Brian Howey reports:

For the second consecutive year, the spring National Guard Supplemental Grant awards have been deactivated for Indiana Army National Guard service members in the various ROTC programs around the state. The reason? The state, despite its $2 billion surplus, has run out of money. At least that’s what one university ROTC student I was with learned just before Thanksgiving. The news sent this student into a mode where he needs to replace in the next week or so the promised $2,500 in grant money with . . . a student loan. This comes at a time when student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in our nation. Now think about this for a minute: The state is reneging on a promise to future National Guardsmen and women to help fund their college educations. These are the Hoosier men and women who will be on the front lines of floods, tornadoes, civil disturbances, and who could end up making the ultimate sacrifice on a foreign battleground, as many Hoosier Guardsmen did in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the message we’re sending these public servant is … go get a loan? That’s not right.

So–we don’t have enough money to honor our commitment to kids who may well have to put their lives on the line for us. But we do have enough money to hire a couple of expensive private-sector lawyers to handle an ill-conceived bit of political theater: a lawsuit against the President for taking executive action on immigration. That action was well within President Obama’s legal authority, and immigration issues are specifically matters of federal–not state–jurisdiction. But even if that weren’t the case, courts of law are not  where we resolve policy disputes, which is what this is, as even our culture-warrior Attorney General recognized when he refused to handle the case.

Yes, even our “sue culture change” Attorney General says this one is a bridge too far.

The Governor is running for President. He wants his (rabid, no-brown-people here) base to know that he’s one of them, and he’s willing to spend a lot of taxpayer dollars on a frivolous lawsuit he knows he can’t/won’t win, in order to get that message out.

Every one of these ridiculous cases costs real money. Even when the AGs staff is doing the work, that’s time they are taking away from the state’s business, and filing fees, etc., add up. According to the IBJ, the AGs office spent over $7,000 just for copying costs in the (entirely voluntary) same-sex marriage litigation that preceded Indiana’s own legal action.

Pence just can’t find the money to fulfill his promise to college students enrolled in ROTC, but dollars are endlessly available for empty, self-serving, political gestures.



  1. Indiana sucks in more ways than the student loan issue regarding ROTC. My granddaughter Ashley is an RN at Riley Hospital for Children; she is a member of their pediatric heart surgery team who spent two weeks this fall in Kenya at the Uganda Heart Institute performing pediatric heart surgeries and training the Institute medical staff. She has $55,000 in student loans; she is paying for her education all on her own because her mother couldn’t help financially.

    My grandson Tyler is in his 2nd year at BSU; even with his Presidential Award of $18,000 plus the BSU scholarship of $12,000; he and his parents are in debt for his education. Tyler works while in school, works full-time on his school breaks, his mother has a full-time job and a second 1 morning per week cleaning job, his father is a brick mason (seasonal work) who takes side jobs whenever possible. He is also an experienced carpet installer and takes jobs doing this. They are the ones I have mentioned before regarding health care insurance – paying $450 per month for coverage with a $9,600 annual deductible which means they pay all medical bills and prescription costs. Another Indiana ripoff due to Pence’s state medical care fiasco. How many other families are struggling with these problems? How many families have intelligent young people who cry for an education but no way to even consider trying? How long will all of us have to put up with the entire GOP body in this state ripping off the little guys?

  2. I neglected to mention that Ashley will be 27 years old next Wednesday; she has accomplished a great deal in her short lifetime. I also neglected to mention that Tyler’s mother home-schools her sons 13 and 15 years of age due to bullying in two schools due to the now 15 year old’s medical problem. This is normal in our public education system due to Pence’s voucher program which he is trying his best to enlarge. Her 88 year old grandmother lost her Medicaid assistance with Medicare due to Pence’s refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid.

    If any of you are sick and tired of me turning everything on Sheila’s blogs to my personal issues; tough s#*t. Everything these local politicians do – or don’t do – affects each and every one of us personally in one way or another, sooner or later.

  3. Pence will never be held responsible for this. Nobody at the fallen Star will mention it lest it negatively impacts his presidential campaign. Any reporter that dared would probably be fired. The $2 billion will be something that Pence will mention over and over in the coming republican “debates”, and how it demonstrates his executive management success. I can already hear it……

  4. I’m curious as to why I can’t find anything about this on Brian Howey’s website?
    Where did he originally publish this?
    Not that I don’t think Gov. Putz is capable of doing this. Two years in a row.

  5. The president’s executive action on immigration was NOT within his legal authority and he will be defeated in court.

  6. One of the reasons that extremism has robbed government, business and religion of so much is that it breaks down society as inconsequential compared to the individual. This in turn is based on the almost completely erroneous assumption that all that we are and do is based solely on individual effort.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Every accomplished individual that I’ve ever known would agree that accomplishment is roughly equal parts what they were born with, what they were born into, and work, ours for ourselves work from others who helped us along the way.

    What distorts their impact on society is that many who inflict extreme conservatism on us point to their accomplishments and all we see is wealth. They beat others to the pool of shared resources that we jointly create and successfully elbowed others to the side. Accomplishment? Are you kidding?

    But oligarchy, an essential elbowing move, is the damage to society that they have wrought. Empowering their wrong thinking.

    We have always lived among wrong thinking people and tolerated their antics. That’s a far cry from living under them.

    But that’s what democracy faces.

  7. May I suggest that everyone flood Pence’s Facebook page with links to this blog? This may be the only way a lot of these kids can go to college. We want a well-trained workforce but Pence is willing to sacrifice that for his own political gain. You’re so right, Sheila. DESPICABLE!

  8. Unless someone else does, I plan to request the retainer agreement with Barnes & Thornbug as well as their periodic invoices to the Governor. We Hoosiers are at least entitled to know how many of our tax dollars are being spent on this frivolous and purely political lawsuit.

  9. Rick, please explain to the lawyers, public policy experts, professors and other assorted thinkers here , why you believe the President’s action was illegal. I have yet to get a straight answer about this (or about impeachable offenses) from any conservative, and I really would like to understand their reasoning.

  10. Can we sue Pence to make him personally responsible for the legal fees incurred in this lawsuit since it is nothing more than a sham?

  11. @ Rick – “The president’s executive action on immigration was NOT within his legal authority and he will be defeated in court.”

    Are you an attorney? Do you have access to some secret knowledge regarding the limit to the President’s authority that no one else has? Or……are you just an angry old white male tea party member that despises our President and everything he stands for?

  12. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    Copied and pasted from Wikipedia:
    “The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, and refusal to obey a lawful order. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for nonofficials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office.”

    Obviously, the House of Representatives are operating under the term “abuse of authority” (in their opinion) which they have been guilty of beginning in 2010. The President does have the authority to take action on issues that are vital to this country and being are not being acted on by the Senate and House of Representatives. Or maybe they moved down to “Offenses by officals also include ordinary crimes…” because they have no basis for impeachment action – or for law suits. What is frightening is that only the House can bring impeachment charges against these officials and the Senate is charged with conviction of filed charges. After January 1st; we will be in deep doo-doo in this regard. I can only questions WHO has the authority to make Congress take action on actual issues put before them, DOES anybody have that authority and WHAT, if anything, can be done when they refuse to comply as our current Congress had done and will continue to do. They are either totally unaware of what they are doing to America and Americans or they just don’t care – they are still getting their paychecks and will soon have more power to do nothing and will be backed by the Senate.

  13. Ginny; I should have directed my message to you as it deviated from the Pence issue. The problem with attempts to impeach Pence is, we are faced with the same problem attempting to impeach Boehner; they will of course not impeach themselves or one another. Daniels, Pence and Ballard here in Indiana and Boehner in Congress with his bought-and-paid-for majority have gone on their own merry little ways and been given carte blanche by their cronies and misguided voters.

  14. When we talk of impeachment, like the Great Oligarchy Plot does, we admit as do they that we are not capable of governance. We are. We need to tell the truth and get out the vote. Much more powerful than any government political shenanigans disguised as justice.

    Republicans could do the same but are unable,so compromised are they by their flirtation with big media bought minds hired by oligarchs.

  15. As always, Sheila nails it. This is Pence scoring points with his teabagger base in preparation for his presidential bid. One only wishes he would declare, resign Sarah Palin-style, and head off to Iowa. It wouldn’t be a minute too soon for most of us.

  16. The best thing Hoosiers can do is vote Pence out of office. At this point, a potted plant could do a better job at governing Indiana than The Empty Suit. This story needs to get out there across the state. I hope the Democrats find a viable candidate to run against him, but who? Joe Donnelly? He’s the only big-name Democrat I can think of, but that doesn’t mean he’s the best candidate. Indiana has to do better than Mike Pence. He is driving the state into a ditch.

  17. To K-Mac’s mention of Donnelly: if one carefully studies Donnelly’s stand on issues, he and Pence are not that different. – 1 example is energy. There is no appreciable difference; ditto for guns and abortion. Likewise for Gregg. Where do we look for a progressive Democrat in Indiana?

  18. I wanted to follow up with an apology to Prof. Kennedy as my earlier reply could easily have been interpreted as challenge of the existence of the Brian Howey piece. That was certainly not even close to my intent. I learned that this editorial can only be found on the subscription portion of and so, being the cheapskate that I am, I didn’t get it nor can I even see the headline on his public website. My paranoia was on high alert largely because of the recent announcement by that their trust in their primary source for the article “A Rape On Campus” seems to be “misplaced” (that article is still very much worth reading and their source is standing by every word of it). Not long before that I had also been hoodwinked by a FB post that Sarah Palin had been quoted to say that illegal aliens should be loaded on boats and shipped back to Mexico. While hilarious and incredibly possible, she did not, in fact, ever say anything like it.

    Anyway, back to our Governor Putz. My feelings for the guy are visceral – I am simply repulsed by him as a person, not just as a politician with misguided policies and political tactics unworthy of a junior high school student council candidate. All of that has been capably called out by the author of this blog and her many followers. But those reasons, and there are many, are not the primary source of my disdain. What aggrieves me to the core about him is that he is such a COLOSSAL FAKE! I don’t expect anyone to believe that I am 100% the real deal….we all bear certain pretenses or have represented ourselves as something we’re not from time to time. If we didn’t none of us would ever get MARRIED (lol)! Nevertheless, it has been a passion of mine for many years to avoid total fakes in any aspect of my life. I have become resigned to the fact that our political leaders have to present “a product” that will get them elected, but normally in the course mastering governance and/or legislative skills one’s real personality and values must come to the forefront. Not this guy. Putz is 100% translucent fluff, without so much as a single cell of genuineness in his body. Everything he has done in his life is part of a calculus (more like HS freshman algebra in his case) to seek the highest office he can. If there were a higher office than POTUS he would be pursuing it. Hopefully, being a married evangelical Christian, even HE would acknowledge he’s not qualified to become the Pope – but who knows?

    How can someone possibly think they’re qualified for an office of ANY significance when they spent TWELVE years in the US Congress and never introduced ONE piece of legislation that was passed and signed into law?? Or that his most memorable quote throughout his undistinguished Congressional career is: “I SAY SHUT IT DOWN!”. How could anyone THINK they’re ready for an even higher office when they haven’t done anything but grab onto the coat tails of his predecessor as Governor and consciously AVOIDED introducing ANY new ideas, or initiatives in his first TWO years? All calculated to avoid even the perception of a stumble. How can a genuine human being THINK that people don’t see right THROUGH his education agenda to privatize public education with no real basis for claiming the result will be better educated people?? And that of creating a bogus parallel education department (CECI) whose mission it was to stoke conflict and dysfunction on the IN Board of Education, and then after two years of horrible publicity and little progress, MAGNANIMOUSLY announces the dissolution of the same overt political operation in the spirit of peace, harmony and cooperation. Who wold do that? A TOTAL FAKE WOULD! WHO would actively support the Secretary of State’s oversee the six-figure expenditure of consulting fees to come up with most FAKE-sounding tourism slogan EVER: Honest To Goodness Indiana??? NO one or NO place can be that wholesome in 2014! FAKE!

    We need a real Governor and a real President. Common sense Hoosier values DEMAND no more fakes cast from molds of GW Bush and our Gov Putz.

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