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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, August 06, 2017 1:00 am

Borror part of economic development alliance

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Borror Public Affairs and Cardinal Strategies are forming a strategic partnership to better serve clients in the economic development arena.

The two companies have decades of experience in both legislative affairs and economic development consulting services.

Borror Public Affairs is run by Randy Borror, a former Fort Wayne state representative who left the legislature in 2010 to lobby.

Eric Shields, principal at Cardinal Strategies, most recently was vice president of policy and strategic initiatives at the Indiana Economic Development Corp. He was responsible for legislative affairs, redevelopment programs, interagency affairs and research.

At the IEDC, he worked chiefly on the popular Regional Cities Initiative from which Fort Wayne is benefiting.

Before working at IEDC, Shields was a legislative aide for Borror, now principal of Borror Public Affairs.

Borror led the legislative efforts in 2005 to form the IEDC and was the author of the 2006 bill to lease the Indiana Toll Road in exchange for billions.

“When it comes to economic development, Eric is one of the best in the state,” Borror said. “He possesses a comprehensive understanding of what Indiana can offer businesses and has a firm grasp on how communities and organizations can maximize their economic development efforts. We are honored to announce this partnership with Cardinal Strategies.”

One and done?

Freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Banks sponsored what might have been his first and last IPFW job fair Wednesday.

Members of Indiana's congressional delegation have helped organize job fairs at IPFW since 2003, typically in August. But Indiana and Purdue universities are splitting the school in two as of July 1, 2018. So unless Banks and college administrators reschedule the job fair next year, Banks might be one and done.

“Our office has worked very hard on it. ... We're very proud of the product,” Banks, R-3rd, said Wednesday in an interview at IPFW.

This year's fair attracted about 75 employers with more than 3,600 job openings.

“Hopefully, with the facilities we have here,” Banks said, “we can find a way to continue to do the job fair” after the IPFW divide.

Banks said he also is considering sponsoring job fairs in other parts of his northeast Indiana district.

Try to play nice

The squabbling between U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita has gotten so testy that a House colleague has asked them to cool it.

Messer and Rokita seek the Republican nomination next year for the seat of Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and their campaigns have been at each other's throats since spring, prompting the Indianapolis Star to publish a recap of their quarrels Wednesday.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, linked to the story from his Twitter account on Thursday.

“As campaign season begins I hope our Hoosier Senate candidates will follow Reagan's 11th Commandment and avoid personal/family attacks,” Banks wrote in his first tweet.

“Let's focus on tax reform, rebuilding military, and growing economy. That's how we'll send a conservative to the United States Senate,” he wrote in the second tweet.

President Ronald Reagan's “Eleventh Commandment” was a phrase he borrowed from California's Republican Party chairman when Reagan ran for governor of that state in 1966. It goes, “Thou shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

Bill to remake FCC

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., has introduced legislation to revamp the Federal Election Commission, which he said last week “has been undermined by gridlock.”

Donnelly's news release said the FEC had stalemates on 30 percent of substantive enforcement decisions in 2016, compared with 2.9 percent in 2006. The FEC consists of six commissioners, and no more than three can belong to the same political party.

The Restoring Integrity to America's Elections Act, which is companion legislation to a bipartisan bill filed in the House, would reduce the number of commissioners to five and limit each commissioner to one six-year term in office.

It would also establish a blue ribbon panel to recommend nominees to the president to fill vacancies and delegate some administrative and investigatory responsibilities to the chair, Donnelly's office said.

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 be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.