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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, June 30, 2019 1:00 am

Crouch gives boost to Holcomb fundraising

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Gov. Eric Holcomb's reelection announcement has been set, and his running mate last week stepped up to the plate on fundraising.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch transferred a record $1 million from her campaign into Holcomb's campaign account.

She announced the news at a Team Holcomb fundraising event that separately raised another $1 million in a single night.

“As Indiana's lieutenant governor, I'm proud of the results Governor Holcomb and I are delivering for Hoosiers of all walks of life,” Crouch said. “We're working hard to create opportunities for Hoosiers as we renew our commitment to job creation, smart investment and education policy. Our state's greatest challenges are our biggest focus. And with that focus in mind, I'm proud to have this historic outpouring of support from Hoosiers across the state for our efforts.”

The fundraising announcement comes as Holcomb prepares to make his reelection bid official at a July 13 event at the iconic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown.

Hoosier Gym is famous as the filming location of the Hickory Huskers' homecourt in the 1986 film “Hoosiers.”

Infrastructure priorities

A Republican candidate for Fort Wayne's 5th City Council District last week called for the council to revamp how it identifies infrastructure spending priorities.

Taylor Vanover, who hopes to unseat Democrat Geoff Paddock in November, said he wants to include neighborhoods and business districts in an effort to spend $20 million in infrastructure-specific projects separate from priorities identified by the city administration.

Under Vanover's plan, each council member would be in charge of about $2.2 million to put toward infrastructure-related projects.

“Council must become an active part of the budgetary process by working with neighborhood associations and business districts to rank and suggest projects months in advance of the mayor's budget proposal,” Vanover said in a Wednesday news release.

Vanover's proposal involves each council member working with neighborhood associations and business groups in March and April each year to identify projects that could be submitted to the city in May. The proposed $20 million would be evenly divided between the districts and at-large members.

“After viewing the budget process, it was clear that council has essentially become a rubber stamp and not an integral part of the process,” Vanover said in his release. “Citizens are better served by their elected representatives as opposed to detached staff.”

Paddock responded in an email Saturday:

“When I took office in 2012, the city spent about $6 million on street resurfacing and other neighborhood improvements,” he said. “I worked with Mayor Henry and my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to increase funding to over $30 million in 2018 and over $30 million in 2019.

“In addition, we are spending over $100 million this year on city utility projects including the Combined Sewer Overflow Project that will divert waste from our rivers and greatly reduce basement back-ups. This is a strong commitment to neighborhoods.”

Paddock said he will look for funding for neighborhood improvements, including brick street repair.

“State law allows local governments to spend so much, and we must not short our public safety – police and fire – with the limited funds we have in our city budget.”

Appointments

Gov. Eric Holcomb tapped several northeast Indiana residents to higher education posts.

They include:

• Henry O. Hall, of Fort Wayne, to the Ball State University Board of Trustees. He is president of Skytech Products Group, and will join as an alumni member of the board serving until Dec. 31, 2022.

• Paula Hughes-Schuh, of Fort Wayne, was reappointed to the Ivy Tech University Board of Trustees. She is CEO of YWCA Northeast Indiana.

• Noah M. Scott, of Leesburg, to the Purdue University Board of Trustees. He is a junior majoring in industrial engineering technology and organizational leadership at Purdue University. He will join as the student member of the board and serve until July 1, 2021.

• Josi Barscz, of Huntington, to the University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees. She is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry at the University of Southern Indiana and will join as the student member of the board serving until June 30, 2021.

Hoosier patriotism absent, study says

Indiana is among the least patriotic states in the nation, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

Ahead of the Fourth of July, WalletHub compared states according to 13 indicators of patriotism, including military enlistment, veteran population, voter turnout, volunteering, jury participation and participation in civic organizations, the Peace Corps and AmericaCorps.

Indiana ranked 44th overall. Its neighbors, aside from 27th-ranked Kentucky, weren't much better – Ohio was 37th, Illinois 41st and Michigan 42nd.

WalletHub said the five most patriotic states, in order, were New Hampshire, Wyoming, Vermont, Utah and Idaho.

The five least patriotic states were, in order, New Jersey, New York, California, West Virginia and Texas.

To see the list, go to wallethub.com/edu/most-patriotic-states/13680/

Dave Gong 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 be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.