I live in a household that supported John Gregg for governor last fall. That is except for our soon to be famous dog, Birdie. As far as I know, Birdie and Governor Holcomb never met. But the Holcomb campaign went after the canine demographic with their “Hounds for Holcomb” outreach. I laughed at it at the time. The most comforting news for those supporting John Gregg last year was that no matter the outcome of the election, Indiana was going to have a better governor. And we found out in a big way what that means this week. In one press conference, ...

One of my favorite political movies is "Charlie Wilson's War." It's a story based on actual events surrounding "Operation Cyclone," a covert war funded by the U.S. Congress to combat and eventually defeat the Soviet Union during their invasion of Afghanistan. Rep. Charlie Wilson, R-Texas, takes time out of his busy schedule of boozing and philandering to do something historically important, a feat unexpected of a congressman with so little potential. This defeat of the Soviets is credited by many as instrumental to the Soviet government's ultimate demise. At the end of the movie, while celebrating a milestone in the conflict, the ...

Rock and roll will see us through this rough patch we have had. It's the kind of purpose music serves after all: to calm, to comfort, and to inspire those who need it. My wife and I got to see one of our favorite performers a couple of weeks ago.  Amos Lee treated the people at the Murat Theater to a typical show featuring his distinctive vocals and his trademark subject matter of relationships.  He sings about relationships to people and places. He sings about symbolic and otherwise insignificant objects from time to time and then rips into rockers about his ...

I think I am gonna change things up around here after this brutal campaign season. These last few months, it seems I have spent too much time sitting at my kitchen counter reading and writing, then writing and reading some more.  Actually, I plan to keep doing that.  But I am planning on much of the tabloid style content that has been overwhelming my readers to fizzle out in the days and week's that follow November 8. That way, I can restake my claim as the edgy smart aleck who isn't afraid to write about the tough topics.  "Tough" means difficult in ...

Keith Cooper is becoming a household name around here these days.  It's ironic because all he wants from the State of Indiana is to have his name given back to him. Cooper is an African American convicted felon who lives in Chicago. He was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in 2006, after spending nearly ten years in prison, much of it at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. He wants Gov. Mike Pence to issue a pardon for his conviction for an uncommon reason: he is innocent. In 1997, Cooper was convicted in Elkhart County of armed robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison. ...

I was introduced to the legacy of the late Warren Bennis this week. The innovative scholar on leadership has written that leaders are people who do the right thing, and managers are people who do things right. Mayors, governors and presidents need to be good at both. And one problem with political campaigns is that voters often don't get to see how candidates will handle their shot at either. Or do they? Politicians get an opportunity to show voters what they are made of more often than some might think. The ground contamination of lead and arsenic in East Chicago is a ...

Every politically engaged Hoosier knew that when Gov. Mike Pence left congress to run for governor in 2012, that part of the attraction was the ambitious opportunities being a governor would provide him. Oh, how things have changed. Or have they? Gov. Pence is being considered by the Trump campaign as a possible vice presidential nominee. Now for those of us watching Pence’s less than momentous reelection bid here at home, this might be a bit of a surprise. But there are plenty of folks who think he is one of Trump’s best available options, even though Pence didn't even vote for ...

Two weeks ago I wrote my first column ever on the topic of abortion. I don't plan to write about the topic often, since I fundamentally believe men should follow the lead of women on this one. I probably have already written enough. After I publish this edition, many of you will think I have written far too much. On Thursday, Governor Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1337. It is arguably the most restrictive bill on the topic in the nation. Those of us who pay attention to Indiana politics at all knew he was going to sign it. The news ...