I was on the road yesterday, so Michigan Monday was a bit of a deviation from the norm. It probably covered the most important (and disheartening) news from the weekend though – U of M getting completely owned by MSU.
Coats and Brooks honor heroes
Senator Dan Coats (r-IN) and Representative Susan Brooks (R-N 5) announced their intention to author legislation that would allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to remove veterans from national cemeteries if they committed capital crimes. This comes in the wake of an Indianapolis woman (Alicia Dawn Koehl) was murdered by a veteran (Michael LeShawn Anderson). After murdering Koehl, Anderson committed suicide and was buried – with full honors – in Fort Custer National Cemetery near Kalamazoo, Michigan.
While federal law prohibits burying veterans who have committed such crimes, once they are buried (by mistake or otherwise) nothing can be done about it. Brooks and Coats are hoping to change that with their legislation though.
While some may feel that this is just more minor legislation coming from DC, such is not the case. Veteran cemeteries honor America’s greatest heroes. Men and women who have given their life in defense of this nation and freedom should not have their memories desecrated by criminals who dishonor the American flag.
Bayh remains in the picture
Former Indiana Governor and US senator Evans Bayh joined the chorus of those calling for the delay of the ACA (aka Obamacare). Of course, the difference is that Bayh is a Democrat. Bayh voted for the ACA while he was in the Senate (before he was against it – to borrow from John Kerry).
He is now coming out with a much more centrist position on the measure, stating that is should be delayed until all of the many kinks can be worked out.
His comments, in addition to the incredibly short bench the Hoosier Democrats have, are reasons why Bayh remains a popular name for both governor and senator in 2016. The smart money is on governor though, as he continues to complain about dysfunction in DC (yeah, he is not the only one) and he, somewhat surprisingly, opted not to run for re-election to the Senate in 2010. Bayh still has a VERY loaded war chest, almost $10 million according to this report.
Indy Mayor takes the Mitch Daniels approach
Recently, Mayor Greg Ballard of Indianapolis stated that he will be drafting a resolution for the City-County Council that asks the State Legislature to drop their proposed Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage.
One of the reasons as to why he is doing this seems to be taken right out of the Mitch Daniels playbook. He feels there are much more pressing issues at hand such as economic development and job creation. Additionally, he doesn’t think that this is an issue that government should really be involved in (so he ironically leads his government into the discussion through the resolution he is drafting).
This is very likely going to be a very hot-button issue within Indiana throughout 2014. It will start the year in the legislature and could possibly define the session and it could end the year at the polls, possibly ending the careers of some politicians along the way.