Howey Politics Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS  – Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling announced Tuesday she is seeking the Republican nomination for Indiana state treasurer in 2022. Keesling was elected city clerk in 2015 and reelected in 2019, proving herself an electable candidate in the state’s second-largest city. She was elected to turn around a city clerk’s office mired in scandal. Since taking office, she has turned the finances of the department around while standing up to intimidation efforts by Democratic city officials. Prior to her election as city clerk, Lana Keesling was the chief financial officer of a large company managing finance, information technology, and human resources. Prior to that, she was a small business owner for 10 years. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree.. “We don’t need big government solutions to improve the lives of Hoosiers,” said Keesling. “We need qualified, conservative checks on politicians to do the work and connect people to opportunity.” Keesling is a graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service program. “Lana’s credentials for State Treasurer are impeccable,” said Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine. “She is a solid conservative Republican, who is a proven vote-getter, as indicated by her convincing wins in a major metropolitan area often thought to lean Democrat. She is loyal to our party and taxpayers.”

Congress

Pence fundraiser for Young

Former Vice President Mike Pence hosted a fundraiser last night for Indiana Sen. Todd Young. The event, which has so far raised $150,000, comes ahead of a weekend fundraiser that Pence is holding for Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon. 

Trump endorses Herschel Walker

Former president Donald Trump endorsed Herschel Walker for the U.S. Senate from Georgia, saying, “Walker is a friend, a patriot, and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States senator. He embodies “America First” and the winning spirit of Georgia. Herschel is tough on Crime and Borders, and he will always stand in support of Law Enforcement, Military, and our Vets. He will fight hard for our Second Amendment and Voter Integrity. Herschel Walker will never let you down. He was a great football player and will be an even better U.S. senator, if that is even possible. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Trump endorses Cheney challenger

Donald Trump is set to back Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman as she prepares a primary challenge against GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, according to three people with knowledge of his plans, marking the most important political endorsement yet in Trump’s post-presidency (Politico). Trump’s looming involvement in the primary will test his political power in the GOP like never before, as he seeks to punish the most high-profile House Republican to vote for his impeachment in January. 

Trump calling families of fallen soldiers


The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has reached out to some family members of the 13 troops who were killed in the suicide bombing in Afghanistan. “Several have invited him to attend the funerals, and he has suggested he may try to do so.”

General Assembly

Leaders won’t seek reforms this month

Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature has approved numerous abortion restrictions over the past decade but its top leaders said Thursday it won’t hurry to adopt a law patterned after a new Texas law that bans most abortions (Davies, AP). Even though legislators will be meeting for an unusual September session, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray both said they would limit that session to the redrawing of congressional and legislative district maps. That would leave any abortion law debates until the next regular legislative session starts in January. “We’re closely watching what’s happening in Texas in regards to their new pro-life law, including any legal challenges,” Huston said in a statement. “Indiana is one of the most pro-life states in the country, and we’ll continue to examine ways to further protect life at all stages.” The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the new Texas law to take effect Wednesday. That has Republicans in many states eager to pass identical measures.

Presidential

Biden poll numbers sag

President Biden’s sagging approval ratings, especially among independents, are raising questions about his ability to move his agenda through a House and Senate where centrist and liberal Democrats are battling one another (The Hill). An NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll published last week showed Biden’s approval rating dropping to 36% in August from 46% in July among independents, while a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 36% of independents approve of Biden overall while 57% disapprove. The polls showed Biden’s overall approval rating at 43% and 44%, respectively, the lowest of his presidency. “He’s got totally different numbers than Trump’s. Trump’s base of support was much more intense than Biden’s ever was,” said Jim McLaughlin, a Republican pollster. Biden’s poll numbers have fallen as he faces intense criticism for his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The fall of the U.S.-backed government was much swifter than Team Biden had anticipated, and 13 U.S. service members were killed in a suicide bombing last month as the administration sought to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the country. “I wish the election were today,” said McLaughlin, pointing to the Biden poll numbers.

Sept. 11 changed America for worse

Americans increasingly say the events of Sept. 11, 2001, had a more negative than positive impact on the country, and predictions for the pandemic’s long-term impact are even more downbeat, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Saturday, more than 8 in 10 Americans say those events changed the country in a lasting way. Nearly half (46 percent) say the events of 9/11 changed the country for the worse, while 33 percent say they changed the country for the better. That represents a shift from 10 years ago when Americans were roughly divided on this question, and it marks an even larger swing from the first anniversary of the attacks in 2002. Back then, 55 percent said the country had changed for the better.

Afghan pullout favored 2 to 1 


Americans overwhelmingly support President Biden’s decision to end the war in Afghanistan, but by a 2-to-1 margin they disapprove of how he handled the chaotic and ultimately deadly withdrawal that included the evacuation of several thousand U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. The Afghanistan withdrawal has contributed to a drop in Biden’s overall approval rating, which for the first time in his presidency is net negative. The poll finds 44 percent saying they approve of how he is handling his job, while 51 percent disapprove. In late June, the numbers were almost reversed, with 50 percent supporting and 42 percent disapproving.

Christie to launch comeback tour


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is launching a comeback tour as he considers whether to mount a 2024 presidential bid that could put him on a collision course with Donald Trump (Politico). The former governor is set to deliver a Thursday evening speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. — a traditional waystation for GOP presidential aspirants — as part of a speaker series the organization is hosting that focuses on the future of the Republican Party. The high-profile appearance comes as Christie intensifies his political activities ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, with a book on the way, a new perch helping the GOP raise money, and plans to help the party flip control of the House next year. While Christie said that his speech would not be focused on Trump, he plans to stress that Republicans “first and foremost” need to be “the party that’s perceived to be telling the American people the truth” — perhaps an implicit critique of the former president, who according to his own pollster’s post-election autopsy was regarded as less trustworthy than Joe Biden. 

Trump laments removal of Lee statue


Statement from Donald Trump: “Just watched as a massive crane took down the magnificent and very famous statue of “Robert E. Lee On His Horse” in Richmond, Virginia. It has long been recognized as a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture. To add insult to injury, those who support this “taking” now plan to cut it into three pieces, and throw this work of art into storage prior to its complete desecration.  Robert E. Lee is considered by many Generals to be the greatest strategist of them all. President Lincoln wanted him to command the North, in which case the war would have been over in one day. Robert E. Lee instead chose the other side because of his great love of Virginia, and except for Gettysburg, would have won the war. He should be remembered as perhaps the greatest unifying force after the war was over, ardent in his resolve to bring the North and South together through many means of reconciliation and imploring his soldiers to do their duty in becoming good citizens of this Country. Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can’t let that happen!”