Political Notebook


Hoosiers in DC prepare a ball

The Indiana Society of Washington, D.C., will have its inaugural ball Jan. 20 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in the nation’s capital.

The nonpartisan social and philanthropic group will celebrate the re-election of President Obama and honor the election of Gov.-elect Mike Pence and the Hoosier congressional delegation.

The formal dinner and dance has been conducted every four years on the eve of the presidential inauguration since 1953.

“We’ve had good attendance regardless of who the president is,” said Jan Powell, chairwoman of the Indiana Society’s inaugural ball.

Tickets are $400 a person and $9,000 for a table of 10 people. The ballroom has a capacity for 1,200 people.

The dinner-dance sold out for Obama’s first inauguration, in 2009.

“We won’t reach that number this year. … It’s going to be a much quieter inauguration here in Washington this time,” Powell said.

Any president’s second inauguration is typically smaller than his first. News media have reported that District of Columbia tourism officials expect about 800,000 people for Obama’s Jan. 21 swearing-in, compared with 1.8 million in 2009.

Entertainment at the Indiana Society’s ball will be provided by the Purdue University Glee Club and the McCusker & Barrick Orchestra.

For reservations and information, go to www.indianasociety.org.

Ritzís party

Democrat Glenda Ritz will not take the oath of office for Superintendent of Public Instruction alongside other statewide officeholders Monday.

Gov.-elect Mike Pence said Thursday that she informed his staff early on that she would have her own inaugural ceremony.

Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Attorney General Greg Zoeller will all be sworn in Monday during a ceremony outside the Statehouse at 11 a.m.

Ritz spokesman David Galvin said Ritz will attend that event, but she was technically sworn in Dec. 12 – the day the election returns were certified – by an elections division attorney at her school, surrounded by her students. She will have a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony Saturday with several choirs and an open house of her new office.

Paddock gives it up

Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, will donate his raise to the United Way of Allen County. The council voted 7-2 on Dec. 18 to increase the pay of elected officials 2 percent, the same as city employees, with Paddock and Mitch Harper, R-4th, voting against the measure.

City Council members received a salary of $21,500 before the pay raise; Paddock said the nearly $400 increase will go to United Way.

“Todd Stephenson, President and CEO of the local chapter, told me any new gift will receive matching funds from the Indiana Association of United Ways,” Paddock said. “So the local agency will actually receive $800 in new donations this year.”

Cowboy Saturday

The beginning of a legislative session is always full of, shall we say, interesting bills filed in the General Assembly, and 2013 is no different.

There are bills involving the Lord’s Prayer, limitations on federal power, wild hogs, taxation on gold and silver coins, fugitive dust and Agenda 21 (a United Nations document on sustainable development).

Senate Bill 462 is another to be added to the interesting pile.

Sen. John Waterman, R-Shelburn, wants to designate the fourth Saturday of July as the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl in Indiana. The legislation also designates the third weekend of May as the First People’s Celebration Weekend in Indiana in observance of the Corn Planting Moon Ceremony.

The National Day of the American Cowboy campaign was founded by American Cowboy magazine in 2004 to preserve, protect and promote our cowboy and Western heritage, according to the magazine’s website. It also is lobbying for passage of a national resolution designating the fourth Saturday of every July a permanent celebration on the national calendar honoring cowboys and cowgirls for their enduring contribution to the courageous, pioneering spirit of America.

Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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