Archive for Kevin Rader’s Statehouse Blog
A group called Students for Mitch Daniels is putting this ad on the air in Iowa during the Pro Bowl coverage this weekend:
“So I met this guy a couple of years ago. He told me he was different. He bought me a car. He even subsidized my medical insurance. Everything was perfect until I got my credit card bill. It turns out he was spending all of my money. Now there’s a new man in my life. Mitch Daniels. He doesn’t need to rely on fancy rhetoric or empty promises. You know what he’s all about? Fiscal responsbility.”
They intend to also run the ad in New Hampshire and here in Indiana. The group adds that the governor has not approved the message but the ad says, “Tell him to [approve it].”
Vice President Joe Biden was in Greenfield Wednesday at the new Ener1 facility touting advanced technology vehicles. The employees at the plant assemble the lithium-ion batteries that power the Think City electric car going into production in Elkhart.
He didn’t waste any time endearing himself to the audience when he mentioned a number of local dignitaries, but one may wish he hadn’t.
The VP said, “I understand State Senator Gard is here. I want to recognize him. I was told he as here.” She was. No word yet on what State Senator Beverly Gard thought of his pronouncement, but he didn’t stop there.
As I mentioned he was visiting Ener1, which he happened to interchange twice with Enron1. It is understandable but there is quite a difference there.
When asked, Pence has never wavered in his response. He says he is prayerfully considering his options with his family and appreciates all the feedback he is currently getting here at home and all around the country.
But the announcement we are all anxiously anticipating within the next week may not answer all of the questions. There is speculation that Congressman Pence may announce that he is not running for president but not directly address a possible gubernatorial bid.
New state law that forbids fundraising during a budget session of the Indiana legislature may have a hand in that, although no one seems to know for sure how that law applies to a potential run for governor by a sitting congressman.
Obviously the only one who truly knows is the Congressman. Hopefully we will all know the answers to both questions within the next week.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has already announced that he will not make any announcement about his political future until after the current legislative session. He may not be the only one.
Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is stepping down from the House GOP leadership team. The decision frees Pence up to consider a run for the White House in 2012 or for Indiana governor.
In a letter Pence sent out today he says, “Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future.”
He also writes, “We will continue our duties serving the people of Indiana and do what we have always done in such times; we will wait on the Lord and follow where He leads.”
He may well be laying the groundwork to run for Indiana governor. Last night he was fairly noncommittal. He talked about a stronger country and a stronger Indiana.
Eyewitness News asked Rep. Pence if we’d see him in Iowa. He chuckled, then said, “Let me tell you, we’ve been completely focused on November 2nd up to this day. I’ve just been absolutely determined to do everything in my power to make sure we elect a conservative majority back to Washington, DC and help this good governor in Indiana get a majority in the General Assembly. We’ll take a look at the future starting tomorrow. But tonight we’re gonna celebrate a great victory for the American people.”
At that time, he no doubt knew that the letter announcing his resignation from the leadership team would go out.
From Democratic analyst Robin Winston:
“Clearly Gov. Daniels’ message worked. Now it’s time to not concentrate on control but to work and build consensus and move our state forward. There still are talented and committed Democrats who are poised and ready to help the governor create better paying jobs, improve education, make our tax system more equitable and move our state forward.”
From Republican analyst Peter Rusthoven:
“The shift of two seats to the Republicans in Indiana reflects the nationwide shift to Republicans in the US House of Representatives, an election that became a national referendum on the Obama adminitration’s priorities over the last twoyears. Locally, the shift in the Indiana House of Representatives to Republican control means that Gov. Daniels will now have an oppportunity to enact major education and governmental reforms that have been blocked by the Democratic-controlled House. It also means that the Republican party will be redrawing the congressional districts next year, which will have an impact on the Hoosier congressional delegation elected in 2012.”
“It’s a big night for Republicans, but I hope they remember that it is a mandate to do constructive things, including cutting federal spending and reversing the increasingly large role of the federal government in American life. If we don’t take the lead on these kinds of issues the voters will reject us and we will deserve to be rejected.”
Democrat Brad Ellsworth is expected to give his concession speech in a couple of minutes. NBC and AP projected Republican Dan Coats as the winner of the US Senate seat a while ago.
WTHR will do a live cut-in if/when it happens.
The Associated Press called the races for Republican US House incumbents Dan Burton and Mike Pence shortly after the polls closed…no surprises there.
Hoosiers appear to favor the property tax cap amendment, with 67 percent in favor – but it’s early hours yet. Only two percent of precincts are reporting.
Republican Dan Coats has a strong early lead and it’s possible NBC will project Coats the winner of the US Senate seat at the top of the hour.
More updates to come…
When it comes to off-year elections the turnout is always a big issue. Let’s face it. More registered voters will stay home on Tuesday than will actually cast a ballot.
Earlier this week I heard the story of an 85-year-old World War II veteran from Indiana who stands as an example for all of us. He doesn’t want me to say his name because he doesn’t think what he has done is really that big of a deal.
He called his daughter last week and asked if she could pick him up and take him to vote. Normally that would not be a big day but he is experiencing severe back problems for some time. In fact he hasn’t even been out of his house for the last two weeks. Even picking up the paper at the curb has become too painful.
His daughter was more than a little surprised by his call but not as surprised as she was back on May 6th, 2008. Voting was a big deal then too. So big in fact that even though his wife has passed away that morning he still went to cast his vote later that same day.
They have been called the greatest generation and it is little wonder why. They are still showing us how it should be done every day. He didn’t want me to say his name so I won’t but I couldn’t help but share his actions. When his daughter asked him why he makes such an effort to vote he responded simply, “Isn’t that what you are supposed to do?”
Yes, it is, but many people don’t. I will go cast my vote early on Tuesday and I will be thinking about him when I do what we all are supposed to do.
– Kevin Rader