Political Notebook

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    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.
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Indiana legislators scored by vote habits

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce handed out scores Tuesday to all 150 state legislators for their voting records on what the chamber calls pro-economy, pro-jobs legislation during the 2013 General Assembly.

The numbers, released in the organization’s annual Legislative Vote Analysis, also contain a two-year total for each legislator.

The 2013 scores ranged from 44 percent to 100 percent. GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma, who votes at his discretion and therefore was scored on fewer bills, was the lone perfect mark. The highest full-time voting record for 2013 was Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, at 97 percent. The top senator was Joe Zakas, R-Granger, at 87 percent.

Here is how the legislators representing Northeast Indiana fared:

Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne – 2013: 84 percent; two-year average: 84 percent.

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne – 2013: 59 percent; two-year average: 58 percent.

Rep. Kathy Heuer, R-Columbia City – 2013: 89 percent; two-year average: 94 percent.

Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse – 2013: 94 percent; two-year average: 95 percent.

Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne – 2013: 84 percent; two-year average: 86 percent.

Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 89 percent.

Rep. Robert Morris, R-Fort Wayne – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 89 percent.

Rep. David Ober, R-Albion – 2013: 78 percent; two-year average: 78 percent.

Rep. Phyllis Pond, R-New Haven – 2013: 95 percent; two-year average: 97 percent.

Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 86 percent.

Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake – 2013: 74 percent; two-year-average: 82 percent.

Rep. Dennis Zent, R-Angola – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 86 percent.

Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City – 2013: 74 percent; two-year average: 80 percent.

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange – 2013: 77 percent; two-year average: 80 percent.

Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 87 percent.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn – 2013: 82 percent; two-year average: 84 percent.

Sen. David Long, R-Fort Wayne – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 89 percent.

Sen. Thomas Wyss, R-Fort Wayne – 2013: 86 percent; two-year average: 90 percent.

Joining forces

Two northeast Indiana men have formed a lobbying firm that will be up and running in August and focus on economic development.

Former Indiana lawmaker Matt Bell left his position at Ivy Tech Corporate College, and Anthony Mitson is resigning his government affairs post at the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana.

The name of their business is Catalyst Public Affairs Group, and a group of area legislators bid them good luck in a recent gathering.

The two are finalizing office space in Indianapolis and setting up the infrastructure to be active Aug. 1.

“We want to work with businesses to promote the right kind of policy environment for economic development and job growth to occur,” Bell said.

CPAC calls on Coats

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., has been invited to speak Sept. 28 at the regional Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis.

The American Conservative Union said in a statement that its conference at the St. Charles Convention Center “will provide a day of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values.”

Coats is among 10 speakers the ACU invited in what it said is a third round of invitations.

Gov. Mike Pence was among 14 invited earlier.

Others include Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; GOP Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina; and National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Dollars and Pence

It’s a non-election year, and Gov. Mike Pence is only halfway through his first year in office.

But that didn’t stop him from sending an email seeking last-minute campaign contributions on Saturday.

Pence said, “Every day our team looks at the ‘Roadmap for Indiana’ checklist and makes sure we continue to make progress.”

But the email said Pence still has campaign obligations and needed help before a critical fundraising deadline July 15 to hit targets.

“Our fundraising totals will send a strong message to opponents and special interests,” Pence said in the campaign email.

He also included links to his website.

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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