Political Notebook

  • Teachers union got A-F data early
    One mystery from the chaotic State Board of Education meeting Wednesday has been solved – how the Indiana State Teachers Association got hold of restricted A-F school grades.
  • ISTA receives data in advance
    One mystery from the chaotic State Board of Education meeting Wednesday has been solved -- how the Indiana State Teachers Association got embargoed A-F school grades.
  • Allen GOP donations 'off the charts'
    The Allen County Republican Party says it has raised a record amount of money – more than $485,000 – so far this year.
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Council GOP sparks deficit-plan debate

Republicans in recent years have made a lot of political hay out of structural deficits. When Democrats would announce a balanced budget, Republicans would point out – correctly – that it may be balanced in the sense that spending does not exceed the amount of available money, but only because some of that money was already on hand.

In other words, the government was still spending more than it was taking in, a practice that cannot continue for long, and does not address the issue at hand – spending.

Fort Wayne City Councilman John Crawford, R-at large, has a well-deserved and long-standing reputation as the numbers guy on the council, able to cut through the debate with hard and fast facts.

So it was puzzling when he tried to explain away the structural deficit he and other Republican councilmen are calling for in the city budget – they want to use the city’s cash reserves and money from selling the city’s electric utility rather than raise taxes or cut spending.

He did it this way: “Do you have a structural deficit if you have a large amount in a cash reserve that you’re not going to use?” he asked. “You do and you don’t.”

Triple billing for GOP Bean Dinner

This year’s Allen County Republican Party Bean Dinner will feature three high-profile candidates in Indiana’s Nov. 6 election.

The Oct. 30 triple bill of speakers consists of Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, the GOP gubernatorial candidate; state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat; and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, who seeks re-election to a second full term in Congress.

“It is going to be a supercharged atmosphere to have all three in one spot one week ahead of the election,” county Republican Chairman Steve Shine said Wednesday.

Pence is running against Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham. Mourdock is running against Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, and Libertarian Andrew Horning. Stutzman is being challenged by Democrat Kevin Boyd.

The annual Bean Dinner will be at 6 p.m. at Ceruti’s Summit Park. Tickets are $65 a person and $175 a person for a 5 p.m. reception with Pence, Mourdock and Stutzman. Reservations are due Oct. 25 by calling 745-1970 or emailing beandinner@allencountygop.org.

Shine said he expects 650 people to attend.

Dinner speakers in recent years have included Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Dan Coats spoke in 2009, a year before his election to the Senate.

Fore!

State Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, had a rough day at the golf course last week.

He tweeted and posted a picture on Facebook of him and a female golfer with this caption:

“Playing in one and only golf outing of the year for Allen County Right to Life and hit this poor lady in the leg. Unfortunately my golf ball had state senate logo on it. I told her my name is Carlin Yoder in case anyone asks.”

Yoder is a fellow senator.

Voting begins

Applications for absentee ballots for the Nov. 6 general election are available at IndianaVoters.com and through county election boards.

Qualifications for voting by mail include that a person expects to be absent from his home county on Election Day; is 65 or older; has a disability; is expected to be confined by illness or injury on Election Day; is scheduled to work all 12 hours the polls are open on Election Day; or is in the military.

Photo identification is not required when voting by mail.

Early in-person voting will begin Oct. 8. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 9. The deadline for absentee voting is Oct. 29.

Journal Gazette writer Dan Stockman 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.

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