‘Hyperactive’ lobbying effort on hate crimes sidelined in EuropeF
INDIANAPOLIS – Just days after saying he’d be ‘hyperactive’ lobbying for a complete hate crimes law, freshman Governor Eric Holcomb is winging his way to Europe on an international junket in the midst of the legislative session. It’s a head-scratching move from a governor who admitted to being caught off guard by Senate Republicans’ backroom maneuver to gut a proposal he supported. Since the governor is out-of-state, let’s chronicle some missed opportunities back home in Indiana in what we’re calling: Where in the World is Gov. Holcomb?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Governor Holcomb is in Indiana, ready to lead and barnstorm the state in support of a complete hate crimes law. Here’s a Euro-inspired lawmaker lobbying list.
Napoleon and Versailles Indiana – House District 67: Napoleon Bonaparte was 5ft, 2in tall. Holcomb is taller. That shouldn’t stop him from having a face-to-face conversation with Rep. Randy Frye on the need to pass an enumerated hate crimes law.
New Paris, Indiana – House District 22: In Indiana’s city of lights, Rep. Curt Nisly is going to need a lot of arm-twisting from Governor Holcomb to get on board.
Westphalia, Indiana – House District 45: Gov. Holcomb might need a peace treaty to get Rep. Bruce Borders behind a hate crimes law but a little in-districting lobbying might go a long way, right?
Frankfort, Indiana – House District 38: Frankfurt, Germany is home to the European Central Bank. It might not be nearly $20,000 in lobbyist gifts and freebies, but a heart-to-heart with Governor Holcomb might be all it takes to get Rep. Heath VanAtter on board with a complete hate crimes bill.
Waterloo, Indiana – House District 52: At the Battle of Waterloo, two forces united to defeat Napoleon. Perhaps Gov Holcomb could find a partner in NE Indiana to remind Rep. Ben Smaltz of how important a complete hate crimes law is?
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned Holcomb’s decision to jet set to Europe rather than apply political pressure to skeptical members of his own party.
“Hoosiers might be a little confused by Holcomb’s decision,” said Zody. “It will be awfully hard to barnstorm legislators’ districts when you’re closer to the Palace of Versailles than Versailles, Indiana. If Holcomb was serious about leading on hate crimes, he probably shouldn’t have jetted off to Europe.”