- He conceded close Daniels allies have been flooding him with e-mails talking up a primary challenge. One of Tully's best sources over the years has been Angie's List CEO and former Daniels campaign manager Bill Oesterle, who has sent out minions to talk him up as that challenger. Oesterle lived just around the corner from Tully for several years, and he's as much of a member of the Matt Tully Circle Jerk Club as you can be.
- Tully also confirms rumors I've heard that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was taking a look at the race, particularly since his post-mayoral job at Cathedral High School fell through, primarily due to the negative reaction that prospect received from the school's alumni. Unfortunately, the easily duped mayor two months ago was talked into turning over $400,000, or about half of his cash on hand in his campaign committee, to the doomed candidacy of Chicago carpetbagger and political newcomer, Chuck Brewer, by Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker, who will likely use the money to pad his and his wife's wallets the same way he's done with the party's and Ballard's campaign funds in the past.
Multiple Republicans with 1st-hand knowledge tell me Bill Oesterle is pushing the idea of Mitch Daniels running for governor in 2016.I still don't think Daniels is interested in being governor again, but I could be wrong. That aside, Pence can't be happy with unfavorable poll numbers released since this entirely manufactured story regarding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") on the heels of the earlier manufactured controversy over his JustIn state news service. The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum reminds his readers that Mitch Daniels' poll numbers looked at least as bad, if not worse, at one point during his first term before he went on to defeat Democrat Jill Long by a wide margin in 2008. Daniels' poll numbers were well below 50% for at least a one-year period. In April 2006, Daniels' approval rating stood at just 35%, which is worse than Pence's 43% approval rating shown by one poll taken this past week. At that point in Daniels' first term, only three Republican governors in the nation were more unpopular than Daniels, and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's approval rating by his state's voters paced well ahead of Daniels' approval rating at 47%. How quickly people forget about all of the "Not My Man" bumper stickers.
— Matthew Tully (@matthewltully) April 17, 2015
The hastily and stupidly crafted amendment they enacted during Holy Week provides that Indiana’s RFRA can never be used as a defense in any gay rights or other civil rights proceeding by anyone other than a clergyman, church, or religious institution. It’s in the same vein as a DC City Council proposal that would force religious organizations to hire or provide resources to people who diametrically oppose those organizations’ missions, which hundreds of congressional lawmakers are actively opposing, using Congress’s right to decide DC laws. Of course, until the advent of gay marriage there hadn’t ever been a single instance in any of the other 31 states with RFRA statutes or equivalent judicial protections using RFRA as a defense in a gay-rights case, much less in a case involving racial or other alleged discrimination.
RFRA protections have been raised, however, without success, in a series of recent cases around the country in which government authorities, acting under state or local gay-rights laws, have ordered creative professionals such as photographers, florist,s and cake designers with religious objections to same-sex marriage to nonetheless provide their services for or at these wedding ceremonies or face crippling fines and “rehabilitation.” . . .
But that’s not how Pence and his clueless company chose to proceed. Now Indiana—not DC, not California, not Massachusetts, not Vermont—is the most hostile state in the country to freedom of conscience in these cases. The irony would be comical if it weren’t so sad.