Political news

courtesy Dan Coats

At the annual Indiana Republican Party Fall Dinner, many members of the GOP paid tribute to retiring Senator Dan Coats.

Coats is not seeking re-election this year, after a career in politics that has included serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as acting as a U.S. ambassador to Germany.

On behalf of Governor Mike Pence, Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb awarded Senator Coats and his wife Marsha Coats the highest award in Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash.   

DonkeyHotey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/24101702220

Indiana gubernatorial candidates typically have about six months between the primary and general elections to introduce and define themselves to the electorate. And they’re already spending millions to do so.

But 2016 isn’t a typical election cycle.

There are 188 days between Indiana’s May primary and the general election.

Incumbent Republican Mike Pence was elevated to the national ticket, catapulting Eric Holcomb to the head of gubernatorial ticket with just more than 100 days to go. He says it’s been a whirlwind since.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis Monday, The former New Mexico governor says he relishes playing the spoiler in the presidential race.

Libertarian Johnson’s speech to the mayors conference was essentially a recitation of his policy positions – everything from imposing term limits to legalizing marijuana to his solution for affordable housing

Joe Donnelly

Not long after the arrest last week of a Brownsburg teen accused of trying to join the Islamic State, U-S Senator Joe Donnelly met with FBI officials in Indianapolis Monday.

Donnelly says the FBI is working hard to protect Hoosiers but didn’t give any specifics, saying his meeting with the FBI centered on the bureau’s counterterrorism efforts, coordination with local law enforcement and what it needs from Congress.

But Donnelly provided few details about those efforts or an estimate of the number of homegrown terrorism investigations in Indiana.

Brandon Smith

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg on Wednesday announced State Representative Christina Hale will join him on the ticket in the fall general election.

Christina Hale, of Indianapolis, has focused on addressing sexual assault issues during her two terms in the Indiana House.

Gregg says, if elected, the former Kiwanis International executive will be his right hand, helping run the day-to-day operations of state government. 

He says naming Hale as his running mate was a governing decision, not a political one, and that her gender wasn’t a factor.

The White House / https://www.whitehouse.gov/scotus

Indiana’s U.S. Senators are split on whether their chamber should vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy. 

Merrick Garland, chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed by the Senate in 1997, including an affirmative vote from Republican Dan Coats.  And Coats in recent weeks said Obama’s nominee should get a hearing. 

Matt B. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/netmonkey/

The newly-seated president of Pride Lafayette is making statewide change to civil rights statutes a top priority for the local advocacy organization.

Rick Puckett says the nonprofit as an institution has taken a stand against two bills filed in the 2016 legislative session.

The first is a bill that would criminalize a person using a restroom other than one matching their birth sex, a measure proponents say protects people from sexual predators.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

 At least two Syrian families are being redirected to other states after Governor Mike Pence’s decision to temporarily bar them from entering Indiana.

According to letters the director of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration sent to Exodus Refugee Immigration and Catholic Charities Indianapolis, a Syrian couple and their 5-year-old was scheduled to arrive in Indiana on Thursday. That family’s now in Connecticut.

The other family was supposed to come to Indiana next month.

Senate Republicans Unveil GOP Anti-Discrimination Bill

Nov 18, 2015
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Senate Republicans Tuesday unveiled the details of legislation they say strikes a balance between protecting the LGBT community from discrimination and ensuring Hoosiers’ religious freedom.  

Quinn Dombrowski / https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

 Senate Republican Leader David Long Monday pledged that LGBT non-discrimination legislation will begin next session in the Senate and will get a hearing. Long also says the measure will balance equal protection with religious freedom.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he won’t yet talk about the specifics of an LGBT rights bill, insisting that he wants the Senate GOP caucus to examine the measure first.  Still, he stresses that religious freedom cannot be discounted in the discussion.