Here’s the latest gossip, rumor and innuendo coming from the Capitol. Do with it what you will…
There’s a lot of speculation about what happened in the impromptu meeting Wednesday afternoon between House Speaker Brian Bosma and Democratic leader Pat Bauer. Bauer was in town for a “personnel issue” that involved the four legislative leaders and while he was here he asked Bosma if they could meet. The topic of discussion was the bill offered by State Representative Bill Davis on project labor agreements and local government construction projects. In the hour-long meeting Bauer reportedly sought some “clarification” on issues regarding the bill. The belief is that absentee Democrats are looking any minor concession they can get in order to declare victory and return back to Indiana. The walkout is entering into its 32nd day.
The Indiana State Senate and Libertarian Party of Indiana (LPIN) are investigating an e-mail they say is a hoax regarding correspondence that alleges communication between State Senator Connie Lawson and a member of the LPIN regarding the marriage amendment. The e-mail that has Lawson’s name attached to it threatened the Libertarians if they don’t back off their public opposition to the amendment. Senate President Pro Tem David Long called the e-mail a fake and is doing an investigation. State Police may be brought in. Libertarians say they tried to bring the e-mail to the Republicans attention a while back, but they had no luck until they went public with their complaint. A late news release by the LPIN to members said the e-mail was a hoax and they said both they and Senator Lawson are victims. A similar hoax e-mail went out a couple weeks ago involving the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Bennett.
Don’t be surprised if you see an ethics complaint filed against the Indiana Democratic Party over its covering of the costs for absentee Democrats in Illinois. There’s a question as to whether contributions to the Party to pay for the hotel rooms is coming from any lobbyists of political action committees which would run afoul of state law. Frankly, I’m surprised Indiana Democrats haven’t disclosed their list of donors to put this all to bed, especially with the noise they’ve been making lately about indicted financier Tim Durham. And I’m even more surprised that Common Cause of Indiana hasn’t put out a release calling for more transparency and openness about the donors.
And before I forget, come join me tonight for Cocktails and Conversation and Dunaways at 351 S. East. It’s from 5-8. Our guests will House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Espich and House Floor Leader Bill Friend with the latest on what’s been going on under the Capitol Dome.