June 14, 2022 Howey Politics Indiana sponsored by Wine + Spirits Distributors of Indiana

Katie R. Ochoa

HOLCOMB EYES LATE JUNE FOR SPECIAL SESSION: Gov. Eric Holcomb is planning to call the Indiana General Assembly back to the Statehouse in the last week of June for a special legislative session focused on returning excess state revenue to Hoosier taxpayers (Carden, NWI Times). The Republican chief executive said Friday he’s willing to bring lawmakers back to Indianapolis “tomorrow” to approve his plan for the state to pay $225 to all adult Hoosiers in July or August, on top of the $125 automatic taxpayer refund payments already going out. However, Holcomb said he believes the week of June 27 probably will be best to give legislators time to fully consider his proposal and to prevent any conflicts with lawmakers’ Independence Day plans or vacations. “I think we need to do it sooner rather than later, and yet this month, and we have the ability to do just that,” Holcomb said. The governor’s vision of a quick special session seems to suggest he’s not in favor of the General Assembly simultaneously tackling new abortion restrictions for which Senate President Rod Bray, R-Martinsville, has promised a “full vetting” that likely would take longer than a single day. Holcomb said he’s still waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in the pending Mississippi abortion case before deciding whether to heed the request of 100 Republican state lawmakers to reconvene the General Assembly if the nation’s high court gives the go-ahead for states to further restrict or outright prohibit abortion access.

 

BRAUN, YOUNG OPEN TO GUN REFORM FRAMEWORK: Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of senators struck a deal to reduce gun violence after a series of mass shootings. Now, the lawmakers need to stick together to sell it to colleagues with sharply different stances on gun ownership to pass any legislation into law this summer (Wall Street Journal). The 20 senators, 10 from each party, are looking to pass what could be the broadest federal legislation on guns in decades. The framework released Sunday aims to address illegal sales of guns and to fund mental-health programs and school security. It also provides incentives for states to implement and maintain red-flag laws and includes juvenile records in background checks for people buying guns who are under 21 years old.Sen. Mike Braun (R., Ind.) said he was open to the framework and didn’t see any obvious problems in the proposed provisions. “I am interested to see where the NRA is on it,” Mr. Braun added, referring to the National Rifle Association. U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said he supports parts of gun control legislation agreed to Sunday by 10 Republican and 10 Democratic senators and is waiting for the final proposal (Indiana Public Media). The agreement includes support for states to adopt red flag laws, funding for school safety resources and enhanced background checks for gun buyers under 21 years old. “Senator Young supports these discussions and believes Congress can take prudent steps, including incentivizing states to adopt red flag laws and bolstering mental health resources, especially in schools,” a statement released by Young’s office said. “Senator Young is reviewing the framework and awaits the final legislative text.”

 

INDIANA’S RED FLAG LAW HELPED SUICIDE RATE DECLINE 7.5%: Last Thursday, the House voted to pass legislation that would allow guns to be temporarily taken from people who are deemed dangerous. The bill would create what is known as a Federal red flag law (WTHI-TV). “In the 10 years after passing Indiana’s red flag law, Indiana’s firearm suicide rate decreased by 7.5%. It shows that a red flag law can help in a crisis situation where someone is wanting to take their own life,” leader with the Indiana Chapter of Moms Demand Action Jennifer Haan said.

 

BARR REFUTES TRUMP STOLEN ELECTION: Former President Donald Trump’s Attorney General William Barr provided the House Jan. 6 Committee with a detailed, point-by-point rebuttal of Trump’s false claims about the election in his closed-door deposition (CNN). In lengthy excerpts of Barr’s taped deposition played during Monday’s hearing, Barr told the committee there was an “avalanche” of fraud allegations coming into the Justice Department after the election that he likened to “playing whack-a-mole. “There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were,” Barr said. “My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud. And I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that. I thought boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has become detached from reality,” Mr. Barr told the committee.” Barr said that Trump claimed there was a “big vote dump” in Detroit, which Barr said wasn’t true. “I said, ‘Did anyone point out to you – did all the people complaining about it point out to you, you actually did better in Detroit than you did last time?’ I mean, there’s no indication of fraud in Detroit,” Barr said of his conversation with Trump. Barr said he reiterated “they wasted a whole month on these claims on the Dominion voting machines, and they were idiotic claims.” Trump’s outside lawyers and right-wing media made baseless claims that Dominion voting machines had been used to change votes in the election. “I specifically raised the Dominion voting machines, which I found to be among the most disturbing allegations – disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public,” Barr said. During their December 2020 Oval Office confrontation, Barr said that Trump gave him a report that claimed “absolute proof” the Dominion voting machines had been rigged. Barr said that the report “looked very amateurish to me,” and he “didn’t see any supporting information” for the fraud claims.

 

STEPIEN DESCRIBES ‘TEAM NORMAL’ AND ‘TEAM RUDY’: Bill Stepien, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, characterized his team as “Team Normal,” as opposed to the team led by Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer (New York Times). A veteran Republican operative, Mr. Stepien was among the campaign aides, lawyers, White House advisers and others who urged Mr. Trump to abandon his unfounded claims of fraud. Mr. Giuliani’s team was feeding the president’s paranoia and pushing him to back unsubstantiated and fanciful claims of ballot harvesting, voting machine tampering and more. “We call them kind of my team and Rudy’s team,” Mr. Stepien told committee investigators in interviews. “I didn’t mind being characterized as being part of Team Normal.” Committee members are hoping that the description of the two competing groups in Mr. Trump’s orbit is evidence that Mr. Trump made a choice — to listen to the group led by Mr. Giuliani instead of to those who ran his campaign and worked in his administration. Mr. Trump chose, in the words of “Team Normal,” to listen to those spouting “crazy” arguments instead.

 

GIULIANI WAS INTOXICATED ELECTION NIGHT: Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol that Trump campaign lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was drunk on election night (Mediaite). In recorded testimony, which was played during a committee hearing Monday, Miller told committee investigators that during a discussion with Giuliani, campaign manager Bill Stepien, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Giuliani was intoxicated. “Was there anyone in that conversation who in your observation had had too much to drink?” a committee investigator asked Miller. “Mayor Giuliani,” said Miller. “Tell me more about that. What was your observation about his potential intoxication during that discussion about what the president should say when he addressed the nation on election night,” asked the investigator. “The mayor was definitely intoxicated but I do not know that his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” replied Miller.

 

BEAR MARKET OVERTAKES S&P: The stock market selloff deepened Monday, with the S&P 500 entering a bear market, as investors took another look at Friday’s red-hot inflation data and liked it even less (Wall Street Journal). Faced with rising chances of aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, investors broadly unloaded risk. The S&P 500 slumped 3.9% as 495 of its 500 components ended the day lower. The declines left the U.S. stock benchmark down more than 20% from its January record, sending it into a bear market for the first time since 2020. Meanwhile, a rout in cryptocurrencies highlighted investors’ increasing unwillingness to hang on to their most speculative holdings. The price of bitcoin plunged Monday below $23,000, at one point trading down 67% from its November high.

 

PURDUE COMING TO GRIPS WITH DANIELS STEP DOWN; MUM ON PLANS: Monday rolled around at Purdue with people still trying to put together the pieces of a whirlwind Friday when President Mitch Daniels announced he was leaving the university at the end of 2022 and trustees introduced Mung Chiang, Purdue’s engineering dean and executive vice president for strategic initiatives, as his replacement (Bangert, Based in Lafayette). So many questions, starting with who knew what and when in an announcement that seemed to catch nearly everyone off guard. Which current Purdue administrators were now in the transfer portal – so to speak – after being passed over in an internal search that Trustee Chairman Mike Berghoff said the trustees considered several members of Daniels’ team at the university before selecting Chiang? Did any of the post-Purdue prospects for Daniels revolve around political offices? (So many of the social media mentions Friday and beyond wondered about another Draft Mitch campaign to get him to run for the White House. Indiana columnist Brian Howey laid odds on speculation about a repeat run for Indiana governor.) How about life after Purdue? “We’ll talk about it later, but if there’s something I can do – ever anything I can do for the university – maybe on a project basis or something, I’d be open to that,” Daniels said. “But that’s all TBD.” Any other prospects set beyond this? Daniels didn’t bite: “I don’t have any right now.”

 

CLARK COUNTY REMC WARNS OF ROLLING BLACKOUTS: Clark County REMC has a plan in place with the hot week ahead. In a statement released Monday the utility provider said that when an electricity grid is overloaded, there can be rolling blackouts in an area (News & Tribune). This can happen in the summer months, when customers crank up the air-conditioning to deal with the heat. At this time no rolling blackouts have been planned or announced in Southern Indiana. Much of the area is under an Excessive Heat Warning through Tuesday evening. According to our news partners at WAVE 3 News the heat index could bring feels-like temperatures of 104 to 111 degrees to the area. Some portions of Southern Indiana are under a heat advisory.

 

NOTRE DAME GOING TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES:  The Irish are going to Omaha. For the first time since 2002, Notre Dame’s baseball team has clinched a spot in the College World Series after toppling the nation’s #1-ranked team in the Knoxville Super Regional (WNDU-TV). Notre Dame punched first with a game 1 win, but Tennessee responded with a resounding victory in game 2. They looked to be riding that momentum early in game 3, scoring in the first inning, and carrying a 2-run lead into the seventh. But that’s when veteran catcher David LaManna blasted a two-run homer to right field to even the score. Not long after, Jack Brannigan joined in on the fun with a solo blast that would eventually represent the game-winning run.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Key Trump administration and campaign officials painted a damning picture of their efforts to refute the presidents “stolen election” stance following the 2020 election during Monday’s House Jan. 6 Committee. Attorney General Bill Barr described a president “detached from reality.” Jason Miller describes a drunk Rudy Giuliani who convinced Trump to declare victory on Election Night, and Bill Stepien described the two campaign factions of “Team Normal” and “Team Rudy” as he tried to convince Trump that his chances for victory were “bleak.” Instead, Trump ramped up the “stop the steal” rhetoric which ignited the Jan. 6 U.S Capitol insurrection while two-thirds of Republicans now believe what Barr called “bullshit.” He also raised $250 million from supporters promoting the Big Lie. – Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

INDEMS FILL OUT TICKET WITH BROOKS, McCLELLAN: The Indiana Democratic Party announced its statewide candidates for the upcoming 2022 statewide elections with the addition of Jessica McClellan for state treasurer, and ZeNai Brooks for state auditor. They join Destiny Wells for secretary of state and Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., for U.S. Senate (Howey Politics Indiana). “The Indiana Democratic Party has said numerous times in the last year that Indiana finds itself at a crossroads, because 18 years of Republican administrations have led to failing grades on so many fronts: workforce, quality of life, schools, and public health. It’s time for politicians to put families – not extreme partisanship – first again in the Hoosier State. These facts are why it’s a privilege for the state party to announce a slate of candidates that truly reflects the values, commitments, and families who call our great state home,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party.

 

ZeNai (zah-nay) Brooks, State Auditor: “It’s an honor to be running as the Democratic nominee for State Auditor as an extension of my career and dedication to the accounting profession for almost 15 years. I also recognize the importance of representation and am excited about adding diversity on this ticket. I look forward to creating more exposure for the State Auditor and building a bridge between policy and what the residents of Indiana care about.” Biography: ZeNai is a CPA, author, pastor’s wife and millennial leader with extensive business and civic experience. She has combined her passion for community advocacy and her professional career as the Controller of the Corporate Responsibility function of Cummins, a Fortune 200 company and Treasurer of the related Foundation, which provides funding to grassroots initiatives and strategic programs around the world. ZeNai also serves as a Board Member with the INCPAS and as the Central Region President & National Director with the National Association of Black Accountants, amongst others.

 

Jessica McClellan, State Treasurer: “I’m excited to be on this ticket because we represent a generation of tough, hard working women who have real life experiences that can change the tone in our state government. I have the experience to bring a balance of power to the oversight of our public funds and stretch the value of our healthy cash reserves to aid the needs of urban and rural communities.” Biography: Jessica McClellan is serving her second term as Treasurer of Monroe County, the 12th largest Indiana county with the 11th largest county budget. While in office, she oversees the investment of over $100 million in public funds and has increased interest income to the county by diversifying investments. Additionally, Jessica is the Vice President of the Indiana County Treasurers’ Association.

 

INDEM CONVENTION DETAILS: The Indiana Democratic Partyannounced it will hold its biennial Big Dem Weekend on June 17-18 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis (Howey Politics Indiana). State convention delegates are expected to formally nominate the Party’s candidates for Indiana’s secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor elections. Additionally, special guests like James Carville (Democratic strategist) and Robin Kelly (U.S. Congresswoman, IL-02) will join leaders like André Carson, Frank Mrvan, Phil GiaQuinta, Greg Taylor, and Joe Hogsett to celebrate how President Joe Biden and Indiana Democrats have delivered a better future for Hoosier families in all 92 counties. To kick off Big Dem Weekend, the state party will hold its annual Hoosier Hospitality Dinner at 6 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center’s Hall J on Friday June 17. The keynote speaker will be James Carville, the “Ragin’ Cajun” and long-time strategist for the national Democratic Party.  Then on Saturday, Democrats will travel back to the Convention Center for the party’s state convention. U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly will deliver the keynote address and state delegates are expected to formally nominate the Party’s candidate slate for the fall elections at 3 p.m.

 

INDEMS HIGHLIGHT ARP FUNDS FOR MARQUETTE: The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, celebrated how President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan is still delivering for Hoosier families. This time, the Rescue Plan will provide a $4.9 million investment to complete the 60-mile long Marquette Greenway Trail via the state’s Next Level Trails program (Howey Politics Indiana). The investment is expected to exponentially increase trail users, bringing in new economic activity to the surrounding areas and a brighter future for Northwest Indiana – and it’s Democrats like Frank Mrvan who got this done. Not a single Republican in Indiana’s Congressional delegation voted for the American Rescue Plan. In fact, Jennifer-Ruth Green described this Northwest Indiana investment as “failed economic policies”. Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer even claimed opposing the Rescue Plan was a “great campaign to run on”. Indiana Republicans consistently prove they have no plans for the state’s future – just national partisanship.

 

FOP, ISP ALLIANCE TO ENDORSE CARRASCO: Cyndi Carrasco, candidate for Marion County prosecutor, will receive the endorsement from  Members of Indianapolis FOP Lodge 86; Members of Indiana State Police Alliance PAC, at 1 p.m. today, Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No 86 – 1525 Shelby St, Indianapolis (Howey Politics Indiana).

 

MORE THAN 100 GOP NOMINEES BELIEVE IN BIG LIE: J.R. Majewski marched to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and tweeted a photo with the caption: “It’s going down on 1/6.” Last month, he won the Republican nomination in an Ohio congressional district along Lake Erie (Washington Post). Monica De La Cruz, an insurance agent, contested her defeat in 2020 by repeating former president Donald Trump’s disproved allegations of mail-ballot fraud. For a second time, De La Cruz is the GOP nominee for a Texas House seat that touches the Mexican border. In an open primary in a safely Republican Georgia district, all nine candidates questioned the 2020 result. Of the two candidates who advanced to this month’s runoff, lawyer Jake Evans touted his past efforts to “overturn” elections, while physician Rich McCormick emphasized that he refused to concede in a 2018 race. “No one was hurt by voter fraud more than myself,” McCormick said during a May debate. About a third of the way through the 2022 primaries, voters have nominated scores of Republican candidates for state and federal office who say the 2020 election was rigged, according to a new analysis by The Washington Post.

 

Polls

 

MORNING CONSULT POLL ON JAN. 6: Morning Consult/Politico asked, How responsible do you believe each of the following are for the events that led to a group of people attacking police and breaking into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6? The people who broke into the Capitol: Eighty-five percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 8% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: +77; Social media: Sixty percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 28% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: +32; The news media: Fifty-seven percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 31% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: +26; Trump: Fifty-seven percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 34% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: +23; Congressional Republicans: Forty-nine percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 38% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: +11; Congressional Democrats: Thirty-three percent say “very” or “somewhat” responsible, and 53% say “not too” or “not” responsible. Net: -20. Two more interesting findings: Asked whether the events of Jan. 6 would affect how they vote in the midterms, 32% of voters said it would have a major impact, 18% said it would have a minor impact and 50% said it would have no impact. Asked how much of the first hearing they watched live last week, 14% said they watched the primetime hearing in full, 25% said they watched some of it and 60% said they didn’t watch any of it.

 

POLL SHOWS SUPPORT TO PROSECUTE OFFICIALS OVERTURNING ELECTIONS: In a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, a majority of voters said they think the Justice Department should bring legal action against elected officials who have attempted to overturn the results of an election — a question that has cropped up in light of the hearings. Do you believe that the Department of Justice should bring legal action against: elected officials who have misled Americans about the outcome of an election: Sixty-three percent said “yes, probably” or “yes definitely,” while 26% said “no, probably not” or “no, definitely not.” Net approval: +37% … elected officials who have attempted to overturn the results of an American election: Sixty-seven percent said “yes,” 21% said “no.” Net approval: +46.

 

TWO-THIRDS OF ILLINOIS REPUBLICANS SAY TRUMP WON IN 2020: Former President Donald Trump wields a powerful spell over Illinois Republicans with a majority declaring him as their top choice for the White House in 2024 and even more believing legally he should still be there. More than two-thirds of the state’s GOP voters believe Trump actually won the 2020 election. And nearly nine out of ten still like the combative former president. Those are some of the conclusions of a new Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ Poll that takes the political pulse of a state GOP eagerly trying to regain its political footing in Springfield but facing a split between its rising Trump-allegiant wing and its longtime establishment wing seeking to avoid being clipped.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB APPOINTMENTS – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced several appointments to various state boards and commissions.

 

Board of Trustees of Indiana State University: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2024: Robert Lowe (Carmel), vice president of people and culture for Republic Airlines

 

Board of Trustees of Indiana University: The governor made two reappointments to the board, who will serve until July 1, 2025: William “Quinn” Buckner (Bloomington), vice president of communications for Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Cindy Lucchese (Indianapolis), chief strategy officer with Penske Entertainment

 

Board of Trustees of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana: The governor made four reappointments to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2025: Terry Anker (Carmel), chairman of The Anker Consulting Group, Inc.; Michael Dora (Rushville), retired agricultural specialist; Larry Garatoni (Mishawaka), CEO of HQ Investments; Paula Hughes-Schuh (Fort Wayne), CEO of YWCA Northeast Indiana. The governor also made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2025: Jen Dekker (Lafyette), corporate controller at Citation Homes, Inc.

 

Board of Trustees of Purdue University: The governor made one reappointment to the board, who will serve until July 1, 2025: Lawrence “Sonny” Beck (Atlanta), CEO of Beck’s Superior Hybrids. The governor also made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until July 1, 2025: Shawn Taylor (Houston), former franchise owner/operator and former limited partner/owner of the Houston Astros.

 

Board of Trustees of the University of Southern Indiana: The governor made three reappointments to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2026: Harold Calloway (Evansville), retired State Farm Insurance agent; John Dunn (Evansville), CEO of Dunn Hospitality Group; Christine Keck (Evansville), managing director of federal government affairs with CenterPoint Energy.

 

Early Learning Advisory Committee: The governor made two reappointments to the committee: Tonia Carriger (Indianapolis), program director of the Indiana Head Start State Collaboration Office Family & Social Services Agency, who will serve until June 30, 2025; Betsy Delgado (Carmel), senior vice president and chief mission and education officer with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, who will serve until June 30, 2024. The governor also made five new appointments to the committee: Erin Donovan (New Castle), associate professor and early childhood department chair with Ivy Tech Community College, who will serve until June 30, 2024. Lisa Johnson (Hammond), CEO of Lisa’s Safe Haven Child Care, who will serve until June 30, 2024.

Rob Moorhead (Aurora), superintendent of the South Ripley Community School Corporation, who will serve until June 30, 2025. Sherry Searles (North Manchester), child care and early learning coalition director for LaunchPad with the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, who will serve until June 30, 2025. Maureen Weber (Indianapolis), president & chief executive officer of Early Learning Indiana, who will serve until June 30, 2024. The governor also appointed her to serve as chair of the committee.

 

Governor’s Workforce Cabinet: The governor made three new appointments to the cabinet, who will serve until December 31, 2023: Loren King (Lafyette), CEO and co-founder of Trinitas; Dan Peterson (Bloomington), vice president of industry and government affairs for Cook Group Incorporated; David Shane (Indianapolis), retired CEO of Lacy Diversified Industries.

 

Indiana State Board of Nursing: The governor made one reappointment to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2026: Kim Cooper (Terre Haute), dean of the Ivy Tech Terre Haute School of Nursing. The governor also made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until June 30, 2026: Dr. Julian Gallegos (West Lafayette), clinical associate professor and director of the doctor of nursing practice program with Purdue University.

 

Indiana State Fair Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, who will serve until September 30, 2023: Elisha Modisett Kemp (Sheridan), state government and industry affairs leader with Corteva Agriscience.

 

Indiana War Memorials Commission: The governor made three reappointments to the commission, who will serve until December 31, 2024: Brigadier General Felicia Brokaw (Indianapolis), assistant chief of staff with United States Forces Korea; Jerry Griffis (Muncie), veteran and former Delaware County veterans service officer; CT Montgomery (Princeton), veteran and former Gibson County auditor. The governor also made one new appointment to the commission, who will serve until December 31, 2024: Lonny Barnett (Guilford), veteran and financial advisory with Edward Jones Investment.

 

IDEM: AIR QUALITY ALERTS ISSUED – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for today in the following regions: Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison, Shelby;  North Central Indiana – St. Joseph, Elkhart; Northeast Indiana – Allen, Huntington, Wabash; Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte; Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd; Southwest Indiana – Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick; West Central Indiana – Vigo, Carroll, Tippecanoe.

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SCHEDULE – Gov. Holcomb Public Schedule for June 14-17. 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14: Indiana FFA 93rd State Convention. Gov. Holcomb will deliver brief remarks during the first general session of the Indiana FFA Convention, Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis. 11 a.m. CDT) Thursday, June 16: Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon: Gov. Holcomb will participate in a Q & A., Lincoln Amphitheatre, 15032 E County Rd 1500 Lincoln City, IN. 11:30 a.m. (CDT) Friday, June 17: 2022 Evansville Regional Economic Partnership “Lunch with the Governor”: Gov. Holcomb and Greg Wathen, president, Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, Old National Events Plaza, 715 Locust Street, Evansville.

 

ISDH: $35M IN GRANTS AWARDED – The Indiana Department of Health has awarded more than $35 million in grants to help improve health outcomes in Indiana through the Health Issues and Challenges program, established by the Indiana General Assembly in 2021 with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (Howey Politics Indiana). “Improving the health of Hoosiers benefits individuals, communities and businesses, and we are incredibly grateful to our state lawmakers for making Hoosiers’ health a priority,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Being able to fund programs that are addressing some of the most pressing health concerns facing our state will position us to build community-level solutions that build a brighter and healthier future for generations to come.” Priority was given to applicants that demonstrated high need and high impact in their grant proposals. Funding includes: $850,000 to address asthma; More than $980,000 to address cancer prevention; Nearly $2.7 million for cardiovascular health and diabetes; $5.6 million for community health workers; More than $4 million for community paramedicine; More than $6.5 million to address hepatitis C; Nearly $790,000 for tobacco prevention; More than $4.2 million for lead prevention; and Nearly $9.4 million to address food insecurity and obesity issues. The funding must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

 

DCS: FAMILY SUES STATE OVER UNPAID SETTLEMENT – A Wabash couple who had reached a $2.75 million settlement after an Indiana Department of Child Services family case manager was found to have made false allegations of abuse and neglect is now suing the state for not approving the settlement agreement (Odendahl, Indiana Lawyer). Jason and Myka Kelly filed the complaint—Jason Kelly and Myka Kelly, for themselves and their minor children A.S., A.T.M., A.E.M., A.C.M., J.T.K., and J.E.K. v. The State of Indiana, Sandra Sell, Brandy Shaver, Valerie Eiler, John Lane, Julie Hobbs, and Larry Noland, 85C01-2206-CT-00329—June 8 in Wabash Circuit Court alleging breach of contract and violation of the 14th Amendment. The Kellys assert the state had an “implied obligation to make a reasonable and good faith effort” to get the settlement agreement approved. Also, they contend DCS’s removal of the children “without probable cause, without court order, and when the children were in no imminent danger, violated the 14th Amendment’s due process rights and protections against unreasonable seizure.”

 

PURDUE: CHIANG ANSWERS QUESTIONS – From Mung Chiang … In an internal search conducted by the trustees, was Chiang invited to apply? (Bangert, Based in Lafayette). “The board of trustees makes the decisions regarding presidential appointments. I must say that I am deeply honored by the level of confidence, the degree of confidence that the board of trustees has in my ability to serve. In April, I was humbled when Chairman Berghoff approached me. And I was also made aware that President Daniels just notified the board in April that he would no longer be the president starting in 2023. And details of the terms were discussed in May, and finalized just earlier this month.” But did trustees come to Chiang? Or did trustees advertise that the job was open? “Obviously, I was not in the process myself,” Chiang said. “I’m on the receiving end of it, with great gratitude and excitement. I was just humbled and honored beyond belief, because Purdue is such a remarkable institution. It’s one of the top, world-class universities, but also the Boilermaker spirit and history and the momentum and trajectory we are on right now after the Daniels decade. These are simply remarkable.”

 

ECONOMY: GAS PRICES RISE 22 CENTS – Gas in Indiana is up 22 cents since last week, reported Gasbuddy.com. The state average Monday morning was $5.22 per gallon, while the national average surpassed $5 per gallon and sat at $5.01 (WIBC). For Indiana gas prices were up around 80 cents since one month ago and $2.20, per gallon in a year’s time. Fort Wayne had one of the largest increases for the week, at 32 cents per gallon, with an average of $5.23 per gallon, while it remained at $5.08 in the area of Indiana around Cincinnati.

 

AGRICULTURE: TOM SAYS INDIANA SHOULD INVEST DUE TO UKRAINE –  Ukraine’s war with Russia has put a clamp on both countries’ ability to export many of the products that the rest of the world takes for granted. Economic sanctions on Russia because of their invasion of Ukraine have squeezed the country’s ability to export oil, as well as other products like Nitrogen which is used in fertilizer for crops. Kip Tom, who is a managing member of Tom Farms in Leesburg, sees the turmoil in Europe as an opportunity for Indiana (WIBC). “There is no question, we need to bring some of these supply chains back to the United States and back to Indiana,” Tom said on Inside Indiana Business. “Nearly a third of the world’s nitrogen comes out of Russia. Belarus is a producer of potassium. We can get nitrogen production started here in the United States, either along the Michigan coast or down on the Ohio River.” Tom, who is the former US ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture, suggested leveraging agricultural companies based in Indiana already to start investing in bringing these supply chains within the country’s borders, or even reach out to European companies about investing in Indiana. “We need to realize that (the Russian invasion of Ukraine) is a long-term play, and we need to bring these supply chains back to the United States,” Tom added.

 

MEDIA: EMMIS SELLS WIBC – Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. announced Monday an agreement to sell the radio stations in its home market—including longstanding local stalwart WIBC-FM 93.1 —to Maryland-based Urban One, which already owns several local stations (IBJ). Other Emmis stations that would be sold as part of the deal are WYXB-FM 105.7 (B105), WLHK-FM 97.1 (Hank FM), and WFNI-FM 93.5 and 105.5 (both known as The Fan). The deal also includes Network Indiana, which provides news, talk and spots programming to more than 70 stations in Indiana. Emmis’ Indianapolis radio stations have 77 full-time and 50 part-time employees, all based in the company’s Monument Circle headquarters. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Emmis will still own Indianapolis Monthly magazine and two radio station licenses in New York City, as well as several new ventures that focus on sales and marketing. It plans to keep its Monument Circle headquarters and evaluate its future use later, a spokeswoman said. Emmis moved into the building at 40 Monument Circle in 1998.

 

Congress

 

THE HOUSE will meet at 10 a.m. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will testify before a Homeland Security subcommittee at 10 a.m. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will testify before the Education and Labor Committee at 10:15 a.m. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon will testify before the Select Climate Crisis Committee at 1 p.m.

 

THE SENATE will meet at 11 a.m. to take up the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, with a recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for weekly conference meetings.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN LEANING TOWARD ENDING TRUMP TARIFFS – President Biden, in an Oval Office meeting last week with key Cabinet members, indicated he’s leaning toward removing some products from the Trump administration’s China tariffs list, Axios’ Hans Nichols reports. With inflation at a 40-year high of 8.6%, Biden and his top officials are desperate to show action on bringing down prices, even if it makes them appear weak on China. How it works: Biden can act unilaterally to relieve American consumers of costs from tariffs that cover $350 billion in goods from China. But Biden’s plans to exempt some products covered by Trump’s Section 301 tariffs risk aggravating the labor movement.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BERNSTEIN DOESN’T BELIEVE MUCH WAS MISSED ON INFLATION – Jared Bernstein, a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers said Monday that he doesn’t believe the White House “missed much” on inflation during CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (Fox News). Bernstein emphasized that Biden has made inflation his top economic priority and said “that there’s always something we can do.” Inflation hit 8.6% in May, climbing to another 40-year high. “To the extent that the White House missed this in terms of the inflation story, and I know you said that you’ve missed it before, we’re not going to re-litigate that. But what I want to understand is what you think the lesson of it was and is to the extent that the public wants to know that there was a lesson, that you’ve learned it and that going forward you’re going to approach this differently,” CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin said.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE – President Biden’s schedule — 8:10 a.m.: The president will leave the White House for Philadelphia, arriving at 9:15 a.m. — 11 a.m.: Biden will speak at the 29th AFL-CIO Quadrennial Constitutional Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. — 12:25 p.m.: Biden will leave Philadelphia to return to the White House, arriving at 1:30 p.m. VP Harris:  — The VP will lead a roundtable at 2:30 p.m. about what happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned, featuring “constitutional law, privacy, and technology experts.” Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle on Air Force One on the way to Philly.

 

FDA: PFIZER VAX WORKS FOR YOUNG KIDS – The Food and Drug Administration said on Sunday that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine appeared to be effective in preventing Covid illness in children under 5, judging by the level of virus-blocking antibodies the shots induced (New York Times). The agency’s evaluation was posted online ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of outside vaccine experts, summoned to recommend how the F.D.A. should rule on applications from both Pfizer and Moderna on vaccinating the nation’s youngest children.

 

MEDIA: THE 20M WHO TUNED INTO JAN. 6 HEARING – Last week’s prime-time Jan. 6 hearing has nearly topped viewership of all the Trump era’s high-drama political hearings, Axios’ Sara Fischer and Neal Rothschild report. The House Select Committee tried hard to grab Americans’ fleeting attention by holding the hearing in prime time, and by enlisting former ABC News President James Goldston. The opening hearing nearly doubled the TV audience of the first three games of the ongoing NBA Finals, which averaged nearly 12 million viewers on ABC, per Nielsen. Hearing 2 was yesterday.  Major Trump-era hearings also drew high engagement compared to other national TV events: The final games of the 2021 World Series and the NBA finals drew 11.7 million and 9.91 million viewers, respectively. The Brett Kavanaugh and James Comey hearings drew around 20 million viewers each. The Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys and Golden Globes all drew fewer than 10 million viewers in 2021.

 

OHIO: DeWINE SIGNS ARMED TEACHER BILL – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday that he has signed a bill into law that makes it much easier for teachers to legally carry guns in schools (NBC News). The measure drastically reduces the amount of training teachers and other staff are required to undergo before they can possess a firearm on school grounds. Instead of 700 hours of training, teachers will be able to finish in less than 24 hours. “Our goal is to continue to help our public and private schools get the tools they need to protect our children,” DeWine said. “We have an obligation to do everything we can every single day to try and protect our kids.”

 

MLB: CHISOX DEFEAT DETROIT 9-5 – Jose Abreu hit a pair of two-run homers and Luis Robert singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 9-5 on Monday night (ESPN). Abreu sent a soaring shot over the left-center fence in the first to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. He hit a line drive in the ninth over a row of hedges beyond the wall in center to give Chicago a four-run cushion. “He put on a heck of an exhibition,” manager Tony La Russa said. White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn made his season debut, coming back from surgery on his right knee, and gave up three runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. “It felt good to be back,” he said. “Early on, you’re trying to feel things out and they jumped on me.”

 

MLB: PADRES DOWN CUBS 4-1 – Yu Darvish pitched a season-high eight innings of five-hit ball, Manny Machado hit a tiebreaking single and Eric Hosmer had a two-run double to cap a three-run eighth inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Monday night (ESPN). Darvish (6-3), pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time since the Cubs traded him to the Padres as the centerpiece of a seven-player trade on Dec. 29, 2020, didn’t allow a runner past second base after Yan Gomes hit a home run in the second. “This is a place where a lot happened for me and a lot happened to me,” Darvish said. “But I’m really grateful to be here pitching.”

 

MLB: REDS TOP ARIZONA 5-4 – Mike Moustakas celebrated his return from the injured list with a game-winning RBI for the Cincinnati Reds (ESPN). “Got a pitch a little off my hands, got it out there on the outfield grass and it helped the team win a ballgame,” Moustakas said after his broken-bat bloop down the right-field line in the sixth inning turned out to be the winning hit in the Reds’ 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

 

Local

 

FORT WAYNE: 39k WITHOUT POWER AFTER STORMS – Utility crews are working to restore power to tens of thousands of customers after storms Monday knocked out electricity throughout northeast Indiana (WANE-TV). WPTA-TV reported 41,000 homes were without power and another 9,000 REMC customers. The National Weather Service reports a wind gust of 98 mph was recorded at Fort Wayne International, which is the strongest wind gust ever recorded. The previous record of 91 mph was set in 2012. As of 6:45 a.m., I&M reported just over 39,000 customers without power. The utility is still assessing how long it will take to restore electricity as there are dozens of lines down.

 

ELKHART: COUNCIL RESOLUTION URGING GAS TAX SUSPENSION – The Elkhart Common Council passed a resolution Monday calling for the Indiana State Legislature to suspend the state’s gas tax for six months (WVPE). Council Member Aaron Mishler introduced the resolution. He says inflation is hitting small business owners and those on fixed incomes hard and suspending the state gas tax is a way to help them out. “Folks need some relief,” Mishler said. “Even if the governor doesn’t heed our attention and doesn’t call the special session to do this, I would much rather try to do what I can to help my constituents than nothing at all.” Right now, Hoosiers pay 32 cents per gallon in state taxes — set to increase to 33 cents in July — as well as a sales tax of seven percent of the average cost of a gallon in the state during the previous month.

 

SOUTH BEND: COUNCIL RESOLUTION URGES GUN REFORMS – In the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, members of the South Bend Common Council are calling for “common sense gun reform” (WVPE). The council passed a resolution Monday evening asking residents to contact their state and federal lawmakers about enacting stricter gun control measures. Proposals being considered at the federal level include strengthening background checks, enacting red flag laws and reinstating the ban on assault weapons. “Issues of gun control and legislation are outside of the jurisdiction and hands of local municipalities,” Councilwoman Rachel Tomas Morgan said. “That said, there’s much that we can do in our community to continue to educate and do what we can within our own jurisdiction.”

 

ANDERSON: COUNCILMAN LYNCH TO RESIGN — Anderson City Councilman Don Lynch has announced plans to resign from the council effective on June 30 (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Lynch said in a letter to the Anderson City Clerk’s office that he suffered an accident in his residence last July and has been unable to recover. He was elected by the Democratic Party precinct committeemen in January 2021 to complete the term of Donna Davis in the 2nd District. Davis had been elected to a 10th term on the council in 2019 and died in 2020. Lynch was elected in a contest with four other candidates to complete Davis’s term. The other candidates included Jeff Barranco, Jen Rusher, A.J. Patrick and former Anderson police chief Tony Watters. Lynch had previously served on the Alexandria city council before moving to Anderson.

 

CROWN POINT: TEENS IN CAPS & GOWNS RETURN FIRE — Two teenage brothers in their caps and gowns returned fire Sunday after a man in dark clothing began shooting at them, leaving two people wounded as a result of the shootout and causing others to duck for cover behind vehicles, according to court records and police (Reese, NWI Times). Joshua J. Hughes, 17, was charged Thursday as an adult in the shooting Sunday outside the U.S. Steel Yard following a graduation ceremony for more than 200 West Side Leadership Academy students. Two Lake County sheriff’s officers working security at the graduation spotted Hughes and another teen, identified in court records as Calob Hughes, 16, at the southeast side of the stadium and ordered them to lie facedown because they had guns, Lake Criminal Court records state.

 

EAST CHICAGO: PD FACING STAFFING ISSUES — A reorganization of the city’s hard-pressed police department has prompted a debate on how safe its streets currently are (Dolan, NWI Times). Officer Brandon Holzhauer, president of the city Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said Friday the police force has shrunk to 56 state-certified officers out of a department that should have 98 on duty. He said that typically there are only a handful of officers patrolling the streets at any one time.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: SOUTHEASTERN AVE TO CLOSE WEDNESDAY – On or after Wednesday, June 15, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (Indy DPW) expects to fully close the segment of Southeastern Avenue between Trowbridge Street to the west and a railroad crossing to the east (at about 3400 E Southeastern Avenue) (Howey Politics Indiana). While previously restricted to one lane of traffic in each direction, the complete closure will allow crews full access to the construction zone to finalize work on roadway infrastructure upgrades near the Community Justice Campus (CJC) in the Twin Aire neighborhood. An exception to the full closure will be the intersection with Pleasant Run Parkway N Drive, which will allow eastbound-westbound traffic to cross over Southeastern Avenue. Access to the CJC will be maintained via both Pleasant Run Parkway N Drive as well as Prospect Street. With the full closure in place for the final phase of the Twin Aire Roadway Improvement project, Indy DPW expects the majority of roadway improvement elements along Southeastern Avenue, Rural Street, and English Avenue to be completely reconstructed, striped and open to traffic by the end of this year

 

FORT WAYNE:  CITY UPDATES ON WASTE SERVICES – The City of Fort Wayne today provided an update on solid waste services. For this week, crews are focusing on garbage collection. Today, Red River crews are finishing garbage collections in Thursday and Friday routes and City of Fort Wayne crews are working in Monday routes (Howey Politics Indiana). Recycling won’t be collected this week. The City of Fort Wayne Solid Waste Department is hopeful that recycling collection will begin again next week with the B week recycling schedule. Residents may want to consider bringing their recycling bins in from the curb or alley until a regular rotation of collections can begin again. Residents are asked to continue to set out garbage materials the night before their regularly scheduled day of pickup. We’ll do our best to provide the collection service as close to their regular day as possible. As often as possible, crews are collecting garbage on the evenings and on weekends. The Solid Waste Department continues to do its best to assist Red River to maintain operational levels for garbage and recycling collection. We continue to utilize City staff to assist with the routes and misses that Red River is unable to service with their lower staffing levels and higher tonnage in recent weeks.

 

FORT WAYNE: CHIEF WAS TRAA OVERWORKED – The Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) Chief Eric Lahey has responded to a request from Fort Wayne Councilman Russ Jehl that the department help with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA) transports as it struggles with response times (WPTA-TV). Lahey’s letter comes after members of the Allen County Fire Chiefs’ Association sent City leaders a letter expressing “concerns regarding the deficiencies” of TRAA. They say other departments who are aiding TRAA are being pulled away from the areas they are supposed to be serving and it is adding stress on crews. In response, Councilman Jehl said he reached out to FWFD, asking if the department would be able to take on TRAA calls if the other agencies are unable to. Chief Lahey sent a response on Monday, saying FWFD cannot help fill in the gaps with firefighters as it would decrease the number of first responders on the street and “force overtime on an already overworked department”. Currently, he says the department has agreed to respond to priority 6 runs, which are non-life-threatening runs, when TRAA is not able to respond.

 

FORT WAYNE: CITY TO OPEN COOLING STATIONS – The City of Fort Wayne announced the lobby of the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory will serve as a cooling station due to high temperatures and heat indices forecasted to impact our area (Howey Politics Indiana). The cooling station will be available from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is located at 1100 S. Calhoun St. in downtown Fort Wayne. Also, The Salvation Army will serve as a cooling station from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. The Salvation Army is located at 2901 N. Clinton St.

 

EVANSVILLE: CITY TO OPEN COOLING STATIONS – Mayor Lloyd Winnecke tweeted Monday: “During this week’s bout of extreme heat, @EvansvilleINGov will activate a centrally-located Cooling Center at CK Newsome Community Center lobby. The Cooling Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone seeking a safe, indoor space to get some relief.”

 

MUNCIE: COP TRIAL DELAY POSSIBLE — The trial of three current and former Muncie police officers accused of excessive force or covering it up could be delayed once again (Kenney, WRTV). On June 10, attorneys for officer Chase Winkle and Sgt. Joseph Krejsa filed a motion for a continuance. The trial for Winkle, Corey Posey and Krejsa was originally scheduled for Aug. 15. According to the motion, the trial has already been continued five times for several reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic, a superseding indictment and the need to review discovery.

 

BOONE COUNTY: ABUSE CASES SPIKE 33% – Investigations of sexual and other child abuse spiked to 33% above average in Boone County during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the trend is expected to climb (Lebanon Reporter). At the same time, the agency that helps detectives, child victims, and their families suffered significant financial blows. The Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center will receive 40% less than requested from the center’s main funding source, an annual Victims of Child Crime Act grant, Kassie Frazier, director of SCAC in Lebanon, said last week, adding that it may mean a loss of a child advocate responsible for coordinating mental health services for child victims. Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood on May 6 asked county commissioners to commit $21,400 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to cover Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center’s pandemic-related losses. They agreed. “It is our firm belief that COVID was a main contributing factor this this increase,” Eastwood said of the jump from 2020 to ’21, when children were again able to access adults outside of their immediate situations.

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