Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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News
5:19 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

State Withholds Some Domestiv Violence Prevention Funds

Domestic violence prevention advocates say they won a small victory Friday when state officials  approved funding for prevention programs at the same dollar amount as last year. But more than a million dollars is still being withheld as the state asks  shelters to provide “additional information.”

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News
1:31 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Zoeller Warns Hoosiers About Costly Tax Scam

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says a new phone scam has already cost Americans millions of dollars.
Credit Courtesy / State of Indiana

The Indiana Attorney General is warning Hoosiers about a new phone scam where people claim to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service.  More than two hundred Indiana residents have filed complaints in the last few weeks.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office says the scam has cost people $5 million nationwide this year alone. 

Someone claiming to be from the IRS or the U.S. Treasury Department tells consumers they owe tax money and demands payment immediately, threatening to issue a warrant for their arrest otherwise. 

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Politics & Government
3:32 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bayh Says He Won't Run in 2016

Former Sen. Evan Bayh says he won't run for governor in 2016, but will still help Democrats campaign for office.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh says the growing partisan divide in Indiana is the reason for his decision not to make another bid for the governor’s mansion in 2016.

Friday’s announcement comes after months of questions about the former two-term governor’s political future. Bayh’s continued popularity in the state Democratic Party, combined with a still-robust campaign war chest, has been fueling speculation about a run for governor in two years. 

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Politics & Government
4:01 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

As Revenue Lags, Senator Urges Caution During 2015 Budget Session

Indiana Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says Hoosiers shouldn’t be concerned about lagging tax revenues.  But he says lawmakers should proceed with caution as they prepare to write a new budget in the coming months.

Indiana tax revenues came in under projections for the first two months of the fiscal year that began in July.  That follows the last fiscal year in which the state only outperformed its targets by one-tenth of one percent, and with less revenue than the previous year. 

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News
4:17 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Attorneys Meet in Indy to Discuss Violent Crime Prevention

Josh Minkler and Stephen Wigginton.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

 Indiana law enforcement officials met with U-S Attorneys from around the country in Indianapolis this week to discuss ways to address the problem of violent crime. 

Acting U-S Attorney for Indiana’s Southern District Josh Minkler says federal prosecutors can no longer use prosecutions as the sole metric for how effective their fight against violent crime is; he says prevention and reentry back into society should also be considered. 

And Minkler says that strategy is conscious of the tight budgets many communities face.

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News
5:54 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

7th Circuit Court Strikes Down Indiana's Same Sex Marriage Ban

Couples who are part of the lawsuits at a press conference at the ACLU-Indiana headquarters.
Credit Brandon Smith

Hoosier same sex couples say they’re celebrating a victory for love after the 7th Circuit Thursday ruled, in strong language, that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Attorneys representing those couples say the effects of the ruling are still on hold as the case is expected to continue.

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News
2:07 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Indiana Supreme Court Hears Right to Work Case

Indiana’s Supreme Court justices suggested in oral arguments Thursday that unions’ problem with the state’s Right to Work law isn’t with the state – it’s with the federal government.

Indiana’s Right to Work law bars union contracts that require non-members pay fees for representation.  Unions argue the statute violates a section of the state constitution that says a person can’t be forced  to provide services without just compensation.

Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher says the unions’  exclusive collective bargaining rights are that fair compensation.

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News
5:56 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Advocates Rally for Anti-Citizens United Amendment

Supporters of an anti-Citizen's United amendment rally.
Credit Brandon Smith

Citizen and consumer advocacy groups are calling on U-S Senator Joe Donnelly to co-sponsor a  constitutional amendment they say would overturn the negative impact of controversial Supreme Court  decisions on campaign finance. 

The proposed amendment would empower Congress and the states to regulate and limit election  spending. It’s in response to two Supreme Court decisions – Citizens United versus the F-E-C and McCutcheon versus the F-E-C – that significantly loosened campaign donation limits.

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News
3:18 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Court Upholds Indiana's Right to Work Law

The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld Indiana’s Right to Work law as constitutional.  The ruling comes days before the law is challenged at the Indiana Supreme Court.

Indiana’s Right to Work law bans union contracts that require nonmembers pay fees for representation.  The International Operating Engineers union filed two lawsuits in the wake of the bill’s passage in 2012  – one in federal court, another in state court.

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News
4:27 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Richard Mourdock Resigns as State Treasurer

Richard Mourdock
Credit State of Indiana

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock Friday announced his resignation, four months before his  term expires.

Mourdock was set to leave office at the end of the year, term-limited from running again. Instead,  he resigns effective Friday to, in his words, “pursue other professional interests.”

The controversial  Republican made headlines in 2012, first when he beat long-time incumbent Richard Lugar in the U-S  Senate primary. He then lost to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the fall after comments in a debate calling  pregnancies resulting from rape a “gift from God.”

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