviction is a Class B misdemeanor in Indiana punishable by up to 180 days in jail, but most cases never get that far. He said first-time offenders are usually offered a diversion program rather than jail time and heavy fines. The programs educate and inform offenders with the charges ultimately dropped upon completion of the program.