Political Notebook


House carrying on while Bosma mends

GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma is healing well from an unexpected surgery last week.

And if any members were hoping for a respite from “the boss,” they haven’t gotten it. While Bosma has been missing from the floor, he has had numerous phone conversations with caucus members and others to keep up on the happenings inside the Statehouse.

Bosma reported Tuesday that he had developed an infection in his knee, which was replaced last summer. Immediate surgery was required.

House Republican Communications Director Tory Flynn said Thursday that Bosma is in “great spirits, doing well and is quickly recovering. We are in continuous communication with him.”

House members signed a poster-sized card that says “Keep Calm and Get Well” – a nod to the phrase Bosma adopted during the Democratic absences the two previous sessions.

“Speaker Brian Bosma is in our hearts and in our prayers,” Gov. Mike Pence said Thursday. “We are looking very much forward to his full and complete recovery and return to duties hopefully as soon as next week.

“He is a deeply respected leader and more importantly a cherished friend. We wish him good health and to his entire family during a challenging week for them.”

The ties that zip?

Everyone has heard of clip-on ties. Some men who dread the tight fabric around their necks revel in them.

But Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, has found an even better solution – the zipper tie.

The knot of the tie slides up and down easily, allowing for open access in a jiffy. And just as quickly, it can be zipped up for a proper tie on the House floor.

Wolkins has not one but four of these ingenious inventions.

On the road again

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s press secretary has left his post for a job on the staff of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Benjamin Ray joined Donnelly’s staff last year after Donnelly, a Democrat from St. Joseph County and then a member of the U.S. House, defeated Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the Nov. 6 election.

Ray had been press secretary for the Indiana Democratic Party since July 2011 and previously worked for a Senate campaign in Kentucky and for the South Carolina Democratic Party.

“Even though I’ve found myself on the road again, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Hoosier state,” Ray said in an email last week to Indiana media. He said he had enjoyed working with “the incredibly talented and dedicated teams” at the Indiana Democratic Party and Donnelly’s office.

Ray is going to a state similar in partisan makeup to the one where he had worked. North Carolina has large Republican majorities in its two state legislative houses and congressional delegation, plus a Republican governor and lieutenant governor – as does Indiana. But Democrats hold six of eight other statewide offices in North Carolina, while they occupy just one of five in Indiana.

Elizabeth Shappell, Donnelly’s communications director, said Monday she will assume the duties of press secretary until the position is filled.

To reach Political Notebook, email Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.