Howey Political Report
Coats eyes teetering Baghdad and harsh realities PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 18:56

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - There was a simple, but troubling question for U.S. Sen. Dan Coats. “Could Baghdad fall to ISIS?”

The Indiana Republican who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee didn’t hesitate long before an even more troubling response. “I think it could,” Coats said. “They’re on the outskirts. And if that happens, it’s over.”

The premise of the question was backed up by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, a top military adviser to President Obama, who said on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday, “I have no doubt there will be days when they use indirect fire into Baghdad,” Dempsey said. “The government of Iraq, which is moving but has not yet achieved a narrative that would cause the 20 million Sunnis who live between Damascus and Baghdad to believe that their future is with the government of Iraq, in the case of Iraqis, and certainly the Syrian regime is not reaching out to the Sunni population in Syria.”

Gay marriage, wedge issues and money spigots PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 20:19

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS — To quote singer Carole King, we’ve felt the earth . . .  move . . .  under our feet. For the proponents of the constitutional marriage amendment, the new fears are the skies are tumbling down, tumbling down.

The marriage debate has lasted nearly a generation. For some, it ended on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the 7th Circuit Court ruling on Indiana and Wisconsin laws, and there were three other states affected.

The ACLU’s Ken Falk quickly declared “this case is over.”

Gov. Pence and the 2016 question PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 20:52

by Brian Howey

AURORA, Ind. – “The question” was inevitable.

A man in the back of the Aurora City Hall council chambers asked Gov. Mike Pence if he was going to run for president in 2016.

The governor had a great response: “I have to read the newspapers to keep up with my ambitions.”

This town hall forum exploded in laughter. Those of us who cover Gov. Pence expect the question, and he responds, deflecting the question with a bit of an aw shucks demeanor before praising Hoosiers as the core reason why the question is posed in the first place. Folks wouldn’t see Pence in a presidential context if they weren’t working so hard, creating new jobs, and forging innovative policy.

Quitting on the voters PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 19:06

by Brian Howey

GNAW BONE, Ind. – If you’re a member of the Indiana General Assembly, at your next campaign event or town hall meeting ask these questions: If you elect me, should I serve a full-term? Would it be OK if I quit in the next year or so?

The coda to State Rep. Eric Turner’s twisting and swerving career wasn’t his effort to create a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, nor was it the various tax policies and laws he wrote and impacted as an influential member of the Ways & Means Committee.

Instead, it’s a cynical ploy to stand for reelection, then quit after the election. Instead of the 60,000 or so voters in his district choosing the next House member, in Turner’s mind it will be several dozen precinct committee men and women in an overwhelmingly Republican district who will likely make the selection.

Daniels’ political legacy trumps Bayh’s return PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 20:34

by Brian Howey

WASHINGTON - In the television age of Indiana politics, we’ve had a couple of governor vs. governor races, the most recent when Mitch Daniels defeated Gov. Joe Kernan in 2004. In 1972, Doc Bowen defeated former Gov. Matt Welsh.

So for the political junkies, the notion of former Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh challenging Gov. Mike Pence was as enticing as a Sox vs. Cubs World Series.

But it wasn’t meant to be and the reason is the political legacy of Gov. Daniels.

In the past generation, Indiana has seen two dynastic political juggernauts generated in Bayh and Daniels. In an era of two-party competitiveness at the gubernatorial level, both Bayh and Daniels revived their parties and control of the Statehouse second floor extended beyond their respective two terms in office.

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