Sen. Todd Young profile—Ice Miller staffs up—DNC trolls Braun and Young with Indy billboard

Inside Young's plan to check China with Chuck Schumer.

FIRST IN IMPORTANTVILLE: In a pair of big Hoosier hires, Ice Miller LLP has picked up George Hornedo, the former national deputy political director and national delegate director on the presidential campaign of current U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and also announced a strategic alliance with former senior advisor for Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign John Pence and Pence Strategy Group. Pence is the nephew of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Per the soon-to-be-released announcement:

  • “Our goal has always been to build a service-focused team of professionals who care about the needs of our clients and the values of our Firm,” said Lawren Mills, chair of Ice Miller’s Public Affairs Group. “We are especially privileged to grow our team by adding two Hoosier natives who are well-positioned to engage at the intersection of the regulatory, legislative and executive branch politics facing business, nonprofit and government entities in 2021.”

  • “Hornedo joins the firm's Public Affairs Group as an attorney. “In addition to understanding problem solving and how to help our clients and team members achieve solutions, George brings extensive local, state and federal relationships and public policy experience to the Firm,” said Mills. “He is already an incredible asset to our team.”

  • “John Pence will utilize his experience as a trusted advisor to local, state and federal Republican leaders to provide strategic policy advice to Ice Miller clients. His national and international network of relationships will enable the Ice Miller's Public Affairs Group to engage public officials to support the policy and legal goals and needs of the Firm’s clients.”

Hornedo and Pence are both likely to eye future political bids of their own, and these moves give them both entree to larger political networks.

Good Monday morning, and welcome back to IMPORTANTVILLE.

THE TODD YOUNG PROFILE

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The former high-school soccer star stepped onto a lush green field at his alma mater, ready to go one on one with a reporter. It was a chilly spring Friday afternoon in the tony northside Indianapolis suburb of Carmel. Wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts, and a pair of white-and-black Nikes, Republican Sen. Todd Young still resembled the Naval Academy soccer player he was in the 1990s. In another life, he has said, he might have gone pro. Instead, he became a Washington dealmaker, not quite a Trumpist, but definitely not a moderate, a Midwestern senator who seems to take quiet pleasure in wrong-footing the rest of the DC Beltway. He's one of the few members of the GOP to score an invite to the Joe Biden White House, a retweet from the Democratic president's national security advisor, and private meetings with the "shadow" secretary of State, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons.

Young is not running for president in 2024. He doesn't grace Washington's virtual green rooms. But he's quietly effective. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation? Young was the behind-the-scenes operator who made that happen for the judge from South Bend, lobbying Trump and fellow senators on her controversial preelection nomination in 2020 and guiding her through her move to DC. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's bipartisan confirmation? Young was behind that, too, introducing and vouching for his fellow Hoosier (who, in an alternate universe, might have been the only Indiana Democrat who could've given Young a run for his money in 2022). The next big bipartisan effort to counter an ascendant China? Young is lurking in the background, back-channeling with Senate Democratic leaders and the new occupants of the White House.

I spent a few hours with Young for the story, including playing soccer with the senator at his alma mater. A teaser:

Read (paywall)

TRENDING HOOSIER POLITICS TWEET

IMPORTANTVILLE INBOX

DNC Unveils New Billboard in Indianapolis Thanking President Biden & Slamming Senators Braun and Young for Blocking COVID-19 Relief for Hoosiers

Today, the Democratic National Committee is unveiling a new billboard in Indianapolis, thanking President Biden for providing direct payments and resources to reopen schools and distribute vaccines, and calling out Senators Braun and Young for opposing the American Rescue Plan. By voting against the American Rescue Plan, Senators Braun and Young rejected direct payments of up to $1,400 for 91% of Indiana’s adult population and 89% of children, including 4.3 million adults and 1.7 million children.

This billboard is located on I-465, north of I-70 and just 1.7 miles from Indianapolis International Airport. It will be up for one month.

“Folks in Indianapolis and senators traveling home won’t be able to miss this message: Help is here thanks to President Biden and Congressional Democrats -- but if it were up to Senators Braun and Young, Hoosiers wouldn’t be seeing any of the much-needed relief the American Rescue Plan is delivering,” said DNC Chair Jaime Harrison. “Democrats passed this relief package, which is already providing Hoosiers with direct payments and resources to help manufacture and distribute vaccines, because they knew help couldn’t wait. Now, we’re making sure every Hoosier knows it’s no thanks to Senators Braun and Young.”

IMPORTANTVILLE READS

By Hope Yen, Jonathan Lemire, Thomas Beaumont, Associated Press: “New to DC, Buttigieg looks to build bridges with Biden plan

Pete Buttigieg was a few weeks into his job as transportation secretary, buried in meetings and preparing for the launch of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion public works plan, when evening arrived along with a time to try something new in Washington.

Instead of climbing into the back seat of a black SUV like most Cabinet secretaries, he headed to a bike-share rack. Helmet on, and with a couple of Secret Service agents flanking him, he pedaled the mile-long trip to his home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

It wasn’t a one-time stunt. On Thursday, Buttigieg arrived at the White House for a Cabinet meeting on his two-wheeler. And that wasn’t his only “regular guy” moment. Dog park devotees in the District of Columbia have also seen him there, chatting up anyone from children to members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Associated Press: Mike Pence reemerges, lays groundwork for 2024 presidential run

When former President Donald Trump was asked to list those he considers the future leaders of the Republican Party, he quickly rattled off names including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Conspicuously absent from the list: Mike Pence.

The former vice president is steadily reentering public life as he eyes a potential run for the White House in 2024. He’s joining conservative organizations, writing op-eds, delivering speeches and launching an advocacy group that will focus on promoting the Trump administration’s accomplishments.