Political Notebook

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    Gov. Mike Pence had an intriguing visitor to his Statehouse office Tuesday - former Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
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    The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee has endorsed six area Republicans seeking Statehouse office.
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Long backs Stutzman: ‘This is his time’

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, threw his support to Sen. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, in the now-crowded race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Long previously had talked about how he was torn between the candidacy of Stutzman – a friend and colleague – and former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats.

But last week he called Stutzman young, bright, articulate and “exactly the kind of fresh face that we need to send to Washington.”

Long stressed that he has great respect for Coats but essentially said his time is past.

“This is 2010, and Marlin Stutzman is our Scott Brown,” Long said. “This is his time. He not only has my support but my vote as well.”

D’Arcy vs. Bauer

State lawmakers last week honored the Rev. John M. D’Arcy, who recently retired as bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Roman Catholic Diocese.

But the exchange between the bishop and House Speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, was the highlight of the event.

When Bauer told D’Arcy he was allowed to address the chamber, the bishop started talking only to be interrupted by Bauer, who had forgotten to call a recess. This is needed because only members of the House are allowed to speak from the podium during session.

“You may continue, and I’ll say three Hail Marys for interrupting you,” Bauer quipped.

“Hopefully not for the first time, Pat,” D’Arcy shot back.

He then pointed out that Bauer is a member of St. Matthew’s Cathedral in South Bend, “and I’m told occasionally he comes to collection.”

Bauer just smiled.

Speech snippets

Mayor Tom Henry’s State of the City speech offered a few interesting moments.

•The mayor stayed mostly on script and on time, but it did run a few minutes long – prompting local television stations to cut the speech early to start the evening news promptly at 6 p.m. The main culprit for the overruns: More than 20 applause breaks.

•Participating in some of those applause breaks was County Councilwoman Paula Hughes, R-2nd, who intends to run for mayor next year. Hughes sat in the second row to listen to Henry’s speech and the two exchanged a pleasant greeting after Henry was finished.

•While there weren’t any major blunders, Henry slipped up a few times during the 30-minute speech. For example, when discussing Renaissance Square, he said it was at 200 W. Berry St., but the building is 200 E. Berry. And for those really picky, he referred to State Boulevard as State Street.

•When discussing new taxes, Henry slipped in a last-second change keeping open the possibility of new ones. The original speech read, “Other Indiana cities are discussing new revenue streams, but this is not needed in Fort Wayne.”

Instead, Henry said, “Other Indiana cities are discussing new revenue streams, but this is not currently needed in Fort Wayne.”

•One topic that was a large part of Henry’s speech last year but was absent in the 2010 version: Gambling. While no progress has been made on the mayor’s quest to get a referendum on local gambling, Henry failed to even mention the efforts during his speech. He summed it up after his speech by saying there wasn’t anything new to say on the topic.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. To discuss this entry of Political Notebook or others, go to the Political Notebook topic of “The Board” at www.journalgazette.net.

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