Category Archives: Indiana

Democrats Agree: A Vote For The Libertarians Is A Vote for the Liberals by Gregory Hilton

The article below demonstrates yet another reason why libertarians are dangerous for the conservative movement. Liberal Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN) is in a very close race for re-election. The Democratic Party of Indiana has paid for a mailing to all Republicans in his district promoting the Libertarian candidate who they call “the real conservative.” The Libertarian is being praised for all of the issues the Democrats are against. A Libertarian vote is really a Democratic vote. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Democratic Party of Indiana.
As the article notes, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Indiana said:

When the Indiana Democrat Party sent a mailer promoting the Libertarian candidate to Republicans in the 9th Congressional District earlier this week, I called it underhanded and the worst sort of political cynicism. Today, I have learned that they have pulled the same outrageous stunt in the 2nd Congressional District, and I am disgusted that Rep. Joe Donnelly would join in on such a misleading and desperate tactic. His involvement in such a mockery is insulting to every resident of the 2nd District, and shows that he is no longer deserving of Hoosiers’ votes. I call on Indiana Libertarian Party Chairman Sam Goldstein to join me today in denouncing such deceptive campaign practices by Indiana Democrats and Rep. Donnelly. Hoosiers deserve better from their elected officials, candidates and political parties.

Social Conservatives Pick Rep. Pence Over Gov. Huckabee by Gregory Hilton

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) is shown addressing the Values Voter Summit which is sponsored by the Family Research Council.

The presidential straw poll at this afternoon’s Values Voter Summit resulted in a surprise victory for Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) over former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR). Huckebee was the choice of social conservatives in 2009, but today he was narrowly defeated by a 24% to 22% margin. Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) received 13%.
Pence is the Chairman of the House Republican Conference. The major issues at the conference were opposition to abortion and gay marriage. Pence focused on both of them while Romney spoke about the economy. The major target of Pence’s speech was the Governor of his own state, Mitch Daniels (R-IN). Continue reading

Get Ready For Becky Skillman (R-IN) – The New Faces of 2012 by Gregory Hilton

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman (R-IN), 59, this week received her Associates Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Becky Skillman is not known outside of her home state, but is destined to be one of the high profile 2012 candidates when Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) retires because of term limits. As his running mate in 2004, Skillman became the state’s first elected female Lieutenant Governor. Skillman previously served in the State Senate for 12 years where she was Chairman of the Republican Caucus. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Nothing for the Nation: Who Got What Out of Iraq” (2008) by former Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN)

Many Republican candidates are attacking President Obama this year, but John Hostettler is the only one to criticize Obama for abandoning the anti-war lobby. According to the Evansville newspaper, he "accused Obama of abandoning his anti-Iraq War views. 'The one person, the one person who can get us out, who has unilateral authority to get us out, doesn't want to,' he said."

Book Review by Gregory Hilton
Former Congressman John Hostettler (IN) is now running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He is in a primary with former Senator Dan Coats and State Senator Marlin Stutzman. The incumbent Democrat Evan Bayh surprised everyone by announcing his retirement on the day before the filing deadline. The GOP now has an excellent chance to capture this open seat. Continue reading

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Should Start Speaking to His Wife: The $796,000 Payday for One Stock Trade by Gregory Hilton

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) appears to have a major conflict of interest and it is about time he starts talking to his wife about her business activities. The link below contains photos of two of their three homes. The 1000 square foot condo in Indiana is worth less than $60,000, and neighbors have not met the couple.
In Washington, DC the Senator lives in a residence currently assessed at $2,297,050 in an upscale neighborhood. The home is in the name of his wife Susan, “a professional Director,” who serves on numerous corporate boards. The couple also owns a $2.1 million beach-front home in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) was in a similar situation in 2004, and it contributed to his defeat. Daschle’s DC home was listed as his principal residence on tax forms, instead of the very small rural house he owned next door to his mother.
The contrast between the South Dakota cottage and DC mansion was staggering. Bayh has not made the same mistake, and the Indiana condo is listed as his principal residence.
I am not outraged by the residency issue, and Republicans are guilty of the same behavior. Bayh’s probable GOP opponent, former Sen. Dan Coats, was out of Indiana for many years. Former Senator Mark Hatfield (R) listed an Oregon hotel room as his address while he resided in one of the finest homes in Georgetown.
The 2004 GOP Senate candidate against Barack Obama was clearly not an Illinois resident, and proved that immediately after his staggering loss. Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy did not have strong ties to New York, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) claims his residence is an 800 square foot place in Cumming rather then the palatial homes he owns in northern Virginia and the Bahamas.
Senator Bayh’s approval rating is down, and this is especially true among independent voters. He avoided town hall meetings last summer when opposition mounted to the Obama agenda, and claimed he was too busy to meet with tea party organizers in Indianapolis.
Bayh’s GOP opponents will probably not make residency an issue, but political activists are starting to ask questions about his income, and this will not go unnoticed by the news media. For example, how does a Senator who earns $174,000/year and pays $43,000 in private school tuition and employs a full time nanny live in a $2.3 million home?
How has he gained so much wealth while working as public servant for the past 24 years? He has not inherited money, so how does he have a net worth between $4.3 million and $5.1 million? The only assets he owned when he first filed his candidacy for Indiana Secretary of State in 1986 were a very modest condo and a four year old BMW.
The answer is his wife Susan Bayh who never responds to questions regarding her professional life. She is an attorney who began serving on 14 corporate boards starting in 1994. She is now listed as a director of eight businesses, and is not otherwise employed.
Senators are not required to file specific financial reports. They only have to list their spouses income in broad ranges. We do not know Susan Bayh’s exact income, but what we do know is more than enough to raise eyebrows.
Her compensation from just one of those companies, WellPoint, was in excess of $350,000 in 2007. This is well above the median amount paid to directors of the largest U.S. corporations. In 2006, Susan Bayh was able to purchase 20,000 option shares from WellPoint for a price varying from $35.93 to $44.18 per share and sell them the very same day for a quick pre-tax profit of $796,000.
She earns more than $1 million/year in director fees and collected more than $1.7 million in exercised stock options from just two of the companies. According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, “Her actual income from exercising stock options is higher, but the details are not publicly reported.”
Susan Bayh serves on boards in the insurance, pharmaceutical, health insurance, banking and broadcasting industries. The newspaper listed several votes by the Senator which had a positive impact on the companies on which his wife serves.
When questions were raised by the Ft. Wayne paper, Bayh responded, “The reality is I don’t even know the people who run the vast majority of her companies. I’ve never even spoken to them. The reality is, we don’t talk about stuff that she’s involved with.”
The Center for Public Integrity says “Given that she has a high-profile role with corporations which could benefit from the legislative actions of her husband, there is definitely a potential for a conflict of interest.” Watchdog organizations Public Citizen and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights echoed those concerns.
The issue of Susan Bayh’s employment was raised in a minor manner during the Senator’s 2004 re-election campaign. Bayh supporters responded by saying he was not one of those “fat cat Republicans.” Lets hope he makes that charge this year because listed below are the residences of some of his Democratic colleagues. Of the 10 wealthiest lawmakers, eight of them are Democrats.
Senators and the value of their primary residence:
John Kerry (MA) – $253 million
Jay Rockefeller (WV) – $82 million
Mark Warner (VA) – $74 million
Frank Lautenberg (NJ) – $48 million
Dianne Feinstein (CA) – $43 million
House of Representatives
Jane Harman (CA) – $112 million
Jared Polis (CO) – $71 million
Harry Teague (NM) – $41 million
Photo link to the Bayh homes and other residency documents:

The Battle for the U.S. Senate: Will Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Be The Man in the Arena?

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, now has to make the most difficult decision of his political career. Should he give up his safe Congressional seat and the number three position in the GOP leadership to challenge Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)? Pence appears to have an bright future in the House of Representatives, but it is always difficult to turn down the glamour of the United States Senate. For example, Trent Lott (R-MS) was in line to be Speaker of the House, but left his number two position as the GOP Whip to successfully run for the Senate in 1988.
Bayh is a former two term Governor who is now completing his second term in the Senate. His father Birch Bayh (D-IN) served in the Senate from 1962 until he was defeated by Dan Quayle in 1980. Evan Bayh has won five statewide elections while Pence has never been tested at the state level.
Pence, 50, is understandably reluctant to give up a secure GOP Congressional seat. He was defeated by an incumbent in both 1988 and 1990 before finally winning an open seat in 2000. The Congressman would instantly achieve national fame if he knocked off Bayh, but a loss would mean this rising star would go back to obscurity of Columbus, Indiana. If he does run his campaign theme would almost certainly be “No More Bailouts,” which is a position he adopted during the Bush Administration.
Yesterday Pence attended a meeting at the National Republican Senatorial Committee where he was presented with the most recent polling data. The Congressman trails Senators Bayh by only a few percentage points, but all of the popular issues are on the side of the Republican. Bayh has always portrayed himself as a moderate, and is a former Chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). He still points with pride to the $1.6 billion tax cut he implemented as Governor.
The problem is that he has been on Capitol Hill for 12 years and now it is difficult to run away from his voting record. His recent votes on the health-care legislation and the stimulus are particularly unpopular, and Bayh has been urging his party to move to the center.
A new book reveals that Barack Obama almost named Bayh as his 2008 running mate. Bayh still has a 50% approval rating, but between May and January his ratings dropped by nearly 25 points. The Senator’s biggest advantage is that he has $12.7 million in cash-on-hand, while Pence has just $463,000. President Obama won Indiana by 1%, and the state has voted Republican in 10 of the last 11 presidential elections.
Pence has to soon make a decision because the filing deadline is February 18th. He has already emerged as a champion for conservatives on a national scale. The Congressman previously served as Chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. In 2003, when the House debated the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, Pence led a gang of House conservatives who valiantly opposed it. He said Republicans had lost their way by promoting big spending initiatives.
One of his best assets is that he is a former radio broadcaster and an excellent communicator. He is able to make persuasive and effective arguments. If Pence runs this will instantly become one of the top Senate races of the 2010 election cycle, and Pence would receive considerable fame if he emerges as the Democratic dragon slayer in Indiana.

Will Liberal Democrats Listen to the Message From Massachusetts? by Gregory Hilton

Republicans throughout the nation are thrilled with the victory of United States Senator-elect Scott Brown. Only 11% of Bay State voters are Republicans, and this seat has been in Democratic hands for 57 years. Brown will fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy and be the first Republican in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.
No one is claiming the Bay State is turning Republican but voters did send a profound message. Democratic elected officials are asking themselves if they can not win in a state which they carried by 26 points in 2008, where in the world is it safe for a liberal to be a running for federal office in 2010?
Brown raised over $12 million online which a a new record for a Senate candidate. He raised about $1 million/day during the final week. In claiming victory at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel last night, Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) said:
“I thought it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong. It’s all of us against the machine. You have shown everyone now that you are the machine.” Predicting a cascade of election surprises throughout the nation, Brown said, “Let them take a look at what happened in Massachusetts. What happened here can happen all over the country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere, and they know it.”
If Democrats now moderate some of their views it would be a boost to their outlook in the 2010 election. There is a battle underway between liberal and moderate Democrats, and health care is now the focal point. The reactions of some prominent Democrats and journalists to Brown’s victory appear below:
Terry McAuliffe, former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, “This is a giant wake-up call. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA): “It would only be fair and prudent that we now suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): “It’s probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN): “Many of our people are in denial, but if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope they will wake up. We can not have the furthest left elements of the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country. . . Moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D-Boston): “I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama.”
Former Mayor Raymond Flynn (D-Boston): revealed after the vote that he had supported Scott Brown. He said, “People feel like their vote is being taken granted with this powerful, one party state, and with one-party government in Washington. People want a little coalition, and a little respect… I don’t know how you regroup from something like this. There are going to be a lot of problems in the Democratic party from here on out.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D-KY): who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat, “The President is especially unpopular in eastern Kentucky. An Obama visit would not help Democrats.”
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “It is really time now for Democrats to shift their attention to issues that will enjoy broad public support.”
Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL): “When it happens in Massachusetts, it really throws us a curve. It’s a big deal for a lot of members here.”
Politico: “Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts — and lose all of them. Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.”
The New York Post editorial entitled “Heck of a Job, Brownie!”: “This is the fifth time in three months that Obama has focused his star power to effect political and policy outcomes — losing each time. It didn’t work in Virginia and New Jersey, where he roller-skated in for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and JonCorzine last November. Or in Copenhagen, when he popped in to tout Chicago as host for the 2016 Olympics.
“Or in Copenhagen again, last month, at the global climate-change conference. And now this. . . Brown won. Coakley lost. But, obviously, so did Obama. Here’s hoping the president understands why.”
The New York Times: “What happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election. Scott Brown shocked and arguably humiliated the White House and the Democratic Party establishment. . . States do not come more Democratic than Massachusetts, the only one that voted for George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972. . . Most ominously, independent voters seemed to have fled to Mr. Brown in Massachusetts, as they did to Republicans in races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey last November. It is hard not to view that as a repudiation of the way Mr. Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have run things.”
The Los Angeles Times: “The Democratic Party’s defeat in Massachusetts on Tuesday — the loss of a single, crucial Senate seat — will force President Obama and his congressional allies to downscale their legislative ambitions and rethink their political strategy.”
Dr. Stuart Rothenberg, GOP political analyst, “This is the biggest political upset of my adult life.”
I am also wonder if some prominent Democrats will now retract some of their comments about the moderate Brown. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Brown a “far-right tea-bagger,” Chris Dodd (D-CT) said he was a”right-wing radical,” and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) claimed he had “right-wing views” and “radical record.”