Howey Political Report
Why is Obama opening an office in Indiana? Autos PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:12

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS - On Thursday, the Obama for America campaign opened up a campaign office in Indiana, a state with a century-old love affair with the internal combustion engine. It is a state that any Republican will tell you is certain to return to the "red" Electoral College column next autumn.
There is credence to that line of thought, with a Public Opinion Strategies Poll in December showing President Obama's approval in Indiana stood at 42 percent, and disapproval at 55 percent; wicked numbers for any incumbent.
So why is the Obama campaign investing assets in a state they have no chance of winning?
Because some believe Indiana isn't a lost cause. An internal poll for U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly's Democratic Senate campaign showed that Obama trailed probable (er, possible) Republican nominee Mitt Romney by just four percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in January revealed that 37 percent of Americans were more optimistic about the economy - the highest level in more than a year and a seven percent jump from December. Democratic pollster Peter Hart explained, "The psychology about the economic conditions has switched. The old saying is ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ - then clearly - this economic optimism has clearly lifted Obama’s ratings.”
In January during President Obama's State of the Union address, he hit on one subject that has everything to do with Indiana: the American auto industry. “On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse,” Obama said. “Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure.”
“Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number-one automaker,” Obama said. “Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.”
Obama continued, “We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.”
And it is. General Motors has regained its position as the world's top automaker and its plants are humming in Fort Wayne, Marion and Bedford. Chrysler is hiring off the street in Kokomo.
While there is great Tea Party angst about all the bailouts, a fact worth noting is that the domestic auto bailout from the TARP fund occurred under Republican President George W. Bush.
In December of 2008, I attended a hearing in Indianapolis where economists from the Brookings Institute predicted that a collapse of GM and Chrysler could cost the state 150,000 jobs. Not just at GM and Chrysler, but companies like Cummins and hundreds of auto supplier companies scattered in small towns and large across the state.
The multiplier impact from such a collapse could have been devastating. Not only would toolmakers, engineers, assemblers and molders be jobless, but thousands of restaurants and service businesses would have been devastated. Even foreign automakers in the state such as Honda, Toyota and Subaru would have been negatively impacted, because they draw on the same suppliers as GM, Ford and Chrysler. While Indiana has a troublesome and persistent nine percent jobless rate today, a collapse of GM and Chrysler would have brought a second Great Depression to Indiana. We easily could have seen the jobless rate double or more.
Indiana Republicans were conspicuous in their indifference. Gov. Mitch Daniels warned of the U.S. government throwing "good money after bad" and said the domestics should emulate the Japanese companies. He later castigated the U.S. Supreme Court for the way it acted on Obama's forced expedited bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. Treasurer Richard Mourdock, with Daniels cheering him on, tried to thwart the Chrysler merger with Fiat. Republican candidates up and down the food chain derided the Bush bailout.
When Joe Donnelly showed up at the Chrysler Transmission Plant II gate to campaign just before the 2010 election, many workers whose jobs were saved by the expedited bankruptcy told him they were going to vote Republican because of issues such as guns and federal debt.
Indiana Democrats in the 2010 cycle never raised the auto industry issue and were mauled in the process. President Obama and Vice President Biden came to Kokomo - three weeks after the 2010 elections - to revel in the restructuring and opportunity to come. I asked Donnelly why Democrats didn't mount a defense, and he could only smile wistfully and say, "That's a good question. I don't know."
That probably won't happen this year. Donnelly will challenge either Sen. Dick Lugar or Mourdock in the Senate race. He is sure to bring it up. He is sure to remind Hoosiers of their distinct auto heritage, and who was there when the industry was on the verge of collapse.
This is why the Obama campaign is opening up an office in Indiana. It's still far below the dozens of offices the campaign had across Indiana in 2008 and winning Indiana will be a long shot, just like it was in 2008. But it will lay the groundwork in case the auto industry issue resonates with Hoosiers.
And it should, unless you like Depression.
(The columnist  publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - On Thursday, the Obama for America campaign opened up a campaign office in Indiana, a state with a century-old love affair with the internal combustion engine. It is a state that any Republican will tell you is certain to return to the "red" Electoral College column next autumn.

There is credence to that line of thought, with a Public Opinion Strategies Poll in December showing President Obama's approval in Indiana stood at 42 percent, and disapproval at 55 percent; wicked numbers for any incumbent.

So why is the Obama campaign investing assets in a state they have no chance of winning?

 
Keeping Peyton in the Hoosier pantheon PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 20:39

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS - When it comes to the pantheon of Hoosier sports heroes – Johnny Wooden, Knute Rockne, Bob Knight, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Rick Mount, Bobby Plump, George Gipp – the newest name will certainly be Peyton Manning.
This week becomes one of the most bittersweet in Indiana sports history. The NFL Super Bowl comes to Indianapolis, the city has risen gloriously to the occasion, but the virulent subplot is that Peyton Manning may have taken his last snap as the Colts’ quarterback. We’ve been treated to an onslaught of speculation by the local and national sports media, talking without the normal honor and armor of “facts.”
And the “facts” are that Colts owner Jim Irsay intends to bring Manning back, as long as he’s healthy. He said on Dec. 23 in Houston, “I think the situation is if he’s back and he’s healthy, I see him coming back and playing here.”
On Monday, former Colts coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy told WTHR-TV that he had spoken with Irsay several times in the past month. “I think if there’s any way he can play, it will be for the Colts,” Dungy said.
Despite these assurances, the speculation has ramped up, to the point where Yahoo Sports was reporting late Monday that sources close to the Colts don’t believe that Manning will be healthy enough. They say his arm strength isn’t returning.
But Manning himself refuted that with ESPN on Tuesday. “The doctors are encouraged, and that’s encouraging to me.”
Should the Yahoo speculation bear out, it is as stunning a development as what occurred in 1939, when “The Iron Horse” – New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig – took a precipitous statistical and physical decline just as his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, began to eat away at his legendary skills as well as his life. Batting .145 in April, Gehrig took himself out of the lineup, ending a 2,130-consecutive game streak. He stayed on the team the rest of the season, but never played again.
Sportswriter James Kahn observed of Gehrig: “I think there is something wrong with him. Physically wrong, I mean. I have seen him time a ball perfectly, swing on it as hard as he can, meet it squarely, and drive a soft, looping fly over the infield. In other words, for some reason that I do not know, his old power isn’t there.”
Of course, we know the Manning Iron Horse legend: only Brett Favre at 297 regular season games and 321 including playoffs, has more consecutive starts in NFL history than Manning, 208 regular season games and 227 total. The next two on the list are Eli Manning (129) and Ron Jaworski (123), far behind in the rearview mirror. While major league baseball is a grinding, every day sport, it simply doesn’t compare to the violence a modern NFL quarterback is subjected to with 350-pound marauders paid millions to rip a QB’s head off.
Manning, we believed, was destined to become the greatest statistical QB ever with more games and touchdowns than Favre; His 54,828 yards third only behind Dan Marino (61,361) and Favre (71,838). Manning’s 361 touchdowns trailed only Marino (420) and Favre (497). His 95.2 career quarterback rating is second only to Steve Young. These were all records to be claimed by Manning wearing the horseshoe.
The silver lining here is that as the Colts tumbled from perennial playoff to a dismal 2-14 team, the consolation prize most likely will be Stanford QB Andrew Luck. The scenario I love is Manning tutoring the rookie. “Guys like that come along so rarely,” Irsay said on Oct. 10. “Even if that means that guy sits for three or four years, you’d certainly think about taking him … you see what Green Bay did with (Brett) Favre and (Aaron) Rodgers and you’d like to be able to do the same thing.”
Given what happened to the Colts, the Chicago Bears with an injured Jay Cutler, Miami, Kansas City and Oakland – none of whom made the playoffs after fast starts and injured QBs – having two quality quarterbacks seems wise.
The critics of keeping Manning suggest he would return to a team struggling to contend. I’m not buying that. The Colts were decimated for a second consecutive year with injuries, particularly on defense. With the top choice in each round, they can quickly reset, as San Francisco and Cincinnati did this year.
The prevailing prediction with most national sports pundits is that the Colts release Manning. Which would be sheer lunacy: What if Manning ended up in Tennessee or Jacksonville? Or the hated Jets?
It took the Boston Red Sox almost nine decades to overcome the curse of the Bambino. The curse of Peyton would be a terrifying thing.
I think Manning stays. There is too much bad karma involved for Irsay to just release him.
Yes, we know the NFL is big business. It’s not “fantasy league football” as Irsay reminded us. Yes, we understand the overt tug to rebuild. But Hoosiers are a loyal people. We don’t like our college programs to cheat. We like the three-pointer, tenacious man-to-man defense, and Manning going to the line, audibling.
We like the sharpest tool in the shed. For 14 years that was Peyton Manning. For most of us, if it ends next month, that is too short a time.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - When it comes to the pantheon of Hoosier sports heroes – Johnny Wooden, Knute Rockne, Bob Knight, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Rick Mount, Bobby Plump, George Gipp – the newest name will certainly be Peyton Manning.

This week becomes one of the most bittersweet in Indiana sports history. The NFL Super Bowl comes to Indianapolis, the city has risen gloriously to the occasion, but the virulent subplot is that Peyton Manning may have taken his last snap as the Colts’ quarterback. We’ve been treated to an onslaught of speculation by the local and national sports media, talking without the normal honor and armor of “facts.”

And the “facts” are that Colts owner Jim Irsay intends to bring Manning back, as long as he’s healthy. He said on Dec. 23 in Houston, “I think the situation is if he’s back and he’s healthy, I see him coming back and playing here.”

 
Bauer leading Democrats from disaster to catastrophe PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 18:55

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS  - In the end, it was the crushing fines set up in the 2011 anti-bolt legislation that caused B. Patrick Bauer and House Democrats to cave on Right to Work Wednesday.
After intermittent walkouts throughout January, the issue came to a head and, ultimately, a 54-44 vote to pass HB1001, identical to the Senate version passed last week. While AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott promised to continue the fight in the Senate, this battle is essentially over.
The chaotic session began Wednesday with Democrats insisting the doors into the hallway stay open. Fearing yet another walkout, House Speaker Brian Bosma relented, and so the emotional debate on what Democrats were calling the “most divisive issue in a generation” continued between chants and shouts.
“This is Right to Work … for less,” Bauer stormed. “Less pay, less health care, and yes, less safety.”
“After your vote against the referendum, your vote is shallow and hollow,” Bauer said of a ploy that would have placed the issue on the November ballot, though there were constitutional issues involved with that. Republicans were having none of it.
It was a capstone legislative defeat for a 42-year veteran who has presided over his party’s fall from a majority to a devastating 60-40 minority after he waged one of the most tawdry campaigns in modern Indiana history, attempting to defend caucus members in 2010. In the process, Bauer helped lose the Democratic Party’s Southern Indiana base.
The more Democrats walked, the more fuel and fodder the House Republican Campaign Committee collected for fall ads in an attempt to gain a super 67 seat majority. For Speaker Bosma, it was a win/win. He passed his top priority, and he will have his caucus campaign against Democrats who bolted.
The Democratic caucus -where Gov. Mitch Daniels marveled at Bauer’s iron-fisted control - heaved and groaned under the weight of fines that would have totaled $10,000 per member if the boycotts had lasted through the Jan. 31 session day, when the legislature pauses for the Super Bowl. The theory was that Democrats would try and parlay their stand for labor with a worldwide audience, perhaps eclipsing the attention their colleagues received last winter in Wisconsin in that fight over collective bargaining.
Caucus Chair Dale Grubb quit that job as caucus unity was challenged over fines. There are some members facing tough challenges this upcoming fall - Reps. Ed DeLaney and Peggy Welch - who broke ranks and returned to the chamber while 35 of their colleagues sat out.
It was a perplexing dance with only one man - Bauer - knowing what the end game was. Asked if anyone was privy to the South Bend Democrat’s thought process and ultimate game plan, Democratic Chair Dan Parker could only smile and shake his head. No one else knew.
Weakened Democrats lamented the body blow organized labor would take with the looming Right to Work law. “This bill has been for all of us the most divisive,” said State Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville. “The thing that really got me was how it was handled. The procedures were thrown out.”
An emotional State Rep. Scott Pelath recalled how his father had to explain to the family why he was on a Pullman Standard picket line and there would be no paycheck that week.
But it was the newest member of the caucus, ponytailed Rep. Mike White of Muncie, who revealed the angst. “I’m the rookie here,” he said. “I’m also fresh off the streets. What the people on the streets tell me is they want us to get to work on a whole lot of other things.”
Indeed, as Democrats obsessed about derailing Right to Work and Republicans prepared to use the full weight of their daunting majorities, a litany of other important legislation ranging from mass transit to a statewide smoking ban to local government reform, were beginning to fall by the wayside.
And Republicans chided the minority that Right to Work would not be the end of the world. “The sky will not fall the day after Right to Work passes. It just will not,” said Rep. Sue Ellspermann. “Right to Work is clearly a job creation strategy as companies seek to locate to those states.”
During what would be a 54-44 vote with five Republicans joining the minority, the Democrats called for a voice roll call and the session ended in shouting.
“The only places where today’s events will be cheered is in the boardrooms of big businesses and corporations across this state,” Bauer – the face of the Indiana Democratic Party - fumed afterwards. “For those who threw their weight behind this plan, and were willing to trample on a lengthy list of constitutional rights in order to do so, there is only one thing to say: Shame on you.”
And in dozens of downtown restaurants and bars Wednesday evening, Republicans and business advocates were toasting a seismic victory in a northern state, clinking flutes and goblets of shame, red and white, sparkling and dry.
Had Bauer kept caucus losses to 55 seats, instead of 60, Right to Work probably wouldn’t have happened. Why he is still in power should be a question every Hoosier Democrat ponders.
John Gregg, phone home.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS  - In the end, it was the crushing fines set up in the 2011 anti-bolt legislation that caused B. Patrick Bauer and House Democrats to cave on Right to Work Wednesday.

After intermittent walkouts throughout January, the issue came to a head and, ultimately, a 54-44 vote to pass HB1001, identical to the Senate version passed last week. While AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott promised to continue the fight in the Senate, this battle is essentially over.

The chaotic session began Wednesday with Democrats insisting the doors into the hallway stay open. Fearing yet another walkout, House Speaker Brian Bosma relented, and so the emotional debate on what Democrats were calling the “most divisive issue in a generation” continued between chants and shouts.

 
Daniels gives an emphatic endorsement of Lugar PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 20:51

by Brian Howey
CARMEL - Gov. Mitch Daniels offered up an emphatic endorsement of his mentor - U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar - before about 300 Republicans Wednesday night, calling him the “most significant public official in the last century in our state, quite possibly the greatest senator ever to serve from our state.”
The remarks came as Lugar is fending off a Tea Party fueled challenge by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has earned kind words from Daniels in the past, even giving him a rare mention in his recent book, “Keeping the Republic.”
In my opinion, Mourdock hasn’t even remotely come close to making a case that Lugar should be replaced. His fundraising has been anemic. His performance in office - which includes a significant decline in meeting attendance - raises questions about his priorities. This past week, Lugar reported $750,000 raised and $4 million cash on hand for his 4th quarter FEC report. It contrasted with Mourdock, who has yet to release his money totals, and countered a statewide Lugar TV buy in the Indianapolis, South Bend, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne and Louisville media markets with a tiny $2,500 cable buy during Monday night’s Republican presidential debate.
So it was fascinating to watch Indiana’s articulator-in-chief - Gov. Daniels - who will give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week, speak of Lugar, who he called his “mentor, exemplar, coach.” The Lugar campaign had a video production crew recording every word; fodder for coming TV ads featuring a governor who had a 65 percent approval rating in a December Public Opinion Strategies poll.
The two men have a long history. Daniels was a young hire under then-Indianapolis Mayor Lugar, managed his 1976 and 1982 Senate campaigns, and became the senator’s first chief of staff.
Daniels left no doubt who he will support in the May 8 primary. “Public service practiced by Dick Lugar is truly a noble quality,” Daniels said at the Monon Center rally. “I’ve said before, here we have the entire package: intelligence, a commitment to the public interest of all, not a party, not a segment of society, not a base, the interests of all. His comments tonight I thought underscored so clearly why Dick Lugar is a man of the future. Seeing things that others aren’t able to see, having insights about what is facing this country, and the constructive ways forward that are just invisible to those of us with lesser talents.”
Prior to Daniels’ remarks, Lugar reminded his supporters that he had pressed President Obama on the Keystone Pipeline, which the president rejected earlier in the day. Lugar said the pipeline would have created 20,000 jobs - including new jobs at 12 Indiana companies - while providing “an independence in our oil supply.”
“People say, again and again, it’s jobs,” Lugar continued. “Don’t you guys get it? Well, we do get it.” Lugar and House Republicans included the pipeline in the payroll tax compromise, forcing Obama to make a decision within 60 days.
Daniels called the timing of his endorsement a “coincidence,” and observed of Lugar, “He’s right now, this evening, on the spear point of the biggest jobs issue. It’s not coincidental that on this date, he has forced the president’s hand. The president has made a colossal mistake. It’s a terrible disservice to tens of thousands of Americans who could have been employed. I believe he’s made a colossal mistake and a miscalculation in the politics of this year.”
“While we’re on the subject of coincidences,” Daniels continued, “it is certainly true that the preoccupation of our fellow citizens … is the restoration of economic opportunity, upward mobility, fortification of the middle class, which is always characterized in America and democracy. The senator reminded us, this is a dangerous world. It won’t leave us alone to solve our economic problems in isolation.” The governor noted that he had just come from the second of four Indiana National Guard funerals due to a road side bomb in Afghanistan on Jan. 6.
“There are not a handful of Americans alive who understand the sources of the danger, the things that might be done to protect Americans better than our senator,” Daniels said. “He is a national asset. It’s not just that Indiana cannot afford to relinquish. America can’t afford it either. How often we hear it said these days, ‘where are the statesmen? Where are those people in a polarized often toxic, highly personal, bitterly partisan world, where are those people who might bring folks together to achieve the kind of big changes this nation needs?’ There aren’t more than a handful of those, either. This is one person who is respected and trusted. He’s an asset that America needs and Indiana should be so proud that (he’s an asset) Indiana continues to provide.”
Daniels concluded by saying, “Yes, I am enthusiastic. You know how much we owe to the past efforts of this man, you know that is not the reason we’re here. It’s how much we have riding on his continued service and how much more of a brighter future we will have when he is secured in another term in the U.S. Senate.”
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

CARMEL - Gov. Mitch Daniels offered up an emphatic endorsement of his mentor - U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar - before about 300 Republicans Wednesday night, calling him the “most significant public official in the last century in our state, quite possibly the greatest senator ever to serve from our state.”

The remarks came as Lugar is fending off a Tea Party fueled challenge by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has earned kind words from Daniels in the past, even giving him a rare mention in his recent book, “Keeping the Republic.”

 
Mitch and Morton and the Statehouse charades PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 22:24

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mitch Daniels, facing west as he gave his final State of the State address Tuesday, essentially stood back-to- back with the statue guarding the eastern entrance of the Indiana Statehouse – that of Gov. Oliver P. Morton.
A slender strand of history now connects the two. After Copperhead Democrats won the Indiana General Assembly in 1862, a political reaction to Morton's backing of the coming Emancipation Proclamation, Gov. Morton feared they would pull Indiana out of the Union. He sent Republican legislators to Madison, within easy access to Kentucky if Democrats tried to forcibly return them to Indianapolis. Thus, there would be no quorum, no General Assembly until the Republicans won it back in 1864.
Thus, the annual event of a State of the State address would be one where Republican and Democrat legislators would convene in the Indiana House since 1865 to hear the governor's annual report. Until Tuesday night.
Most House Democrats boycotted Gov. Daniels’ address, a political and emotional reaction to what had occurred Tuesday morning in the House Labor Committee. The meeting lasted just six minutes, with Chair Douglas Gutwein, R-Francesville, refusing all amendments and stymieing all discussion and public testimony on HB1001, the Right to Work bill.
“I think the light of democracy just went out in the Indiana House,” said Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-Terre Haute. “I’ve never seen a charade like this in my life,” said Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis. House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer observed, “We have a Chinese democracy, joined by a quest for Chinese wages and Chinese benefits.”
State Rep. Craig Fry would ask, "What are you afraid of?"
Thus ensued the historic snub. Most House Democrats stayed away. Hoosier television viewers witnessed Daniels speaking to an almost half empty chamber (some senators took the seats of missing House Democrats). As the governor spoke, chanting and yelling could be heard outside the House chambers. "Walk out! Walk out!" the union members chanted.
The question of fear is a relevant one.
Many of the gathered Republican legislators – sensing palpable danger in the gathering protesters – were packing heat, more so than normal.
But politically, things seem stacked in favor of Republicans. The recent Public Opinion Strategies polls show large margins of support for Right to Work. Some 68% of Hoosiers are against the Democratic walkouts. The Republicans have a 60-40 majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate. And there stood Gov. Mitch Daniels, the most successful union-busting governor in Indiana history.
He would make the case to Hoosiers in his speech, saying, "Almost half our fellow states have Right to Work laws.  As a group, they are adding jobs faster, growing worker income faster, and enjoying lower unemployment rates than those of us without a law."
So if Republicans have public opinion, huge majorities and a sympathetic governor on their side, why, then, the heavy-handed tactics that have even some of the RTW proponents shaking their heads?
Speaker Brian Bosma has put Right to Work on a fast track with Gutwein as a loyal foot soldier, denying amendments, debate and testimony. It came after the Daniels’ administration tried to suppress the number of protesters in the Statehouse, and received a stunning rebuke not only from columnists, editorial writers, Democrats and union members, but Constitutional Republicans. Daniels quickly relented.
John Gregg, the former Democratic House Speaker now running for governor, has been mostly silent in recent weeks despite the growing controversy. It's as if he's allowing the GOP to self-destruct. He calls it the "overreach" because he's seen it before. “After the 1994 election, they acted like they had a mandate,” Gregg said. “They came in, and said, ‘Let’s settle some old scores.’ They did it in ‘95 and they did it this time. It’s amazing.
“I became Speaker because of what they did in 1995. And it will make me governor.”
Republicans defend the heavy-handed tactics, citing last year's five-week walkout to Illinois and – at this writing – four days of boycotts this year. Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, called the amendments and testimony “showboating.”
But with every controversial issue – some like Daylight Savings Time fought annually for more than a decade – the process was followed, the testimony heard, even if it had been repeated. Until this month.
With both sides digging in, all the other important legislation – human trafficking, a statewide smoking ban, an online sales tax, local government reform – is held hostage while Daniels and the Republicans try to finish off the unions, which since 2005 had steered $4 million into Democratic campaigns. This isn't so much about job creation as it is about politics.
As for Democrats, this is what happens when, as a party, you become vacuous defenders of the status quo and purveyors of campaign political porn. When a party becomes bereft of ideas and is simply there to obstruct, folks will vote for the other guy.
As for Rep. Bartlett citing this "charade," I recall he presided over a House committee a couple of years ago and tried to spike a package of local government reforms, scurried back and forth between the House floor and Pat Bauer's office to get orders, and then forgot to call for a vote as he gaveled the committee closed.
As in the parlor games we once played, one charade deserves another.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mitch Daniels, facing west as he gave his final State of the State address Tuesday, essentially stood back-to- back with the statue guarding the eastern entrance of the Indiana Statehouse – that of Gov. Oliver P. Morton.

A slender strand of history now connects the two. After Copperhead Democrats won the Indiana General Assembly in 1862, a political reaction to Morton's backing of the coming Emancipation Proclamation, Gov. Morton feared they would pull Indiana out of the Union. He sent Republican legislators to Madison, within easy access to Kentucky if Democrats tried to forcibly return them to Indianapolis. Thus, there would be no quorum, no General Assembly until the Republicans won it back in 1864.

 
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