Political Notebook

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Daniels’ ‘Hippocratic’ comment throws media

– Chalk it up to lack of sleep or lack of knowledge, but several reporters covering the end of the legislative session were stymied by Gov. Mitch Daniels’ post-session statement last Saturday.

In it, he said the legislature played “defense” more than offense and termed it a “Hippocratic” session.

The latter phrase had some bleary-eyed reporters confused when they went to write stories only hours after the session ended at 1 a.m. And even several Daniels staffers couldn’t adequately explain what he meant.

For the record, Daniels meant that the General Assembly had done no harm.

“I was trying to be economical with my words. I thought about it, but I thought, ‘no, our razor-sharp folks who are here will know exactly what I’m talking about.’ ”

He was referring to the Hippocratic Oath that physicians take, based on writings of Greek philosopher Hippocrates.

But according to a number of online sites, the phrase “do no harm” is not actually in the oath, causing some of the confusion.

“I’m tempted to say something about the contrast between the print and electronic journalism,” Daniels said. “But since the print people didn’t get it either …”

GOP set to debate

The five candidates in the Republican U.S. Senate primary will debate April 20. It will be televised and made available to all broadcast outlets. Audio feeds will also be available.

Don Bates, Richard Behney, Dan Coats, John Hostettler and Marlin Stutzman will participate in the one-hour debate sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission.

Any Hoosier can submit questions. A committee of the debate commission will screen all submitted questions and interview the potential participants. Questions can be submitted at www.indianadebatecommission.com.

There will be no Democratic debate because there are no candidates for the primary; Democratic Party leaders will select a candidate for the November ballot.

Daniels picks Kansas

Gov. Mitch Daniels’ NCAA tournament bracket leaned on Indiana schools but ultimately predicts that Kansas will win the tournament.

He had Butler and Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Syracuse and Louisville, respectively. And he took Notre Dame to the Elite Eight.

Interestingly, Daniels chose only one No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four – Kansas. His other finalists are Kansas State, West Virginia and Louisville.

He initially wrote in West Virginia as the national champion but scratched it out for Kansas.

Hughes online

In continuing the theme of the worst-kept secret in local politics, Allen County Councilwoman Paula Hughes, R-2nd, has launched her mayoral campaign Web site.

Hughes has not formally announced she is seeking the mayor’s post, saying she wants to wait until after this year’s primary election, but she also has made no secret she plans to run.

The site, www.paulahughes.com, gives a brief bio of Hughes, some photos of her family, articles mentioning her and Mayor Tom Henry and, of course, a way to donate to her campaign.

Most interestingly, she includes a calendar of events she will be attending – allowing people interested to know where she will be on nearly every day. For example, this morning Hughes will attend service at St. Joseph United Methodist Church; on Monday she has a conservative breakfast club meeting; and Wednesday afternoon she will be at a ribbon cutting at Hypersonic Technologies.

A quick check shows Mayor Henry’s campaign site is still active, but it has not been updated since the 2007 campaign. While he has raised significant money, he said he won’t announce whether he will seek re-election until later this year.

Indiana targeted

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has identified a number of states to target for a redistricting campaign, including Indiana.

The national group wants to maintain Democratic majorities in statehouses around the nation so that Democrats control the redistricting efforts in 2011 for state and congressional districts.

Overall, Democrats control 60 legislative chambers, most of which will draw maps for 383 congressional and 5,074 legislative seats.

Indiana was named as a state to have a tight contest this year. Democrats have a 52-48 margin.

The group will funnel $20 million into the redistricting effort, though they aren’t saying where that money will be spent.

Sylvia Smith 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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