Political Notebook

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Friends skewer Moses record

Win Moses was in the hot seat Feb. 22. And to hear people tell it, he could have been there more often during his political career.

The former state lawmaker, Fort Wayne mayor and City Council member was the subject of a roast sponsored by United Auto Workers Local 2209’s Civil and Human Rights Committee.

Randy Schmidt, ex-president of Local 2209 and a former Allen County Democratic Party chairman, warned Moses that if the jokes were to get too harsh, “we’ll call in Cosette Simon to sit in for you.”

Simon was interim mayor for 11 days in 1985 after Moses pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance violations. Moses got his job back in a Democratic caucus election.

Mayor Tom Henry recalled frequent comparisons of Moses to the Azar’s Big Boy logo.

“Both of them are now in the history books of the city of Fort Wayne, and you still can’t tell them apart,” Henry quipped.

He said the Saturday caucus meetings Moses had with majority Democrats on the City Council in the 1980s were likely violations of the Indiana Open Door Law.

Dale Sturtz remembered when, as LaGrange County sheriff, he rounded up drivers to transport Moses and some of his staff back to Fort Wayne after they’d disregarded a curfew and a rule banning alcohol in a county park, drawing the attention of a sheriff’s deputy.

Moses, seated in a thronelike chair on a stage in the union hall, heard a lot about his affluence and real estate holdings.

He “made a name for himself by fighting I&M to keep electric rates low for all the struggling millionaires who owned apartment complexes,” said Mark GiaQuinta, a former City Council member.

GiaQuinta, president of the Fort Wayne Community Schools board, recalled when Moses’ residency was called into question as a member of the Indiana General Assembly.

GiaQuinta told Moses he was upset “that people couldn’t understand that your trailer on Washington Center Road was your principal residence and not that chintzy bungalow down on Geist Reservoir. I believed you, but a lot of people didn’t.”

Sturtz, who served with Moses in the Indiana House in the 1990s, described Moses’ first arrival at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

“We look out the Statehouse at all these cars and there’s one, I’m telling you, one foreign car out there, and it’s a Jaguar,” Sturtz said. “Who in the hell has enough nerve to drive a Jaguar here? How do you campaign in a Jaguar?

“Win Moses,” he said to laughter.

“We said, ‘You ought to drive something a little different than that,’ ” Sturtz said. “And he’s a fast learner. A week later, he had a Cadillac.”

About 200 people attended the roast, which raised money for Local 2209’s student scholarship fund.

Moses heard tributes, too, for his work in fighting the Flood of 1982, developing a flood management plan and attracting the General Motors truck assembly plant to Allen County. Local 2209 represents workers at the plant.

“This man is the reason that that plant is there,” Schmidt said about Moses.

Conservatives

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, and Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., are among the more conservative federal lawmakers in the eyes of the American Conservative Union.

The ACU said Thursday that Stutzman and Coats were among 21 senators and 107 members of the House who scored at least 80 percent in 2013 for their votes on selected legislation.

The group included six of the seven Republicans from Indiana – everybody but Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, whose score was 68 percent.

Lawmakers were scored on their votes on legislation affecting government spending, taxes, defense, gun rights, abortion and farm subsidies.

Stutzman had the highest score, 96 percent, among the Indiana delegation. Coats scored 83 percent. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., scored 16 percent.

Morris endorsed

The American Family Association of Indiana Political Action Committee has endorsed Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, in his re-election bid for House District 84.

A news release said Hoosiers are looking for leaders who share their values and will listen to their concerns. And it said Morris remains a fiscal and social conservative who hasn’t changed since serving in the legislature.

“He is exactly the kind of leader we look for who consistently stands for the common sense conservative vision that voters wanted when they sent him to Indianapolis to be their representative,” AFA Indiana PAC President Micah Clark said.

The release said Morris has shown courage and “he doesn’t try to take Indianapolis views back to Allen County. He takes your views and values to Indianapolis.”

Morris is perhaps best known for refusing to sign a resolution recognizing the Girl Scouts in 2012. He instead sent a letter to colleagues decrying the organization as radical, which attracted national attention.

He faces attorney Michael Barranda in the Republican primary for his seat.

Back to the calls

“Council Call-In” is back. Fort Wayne City Council members Tom Didier, R-3rd, and Tom Smith, R-1st, announced that their show on cable-access TV will return after months of reruns.

The last show recorded featured only Didier because Smith couldn’t make it. It has been televised repeatedly ever since.

“The poor people who’ve been watching that same rerun with just me on it for three months will get some relief,” Didier said. “People have been saying they’ve memorized every word of it.”

The live call-in show concerning city government appears at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on Fios channel 28 and Comcast channel 58.

Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact 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.

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