Political Notebook

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Past primaries dog 5 county GOP hopefuls

The 2008 presidential primary is coming back to haunt some area Republicans.

Challenges have been lobbed against five candidates who filed for office on the Republican primary ballot. All five last voted in a Democratic primary, according to the Allen County Election Board.

Similar problems have plagued candidates across the state, including candidates in Tippecanoe County and in the Evansville area.

Four candidates sought to be state delegates and the fifth is Todd Sorg, who filed to run for one of five Huntertown Town Council seats.

S.D. Heimann last voted in the 2006 Democratic primary, and the others all voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

Steve Shine, Allen County Republican Party chairman, said the party did not file the challenges.

Under Indiana law, candidates must receive the permission of the party chair to run in that party’s primary if candidates last voted in the other party’s primary.

Shine gave his approval to several candidates and rejected the pleas for one or two candidates. Those facing challenges did not seek Shine’s permission, he said.

“They listened to Rush Limbaugh is what they did,” Shine said.

The conservative radio talk show host encouraged Republicans to cross over in 2008 and vote for Hilary Rodham Clinton or other Democratic candidates for president as John McCain had already secured the GOP nomination – an idea Shine said he didn’t support.

Saintly donation

Gov. Mitch Daniels gladly handed over $6,852 to a youth recreation league last week after an online auction of the New Orleans Saints flag the governor displayed outside his office as a part of a Super Bowl wager.

But he had one condition – that every youth-football participant must be taught how to recover an onside kick.

The Indianapolis Colts failed to recover an onside kick in the Super Bowl, a play that many fans believe tilted the momentum of the game.

A Louisiana man outbid 26 others for the flag, which was signed by Daniels in his office Friday.

The money goes to TAB Recreation, an inner-city youth sports program run by Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, where Daniels has been a member for nearly 50 years.

The program teaches fitness, faith and character to about 2,000 inner-city young people every year.

“I hope Saints fans will like learning that their world-famous enthusiasm for their team has translated into a boost for some deserving kids here in Colts country,” Daniels said.

Last month, Daniels lost the wager with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on the outcome of Super Bowl XLIV.

The bidding started at $100. In the last 30 seconds of bidding, the price of the flag jumped from $4,444 to the final price of $6,852.

Waiting times

The Fort Wayne City Council almost always finds a way to fill its time.

Despite an extremely light agenda last week, the board still found a way to debate for nearly an hour with most of it focused on whether to expand the Downtown Improvement District’s board from 13 to 15 members.

The process prompted some on the council to realize they appointed many on the district’s board, a process normally done with no attention when the council approves the district’s annual budget. Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, had the issues separated this year.

But the most unneeded delay came when Councilwoman Liz Brown, R-at large, asked to delay voting on appointees to the district’s board. She said the council should have résumés and a chance to seek new appointments before approving the district’s recommendations.

This started an argument over the validity of the appointment process and whether the district was being treated differently than other boards. It was eventually learned that Brown was asking to delay the appointment of the new seats – which would not technically be created until Mayor Tom Henry signs the bill.

When informed that the council wasn’t being asked to vote on those appointments, Brown withdrew her request for a delay.

Amanda Iacone of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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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