AFAIN: Court Says “No” to Governor; Covid & Education

“There’s the Wind Up . . . the Pitch . . . a Swing and a Miss”

In a telling move, last week, Governor Eric Holcomb asked the Indiana Supreme Court to affirm his desire to name a replacement for the office of Attorney General.  This request came after the court issued a mild rebuke to Curtis Hill for an alleged incident at a legislative party in a crowded bar.

As I explained last week, the court was pretty clear that it did not want to harm the Attorney General’s career or to make this an action that could be used for political gain.  Had they wanted to remove Hill from office, and allow the Governor to name a replacement, they would have removed his license for more than 30 days and not automatically reinstated it.  (That actually was the recommendation made to the court by a former Supreme Court Justice, but the court clearly thought it was an excessive punishment.   They cut it in half and made sure it had no real effect on Hill’s ability to lead the office.)

It should have not been a surprise to anyone when on Monday the court, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, refused to say that the Governor could replace Hill.

The Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and to a lesser extent, the Governor, have been looking for ways to remove Hill from office.  Last week, the Chairman was on WOWO radio in Ft. Wayne and was asked if the party leadership would support Hill in November, (if party delegates nominate him in June).  He said it wasn’t likely.

In other words, the head of the Republican party would rather hand the office over to either of two Democrats who oppose every policy issue in the Republican Party Platform, than to help Curtis Hill win.   (Even Hill’s Republican opponents running for the convention nomination will say that he has had a strong policy record as Attorney General that they intend to follow.)  

This exemplifies a complaint I often hear from the grassroots:  Democrat party leaders are thoroughly committed ideologues.  Whereas, Republican party leaders are jetsetters in a club.   (The Democrats have a candidate in Joe Biden who undeniably, and without question, has groped multiple women on camera, and they don’t care.  They know that politics isn’t about appearances, it is about winning an ideological war. They think Biden can get the black vote that Bernie Sanders couldn’t.  They need that voting block to win so they can implement their agenda. It is that simple.)

In 2016 Curtis Hill received a record setting 1.6 million votes, winning 62% of the vote, and becoming the first African-American to serve as Attorney General in Indiana.  President Trump won Indiana with 56%. Governor Holcomb won with 51%.

A Partisan Divide is Growing Over Covid-19

The public response to the coronavirus outbreak was initially not very partisan. Americans were worried and they rallied behind leaders in Washington as the world grappled with this new threat.  However, as the crisis went from a few weeks of quarantine to two months, the crisis became increasingly controversial and views began to change.

According to daily polling by Morning Consult 73% of Democrats are currently “very” concerned about the outbreak.  This is a feeling that is 30-points higher among Democrats than Republicans, only 43% of whom are still very concerned.   In late March the gap was half what it is now between Democrats and Republicans – (76% to 61%).

Another large gap exists concerning the economic harm caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns.  While more than half (55%) of Republican say that they are now more concerned about the economic impacts than the health impacts of the outbreak, only 16% of Democrats feel this way.

Republicans are diametrically opposed on President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.  He is minus 73 for Democrat voters.  He has a 72% approval among Republicans.

Morning Consult also found that Republican voters are roughly twice as likely to say that they would feel comfortable attending a political rally in the next six months than Democrats based upon what they know about COVID-19.    Republicans and Independents are significantly more confident about the United States’ ability to handle a second wave of Coronavirus than are Democrats in terms of both economic and health impacts.

COVID’s Impact on Education Views

About 55 million students in America have been disrupted by the Coronavirus. Schools all across the nation have closed and children sent home to learn through online education tools. Some states are considering staying closed in the fall or doing a hybrid of home and brick and mortar schooling.

How has this dramatic change impacted views about education?

A new RealClear Opinion Research poll of registered voters finds a big increase in parents who might home school their children after the pandemic ends, and many more are supportive of having more educational choices.

The poll finds that 40% of families are more likely to use homeschooling or virtual school after lockdown restrictions are lifted.  Two-thirds of parents support having the choice of a public, home, or private school.

Interestingly, among those who said that they would be more likely to choose home or virtual education, 53% were Asian parents, 50% were African-American and 36% where white.

Among the 64% who support having a choice of public or private education, 75% were Republicans, and 69% lived in urban areas.  Seven-in-ten support a government funded scholarship or a tool like a voucher for school choice.

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In Their Own Words:

“Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.”  – Daniel Webster, October 5, 1840


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