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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ind. Gov't. - "Indiana House boycott new twist in long rivalry" [Updated]

Tom Davies of the AP has a great, long story, here today in the Lafayette Journal Courier. A few quotes:

The rival leaders are a political odd couple who share a long history.

Bauer, of South Bend, became a legislator in 1970 and has seemingly delighted in being a foil to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who after a 2005 Democratic one-day walkout called Bauer a "throwback politician" whose party members had "car bombed" the legislative process.

Bosma, of Indianapolis, is the son of a state senator who joined the House in 1986 and led minority Republicans in paralyzing action for a week in 2004 with boycotts in protest of a "tyranny of the majority" under then-Speaker Bauer.

Bosma, a dapper dresser who is well over 6 feet tall, and Bauer, frequently rumpled with an often-parodied toupee who is closer to 5 feet tall, have traded control of the speaker's gavel over much of the past decade - with Bauer leading the chamber for six years and Bosma in his third year.

The must-read story describes four previous House walkouts involving the two leaders.

[Updated at 4:30 pm]
Well, now I've located an earlier story by Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, headed "This exodus isn't first or most colorful." I referenced it here on Thursday. Some quotes:
The most recent walkout was in 2005 when House Democrats refused to leave caucus in a squabble over a variety of issues, including a voter identification bill. More than 130 bills died in the one-day event that Gov. Mitch Daniels famously called an "11th-hour car bombing."

Back in 2001, it was House Republicans who refused to come to the floor for three days because of concerns over new legislative boundaries. No bills were killed, though.

Before that, House Democrats abandoned the Statehouse for about two weeks in 1995 over another redistricting squabble.

That walkout came when Republicans tried to reduce the number of House seats from 100 to 99 and redraw the districts. They contended it was to avoid confusion and difficulty in the case of a split chamber.

But Democrats, buoyed by legal opinions and favorable news coverage, stayed away saying the move was unconstitutional because redistricting can be done only after a census or a under a court order.

Kelly does not mention one (non-redistricting) walkout cited in today's AP story:
In 2004, Republicans blocked action for a week by staying off the floor because then-Speaker Bauer refused to let a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage even be debated. Republicans won a 52-48 majority in the 2004 election that also saw Daniels win the governor's office.
But Kelly's story continues:
Perhaps Indiana's most spectacular party bolt took place in 1925 when Senate Republicans tried to alter the congressional districts.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 26, 2011 03:53 PM
Posted to Indiana Government