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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, August 13, 2017 1:00 am

Pence becomes part of Scaramucci story, too

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza dropped another spectacular crumb last week from an earlier talk with now-departed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

And this one is about Vice President Mike Pence.

The conversation came before a New York Times story that detailed moves Pence has made in preparation to run in 2020 should President Donald Trump not seek re-election.

But the nugget became gold after Pence objected loudly to that report as “disgraceful and offensive.”

“Why do you think Nick's there, bro?” Scaramucci reportedly asked Lizza, referring to Nick Ayers, Pence's recently installed chief of staff. “Are you stupid? Why is Nick there? Nick's there to protect the Vice-President because the Vice-President can't believe what the (expletive) is going on.”

We'll let you guess the curse word.

Indiana epicenter

The Hoosier State – and Gov. Eric Holcomb – has been host to a string of key federal officials of late.

It started when EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt slipped into Indianapolis on Aug. 2 for a private meeting with Holcomb and others. The event was not on any public schedule. Then U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited East Chicago on Monday alongside Holcomb and other officials. The next day U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue held a roundtable at the Indiana State Fair.

And Friday was capped off by a visit from Vice President Mike Pence himself, who spoke at an event and then attended his gubernatorial portrait unveiling in the Statehouse.

Not over yet

Political Notebook reported Sunday that U.S. Rep. Jim Banks said he hopes to continue sponsoring a yearly job fair at IPFW even after Indiana and Purdue universities split up the campus next year.

IPFW spokeswoman Kim Wagner said Tuesday in an email that the Purdue side of IPFW “has every intention of remaining the host following the realignment in July 2018.”

The job fair has been conducted at IPFW since 2003 with a member of the Indiana congressional delegation as a sponsor. This year's fair was Aug. 2.

“While IPFW will soon be realigned into two separate operating entities, the university will still have the facilities and means to host the event on campus,” Wagner said. “We have maintained a great relationship with Congressman Banks for several years, dating back to his service in the state legislature, and we look forward to continuing to work with him well into the future.”

After IPFW divides, Indiana will offer classes in health sciences, and Purdue will provide all other academic programs.

Libertarian growth

The Libertarian Party of Indiana announced last week the installment of new leaders in several counties across the state.

A news release said it continues the pattern of growth for the party, even in an off-cycle year for elections.

State Chair Tim Maguire stated that the party has installed new county chairs in Knox, Hendricks, and Jackson counties. Those roles have been filled by Micah Haynes, Eric Knipe and Erin Meadors, respectively.

“We're continuing to experience a surge in activity all around the state,” said Maguire. “After the 2016 election, we never saw new interest in the Libertarian Party dwindle. Through that desire for liberty from our citizens, we have been able to identify the excitement found in these new leaders. They are just a small portion of the former Republicans and Democrats that have realized that the old parties don't represent us anymore.”

To reach Political Notebook, email 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.