Political Notebook

  • Ex-chief justice gets democratic honor
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • 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.
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Democrat eyes elections chief

There could be another White on the ballot for Secretary of State in 2014.

Marion County Clerk Beth White announced last week she is seeking the Democratic nomination for Indiana secretary of state next year.

“I want to bring balance back to state government,” she said, noting her uphill battle. “This fight will not be easy and I know it.”

The Democratic nominee will be chosen at the state convention.

Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson is seeking her first election to the post. She was appointed to the position by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012 when then-office holder and Republican Charlie White was convicted of several election-related felonies.

Charlie White won in 2010 despite a legal cloud over his candidacy.

Beth White said it’s been 20 years since a Democrat has held the office but believes the growing awareness of Republican voter suppression efforts around the country works to her benefit.

She specifically talked about the state’s restrictive voter ID law, lack of flexibility in early and satellite voting and new voter registration rules that might discourage groups from signing up Hoosiers to vote.

While clerk, Beth White has run 12 elections in the state’s most populous county.

And Indiana Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry immediately jumped on her struggles.

“Beth White’s tenure has been plagued with botched elections, understaffed polling places, ballots not being delivered on time and voters getting the wrong ballots. And now she wants a promotion?” Berry said in a release. “The Secretary of State’s office is no place for Beth White’s mismanagement and partisan political antics.”

White responded by saying elections are a human endeavor and are never perfect. “I did what’s right. I stand by my record,” she said.

White previously was a top aide to Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and was a member of the Gov. Frank O’Bannon administration.

Posters are back

During John Crawford’s first tenure as a Fort Wayne at-large city councilman, he was known for his posters.

If he had a news conference, he had posters to illustrate his points. If he had a presentation to give, he had posters. Whatever the situation, it seemed, he had cardboard-mounted graphics to go with it.

Then came PowerPoint. While some argue the presentation software has led to the death of the presentation, the one thing that’s certain is that it appeared to lead to the death of Crawford’s posters.

Until last week.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, in a discussion on keeping college graduates in the area, Crawford’s posters returned. And it was a literal return, as they were the very posters he used in announcing efforts in 2004 to stem the area’s brain drain.

As the bulky posters and uncertain easel proved Tuesday, PowerPoint may have its advantages. But will anyone ever be sentimental over a PowerPoint slide?

“I missed my posters,” Crawford said.

So did we, Councilman. So did we.

Anti-gay marriage

A Kosciusko County tea party group announced last week it will stand in support of the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions.

Often called HJR6, the resolution needs to pass the legislature in 2014 for it to ultimately go to voters in November.

Kosciusko Silent NO More President Monica Boyer said: “Many people have asked why a TEA Party group would engage in the battle to protect marriage in Indiana. I would answer that question with two words, ‘religious freedom.’

“Redefining marriage forces everyone else, including churches, schools, and business owners, to affirm homosexual relationships, denying people their religious freedom and opinion. Facts have proven over and over again, that when we allow a group to redefine marriage, those who hold religious convictions are criminalized.”

Boyer added the definition of marriage belongs in the hands of Hoosiers and not the government, courts or media. “We are focused, and we will step up to the front lines to fight for our families and religious freedom in the upcoming months,” she said.

Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net or Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can be found at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.

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