Political Notebook

  • Daniels' near-presidential run dissected
    In the end, it was the lure of playing the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club that brought then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and a tight-knit group of friends and supporters together in the fall of 2009 to discuss whether he should run for
  • 2 Hoosiers named to U.S. House Energy Committee
    Reps. Susan Brooks, R-5th, and Larry Bucshon, R-8th, have been named to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress.
  • Indiana House sets leaders for session
    The Indiana House has tapped leadership and committee chairs for the 2015 General Assembly.

Morris challenge in works

Republican says he plans to run as independent

Republican Fort Wayne attorney Michael Barranda is exploring a possible independent run for House District 84.

The move comes after current Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, criticized the Girl Scouts this year, causing national ridicule and scorn.

Morris’ comments occurred after the deadline to file for the primary ballot.

“The issue with the Girl Scouts really got my attention,” said Barranda, whose daughter is a Girl Scout. “As a community leader, I felt it was a poor reflection on Fort Wayne. I wanted to explore what I can personally do.”

He submitted the campaign finance paperwork for an exploratory committee in recent days though it still doesn’t show up on the secretary of state’s online database.

And he hasn’t started collecting the hundreds of signatures needed to get on the ballot as an independent. The deadline to file is July 2.

If elected, Barranda – a longtime Republican who has never run for office before – promises to caucus with the House GOP members.

Federal dollars

It appears Gov. Mitch Daniels isn’t quite as concerned about federal spending as we thought.

He recently made some curious comments about the questionable use of a National Guard helicopter to transport two members of his staff.

WTHR-TV in Indianapolis reported last week that two staffers from the governor’s office were scheduled to fly on a UH-60 Black Hawk to Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Ground at an estimated cost of $10,000.

The flight was later canceled, but it was Daniels’ comments that raised some eyebrows.

When asked whether it was a good use of the aircraft – knowing that the cost was about $5,000 an hour – he responded, “I don’t know anything about it.”

Daniels then encouraged the reporter to talk to the National Guard about it, saying, “They’re federal dollars, by the way, not state tax dollars.”

Slides of the times

It appears the times have finally caught up with Councilman John Crawford, R-at large.

In making his first major presentation of his new term on the council, Crawford abandoned the large charts he had become famous for using in the past. In its place was a perfunctory PowerPoint presentation.

Crawford said the reason for the change wasn’t that he preferred the new technology, but simply that he was concerned the charts wouldn’t be easily visible in the council’s new chambers in Citizens Square.

In fact, he admitted he wished he could have used the charts because he was worried the projector or computer would hit a glitch during his presentation.

“Those can’t fail,” he said of the charts.

At least one thing hasn’t changed: Crawford’s presentation was successful in winning unanimous support for his bill.

Political parties

With Election Day on Tuesday, the local Democrats and Republicans will both do their best to turn primary night into a festive occasion.

The Democrats’ party will be at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Hall, 2930 Ludwig Road. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will give supporters a chance to watch returns and plan for November.

The GOP will host its election night festivities at its headquarters at 135 W. Main St. starting at 6 p.m. Ceruti’s will cater the event with a cash bar. It will feature a DJ and live election results.

Both parties’ parties are open to the public.

The Republicans will also have their regular post-election luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at headquarters.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, 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.