U.S. INTELLIGENCE WARN OF RUSSIAN ELECTION DAY HACKS: U.S. intelligence agencies do not see Russia as capable of using cyberespionage to alter the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election, but they have warned that Moscow may continue meddling after the voting has ended to sow doubts about the legitimacy of the result, U.S. officials said (Washington Post). The assessment reflects widespread concern among U.S. spy agencies that a months-long campaign by Russia to rattle the mechanisms of American democracy will probably continue after polls close on one of the most polarizing races in recent history, extending and amplifying the political turbulence. U.S. security officials have not ruled out Russian-sponsored disruption on Election Day. In recent weeks, officials at the Department of Homeland Security have collected evidence of apparent Russian "scanning" of state-run databases and computer voting systems. "Whether they were really trying hard to get in, it's not clear," a U.S. official said. Still, the decentralized nature of U.S. polling would make it extraordinarily difficult to subvert a nationwide race. Instead, U.S. officials said it is more likely that Russia would use hacking tools to expose or fabricate signs of vote-rigging, aiming to delegitimize an election outcome that Republican candidate Donald Trump has said he may refuse to accept if he does not win.


AWESTRUCK PENCE INSULATES HIMSELF IN TRUMP BUBBLE: This has been the story of Mike Pence's time as Donald Trump's running mate. The Republican vice-presidential nominee is not oblivious to external perception; he has been stung by criticisms from onetime allies in the Evangelical and conservative worlds (Alberta, National Review). Yet down the stretch of this campaign he has tuned them out, retreating deeper into the safe confines of Trump's bunker to block out the antagonism and gloom. He barely interacts with the embedded reporters who travel with him. He responds to questions highlighting Trump's inaccuracies with a foreign gaze. In an interview aboard his plane, he draws heavily from his stump speech and offers few original or introspective observations about the extraordinary journey he's been on since mid-July. In conversations with Pence's friends and advisers, all of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly, it's apparent that the Access Hollywood tape - on which Trump can be heard boasting about groping women - was a devastating blow to him. It was also a watershed: Pence spent the weekend holed up, unwilling to face questions, and when he re-emerged after private discussions with a contrite Trump, he went into a different sort of shell, newly certain that his running mate - a man he's prayed with, golfed with, become friends with - is being victimized by a bloodthirsty liberal media. Pence is now willfully insulated — from the possibility that Trump may indeed have committed sexual assault; from the harshest critiques of his decision to join the GOP ticket; and from the reality that its defeat is likely. It's telling that while many of his allies are bearish about what Election Day will bring, Pence is certain that a historic triumph is at hand. "I believe it. I believe it. I really believe it," he tells me, 90 minutes prior to our headline-grabbing arrival in New York. "The American people know we can be stronger. They know we can be more prosperous. They know we can stand by our most cherished constitutional principles. But they know we've got to have new leadership. So I really believe - I really believe - that we're on our way to a victory." What's notable isn't that a politician would profess confidence. It's that Pence - who describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order" - attributes his confidence not to the providence of God, or to the power or principle, or to the fitness of his party, but to the transcendent appeal of his running mate, who he says "has tapped into the frustrations and aspirations of the American people like no one in my lifetime." This is not a façade. People close to Pence say that despite his initial distaste for Trump's style, he was awestruck by the candidate's galvanizing effect on voters in Indiana.


WEEKLY HPI COMING MID-DAY: A special pre-election weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana will move to your email inbox around noon today.


PENCE WON'T SAY HE WANTS RYAN AS SPEAKER: GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence won't say whether Speaker Paul Ryan should keep his gavel in the new Congress (CBS News). In an interview with the National Review, Donald Trump's running mate was asked three times to answer the question of whether Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, should be reelected as speaker. The conservative outlet said Pence declined to respond three times. "My respect for Paul Ryan is boundless," he said, repeating it twice, according to the report. "I'm not a member of the House Republican conference anymore. I wouldn't presume upon what the members of the conference choose." A senior adviser to Pence, currently the governor of Indiana, later told the National Review that if Pence were still serving in the House, he would vote to reelect Ryan. At a rally in Michigan Thursday, Pence also acted incredulous about the story.


HIDDEN TRUMP ARMY A MIRAGE: Donald Trump has insisted for months that polls are failing to capture the breadth of his support because some of his backers won't admit it to a pollster over the telephone. He's wrong. According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult study conducted by Morning Consult this past weekend and released Thursday, a hidden army of Trump voters that's undetected by the polls is unlikely to materialize on Election Day. The study - which was composed of interviews with likely voters conducted over the phone with a live interviewer, and other interviews conducted online without a personal interaction — showed only a slight, not-statistically-significant difference in their effect on voters' preferences for president. That's despite an emerging disparity in the public polling: Hillary Clinton leads Trump by 4 percentage points in national, live-interview phone polls, according to HuffPost Pollster's average as of Wednesday night — but only by 2.6 points in online and automated phone polls. As Trump closes the gap with Clinton and moves into striking distance of the White House, a systemic polling error of only a few points could tip the scales. And while the overall difference was negligible, between completing the survey with complete anonymity and talking to a live interviewer over the phone, there were important variations with key demographic groups that underscore the cultural divides that have defined this historic election. "In the primaries, we conducted a study that sought to get at why Donald Trump was performing better in online surveys than on telephone polls," said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "The study showed that a polling mode effect called 'social desirability bias' — respondents didn't want to tell a live interviewer they were voting for Trump — was at play. Our new study to assess the general election shows that not to be the case overall, although there are likely still small pockets of shy Trump voters."


TRUMP SURGES, BUT FOX MAP STILL FAVORS CLINTON: The FBI's October surprise appears to have improved Donald Trump's overall standing in the electoral map, with the latest Fox News Electoral Scorecard showing several states shifting in his favor since last week (Fox News). The Fox News Decision Team announced updates to the scorecard Thursday afternoon, reflecting the following changes based on recent polling and other factors: New Hampshire moves from "lean Democrat" to "toss-up"; Ohio moves from "toss-up" to "lean Republican"; Indiana moves from "lean Republican" to "solid Republican"; Missouri moves from "lean Republican" to "solid Republican." Despite the changes, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton maintains the clear advantage, and Trump's path to victory remains a tight one. But the latest ratings show Clinton's advantage diminishing. If Clinton were to win all the states leaning toward or solidly in the Democratic column, she'd have 283 electoral votes – more than the 270 needed to win.


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: We are down to the final days of the campaign and will offer up an intriguing data set on Indiana. Over the weekend, we'll also be watching key swing state polling to see if there is movement in what appears to be a volatile presidential race, as well as for the fight for control of the U.S. Senate. Stay tuned. - Brian A. Howey



HOLCOMB SAYS MADISON COUNTY KEY: Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Eric Holcomb arrived in Anderson Wednesday with an urgent message that Madison County will be key "in determining the ultimate outcome" of next week's election (Hirsch, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Accompanied by his running mate, Suzanne Crouch, Holcomb met with party faithful at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery. He thanked Madison County Republican Party Chairman Russ Wills for his work, and urged folks to make a final push get out the vote effort. "This is going to be a key county in determining the ultimate outcome of the election, so thank you a thousand times for all the work, Russ, that you and the crew have put into getting us to this point," Holcomb said. "We need the Republican Party to over-deliver, and we think you're going to, the county is going to, from the top of the ticket down, but we have to run through the tape on Election day." Holcomb said he's waging an unprecedented 100-day campaign for governor, and people understand what's at stake.


IN SOUTH BEND, DEMOCRATS SEEK TO GET OUT THE VOTE: With only five days left in the election, Democrats have pegged their hopes on high turn out (Thomas Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). Continuing their bus tour through Indiana, the John Gregg/Christina Hale ticket, Senator Joe Donnelly and Evan Bayh joined with congressional candidate Lynn Coleman and northern Hoosier Democrats at a rally in South Bend last night. A large crowd tuned out for the rally on the St. Joseph County Courthouse front steps for the last stop of the day. The Democrats have been going around the state trying to drum up support for the top of the ticket as well giving an opportunity for local candidates to appear with party leaders. Opening the rally, Mayor Peter Buttigieg reminded the crowd of the importance of voting and turn out on November 8th. "Don't say I hope, say I will. And on November 9th don't say I wish, say I did." It was the South Bend native and 2nd CD Congressional candidate Lynn Coleman who took the opportunity to inspire voters in the waning days of the election. "To think that me, an African American who grew up on the west side of South Bend in a poor community is standing here on the courthouse steps running to be a U.S. congressman; its unbelievable." Coleman is locked in a tight race with Republican incumbent Jackie Walorski who received criticism from the Democratic campaign for only accepting one debate invitation. "I promise if you elect me, I won't try to hide from you" said Coleman as the crowd cheered. When introducing Coleman to the stage, Senator Donnelly joked that "at first they thought he didn't have a chance, but now they won't even debate him. I was watching my TV and one candidate is meeting with people and the other is running out the door." Evan Bayh spoke briefly on the need to "come together as a country. We are indivisible." Bayh, who has been both the subject and beneficiary of numerous attack ads, claimed that "you see all of these attack ads aimed at me. They try to divide us and scare us." Although the 2nd CD is one of two hopes this cycle for Democrats to turn a district from red to blue, the recent tightening in Evan Bayh's senate race and the presidential race may spell trouble for Coleman on voting day. Both appearing with the popular John Gregg may help push them to victory.


STATE CHAMBER ENDORSES WALORSKI: The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has endorsed U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski in her re-election bid (McGrath, Elkhart Truth). "Jackie Walorski has repeatedly stood up for small business and against harmful government regulations and intrusion," Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Chamber president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. Walorski, a Republican from the Jimtown area, faces Democratic challenger Lynn Coleman, a retired South Bend police officer who is making his first bid for office, in the race for the Second District U.S. House seat. She's seeking her third term. Libertarian Ron Cenkush of Osceola is also running for the House post. Election Day is next Tuesday.


CROUCH IN RICHMOND TOMORROW AFTERNOON: Area residents can meet Suzanne Crouch, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Saturday at the Wayne County Republican Headquarters (Sheeley, Richmond Palladium-Item). She is the running mate alongside Republican governor candidate Eric Holcomb, who is Indiana's current lieutenant governor. Crouch will meet with citizens beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at Republican headquarters, 20 S. 10th St. in Richmond. Wayne County Republican Party Chairman Denny Burns will play host. Crouch now is serving as state auditor. She was appointed to that position in January 2014 and elected to the role in November 2014.


DEMOCRATS HIT HOLCOMB ON UNIVERSAL PRE-K: Indiana Democrats pointed reporters to Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Holcomb's stance on universal Pre-K in the state (Howey Politics Indiana). A news release from the state party quoted Drew Anderson, communications director, who noted 82% of Hoosiers support a statewide Pre-K program, and said ""Eric Holcomb supported Mike Pence's decision to block an $80 million grant for statewide Pre-K and has since ignored a common sense idea for a universal program for all."


CAMPAIGN SAYS BELL SUFFERED MINOR STROKE, FULL RECOVERY EXPECTED: The campaign of Indiana Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Rex Bell says he has suffered a minor stroke and is being treated at an Indianapolis hospital (Associated Press). The 64-year-old Bell became ill Wednesday during an interview at the office of the Palladium-Item newspaper in Richmond. The newspaper reports he remained conscious and communicative before being taken to a local hospital. Bell's campaign said Thursday that he was fully aware and coherent and was undergoing further testing at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. The campaign says Bell is expected to make a full recovery. Fellow gubernatorial candidates Republican Eric Holcomb and Democrat John Gregg have both said they are praying for Bell's recovery.


CRUZ IN FT. WAYNE TOMORROW MORNING WITH TODD YOUNG: With three days to go before the election, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will be in Fort Wayne tomorrow to campaign for Republican senatorial candidate Todd Young (Howey Politics Indiana). A news release from the Young campaign stated the pair will attend a Get Out The Vote rally at Allen County headquarters beginning at 10 a.m.


BAYH STAYED IN INDY HOTEL INSTEAD OF CONDO: Former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh used taxpayer money to stay at hotels in Indianapolis for 14 nights in 2009 despite owning a condominium there, charging more than $2,000 in travel and lodging expenses to his official account, according to his internal schedule and Senate disbursement records. Following questions from POLITICO, Bayh's campaign conceded that reimbursements he received for five of those nights were not allowed by Senate rules and that he would personally repay $737. The Democrat's campaign disputed that the other nine hotel stays in his home state violated Senate rules. The total charges for official expenses on the 14 days he stayed in Indianapolis hotels at taxpayer expense were $2,058. Bayh is locked in a dead-heat race for his old seat against GOP Rep. Todd Young. Bayh owns multimillion-dollar homes in Washington and Florida and has been accused of abandoning his home state until he decided to run for office there again. Bayh's campaign wouldn't directly address why he would need a hotel room in Indianapolis, where he bought a condo in 2002 that is now worth roughly $53,000.


BAYH CAMP SAYS DOCUMENTS 'INCOMPLETE, NOT RELIABLE': A spokesman for the Democratic Senate hopeful called internal documents laying out Bayh's 2009 schedule "at best incomplete, and not reliable sources of information on how Evan Bayh's time was spent" (Everett & Bresnahan, Politico). A detailed, nearly 500-page schedule obtained by POLITICO did not contain a complete list of the Senate's roll-call votes from that year. "The allegations raised here with respect to hotels do not reconcile with Senate travel records in at least one instance," said Ben Ray, Bayh's spokesman. "Out of an abundance of caution, we're returning more than $700 to the Treasury in a case where the records are incomplete but suggest that the billing may have taken place in error."


BAYH SAYS HE WATCHES PBS, DISNEY TO AVOID NEGATIVE ADS: Joining his party's concerted push six days before Election Day, Democrat Evan Bayh said undecided voters should vote for him because he will work to make their lives better (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). The former two-term Indiana governor and senator campaigned in Anderson Wednesday during a stop by the state ticket at Good's Candy Shop to encourage Democrats to get out the vote. Bayh said he watches PBS and the Disney channel to escape the negative advertising. "We can do better than that," he said. Bayh said the negative advertising is promoting a division in the country along the lines of race and religion. He said every vote in this election will matter with the margin of victory in the 1 to 3 percent range, and remarked that Republicans will go out to vote.


YODER PRODUCES NEW EVIDENCE OF RESIDENCY WOES FOR TREY: Shelli Yoder accused Trey Hollingsworth of committing crimes on Thursday (Shella, WISH-TV). It's the latest development in the contentious race for Congress in southern Indiana's 9th District. Republican Trey Hollingsworth is listed as the registered agent for companies in five states according to an Associated Press report that says that designation requires him to live in those states. Indiana is not one of them. Yoder, his Democratic opponent, produced evidence of a similar problem in a sixth state. She unveiled the documents at a news conference in Greenwood. They are from the state of Missouri and they were filed just about a year ago. They bear Hollingsworth's signature. Yoder says it's not a clerical error, as the Hollingsworth campaign contends. She calls it an unbelievable revelation. "It is clear that Trey Hollingsworth is willing to do anything to get elected," she said, "and now we know he's committed a crime, defrauded the public by falsifying documents, and all in the pursuit of making money through his businesses."


LEGAL EXPERT SAYS TREY'S MISTAKES AMOUNT TO MISDEANORS: Indiana University McKinney School of Law Vice Dean Antony Page says Hollingsworth's company wouldn't gain anything by listing him as the registered agent in multiple states (Brosher, Indiana Public Media). "I think it's more likely that it's just careless and sloppy," Page says. "What most companies would do is they would just hire a company to serve as a registered agent." Page says the error amounts to a misdemeanor in most states. Hollingsworth's campaign says it's filing the necessary amendments in all of the states involved to make sure the paperwork is correct.


HOLLINGSWORTH CAMP DENIES ALLEGATIONS: Hollingsworth's Senior Advisor, Rob Burgess, denied the allegations (WHAS-TV). "First off, Trey didn't break the law," Burgess said. "It was a simple clerical mistake that happened and they've already rectified it with the states. Second off, it's a free country and I'm glad that Trey has decided to make his home here in Indiana. He's been a Hoosier for the last 18 months, he's going to continue to be a Hoosier for the indefinite future and we look forward to him representing the 9th District." Burgess downplayed the discovery then leveled his own accusations. He shared pictures of mailers that recently began circulating in the 9th District. A spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party confirmed that the mailers were paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party. They compare Hollingsworth with the Libertarian Candidate, Russell Brooksbank, and suggest that conservatives vote for the "Indiana Native."


BROOKS SAYS NEXT PRESIDENT WILL CHANGE ACA: U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks expects changes in the Affordable Care Act, regardless of who is elected U.S. president on Tuesday (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Brooks, R-5th District, visited with the editorial board of The Herald Bulletin on Wednesday to address issues facing the nation in the next four years. Brooks said although she supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), any changes will be phased in. "We have no intention of pulling the rug out from people who already have coverage," she said. "We (Republicans) want to inject competition back into health care." Brooks said the health insurance exchange programs have failed across the country and, in Indiana, four insurance companies have pulled out, leaving only four in the Hoosier state. Brooks said she supports allowing people to cross state lines to purchase health insurance, expand pooling for small business owners to join together to provide coverage for their employees.


EDUCATION AN ISSUE IN HD 53 RACE: The biggest difference between the two leading candidates for Indiana state representative District 53, including parts of Hancock and Madison counties, is their view on education (Stephens, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Republican incumbent Robert Cherry, Greenfield, has a background in education as a teacher and said he supports a system where parents have their own choice of schools, and their tax dollars follow them. His Democratic challenger, Nancy Tibbett, New Palestine, on the other hand, said she sees the charter school system as a drain on public-school funds. Libertarian candidate Rick Brown, Pendleton, echoed Cherry, saying he supports a full voucher program that would allow a public school student to attend any school of their choice.


NO FUNDING FOR CHALLENGERS IN MADISON COUNTY HD RACES: Neither major political party is targeting the Madison County races for Indiana House of Representatives (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Although four incumbents are facing challenges in the Nov. 8 general election, none of their opponents are getting financial support from the Democratic and Republican political action committees. The reality is that the four seats in Madison County are not considered competitive by both major political parties. Democrat Terri Austin is in a rematch with Republican Jim Shelton in District 36; incumbent Democrat Melanie Wright is being challenged by Republican Bill Walters in District 35; Republican Tony Cook in District 32 is opposed by Democrat Ryan Davis; and in District 53, incumbent Republican Bob Cherry is facing challenges from Democrat Nancy Tibbett and Libertarian Rick Brown.


GOP'S YARD SIGNS LEAD TO BROUHAHA IN MUNCIE: The local Republican Party chairman maintains he's being harassed by the Democratic city administration over campaign yard signs ordered removed from outside GOP Headquarters (Roysdon, Muncie Star Press). An inspector from the office of Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols, a Democrat, went to Republican Party Headquarters on Main Street downtown two days this week, GOP chairman Will Statom told The Star Press Thursday. The inspector told Republican Party workers to remove the signs. They did so and no signs were in right-of-way Thursday morning. A defiant Statom told The Star Press he wouldn't abide by the city's order. "I'm going to put them back out," he said. "My attorney said that's a state easement" because Main Street carries that portion of Ind. 32 through downtown. Nichols, who declined to be interviewed by The Star Press on Thursday about the dispute, sent an email with a statement re-iterating that the city is enforcing local ordinances on signs in right-of-way property. "Please keep in mind the ordinance gives us the ability to write citations/tickets to violators," Nichols wrote. "We try to work with people and educate them about the ordinance rather than write tickets if at all possible."


1 IN 4 'SUSPECT' VOTER FORMS REJECTED IN DELAWARE COUNTY: Only about a quarter of the 1,000-plus "suspect" voter registration forms filed in Delaware County were rejected for incomplete information (Roysdon, Muncie Star Press). The forms were filled locally by the Indiana Voter Registration Project, an Indianapolis-based registration organization that has been under investigation by Indiana State Police in multiple counties. Of 1,037 forms submitted to the Delaware County voter registration office before the mid-October deadline, 276 were rejected for incomplete or missing information, voter registration director Ashley Nichols told The Star Press Thursday. Registration office workers tried to contact, via phone or mail, people who had missing or incomplete information on their forms. Some of the would-be voters who they were able to contact by the state deadline of 10 days before Tuesday's election were able to supply information so their registration could be completed.


NEW VOTING RECORD IN BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY: Bartholomew County voters have hit a new record for absentee and early voting (WCSI). County Clerk Jay Phelps says that they passed 10,000 ballots cast so far in this election as of yesterday afternoon. Phelps posted on Facebook that in 2008, the total absentee and early vote was 6,333, and in 2012, there were 6,413 absentee voters. Phelps also says that NASCAR champion Tony Stewart voted at MainSource Bank on the west side of town yesterday. Stewart said he was voting early because he is on his way to Texas Motor Speedway today.


TWO-HOUR WAIT MINIMUM IN HAMILTON COUNTY: Voting early in central Indiana in 2016 means a much longer wait than usual (Allbrittin, Fox59). In Hamilton County, a two-hour wait is the best-case scenario. In Fishers, the line was wrapping around and through the building by 3:30 p.m., just an hour-and-a-half after the center opened. By 4 p.m., the wait was three to four hours. The only people who waited less than three hours were those who started waiting in line before the early voting center even opened. And even they suggested arriving earlier. "We have very long lines at all of our three locations—Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville," said Hamilton County Election Administrator Kathy Richardson. She and other election officials have been stunned every day by the turnout for early voting. "I expected the same scenarios like we had in '08 and '12," said Richardson. "I did not expect that people would be willing to wait three and four hours."

Presidential 2016


TRUMP LEADS IN NH FOR FIRST TIME: Donald Trump has pulled even with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Thursday - the latest public survey to show cracks in Clinton's once-safe firewall. The WBUR-FM poll, conducted by MassINC Polling Group, shows Trump leading by a single point, 40 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 10 percent, Green Party nominee Jill Stein is at 3 percent and a combined 7 percent of likely voters are undecided or prefer another candidate. In fact, the WBUR poll points to a GOP sweep of statewide races. In the state's high-stakes Senate race, incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte has a 6-point lead over Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, 51 percent to 45 percent. And Republican Chris Sununu is 5 points ahead of Democrat Colin Van Ostern in the race to replace Hassan as governor, 49 percent to 44 percent. The WBUR poll is an outlier. Trump hasn't led a live-interview telephone poll in New Hampshire for the entire cycle.


ANOTHER NH POLL SHOWS CLINTON UP 6%: Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by 6 ppts in 4-way race in previous Oct. poll in N.H., according to latest University of Mass. Lowell/7News poll (Bloomberg Politics). Libertarian Gary Johnson has 5%, Green Party's Jill Stein 2%; rest undecided. In race for Senate seat from N.H., Democrat Maggie Hassan has 47% support, Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte 46%; Hassan's lead within error margin


CLINTON UP IN ABC/WP TRACKING: The poll finds supporters of losing primary candidates have largely come around to supporting their party's nominee, but they are far from excited about their vote, with no more than one in three "very enthusiastic" about doing so (Washington Post). Clinton fell behind Trump in strong enthusiasm in the Post-ABC poll over the weekend, with 43 percent of her supporters saying they were "very enthusiastic," below Trump's 53 percent and a larger gap than before the FBI announced it may review additional emails from her time at Secretary of State. Trump's advantage in enthusiasm has shrunk to only two points in last two days of interviewing, with the share of Clinton and Trump supporters who are very enthusiastic standing at 51 percent and 53 percent, respectively.


CLINTON UP 3% IN NYT/CBS POLL: Heading into the final days of the presidential campaign, the race has settled back into a tight contest, with Hillary Clinton holding an edge over Donald J. Trump after a month of tumult. Most voters say their minds are made up and late revelations about both candidates made no significant difference to them, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday. Five days before Election Day, the margin between the candidates is narrow, with 45 percent of likely voters supporting Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, to 42 percent for Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee. The difference is within the poll's margin of sampling error. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, has the support of 5 percent of likely voters, and the Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, takes 4 percent. More than 22 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and roughly one in five likely voters who participated in the Times/CBS poll said they had already voted.


TRUMP UP IN GA, AZ: New NBC News-Wall Street Journal polling has Donald Trump running just 1 percentage point ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Georgia, though he leads her by 5 points in Arizona and 9 points in Texas (Politico). In a four-way race in Arizona, Trump, the Republican nominee, garnered the support of 45 percent of surveyed likely voters, while Clinton, a Democrat, received 40 percent. Nine percent of those surveyed said they support Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3 percent preferred the Green Party's Jill Stein. The survey in Arizona, conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points and had a sample of 719. It suggests that Trump is holding onto his lead in the traditionally red state that Clinton is courting aggressively. The result in Georgia, released on Thursday along with surveys in Arizona and Texas, was closer despite the Clinton campaign having focused much less on flipping the state. Trump led Clinton 45 percent to 44 percent among likely voters surveyed there, while Johnson came in at 8 percent. The sample size in Georgia was 707 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.


TRUMP UP 6% IN UTAH: Donald Trump continues to hold onto a lead among likely voters in the traditionally deep-red state of Utah, according to a new Monmouth University poll, but he is ahead of Hillary Clinton by only 6 points as almost a quarter of voters flock to independent candidate Evan McMullin (Politico). Among 402 likely voters in the state surveyed from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, 37 percent said they support Trump, while 31 percent said they support Clinton. Twenty-four percent back McMullin, a conservative who is running a campaign focused on Utah, where he was born. The state's large Mormon population has proved resistant to Trump's candidacy, particularly after a damaging 2005 tape surfaced last month showing the billionaire bragging about sexual assault. McMullin gained support in the state after Monmouth's last survey, in October, when he registered at 20 percent.


MICHIGAN SOFT FOR CLINTON; POLLS VOLATILE: With five days to go, Michigan is looking a little less certain for Hillary Clinton as Donald Trump makes an 11th-hour attempt to win over economically frustrated voters across the U.S. Rust Belt (Bloomberg Politics). The Wolverine State is now "Lean Democrat" as opposed to its earlier status of "Likely Democrat," according to rating by the non-partisan Cook Political Report. Michigan and other "Lean D" states are 'in play'' in the sense that that "they slightly favor Clinton, but aren't a slam dunk or a given," Cook analyst Amy Walter said via e-mail. Michigan has a track record of delivering surprises. Sen. Bernie Sanders won the state's Democratic primary, beating Clinton 50%-48%, marking "one of the greatest upsets in modern political history," FiveThirtyEight wrote on March 9. Not a single poll at the time had Clinton leading by less than 5 percentage points, with many showing her lead at 20 points or more: FiveThirtyEight. Trump won Michigan's Republican primary; exit polls showed about half that electorate self-identifying as white evangelical or born-again Christian: Politico


CNN SHOWS TIGHT SWING STATE POLLS: Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns have hit the ground hard in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and new CNN/ORC polls across the four states paint a picture of a tight race to the finish in critical battlegrounds. Clinton holds a 4-point edge among likely voters in the historically blue-tilting Pennsylvania, and Trump tops Clinton by 5 with voters in red-leaning Arizona. Though both states tilt in the same direction as their 2012 results, the leaders' margins are tighter than their predecessors' final leads were in each state. Florida appears to be as tight a contest as ever, with Clinton at 49% among likely voters and Trump at 47%. That's an apparent shift in Clinton's direction since the last CNN/ORC poll there in September before the presidential debates began, but still a within-margin-of-error race. In Nevada, the poll suggests the race has also shifted, with Trump now ahead there 49% to 43%, with 5% behind Libertarian Gary Johnson, compared with a two-point Clinton edge in mid-October.


TRUMP STRENGTH IN OHIO, IOWA EARLY VOTE: As the U.S. presidential race heads into its final weekend, Donald Trump is showing strength in Iowa and Ohio pre-Election Day voting, while Hillary Clinton's advantage in early balloting looks stronger in North Carolina and Nevada, a Bloomberg Politics analysis shows (Bloomberg Politics). Democrats and Republicans in Florida, the biggest swing state, have returned ballots in nearly even proportions. There have been about 2.6 million votes cast there so far, exceeding the level recorded during the entire early voting period four years ago and with one final weekend of balloting remaining. Early, in-person voting is nearly complete in many of the battlegrounds states. It ends Friday in Nevada, this weekend in North Carolina, Ohio and Florida, and on Monday in Iowa. Those states, among the main targets for Trump and Clinton, have a total of 74 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. Trump needs to win at least four of those states to have a path to victory.


SURGE OF EARLY LATINO VOTE HELPING CLINTON: Even as the electoral map shows new signs of volatility, a surge in early voting by Latinos is bolstering Hillary Clinton's prospects in battleground states including Arizona, Florida and Nevada in the closing days of a tightened race against Donald Trump (Washington Post). Fresh election data suggest that the Democratic nominee appears to be benefiting from upticks in participation by Latinos, who historically vote in lower numbers than the electorate overall. The trend, say advocates seeking to expand the Hispanic vote, is largely motivated by distaste for Trump, who has proposed hardline immigration policies and stirred emotions from the outset of his campaign with a series of controversial statements about Mexicans and other Latinos. "The Trump candidacy and the climate it's created has really heightened the importance and the personal nature of this election for Latinos," said Yvanna Cancela, political director of Culinary Workers Union 226, which represents casino workers in Nevada.


CLINTON INTENSIFIES CRITICISM OF TRUMP: Saturating swing states with powerful campaign surrogates and mobilizing a vast field organization, Hillary Clinton on Thursday intensified her public attacks on Donald J. Trump as a threat to minorities in the hope of driving them to the polls in decisive numbers (New York Times). In an effort to blunt any late momentum for Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton is moving to reinforce her position among crucial constituencies, including black communities in North Carolina and Florida, and Hispanic strongholds in Nevada and Arizona, to lock down the 270 electoral votes needed to win. She and President Obama assailed Mr. Trump in separate campaign appearances on Thursday as an enemy of black voters, and warned that he could use the power of the presidency against them.


CRUZ CAMPAIGNS WITH PENCE: For the first time in the 2016 presidential campaign, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stood behind a Donald Trump campaign podium on Thursday. He was back in Iowa for the first time since exiting the presidential race in May, alongside GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence just five days before the election (NBC News). "This election has been a wild ride," Cruz cracked after taking the microphone on stage inside a sheet metal barn just outside of Des Moines. Yet the Texas senator, who endorsed the GOP nominee in September, neglected to acknowledge Trump by name in his first stop, instead imploring the supporters in attendance to send "a Republican" to the White House. "Putting a Republican in the White House and keeping a Republican House and Senate is the whole enchilada," Cruz said at the Pence campaign rally in the Hawkeye state, where he won the Iowa caucus just nine months ago. "We are one liberal justice away from losing our constitutional rights," Cruz declared. He told the crowd that the "stakes in this election have never been higher in our country" before welcoming Pence, who had endorsed Cruz ahead of the Indiana GOP primary this spring, to the stage. "He is someone who today I call my friend and someone I look very much forward to calling Mr. Vice President," Cruz said. Pence, in turn, suggested he and Cruz are "very good friends" and called the senator a "champion of conservative values all across America."


OBAMA CALLS TRUMP 'UNIQUELY UNQUALIFIED: President Barack Obama, in a spirited speech chastising Republican Donald Trump and praising Hillary Clinton, told an enthusiastic Jacksonville crowd he was not on the ballot Tuesday, but all he has accomplished the last eight years is at stake (Florida Times-Union). "This is somebody who would do damage to our democracy who is uniquely unqualified and shows no interest in becoming more qualified," Obama said of Trump before a capacity crowd of 7,200 at the University of North Florida Arena. Obama was harsh and unrelenting in his criticism of Trump — his temperament, his business practices, his treatment of women, Gold Star families, prisoners of war, Muslims, and others. "What you are, who you are, doesn't change when you get in the Oval Office. It magnifies it," he said.


TRUMP PREDICTS FLORIDA VICTORY: Speaking to thousands of supporters Thursday in a hot, dirt-floored arena in Jacksonville's Westside, Donald Trump made his prediction for next Tuesday: He's going to win Florida, and Republicans are taking back the White House (Florida Times-Union). After that, he will create jobs, repeal Obamacare and invest in infrastructure and the military. He promised to stop Syrian refugees from entering the country and deport the undocumented immigrants already living here. He's still going to build the wall — and Mexico is still going to pay for it. It was the same Trump, his same vision to "Make America Great Again." And the crowd loved it. Less than a week from Election Day, Trump showed no signs of slowing his repeated attacks on Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama nor improving his grim outlook on the current state of America — always losing and stunted by a corrupt political system and the "stupid" people running it.


ELECTION MAY HINGE ON N. CAROLINA: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each campaigned Thursday in North Carolina, which is emerging as perhaps the state on which the 2016 presidential race turns (Bradner, CNN). Clinton has held a small but persistent lead in the state in recent weeks. A Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday showed Clinton ahead, 48% to Trump's 46%. It's made North Carolina's 15 electoral votes Democrats' best chances of winning a state Mitt Romney carried - albeit by just 2 percentage points - in 2012. And for Trump, whose path to 270 electoral votes is already precarious, North Carolina is essentially a must-win - a test of whether he can turn out working-class white voters and survive organizational and TV ad spending disadvantages to the Clinton campaign.


CLINTON TAKING NO CHANCES IN MICHIGAN: Hillary Clinton's campaign isn't taking any chances in Michigan (Kamisa & Parnes, The Hill). The Democratic presidential nominee will visit Detroit on Friday, spending crucial hours in the final days of the campaign in a state that hasn't gone to a Republican in a presidential election since 1988. Sources close to the Clinton campaign insist they are confident she'll win Michigan over Republican Donald Trump, characterizing the visit as an insurance policy. But they acknowledge support for her in the state is "a little soft." "Michigan is part of our thought-out strategy," said one ally close to the campaign. Clinton has led every major poll of Michigan aggregated by RealClearPolitics, and her lead in the site's polling average sits at 7 percentage points. Her visit to Detroit is part of a broader push into blue states where Democrats historically have the upper hand. On Tuesday, the campaign moved forward with six-figure ad buys in Virginia, Michigan, New Mexico and Colorado, states where Clinton has long held the lead in polls. Trump has upped his investment in Michigan, expanding advertising buys there while sending his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, to Portage, Mich., on Thursday. Trump campaigned in Michigan on Monday, and his campaign has claimed momentum in the state, seeing it as fertile ground for his anti-trade message.


GOP APPEARS TO BE ON REBOUND IN EARLY VOTING: Donald Trump and Republicans appear to be making up ground in some key swing states, bouncing back to 2012 early voting levels after a slow start in some states, and surpassing past early voting levels in others (Struyk, ABC News). More than 34 million Americans have already cast their ballots, according to data from The Associated Press. In some key states like Florida and Minnesota, more voters have cast their ballots early so far in 2016 than in all of 2012 early voting. Republicans have made up ground in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada but not improved over 2012. There has been some improvement over 2012 for the GOP in North Carolina and Florid and positive signs continue for the GOP in Ohio and Iowa. Still, Hillary Clinton's campaign appears to maintain a grip so far on key states to win the 270 electoral votes that would put her in the White House. Here's an update on early voting so far, according to data from ABC News and the Associated Press.


TRUMP TEAM READY TO DISMANTLE OBAMA LEGACY: Donald Trump's presidential transition team has kicked into higher gear as the race for the White House tightens, with a team of conservative Washington policy wonks fleshing out plans to dismantle President Barack Obama's legacy (Restuccia & Cook, Politico). Several sources said the team has focused heavily on how a President Trump might use executive authority, both as a way to quickly put his stamp on the federal government, as well as to undo hundreds of Obama's regulations on energy, taxes and health care. "That's been a big focus of their effort, so they're in a position on Day One to repeal things and replace things with the stroke of a pen," said one person close to the transition team. Those close to the transition team said they expect a President Trump to concentrate on immigration and repealing Obamacare as key issues to tackle early. The group has also prepared detailed agency-by-agency guides for a potential Trump administration that include recommendations on personnel, new regulations and executive orders.


ADELSON GROUPS PUMPING $25M INTO TRUMP ADVERTISING: Donald Trump is poised to ride $25 million of new advertising in the final days of the campaign, an enormous and unexpected boost that could bring him closer to parity with Hillary Clinton on television (Schiefer, CNN). Two outside groups bankrolled heavily by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson will spend for the Republican nominee and allow him to go close to dollar-for-dollar with the Democrats. Together, the super PAC Future 45 and its affiliated nonprofit, 45 Committee, will part with $25 million, according to group president Brian Baker, who called it "one of the biggest political efforts launched in the final week of a presidential campaign ever." That effort includes about a dozen new ads, some of which are designed for platforms like Snapchat while others are intended for audiences such as Spanish speakers or millennials. One spot Thursday features a woman impersonating Hillary Clinton repeatedly smashing phones and computers with hammers and drills, a reference to her email controversy.


SENIOR GOP LAWMAKERS DISCUSSING CLINTON IMPEACHMENT: Senior Republican lawmakers are openly discussing the prospect of impeaching Hillary Clinton should she win the presidency, a stark indication that partisan warfare over her tenure as secretary of state will not end on Election Day (DeBonis, Washington Post). Chairmen of two congressional committees said in media interviews this week they believe Clinton committed impeachable offenses in setting up and using a private email server for official State Department business. And a third senior Republican, the chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee, told The Washington Post he is personally convinced Clinton should be impeached for influence peddling involving her family foundation. He favors further congressional investigation into that matter. "It is my honest opinion that the Clinton Foundation represents potentially one of the greatest examples of political corruption in American history," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who leads the Constitution and Civil Justice subcommittee. "Now that perspective may be disproven, time will tell. But given that conviction on my part, I think all options are definitely on the table." The impeachment talk is the latest sign that Clinton will not be handed a clean slate - let alone an extended honeymoon - by Republican lawmakers should she win the presidency.


HERITAGE CALLS FOR COURT BLOCKADE IF CLINTON WINS: The conservative group Heritage Action is pushing Republican senators to keep the Supreme Court at eight justices if Democrat Hillary Clinton is elected president (Swan, The Hill). In a Thursday morning briefing at the Heritage Foundation's Washington headquarters on Capitol Hill, the group said Republicans should embrace the idea of leaving the Supreme Court without its ninth justice, perhaps for as long as five years. Dan Holler, Heritage Action's vice president of communications and government relations, signaled that this year's Republican blockade of President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, is just the beginning of a fight that could last the entire first term of a Clinton presidency. "You've seen John McCain and others talk about the need to not confirm any liberal nominated to the Supreme Court," Holler said. "That's exactly the right position to have." It's "unacceptable," he added, for moderate Republican senators to roll over and allow a President Clinton to shift the court radically to the left. Holler said the obstruction of any Clinton Supreme Court appointee is going to require "an immense amount of willpower" from Senate Republicans.


VOTERS DISGUSTED BY POLITICS: An overwhelming majority of voters are disgusted by the state of American politics, and many harbor doubts that either major-party nominee can unite the country after a historically ugly presidential campaign, according to the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News Poll (New York Times). In a grim preview of the discontent that may cloud at least the outset of the next president's term, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are seen by a majority of voters as unlikely to bring the country back together after this bitter election season. With more than eight in 10 voters saying the campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited, the rising toxicity threatens the ultimate victor. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, are seen as dishonest and viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters. While her advantage has narrowed since mid-October, Mrs. Clinton still has an edge in the survey because of a commanding advantage among women and nonwhite voters. She has the support of 45 percent of likely voters while Mr. Trump has 42 percent. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, has slipped to 5 percent, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, is at 4 percent.


EARLY SAYS PRESIDENTIAL IS 'REAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP': Baseball season is over, but Rex Early, Trump-Pence Indiana campaign chairman, is hoping for a doubleheader (Scheibel, NWI Times). A win by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to follow the World Series win of the Chicago Cubs is the doubleheader he hopes for. "It's the real national championship," Early said. Early, along with Vice Chairman Tony Samuel and state director Suzie Jaworowski, spoke Thursday afternoon to Republican supporters at Jimmy's Cafe in downtown Valparaiso. The GOP also had campaign stops Thursday in Merrillville and Michigan City.


LAWYERS PREPARE FOR ELECTION BATTLES: In the final days before the election, lawyers for the two major political parties are working to make sure voting is fair and free - but also readying to do battle if the outcome is in dispute (Savage, Los Angeles Times). In Philadelphia, where Democrats enjoy overwhelming majorities in many districts, Republican lawyers are scrambling to make sure they have authorized poll watchers at nearly all of the city's 1,682 polling places. But it's not always so simple. "I'm absolutely concerned when one party controls the precinct," said Linda Kerns, a Republican lawyer in Philadelphia. "But it's not too easy to find Republicans in some of these precincts." In North Carolina and Texas, civil rights lawyers are working to make sure that eligible and registered voters are not blocked from casting ballots because they do not have a specific photo ID card. Earlier this year, federal courts struck down GOP-backed laws in both states that had imposed photo ID rules. Judges determined that the burden of the new rules fell unfairly on minority voters. Meanwhile, Democratic Party lawyers are going before a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday to seek a court order that would hold officials of the Republican National Committee in contempt if they support or participate in what they call Donald Trump's "voter intimidation program."



SANDERS ASKS FEDS TO INVESTIGATE INSULIN PRICES: For years, drug companies that say they are in fierce competition with one another also have raised their list prices nearly in sync (Johnson, Washington Post). On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation into possible collusion between drug companies that make insulin. The pattern was first reported by Bloomberg in 2015 and dubbed "shadow pricing." "We are concerned that the potential coordination by these drugmakers may not simply be a case of 'shadow pricing,' but may indicate possible collusion, and we believe this egregious behavior warrants a thorough investigation," the politicians wrote. It isn't just Humalog and NovoLog, made by Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, respectively that have shown this pattern. Similar lockstep price increases have occurred for Humulin and Novolin, two competing human insulins also made by Lilly and Novo, and for Lantus and Levemir, two competing long-acting insulins made by Sanofi and Novo.


BROOKS SEEKS DETAILS FROM FDA ON MED DEVICE CYBERSECURITY: House Energy and Commerce Committee members Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) today asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for information about how the agency is working to address potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices, according to a news release from Brooks' office (Howey Politics Indiana). In a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf and Director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, DeGette and Brooks seek details regarding the agency's plans to further reduce risks of hacking, unauthorized access, or use of malware in medical devices. The release stated that the need for effective cybersecurity of medical devices has become more important with the increasing use of wireless, internet- and network-connected devices. Up to 15 million medical devices in circulation, ranging from monitors and infusion pumps to ventilators and radiological technologies, are integrated into the nation's digitized healthcare network, creating possible avenues for cyber-attacks.


CARSON TOUTS 'AT RISK YOUTH PROGRAM' IN BEECH GROVE: The City of Beech Grove held an open house at the Hornet Park Community Center, displaying improvements made to provide an "At Risk Youth Program" to area children ages 3-17 (Davis, Southside Times). "I think we can all agree our children deserve a better future," said Congressman André Carson (D-IN), who spoke at the event. "That's why we're here today... I know that an early investment in our young people leads to greater success in school, lower dropout rates and less crime down the road. In fact, 90 percent of police chiefs surveyed said adequate funding of crime prevention programs like at-risk programs here at the Hornet Park Community Center, would be the most effective way to reduce crime in the long run. In amiss of all the crime our city has seen, we cannot forget that it costs far less to prevent crime than it does to treat the aftermath." These improvements and investments in area children have been made possible by a HUD grant in the amount of $237,500. Earlier this year, Mayor Dennis Buckley discovered that the grant had been awarded to the city in a previous administration and then forgotten. The grant was made possible to the city by the work of the late Congresswoman Julia Carson.

General Assembly


MERRITT TO INTRODUCE BILL TO EXPAND DNA COLLECTION: Indiana's requirement that DNA samples be taken from convicted felons is recent, Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer said (Rose, Lebanon Reporter). He and other prosecutors want the sampling requirement extended to people who have been arrested, but not yet convicted, much as they are fingerprinted. State Senator Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, told WTHR-TV that he would introduce such a bill when the General Assembly convenes next year. "I think it's time," Merritt told the TV station. "We're taking a fingerprint. We're taking photographs. DNA should be next on felony arrests. Court fees could cover the collection costs, Meyer said. "The obstacles would be cost," Meyer said. Legislation has been presented in the past that would impose sampling-at-arrest DNA collection, he said. Similar legislation will be submitted again, he said, although it likely will be limited to people arrested for felony crimes. "I think," Meyer said, "that's probably because of the cost of doing it to everyone who is arrested



STATEHOUSE: RECOUNT COMMISSION PUBLIC MEETING TODAY - The Indiana State Recount Commission will convene a public meeting at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time today, according to a notice published to the website of the Indiana Secretary of State (Howey Politics Indiana). The meeting will be in the Indiana Statehouse in Room 125.


ECONOMY: IU STUDY SAYS INDIANA COULD OUTPERFORM NATION - A report from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business characterizes the nation's economy as underperforming (Saliby, Indiana Public Media). But, according to the report, Indiana's economy could be in the position to outperform the nation's economy. Growth in the life sciences and auto industries have contributed to the positive trend. Researchers say a lack of government and private investment may have set the national economy back. And while household spending is up and may have helped the economy, it can't be the only factor working to improve growth. Kelley School economist Kyle Anderson worked on the report. He says the country has seen growth in the past eight years since the recession, but not as fast as economists would have wanted.


DEVELOPMENT: 284 NEW JOBS FOR HENDRICKS COUNTY BY 2020 - Hendricks County-based Safe Hiring Solutions LLC and sister company Safe Recruiter Solutions on Thursday announced plans to expand operations in Indiana and hire up to 284 employees in Indiana by the end of 2020 (Indianapolis Business Journal). Safe Hiring, founded in 2004, offers background checks, automated reference checks and visitor management systems through its web-based technology for schools, corporations, hospitals and not-for-profit organizations. Safe Recruiter Solutions, founded this year, works with high school and community college students to train, screen and provide them with practical work experiences and industry certifications to meet workforce demands from local industry leaders. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Safe Hiring Solutions up to $2.57 million in conditional tax credits and up to $180,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans. The incentives hinge on the company's ability to meet hiring goals. The City of Crawfordsville approved additional incentives.


DEVELOPMENT: AUTO SUPPLIER TO OPEN IN WASHINGTON, IN - Japan-based M&C Tech Indiana, an automotive supplier, plans to establish operations in Washington, Indiana, creating up to 70 jobs by 2021 (Martin, Evansville Courier & Press). The company made the announcement Thursday, along with representatives of the state, Washington and Daviess County. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in the summer of 2017. The company plans to hire 25 people at first, growing that number by 45 by 2021. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered M&C Tech Indiana up to $275,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. Daviess County and Washington will consider additional incentives.




FBI: TENSIONS LIKELY TO PERSIST AFTER ELECTION - Deep divisions inside the FBI and the Justice Department over how to handle investigations dealing with Hillary Clinton will probably fester even after Tuesday's presidential election and pose a significant test for James B. Comey's leadership of the nation's chief law enforcement agency (Washington Post). The internal dissension has exploded into public view recently with leaks to reporters about a feud over the Clinton Foundation, an extraordinary airing of the agency's infighting that comes as the bureau deals with an ongoing threat of terror at home and a newly aggressive posture from Russia. Comey, meanwhile, has come under direct fire for his decision to tell Congress that agents were resuming their investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server - a revelation that put him at odds with his Justice Department bosses and influenced the presidential campaign. "He's got to get control of the ship again," said Robert Anderson, a former senior official in the FBI who considers Comey a friend. "There's a lot of tension in the organization, and there's a lot of tension in Congress and the Senate right now, and all that counts toward how much people trust the FBI."


THE FED: RATE INCREASE SEEN AS HIGHLY LIKELY NEXT MONTH - Bond traders are becoming more certain the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month as economists say a U.S. jobs report Friday will show enough improvement to justify such a move (Goodman, Bloomberg). The odds of a rate increase at the Fed's December session rose to 78 percent, the highest level since March, from 69 percent at the end of last week, futures contracts indicate. The employment report will show employers added 173,000 workers in October, versus 156,000 in September, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. "It will authorize the rate hike in December," said Hiroki Shimazu, an economist and strategist at the Japanese unit of MCP Asset Management in Tokyo. "The U.S. economy continues to recover."




IRAQ: FEAR THAT BLOODSHED WILL CONTINUE AFTER MOSUL - As Iraq comes closer to ejecting the Islamic State from its last major stronghold in the country, the question is no longer whether it can succeed (Arango, New York Times). The question is whether it will all have to be done again someday. Even a complete military victory over the Sunni extremists in Mosul will not change the reality that there is still no political agreement in place, or even basic trust, that could reconcile Iraq's Sunni Arab minority with the Shiite-dominated national government. Not only are there fears that another Sunni insurgency could rise after the Islamic State is beaten, but there also seems to be little beyond this immediate military campaign to unite the profoundly differing factions that have temporarily come together to fight the militants - government forces, Sunni tribesmen, Kurds, local Yazidis and Christians, and Iran-backed militias. Each has a different endgame in mind.


LONDON: U.K. COURT RULES PARLIMENT MUST APPROVE BREXIT - The British government's plan for leaving the European Union was thrown into uncertainty on Thursday after the High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the process can begin (Castle & Erlanger, New York Times). The court's decision seemed likely to slow - but not halt - the British withdrawal from the bloc, a step approved by nearly 52 percent of voters in a June referendum. Nevertheless, the court's decision was a significant blow to Prime Minister Theresa May. She had planned to begin the legal steps for leaving the European Union by the end of March, and to prepare for the negotiations over Britain's exit mostly behind closed doors. If the court's ruling is upheld - the government immediately vowed to appeal - that plan would be thrown into disarray, analysts said.


HAITI: HURRICANE SURVIVORS LIVING IN LIMBO - Haiti launched its ill-fated presidential campaign for the fifth time in a year on Thursday, but people in the hurricane-destroyed southwestern town of Jeremie have more pressing concerns, such as staying alive and finding a home (Brice, Reuters). Matthew killed up to 1,000 people and 1.4 million remain in need of humanitarian aid, while tens of thousands are packed into schools and other buildings used as polling centers, raising questions about the viability of the vote set for Nov. 20. The storm has triggered one disaster after another. The area's fertile farms lost their crops, raising fears of famine. Water and sanitation systems were destroyed, leading to a flare-up of cholera that had been all but conquered in the region. Flooding has compounded the damage and caused even more deaths. And social tensions have boiled up over the slow distribution of aid.




CITIES: E.CHICAGO RESIDENTS ALARMED BY PLEA FOR DEMOLITION FUNDS - Residents and community leaders say they are baffled by the city's recent appeal to the federal government for emergency cash to demolish the still-occupied West Calumet Housing Complex (Cross, NWI Times). The city's applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for up to $8 million on Oct. 27 - about a week after residents and clergy leaders met with city officials. There, clergy asked the city to appeal to FEMA to declare the EPA's Superfund site an emergency disaster area as federal officials did for lead-tainted Flint, Michigan. "Our concern is there seems to be tremendous movement around the demolition, but there are still 300 families that don't have housing yet," said Cheryl Rivera, executive director of the Northwest Indiana Federation. Rivera is a member of a community-led strategy group comprised of clergy, health care advocates, environmental activists and residents living in the Superfund site. She said she attended the Oct. 19 meeting with the city. Carla Morgan, city attorney for East Chicago, said this week city officials continue to appeal to state and federal officials for additional resources but haven't been successful. She added, however, state and federal officials have already assisted in a number of ways.


CITIES: AGGRESSIVE PANHANDLING A CONCERN IN INDY - Concerns that aggressive panhandling is on the rise have led to new campaign by Downtown Indy to address the problem (Milz, WTHR-TV). "This has always been a front-burner issue for Downtown Indy... this emphasis is not just about strengthening ordinances or adding some level of enforcement, our focus is on public awareness and education," said Downtown Indy's Bob Schultz. Trent, who sits near the downtown Starbucks shaking his cup and hoping for money, said while "there's a lot more (panhandlers) than before...I've never seen anyone agressive because, you know that gets you in trouble." As part of their new effort, Downtown Indy will be providing businesses with cards to share with customers. The cards define panhandling and spell out what's legal and what's not.


CITIES: ELKHART HOTEL PROJECT GETS $900K FROM REGIONAL CITIES - Another Elkhart project is slated to get Indiana Regional Cities money, bringing the number of projects in line to get funding through the initiative in Elkhart County to six (Quiggle, Elkhart Truth). Hotel Elkhart, a historic building in downtown Elkhart, was tabbed to receive $900,000 by the Regional Development Authority, which distributes funding for Indiana's Regional Cities Initiative, said Regina Emberton, president of Michiana Partnership. The plan is to develop it into a commercial and residential center for downtown Elkhart. The award by the Regional Development Authority still has to go through an approval process with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. In addition, Hotel Elkhart must have 60 percent private and 20 percent public funding set to cover the rest of the project cost before the state will give developers the $900,000.


CITIES: DISASTER LOANS HIT AND MISS FOR SOUTH BEND AREA - It was welcome news in September when the Small Business Administration announced it would start offering low-interest loans to local flood victims (Blasko, South Bend Tribune). A historic rainfall had just flooded parts of St. Joseph and surrounding counties, and most of the victims - home and business owners - were without flood insurance. But two months later, only about half of the loan applications that have been received by the SBA have been approved. As of Tuesday, the deadline to apply for loans for property damage, just 56 of 126 applications for property or economic damage had been approved, according to the SBA. Of the remaining 70 applications, 11 had been withdrawn, 50 had been denied and nine remained pending. Business loans were approved at a higher rate than home loans, but not by much - 60 percent to 52 percent, respectively. The approved loans totaled $2.8 million for the entire six-county region, including $2.7 million for St. Joseph County alone.


COUNTIES: DISAGREEMENT AS VIGO CIB MULLS HIRING MANAGER - In a 5-2 decision, the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board on Thursday voted to have its attorney prepare an agreement with Nations Group to be the board's project management representative (Greninger, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). That agreement would then be brought to the CIB for final approval. The idea, however, brought disagreement from Indiana State University President Daniel Bradley and Greg Goode, executive director of government relations at ISU, both of whom are board members. "I think it is not an expenditure that we need to encumber. The description looks more like an executive director of the CIB. We have got a financial adviser, we have got an architect. We have got a process that will get us a facility management firm. We are going to hire a construction manager. I don't think we have a job that is worth $2 million to do," Bradley said. "And we surely don't have $2 million" to spare, he added. The board is tasked with overseeing renovation of the Hulman Center, construction of the new convention center and hiring management companies to operate the $75 million endeavor.


COUNTIES: MARION HANDING OUT NARCAN TO PUBLIC - Some central Indiana counties have been given Narcan kits to hand out to regular citizens, in an effort to cut down on the opioid epidemic (Glavan, Fox59). The kits, which include a dose of Naloxone (otherwise known as Narcan) and instructions on how to use it, are free after you attend a training and provide your information. The Marion County Public Health Department has 600 kits, the first of which it passed out at IMPD's Southwest District headquarters on Thursday. "We are in the community partnering with organizations to come into their office or agency and provide the training," Debra Buckner, with the Health Department, said.