Howey Political Report
Pence takes heat over pre-K federal funds PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 20:34

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - A leaked email last week became an $80 million bombshell. Gov. Mike Pence had decided not to apply for federal pre-kindergarten funds at that level.

The decision, which the governor characterized as based on federal “intrusion” into education matters reopens a classic case of taking an ideological stance on spending, even if it hurts the state.

Pence explained, “It is important not to allow the lure of federal grant dollars to define our state’s mission and programs. More federal dollars do not necessarily equal success, especially when those dollars come with requirements and conditions that will not help — and may even hinder — running a successful program of our own making. An important part of our pre-K pilot is the requirement that we study the program so we understand what works and what doesn’t. I do not believe it is wise policy to expand our pre-K pilot before we have a chance to study and learn from the program.”

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.

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