Political Notebook

  • Daniels' near-presidential run dissected
    In the end, it was the lure of playing the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club that brought then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and a tight-knit group of friends and supporters together in the fall of 2009 to discuss whether he should run for
  • 2 Hoosiers named to U.S. House Energy Committee
    Reps. Susan Brooks, R-5th, and Larry Bucshon, R-8th, have been named to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress.
  • Indiana House sets leaders for session
    The Indiana House has tapped leadership and committee chairs for the 2015 General Assembly.
Huntertown Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Janine Rudolph

No more Ms. Nice from Huntertown

Huntertown Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Janine Rudolph is not “going to be nice, anymore.”

Making the announcement during Monday's Town Council meeting, Rudolph appeared to be infuriated about an item in last Sunday's Political Notebook indicating public documents were hard to obtain in Huntertown.

Resident Brandon Seifert recently used a Freedom of Information form to request town documents, while resident Dave Garman many times carried a request letter with him to Town Council meetings in order to obtain copies of ordinances and resolutions approved at the meeting.

The Journal Gazette has also at times had to remind Huntertown that town documents are public record.

Garman and Seifert are Huntertown council candidates who won the GOP primary race in May. In that same election, Rudolph lost her bid for clerk-treasurer to Cathy Mittendorf.

Rudolph said that from now on, the clerk-treasurer's office will charge 10 cents a copy – which is a common policy in many government offices – for anything requested by Seifert, Garman or The Journal Gazette.

What was unclear was whether the new policy would apply to everyone or only to people that Rudolph is “tired of being nice to.”

War with Canada?

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., asked Pentagon leaders during a Wednesday committee hearing whether they had a strategy in place for responding to the violent insurgency trying to topple Iraq's government.

“Based on my previous service in the Senate and some service now, I am fully aware that the Pentagon has a contingency plan on the shelf for just about every possible scenario, everything from nuclear war to an invasion by Canada and everything in between,” Coats said at the hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, of which he is a member.

He told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey that “there had to be some anticipation” on their part that Sunni extremists might attempt to overthrow Iraq's Shiite leaders.

“Was there a plan on the shelf?” he asked Dempsey and Hagel during the webcast hearing. “If so, what is it; if there wasn't, why (wasn't there)?”

Dempsey replied, “Let me first assure you, we do not have a plan on the shelf for the invasion of Canada. I want to make sure that our Canadian allies who may be watching. … ”

He went on to say that the U.S. military has many intelligence, aviation and maritime assets “committed to Iraq.”

On Thursday, Roll Call reporter Tim Starks noted in a blog that the U.S. had invaded Canada in 1775 and 1812 and developed an invasion strategy in the 1920s and 1930s as part of War Plan Red in the event of a war with the British Empire.

Coats perceived Dempsey's remark about Canada as “completely humorous,” an aide said.

Coats “used an example with extremely low likelihood to illustrate his point, and General Dempsey made a good natured quip in response,” said Matt Lahr, Coats' communications director, in an email to Political Notebook.

Taxing issues

Gov. Mike Pence will keynote the daylong Indiana Tax Competitiveness and Simplification Conference on Tuesday at the Indiana Government Center.

Nearly 200 local and national tax experts and policymakers will attend. A news release said the conference will focus on how to create a more competitive business and individual tax climate in Indiana. It will include discussion on new and fresh ideas as well as known best practices in state taxation.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity to examine our tax structures in open and frank discussions we hope will inform the 2015 General Assembly,” Pence said.

The conference will include two special presentations and seven panels.

Some entities represented will include The Laffer Center, Americans for Tax Reform, The Mercatus Center, Tax Foundation, Tax Analysts and Pew Charitable Trusts.

The conference is open to the media but not to the general public due to space. All sessions will be webcast. For each panel, join the webcast rooms below.

Auditorium: http://webinar.isl.in.gov/dor1/

Room A: http://webinar.isl.in.gov/dor2/

Room B/C: http://webinar.isl.in.gov/dor3/

Recorded segments will also be available for viewing within a few hours of completion at www.in.gov/dor/5123.htm.

Vivian Sade 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.