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Monday, March 03, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - So who pledged "campaign cash to protect House members who were considering voting against a constitutional gay marriage ban"?

It turns out it was a former Republican party chairman. Tom LoBianco of the AP has the story today. Some quotes:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Republican Party chairman's pledge to provide campaign cash to protect House members who were considering voting against a constitutional gay marriage ban offers a rare look at the private power game that plays out on tough issues at the Statehouse.

Jim Kittle offered "unlimited" campaign help to House Speaker Brian Bosma as part of a push to defeat the proposed amendment, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the discussion. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to disclose the private discussions.

Kittle withdrew his offer after Bosma questioned its legality, and it turns out the money wasn't needed after all. Only four House Republicans targeted by ban supporters face primary challenges, and changes to the proposed amendment's language will keep the issue off the ballot until at least 2016. But the back-room intrigue illustrates how election-year politics and campaign dollars shape some of the state's most important decisions. * * *

Bosma first announced an offer of campaign dollars in a January news conference but did not identify the potential contributor.

"I received a pledge of unlimited campaign funding if I were to make this issue go away," Bosma announced.

Bosma said he rejected the offer and expressed concern that it might have violated state or federal law. He has worn his decision as a badge of pride throughout the session, telling reporters he does not bow to threats or intimidation.

Bosma told The Associated Press last week that he didn't think the offer constituted a crime. But the speaker, who has never said Kittle made the offer, acknowledged voicing some concerns.

"I did bring to that individual's attention what it sounded like he was saying and I think he was pretty concerned about it after he said it," Bosma said.

Kittle did not return calls seeking comment.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2014 09:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Government