Political Notebook


Website accuses Pence of sliding to left

A new website taking aim at Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has popped up – www.stoppence.com.

The site accuses the GOP governor of “sliding to the left” on various issues.

It is run by the Foundation for Government Accountability, a newer think tank out of Florida whose goal is to replace failed health and welfare programs nationwide.

The site says that while Pence served in Congress, he was “firmly committed to the free-market, low tax and small government principles he was elected on. But as governor, he has slowly but surely been sliding toward the left, on key issues like expanding the welfare state, federal control of education and increases in government spending.”

One example is that while in Congress, he opposed the stimulus; but as governor, he has happily spent stimulus money.

But the site especially focuses on Pence’s proposal to provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers under the Affordable Care Act. He calls it HIP 2.0 and argues that it is different from the broken Medicaid system because it requires participants to pay some costs.

The federal government is considering the waiver request.

“His plan for Medicaid expansion is little more than a thinly-disguised way to bring a massive expansion of ObamaCare entitlements to 350,000 able-bodied adults in Indiana,” the website said. “This is exactly the sort of idea that a principled, free-market Republican should be opposing.”

Beautiful people

A staff assistant for Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., is among the 50 “most beautiful” people on Capitol Hill, according to the Hill, a Washington government and politics publication.

Andre Adeyemi is described by the publication as 24, single and a native of Providence, Rhode Island, who attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville.

Adeyemi is joined on the list by White House spokesman Josh Earnest; Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky; and Reps. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., Donna Edwards, D-Md., Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.

Photos and descriptions of the people on the list can be found at www.thehill.com/50-mostbeautiful/2014.

Leaving to focus on campaign

Republican state treasurer candidate Kelly Mitchell is leaving her position as director of TrustINdiana to focus more time on her campaign.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do with TrustINdiana,” Mitchell said. “This is a win-win. TrustINdiana will be in great hands, and I look forward to continuing to foster its growth as Indiana’s next state treasurer.”

Kelly was the state’s first director of TrustINdiana in the state treasurer’s office. The program launched in 2008 to provide a common, highly liquid investment pool for Indiana’s local governments.

Kelly grew the program from a concept to a fund with a current balance of around $460 million. To date, more than 200 local units of government have invested funds in TrustINdiana.

For the rest of the year, Kelly will also be a consultant for her former employer, United Consulting, where she worked from 2004 to 2007. It specializes in design and engineering of roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects.

Kelly faces Democrat Mike Boland in the race for state treasurer.

Carp control

Fifteen U.S. senators representing the eight Great Lakes states are calling on the White House to take “urgent action” to halt the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species in U.S. waterways, particularly around Chicago.

The lawmakers, led by Donnelly and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., with Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced Thursday they have sent a letter expressing their concerns to John Goss, Asian carp director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The senators ask Goss “to help guide a productive dialogue among all impacted stakeholders that includes a focus on practical, immediate solutions with broad support across all impacted stakeholders” along the Chicago Area Waterway System.

They urged Goss to “make recommendations as soon as possible, in particular regarding the short- and medium-term technologically feasible actions that maintain commercial navigation and recreational boating, preserve the integrity of existing flood control systems, protect water quality, and enjoy broad support.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued eight proposals to try to stop the spread of Asian carp through Chicago waterways to Lake Michigan. The projects include building locks, gates and reservoirs or separating waterways, and the construction costs range as high as $18.4 billion.

An Army Corps spokeswoman told The Journal Gazette in May that “no clear consensus has been reached” during a series of public meetings on the Chicago proposals.

“While disagreements about prevention measures remain, the Asian carp threat persists, and urgent action is needed,” the senators wrote in their letter. “The immediate path forward should include a set of short- and medium-term actions, which should be able to garner regional consensus more readily to strengthen protection for the Great Lakes.”

The Army Corps plans to rebuild a ditch berm in Eagle Marsh southwest of Fort Wayne to keep Asian carp from reaching Lake Erie.

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.