Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

January 13, 2014

MAUREEN HAYDEN: Plenty of 'emptiness' to go around at start

Democrats face uphill battle in Statehouse

Last Tues-day’s cold start to the 2014 legislative session was warmed by the stand-ing ovation given to House Minority Leader Scott Pelath following his traditional opening day remark.

It was an amiable gesture by the 66 other House members who made it through Arctic weather to deliver the quorum needed to kick off what will be a short but consequential session. For some, it was an empty gesture.

Had the day been better weather-wise, with a clear way for all 69 House Republicans, neither Pelath’s words nor his presence would have been needed. In a General Assembly ruled by super-majority Republicans, the Democrat from Michigan City and his partisan allies are too often treated like the Greek mythological character Cassandra — prophetic but ignored.

Pelath took on a tough job after longtime Democratic leader Pat Bauer was deposed in a messy coup just 15 months ago. Unlike Bauer, who was openly hostile to his GOP counterpart, Pelath has been cordial in his dealings with the House majority leader, Speaker Brian Bosma.

But, to borrow on another analogy, Pelath also has led a Greek chorus of super-minority Democrats, who realize promises of bipartisanship made when Republicans were coronated in 2012 may have been empty. In a Statehouse under the stranglehold of one party, the minority chorus sees itself as the expression of the fears, hopes and judgments of merely mortal Hoosiers.

Pelath did so in that speech. After graciously thanking Bosma and telling colleagues, “In your faces, I see many of the things we like about Indiana,” he got down to it.

In contrast to what’s become the Republican rhetoric of Indiana as the “greatest state in the nation,” Pelath offered a litany of woes. Among them: Plunging household incomes, which have declined by a greater percentage than those of 47 other states in the last decade; a rising infant mortality rate now among the nation’s five worst; and a thinning college-degreed population, an indicator Indiana’s best and brightest are leaving and not coming back.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Such a thing as too much My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've n

    April 14, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Chewing over news in bite-size vignettes Today, I am going to share a few "opinionettes" about current news items. Ready? Let's go! City prosperity The unemployment rate in the United States is down to 6.7 percent. This is its lowest level since October 2008. When I remember government effo

    April 13, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller