Political Notebook

  • Hoosiers asked to help make Indiana more competitive
    The Indiana Department of Revenue on Monday released a report of ideas and recommendations generated at the Indiana Tax Competitiveness and Simplification Conference in June.
  • Stutzman’s wife on ‘19 Kids’
    Christy Stutzman, wife of Congressman Marlin Stutzman, made a surprise appearance last Tuesday night on the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting.
  • Voters forum set for Saturday
    The Fort Wayne Chapter of The Links Inc., a non-profit women's service organization, will present a voter education and engagement forum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hines, developer spar on ‘desirable’ area

Hyperbole and tension weren’t lacking during Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting, especially during a heated debate between Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, and a local developer.

In discussing tax abatements and incentives, developer Bill Bean mentioned it was OK for the city to offer incentives for companies to invest in parts of the city that “for whatever reason, maybe they’re less desirable to be in.”

That clearly irked Hines, who represents southeast Fort Wayne, and prompted him to attack Bean by calling his statement “offensive” and asking him to remove his “personal prejudice.”

“To further the entire community we have to take away some of those old stereotypes of what is desirable and what is not desirable and then move forward,” Hines said.

Bean responded by telling Hines that the councilman was taking his comment “completely out of context” and noted that he has as much, if not more, invested on the southeast part of town as any developer. He also tried to clarify that some areas aren’t desirable for development for several reasons, such as lack of access to the interstate.

“I think basically taking the position that no one should question whether some location is more desirable than another is just not dealing with economic reality,” Bean said.

Hines upped the hyperbole in defending his efforts to seek development in all areas of the city by saying, “We are at war with other communities for these businesses that are highly desirable. ... At the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way to make sure that we solidify the entire community and not just a certain area.”

Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, had to end the back and forth to keep the meeting on task.

Hitting the road

Grab your brain bucket and get ready for Gov. Mitch Daniels’ “last roundup.”

All motorcyclists are invited to join ABATE of Indiana on the eighth and final motorcycle ride with Daniels on Aug. 10. The governor’s second term ends in early January.

The traditional ride starts at the Indiana Statehouse, where hundreds of bikers gather before being led to the open road by the governor on one of his two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

This year’s escorted ride will wind through the scenic roads of southwest Indiana and end at French Lick Resort. The ride is free, but donations will be collected benefiting the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund.

More than $40,000 has been raised in the past four years.

GOP for Donnelly

Democrats are counting on Republican support for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly in the November general election, and it appears they are getting some.

Donnelly’s campaign announced Thursday the formation of a group called “Republicans for Donnelly.” The six “charter” members had backed Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in the past.

Lugar, a six-term incumbent, lost the GOP nomination to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the May 8 primary election. Donnelly, a congressman in Indiana’s 2nd District, was unopposed for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Republicans for Donnelly is headed by Anne Emison Wishard of Indianapolis.

Wishard, a fourth-generation Republican, said in a statement she recalls from family dinner-table discussions “that political discourse at all times should remain reasonable and civil. Unfortunately, the Republican nominee for the United States Senate did not learn the same lesson. For that and many other reasons, I am supporting Joe Donnelly (for senator).”

During his primary-election campaign, Mourdock, a favorite of conservative tea party organizations, said there has been too much compromising by members of Congress and that Lugar was too moderate in his votes.

One Republican who won’t be supporting Donnelly is Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind. Promoted as their first “joint availability,” Coats and Mourdock toured C&A Tool in Churubusco on Friday. Both attacked President Obama’s national health care law and Rep. Joe Donnelly’s support of it. Coats also said he will be doing everything he can to help get Mourdock elected this fall.


State Sen. Vi Simpson said it took only one discussion with Democrat John Gregg to agree to be his lieutenant governor candidate – after all, the two have been personal friends for years.

There was, however, one request Simpson said she couldn’t accept.

“He asked me to grow a mustache, but I absolutely refused,” she joked.

Gregg has made a brand of his facial hair, but apparently a pink mustache lapel pin was the most he could get from his running mate.

Journal Gazette Washington Editor Brian Francisco contributed to this column.

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.