Political Notebook

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    One mystery from the chaotic State Board of Education meeting Wednesday has been solved – how the Indiana State Teachers Association got hold of restricted A-F school grades.
  • ISTA receives data in advance
    One mystery from the chaotic State Board of Education meeting Wednesday has been solved -- how the Indiana State Teachers Association got embargoed A-F school grades.
  • Allen GOP donations 'off the charts'
    The Allen County Republican Party says it has raised a record amount of money – more than $485,000 – so far this year.
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Donnelly brushes off talk of lucky win

In the words of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, don’t get no respect.

Weeks before he joins the Senate, Donnelly is receiving little credit for beating Republican Richard Mourdock in the Nov. 6 general election.

In a Tuesday email soliciting money to pay unspecified campaign debts, Mourdock’s campaign finance director blamed the media for his defeat.

Ashlee Walls wrote that, “we found our campaign caught in the liberal media cross hairs. Never has Indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias more interested in defeating conservatives than reporting the news.”

She said the campaign, “invested heavily in a last minute push to combat the slew of false accusations Democrats and the liberal media churned up to distract voters.”

Media coverage in the last weeks of the Mourdock-Donnelly battle was dominated by Mourdock’s remark at an Oct. 23 candidate’s debate that a pregnancy resulting from rape, “is something that God intended to happen.”

In a piece published last week by Roll Call, Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, called Donnelly among the four “luckiest” candidates in 2012.

Rothenberg wrote that Donnelly “had little or no chance” of winning the race until state Treasurer Mourdock made his comment about rape. Rothenberg did concede that Donnelly “ran a good race” but said he would not have defeated “any minimally appealing mainstream Republican,” including six-term Sen. Richard Lugar, whom Mourdock clobbered in the Republican primary election.

Donnelly seems to be taking it all in stride.

“I’m honored that Hoosier voters put their trust in me,” he said Wednesday in a phone interview. “In fact, our polls showed us, even before that debate, ahead in the race.”

Hes on board now

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma still thinks of former colleague Jeff Espich as a dear friend – but that doesn’t mean he can’t get a good dig in.

At a legislative conference Thursday, Bosma poked at Espich – the longtime House member and Ways and Means chairman who decided not to run for re-election – when discussing Gov.-elect Mike Pence’s proposal to cut Indiana’s income tax.

Espich initially expressed caution about the idea when still a legislator, but now that he is working as a legislative adviser for Pence was recently quoted as being on board.

“One of the chief opponents of that happens to now be working for the administration,” Bosma said. “He seems to have changed his mind during the time period from when he was advising me to when he was advising Gov.-elect Pence, so that will be interesting for me personally to see where Jeff Espich shakes out on this.”

12-12-12 vows

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman took time on a historic day Wednesday to officiate a Lawrence County couple’s vow renewal.

Ray and Debbie Lindsey had their ceremony on their 12th wedding anniversary on the 12th day of the 12th month in the year 2012, at noon.

“Marriage is a sacred commitment between two people and it’s always a blessing to share in that special moment between Hoosiers,” Skillman said. “My best friend Alma married this couple 12 years ago and she recently passed away. I thought it was only fitting that I stand in to officiate their vow renewal.”

The Statehouse ceremony was held in the lieutenant governor’s office with friends and family gathered. The Lindseys were originally married at the Lawrence County Courthouse by the county clerk, the late Alma Herbert.

“I picked the year 2000 to get married so it would be easier for me to remember how many years I have been married,” Ray Lindsey said.

Now his vow renewal will be even easier to remember.

Inaugural events

Gov.-elect Mike Pence recently announced that registration has opened for the inaugural events of 2013.

“As we embark on a season of service over the next four years, we seek to make the inaugural events of 2013 enjoyable and accessible for all Hoosiers,” said Karen Pence, incoming first lady. “We encourage Hoosiers from all corners of the state to join us at these events and look forward to welcoming them in the days leading up to Mike’s inauguration.”

Though most of the events are free and open to the public, Hoosiers are required to register because of space constraints at some venues. Here is the link to register: www.indianaworks.eventbrite.com.

The events include a family fun day Jan. 12; a ball that evening; a praise and worship service Jan. 13 and the inauguration Jan. 14.

Attendees of all inaugural events are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, which will be donated to the Midwest Food Bank.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.

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