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Pence returns to New York, courts GOP donors

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Gov. Mike Pence headed to New York City on Monday for what he said was a two-day state economic development trip, but his itinerary, which may bring him face-to-face with prominent Republican donors, is fueling more speculation that he is considering running for president in two years.

Pence was scheduled to attend a meeting of conservative journalists, leaders and potential donors on Monday night that was organized by the Franklin Center for Public Integrity. Tuesday morning he was slated to speak with Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial board and other outlets.

Pence's spokeswoman, Kara Brooks, said his primary purpose is to attend an annual reception hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. at Yankee Stadium to lure businesses to the state. She said he is not scheduled to meet any donors, but may see some at "The New York Meeting".

Brooks noted that Pence attended the same IEDC business reception in New York last year.

"This is the second year that Gov. Pence has traveled to New York to meet with business executives who are interested in locating or expanding their businesses in Indiana," Brooks said.

Indiana Democrats pounced on Pence for going on the trip, calling it evidence that he is more interested in running for the White House than running Indiana, and they launched a blog to keep track of the governor's out-of-state travel. Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said Pence should focus on more pressing problems in Indiana.

The trip comes as some key pieces are falling into place for Pence, should he enter the 2016 presidential race. Pence's longtime confidant, Bill Smith, recently left work as Pence's chief of staff to start a political consulting firm, which will keep Pence as a client. Pence has said he is listening to anyone who asks him to run for the White House, but is focused on his current job as governor.

Pence built a solid reputation among conservatives nationally while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was courted by many tea partyers and social conservatives to run for president in 2012, but he ran for governor instead.

He relied in part on New York money when he won the governor's office in 2012. Pence visited with real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump in 2011 and collected more than $300,000 from New York donors.

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  • The Un-Transparent Politician
    Pence's political moves are so un-transparent. It is laughable. His accomplishments are very limited but his Teaparty credentials are solid. I hope he runs and we can watch his shallow record dissolve into nothingness. He is not qualified to be President. Good comments everyone!
  • You all act surprised...
    I called it two years ago when he announced his intentions to run for Governor. Gov. Pence has always wanted to run for President and knew that he had no chance being just a Congressman from Indiana. And all of the legislative "achievements" were nothing more than attempts (token at that) to boost his conservative bonafides. I hope he runs for the nomination and doesn't seek re-election. We need someone who is serious about governing Indiana, not a career politician seeking ever higher office.
  • Aye Carumba
    And all the posters below me are Republican. Ouch!
  • Great
    This is what our governor will be doing for the next 2 years. He really believes he can become president after doing nothing thus far in his career. I am sure he will "pull a Murdock" at some point and it will be over and Indiana will be embarrassed - again.
  • Well Deserved
    Blind straight ticket voters who voted for this useless guy got what they deserve. Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us.
  • What a joke
    Apparently Indiana affairs mean nothing to the guy. Maybe he should spend some time knocking down corruption in his own administration.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

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