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Sunday, August 25, 2019 1:00 am

State political database website gets rebuilt

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Wells County native Trevor Foughty has retooled his Indiana political data and history website, Capitol & Washington.

The database at capitolandwashington.com contains a dozen categories, including election results, politicians, officeholders, state legislative and congressional maps, and legislative caucus elections. It also lists women and minorities who have held state or federal office.

The electoral records database, for example, shows that former Allen County auditor Tera Klutz in 2018 received the most votes ever for a state auditor candidate when she was chosen on 1,235,579 ballots. Broaden the search field, and Republican Klutz's vote total ranks 28th highest for all state and federal officials who have ever been elected in Indiana.

The tenure records database shows that Phyllis Pond, a Republican state representative from New Haven who died in 2013, was in office longer than all but 14 other people. She served 34 years, 10 months and 23 days.

The maps database illustrates how the boundaries of congressional districts have changed since 1816, when the state consisted of William Hendricks' at-large seat in southern Indiana and Indian Territory in central and northern parts of the state.

Foughty, 36, is associate vice president of state relations for Indiana University. He formerly was deputy chief of staff and Senate campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., when Young was a member of the U.S. House. Before that, he worked in communications for the Indiana Republican Party and the political action committee of then-governor Mitch Daniels.

Foughty writes on Capitol & Washington – two streets in downtown Indianapolis that border the Indiana Statehouse – that he began developing a state politics database as “a hobby and a labor of love” in 2010. He started the website after joining IU in 2017 and rebuilt it in the past four months.

The site also contains articles written by Foughty, who grew up in Ossian and graduated in 2001 from Norwell High School.

“I first became politically active in sixth grade when I spent the night at my best friend's house, and his dad made us walk in a parade for Mark Souder the next morning,” he said in an email.

The parade was in Zanesville in 1994, the year Republican Souder would be elected to the first of eight terms in the U.S. House.

“My friend's dad and I still keep in touch, because he's now serving in the State Senate: Travis Holdman,” Foughty said.

Holdman, a Republican from Markle, has been in the Senate for more than 11 years – good for 408th on the tenure records list curated by Foughty.

Calling all history buffs

Two new volumes of Constitution Making in Indiana are coming your way. Volume 5 covering 1961-1970 is out, and later this year will be Volume 6 covering 1971-1980.

Until now the “second revolution” – the multiple revisions to the 1852 constitution made in the late 1960s and early 1970s – has received little attention.

The two volumes contain every amendment to the Indiana Constitution proposed during the two decades covered, along with every relevant bill, attorney general opinion and court opinion. Moreover, the volumes collect the various reports of the judicial study commission, the constitutional revision commission, excerpts from the statute revision commission's reports and minutes, and quotes from relevant law journal articles. Also included are the ballot language describing the measures for each general election and the secretary of state's election totals on each ballot question.

The volumes were compiled and edited by attorney Marcia J. Oddi and published by the Indiana Legislative Council. A third volume, covering the period 1981-2000, is underway.

A limited number of copies of the 530-page Volume 5 are being published. Orders may be submitted to: Legislative Information Center, Indiana State Capitol Building, 200 West Washington Street, Room 232, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317-234-9302). Include a check for $50.00, plus $8.10 for mailing, unless picked up in person.

Myers attends dedication

Gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers recently spoke at the dedication of a historical marker honoring Indiana black surgeon and hospital administrator Joseph Ward.

Dr. Ward was barred from treating blacks at City Hospital, so he opened his own private hospital in 1907 in Indianapolis. Lt. Col. Ward also served with the all-black 92nd Division in World War I and became the first African-American commander of the segregated Veterans Hospital No. 91 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

During the Aug. 17 marker dedication, Myers, himself a black doctor, helped tend to an attendee who passed out. The man was eventually taken to the hospital by police.

The effort to get the historical marker began several years ago when doctoral student Leon Bates came across Ward's story while researching the Indianapolis Police Department.

He submitted the application for the marker in June 2018, and it was approved. A small group of volunteers raised funds to pay for the marker and submitted them to the Indiana Historical Bureau.

Firefighters PAC backs Smith

The Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 124 Political Action Committee on Thursday endorsed Republican Tim Smith in the upcoming mayoral election.

It's the first time the firefighters union PAC has endorsed a mayoral candidate in 16 years.

“As we have gotten to know Tim Smith over the course of this past year, we have come to appreciate his openness and honesty,” the Political Action Committee said in a news release. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with and for him in the near future.”

The PAC said it believes Smith “will be a visionary for public safety, the community” and will be an effective city leader. Smith is challenging Democratic Mayor Tom Henry, who seeks a fourth term in the Nov. 5 municipal election.

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