Fundraiser to honor former State Senator Connie Sipes
NEW ALBANY, August 13, 2022 – The Ninth District Democratic Party, in conjunction with the 141st Indiana Democratic Editorial Association (I.D.E.A.) convention, has announced it will host its annual Lee H. Hamilton Dinner on Saturday, August 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the French Lick Springs Resort Hotel, 8670 West Highway 56, in French Lick, Indiana.
As a centerpiece of the event, former State Senator Connie Sipes will be honored as the recipient of the 2022 Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Award. Named in honor of former Ninth District Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, this award recognizes individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to public service and the Democratic Party.
“Connie Sipes as spent her life’s work helping and building up others in her community and throughout Indiana,” stated District Chair Adam Dickey. “Beginning with her commitment to children and public education as a teacher and principal, carrying forward through her fourteen years of service in the State Senate, and continuing today as a civic leader and activist, few come close to her level of dedication to the well-being of others.”
Sipes, who taught and served as a public-school principal in the New Albany Floyd County School Corporation, was appointed as State Senator in 1997 and won election to three full terms in the General Assembly until 2011 representing Clark and Floyd Counties. Rising to the rank of State Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, Connie was known for her ability to bring members together and bridge difficult and complex issues. As State Senator, she was committed to the well-being of Hoosiers and particularly Indiana’s youth. She served as a member of the Indiana Commission on Autism, the Committee on Childcare, and the Commission on Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities, and fought for early childhood education programs and funding to enhance education opportunities. She also championed affordable health care working to develop state programs to reduce the number of uninsured Hoosiers and improve Medicaid programs.
After leaving public office in 2011, Sipes continued to play a role in civic affairs and politics. She is a Southern Indiana Tourism Board member and previously served as a member of the Ivy Tech Sellersburg Regional Advisory Committee and as a Board member for Lifespan. She has served on several candidate campaign committees and mentored several Democratic candidates for public office, including Floyd County Judge Maria Granger, Floyd County Councilman Tony Toran, New Albany Floyd County School Board Member Vivian Elaine Murphy, and State House candidate Heidi Sellers, among others. Sipes also serves as the Assistance Vice Chair for the Floyd County Democratic Women’s Caucus,
“Connie is remarkably humble about her accomplishment and reflects the spirit of our party and the Lee H. Hamilton Award,” added Dickey. “It has never been about herself or her own ego but rather what she could accomplish for others. We need more individuals in government and community service with that same attitude today.”
Those interested in attending the Lee H. Hamilton Dinner can learn more by contacting party headquarters at 812-725-2018 or online at www.ninthdistrictdems.org. Tickets for the event are $60 each and must be reserved by August 19th.
NEW ALBANY, August 12, 2022 – Monday, in Jeffersonville, Ninth District Vice Chair Linda Lawson, along with representatives from the Clark County Democratic Party, will hold a Press Conference to address the mismanagement of the Clark County Jail resulting in the alleged sexual assault of 28 female inmates at the facility.
WHAT: Press Conference on Clark Co. Jail Mismanagement
WHEN: Monday, August 15, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Clark County Courthouse
Court Avenue Plaza
501 E. Court Avenue
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Democrats believe that the Clark County Sheriff’s office and the Clark County Jail are in critical crisis. Lawson, a 24-year law enforcement veteran who was a member of the sex crimes and domestic violence division, and other speakers will discuss the allegations and call for additional actions to address the mismanagement.
NEW ALBANY, February 1, 2022 - The Indiana Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey released the following statement regarding the announcement of J. Michael Davisson 9th District Congressional candidacy:
“While it’s certainly intriguing to see a public official with less than four months of appointed experience announce his run for Congress, J. Michael Davisson’s campaign is solely based on an agenda Indiana Democrats and President Joe Biden have delivered on for Hoosier families. The American Rescue Plan and the Jobs Act is creating union jobs, expanding broadband internet, revitalizing our infrastructure, and raising property values across Indiana – and folks like Davisson view these investment as ‘socialism’. Indiana Republicans like Davisson appear to care more about their dangerous culture wars than actually creating a better future for the Hoosier state.”
NEW ALBANY, September 14, 2021 - The Indiana Ninth District Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey released the following statement following the release of Indiana Congressional District and State House legislative maps:
“Hoosier spoke out loudly in August demanding a fair, transparent process that allows the citizens of our state to have a clear voice in determining the new lines for our legislative districts. Yet, the Indiana GOP, pushed by their Washington D.C. consultant, seem intent on ignoring these public demands and are moving forward with a process that doesn’t provide adequate opportunity for public discussion. Their process, featuring maps crafted in darkness, reeks of gerrymandering and only serves the GOP’s self-interest.
“It is our fundamental position that voters should choose their legislators, not legislators choosing their voters. These maps will impact the overall growth and development of our state for the next decade. Every Hoosier deserves to live within a fairly drawn district that ensures a strong democratic choice and quality representation. Our Party will continue to advocate for this principle and welcome those who share this goal.”
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.”