The conservative purchasing director Mayor Tom Henry dismissed last year returned to city government Tuesday.
Jim Howard, who was released as purchasing director soon after Henry won re-election, attended last weeks City Council meeting as a new associate of Joe Bonahoom, the councils attorney. Bonahoom said Howard will be filling in for him on the occasions he cant make a meeting.
Howard was vice president of Allen County Right to Life and in 2008 sought a seat on the County Council but lost in the Republican primary.
While the hiring of Howard might seem political or odd, Bonahoom said Howard was simply the best candidate for the position, noting his vast knowledge of city government and policies.
Howard, who previously was an associate city attorney, said he is excited to come back and has no hard feelings about what occurred last year. He said hes got to earn money for his family and plans to be as helpful as possible when called on.
Frankly, I want to see the city people succeed, he said.
Bet you never thought you would see the conservative American Family Association of Indiana embrace Democratic House Leader Patrick Bauer and deride GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma.
But thats what happened Thursday when the association sent out a release defending Fort Wayne Rep. Bob Morris comments about the Girl Scouts alleged association with Planned Parenthood.
In the statement, the association notes that Bosma repeatedly – and publicly – mocked Morris last week on the House floor and at a political roast, including eating and giving Girl Scout cookies away; wearing a Girl Scout sash; and making numerous jokes about Morris during the Gridiron Dinner.
The association points out that the Bosma-led House killed the only legislation to restrict abortion that moved this year.
It appears as though Speaker Bosma has more zeal for bad behavior than he does for doing what is right, the statement said. Or perhaps it is just that he seems to be more interested in mocking a conservative more than he is fighting his true ideological opponents on the political left.
The association called Bauer a political bulldog, but at least he publicly treats his members with respect in regard to their political convictions. Bosma should do the same.
There were more than just jokes about Rep. Bob Morris and Girl Scouts at last weeks Gridiron Dinner in Indianapolis.
The formerly annual event was revived for the first time in nearly a decade by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, featuring a roast of all four gubernatorial candidates.
Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman was the surprise hit of the night. Not known for her comedic timing, she lobbed a few good ones at her boss – Gov. Mitch Daniels.
She lamented that its hard to be in the governors shadow. No really, its hard; she said demonstrating how the sun has to be just right.
Then Skillman said she only gets attention when he has surgery – kind of like Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Curtis Painter.
But I have a better arm, she said.
Daniels took a few moments to join in, saying he considered writing all his own material for the event until a House Democrat said he would have to join the writers guild.
Well, not join – just pay the dues, the governor deadpanned in a nod to the right-to-work debate.
Former Gov. Joe Kernan had a few entertaining bits with Daniels, joking about how Kernan kept a bunch of Sagamore of the Wabash awards and now sells them for $69.95. Daniels rarely gives the award now, and Kernan had former Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis present Daniels with one.
Kernan also joked that he and his wife, Maggie, still like to visit Indianapolis every month, saying they stay at the Governors Residence.
Our old keys still work, he said. It looks like nobody lives there.
The main attraction was the roast of the governor candidates – Republicans Mike Pence and Jim Wallace, Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham.
Many of the jokes are not appropriate for the newspaper, though Kernan giving 116 signatures to Wallace to get on the ballot was gold. Especially since Kernans signature was faked on a presidential petition in 2008.
Wallace, ironically, was removed from the ballot a few days later because of his lack of signatures.
Pence said he was humiliated by his sexually themed roast by House Speaker Brian Bosma but managed to get in a few zingers of his own, saying Bosma was one tanning bed away from making it on Capitol Hill.
Gregg also noted after his roast to Pence that Bosma really does want to be lieutenant governor.
His foes and primary-election challenger have been charging that Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., after 35 years in Washington, D.C., is out of touch with Hoosiers.
But according to the website OhMyGov, Lugar was among the top five users of social media in the Senate for the week ending Feb. 14.
Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont topped the Senate list, while Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who seeks the Republican nomination for president, was first among social-media users in the House.
Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, who seeks the GOP nomination for governor, ranked 32nd in the House.
Federal lawmakers were scored by increases among their Facebook and Twitter followers, the number of retweets their followers shared and the number of Twitter mentions by followers.
OhMyGov found Lugar had more than 47,800 social-media fans as of Feb. 13 – a far cry from the nearly 1.2 million for Paul.
Just what is Lugar tweeting about? Here are samples:
On President Obamas proposed budget: This spending is unsustainable & unacceptable. This lack of fiscal leadership must end.
On what would have been President Reagans 101st birthday: Remembering my dear friend Pres Ronald Reagan 2day. Honoring his legacy for conservatism, the Republican Party & our country.
Banking on IPFW
Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, wants the Indiana General Assembly to study the current oversight structure at IPFW.
He wrote a concurrent resolution to have the topic assigned to a summer study committee.
The measure passed out of committee last week unanimously.
The resolution said IPFW is a growing campus with a diverse student population. Currently it operates independently, but Purdue is the administrative manager of the campus.
IPFW is the fifth largest campus in the state, Banks said. With a growing diverse campus, along with numerous academic opportunities, it deserves to efficiently be managed by the appropriate on campus personnel.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and his challenger in the Republican primary election, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, have agreed to debate April 11 in Indianapolis.
The Indiana Debate Commission said Wednesday the GOP rivals will debate in the studios of WFYI, a PBS TV station. Details on the format, moderator and broadcast time will be announced later, according to Max Jones, president of the commission and editor of the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute.
Jones said the non-profit commission will provide a free live TV feed to news media wishing to broadcast the debate.
Journal Gazette Washington Editor Brian Francisco contributed to this column.