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And the Nominees Are…

Today is the second to last day of the Indiana General Assembly.  We’re doing the morning show love from the Statehouse talking to various newsmakers so I figured I’d so something a little different today.  I have this thing for the Academy Awards so I figured I’d do the same thing and let you offer up your nominees for the following categories.

  • Best Politician
  • Best House Lawmaker
  • Best Senate Lawmaker
  • Best Legislation
  • Best House Bill
  • Best Senate Bill
  • Worst Politician
  • Worst Legislation
  • Worst House Lawmaker
  • Worst Senate Lawmaker
  • Worst House Bill
  • Worst Senate Bill
  • Best Political Move
  • Worst Political Move
  • Biggest Special Interest Winner
  • Biggest Special Interest Loser
  • Biggest Unfinished Piece of Legislation

You don’t have to fill out all the categories, obviously.  But feel free to pick and choose.  Have at it.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    Worst Political Move: Democrats abandoning their duty to serve Indiana in the state assembly for five weeks.

    Worst Legislation: Republicans stripping Planned Parenthood funding.

  • Pogden297

    Worst Political Move would have to be the pro-smoking ban people’s position that they had to have 100% of what they wanted or nothing at all. Dumbest political strategy ever.

    While I certainly liked the bill, I don’t know why we needed a bill to not send govenrment contracts to Planned Parenthood. That should have been a no brainer for a pro-life Republican Governor. For PP it has always been about the green. Now that PP’s monopoly on family planning is gone, you’ll see that plenty of other groups will step up.

  • cynical sam

    Biggest Loser: Tie; Hoosiers/Liberty

    Biggest Avoided Lesgislation: Nullification

    Biggest Winners: Lobbiests (cheap politicians)

  • Nick

    Great idea Abdul.

    Here is something for your blogger’s to make informed comments.

    Governors 2011 Bill Watch
    http://www.in.gov/gov/billwatch.htm

  • Dave

    Nationally, it’s been reported that PP has $363M, annually, in “unaccounted for funds.” !?! Is public funding for PP, Constitutionally reconciled?

  • Thundermutt

    Worst politician: Tie, Pat Bauer and Mike Delph (fossil Democrat and Crazy Republican).

    Worst legislation: Tie, immigration bill and abortion restrictions/PP de-funding.

    When did Indiana become part of Oklahoma?

  • YoungRepub2024

    ?Best Politician: Speaker Brian Bosma, handled the walkout well but was also able to push through an ambitious agenda while holding together a large caucus.
    ?Best House Lawmaker: Rep. Jeff Espic, creating a balanced budget in these economic times is an uneviable task.
    ?Best Senate Lawmaker: Sen. Bev Gard, came up with an energy plan for Indiana’s future in the shadows of the Japan Nuclear accident. Tough work.
    ?Best Legislation: HB 1002, could have been even better if Senate hadn’t watered it down.
    ?Best House Bill: HB 1093, Authored by Rep. Bob Cherry, would have allowed the sale of Indiana Beer at the State Fair in a Beergarden. Unfortunatly, never got a committee hearing.
    ?Best Senate Bill: SB 1, finally the people grading kids will started getting graded too. Justice!
    ?Worst Politician: Rep. Ron Bacon, you aren’t winning any friends by flying in the face of your caucus. Seems like you were a loose cannon on these education reforms and voting to not piss off the ISTA. The Gov gets you elected and then you vote agaisnt his education reforms for personal gain. Why would you piss off the next Republican nominee for Prez?
    ?Worst Legislation: HJR 6, massive waste of time and tough PR for Repubs.
    ?Worst House Lawmaker: Rep. John Day…aka Skeletor. Seriously how does this guy campaign and keep getting re-elected?
    ?Worst Senate Lawmaker: Sen. Mike Delph. He take marching orders from the Arizona legislature and its embarassing for hoosiers and Republicans.
    ?Worst House Bill: Rep. Bruce Borders, bill outlawing sharia law. Really Elvis? Really?
    ?Worst Senate Bill: SB 590, the House saved this bill by putting pressure on employers instead of police. Delph used wrong immigration model. He should have used Utah instead of Arizona. This bill was all politics. Delph was pandering to tea partiers and making us all look like bigots in the meantime.
    ?Best Political Move: Rep. Eric Koch getting maps passed, dooming Dems to a minority for a forseable future.
    ?Worst Political Move: Bauer not coming back after RTW was dead after the the first day of the walkout.
    ?Biggest Special Interest Winner: School Choice, I didn’t know if I could put children here so i put the group that helped them the most.
    ?Biggest Special Interest Loser: Teacher’s Union, reprocussion for years of partisanship and bankrolling the IN dem party.
    ?Biggest Unfinished Piece of Legislation: 1018, Smoking Ban, the fact the pro-smoking ban intrest groups killed this bill screams irony.

  • Pogden297

    Young Repub has some excellent nominees.

  • Nick

    Agree with YoungRepub2024,

    Worst Legislation: Mike Delph’s SB590 on immigration.

    Just waiting for a delusional Senator Delph to introduce a bill to declare war on a couple foreign countries and tell everyone he is in charge.

  • The Fox

    Worst House Lawmaker: P. Eric Turner. From his sponsorship of the gay marriage constitutional ban to the abortion/PP bill. In his 20+ years he’s been nothing more than an advocate for religious issues and issues that benefit him financially. He represents a part of the State that has record high unemployment (Grant Co.), yet continues to push these nonsensical issues. Also, don’t forget his refusal to recuse himself from a committee vote that directly affected his family’s business…at the same time his daughter was lobbying on behalf of the bill in front of the committee. It was only until the Star ran an article on the charade that the committee chair forcefully asked Turner to recuse himself.

  • GoldenTee1

    Best Politician: The Speaker
    Best House Lawmaker: Rep. Koch
    Best Legislation: The Budget
    Best House Bill: HB 1601- Maps (Koch)- GOP was able to solidify a majority for many years to come at the same time that they were able to provide statistic after statistic on how much better these maps will be than current maps…then have Dems thank them for their negotiations during committee.
    Best Senate Bill: SB 78- Alcohol ID Law (Merritt)
    Worst Politician: Jeb Bardon- Why bow out so early to V. Summers? Indiana Dems need some moderate thinking members left.
    Worst Legislation: HJR-6. This is already state law- why look for more reasons to have moderates abandon the GOP?
    Worst House Lawmaker: Rep. VanDenburgh- Never heard true intelligence from her at the microphone. Battles at least spoke intelligently and gave intriguing things to think about as a teacher opposed to education reform.
    Worst Senate Lawmaker: Sen. Becker- Using a term from YoungRepub2024- “Loose Cannon”.
    Worst House Bill: HB1078- Application of Foreign Law (Noe) Do we really need a law that states we do not recognize law from foreign nations…completely bafling.
    Worst Senate Bill: SB114- Birther Bill (Delph)- C’mon, really?
    Best Political Move: Stemler refusing to walk out. He’ll more than likely keep his position as a committee chair, see his own legislation go through the House in the future…especially if he joins the Republican Caucus (highly unlikely at best, I know)!
    Worst Political Move: The Walkout- Dems realized this after unpublished internal polling and pulished polling from GOP outlets.
    Biggest Special Interest Winenr- Children- Yes, YoungRepub2024, you can use this as a special interest group.
    Biggest Special Interest Loser: Teacher’s Union/Other Organized Labor- The 25,000 person protest that yielded under 8,000 (roughly half of which were from other states) was further evidence to everyone involved that the union’s “We are Indiana” tagline simply doesn’t fit our state in reality.
    Biggest Unfinished Piece of Legislation: Local Government Reform- To be continued…January 2012.

  • cynical sam

    When the recent winds carried all their top-soil here and dropped it all over my car.

  • geechie

    Best political move: Democrats initial walkout
    Worst political move: Democrats extended walkout

  • pascal

    Intellectually sterile-the D’s did not produce a single fruitful idea. Today’s Star has a compilation of what Marion County wannabe’s think are “the issues”. The Legislative D’s are disconnected from those and from reality.

  • Anonymous

    Worst legislation (or gubernatorial mandate):

    All day kindergarten.

    Best legislation

  • Think Again

    Some excellent choices. You might want to re-think Sen. Gard. Read all of her “energy bill.” It’s written for, if not BY, utilities.

    Your HJR6 Nomination is spot-on. That will bite them in the ass. Times are changing. On this issue, our legislature is stuck in 1968. It’s also known as The Eric Miller Full Employment Act. Pandering is profitable.

    Rep. Espich is a tough choice, too. He needs to go.

    Biggest Loser: Us, for not getting term limits.

    Worst House Lawmaker: Eric Turner. A walking talking screeching hateful man. I’d say Bauer, too, but he makes everyone’s list. See “term limits” above.

    The biggest Special Interest Winner is the utlilties. Hands down. Again. Less than five months after a huge scandal at Duke Power, we’ve got the same antique oversight structure. It is a system controlled by and for the utilities. The best money can buy, witih a very precious commodity. Check the “lobbyist expense reports” after the session. Utilities will be in the top three, again. I put “expense reports” in quotes because the legislature itself oversees those reports, and the reporting forms are a complete joke. One of Americia’s worst.

    I’m thrilled someone of your political stripe dislikes Delph. What an asshat. In return, I offer up Sen.Lind Hume, the last of the two Hume dimwit brothers…please, southern Indiana, get rid of this guy. Again, see “term limits” above.

    Another potential loser: the governor. He could balk on HJR6, because it doesn’t need his signature. But the PP bill, which he will no doubt sign, isn’t up his alley. He doesn’t agree with it. The far-right in each GOP caucus shoved it to him…it couldn’ve waited another year. His signature will keep presidential hopes alive for a little while longer. Sad.

  • Think Again

    Some excellent choices. You might want to re-think Sen. Gard. Read all of her “energy bill.” It’s written for, if not BY, utilities.

    Your HJR6 Nomination is spot-on. That will bite them in the ass. Times are changing. On this issue, our legislature is stuck in 1968. It’s also known as The Eric Miller Full Employment Act. Pandering is profitable.

    Rep. Espich is a tough choice, too. He needs to go.

    Biggest Loser: Us, for not getting term limits.

    Worst House Lawmaker: Eric Turner. A walking talking screeching hateful man. I’d say Bauer, too, but he makes everyone’s list. See “term limits” above.

    The biggest Special Interest Winner is the utlilties. Hands down. Again. Less than five months after a huge scandal at Duke Power, we’ve got the same antique oversight structure. It is a system controlled by and for the utilities. The best money can buy, witih a very precious commodity. Check the “lobbyist expense reports” after the session. Utilities will be in the top three, again. I put “expense reports” in quotes because the legislature itself oversees those reports, and the reporting forms are a complete joke. One of Americia’s worst.

    I’m thrilled someone of your political stripe dislikes Delph. What an asshat. In return, I offer up Sen.Lind Hume, the last of the two Hume dimwit brothers…please, southern Indiana, get rid of this guy. Again, see “term limits” above.

    Another potential loser: the governor. He could balk on HJR6, because it doesn’t need his signature. But the PP bill, which he will no doubt sign, isn’t up his alley. He doesn’t agree with it. The far-right in each GOP caucus shoved it to him…it couldn’ve waited another year. His signature will keep presidential hopes alive for a little while longer. Sad.

  • Think Again

    I forgot the nursing home connection. He’s carrying on in the fine Republican oversight tradition of former Sen. Miller, whose family owned many nursing homes, and who votoed on massive deregulation several times.

    Segway to Alfred E. Newmann pic: “Who, Me?”

  • Think Again

    I forgot the nursing home connection. He’s carrying on in the fine Republican oversight tradition of former Sen. Miller, whose family owned many nursing homes, and who votoed on massive deregulation several times.

    Segway to Alfred E. Newmann pic: “Who, Me?”

  • Think Again

    AMEN on gassing the trustees.

    LMAO at anything related to Cindy Noe. Ask around. That’s the same reaction she gets from almost everyone.

  • Think Again

    On FDK, you’re completely wrong.

    Kudos to the late Gov. O’Bannon.

  • YoungRepub2024

    I wasn’t saying that utilities didn’t have a big role in SB 251, I am sure they did. I think it is also important to recognize the uncertainty those companies face with this Presidential Administration.

    I don’t don’t think HJR6 will hurt. A majority of Hooisers agree with the amendment and I would be very surprised if it didn’t pass.

    I think Rep. Espich has had a long career in the legislature and if he chooses, going out as Ways and Means chairman on a balanced budget isn’t so bad.

    We have term limits. Its called elections. Seriously. There is no excuse for a lazy electorate. If you really care about politics get involved and get your neighbors involved.

    Rep. Turner is not a hateful man. He has a strong moral compass heavily influenced by his religion. His model as a republican is a dying one. Republicans will shift toward more fiscal policy.

    I don’t think utilities are big winners. Are they winners? yes. But again they are heavily influenced by what happens on the national level. You are aware there was big reforms to lobbying laws last session, right?

    Delph is a political panderer of the worst kind. Its unfortunate that most people can’t see through his actions to see he is trying to turn all the attention into what I am sure would be a failed US Senate race.

    I completely disagree on HB 1210 (Planned Parenthood). I think it is a huge sign of support to the hardcore social republicans. With his signature, Indiana would be the most pro-life state in the Union and will have defunded Planned Parenthood (in Indiana). That is due for some major kudos from the far right, but at the same time he can play it as being fiscally responsible to moderates. I mean lets be honest, its not like planned parenthood is going to leave Indiana. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a huge fundraising month because of all this attention.

  • Dave

    When Rep Espich, declares that taxpayers are “…going to have to pay more taxes…,” as he did on this morning’s show; what’s the basis for that notion? Upon what great revelation or truth, is that idea based?

  • Thundermutt

    There are more moderates/independents/middle of the roaders than there are hardcore social (i.e. Crazy) Republicans.

    2010 wasn’t a mandate for Biblical Fundamentalist Rule, it was a backlash against the Congressional Democrats.

  • Thundermutt

    There are more moderates/independents/middle of the roaders than there are hardcore social (i.e. Crazy) Republicans.

    2010 wasn’t a mandate for Biblical Fundamentalist Rule, it was a backlash against the Congressional Democrats.

  • Thundermutt

    Addendum: My son went to Afghanistan to fight against a terrorist theocracy. Seems odd that people opposing Sharia law want to codify the Christian Bible as State Law.

  • YoungRepub2024

    I know there are more monderates and Mitch appeals to them because of his fiscal policies. I was just saying that passing this bill gives indication to the social base (which he can’t win the primary without) that he is still pro-life and doesn’t think the government should fund abortion providers. If those providers continue to operate independently of the government, so be it.

    You are confusing legislating on social issues and basing a government around a religious work. Two very different things.

  • YoungRepub2024

    You are misquoting him. He was talking about the increased cost of education. He was saying that educating a child costs alot more than it did in the 1950s (computers?) and because of that having an educated population costs the taxpayers more nowadays. He said nothing of raising taxes and his budget reflects that.

  • cynical sam

    When, exactly, is this “educated population” going to arrive. 2025?

  • Scooter

    * Best Politician – One that’s no longer in office

  • cynical sam

    Methinks that would be a Former Politician. He/she has already wreaked their havoc on the nation/state. The Best Politician is the one still swinging from the lamp post.

  • Rico

    Let’s not restrict abortions at all then, Mutt. Someone should have aborted you!

  • Black Bart

    You make a powerful argument. How could I ever refute that?

  • Black Bart

    Nominees for Best Talk-Show Host slash blogger are . . .

  • Dave

    ‘Tis more of a simple question. Education can’t be said to “cost more these days,” as a matter of qualified statement. That sentiment is an unqualified excuse. America’s founders were educated people who didn’t attend “public schools.”

    Government’s proven, that it can’t define education; a dynamic of open architecture, which would at least consider: government’s limited role or use as a blunt instrument (think hammer), inflation adjusted dollars for comparing its futility (home & private school results), and cost reduction efficiency gains of innovations such as computers (Kindle, Nook, bye-bye heavy book), etc.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    If you want to subsidize long-term benefits for non-citizens in our country illegally, no problem.

    However, shouldn’t we be abandoning memberships, dues-paying, and obligatory “donations” to places like country clubs, Girl Scout troops, or the downtown Zoo while we’re at it?

    Everybody should have everything, right? And, we can afford it, right? Our only problem is we’re not taxing enough, right?

    Busting GE’s chops, or the oil companies who don’t seem to care a rat’s ass about symbolism or timing is understandable. Not being thrilled with 45% of America who pay zero income taxes or those entering illegally to dilute the evaporating benefits of citizenry is another.

  • Think Again

    You had me til the last sentence. You couldn’t be more wrong given this session’s social agenda. It was Biblically-driven, for God’s sake. Pity anyone not Christian.

    Utilities need protection from “this Administration?” Are you a utility executive? Damn. For over four decades, the Indiana utility regulatory process has been a lapdog for the industry. Without exception. And it just got worse.

    If the feds make our utilities finally start cleaning up their smokestacks, which has been federal law since the first Clean Air Act, then it’s 20 years past-due. We belch millions of tons of pollutants into the air annually, which end up wherever the jetstream takes it.

    This would be the federal equivalent of “he who dealt it smelt it.” We’re probably all OK with passing gas in our own home. Do it in your in-laws’ home and try to deny you did it.

  • Think Again

    You had me til the last sentence. You couldn’t be more wrong given this session’s social agenda. It was Biblically-driven, for God’s sake. Pity anyone not Christian.

    Utilities need protection from “this Administration?” Are you a utility executive? Damn. For over four decades, the Indiana utility regulatory process has been a lapdog for the industry. Without exception. And it just got worse.

    If the feds make our utilities finally start cleaning up their smokestacks, which has been federal law since the first Clean Air Act, then it’s 20 years past-due. We belch millions of tons of pollutants into the air annually, which end up wherever the jetstream takes it.

    This would be the federal equivalent of “he who dealt it smelt it.” We’re probably all OK with passing gas in our own home. Do it in your in-laws’ home and try to deny you did it.

  • Think Again

    Completely classless: Bosma, Long and Daniels trumpeting “found money” to fund FDK, with not one word of recognition to O’Bannon. Mitch’s actions in that regard really surprised me–I’ve heard him praise O’Bannon on this issue multiple times.

  • Think Again

    Completely classless: Bosma, Long and Daniels trumpeting “found money” to fund FDK, with not one word of recognition to O’Bannon. Mitch’s actions in that regard really surprised me–I’ve heard him praise O’Bannon on this issue multiple times.

  • Think Again

    Taxpayer: EVERYone who works and gets a w-2, has taxes withheld weekly, by law.

    If those individuals fall under the taxable threshold, they pay no more taxes on April 15 for the prior year, and/or they get a REFUND.

    But for months, up to a year or more, the government had their money.

    I’d wager that category is at least a fifth of the citizenry–given the dominance of min-wage jobs.

    So, they pay no taxes by your definition above.

    But they certainly do loan all levels of government, substantial amounts of money.

    So, they’re stakeholders, at the very least.

    And, ponder this:

    The US Dept. of Commerce estimated last year, that over 50% of the illegals working in this country, have fictitious names and SS numbers. Their taxes are withheld and paid into a big bucket. Which gets attached to an invalid “taxpayer.” Tons of money that benefits the Treasury, SS, local government–and not assigned to any valid taxpayer.

    It’s the government’s version of an underground economy. Collectively, this is not a small pot of gold.

    It helps to keep that in mind when we rail on “those who pay no taxes.”

  • Thundermutt

    I am not confused at all. When legislation on “social issues” embeds one particular strain of Christianity repeatedly in State Law, it looks a lot like theocracy.

    Positions favoring spending on public welfare, public health, and Medicaid are every bit as New Testament based as anything the Religious Right put up this year.

  • Thundermutt

    Dave, America’s founders (at least those who established the US Government) were rich white men educated privately. More than a few were cared for by African-American slaves who weren’t permitted to read anything. That’s not the place to look for historical guidance on “education”.

    My ancestors who homesteaded in Ohio two hundred years ago were every bit “founders”: they and succeeding immigrants cleared and farmed land, built houses, shops, towns, and factories. They and their neighbors established public schools; this scene was repeated wherever European-Americans settled on this Continent. They are the people who built this country.

    Those people embedded universal public education in the state constitutions of every state in the Union. With good reason.

  • Thundermutt

    Dave, America’s founders (at least those who established the US Government) were rich white men educated privately. More than a few were cared for by African-American slaves who weren’t permitted to read anything. That’s not the place to look for historical guidance on “education”.

    My ancestors who homesteaded in Ohio two hundred years ago were every bit “founders”: they and succeeding immigrants cleared and farmed land, built houses, shops, towns, and factories. They and their neighbors established public schools; this scene was repeated wherever European-Americans settled on this Continent. They are the people who built this country.

    Those people embedded universal public education in the state constitutions of every state in the Union. With good reason.

  • Melyssa

    “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.”

  • Taxpayer 834512

    Which way do we stop spending money that we don’t have? My preference is for hard choices now, instead of harder and fewer choices later. While you, me, and many others devote time and money to help those in need, we still have limits. We don’t drive all over downtown at night, getting out to ask if anybody needs a ride, or fling open our front door at dinner time to see if anyone passing by would like to eat.
    We lose this perspective in the anonynimity of collective tax revenue. Based on our accustomed affluence, because we thought we could, we elected politicians for years of both parties who assured us we don’t need “shrunken” government. The result is we’re borrowing 4-5 billion per day, while still maintaining offshore tax shelters, half of American births largely subsidized and out-of-wedlock, all while racking-up trillions in debt, deficit, and financial obligations.
    We allow cons like Enron and Bernie Madoff to flourish under an SEC that hasn’t found much wrong beyond Martha Stewart. In a kind of warped shame or guilt, we reciprocally look the other way in paying for around a third of America that lives off the government, and nearly half the U.S. not paying any net income tax.
    I’ve enjoyed the quasi-socialism of collective cooperation when there’s common need. Initial participation in food and recycling co-ops, and even working with people of differing politics for the purpose of educational fundraising has been fun. Yet, most of these collective endeavors disappear, similar to the longevity of “honor” snacks in business offices. It’s difficult to keep everybody on the same page behaviorally.
    The cumulative result is that America’s economic system is doomed if it is not a “closed” one. Consistent, long-term, responsible behavior by adults is a myth. If we want to face reality and try to keep the government we have, it requires policing irresponsibility on both ends, financial corruption as much as entitlements means-testing. Both sides of the coin.
    If those who entered our country illegally can be assimilated into citizenship in a method fair to those who entered legally, if their fiscal contributions are going to be as transparent and measureable as every other taxpayer, if our borders are to be as secure as the car and front doors we think we need to have closed- then I think we have a shot at fixing illegal immigration.
    Until then, I’ll gladly take Daniels diluted solution, presuming he actually signs the thing. It could well still die again before implementation. Calling this legislation too “hateful” is to use a very, very convenient label when your situation benefits from cheap labor, potential votes, headcount, and generally more “traffic” in funding or power for your arena of interest.
    Average taxpaying citizens have none of that going for them. Whether crooks or nanny-state, we’re the equal opportunity pocketbook for both.