With Thursday being Thanksgiving, here are a few political odds and ends you might find interesting before you take off for your four-day weekend if you haven’t already.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is hinting his administration may take legal action over a report they say falsely implies they waived a fine against Amazon following a worker’s death to help the state win a bid over HQ2. In a statement sent today to Indy Politics, Governor Holcomb said “Let me be as clear as I possibly can be, I have never been involved in a Department of Labor case. Furthermore, I have never had a meeting with Commissioner Ruble and an IOSHA employee. My office told ‘Reveal’ that this information was false and yet they still published the fabricated allegations. The reporting is both irresponsible and deliberately misleading. We are exploring any possible recourse to remove these heinous lies.” Meanwhile, Indiana Democrats wasted no time going after the Governor. Democratic candidate for Governor Dr. Woody Myers said, “Hoosiers deserve to learn if there was any political interference in the investigation and if not, then why fines were levied and then rescinded,” said Myers. “They deserve to know if the Governor personally interfered in the case or the investigation. This assessment and review of the evidence, including the alleged recording by the I-OSHA investigator, must be done by investigators independent of the Governor’s office or any agency under his control.”
The caucus to pick a new Speaker-elect is scheduled for Monday, December 2. According to our last count, Fishers State Rep. Todd Huston is very likely to get the job. State Rep. Holli Sullivan was considered to be a contender, but she told Indy Politics over the weekend, she was not pursuing the post. The vote will take place at 2 p.m.
There’s a good chance an effort by the Indianapolis City-County Council to increase its pay may not go into effect until 2024. The Council is expected to vote on the proposal on Monday, December 9. Speculation is growing that the Hogsett administration will veto the measure, but he would not do it right away. Under Council rules, the Mayor has 14 days to either sign or veto an ordinance after receiving it from the Council. So assuming it was delivered to the Mayor right after the Council meeting, which is pretty optimistic, the Mayor could take the full 14 days and veto the proposal on December 23, two days before Christmas. That means the Council would have to schedule a special meeting between Christmas and New Year’s Day to override the veto. And, if we read the law correctly, they would have to give 72 hours’ notice for a special meeting. And since Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, the body would only have the Thursday or Friday of that week, provided notice went out on the 23rd, or the Monday or Tuesday of the following week to pass the override, otherwise the proposal would die. And although the proposal could be brought back next year, the raises could not go into effect until 2021. Stay tuned.
You might have missed this little nugget in the Ball State/Old National Bank Hoosier survey, The survey of 600 registered voters asked about Attorney General Curtis Hill’s approval ratings. He had a 38 percent overall approval rating, while his disapproval ratings were 15 percent. 36 percent had no opinion, while 11 percent never heard of him. When broken down by party, Hill had a 48 percent approval rating among Republicans, 30 percent with Democrats, and 31 percent among Independent voters.
The Libertarian Party of Indiana may get a new candidate for Governor. Fishers businessman Bill Smythe has been talking with party leaders about a possible gubernatorial run next year. Smythe ran for County Commissioner in the May 2016 primary and got 25,000 votes.