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GREGG: GOP plays Chicken Little politics with ConstitutionRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
John R. Gregg / Special to IBJ
Recently, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced their support for having Indiana join the ranks of states calling for a constitutional convention.
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STYRING: Considering a weapon of last resort against the fedsRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Bill Styring / Special to IBJ
Chances are you’d never heard of something called the “Mount Vernon Assembly” before reading this column.
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SHEPARD: Voting centers might not be a great idea, after allRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Randall Shepard / Special to IBJ
Voter turnout in Indiana’s recent primary election was the lowest in 20 years, 35 percent below average. It’s time for a serious conversation about whether the growing use of voting centers is bad for turnout.
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HADLEY: Business, social issues prevail under Republicans in Indiana LegislatureRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Having observed the Legislature for 45 years, I have to say, it depends! It depends on when you ask the question. It depends on which party controls the House, Senate and Governor’s Office. And, increasingly, it depends on the issues confronting the state in a given session.
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KELLEMS: Think tanks, information strategies pick up clout in Indiana LegislatureRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
he question can be viewed several ways. One approach is simply ranking industry groups and associations—by appraising perceived wins and losses. A second is to assess the role of the individual lobbyist representing them to legislators and the governor’s office. Then consider which characteristics and qualifications are common among those who wield influence successfully on behalf of clients. And how important is party affiliation of both the individuals and institutions involved?
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VAUGHN: Admitting problem is first step to ethics reform

June 14, 2014
Julia Vaughn / Special to IBJ
While I was disappointed the House Ethics Committee didn’t even slap Rep. Eric Turner’s wrist for his behavior surrounding the failed nursing home moratorium, I was surprised and pleased the committee report admitted that our Legislature’s ethics rules and statutes are too lax.
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MAHERN: Has Legislature lost its 'do the right thing' members?Restricted Content

June 14, 2014
Louis Mahern / Special to IBJ
Forgive my nostalgia. I had a fairly serious health scare a little over a month ago and find myself quite involuntarily looking back.
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BARLOW: Dems now importing candidates ... bad onesRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Marcus Barlow / Special to IBJ
I am going to start with a confession: I am a conservative Republican, so it should be no surprise that I cracked up while reading tweets, Facebook posts and stories about the Indiana Democratic Party’s State Convention, or the “Big Dem Weekend.”
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KRULL: EPA battle leaves Indiana stranded on the shoreRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
So, Gov. Mike Pence wants to have a fight with the Environmental Protection Agency.
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CARPENTER: Pence is letting Indiana's coal habit cloud our futureRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Dan Carpenter / Special to IBJ
Protesting that you can’t meet power-plant-emissions reduction goals because you’re too coal-dependent is a bit like saying you can’t arrest liver damage because you’ve got this taste for liquor.
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FROEHLE: The economics of environment in Hoosier NationRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Kristin Froehle / Special to IBJ
It seems that what is right for America must not be right for Hoosiers. At least, that is what our governor would have us believe.
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MACALLISER: Ballard has characteristics that transcend politicsRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
P.E. MacAllister / Special to IBJ
I go back to that happy time when elections (and campaigns) occurred on a fixed, periodic schedule versus campaigning incessantly every day, of every month, of every year. Although our municipal election is 18 months off, the political winds have been blowing for a full year—and we don’t even know who’s running for mayor.
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DANIELS: To compete, Indianapolis must be aggressiveRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Deborah Daniels
Want more police officers? Want those winter-battered streets repaired? Want more sidewalks and street lights? Better parks and green spaces?
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VANE: Ballard counters anemic national economy with growthRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Robert Vane / Special to IBJ
It is always disheartening to read about the national economy’s not growing, but rather contracting, in the last quarter and that hundreds of thousands of people simply have quit looking for work.
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SIDDIQUI: Democrats in Washington should approve HIP 2.0Restricted Content

June 14, 2014
Shariq Siddiqui / Special to IBJ
The Healthy Indiana Plan is a good move for Indiana and our country. It allows us to provide access to health care to the uninsured poor in a way that instills responsibility, limits abuse and furthers innovation.
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DOWD: A nibble on a candy bar, and a Rocky Mountain highRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Maureen Dowd / New York Times Syndicate
The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child.
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BECK: Democrats left big JJ dinner energized, unifiedRestricted Content

June 13, 2014
Lara Beck / Special to IBJ
One of my favorite parts of serving former first lady Maggie Kernan involved county Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed countless evenings at JJ dinners, whether it was fried chicken in Parke County or a standing-room-only crowd in Starke County.
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KETZENBERGER: We've got to stop running elections like thisRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
John Ketzenberger / Special to IBJ
It always was a little awkward entering a polling place during the primary and declaring to the poll judges which ballot I wanted. As a news reporter, I didn’t like having to declare my affinity for one party or the other.
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BOEHM: Another credible voice for helping voters chooseRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Ted Boehm / Special to IBJ
Justice John Paul Stevens retired in 2011 after 35 years of distinguished service on the U.S. Supreme Court. He has now published a book advocating adoption of six amendments to the Constitution.
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MASSON: Repealing the 17th Amendment would be step backwardRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Doug Masson / Special to IBJ
In 1854, the Indiana Democratic Party was led by Jesse Bright, a man described as “hateful and extraordinarily ambitious.” He rose to power as a bully and apparently remained one. His pugnaciousness was no small part of the events that led to a two-year period in which Indiana had only one U.S. senator.
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SPALDING: Glad Indiana doesn't ban lies in the political arenaRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Ronnetta Spalding / Special to IBJ
Like you, I am eager to pull up a seat to watch candidates throw caution aside in their political ads. It’s like dissecting a mystery where you piece together parts of what the candidate says, what their opponents say about them, and what you end up believing.
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SOUDER: Pence presidential bid more plausible than most thinkRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Mark Souder / Special to IBJ
In the interest of disclosure, I encouraged Mike Pence to run for president in early 2010, for the 2012 nomination. House Majority Leader Dick Armey frequently told us that every senator woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, and saw a potential president. The curse has spread to governors as well as far beyond. Give a good speech and you are suddenly the great new hope.
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LANOSGA: Citizens need better access to government Big DataRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Gerry Lanosga / Special to IBJ
Gov. Mike Pence recently signed an executive order creating a data-sharing project called the Governor’s Management and Performance Hub. The idea is to have a centralized clearinghouse for public data that top policymakers can use to systematically analyze problems—child fatalities and infant mortality, for instance—and the state’s handling of them.
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SHELLA: Pence still keeping options wide open for 2016Restricted Content

May 17, 2014
Jim Shella / Special to IBJ
Take a second, please, to think back to the evening of May 2. It was just a couple of weeks ago, a Saturday, and, just possibly, a day worth remembering.
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TAFT: Another chance to enlist neighborhoods to fight crimeRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Bill Taft / Special to IBJ
Indianapolis is grappling with one of its most violent years, leading citizens to ask hard questions about why such crime is growing and what we can do about it. While this crime spike has generated loud calls for a much larger police force, the city’s lean budget cannot be our only solution.
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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