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Senate OKs plan spurred by White indictment

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The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a measure that would allow Gov. Mitch Daniels to appoint a new secretary of state if the current office holder, a Republican facing criminal charges, is found to have been ineligible to run — legislation Democrats have branded a blatant power grab.

Charlie White, a Republican who won office in November, is charged with seven felony counts, including voter fraud. The Indiana Recount Commission is considering a Democratic-led challenge to White's eligibility to hold the office.

Under current state law, the runner-up, Democrat Vop Osili, would take office if the commission were to rule that White was ineligible. But some Republican lawmakers want to give Daniels, a fellow Republican, the power to choose replacements for several government posts, including secretary of state, should the office holder be found to be ineligible. The Senate voted 33-17 in favor of the legislation on Thursday, sending it to the House for consideration.

Supporters of the bill say an elected official should determine who fills the seat, and that it shouldn't hinge on the decision by the non-elected recount commission.

But opponents say the legislation is an attempt by Republicans to keep the post in their party's hands.

"Politics aside, this is just not good law," said Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis.

The allegation at the core of the eligibility challenge and criminal case against White is the same: that he committed vote fraud and was ineligible to run for secretary of state because he used his ex-wife's address as his own on a voter registration form. White has previously acknowledged the voting error, chalking it up to his busy schedule and new marriage.

A spokeswoman for Daniels said the governor did not push for the legislation and had no comment on it. House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said Wednesday that he hasn't looked closely at the bill yet but said the appearance that Republicans are changing the rules in the middle of the game was a concern.

The votes cast for secretary of state in Indiana are used to determine ballot access for parties. The bill also clarifies that Republicans would keep their party status, saying a secretary of state's ineligibility wouldn't affect the votes for purposes of determining ballot access and other issues.

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  • Power Crazy
    I sure hope these Republicans are all voted out. They are moving in a very dangerous direction that will hurt the middle class and poor. Wake up and see these men are not creating jobs, they are shoving a social agenda that is not in step with the general public. Separate church and state is not in their vocabulary.
  • Why VOP?
    why should a man who lost by a wide margin become the default sec of state? We should hold a special election because neither of the other options is a true measure of what the people want.
  • senate ok"s
    Our republican party has gone completely crazy with POWER, the GOVERNOR needs to step in and slow them down. I hope, come primary time the republicans vote most of them out,yes I"m a republican, but Bosma is sick with POWER lets send him home.
  • Ignorance At Its Best
    One major thing I have learned since relocating here, is Indiana has a serious social and racial problem. I believe it is due to a lack of political education. Low , and middle income folks voting away their pay checks because they rather believe a lie than read the facts for themselves. The consequences of that is a Republican Senate giving themselve power to screw over the very folks that they suppose to be representing. Wake up Indiana!

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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.

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