Fox News personality and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will speak to Allen County Republicans this fall.
The former Arkansas governor will be the keynote speaker at the local GOPs Bean Dinner fundraiser Oct. 13 at Cerutis. Steve Shine, county party chairman, said getting Huckabee during such an important election season shows the stature of the area to the Republican Party.
The confirmation of Huckabee hearkens back to the days when the party regularly drew big-name speakers, such as Michael Reagan in 2004, Oliver North in 2002 and Charlton Heston in 2000.
He is exciting, he is dynamic, Shine said. He represents a point of view that is very popular among conservatives and Americans in general.
Of course, drawing such a national figure brings its risks as well. Huckabee endorsed state Sen. Marlin Stutzman in his senatorial campaign against Dan Coats. Coats won the primary and Stutzman later won a caucus to be the Republican nominee to replace Rep. Mark Souder. Shine said Stutzman was instrumental in inking Huckabee.
Huckabee also sent a fundraising letter this summer criticizing Gov. Mitch Daniels for calling for a truce on social issues so government could focus on the economy.
The lure of a big name could bring logistical concerns also, as Shine said only 600 tickets will be available for people wanting to hear Huckabee.
Shine said event times will be announced and tickets will go on sale in mid-September.
Washington mainstay Lee Hamilton visited the Hoosier State last week to tout the slate of Democratic candidates running for statewide office.
They are the new face of the Democratic Party in this state, he said. It makes me feel good about the future of the party.
Hamilton – a former congressman who also led or served on panels investigating the Iraq war and the Sept. 11 attacks – gladly endorsed Vop Osili for secretary of state, Sam Locke for auditor and Pete Buttigieg for treasurer.
But he also entertained reporters with his thoughts on the mood of the electorate and more.
On Democrats at the national level: Im not sure weve gotten everything right. But I do know we tried to solve the problem.
On a presidential line-item veto: It just hands the president a lot more power. I dont think its a positive trend. He went on to say the line-item veto is a procedural solution to deficit spending while political will is a substantive solution.
On Novembers election: Democrats are in power so we have to take responsibility for the status of the nation.
On the tea party movement: He said it is understandable that some citizens are frustrated but that Im not quite sure of their principles.
Hamilton and his wife are moving to Bloomington in early November.
Not taking a stand
During the event with Lee Hamilton, all three of the Democratic candidates seeking statewide office declined to take a firm position on adding property tax caps to Indianas constitution.
Auditor hopeful Sam Locke said he thinks the concept of the caps is sound but is concerned that local governments have enough flexibility to provide services.
He said he hasnt decided how he will vote on the constitutional amendment in November.
Secretary of state candidate Vop Osili and treasurer hopeful Pete Buttigieg also said they havent made a decision.
Where’s the snark?
A conservative blog focusing on Gov. Mitch Daniels accomplishments abruptly switched formats last week.
FrugalHoosiers.com instead now is the face of a campaign by Daniels to elect a Republican majority in the Indiana House – the Aiming Higher Political Action Committee.
The old link now goes directly to AimingHigherIndiana.com and includes information on Republican candidates and ideas.
It is all helpful, but we here at Political Notebook miss the snark that came with the Frugal Hoosiers monoblogue and hope to see it return after the election.
Hughes and Henry
Paula Hughes, Allen County Council president and likely Republican Fort Wayne mayoral candidate, recently advertised a campaign fundraiser asking people to ride a motorcycle with her.
Most catching were the assertions made in her biographical information, which in part read, Widely considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Mayor of Fort Wayne, Paula Hughes is in her second term as President of the Allen County Council.
While she probably technically is the front-runner, its only because no other candidate has yet publicly hinted at running. Hughes, in fact, hasnt even publicly declared she will seek the office, although her interest in the job is not a well-kept secret.
As for the Republicans likely opponent, Mayor Tom Henry said he has yet to make a decision on seeking re-election. Henry previously said he wanted to decide by September but now believes it wont occur that quickly.
He said last week he was still studying the political environment.