Political Notebook


Daniels scolds Obama’s energy policies

Gov. Mitch Daniels chided President Obama for imposing energy standards on light bulbs in Tuesday’s State of the Union speech.

Daniels should have been pointing his finger at his former boss, President George W. Bush, according to USA Today.

In giving the Republican Party’s official response to Obama’s speech, Daniels said Tuesday night: “In word and deed, the president and his allies tell us that we just cannot handle ourselves in this complex, perilous world without their benevolent protection. Left to ourselves, we might pick the wrong health insurance, the wrong mortgage, the wrong school for our kids; why, unless they stop us, we might pick the wrong light bulb.”

Last week, Lori Robertson, USA Today’s FactCheck.org reporter, wrote: “The law phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs, in favor of more energy efficient ones, was passed by Congress on Dec. 18, 2007, and signed by Bush the following day. The law’s requirements on light bulbs were set to take effect this month, but new legislation, signed by Obama in December, delays enforcement of the regulations.”

Daniels was White House budget director for Bush from 2001 to 2003.

Making up his mind

Despite his recent selection by the national GOP, Gov. Mitch Daniels, he of the aw-shucks humility, says no one wants to hear his opinion when it comes to backing a Republican presidential nominee.

“My sense is, these endorsements are somewhat overrated,” he said Thursday during an appearance at Fort Wayne’s Concordia Lutheran High School.

Daniels said it’s fair to say Republicans nationwide are still “casting about” for a suitable nominee, but that’s part of the process. He hasn’t ruled out making an endorsement but said he hasn’t made up his own mind anyway.

“At some point, we’ll nominate somebody, and I’ll say I’m for him,” he said.

If you were hoping he’d change his mind and run for president – Daniels maintains he won’t.

Run-in expected

More area residents signed up to run for Indiana House and Senate seats last week though the two men expected to be involved in this year’s marquee matchup have yet to make it official.

Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, and Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, were drawn together into House District 50 this year during the redistricting process.

Since the revelation that the two incumbents would face off, speculation and rumor has run wild that one of the men would wait until the last minute to announce his retirement from the body.

But both have told The Journal Gazette repeatedly that they “plan” or “intend” to run.

They have until Feb. 10 to make good on their word.

Here are last week’s filings:

Senate District 16 – Democrat Charles “Tom” Kern wants to take on Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, in the general election.

House District 18 – Democrat John Bonitati has filed and likely will face Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, in the fall.

House District 51 – Democrat Lon Keyes will seek the open seat.

House District 52 – Two new Republicans have filed in the primary for the open seat – Gary Harbaugh and David Powers. Paul Moss and Ben Smaltz filed previously to seek this seat.

House District 79 – Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, is seeking re-election.

House District 80 – Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, filed for re-election.

House District 82 – Republican Wesley Ortell joins Denise Lemmon and David Ober in the open-seat race for the GOP nomination.

House District 85 – Denny Worman files again to run against Rep. Phyllis Pond, R-New Haven, in the primary. She has beaten him a handful of times.

Fine by Moses

Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, has chosen not to participate in litigation halting the collection of fines against House Democrats.

House Republicans fined Democrats who boycotted several days this session to block movement on the right-to-work bill.

Other members of the Democratic caucus face up to $4,000 in fines and signed onto a temporary restraining order issued by a Marion County judge stopping Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma from unilaterally taking the money from expense checks owed the members.

But not Moses.

“I’ve always been responsible for my actions as an individual, and I accept full responsibility and will pay my fines because I believe what I did was right,” he said.

Moses paid his fines in full Friday – $2,000. His total was lower due to two excused absences for illness.

Washington Editor Brian Francisco and Angela Mapes Turner of The Journal Gazette contributed to this report.

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