Organizers preparing for a forum featuring four candidates running for Superior Court 3 judge have announced a new date and an expanded format.
The forum was originally scheduled for April 22; however, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the event has now been rescheduled for 6 p.m. May 15. Exactly where remains to be decided.
The Kosciusko County Bar Association and Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that it would include two other races in addition to the Superior 3 candidates (Karin McGrath, Robert Bishop, Lindsey Grossnickle and Chad Miner).
The other races are for northern district county commissioner (incumbent Brad Jackson and challenger Marcia Baumgartner), and the three at-large county council seats (incumbents Kimberly Cates, Joni Truex, Sue Ann Mitchell and challenger Kathleen Groninger).
While forum with a live audience is preferred, the event may be physically closed to the public, given social distancing recommendations. Organizers are still seeking a facility that could lend itself to online streaming.
“The Bar Association and Chamber are actively working to coordinate alternative formats to allow for a live stream of the event or other appropriate means of public “attendance” during these trying times,” organizers said in a prepared statement.
The state moved the election from May 5 to June 2.
PANDEMIC PLANNING – It’s never too late to make plans for the next pandemic, right?
U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski, Republican of Indiana, and Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, recently introduced the Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act of 2020, which would strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile to improve the federal ability to respond to future disasters and pandemics. The legislation would enhance medical supply chain elasticity, improve domestic production of personal protective equipment and seek to partner with industry to replenish existing stocks of medical supplies.
“Health care workers on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus are risking their lives to care for patients and protect our communities,” Congresswoman Walorski said.
The proposal comes shortly after realizing workers in the current COVID-19 pandemic were given expired and outdated equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile. The Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act of 2020 would authorize $500 million annually through fiscal year 2023 to implement a supply chain flexibility manufacturing program.
STILL OPEN – According to a news release from his office, Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter Friday to Gov. Holcomb expressing concern with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s continued performance of elective surgeries in violation of Executive Order 20-08 and Executive Order 20-1.
“Planned Parenthood is selfishly using scarce personal protective equipment for elective procedures that even they describe as a ‘choice.’ Their claim to value human life, or anything aside from unfettered access to abortion, has never rung so hollow,” Banks said.
AN ENDORSEMENT, BY JOE – Indiana’s presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor, Dr. Woody Myers, won the endorsement of former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly. “Woody’s experience as a doctor, former Indiana State Health Commissioner, as well as a health and business leader, makes him the only candidate who understands what Hoosiers need to be able to access affordable healthcare, make sure our children receive a high-quality public education and that we take the necessary steps to protect our environment for generations to come,” said Donnelly.
“He will bring great gains for our state and return a sense of dignity to how our state conducts business,” he said.
INTENSIFIED FOCUS – Like many folks, Kosciusko County Democratic Party Chair Brian Smith is temporarily unemployed as a result of the pandemic. He announced his layoff on Facebook and said he would devote extra time and energy to defeating President Donald Trump in November.
In one online post, Smith predicts Indiana could be on the verge of being in play for the presidential race. President Trump may still win Indiana, Smith concedes, but nonetheless predicts the margin could be less than 5 percent.
In another post, he assailed the state for planning to provide poll workers with PPE. Smith has said he prefers mail-in primary and thinks the PPE could be used better elsewhere.
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DON’T ZOOM IN! – The online service known as Zoom has proven to be the glue that keeps groups functioning, but it got momentarily embarrassing Friday while the state election commission was hosting an online meeting that included reporters and others. The beginning of the meeting somehow included a brief pornographic image. The hacking trend, known as Zoom bombing, has become more apparent during the pandemic and according to Google, Friday’s incident in Indy gained national … exposure.
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STATE RESPONSE – State leaders have assembled a team to oversee Indiana’s post-pandemic response to get businesses churning again. Gov. Eric Holcomb says Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger and Indiana Office of Management and Budget Director Cris Johnston will lead the economic and recovery team.
Schellinger announced five people who will sit on the advisory team, including former state lawmakers and past members of the Office of Management and Budget. Part of their responsibility is to oversee the federal funds from a variety of relief programs. The team includes former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman; Former State Senator Luke Kenley; Al Hubbard, former assistant to President George W. Bush for Economic Policy and former chair of the Indiana GOP; Ryan Kitchell, former director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget; and IEDC board member Kristin Marcucilli.
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Dan Spalding is the editor at 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.