Thanks for Makin Our State Look So Good
As one political pundit quipped as the clock neared midnight Tuesday, “Oh, Iowa, the nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” If nothing else, Tuesday’s caucus cacophony was an exercise in democracy that prompts some genuine questions of fairness and equity. Selfishly, we breathe a sigh of relief that we don’t have to live with that stigma for eternity. But what’s happening in the political arena closer to home? 
Halftime … Minus a Pole Dance . Sorry to disappoint, but when we say, “halftime at the Indiana General Assembly,” it is minus the NFL hoopla. Nary a firework or twerk line accompanied a flurry of activity best described as drinking through a legislative firehose. While a number of bills passed through committee, many simply ran out of time before being read before the House or Senate. That said, several pieces of legislation in line with the OneZone priority agenda are “crossing over” to the other house. We are hopeful at the movement of several tobacco bills that have passed their first house and have moved to the second – which we anticipate will move quickly to the Governor’s desk. Mental health bill SB 246 passed unanimously through the Senate and is heading to the House. Regional collaboration legislation SB 350 (a pilot program for Central Indiana only) passed through the Senate with the sole “nay” vote from Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) and is on its way to the House. If you want to know more about the first half or get a preview of “part deux,” start off your Valentine’s Day (February 14) with the Legislative Breakfast. Click here to reserve your seat. 
Fourth Quarter … Candidate Deadlines . The deadline to officially register for the Indiana primary is tomorrow. As anticipated, State Sen. Spartz, has officially announced that she is entering the crowded race for U.S. Congress in the 5th District. Recently released financial reports foreshadow indicate that in addition to a boatload of competition (Spartz brings the number of Republican candidates to 8; four Dems have currently filed), it’s going to be a pretty pricey affair. Among the GOP candidates, Chuck Dietzen posted $228,248 in receipts and more than $192K cash on hand. Currently leading the coffer totals is the Democratic candidate for the race, Christina Hale, reporting more than $595K. Meanwhile, Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers will be the party’s nominee after Indianapolis businessman Josh Owens announced he is suspending his campaign to avoid a primary showdown … reserving some energy for the November election against the incumbent Governor Holcomb. Look for a full listing of candidates next week.
As the Courthouse Turns. In the latest bit of drama at the Hamilton County Courthouse, Hamilton County Chief Deputy Treasurer Kim Good is pursuing defamation charges against a former co-worker (deputy treasurer and bankruptcy lender clerk Susan Byer) who in November claimed Good engaged in nepotism and fired her to cover it up. The allegations involved Good waiving late fees for family member’s tax payments. Meanwhile, both women are running for the County’s treasurer’s seat in the upcoming May primary. A special prosecutor appointed to the case late last year determined insufficient evidence to charge county employees. We’re pretty sure the story won’t stop there, so like any good soap opera, stay tuned.