The saga that is Indiana’s political scene continues to play itself out. Here’s today’s assessment of events…
House Democrats are entering into their fourth week of self-imposed exile. A number of us in the media think they will return this week, although it won’t be Tuesday. There are some positive signs; more talks on “procedural” issues between House Speaker Brian Bosma and Democratic Leader Pat Bauer. A bill that would alter how project labor agreements are done in Indiana is being amended to allow for more referendums on some measures and the Republicans are amending their school voucher bill which would reduce the number of students eligible to take advantage of the program. We’ll see if that’s enough to get them back or at least move to Danville. Illinois, not Indiana.
There’s more turmoil at the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. Spokesman Jason Thomas has become the second key staffer to exit in a matter of days. Thomas resigned today. Chief of Staff Sean Keefer resigned Monday. And here’s the big kicker, blogger Paul Ogden had an interview around noon today to fill Keefer’s vacancy. (Insert your own jokes here).
Dr. Tony Bennett is going on the offensive. A fake memo, purported to be from the Department of Education has been circulating with false information regarding school reform. The State is investigating. But then again, when someone compromises the integrity of an I-STEP exam because they think a question favors school vouchers, is anyone really surprised?
And I really need to make amends with Democratic Mayoral Candidate Melina Kennedy so I can get on her news release media list. Today, she put out a release calling for tougher controls on sales at gun shows. She also wants the city to sign an on-line petition against illegal guns, which is something on four Mayors in Indiana have done in the past and something her former boss Bart Peterson wouldn’t even do. She also says she’s open to the idea of amnesty. I thought after proposing gang amnesty when she ran for prosecutor in 2006 would have been lesson enough. Oh well, this is why I’m not on the media list, nor do I get my e-mails or phone calls returned.
And I know Brandon Johnson hasn’t had the best of weeks lately, but I think he and his family might want to get a new “spiritual advisor”. The famous, or should I say infamous, Mmoja Ajabu has been counseling the family. I wonder if they’re aware that Ajabu has advocating using deadly force against police officers on his Internet radio program and he recently threatened to kill a fellow member of the clergy. You might say that’s just Ajabu being Ajabu, but the clergyman took it so seriously that his church is now providing him and his family with temporary security. I can’t make this stuff up.