The Indiana GOP continues pattern of profound moral corruption
By Adam Dickey, District Chair
This past Thursday our State House descended into a scene that could have easily been lifted from the history books. White legislators booing and shouting down black legislators who rose to speak in opposition to a bill they saw as discriminatory. The majority was unmistakably trying to silence them into submission. The outrage that ensued spread outside the chamber and threaten physical violence between members.
There is no doubt much could be said about the members who booed and shouted down their colleagues. Their actions speak volumes to who they are and what they believe, and it was a miscarriage of their duty as representatives to ignore and summarily dismiss the perspective of others. Admonishment of these individuals is wholly necessary and appropriate as is the need to better educate the members of the General Assembly itself to the realities and history of racism and discrimination.
What is missing in the legislature and from the Republican leadership, is the voice of the individual who speaks to what is right and just. By all accounts, no member of the all-white majority rose to quell the disrespect. The speaker himself failed to control his members and the chamber. This scene and the complicit nature of those that should have stood against such conduct, underlines the moral corruption infecting the General Assembly.
This disease is evident not just in this moment of tension but pervades throughout the session’s work. Under Republican supermajority status, the legislature has become a lawless, unruly rabble that elevates itself above its citizens, usurps the ability of local communities to govern their own affairs, punishes opponents with impunity, and endangers our entire society for its own selfish interests. Nightly reports of the conduct of these legislative members reads more of a drunken college party than a responsible governing body.
For all of us that look at this in utter disappointment and disgust, we must resolve to do what is right. We must hold the system itself accountable for enabling and permitting this behavior. We must ensure that we do not elevate the voice of the infected by creating a stage for them to spew their bias and bigotry. We must shine light into the shadows where they conduct their dealings. We must resolve to cure the cancer before it consumes what remains of the body.
Reform has never been so essential in Indiana or with its legislature. What is required are individuals willing to do right regardless of the challenge or the cost.
The Indiana GOP continues pattern of profound moral corruption ending the week in racism on the floor of the State House chamber
We know we can't trust the Indiana Republican Party when it comes to governing our State. Their leadership has mismanaged the pandemic, undermined public education, and worked to erode safety nets for Hoosiers in need.
Yet, this week Republicans took it to a new level and illustrated the extent of the moral corruption in their party. Here are the headlines:
February 13, 2021: U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young voted to acquit former U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection against the United States of America.
February 14, 2021: Attorney General Todd Rokita posted a Valentine peddling the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump.
February 16, 2021: News reports discovered Todd Rokita kept his job with Apex Benefits, creating a conflict of interest for the Attorney General.
February 17, 2021: Despite recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Governor Holcomb still refused to make teachers a priority for a COVID-19 vaccine.
February 17, 2021: The Indiana Republican Party supermajority voted to override Gov. Holcomb’s veto on landlord-tenant rights, opening the door to future evictions...during a pandemic.
February 17, 2021: U.S. Senator Mike Braun announced he was against raising the minimum wage and providing 892,000 Hoosiers a pathway to a livable wage.
February 17, 2021: Floyd Commissioners oppose own party on state control of solar, wind energy projects.
February 18, 2021: Members of the INGOP supermajority shouted down and silenced Indiana’s Black elected leaders who spoke out against discrimination in legislation.
February 18, 2021: John Krull column: Todd Rokita tries out his act following the Trump pattern of pushing big lies.
February 19, 2021: Black Indiana lawmakers face Republican boos in debate
February 20, 2021: John Krull: Lawmakers behaving badly, again
The headlines send a clear message. The GOP in Indiana is out of control and can't be trusted.
NEW ALBANY, January 19, 2021 – The Indiana Ninth Congressional District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey released the following tonight’s State of the State Address by Governor Holcomb:
“Tonight, Governor Holcomb played the part of wizard painting a fanciful picture of Indiana. The truth is there is little of it in the reality behind the curtain. Our state remains in the grips of a pandemic that could have been made better had the governor taken firmer action to control it. He refuses to acknowledge that Indiana is losing ‘good jobs’ while continuing to peddle old policies as if they were innovative new proposals. Perhaps most fundamentally, he has failed to keep his word to educators across our state – individuals who have gone to extraordinary measures to teach our children during the pandemic – by failing to address teacher pay in his legislative proposals. Hoosiers want a governor they can trust, not another smoke and mirror show.”
By District Chair Adam Dickey
In March, Governor Eric Holcomb made a profound statement as the Coronavirus continued to descend on Indiana: "As citizens we all have a right to elect our leaders in a free and open and, of course, a safe environment." Moments later he announced with political leaders an agreement between the parties to allow “no excuse” absentee voting to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Over 500,000 Hoosiers of all political stripes utilized this opportunity to cast their vote by mail in the June primary election.
Now, new daily cases are four to five times higher than when Holcomb made his pronouncement. But today, Holcomb’s tune has changed. He’s refusing to expand vote by mail to every Hoosier, even as the virus spreads and nearly 3,000 Hoosiers have lost their lives.
That notion may have applied if the health crisis had abated. It hasn’t. In fact, it’s worse. Businesses are limiting customers, are on modified hours, and require employees to undergo health screenings. Government bodies are meeting by video conference and both national political party conventions will be held virtually. The Indiana Election Commission, the body charged with overseeing the state’s elections, meets via video link. Many Hoosier continue to shelter at home or limit their personal contacts out of a genuine concern for contracting the virus and the impact it can have on their health or the health of others in their families.
An in-person election means an increase in the transmission of COVID-19. I genuinely worry about the many election workers who will be required to work 12 hours on Election Day in an enclosed space while interacting with hundreds of people throughout the course of the day.
Some have suggested that the Governor could act later if this pandemic worsens. However, this notion forgets the administrative process and time required to order absentee ballots, process them via U.S. mail, and ensure voters return them by Election Day. You don’t start training for a marathon the day before the race. The window to act in now, not October.
There is no reason why anyone should have to risk their life to exercise their constitutional right to vote. For generations, Hoosier common sense has been a defining aspect of our state character. That same common sense tells us that providing for “no excuse” absentee voting only enhances our system in this pandemic and may well save lives.
Governor Holcomb, it is time to meet the promise you proclaimed in March. Let every Hoosier have their right to elect our leaders in a free, open, and safe environment.
Ninth District Democratic Party Chair’s Statement on Vauhxx Booker Assault
NEW ALBANY, July 6, 2020 – The Indiana Ninth Congressional District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey released the following statement regarding the assault of Vauhxx Booker:
“Early this morning I was shocked and horrified to learned of a senseless assault against Mr. Vauhxx Booker near Lake Monroe over the weekend. Let there be no mistake – Mr. Booker was attacked for no other reason than the color of his skin. This was a hate crime.
“This attack shocks our collective conscience and cries out for justice. It is an example of the racism that is ever prevalent in our nation, in our own communities, and a further example of the flaws and failures in our system to appropriately address it. It illustrates the need for meaningful, comprehensive hate crimes legislation; for policy reforms that reshape our criminal justice processes and implement the IBLC reforms; and for enhanced training protocols that root out racism in our law enforcement and enable good officers to fairly enact the law.
“There can be no place for the hateful, belligerent conduct witnessed this weekend. I am urging our law enforcement community, including our local Prosecutor, to take swift action in investigating this incident and bringing charges against all the perpetrators.
“It is time our society change. We must all join in unequivocally denouncing racism and white supremacy where we see it. We must show our commitment to the values of equality by implement a system that enables all our citizens to enjoy it. It is not enough to demand justice in this incident, but to demand it in all incidents. An offense like this against one of us, is an offense against all of us.”
Dickey: Are these the values of the Indiana Republican Party
NEW ALBANY, May 12, 2020 – Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey made the following statement in response to a racist social media post made by State Representative Jim Lucas:
“Hoosiers have every right to be horrified and outraged by State Representative Jim Lucas’ social media post and subsequent exchanges. We see on full display the despicable nature of racism and its corrosion on government. We see the hate and division being sowed by a man entrusted to represent all citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity.
“To Speaker Huston and Governor Holcomb, I ask if these are the values of the Indiana Republican Party? Is this the proper behavior of a State Representative? Are you going to tolerate outright racism from your party members? This is not the first time Jim Lucas has made racist or other offensive comments. When will you take action?
“Silence is deafening just as much as it is defining. Its time for Representative Jim Lucas to resign. In his own words, ‘This is not my first racist rodeo.’ Enough is enough – citizens in District 69 deserve better.”
Myers – Lawson ticket brings together public health with public safety
NEW ALBANY, May 8, 2020 – Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey made the following statement in response to the nomination of former State Representative Linda Lawson as the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor:
“With the addition of former State Representative Linda Lawson, the Democratic ticket brings together public health and public safety at a critical moment in Indiana’s history,” stated Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey. “A twenty-four-year veteran of the Hammond Police Department, Chairwoman of the Indiana House Judiciary Committee and the first female Democratic House Leader, she brings gritty, real life experience to take Indiana to the next level.”
Lawson was the first woman to ever lead a caucus in the Indiana House when she was chosen as Democratic Leader in 2012. She also broke barriers by becoming the first female police officer on the Hammond Police Department and rising to the rank of captain after serving as a patrol officer and member of the sex crimes and domestic violence units. She also served12 years on the Hammond School Board. Lawson moved to Brown County after retiring from the legislature and the police department and has been active in politics at the county and district level.
“In selecting Linda Lawson for the Democratic ticket, Woody Myers has reshaped the Gubernatorial race,” added Dickey. “Hoosiers can depend upon their leadership to bring Indiana back from the economic fallout of the coronavirus put our state on the path to new growth and prosperity.”
Lawson’s selection will be voted on by delegates at the Indiana Democratic Convention which will be held virtually on June 13.
Congressman’s message of “back to work” conflicts with Governor data driven approach
NEW ALBANY, April 14, 2020 – Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey released the following statement following comments made by Congressman Trey Hollingsworth in an interview with Tony Katz of 93.1 WIBC radio:
“In the midst of a public health pandemic in which literally the compliance of one individual to observe social distancing and the Governor’s stay-at-home order can make the difference between the life and death of countless individuals, Trey Hollingsworth has once again illustrated his disregard for the wellbeing of the very Hoosiers he’s entrusted to represent. In direct conflict with Governor Holcomb’s decision making ‘driven by data, not just hope,’ Hollingsworth fails to appreciate that just one day ago, Indiana’s health experts predicted a surge of new Cornoavirus cases in early May.
Hollingsworth’s judgement is clearly out-of-touch with Hoosier values. Choosing economic gain over human life in a pandemic isn’t the lesser of two evils – it’s reckless disregard for all human life.
The Ninth District Democratic Committee, representing each of its 13 county parties and party leadership, released the following statement on the Candidacy of Mark Powell:
“The Democratic Party has always viewed an individual’s candidacy for public office as a distinct privilege that requires our party’s candidates to represent the highest standards of integrity and ethics in the conduct of political campaigns. We expect candidates to support and articulate policies that reflect our party’s platform and achieve our collective goals. We stipulate that our candidates act in a manner which respects the diverse viewpoints encompassing our communities, regardless of an individual’s political affiliation, personal beliefs, race, ethnicity, orientation or other identifiers.
Recent conduct undertaken by Ninth District Congressional Candidate Mark Powell, including the use of stereotypes, racial or ethnic epithets, and derogatory and demeaning rhetoric, is unreconcilable with our party’s standards and values. Having communicated the unacceptable nature of this behavior and witnessing no change in conduct, our Ninth District Democratic Committee has unanimously voted to disavow the candidacy of Mark Powell and withhold all party support and services for his campaign.
Our committee appreciates that our district requires an individual with grit, tenacity, and strong leadership to represent us in the United States Congress. We are fortunate to have primary candidates who reflect these characteristics. We urge our Democratic Party primary voters to seek out these candidates, engage openly and respectfully together, and unite behind a goal of building a better America for all of us.”