TOWN HALL MEETINGS — It’s been six years since Indiana’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski held a traditional town hall, and a Democratic Party challenger, Pat Hackett, is doing her best to keep the issue fresh.
On her campaign Facebook page, Hackett called the lack of meetings with the public a “dereliction of duty” that should disqualify her from holding public office. Hackett said she plans to host numerous town hall meetings during the campaign and pledged to host more if elected.
Hackett raised the issue this week because Congress is now on its lengthy August recess when lawmakers have traditionally held town halls in their districts. Walorski’s last town hall meeting was in 2013 in Rochester.
* * *
A RACIST? — Indiana’s 3rd District US Rep. Jim Banks isn’t holding back on how whether President Donald Trump is a racist. The debate was fueled in part by Trump’s recent criticisms of numerous lawmakers who are not white, including Democrat U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. The Columbia City Republican posed the question on Facebook, asking rhetorically whether Trump is a racist.
“Of course not,” the statement read. “If Trump is accountable for every bad thing at (the) border, then Cummings is responsible for every bad thing in Baltimore. Trump is urging border fix. Is Cummings doing the same for Baltimore?”
The post generated more than 430 comments.
According to several polls, including one by Quinnipiac, a slim majority of Americans believe Trump is racist.
* * *
LAWMAKER RETIRES — State Sen. Randy Head, of Logansport, whose District (18) includes some of southern Kosciusko County, announced Monday he plans to resign effective Aug. 12. In a prepared statement, Head told constituents, “Now it’s time for me to step away from the Statehouse in order to pursue a new public service opportunity as the Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Pulaski County. I appreciate all that I have learned and been a part of thanks to the leadership of our caucus. It has truly been an honor to serve the people of Indiana.”
Head has represented Senate District 18 since 2008 and authored more than 70 bills that became law, according to Indiana Economic Digest.
* * *
DEADLIEST HIGHWAYS — CBS News posted a report about the most deadly highways in every state. So which one was identified in Indiana? According to the study by Geotab, (which relied on stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission), Indiana’s most deadly highway is US 41, which runs parallel to the Indiana-Illinois border. The stretch of road averages more than 11 fatalities a year.
The most deadly highway in Michigan, according to the report, was US 31, which extends south through South Bend. The road averages about 12 deaths per year.
* * *
GROWING INFLEXIBILITY — Two weeks ago, I wrote about animal control officer Jerry Clase before he was suspended for five days in connection with the death of a dog that he had investigated. Rather than take sides, I noted that Clase had declined to provide his side of the story to the public.
I thought I took a measured response by stating the obvious, that there are always two sides to a story. But the Clase case has enraged many and that was apparent in the more than 385 comments the post received. One guy even messaged me to say being an animal control officer is not that tough of a job.
I am at a loss for words when reflecting on this angst, but it does seem to parallel the strident positions seen in national politics. People would rather expend more energy digging in rather than considering all of the facts.
Dan Spalding is the editor of InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.