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Bennett: Who ordered the 46-inch TV?


The things you learn from Tony Bennett’s emails.

While perusing months of communication, Political Notebook stumbled upon some small gems.

The emails became a hot commodity after The Associated Press used them to out attempts by Bennett and staff to ensure that a favored charter school received a good accountability grade.

Like an email from in which ordered a $600, 46-inch flat-screen television delivered to a Kentucky address in September 2012.

The only problem is, then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Bennett responded like this: “does anyone know what this is?”

Bennett was also asked that same month by Jo Blacketor – who was at the time a member of the State Board of Education – to write a recommendation letter for her regarding a job at the University of Notre Dame.

She assured him she would continue with her “blessed IDOE role,” and he said he would be honored to provide the recommendation.

Blacketor in June did not seek reappointment to the board.

Another interesting discovery was that then-Gov. Mitch Daniels was using a Purdue University email address well before he was actually president.

While the university’s trustees had tapped him last summer, he was still governor until January 2013.

But in October, he was using a email to communicate with Bennett and others.

In case you missed the full story or want to see links to some of his emails, click here.

Up and coming

Keep an eye on Andrew Bourne of Fort Wayne and Amanda Meier of Columbia City. The Indiana Democratic Party is.

They are among members of the party’s Emerging Leaders Project for 2013. The class is described as “a group of 40 up-and-coming Hoosier Democrats under the age of 40 who will work together over the next year to grow their political leadership skills and ensure the long-term success of the party.”

The class met for the first time Friday in Indianapolis.

Bourne, 27, is a policy underwriter at Medical Protective, a Berkshire Hathaway company. He has been an intern at the White House, the State Department (working in Spain), for former Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana and for former Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana.

Meier, 25, is a member of the United Auto Workers and secretary of the Whitley County Democratic Party. She was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic Party State Convention and did campaign work last year for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly, who won election, gubernatorial candidate John Gregg and state Senate candidate Tom Keen.

They are the only residents of northeast Indiana – where Republicans are dominant – in the class. Fourteen members are from Indianapolis.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at