Political Notebook

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After outburst, Morris gets 1 donation

Republican state Rep. Bob Morris of Fort Wayne received just one contribution after his outburst against the Girl Scouts earlier this year.

His latest campaign finance report filed this month shows he raised $5,000 between Jan. 1 and April 13 – all of which came from one donation from the Northeast Indiana PAC for Better Government.

The donation came April 10 – well past the February airing of Morris' comments calling the Girl Scouts a "radicalized" organization that supports abortion and lesbianism.

The political action committee is financed by several prominent business executives, including Richard Freeland and Don McArdle. The group has been a major player in local Republican politics for years, giving thousands of dollars to different campaigns. Morris now has about $19,000 on hand. He is facing Democrat Lee Jordan in the fall. The state's online campaign finance database had not yet posted Jordan's latest report.

Update: A Republican precinct captain and "proud father of a Girl Scout" announced Tuesday that he is considering a run against Morris as an independent. To see the announcement, verbatim, click here.

Party finances

The pre-primary campaign finance reports revealed what most all political insiders in Allen County already knew: Allen County Republicans are a lot better at raising money and spend much more of it as well.

The reports, which were due this month, show the Allen County GOP raising nearly $28,000 and spending nearly $26,000 through April 13. The Democrats raised $7,000 and spent $5,300.

Much of the Democratic donations came from people signed up for the party's monthly withdrawals, including $150 from Mayor Tom Henry. The Republicans received several donations and even some large ones, such as $3,000 from Bruce Dye, $1,620 from state Sen. Tom Wyss and $1,000 from Michael Swinford.

The Republicans also spent a lot more on similar items. The biggest example is building rent. The Republicans spend almost as much in a month – $2,200 – for their downtown headquarters as the Democrats spent for three months of rent near the intersection of Tillman Road and Anthony Boulevard – $2,700.

Slow voting

If early voting is any indication, interest in this year's primary election isn't that great.

The Allen County Election Board announced 603 people voted early at its office and 1,811 absentee ballots have been submitted, as of Friday. By this time in 2008, the last presidential primary, there were 1,470 early voters and 3,180 mailed absentee ballots.

Of course four years ago Fort Wayne was in the middle of a heated Democratic primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. No such drama exists for either party's presidential pick this year.

Chances to vote early still exist, including the next two Saturdays. People can vote in the election board office, 1 W. Superior St., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through May 4. On Saturday, people can vote in the office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early voting is also available May 7 from 8 a.m. to noon.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.

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