February 16, 2017 4:04 PM
You may not have heard about it in the news, but democracy lost a round at the Statehouse yesterday afternoon.
Hundreds of Hoosiers packed the fourth floor of our capitol to attend the Indiana House Elections and Apportionment committee hearing, where a bill to end partisan gerrymandering was under consideration.
I was one of them, and I found myself surrounded by optimistic citizen activists. For many of them, this was the first hearing they had ever attended....
February 19, 2017 5:21 PM
The last time I saw Michael Gradison, I was helping him struggle up the steps of the City-County Building to join a demonstration on behalf of unionization for hotel workers making poverty wages.
The last time I saw Joe Zelenka, I was trying and failing to lift him into bed in a nursing home room bedecked with memorabilia of his humanitarian work and his large, close family.
Michael died Feb. 12 after fighting through pain from multiple...
February 17, 2017 8:06 PM
One of Mike Pence’s finer moments as governor was his 2015 veto of a bill that would have allowed public agencies to charge a search fee for public records requests. Now that Pence has gone on to bigger things, the bill is back. (Thanks, Trump!)
House Bill 1523 passed the Indiana House this week by a vote of 62-25, and the Senate almost certainly will pass it as well. So the question is what new Gov....
February 19, 2017 10:36 AM
I was listening a debate recently between two Indiana lawmakers and the subject came up regarding “working families”. One said the other’s policies would hurt working families in Indiana. I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. One political party says the other political party’s policies are bad for “working families.” And it’s not just the state level, but “working families” seem to get mentioned a lot by politicians these days.
February 9, 2017 4:06 PM
January of last year I wrote a column to decry the oft-used liberal pejorative of "racist" towards anyone that disagrees with them. In that column, I also stated that I was not, and never would be a Trump supporter, but calling him a racist was unfair because it was untrue. Later that year, on November 8th, 2016 I proudly cast a vote for the Republican ticket of Donald Trump for President and Mike Pence for...
February 18, 2017 12:02 PM
One of the key qualities I seek in any elected official is leadership. After seeing our new Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb speak before a crowd in Fishers on February 10th, I walked away feeling I had just listened to the words of a true leader.
Governor Holcomb fielded questions in a packed house at Conner Prairie from WTHR Statehouse Reporter Kevin Rader and from the audience of the combined Chambers of Commerce in Hamilton County.
February 14, 2017 11:42 AM
I was in Target the other day picking up a Valentine’s Day card for my wife. I grabbed a card and looked out the outside which read “I found the perfect woman.” I opened it expecting it to read "and you found the perfect man", but it didn't. When I opened it up it said, “And so did you.”
I was a little confused for a second until I...
February 16, 2017 3:40 PM
Yesterday's meeting of the House Elections Committee was as an affront to the public and the legislative process. Several hundred Hoosiers showed up on a weekday, with 24 hours notice given. They were there to show their support for HB1014, a bill that would create a citizens redistricting commission to take over the responsibility for drawing Congressional and state legislative districts. I am unaware of another bill that has attracted such a large crowd of...
February 13, 2017 9:13 AM
This past weekend I did an interview with a local community activist who has an Internet based television show. We taped on Saturday at a studio at 38th and High School Road. It was in a strip mall that was full of places that most of us would likely never go. The inside was half finished, there were bars protecting shops, like I said, it was a likely a place where most of...
February 26, 2017 3:31 PM
The recent flare-up between the White House Press Office and reporters covering the president is more than just a conflict between the media and the Trump Administration. It is an opportunity for the media to start covering the Trump White House in a smarter way. However, I am not optimistic.
Why did Press Secretary Sean Spicer exclude certain news organizations, seen by the White House as unfriendly to the president, from a “gaggle?” (a gaggle means...
April 17, 2016 11:54 AM
With about two weeks to the May Primary, I thought it might come in handy to write down a few important dates. These are all based on official and “unofficial” conversations I’ve had over the weekend…
April 18 - Republican U.S. Senate Debate
April 20 - Donald Trump scheduled to come to Indianapolis
April 21- Ted Cruz appears at the Indiana GOP State Dinner
April 22-23 - Libertarian Party of Indiana State Convention
April 26 - John Kasich likely to...
February 7, 2017 9:59 AM
I was reviewing my Facebook timeline this morning and it reminded me that it was five years ago that Indiana became a "Right to Work" (RTW) state.
In case you forgot, RTW simply means you can't be compelled to join a union as a condition of your employment.
I immediately flashbacked to the protests at the Statehouse, although many of the protesters weren’t from Indiana. I recall the naysayers arguing...
August 5, 2016 4:29 PM
The Donald Trump campaign is seeing a mass of small donors contributing to the New York businessman's presidential effort, and that development should get the attention of all political pundits. Mr. Trump has struck a nerve with millions of Americans.
The New York Times reported on August 3rd that cash poured into the Trump campaign during the month of July. Here's a part of the Times story:
"Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $64 million through...
August 3, 2015 11:40 AM
Last December, I implored those wanting to be president to just, you know, run for president. Speculation at the time was that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would defer to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush if the latter got in the race. Both are now running.
There was also talk that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would freeze out any other Midwestern governor from joining the field. He didn’t. Ohio’s John Kasich, who hadn’t taken concrete steps...
March 4, 2014 3:06 PM
I missed the big Forefront debate on minimum wage last week, so here’s my $6.65 worth. Why $6.65? That’s the value of the current minimum wage in 2009 dollars, 2009 being the last time the wage was adjusted.
In other words, for an hour’s labor at the minimum wage today, a worker effectively earns 60 cents less in buying power than five years ago. The real value of the wage has been falling behind the pace...
January 7, 2014 9:05 PM
We need to ask Governor Pence a simple question: Why are you refusing to implement Medicaid expansion, when the federal government will pay the entire cost for the first three years and 90% of the costs thereafter—especially when those dollars you are rejecting would create an estimated 30,000 Hoosier jobs and, according to health economists, would reduce premiums paid by Hoosiers with private insurance?
The only response I’ve heard is weak and highly speculative: the federal...
April 21, 2014 11:48 AM
In working to advance pro-family policies, half the battle is won if we can just get policymakers to understand a few simple facts. Chief among them is the investment made in each child. The official scorekeeper for the US government of this "factoid" is the US Department of Agriculture, perhaps harkening back to the day when food was a major cost of child rearing. Its latest findings (2011) show...
February 14, 2014 6:53 AM
I have to give it to Indiana lawmakers. Just when I think they are about to do something that is not only silly, but politically short-sighted, they pull themselves back from the brink, in this case it was the marriage amendment.
You know what I mean.
The amendment originally stated “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical...
November 9, 2013 4:38 PM
After 16 years of sponsoring Model UN participation, Tech High School no longer has the funding to cover transportation and other costs for this year's program, and the school board is refusing to authorize the trip until the teacher can prove he has the cash in hand.
Anyone who has ever taught high school--and that includes me, back in the day--can confirm the importance of programs like Model UN, We the People, Boys and Girls State...
November 12, 2013 7:33 AM
Some people may not like it, but legislative successes involve effective lobbying and electoral successes require good campaigns. In case you are wondering why I wrote that some people may not like it, just think back to the 2012 US Senate race and remember how tired people got of ads, mail, and press conferences. In many ways those were good campaigns.
The groups trying to pass and defeat HJR 6 are doing the things we...