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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Governor Holcomb’s Workforce Development Plan Could Cost Indiana $49 Million

Governor Eric Holcomb 

Tony Cook and Arika Herron over at IndyStar reported earlier today that the Indiana Manufacturers Association normally a Holcomb ally. Has yanked it’s support from Holcomb’s plan to reshape the state’s Workforce Development programs. 

Cook and Herron writing:

Holcomb's office publicly acknowledged for the first time Monday that the state will need a waiver from the U.S. Department of Labor to continue receiving $49 million in federal funding for Indiana workforce development programs.

"We do not have a federal waiver at this point," Holcomb's spokeswoman, Stephanie Wilson, said. "However, Gov. Holcomb and his team have been in communication with the federal Department of Labor and Secretary (Alexander) Acosta, and we believe our actions are in line with the secretary’s pledge to provide states flexibility to do what’s right."

The Indiana Manufacturers Association announced Monday it was withdrawing its support for Holcomb's proposal. Association President Brian Burton said he considers the potential loss of federal funding a critical flaw.

"This bill becomes law effective upon passage," he said. "So without a waiver, we could be in violation of federal law."

Cook and Herron make reference to the specific legislation that is the source of such tension between legislators and many business leaders throughout Indiana SB 50:

Senate Bill 50 replaces the state's Workforce Innovation Council with a new Governor's Workforce Cabinet that would have fewer members and more authority over the nine state agencies that administer about $1 billion in various workforce development programs.

But the new cabinet would not conform with federal rules for states' workforce investment boards, the governor's office confirmed Monday.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requires a majority of the board to be business representatives who reflect the state’s major employment sectors. It also requires two members from each chamber of the state legislature.

Holcomb's proposal would not include any state lawmakers and just under half would be actual business representatives. The majority of the board will be filled with state agency and education officials, with one member from a community-based organization.

States that don't meet federal requirements are at risk of losing their funding. Indiana receives about $49 million a year through the federal program. That money goes to programs that support out-of-work adults and at-risk youth, including WorkOne, the state’s employment centers.

Click here to read all of Cook and Herron’s excellent piece.

IR and Company are all wondering why Holcomb would want to antagonize the Indiana Manufacturers Association during what is shaping up to be a really bad year for Republicans. The IMA if they get mad enough could and should do everything they can to make Holcomb’s life hell. Back in November we reported on Holcomb’s administration being sued for $1 Billion over trucking fees by powerhouse GOP lawyer Jim Bopp.

Tony Cook also reported on that in November. Between pissing off the state’s Manufacturing, Trucking Industries and everyday Hoosiers by signing into law last year over 45 tax and user fee hikes. Holcomb should be run out of town on a rail. That may or may not happen but let’s all do what we can to kick Holcomb’s ass out in 2020. Barring that we make his life hell. Let’s do this for Gary Welsh. 

Update: Hayleigh Colombo has also written a good piece about the IMA’s opposition to Holcomb’s Workforce Development plan click here to read her article. And please reach out and tell Tony Cook, Arika Herron and Hayleigh Colombo to keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Matt Tully throws stones at fellow a$&hole Todd Rokita

Matt Tully 

Earlier today the IR gang checked out IndyStar and found a semi decent article written by the papers resident mental midget Matt Tully. We checked through our archives and the last time we decided to punish ourselves by mentioning the king of the Indianapolis Circle Jerks was last year when we discussed Tully’s bromance with Carmel Mayor Jim “Crash” Brainard. In his most recent opinion piece for the Star. Tully writes about what a useless tool Congressman Todd Rokita is.

Tully writes:

The most cynical cheap shot artist in Indiana politics today, the 4th district congressman took his behavior to a new low in recent days. He did so by taking an unfair shot at an Indiana city he should be trying to help, but one he couldn't help himself from trying to hurt in his quest for political gain.

But befitting his campaign of empty red-meat rhetoric, Rokita went to Twitter last week to unfairly and inaccurately label Gary a “sanctuary city” in "our own backyard." There could be only one goal in doing this: To infuriate what will likely be a small primary electorate by exploiting the negative feelings many in Indiana feel toward Gary. Rokita’s angry and laughable “we’re-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” campaign has been based on little more than inciting ill will toward liberals, Democrats, those who disagree with him, and now, apparently, entire cities.Still, this is a new low.

Real leaders who seek to represent the state try to bring us together. They remind us that we are better off when all of our state’s communities do better. Not Rokita. And while it is not the least bit surprising given his past rhetoric, it is jarring after years of watching true Republican leaders, such as former Gov. Mitch Daniels, work to help Gary move forward.

What do you expect from a guy who has lived on taxpayer-funded paychecks for two decades but who now tries to portray himself as an outsider?

To be fair to Mister Tully it is no secret that this blog is no fan of Todd Rokita. And Tully is correct to point out how Todd has spent much of his adult life living at taxpayer expense. But Tully is all to aware of the sins of his beloved masters former Governor Mitch Daniels and former Senator Dick Lugar. Tully though when he had a chance to call Dick Lugar on the carpet for his having committed voter fraud for 35 years. Or to seriously investigate Senator Evan Bayh’s voter issues. Tully as documented by Paul Ogden and Gary Welsh.
Tully proceeded to attack those of who rightfully questioned the Indianapolis Press Corps unwillingness to go after Lugar and Bayh. We applaud Tully for highlighting some of Todd Rokita’s shortcomings. But Tully has shown once again how he is nothing more than a shill for the Indiana Political Elites. It appears that he and his “Circle Jerk Club” as Gary Welsh called Tully and his minions. Is alive and well. Strangely for a man who is well connected to very powerful people. Old Matt is very insecure and thin skinned. As many of us here have learned after attempting to communicate with Matt Tully via Facebook, Twitter and other means. Tully is so thin skinned that he will block anyone who asks him serious questions. Indy Republican has a message for our old friend Tully. The message is this: “You may have thought that the untimely passing of Gary Welsh meant you could avoid being called out on your bullshit. Once again as you usually are you were wrong Tully. Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden lit a fire under all of us. We will not stop until you and your circus freaks are out of business. Gary Welsh maybe dead. But let’s just say death is no barrier from Gary calling you out.” Good night fellow malcontents. As for you Tully go to Hell you piece of crap.

Links to some of Paul Ogden and the late great Gary Welsh’s posts about Tully/Lugar/& Bayh:

For more information search Paul Ogden and Gary Welsh’s blogs. Type in Matt Tully on their blogs search engines.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Did Mike Pence engage in Nepotism to give his Nephew a Cushy Political Job?

Mike Pence and Donald Trump

On Friday February 23rd, 2018 CNBC's Christina Wilkie reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had since September 2017 been paying tens of thousands of dollars in rent for office space in Trump Towers in New York. In addition several thousand dollars has been being paid to John Pence the son of Vice President and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence. The money from the RNC is being used to pay for office space for use for President Trump's reelection campaign. Of which John Pence is the campaign's deputy executive director. 

Christian Willkie reports:

Campaign finance experts who spoke to CNBC said this type of spending by a party committee on behalf of a campaign is highly unusual but legal, and it appears the RNC disclosed it correctly.

"This is permissible and it's being reported properly, but why they are doing it is a mystery," said Brendan Fischer, senior counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. "One would think the RNC could be spending their money more effectively right now on the 2018 campaign, rather than spending it to pay Trump's rent."

So far, the party has spent more than $290,000 to cover the Trump campaign's expenses since September, the first month it paid the Trump Tower rent or Pence's salary. Before then, both expenses had been paid directly by the Trump campaign.

John Pence had begun receiving a paycheck from the RNC on Sept. 15, 2017.

Pence's salary was $12,000 a month at the Trump campaign, and the RNC appears to be paying him the same or nearly the same amount, judging from the state and federal payroll taxes withheld.

Ms. Wilkie's article does go onto to question the wisdom of the RNC spending so much money on the next presidential race in 2020 rather than devoting resources to this years midterm races. We recommend that everyone out in cyberspace reads her article here. But our concern is mostly on why is John Pence so valuable to be paid a $12,000 a month salary? The only reason he seems to have been hired is because he is related to Milquetoast Mike Pence. 

John Pence

Ballotpedia gives the following background information on John Pence here:

John Pence graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2011. Attended Indiana University School of Law graduated in 2015. Worked as an extern at the U.S. Justice Department on Criminal and Civil Matters. Worked as an associate at Ice Miller in Indiana from 2015 to 2016. 

At only 28 years of age John Pence is a tad young and inexperienced to be given such a high level position on a presidential campaign.

We did find one other item of interest regarding John Pence. In a Washington Post article from February 7th, 2018 Emily Heil did report that John Pence is currently dating Giovanna Coia who is a cousin of Kellyanne Conway a senior advisor and spokesman spokeswoman for President Donald Trump. 

Ms. Coia might actually be a good match for John Pence seeing as they are both trading on their family connections to enhance their own standing. Not only does the swamp need to be drained in Washington, D.C. It looks like the political classes gene pools could use a filter.

John Pence and Giovanna Coia

Here is a money saving suggestion for the RNC from Bill Kristol:

Monday, February 26, 2018

California Democrats decline to endorse Senator Dianne Feinstein for Re-Election

Senator Diane Feinstein 

IR has learned that longtime political retread Senator Diane Feinstein has failed to secure enough votes from the California Democratic Party to get their endorsement to run for a sixth term to the U.S. Senate. Which has all of IR scratching our heads wondering: “Considering that California Democrat’s have endorsed Jerry Brown for California Governor several times. Just how bad is Senator Feinstein that they won’t endorse her?” Click here to read more about Feinstein’s issues.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fox’s Steve Hilton Explains why State Government Corruption is such a threat

Yesterday Steve Hilton the host of Fox News’s “The Revolution” gave a monologue on why we need to drain the swamp at the state level. We found this video to be very well done and informative. IR used to love much of the Fox News Channels programming. But have grown fed up with its transformation into a propaganda arm for Donald Trump. We still like Shepherd Smith, Brit Hume, Brett Baier, Chris Wallace and Juan Williams. But they are now minority voices at FNC. Seeing Hilton’s monologue gives us hope. 

Here is Hilton’s piece:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Christine Scales tells Fake Republican Jim Merritt why Indianapolis Roads are so bad

Many times on this blog we have praised Indianapolis City-County Councilor Christine Scales and criticized Marion County Democratic Republican Party Chairman and State Senator Jim Merritt for his nonsense. Links to our past posts on Christine Scales and Jim Merritt can be found here, and here. Merritt issued this statement earlier this week about the current state of Indianapolis's roads:

Chairman Jim Merritt Comments on Road Conditions

INDIANAPOLIS – Today Marion County Republican Party Chairman Jim Merritt spoke out in frustration on the shameful conditions of our roads.

“It’s been less than a month since I first spoke out about the deplorable conditions of our roads and they’ve only gotten worse. When I first challenged the administration on their lack of action to repair the crumbling roads in Indianapolis, there were about 1,700 open cases of potholes. Only three weeks later, we have nearly 5,000 reported cases of potholes,” said Merritt.

“Why isn’t the Mayor using all of the $50 million dollars given to the City from the State for road and infrastructure projects now? Perhaps he doesn’t think we need it. Or is he waiting until next year when he’s up for re-election to spend it in order to score some cheap political points? Our roads aren’t just degrading at an alarming rate, they’re becoming a danger to the citizens of Marion County. There is no question the Mayor of Indianapolis has countless responsibilities. We expect our Mayor to pick up the trash, plow the snow, fill our potholes and keep us safe. Right now this Mayor is not making the grade.”

“Pothole Joe can put on a reflector vest for the cameras and act like he has a solution to our pothole and infrastructure problems, but the media sees through that and more importantly, the residents of Marion County see through it. It’s time for Pothole Joe to stop playing games and actually get serious about fixing our streets.”

To this Christine Scales torched Merritt with this reply on her Facebook page:

Fact Check GOP County Chair Merritt's Road Condition Blame Game:
IF.... the $400 million in ReBuild Indy dollars received from the water rights sale hadn't turned into a slush fund, we wouldn't be where we are today.
IF:...millions in ReBuild Indy funds-ordained to fund only roads, sidewalks, bridges, and some drainage projects hadn't been used to remodel a wing of the City Market, spent on a Cricket Field, spent to shore up Blue Indy, and other non-priority projects....
IF....Asphalt contractor's work had been held to industry standards the newly resurfaced roads under Ballard wouldn't be in the deteriorated condition they are in today.
IF...Sen. Merritt wouldn't burden Marion County with unfunded mandates in the Statehouse that overburden our City budget, we would have more money to dedicate to infrastructure.
"Chairman Jim Merritt Comments on Road Conditions
INDIANAPOLIS – Today Marion County Republican Party Chairman Jim Merritt spoke out in frustration on the shameful conditions of our roads."

Councilwoman Scales is of course calling Merritt out on former Republicrat Mayor Greg Ballard's asinine Blue Indy, a Cricket Field, and scores of other useless projects which have only served to drain the life blood our of Indianapolis. We are not aware of any replies yet by Merritt to Scales statement. We would be greatly surprised if Merritt even attempts a reply. The man is a useless fool who the Marion County GOP should kick to the curb. As long as Merritt or another toady like him is in charge of the Marion County GOP the party is assured of nothing but continued disaster.

We Need More Gadflies Not Less

noun, plural gadflies 
1. any of various flies (such as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock
2. a person who stimulates or annoys other people especially by persistent criticism  
  • a political gadfly

IR, Paul Ogden, Charlie White have all been accused of being gadflies. Usually meant to convey the impression that people like us exist only to irritate or annoy others with our blogging and activism. We will not speak for Misters Ogden and White. Speaking for ourselves we choose to hold public officials and others accountable when they act contrary to the values they are supposed to uphold. If by speaking truth to power we irritate some people we say GOOD! If it was not for gadflies like Paul Ogden and the late great Gary Welsh. Dick Lugar would still be decomposing in his Senate seat from a state in which he has not resided since 1977. A more recent example of the need for gadflies is provided in Paul Ogden's most recent post Indianapolis Terminates Ballard-Era Electric/Hybrid Car Contract; Will Blue Indy Be Next? Paul discusses how after several years of him and the late great Gary Welsh banging the drum against former Indianapolis Greg Ballard's Indy-Vision boondoggle. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has decided to cancel this ill advised deal. Yes it took many years. But the point is that the contract was eventually cancelled. Not all of our heroes share our enthusiasm for being the monkey in the wrench of our political parties. Jonah Goldberg of National Review and host of the outstanding "The Remnant" podcast voiced his opinion of how he feels having to be the political odd man out:

Although we can understand Jonah's frustration we cannot share it to any significant degree. We tend to share the view of The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol in this matter:

On that note we would also say that if we are going to be the skunk's on the Republican Parties lawn we might as all stink together!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Checkout Jon Michael Vore's Infomatics411 Blog

Longtime readers of Advance Indiana will remember Jon Michael Vore the author of the Hoosier Hysterias blog. Well Mr. Vore has a new blog called Infomatics411. The IR gang highly recommends that you take a look at Jon's new blog and also checkout his brilliant blog Hoosier Hysterias. Keep up the good work Jon!

Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek to Moderate Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Debate

Alex Trebek

Continuing with the trend of the intertwining of celebrity and politics. CNN’s Maegen Vazquez reports on Alex Trebek’s being chosen to host Pennsylvania’s upcoming Gubernatorial Debate:

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry announced on Tuesday that it has extended an invitation to the 2018 gubernatorial candidates for a 45-minute debate at their 34th annual Chamber Dinner this October. Trebek will also serve as the dinner's keynote speaker.

Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said in a statement that Trebek's "background hosting one of America's most beloved television quiz shows make him uniquely qualified to moderate what is sure to be a lively and informative gubernatorial debate." 

The host also told the Hill that he'd "love" to moderate a presidential debate. 

"Unlike some of the other moderators -- I'm not going to disparage them -- but I have a different approach," he said in 2013. "I would not let the politicians get away with standard responses. I would try to pin them down, even though I might look bad doing it."

IR thinks that Mr. Trebek will make a good moderator and would love to see him moderate a presidential debate. Go get em Alex!