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My Top 10 for 2012

As tradition dictates, it’s time for me to do my top 10 list of Indiana political stories for the year.  The criteria are the same as always, magnitude and impact. Yes, it’s pretty subjective, but I think you will agree with it overall.  So with that said, here we go, in reverse order.

10.   Indiana passes Right to Work.  Unions freak out. Business community cheers.  We’ll know in April whether union membership was actually impacted when Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out the data.

9.  State Rep. Bob Morris and the Girl Scouts.  Morris gained national attention accusing the Girl Scouts of promoting a “homosexual and lesbian” agenda.  And in the process, managed to sell more Girl Scout cookies than anyone else in the state of Indiana; living proof that sometimes your worst enemies are your best salespeople.

8. James Payne resigns as head of DCS. Critics cheer even though number of child deaths is cut in half under his tenure and agency gets national recognition as a model for the county.

7.  GOP gets Super Majority.  Good maps and quality candidates give Republicans walkout-proof majorities in both chambers.  Republican challenge will be not to overreach.  Democratic challenge will be to actually offer ideas.

6. Mike Pence elected governor.  Not a big shocker, but it would have been had the race gone on about three more weeks and John Gregg actually caught up.  It’s also worth an honorable mention that the Libertarians got more votes in 2012 than in previous years.

5. Major Moves money running out.  Everyone seems to forget this was never supposed to be a source of road funding in perpetuity, just a way to speed up road construction and in turn, speed up economic development.   Now lawmakers are looking at other ways to pay for roads, including an increase in license plate fees.

4.  Daniels ends term as governor.  Always with a bias for action, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels finishes his last term as governor and heads towards the presidency, of Purdue that is.

3.  Mourdock defeats Lugar.  In an upset (short-lived as it was) Richard Mourdock tapped into GOP true-believer discontent and defeated incumbent Richard Lugar.  However, as we find out in the number political story of the year, Mourdock’s victory was pyrrhic, at best.

2.  Ritz defeats Bennett.  Democratic Glenda Ritz beats Republican Tony Bennett in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Thank to disgruntled teachers, the tea party folks who were afraid of Common Core, Richard Mourdock (as we will point out shortly) and a ground game by Bennett that came up short.  Of course the irony of all this is Bennett gets the same job in Florida making at least $200,000 a year.  Ritz ends up with a GOP-dominated Statehouse and a desire to redecorate the office.

1.  Donnelly defeats Mourdock.   Although the polls showed a close race for most of the campaign, it was Mourdock’s now infamous quote, “And I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen.”  In that five-second clip, Joe Donnelly became Indiana’s next U.S. senator and Chris Chocola and the Super PACs that spent millions to defeat Donnelly, went on to star on the biggest loser.


  • http://www.facebook.com/leon.dixon.18 Leon Dixon

    The facts vindicated Rep. Morris. Duh media always lets their own bias rule their “reporting”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AttyAbdul Abdul-Hakim Shabazz

    All Bob did was sell more Girl Scout cookies.

  • Dave

    It’s interesting that terms like “right to work” & “walkout proof majorities” have come to our attention.

    Without knowing much about either; most Hoosiers would’ve assumed / expected a “right to work” & their representatives to show up for work.

  • AWB

    #3 should be rewritten:

    Mourdock upsets Lugar who promptly sticks thumb in mouth, crosses arms, and pouts like a big ole baby, not lifting a finger to help winner of primary. Mourdock runs mouth and loses election, blames others for his runaway mouth issues.

  • stimy

    I’m with ya when your right

  • G Square

    So you think Lugar should have supported a man who he thought was clearly unfit to be our Senator? He should have supported Mourdock just because he was also a Republican? That type of blind support based on identity rather than issues and positions is greatly responsible for creating the inept Congress we currently have. We may have to accept majority votes but that doesn’t mean you have to support the outcomes of those votes.

  • AWB

    > just because he was also a Republican

    Yes. Lugar didn’t like the outcome of a primary held fair and square so he stuck his lip out and tipped over the chess board. His actions also contributed to his constituents (former) being punished. So I guess Lugar’s commitment and support to Indiana residents only went so far as he was in office.