Political Notebook

  • Daniels' near-presidential run dissected
    In the end, it was the lure of playing the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club that brought then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and a tight-knit group of friends and supporters together in the fall of 2009 to discuss whether he should run for
  • 2 Hoosiers named to U.S. House Energy Committee
    Reps. Susan Brooks, R-5th, and Larry Bucshon, R-8th, have been named to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress.
  • Indiana House sets leaders for session
    The Indiana House has tapped leadership and committee chairs for the 2015 General Assembly.

Misleading ad can send wrong reply

Some Hoosiers might unwittingly be supporting Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed income tax cut thanks to a deceptive online ad by Americans for Prosperity.

The ad has been popping up on local blogs as well as other websites, including those of The Journal Gazette and The Chicago Tribune.

It asks “Do you support Gov. Pence’s budget and income tax cut?” Then there is a green yes button and a red no button.

The problem is, no matter which button you hit, the same automatic email reply pops up for you to send.

If you aren’t careful, you could hit no and then send a note to state lawmakers entitled “support tax relief for Hoosiers.”

In the text it, it applauds the General Assembly for helping the state weather tough economic times.

“Now, I hope that you and the other Senators will do the right thing to help Hoosier taxpayers and continue down the path of fiscal responsibility,” the automated email says. “The Senate budget … is a good step in the right direction. Thank you in advance for supporting this initial move for greater tax relief. We’re couting (sic) on you.”

FYI, you can also erase the message and write your own.

Bosma’s back

GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma returned to the House chamber Wednesday with nary a limp.

He had been out for more than a week after an infection was found in a knee he had replaced last summer. After surgery, he had been recuperating away from the hustle and bustle of the legislature.

Bosma took to the rostrum while members applauded his return. He thanked everyone for the texts, emails, cards, flowers and fruit.

He said one of the best cards came from a Democratic staffer, and it had a picture of a too-large man and a too-small gown, “which really hit home.”

Bosma also said the staff director from the Democratic side sent him a humorous note about how a few things had changed in his absence. “The margarita machine has been rolled out of storage,” and a dance floor had been installed for karaoke.

He noted that it’s like “watching paint dry” when monitoring the online stream of the House.

One thing that wasn’t boring was a funny YouTube video the House Republican media staff put together. It involved lip-synching “Since Bosma’s Been Gone” to a popular radio hit.

It features legislators, staffers and even a few media folks singing (badly), along with still pictures of Bosma.

3rd district love

The latest edition of Indiana Legislative Insight reports that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report is calling the 3rd District the most Republican congressional district in Indiana.

The Fort Wayne-based region is the 88th-most-Republican district in the 435-seat House, according to Cook, which compares the presidential election vote of each district to the national vote. The 6th District in east-central and southeastern Indiana is 104th nationally.

By Cook’s reckoning, the most Democratic of Indiana’s nine districts is the 7th District in Indianapolis, which ranks as the 341st-most-Republican in the nation.

Washington, D.C.-based Cook, which has been compiling a “partisan voter index” since 1997, says the two most Republican districts, and three of the top four, are in Texas. The two most Democratic districts, and five of the top eight, are in New York City.

How does Indiana’s 3rd stack up? President Obama ran 27 percentage points behind Republican candidate Mitt Romney in last year’s election and 13 points behind the GOP’s John McCain in 2008. Obama lost Texas’ 13th District (Amarillo) by 62 points last year and 55 points in 2008, and he won New York’s 15th District (northern Manhattan) by 94 points last year and 90 points in 2008.

Cook found that because of redistricting and a “much more homogenous” electorate in some areas, the number of politically competitive districts has declined from 164 in 1998 to 90 today. Heading into the 2014 congressional elections, 186 districts are strongly Republican and 159 are strongly Democratic.

And to the republic

Fort Wayne City Council President Tom Didier, R-3rd, made an amendment to his usual request for a moment of silent prayer at the beginning of the council’s regular session. Tuesday, he asked for a moment of silent prayer “…for humility.”

He already had plenty – most everyone in the room was already laughing at him.

The reason for the laughter was that when he led the council and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance seconds before, he messed up the words. Something along the lines of “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one nation – wait, what?”

“The guy that sings the national anthem screws it up,” Didier said afterward. “I’ve been saying (the pledge) since I was five years old. Wooo!”

Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, 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.