It didnt take long for the Allen County Republicans to move Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock onto a more level billing with Sen. Richard Lugar.
A day after Political Notebook noted in an online posting that Mourdock was placed below Lugar on the flier for the partys Lincoln Day dinner, a revised flier was sent by Chairman Steve Shine.
In an email, Shine said the party was not trying to slight Mourdock and that the appropriate adjustments had been made.
In the new flier, Lugar is still listed first as the featured speaker for the dinner, scheduled for April 30. Mourdock, however, has been bumped to the same row as the senator and is listed as a candidate for Senate who is scheduled to speak.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, is placed between the two men as the master of ceremonies for the dinner.
But the state treasurers name was misspelled in both fliers as Murdock.
A third corrected flier fixed that error.
Daniels on Scouts
It had been a while since Gov. Mitch Daniels spoke to the press, so Political Notebook asked him Friday what he thought about the national furor surrounding Fort Wayne Rep. Bob Morris demonization of the Girl Scouts.
A wide smile hit his face and he said, Im a big Girl Scout sucker. I didnt get it really. All I thought was that it was curious that one such voice out of 150 was treated – not here particularly, but elsewhere – as though it were somehow reflective of a wider view in Indiana when its clearly a very, very isolated one.
Did you know Garrett Republican Rep. David Yarde is a good lookout or that Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake, secretly controls the legislative process?
These were just two tidbits shared on the House floor late Wednesday night as members of the chamber honored several retiring legislators.
Dodge is not seeking re-election, and Yarde is running for a Senate seat.
Yarde and Dodge also both got the chance to wield the speakers gavel as a departing gift from House GOP Speaker Brian Bosma, who ended up with a smashed thumb courtesy of Dodge.
One Democrat said a former representative started a rumor that Dodge had an incredible grasp and control over the session by asking every lobbyist what Dodge thought of an issue.
Dodge then addressed the group, saying he would miss the people but not the 320-mile drive every week.
Its hard to describe the feeling you get after having been here the last eight years. It hardly seems like its been that long. Time goes quickly – except when we have caucuses like we did today, he joked, saying his next career might be as a greeter at Walmart.
When it was Yardes turn, several colleagues talked of his education insight and cool demeanor.
Hes a man of character, said Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus. He will always tell you what he believes is the truth, even if its a little hard to take sometime.
Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, said Yarde was a regular lookout for him when he would change clothes in the office. One day, Yarde wasnt there, though, and his fill-in – Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne – wasnt paying attention and allowed a female legislator to get an eyeful.
Dodge said he intends to bug Yarde, when he becomes my senator.
Then again, Yarde still has to beat incumbent Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange.
I want to thank everybody in here for courtesy and respect you have shown, Yarde told the group.
A great deal of attention has hit the Summit City since Indiana Democrats decided to hold their convention in Fort Wayne this year, but it also has caused at least one problem: too many delegate candidates.
A whopping 29 people filed to be a state convention delegate in the citys District D, which is in the southwest portion of the city. Unfortunately, the countys election machines can list only 27 candidates on a single page, meaning the candidates must be listed on two pages.
Beth Dlug, director of elections, said this was not ideal because being on the second page could hurt a candidates chances of winning.
I think its going to be very confusing, she said.
Dlug said the interest in serving at a local convention likely drew more people to be delegates this year.
To help mitigate the problem, the county will put only 15 candidates on the first page, meaning voters will have to flip the page if they want to vote for the maximum 16 slots. They also noted in multiple places on the ballot that the candidates were listed on two pages.
Lugar tacks right
New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote this week: Politicians do what they must to get re-elected. So its not unexpected that Republican senators like Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch would swing sharply to the right to fend off primary challengers.
Brooks further observed: Lugar has earned widespread respect for his thoughtful manner and independent ways. Now, hes more of a reliable Republican foot soldier.
The latest congressional scorecard issued by the Club for Growth backs up Brooks assertions. In an analysis of votes cast last year on federal budget, taxation, regulation, trade and other economic issues, the fiscally conservative group gave Lugar, R-Ind., a score of 80 percent. That brought his career figure up to 65 percent. Hatch, R-Utah, scored 99 percent for 2011, compared with a career 78 percent.
The Club for Growth considers 90 percent a passing grade. Its political action committee has endorsed Lugars opponent in Indianas May 8 Republican primary election, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, the Democratic candidate for Lugars seat, scored 9 percent for both 2011 and his career. The president of the Club for Growth is Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman whom Donnelly unseated in the 2006 general election.
Among the Hoosier congressional delegation, freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, received the highest score, 99 percent, and ranked 13th out of all House members based on the clubs pro-growth ratings. Rep. Dan Burton, R-5th, was close behind at 98 percent and 14th place. Burton, who is not seeking re-election, has a career score of 86 percent.
Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., had a 96 percent score for last year, identical to his career mark. Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, the Republican candidate for governor, got an 89 percent, far off his career score of 98 percent.
Journal Gazette Washington Editor Brian Francisco contributed to this column.