The Journal Gazette
Sunday, April 21, 2019 1:00 am

Banks, Young rank high in conservative ratings

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., were among the more conservative members of Congress in 2018, according to yearly ratings released by the American Conservative Union.

Banks and Young were among 54 House members and 11 senators who scored 90% or higher on congressional votes tracked by the conservative advocacy organization on such issues as abortion, immigration, health care, deregulation, judicial nominees and work requirements for federal assistance. Banks scored 92%, and Young scored 91%.

Scores for other federal lawmakers representing northeast Indiana were 76% for Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, and 23% for former Democratic senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

The highest score for an Indiana lawmaker was 95% for former 6th District Republican representative Luke Messer. The lowest Indiana score was 8% for Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st.

Overall, Republican senators averaged an 82% score from the ACU, GOP representatives 77%, Democratic senators 10% and Democratic representatives 8%. 

Bosma opts out

When House Speaker Brian Bosma stepped out during discussion of the gaming bill for the second time this week it was clear something was up.

Turns out he had sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee in March saying his law firm has the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board as a client. The board is tangentially involved in discussions for a Terre Haute casino. So Bosma decided he would not preside over or vote on the bill. 

“I believe it is appropriate to safeguard the public's trust in the Indiana House of Representatives,” Bosma said.

He directed the letter be posted but it wasn't made public until The Journal Gazette asked about Bosma's disappearing act. 

The Indianapolis Star reported Bosma has still been in meetings and conversations on the bill, to which Bosma responded that he has no direct financial interest in the bill and was simply acting out of an abundance of caution.

Ryan to be part of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame has announced that former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan will join its faculty as a guest lecturer in political science and economics for the 2019-20 academic year.

David Campbell, chairman of Notre Dame's political science department, said Ryan's lecture topics will include the fundamentals of American government, political polarization and Catholicism and economics.

“As an Irish Catholic from the Midwest, the University of Notre Dame has always held a special place in my heart,” Ryan said Monday in a news release from Notre Dame. He said his brothers Stan and Tobin earned bachelor's degrees in economics from the South Bend school.

Ryan did not seek reelection last year in his Wisconsin district, which he had represented since 1999. The Republican was House speaker for the last four years of his congressional career.

Mayor's Twitter account hacked

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry's Twitter account has been hacked, city spokesman John Perlich confirmed last week. 

On Thursday, Henry's @MayorTomHenry account was showing a suspended status, which Twitter often does to accounts that violate the platform's rules.

Perlich said the administration has been working with Twitter to get the account active again and anticipates the issue will be resolved soon.

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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