Let the Games Begin

3 hours ago
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Indiana General Assembly held its organization day on November 17.  Even before this ceremonial start of the 2015/16 session, there were rumors and announcements about what was going to happen. 

In this week's episode of WBOI Presents, we feature an IPFW panel discussion entitled "Voting: Right, Privilege, or Burden?" This discussion was recorded on November 9th in the Helmke Library at IPFW.  The event was moderated by Political Science Professor James, and the panelists were history professor Ann Livshiz and political science professors Andrew Downs and Michael Wolf.  

Don't Forget The 2015 Elections

Sep 1, 2015
Courtesy/Andrew Downs

It is 2015, yet most of the discussion about elections focuses on 2016. In some ways this is not surprising given that 2015 is an “off-year” for elections. Even though it is an off-year, there still are elections happening this year and the presidential campaigns are drowning out these elections by starting earlier and earlier each cycle.

Dan Coats

Earlier this week, Republican Sen. Dan Coats stopped by the WBOI Studios to talk about some of the big issues Congress needs to address once members return from their August recess. 

In the first half of a two-part interview, WBOI’s Katy Anderson asked Sen. Coats about his thoughts on the Iran nuclear deal and the fight against the Islamic State. 

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Aug. 6th on Fox News.  This might seem ridiculous given that the presidential election is 16 months away (for those planning ahead: it's Nov. 8, 2016). But keep two things in mind.

Is Pence’s Reelection Bid in Trouble?

Jul 1, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

In June, Bellwether Research and Consulting released a poll examining Hoosiers' views of Gov. Mike Pence and some of his possible opponents in 2016.  The immediate reaction was that the reelection bid by Indiana Governor Mike Pence was in trouble. 

There were reasons to think this:

Courtesy / Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats says he wants to take the politics out of appointing federal judges, proposing a bipartisan commission to fill vacancies. Indiana’s federal system has three vacancies, with another on the way.

To fill judicial vacancies at the federal level, U.S. Senators submit recommendations to the president, who then submits a candidate for nomination to the Senate. 

Senator Coats says the system is fraught with politics, particularly when, as in Indiana, the two senators are from different parties. 

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Indiana General Assembly is required to complete its work no later than April 29th in the years when they pass a two-year budget.  It is quite common for them to work right up to that deadline like they did this year. 

As this session ended, people began talking about how memorable this session was.  They certainly have some notable legislation and events to point to when they are making their case. 

Courtesy / Andrew Downs

On March 23rd, the Committee on Elections in the Indiana Senate voted 6-0 to send House Bill 1236 to the full Senate for consideration.  Back on January 27th, HB 1236 cleared the Indiana House of Representatives on a vote of 70 to 28.  These are indicators that this bill will become a law. 

As February Wraps Up, A Legislative Milestone Passes

Feb 25, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The week of February 23rd includes a legislative milestone for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly.  This was the week when bills had to move from one chamber to the other.  Theoretically, if a bill failed to be voted out of the chamber of origin, it is not possible for that bill to become law.  In other words, those bills are dead.  (Click here to see how a bill becomes a law in Indiana.)