Politics

Political news

Dillon Beach / https://www.flickr.com/photos/momboleum/2247313447

Only 13-percent of registered Indiana voters went to the polls for May’s primary election. 

The 2014 primary election was atypical for Indiana – there were no statewide races on the ballot, the first time that’s happened since 2002.  Only three statewide officers are up for election in November – Secretary of State, Treasurer and Auditor – and those candidates are chosen at the state party conventions. 

Speaker of the House John Boehner's office / https://www.flickr.com/photos/speakerboehner/13607898585

The first member of Congress to call for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation says Shinseki's exit needs to be the start of reform efforts, not the end.

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-2nd) says the lengthy wait times at VA hospitals and cooked books to conceal them should lead to criminal charges against those directly responsible, and a fresh set of eyes at the top to order a comprehensive review.

LuAnn Snawder / https://www.flickr.com/photos/luann_snawder_photography/8289166535

The mold keeping West Lafayette leaders out of city hall may pose unexpected problems as the city considers upgrading from a third class municipality to a second class one.

That’s because the newly-created clerk’s office will likely need a considerable amount of space, according to one clerk who recently made a similar transition.

Clerk Vicki Conlin says Jeffersonville city leaders didn’t realize how much real estate she and her employees would need when, in 2012, that city made the switch.

Terry Ross / https://www.flickr.com/photos/qnr/3336138633

Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Dan Coats (R-IN) aren’t yet joining the ranks of those calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. 

Controversy has swirled around the Veterans Affairs head for weeks amid allegations that VA hospitals around the country manipulated wait lists, leading to treatment delays and even patient deaths. 

Kim Davies / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjd/2502535352

Delegates gather in Indianapolis next month to lay the groundwork for a constitutional convention.   Indiana is one of more than 20 states to call for a convention to consider amending the Constitution.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) has backed the effort, in hopes of drafting an amendment to realign the balance between state and federal power, and, in his words, bring the national debt under control.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Allowing same-sex couples to marry could provide a $39 million boost to Indiana’s economy in the next three years.  That’s according to a recent report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. 

The study indicates that if same-sex marriage was legalized millions of dollars would be spent on wedding expenses, guest travel and tourism, and sales taxes. 

Ball State University economics professor Michael Hicks says even though the study finds some 550 new jobs could be created as a result of the new industry, the conclusions are a conservative estimate. 

IU-Kokomo Professor To Help Monitor Ukraine Elections

May 14, 2014
IU-Kokomo

An Indiana professor will be among 900 volunteers in Ukraine to help monitor the country‘s upcoming presidential election.

IU- Kokomo Professor Kathy Parkison, an economics professor and the interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will be one of the observers keeping watch at the polling places for signs of voter intimidation or voter fraud.

“You watch the closing, you watch the count. You verify that if they had 35 votes for this and 50 votes for that, or whatever the number is, that they write down 35 and 50,” Parkison says.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Pence made the rounds with business leaders in New York City Tuesday to recruit investment to Indiana. But many believe he was also recruiting opinions as to whether to make a run for the presidency.

Throughout the morning, the governor‘s official Twitter account and that of Katelyn Hancock from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation tweeted pictures and videos from the trip. But IPFW political scientist Andy Downs says the governor’s message has political undertones.

Susan Brooks Named To Benghazi Panel

May 12, 2014
Courtesy U.S. Congress

Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-5th) has been named to a special House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Brooks will be one of seven Republicans reviewing the attack which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, and whether the Obama Administration gave an honest account of what happened. She says there are still unanswered questions about whether the consulate had requested additional security, and if so, how the State Department dealt with the request.

Tippecanoe County Council

Following a trend that extended to several Indiana statehouse races, a pair of incumbent Tippecanoe County leaders were stopped in their bids for re-election Tuesday.

County Councilman Jeffrey Kemper (R-3rd) was bested by former Tippecanoe County councilwoman Kathy Vernon, but the margin was slim. Vernon polled just 36 more votes than Kemper in a race where more than 3200 ballots were cast -- a margin of less than 1-percent.

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