Political Notebook

  • Kuhnle open house set for Sunday
    Congressional candidate Justin Kuhnle will have an open house Sunday at his campaign office in Albion.
  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."

Chamber keynoter slated

Pence to give speech at group’s annual meeting

In what amounts to a tacit endorsement, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce has scheduled Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, as the keynote speaker for its Oct. 8 annual meeting.

In printed and website announcements, the Chamber identifies Pence as a congressman but doesn’t mention that he is the Republican candidate for governor in the Nov. 6 election.

Pence is running against Democrat John Gregg, a former speaker of the Indiana House, and Libertarian Rupert Boneham.

The Chamber’s annual meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Landmark Conference & Reception Centre, 6222 Ellison Road.

Members of the Chamber might get a chance to hear directly from Pence even sooner. The business advocacy organization has scheduled a Sept. 19-20 “fly-in” to Washington, D.C., to visit and have dinner with members of the Indiana congressional delegation.

Back the right horse

It turns out meandering trail rides on horseback is more Mike Pence’s speed than a swift zip line.

While discussing options for Indiana’s state parks Tuesday, Congressman Pence made clear he wasn’t really a fan of the zip line phenomenon.

“Having gone on the zip line at the Super Bowl, I have mixed emotions about zip lines, at least my personal involvement in zip lines,” he said. “My kids loved it. Karen loved it, but I had a different opinion.”

Compare that to a description of a recent hour getaway on horseback with family.

“Having ridden out west, other than the occasional snow-covered peak as you round a corner, there is no difference between the beauty of trail riding in southwestern Indiana than trail riding in the Rocky Mountains. It’s absolutely glorious.”

And so it begins

One of the concerns over announcing a political campaign too early is that everything you say and do after that announcement will be viewed as an attempt to advance your own campaign, rather than genuine service.

For City Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, the wait wasn’t long before that perception began. Harper recently told a group of Republicans gathered for a barbecue at his house that he would run for mayor in 2015.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Harper stated his view that the monthslong debate the council has been having over property tax abatements shows that the state legislature needs to do away with taxes on personal property.

That prompted Glynn Hines, D-6th, to begin his comments with, “Well I don’t have a political speech, but …”

Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@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.