The Journal Gazette
Sunday, February 03, 2019 1:00 am

Trump advisers to speak to state GOP

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Two key advisers to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign will headline the Indiana Republican Party Spring Dinner in Indianapolis.

Trump's former campaign manager and deputy campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, will appear at the March 11 dinner at the JW Marriott.

“There's no question that Indiana is Trump country,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. “This is the state where President Trump clinched the Republican nomination, found his vice president, received his first votes on Election Night in 2016 and helped elect a new U.S. senator in Mike Braun.

“We are honored to welcome Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie to Indiana this spring to share their behind-the-scenes stories on how President Trump rose to victory in 2016 and how he is making America great again,” Hupfer said.

Lewandowski and Bossie, who is the Maryland national committeeman for the Republican National Committee, are authors of the recently published “Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State is Undermining the Presidency” and the New York Times best-seller “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.”

At the March 11 dinner, Lewandowski and Bossie will be interviewed on stage by Marty Obst, senior political adviser to Vice President Mike Pence. The dinner will also feature top Indiana Republican elected officials. Those interested in buying a ticket can learn more at The lowest-priced ticket for a seat is $150. 

Banks again sits on veterans panel

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has been appointed the ranking Republican on the Technology Modernization Subcommittee of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Banks, R-3rd, was subcommittee chairman last year when Republicans controlled the House and the VA Committee formed the panel, which is overseeing the $16 billion upgrade of the Department of Veterans Affairs medical records system. He is a member of the Navy Reserve.

Freshman Democratic Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada has been named chair of the subcommittee for the 116th Congress.

Banks said Monday at a town hall meeting in New Haven: “Many of the problems that we have at the VA arrive from antiquated IT systems. The electronic health records system in the VA dates back to 1984. We're still using it today. Our veterans deserve better, and that's why this administration has invested in a major contract.”

But he said the implementation of the 10-year contract is “already off to a bumpy start.” During a subcommittee hearing in November, Banks expressed concerns about rising costs and the time it was taking VA to link its records system with those of the Defense Department and private health care providers.

Banks remains a member of the Armed Forces and the Education and Workforce committees in the 116th Congress.

Not so fast

Siri, Apple's helpful personal assistant, had a cameo on the Indiana House floor last week – sort of. 

During debate on volunteer firefighters, Fort Wayne Rep. Bob Morris wanted to settle a disagreement on what the word “volunteer” means. So he stepped up with his phone, activated Siri and asked. 

But House Speaker Brian Bosma gaveled Siri down because she had not been recognized by him to speak. 

Maybe another time. 

Democrats target Brooks for defeat

The Democratic National Campaign Committee has targeted an Indiana Republican for defeat in the 2020 election, according to reports.

The seat of Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th, is among 33 in the House the DNCC aims to flip, the organization said in a memo reported by news media. Eight of those seats, including Brooks' central Indiana district, represent growing suburban areas similar to districts the Democrats won in 2018 to retake the House majority.

The Washington news organization Roll Call lumped Brooks in with DNCC targets it called “reaches,” noting she won re-election last year by 14 percentage points.

Brooks, a Carmel resident who grew up in Fort Wayne, received 56.8 percent of the vote in November. It was the first time she received less than 61.5 percent in four general elections.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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