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Coats urges Hoosier way

Senator: Spend, borrow and tax less

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., didn’t waste any time making good on his pledge to push for reductions in federal spending and the $16.4 trillion national debt.

A day after Coats went to the Senate floor to say he would use it as a platform to urge fiscal restraint, he was at it again Wednesday morning.

Coats encouraged the Democratic-majority chamber to follow “the spend less, borrow less, tax less Hoosier model” of former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Indiana General Assembly.

“Now, whether lawmakers want to admit it or not, the crux of our problem is this: Washington has promised Americans far too much and committed well beyond our means,” Coats said. “Federal spending and borrowing cannot continue this current pace without dire consequences.”

He later said in his remarks on the Senate floor: “My suggestion for Washington is to take a look at the Hoosier model. It’s tested, it’s proven, and it’s working. We need to go big and bold.”

As he has asked Hoosiers what state government cuts should not have been made, “Frankly, no one can come up with an answer that says we’ve had disastrous consequences from these decisions,” Coats said. “Everyone says, ‘No, everything’s working pretty well.’ ”

Shine running again

Steve Shine announced last week he will seek another four-year term as chairman of the Allen County Republican Party.

The party will have a caucus election at 9 a.m. March 2 at the South Side High School Auditorium. Precinct committeemen and vice precinct committeemen are eligible to vote.

Shine, a local attorney who has led the party for 20 years, very likely will have at least one challenger. Jason Arp, an independent proprietary trader and investor, has said he will run for chairman.

Arp is a former treasurer of the tea party group Allen County 9-12 but said last week he is no longer involved with the group.

In the 2009 caucus election, Shine received 211 of 338 votes to easily defeat four challengers.

When announcing his re-election bid, Shine pointed to gains for the county GOP in elections for county offices, Fort Wayne City Council and the Indiana General Assembly in recent years. He said in a statement that the party ended 2012 “with no debt and having an enviable cash balance on hand.”

Shine also said he has been endorsed by Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, “who embodies the conservative ideals of our community.”

He meant to say that

Gov. Mike Pence had to react on the fly Tuesday night – cutting parts of his State of the State speech as he was giving it due to time constraints.

Here is what was planned that you didn’t hear:

“Our budget seeks resources for a comprehensive school safety review. Parents have a right to expect that our children are safe at school.

“All of us were heartbroken after every parent’s worst nightmare unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut. While others have rushed to the well-worn arguments over gun control, Hoosiers know this is not about access to firearms. It is about access to schools.

“Hoosiers have responsibilities to protect our kids and Hoosiers have rights. We will protect our kids, and we will protect our rights. Hoosiers know we can do both.”

Pence also skipped a rather large section about state sovereignty.

“Let me close tonight by reflecting on something another speaker said from this podium more than 30 years ago. Addressing Indiana’s General Assembly, President Ronald Reagan said, ‘The federal government is still operating on the outdated and ... arrogant assumption that the states can’t manage their own affairs.’

He predicted that the ‘great American experiment’ would soon enter a new phase and that you, here in this room, would be the ones to carry this experiment forward and ‘offer the most creative solutions and most promising hopes for our nation.’

“As Hoosiers have shown over the past eight years Reagan was right.

“Hoosiers have found practical Indiana solutions to the challenges facing their communities. We have one of the most innovative healthcare programs in the country. We have implemented education reforms that are a model for the nation. And we have built our roads on time and under budget.

“On these and other important matters, we must never stand by and let the federal government dictate our aims, our hopes, and our wishes for us. As your governor, I will never stop standing for the rights of Indiana’s people to run our schools, choose our healthcare and produce our energy the Indiana way.”

Stutzmanís stance

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 to legalize abortions was the court’s “worst decision” since it decided in 1857 that blacks could not become U.S. citizens.

On the 40th anniversary of the abortion ruling, Stutzman said in a prepared statement: “More than 55 million innocent children have been killed since Roe v. Wade, the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott. If President Obama really believes his admonition that ‘a great nation must care for the vulnerable,’ he will stop this senseless slaughter of innocents.”

Stutzman is a co-sponsor of legislation that would deny federal funds to family planning agencies that also perform abortions.

Current law already prevents federal funding for abortions.

In a statement issued Tuesday by the White House, Obama called Roe v. Wade a “historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women.”

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