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Indiana's Anti-gay Gov. Mike Pence Passes on 2016 White House Bid to Focus on Re-election


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who ignited a firestorm earlier this year after signing a controversial "religious freedom" bill into law, is passing on a 2016 White House bid to focus on his re-election efforts, CNN reports

"Gov. Mike Pence is a conservative leader and dedicated public servant who always puts Indiana first," Indiana GOP Chairman Jeff Cardwell said in a statement. "We are excited the governor will formally announce his plans to seek re-election during our annual Spring Dinner, and we look forward to hearing his ideas for the future of our great state."

That pegs his announcement for mid-June, when Indiana Republicans gather for their annual fundraising dinner.

The AP notes Pence's unpopularity could "make him the first sitting governor to face a serious primary challenge since the state adopted the system in the 1970s."

Two wealthy Republican businessmen are already talking about launching or supporting challenges to Pence. If they follow through, the race could expose the depth of GOP turmoil caused by this year's debates over similar religious initiatives in states such as Indiana, Arkansas and Louisiana.

OesterleOne of these "wealthy Republican businessmen" is former Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle (right), who stepped down last month and pledged to re-enter politics in an effort to help fix Indiana's "badly damaged" reputation following the firestorm over the state's "religious freedom" law.

Oesterle, a former supporter of Pence, was one of the first major Indiana-based business leaders to join the corporate backlash against the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He was also one of the first (and remains one of the few) business leaders to reject the so-called "fix" to the state's law, calling it"insufficient" to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The other buisnessman is Indianaapolis auto dealership owner Bob Thomas. 

The AP adds:

Two Democrats have already announced candidacies for their party's 2016 nomination, including former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, who narrowly lost to Pence in the 2012 gubernatorial election. Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who has clashed repeatedly with Pence on education policy, could also enter the mix.

HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.

Angie's List CEO Resigns, Announces Plans to Re-Enter Politics to Fix Indiana's 'Badly Damaged' Reputation

Angie's list

Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle has announced he is stepping down as CEO and will re-enter politics in an effort to help fix Indiana's "badly damaged" reputation following the firestorm over the state's "religious freedom" law.

OesterleOesterle, a Republican and former supporter of Gov. Mike Pence, was one of the first major Indiana-based business leaders to join the corporate backlash against the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He was also one of the first (and remains one of the few) business leaders to reject the so-called "fix" to the state's law, calling it "insufficient" to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals. 

The Indianapolis Star reports:

Indiana's public image "took a shellacking" after passage of RFRA spurred widespread criticism from gay rights groups, much of the business community and others, Oesterle said. "Indiana was under significant duress and went through a heartbreaking situation."

Oesterle's announcement amounts to "an announcement of trying to unseat a governor," said Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics. "If you think about the individual positions that could have made a difference about this (RFRA), that's only one, that's the governor."

"That is somebody who is saying either he is running for governor or is looking for somebody to run for governor," Downs said of Oesterle.

Oesterle, a West Lafayette native and former trustee at Purdue University, said he hasn't decided whether he wants to run as a candidate or support someone else. In 2004, Oesterle took a leave from Angie's to manage [two-term Gov. Mitch] Daniels' first campaign, which raised a record $18 million for an Indiana gubernatorial race and unseated a sitting governor, Democrat Joe Kernan.

Gov. Pence is up for reelection in 2016.

Read the Angie's List press release announcing Oesterle's departure, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Angie's List CEO Resigns, Announces Plans to Re-Enter Politics to Fix Indiana's 'Badly Damaged' Reputation" »

Indiana House GOP Rejects LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill; Pence Claims 'Difficult Time' for State is Over

A bill that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to Indiana's civil rights law in education, employment, and housing was rejected by House Republicans yesterday, the AP reports.

M_penceIn related news, Governor Mike Pence declared the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy to be over, the Indy Star reports:

"I think the difficult time that Indiana just passed through two weeks ago is behind us," Pence told reporters.

His comments came just one day after his administration hired a global public relations company to help repair the state's damaged reputation. The state plans to pay the firm, Porter Novelli, at least $2 million.

"We've got a great story to tell," Pence said when asked about his decision to hire the PR firm. "I really do believe that we are through the storm, that now's the time to heal."

However, Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson has proposed an amendment to the state budget that was also shot down 40-10 by Republicans. The amendment "would have created a committee to study the possibility of adding statewide protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" according to the Indy Star.

Bill Maher Looks at Extremist Conservatives, Foreign and Domestic, Who Want to Kill Gays: VIDEO


Bill Maher spent a few minutes of Real Time last night talking about religious conservatives here and abroad who really do want to kill gays.

Watch his full segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

M_penceSaid Maher:

"Ever since Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed his Religious Freedom Restoration Act he and like-minded conservatives have been trying to have it both ways. They hate discrimination, but they love the Bible, a book that commands you to discriminate. That's what it says. Gay is an abomination and we must destroy it — by denying it pastry. Of course the root of this problem is that more than half of all Americans believe that the Bible is the actual or inspired word of God. But, now 55% also support gay marriage which must be very confusing. On the one hand, clearly, God has spelled it out. He hates fags. But you like your gay neighbors Rob and Larry. But, the Bible tells you to kill them. Yes, it literally says kill them. What to do?"

Maher then takes a look at religious fundamentalists like California lawyer Matt McLaughlin and his "kill the gays" ballot proposal, Jerry Falwell's preachings about AIDS and 9/11, John Hagee's blaming of Katrina on gays, Pat Robertson's endless condemnations, and Bob Jones's statement that gay people should be stoned to death (for which he has since apologized).

Then Maher notes that in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and other countries they really do kill gays.

"There's so much wrong with America these days, take pride in the one thing that is legitimately better. We don't let fundamentalists rule our s--t. What's the proof? Our gay battles are over cake, and even then, not once has one of these RF laws been used to deny a gay person his wedding cake. What happes is, there's a lawsuit, it goes to court, and the judge says, 'bitch just make the cake!'"

Watch his full segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bill Maher Looks at Extremist Conservatives, Foreign and Domestic, Who Want to Kill Gays: VIDEO" »

Jon Stewart Comes for Indiana, Memories Pizza, and 'Religious Liberty' Bills: VIDEO


Jon Stewart finally took a look at the bigoted goings-on in Indiana last week and the news bytes featuring various wingnuts surrounding it, particularly those who compared gay loving couples to a hate group.

It's been a while since I've taken the SATs but I believe the formulation as you defend yourselves sas this. This couple (photo of lesbian couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon) is to Christian business as these folks (shows photo of KKK members) are to everyone else. 'I'm not discriminating. I have nothing against gay people. I'm just saying that to Christians, catering an elderly lesbian wedding is like making a Jew slow-dance with Hitler. That's all I'm saying.' Do you see how f--ked up that is???"

Finally, Stewart took a look at the motherlode of cash ($842,000+) Memories Pizza received in a GoFundMe campaign after they announced they would refuse to cater a gay wedding.

Daily Show senior correspondent Jordan Klepper went to Indiana and he's going to open a few businesses there - Recollections Pizza, and Deja Vu Meatballs. He's looking to cash in on the bigotry!



Continue reading "Jon Stewart Comes for Indiana, Memories Pizza, and 'Religious Liberty' Bills: VIDEO" »


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