Elections & Politics

Brandon Smith / IPBS

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is throwing its weight behind Todd Young (R-9th) in the race for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat.  The Chamber’s endorsement comes about a month before Young will face off against Marlin Stutzman (R-3rd) in May’s primary.

The U.S. Chamber – along with its Indiana counterpart – calls Todd Young a “consistent, constructive conservative.”  Young says the Chamber’s support sends a signal that his leadership will help Hoosiers find good jobs.

United Steelworkers Local 1999 / Facebook

A representative from Bernie Sanders' campaign visited this week with union workers who work for Carrier.

The workers will be out of a job when the company moves its production lines from Indiana to Mexico in the next couple of years.

Larry Cohen, who represents Sanders, says Mexican workers will have none of the rights afforded the American workers.

Jury Finds Anderson Mayor Fired Employees Over Political Tiff

Mar 23, 2016
Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

A federal grand jury says the city of Anderson needs to pay nearly $750,000 to several former city employees after they were fired in 2012 by the former mayor’s administration.  The issue in the case is freedom of speech.

Republican Kevin Smith was mayor of Anderson in 2012 when his administration fired 11 city employees.  A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has ruled those firings were politically-motivated. 


Steve Carter for Indiana / stevecarterforindiana.com

Former Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter visited his hometown of Lafayette Thursday to make his first public statements in a bid to regain his former position.

Before his current tenure as the state’s top lawyer, Greg Zoeller served as deputy under then-Attorney General Steve Carter. Now that Zoeller is vacating the position to vie for a seat in the U.S House of Representatives, Carter wants his old job back.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Eric Holcomb officially became Indiana’s 51st Lieutenant Governor Thursday.  The longtime Hoosier political figure replaces Sue Ellspermann, who left to pursue a job at Ivy Tech.

A veritable who’s who of Indiana government gathered at the Statehouse to watch Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa swear in Eric Holcomb.  The balconies ringing the atrium were crowded with lobbyists, lawmakers and politicos, all to see a ceremony that’s taken place in the middle of a term only twice in the last century. 

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus / http://indianahousedemocrats.org/iblc

Indianapolis' seven African-American legislators are pushing back against a bill to appoint Marion County judges instead of electing them.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus charges the proposal would disenfranchise African-American voters and give minorities less representation on the bench.

Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) charges the 14-member commission, with eight partisan appointees and six representatives of bar associations and the judiciary, would be, in her words, "stacked" against minority candidates.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/

The next time voters choose judges in Marion County, they may not know who's a Republican and who's a Democrat.

A federal court ordered legislators to replace the current system which elects an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in the primary.

The Senate voted to stop electing judges at all, and have a commission appoint them, but then voters would vote yes or no on keeping them. The House version strips the party labels from the yes-or-no ballot.

Defense Trial Council of Indiana spokesman Tom Schultz says that’s a big improvement.

Incoming Lt. Gov. Holcomb Says Job Creation Is A Priority

Feb 18, 2016
Brandon Smith / IPBS

Eric Holcomb says one of his priorities once his appointment as Lt. Governor becomes official will be job retention.

“You want to make sure that you’ve got the right tax climate, you want to make sure you’ve got the right regulatory climate, you want to make sure – Governor Pence says this a lot and he’s absolutely spot-on – you’ve got to make sure Indiana is truly the crossroads of America,” Holcomb says.

His statement comes on the heels of appliance manufacturer Carrier and another firm announcing they’re moving 2,100 jobs out of Indiana.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

The Indiana Election Commission will hold a hearing Friday in which all challenges for state and national seat ballot appearances are on the agenda. A total of ten candidates have been challenged.

One noteworthy hearing will be that of Congressman Todd Young (R-9th) who is running for U.S. Senate. Democrats are claiming Young is short on the signatures needed to appear on the ballot in the primary for a U.S. Senate seat. Young disagrees.

Indiana Public Broadcasting

The dispute over Congressman Todd Young's petition signatures could lead to a change in Indiana's ballot access laws.

Since at least 1986, candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, or president have needed to collect at least 500 signatures in each of Indiana's nine congressional districts.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says the possibility of a leading candidate for U-S Senate being kicked off the ballot makes it a "reasonable assumption" that legislators will discuss whether that rule is outdated.