There’s nothing like taking a few days off to rest and recharge. Of course, I did none of that, I spent most of the time getting caught up on all my other jobs. But apparently quite a few news event occurred while I was out. We all know what happened, so here’s my take on recent events.
Mike Pence finally unveiled what some called the worst kept secret in politics, that he’s running for Governor. I did manage to hear the call while I was on the road. Democrats tried to make a big deal that he announced from Washington and not Indiana. With a more formal announcement coming next month from Columbus, I honestly don’t think anyone will care. The bigger issue though is Pence, who is a great public speaker, seemed very mechanical in his delivery and a little too scripted. One of Pence’s big pluses is his oratory and if his handlers are going to start handicapping his public speaking, it could make his race more difficult than it needs to be. Also look for former State Representative Luke Messer and former U.S. Senate candidate Don Bates, Jr as possible contenders for Pence’s seat.
Speaking of running the AP is reporting that Joe Donnelly will run for the U.S. Senate. Donnelly believes State Treasurer Richard Mourdock will beat incumbent Dick Lugar which will make Republicans more vulnerable to a challenge next year. Mourdock’s camp has been winning straw polls at some county Lincoln Day Dinners, however any astute political observer knows to take those things with a high-blood pressure raising grain of salt.
And speaking of elections, I think President Barack Obama might have inadvertently given an endorsement Mayor Greg Ballard in this year’s Mayor’s race. During his visit to the Allison transmission plant on the west side, Obama said the Mayor was doing a “great job”. That same day Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy put out a statement calling the Mayor visionless. So is Ed calling the President a liar?
And speaking of President, we may have more insight this week as to whether Mitch Daniels will seek the highest office in the land? This Thursday is the Indiana GOP state dinner and the Governor’s wife Cheri Daniels is the keynote speaker. If he decides not to run, I know some people who like to see him run for office next door. While I was out of state Thursday having dinner with some high-ranking political friends in Illinois, their jaws dropped to the floor when I told them Indiana’s biggest budget problem was what to do when the state surplus hits more than 10 percent what’s in the bank; give it back to the taxpayers or shore up pension funds? I said the state’s doing both. They asked if Daniels could move across the border and run for Illinois Governor in 2014.
Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White returned to the news this past week with the release of the report done by former SOS Todd Rokita on whether White committed voter fraud. See, I can break the monotony, it just took a while. The report said while White did vote in the wrong place, the evidence was inconclusive as to show intent to commit fraud. White didn’t testify and no witnesses were called. A new hearing of the recount commission is scheduled in June. The only way this entire matter may be resolved is that White actually takes the stand, of course with a pending criminal case, that may not happen. I’ve embedded the relevant documents with my slideshare account which you can read off to the right.
And finally, this little tidbit. If the Indiana Tea Party movement is going to unseat Dick Lugar they might want to try winning municipal primaries. Brian Boyer, the wife of tea party leader Monica Boyer lost a primary for a Warsaw city council seat 65-35%; 135 votes to 70 votes. This apparently isn’t the family’s first political loss, Monica Boyer reportedly ran for school board last year and lost that race as well. I guess if you can’t win the little ones, go for the big ones.
And best wishes for a speedy recovery for Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry who is having open heart surgery. Although in good shape, Curry has a family history of heart trouble. Get well soon.
It’s nice to be back.