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Buttigieg heads to Iowa—Pence's decency—Holcomb to Europe
What's happening—and what's next—at the intersection of Indiana politics and business?
Days until Indiana General Assembly Sine Die: 55
Days until the 2019 election: 246
Days until the 2020 election: 610
FIRST IN IMPORTANTVILLE: Guy Raz—the host and co-creator of How I Built This—will be the keynote speaker at Lessonly’s annual Yellowship, a three-day event from Oct. 1-3 at Union Station. The full schedule comes out tomorrow.
DRIVING THE WEEK: Sen. Todd Young faces one of the most defining decisions of his career in a vote that will happen this week or next over whether to send President Trump a brushback pitch on his national emergency declaration to build the wall. Sen. Mike Braun has expressed his support for the declaration.
Young has voted with Trump 92.4 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. In 2016, when he ran, Young told voters: “I’ll be a check and balance against whomever our next president is,” he said.
WHIP COUNT, PER NEW YORK TIMES: “Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said on Sunday that he would support a resolution that would overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, appearing to provide the crucial vote needed for the Senate to pass the measure….Mr. Paul joins three other Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — in backing the resolution. His support appears to provide the slim majority Democrats need to send the measure to the president’s desk, offering a stinging repudiation of the declaration.”
THE IMPORTANTVILLE NUMBER: 14. Number of times Vice President Mike Pence mentioned socialism in his speech at CPAC 2019.
Good Monday morning, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE. Indianapolis’ hottest new bbq spot—Half Liter, owned by friend of the newsletter Ed Sahm—opens today at 11 a.m. I tried it out Saturday, and it lives up to the hype. Importantville is considering officing there.
BUTTIGIEG ON POD SAVE AMERICA
Pete Buttigieg appeared on a stand alone episode of Pod Save America Friday, a show that boasts more than 1.5 million listeners an episode. It’s a move that likely helped Buttigieg gain ground in his effort to rack up 65,000 small-donor donations in 20 states in order to get on the debate stage.
Here are a few of the newsier excerpts:
ON WINNING BACK THE MIDWEST: “A liberal lawyer from Los Angeles walks up to a guy in Indiana who’s a working class guy and says you’re voting against your economic interests. You know what that guy’s gonna say back? ‘So are you, fuck off.’…People understand that there’s more to their vote than economics. And there’s a lot of different reasons why people make those choices. So, you know, telling people that they’re voting against their own interests, thinking that we will reach across the aisle to defeat Trump by informing voters who supported him that they were complicit in a crime is not a very convincing way to reach people.” …But if we enlist everybody in that project then I think that you can transcend a lot of this ideology. I know it can be done because mathematically there are an awful lot of people in St. Joseph County, Indiana who must have voted for Barack Obama and Donald Trump and Mike Pence and me.”
ON HIS DEBATE STRATEGY: “Like everyone in Democratic politics has, whether they’ll admit it or not, has fantasized about the moment there on the debate stage and the zingers they’re going to serve something are just going to knock him flat. Right. We all have those. I’ll share something with you because I would never actually use them. It would satisfy some deep itch to be able to say look the difference between me and this guy is you know I’m faithful to my spouse. When it was my turn to serve I did not fake a disability in order to get out. I went. And I look people in the eye when I’m hiring or firing them.”
ON HIS FIRST POLICY PRIORITY: “I think our country has lost the muscle memory of how to handle structural reforms, which is odd because 40 years ago, you had people like Senator Birch Bayh from Indiana. You know, not exactly a far out kind of guy, but authoring constitutional amendments right and left. The 25th Amendment, which might come in handy one day, changing the voting age. Also things that didn’t make it through like electoral college reform, which I’m still for. Like the Equal Rights Amendment. But they were doing these things because they knew that we needed to work on the very basics, the kind of bones of our democracy in order to make anything else go well. And I think we need to remind people that that level of intellectual ambition needs to be part of our agenda so we can talk about any number of issues.”
Sen. Todd Young says he didn’t watch the Michael Cohen testimony.
Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03) was named to the Ronald Reagan Institute’s Center for Peace Through Strength’s Task Force on 21st Century National Security Technology and Workforce.
The actors Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff—aka Toby and Josh from NBC’s The West Wing—found their next Jed Bartlett: Pete Buttigieg.
Joe Donnelly isn’t interested in running against Holcomb in 2020.
CORRECTION: In last week’s edition, I shorted former Donnelly Chief of Staff Joel Elliott a “t” in his name. Importantville has brought shame upon its kin.
THE NEXT 72 HOURS
A new at-a-glance daybook feature….
Gov. Holcomb is in Europe for his third international economic development trip to Europe and seventh overall. He meets with business and government officials in Brussels, including U.S. Ambassador Ronald Gidwitz and U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
12 P.M. Monday
Pete Buttigieg returns to Iowa for his second trip since announcing his presidential exploratory committee. He'll be at Brew in the Village with Scott County Democrats.
12:30 P.M. Monday
Vice President Mike Pence has lunch with President Donald Trump.
1:30 P.M. Monday
Indiana House is in session. Indiana Senate is in session.
2:30 P.M. Monday
Buttigieg heads to The Airliner in Iowa City where he'll meet with University of Iowa College Dems/Spectrum UI.
4:15 P.M. Monday
Pence joins Trump in the State Dining Room for a meeting with the at the National Association of Attorneys General.
4:30 P.M. Monday
Buttigieg heads to the Dublin City Pub for a meet and greet with Linn County Democrats.
7 P.M. Monday
Buttigieg does a book event at Iowa City Public Library.
Holcomb heads to Frankfurt, Germany, where he will meet with U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell and businesses from Germany that employ Hoosiers.
6 P.M. Wednesday
Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch speaks at the Boone County Lincoln Day Dinner, held at the Palomino Ballroom.
IMPORTANTVILLE Reads—Decency edition
Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register, Disagreeing with Biden, Elizabeth Warren says in Iowa that VP Mike Pence is no 'decent guy'
WATERLOO, Ia. — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized Vice President Mike Pence Saturday morning, saying he is not a decent man because of his stance on LGBTQ rights.
Following a campaign event at Waterloo's Central Middle School, a reporter asked Warren if she agreed with former Vice President Joe Biden's recent defense of Pence after the sitting veep received a cool reception at a foreign policy summit in Munich. Speaking to a crowd in Omaha on Thursday, Biden characterized Pence as a "decent guy."
"I’m sorry, I followed Pence’s history on LBGTQ Americans and I don’t think that is a decent position," Warren said.
Cynthia Nixon, The Washington Post: Mike Pence isn’t ‘decent.’ He’s insidious.
Speaking at a forum in Omaha on Thursday, Joe Biden called Vice President Pence “a decent guy.”
When a chorus of progressives and LGBTQ activists, including myself, pointed out that a man who has built his career on homophobia and misogyny cannot possibly be considered “decent,” some dismissed it as just outrage Twitter. While Biden later walked back his comments and acknowledged that “there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights,” I think it’s important to explain why calling Pence “a decent guy” is an affront to the real meaning of the word.
While I like and admire much about Biden personally and politically, especially his championing of the Violence Against Women Act, when he talks about Pence being “a decent guy,” he is putting politeness over policy. In effect, he is saying that Pence’s record doesn’t matter. So let’s talk about that record.
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