The only thing better than getting more than 900 birthday wishes (Facebook, Twitter, e-mails, text messages, phones calls) is the political gossip, rumor and innuendo that comes along with it. So without further delay, here we go…
- Governor Mitch Daniels’ mood was described to me Monday as “majorly bummed” because he is not running for President. Daniels told supporters he was not running because of family concerns. Daniels really wanted to run, but he gave his wife and daughters veto power over that decision. The Governor will chair the state Education Roundtable this morning. I expect this one to be more attended by media than any in recent memory.
- The race for the Republican Primary in the U.S. Senate is getting interesting. State Treasurer Richard Mourdock put out a news release today touting a support of the majority of the State Party committee. However, a Dick Lugar supporter called me Monday night saying most of those members are either retiring this year or face challengers in next month’s committee elections and may not be back, so Mourdock only has a third of the support he says he has. This race gets more interesting everyday.
- Indiana’s Congressional races continue to shape up. John McGoff plans to announce tomorrow on my morning radio program that he’s going to take on Dan Burton in the new 5th Congressional District. McGoff has challenged Burton twice in the past. In addition, former State Representative Luke Messer will formally announce his candidacy for the new 6th Congressional District today. Messer also has a major fundraiser planned for Wednesday with a lot of heavy hitters.
- Speaking of races, there’s reportedly some grumbling in Marion County Democratic circles that Melina Kennedy’s attacks on Republican Greg Ballard may backfire. The discussion centers around the fact that unemployment grew 70% in Indianapolis from 2000-2005 when Kennedy worked on economic development and job creation for the Peterson administration. Kennedy has attacked Ballard on his job record, claiming the city has lost 35,000 jobs since Ballard took office.
- Also, the new talk is Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy is giving up on the Mayor’s race in Beech Grove and instead focusing his attention on Lawrence. Treacy is reportedly recruiting volunteers to help Democratic Mayoral candidate Dean Jessup defeat Republican Paul Ricketts. The irony of all that is Jessup was part of the group “Democrats for Ricketts” in 2007. He even signed a petition supporting Ricketts for Mayor. Treacy also allegedly has promised support to Libertarian candidate Ed Coleman in his City-Council race against Jack Sandlin.
- The family of Brandon Johnson can’t seem to stay out of the news. Brandon’s older brother and cousin were shot Monday night at 21st and Post Road. I’m told the shooting was the result of gang violence. Brandon’s brother and cousin are reported to be members of the Pop It Off Boys gang. My sources all tell me the Pop It Boys have been embolden lately because some members of the community (Baptist Ministers Alliance) have been coming to Brandon and his family’s defense against the police. Rival gangs reportedly haven’t been too thrilled about that and this could escalate some serious gang warfare this summer. That won’t be good for anybody.
- If Franklin Township School officials thought they had problems before, they haven’t seen anything yet. A number of parents are not happy with proposed District plans to close either Wannamaker or Acton schools. I’m told if the District does close the schools a number of parents will create a charter school out of one of them. Take their children out of Franklin schools and put them in the charter school. State law makes it easier for charters to acquire property from traditional schools. In addition, the schools are close to the interstate so it could draw students from Franklin, Center and Warren Townships, as well as Shelby and Hancock counties.
That’s all for now.