Commentary and Opinion

MAURER: A look back at memorable topics

January 5, 2013

Mickey MaurerEach January, I reflect on a few of the prior year’s columns. I am always curious about the topics and people I have written about over the course of the year. I hope you are, too.

Indiana races for senator and governor were exciting. Early in the year I received a form letter solicitation from gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence wherein he said, “I told people that I was a Christian, a conservative and a Republican. In that order (I still tell people that today!).”

A February column advocated that Pence put the Bible back in his pocket and talk more about efficient government, economic development and continuing the Daniels legacy. I asked him, “Is it within your values as a righteous Christian to deny not only union but the other benefits of marriage to loving couples just because they do not meet classic gender expectation?” I inquired, “Are you aware that exclusivity is not a Christian value and intolerant behavior should be considered not just offensive to non-Christians, but also offensive to all of us as Americans and citizens of a diverse community?”

Pence responded with a positive issue-oriented campaign, and he won the election over a gallant John Gregg who closed the gap with a late charge. One can only hope that Pence will govern the way he campaigned. I wrote in November, “We need to remind Governor Pence and hold him accountable not only on the issues he raised during the campaign but for a moderate sensible social agenda as well.”

Richard Mourdock was not so savvy. Based upon his primary rhetoric, the attempt to tack to the middle was laughable. He said, “We have to make sure voters understand that despite how I may have been portrayed at times, in fact I do represent very much the essence of the Republican Party.” I suggested in May that his position was not the essence of the Indiana Republican Party, but rather the essence of candidate Mourdock and warned that we shouldn’t be flimflammed sheep and confuse him with anything that resembles a conservative mainstream Republican.

We weren’t fooled. We elected Joe Donnelly, who—but for right-to-work issues—is remarkably close to moderate Republican ideology. Mourdock, after alienating voters with his comments on rape, is blathering, complaining and whining as he exits the political scene on his way to oblivion.

Over the last 20 years, I have touted a half dozen stocks that I thought were good bets. In April it was Endocyte Inc., an Indiana biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat cancer—trading at just over $3 a share. I cited a few reasons I thought it was a good buy, and I bought a bunch between $3.50 and $5.50. The stock rewarded investors by exceeding $10 a share in September.

In November, the stock drifted down to the $7-$8 range and I again touted it as a $10 stock. Two things happened: The stock rose above $9 a share and I received a couple of scathing letters from stockbrokers who felt I had exceeded my area of expertise and that I had committed an industry faux pas by owning some of the stock I was touting—probably good advice on both issues.

A column in July addressed the skullduggery of chess player and ex-Hoosier Jim Rogers, who checkmated Bill Johnson, the CEO of Duke Energy merger partner Progress Energy. Johnson was deprived of the promised leadership of the surviving organization, prompting former Progress board member John Mullen III to say, “In my opinion this is the most blatant example of corporate deceit that I have witnessed during a long career on Wall Street …” Others agreed, and although the merger was impossible to unwind, Rogers was forced to resign his position as CEO effective at the end of 2013. We’ll see.

Thank you for reading my columns last year and for responding. I have enjoyed our dialogue. Best of luck to all of us for a healthy and prosperous 2013.•

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Maurer is a shareholder in IBJ Corp., which owns Indianapolis Business Journal.  His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to mmaurer@ibj.com.
 

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