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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Wine Wins Commonwealth’s Attorney Race

Former Judge Thomas Wine has won the four-way Democratic primary to be Jefferson County’s newest Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Wine beat out Carol Cobb, Steve Ryan and Tom Van De Rostyne by more than 2,000 votes. Because no Republican is vying for the seat, Wine is expected to be the first new attorney in the top prosecutor’s office in 15 years.

Wine says his experience as a circuit court judge and appeals court judge played a role in his victory. Current Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel is retiring.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Tea Party Candidate Defeats Incumbent Jon Ackerson In Metro Council Upset

Tea Party challenger Marilyn Parker defeated incumbent Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson in a tight Republican primary in the 18th Council District.

The contest caught observers’ attention after most GOP council members endorsed Parker over Ackerson, claiming the incumbent sided with Democrats in key debates. Ackerson led most of the night Tuesday, but final counts showed Parker beating the incumbent by 37 votes.

Parker will face Democrat Teague Ridge in the fall campaign, but the district is heavily Republican, making Parker the early favorite in the general election.

Parker says she wants to see major cuts to council discretionary spending and tighter ethics rules.

“One of the first things that I would like to address is the slush funds since we have a $20 million budget shortfall right now. I would like to address the slush funds, the discretionary spending that each council member has at their disposal,” she says.

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AG: Election Fraud Complaints Up From Last Year

From Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

Calls to the state attorney general’s election fraud hotline have been running higher than a year ago. By mid-afternoon, 16 complaints had been received. That compares with a total a six complaints made during the 2011 primary. Spokeswoman Shelly Catharine Johnson says during the last presidential primary in 2008, the hotline received 59 calls.

“We like to think that our election oversight and enforcement and working in conjunction with other multiple agencies including the secretary of state’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s office, we’d like to think that our efforts are paying off.”

Johnson says all calls will be reviewed by officials in the attorney general’s office and could be referred to law enforcement.

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Local News Politics

Tuesday is Primary Election Day in Indiana

The Indiana primary is tomorrow, as Hoosiers will select their major party nominees for federal, state and local offices.

Floyd County Clerk Linda Moeller says early voting has been light. She’s predicting a local election day turnout of about 25 percent.

“Anything to do with politics, you know, 12 to 24 hours is a lifetime, sometimes things can change overnight and spark interest sometimes. But if the voter turnout that’s been in this office is an indicator, I think the voting on election day will be light,” she said.

Moeller says voter interest will pick up in the fall, with the presidential election topping the ballot.

Today at noon is the deadline for early voters to cast their ballots in Indiana.

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District GOP Chair is Indiana’s Newest Indiana State Senator

The chairman of the Republican Party in Indiana’s 4th legislative district has been sworn in as the newest member of the state Senate.

Peter Miller was chosen to fill the seat formerly held by Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

Republicans in the district west of Indianapolis still need to select a candidate to replace Lawson on the general election ballot.

Governor Mitch Daniels chose Lawson to serve out the term of former Secretary of State Charlie White, who was forced out of office following his convictions on vote fraud and other charges.

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Gov. Mitch Daniels Endorses Romney

From the Associated Press

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is endorsing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Daniels, once thought to be considering a presidential run of his own, says he’ll do whatever he’s asked to help the former Massachusetts governor defeat President Barack Obama.

Daniels consistently declined to endorse Romney before his lock on the GOP nomination was secure. He’s also mentioned as a possible choice for vice president.

The Romney campaign initiated that search this week.

Prior to his election as Indiana governor, Daniels served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush’s administration. He’s also a former advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Deadline for Independent Candidates Approaching

The Kentucky Secretary of State’s office is reminding those seeking to run for partisan offices as independents that they must file paperwork by next Monday.

Individuals must file statement-of-candidacy forms on April 2 in order to be on the ballot for the fall election.

Secretary of state spokeswoman Lynn Sowards Zellen says there is no fee to file this round of paperwork, and it’s hard to tell at this time if independents are flocking to run this year.

“We have had certainly some people call interested in obtaining the statement-of-candidacy form, but the form is also available online so we can’t really predict how many people will have filed through this method,” she says.

Independents also have to file petitions of nomination in August. The petitions carry a $200 filing fee. Candidates for federal offices, nonpartisan offices, and certain city offices are exempt from the requirement.

Zellen says independent candidates and groups should contact the secretary of state’s office or their local county clerk for the proper paperwork.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Scott Brown: I Don’t Owe McConnell Anything

In an interview with Esquire, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Ma., gave a terse answer when asked about his working relationship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who spearheads the Republican agenda.

In a GOP where northeastern moderates are abandoning the party in protest, Brown is running as a “good guy” while seeking re-election in the closely watched race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren for Ted Kennedy’s old seat. The moderate Republican lawmaker gained fame as a Tea Party candidate two years ago, but he’s been decidedly moderate and recently praised his opponent in a new radio ad.

When asked how his moderate streak compares with McConnell’s leadership, Brown got snippy.

From Esquire:

So I sat down with Brown and had a superficial conversation until the end, when I said he didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would take orders from hard-right Republicans like Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican caucus in the Senate.

“I don’t owe Mitch McConnell anything,” Brown snapped.

Sore spot? Please go on.

Unfortunately the Massachusetts Republican did not elaborate and left the rumors and innuendo to fester about whether the comment is a true feeling or a maneuver to show he’s even more moderate than observers have credited. Others have pointed out if Brown wins re-election it would certainly improve McConnell’s chances of ascending to Senate majority leader.

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Pence Launching Indiana “Listening” Tour

From the Associated Press:

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is beginning a statewide “listening” tour as Hoosiers wait to hear more specific ideas from the Republican gubernatorial hopeful.    

Pence (right) is set to crisscross the state Thursday and Friday, stopping at Indiana businesses to talk with workers. He has previously said he would lay out his agenda after state lawmakers ended their 2012 session. They finished their work last week.

Pence has already said he wants to cut the state’s sales and income taxes. He also has proposed expanding the state’s charter school and school voucher programs.

Democratic candidate John Gregg (left) has said he wants to bring windmill manufacturing to  Indiana and focus on rebuilding the state’s roads. Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham (right)  is pushing a “welfare-to-work” program and the creation of a merit-based pay scale for state workers.

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“Right-to-Work” Passions Linger as Daniels Holds Jeffersonville Town Hall

Indiana’s recently-passed “right-to-work” bill was still on the minds of many Jeffersonville residents when Governor Mitch Daniels visited this evening for a town hall meeting and book signing at the public library.

About two dozen union protestors stood outside the library holding signs during Daniels’ talk, which was briefly disrupted by chants that could be heard through a nearby window.

During a question and answer session, Daniels defended the Republican-led legislation, which he says will spur job growth. Labor unions say it will drive down wages and diminish work quality.

On another matter, Daniels said he’s comfortable with his decision not to run for president.

“Having been through this for quite a long time, it’s kind of funny to me that you should have to explain why you don’t want to run for President of the United States. I’m tempted to say ‘what sensible person would want to run for president?’” he said.

Daniels decided last year not to seek the GOP nomination after consulting with his family.