Merely voting "no" against the Indy Works government consolidation plan wasn't enough for a legislator to lose the endorsement of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.
Shouting no, though, was.
"The more vocal opponents did not receive our support," said Mark Fisher, business advocacy manager for the Chamber.
This meant that Rep. Phil Hinkle (R), the chief author who controlled the consolidation legislation, and Rep. Mike Murphy (R), county GOP chairman, did not get an endorsement. But the man who really calls the shots in the House, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R), and who could have used the power of his leadership position to force the consolidation legislation through the House but did not, got the Chamber's endorsement and a check for $1,000. All other Marion Co. Republican legislators also got the Chamber's endorsement, even though they too voted against the consolidation legislation. The local chamber did not endorse any challengers, including Hinkle's and Murphy's, only incumbent legislators.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce was equally as perplexed by the local chamber's endorsements, which also included an endorsement of Bosma's fiercest foe, Rep. Pat Bauer (D), who is in line to become Speaker once again if the Democrats recapture the House as most observers now expect will happen. Schneider writes:
"Are you shocked?" Bauer asked with a laugh.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce was.
Michael Davis, vice president of political affairs for the state Chamber, said the Democratic leader votes against the Chamber's agenda more than 75 percent of the time.
"He's not even close to being eligible for an endorsement."
Fisher, with the Greater Indianapolis Chamber, said Bauer was endorsed because "we respect the position."
If Democrats win the House, he said, "he will have influence over who sits on what committee and what issues get heard."
In other endorsement news, Senate Democratic candidate Russell Brown picks up an endorsement from the state AFL-CIO, a federation of more than 800 local unions throughout Indiana. "I am so pleased to have earned the endorsement of the Indiana State AFL-CIO," said Brown, "The working men and women of the AFL-CIO are the backbone of our communities and to have their support means a great deal." In addition to the support of the AFL-CIO, Brown has also been endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 135, United Steelworkers Local 1999 and the United Autoworkers Region 3. Brown is opposing Sen. Jim Merritt (R).