Another IBRG Vendor Takes Home Multiple Awards

IBRG, the political arm for the Indiana Chamber, has a long relationship with The Strategy Group for Media in working together to do political TV advertising for IBRG endorsed candidates. The Strategy Group for Media has been honored with 6 "Pollie Awards" and 11 "Telly Awards" for creative advertising produced in 2008. They were recognized by the American Association of Political Consultants and Public Affairs Professionals at its recent annual awards conference. The "Pollies" are widely recognized as the political Oscars. The Telly Awards were presented for creative TV produced in 2008. The Telly Awards honor "the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials."

Our favorite TV spot they produced for IBRG in 2008 was in support of the Randy Truitt for State Representative campaign. This was an open seat race that Truitt won by 26 votes after a recount. The Truitt ad came at a critical juncture in the campaign and helped to successfully shift the message to highlight Truitt’s economic development background. 

Congratulations to our friends and partners Rex Elsass, Scott Schweitzer and the rest of the talented staff at The Strategy Group for Media on your awards and producing the most creative and compelling political advertising for IBRG. They are well earned.

Early this year, IBRG mail vendor Faulkner Strategies won a Reed Award.  See that post here.

IBRG-backed Truitt Victorious in HD26

After all of the provisional ballots have been counted, Randy Truitt emerges victorious in HD26. At the start of the day, 414 provisional ballots needed to be counted. Of these, 112 were in HD26. Truitt increased his lead from 21 to 26 over John Polles. The final result stands at 14,049 for Truitt to 14,023 for Polles. 

Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) provided significant assistance in Truitt’s effort by producing and paying for a TV spot and invested nearly $50,000 in his campaign. Randy is a strong pro-business individual and will be a strong ally in the upcoming legislative session. Congratulations to Randy!

The House remains at 52-48 Democratic control.

Truitt/Polles HD26 Vote Count Coming Down to Wire

Here is the latest on HD26: Tippecanoe County election officials have looked at the 414 provisional ballots. Of those, only 80 will be allowed and they are in the process of doing exactly that right now. Of the 80, we are unsure how many are in HD26. Even if all 80 are in HD26, John Polles (D) would have to win 50-30 to catch Randy Truitt (R).

It’s looking good for Truitt, but there are still a couple of hours to finality.

The Art of Prediction

Now that the results are in, it’s only fair to deliver a grade on how my predictions went: 

Correct Picks:

  • Obama would win Indiana.
  • Obama would win the White House and win 375 electoral votes to John McCain’s 163. With only North Carolina undecided, the count stands at 349-147.
  • 48 out of 49 states were picked correctly with only Missouri being incorrect with one state remaining.
  • Governor Daniels would easily win re-election.
  • 8 Congressional seats would remain unchanged. (I thought Mike Pence’s and Steve Buyer’s races would be closer, but they’d still win).
  • Greg Zoeller and Tony Bennett would narrowly win and be good bellwether races for the night.
  • Ed Charbonneau would win in the only competitive Senate seat.
  • House Democrats would keep their majority.
  • The Indiana House would end up 52-48 Democrat. One seat, HD26, is still undecided but Republican Randy Truitt is up by 20 votes.

 Incorrect Picks (or near misses):

  • Congressman Mark Souder would lose. Souder won easily with 55% of the vote.
  • Missed the correct winner in two House races (HD26 and HD97).

Overall, the correct picks tallied 183 out of 187 correct (97.9%). Not bad, but the misses sting.

Truitt Making a Comeback, Takes Late Lead

IBRG-endorsed Randy Truitt is now 200 votes ahead of Democrat John Polles!

Word is there are still 1,000 votes to be counted. Truitt has been behind most of the night, and is making a strong surge toward the finish line.

Update: The latest word is that Truitt holds a 20-vote advantage with a handful of provisional ballots to be tallied. However, they won’t be counted for 10 days.

Heaton, Truitt Falling Behind Late

Chamber-endorsed State House candidates Bob Heaton (R – HD46) and Randy Truitt (R – HD26) have fallen behind with few precincts yet to report. Michael Davis adds that Truitt had been strong during the campaign, but polling showed him trending down in the past two weeks leading up to the election.

"I think students (at Purdue) are a big part of that," Davis said. "I think this year we’ve seen the top of the ticket (Obama) having more impact on key house races than in the past. Usually, these races are more local."

Tight House Races to Highlight Evening

During the first analysis of the evening featuring Indiana Chamber political affairs director Michael Davis and Hoosier Access’ Josh Gillespie, Davis discussed several of the many key House races in this election.

He stressed the Chamber’s excitement that there are several small business owners up for election this year, labelling Randy Truitt (R), who’s vying for a seat in HD26, as "one of the best candidates we’ve come across." Davis explained Truitt’s race against John Polles (D) will be hotly contested, especially considering the college turnout on Purdue’s campus.

Davis also mentioned Mark Messmer in HD63 as a potential Republican pick-up. Messmer is battling John Burger (D) for the open seat.

Bob Heaton (R), former ISU hoops teammate of Larry Bird’s, is also in a tight contest against incumbent Vern Tincher (D) in HD46 in the Terre Haute area. The Chamber’s PAC (Indiana Business for Responsive Government) has been on the ground working to get Heaton elected.

IBRG-backed Truitt Goes On the Air

Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) continues to support Randy Truitt in the House District 26 open seat by producing and purchasing a TV spot. This is one of the most hotly contested races this election cycle and this contest has been high on our target list even before the retiring incumbent announced that he was not seeking re-election.

Having spent significant time with Randy over several different days this year and having spent time interviewing and campaigning for hundreds of candidates, I can tell you that Randy is one of the best candidates I have come across. He has a strong understanding of issues, a strong conviction on those issues and has the personality necessary to energize voters in Tippecanoe and Warren Counties. Simply put, the Indiana General Assembly needs people like Randy Truitt.

The contrast between the two candidates in HD26 is considerable. As an entrepreneur and small business owner who has strong community ties, Randy Truitt is clearly the only candidate who strongly supports the legislative agenda of the Indiana Chamber.

Here is the TV spot:

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To view the complete list of IBRG-endorsed candidates, visit its web site.

Strong Allies Working Together to WIN!

Over the last two weeks, I had the pleasure of joining with the Indiana Manufacturer Association’s (IMA) Ed Roberts to announce the Indiana Chamber and IMA’s endorsement of candidates running for state representative. The three candidates our organizations endorsed were Bob Heaton (HD46 – Terre Haute), Mark Messmer (HD63 – Jasper) and Randy Truitt (HD26 – West Lafayette).

Over the years, we have fought many battles together and almost always support the same candidates. Our two organizations are strong, strong allies and we work together on many projects, but appearing together to announce candidate endorsements was a first. And, our timing could not have been better. These three candidates are all in tough, competitive races and need the help of the business community to win. These three candidates are all small business owners who understand the difficulties of making a payroll, growing a company, providing training and education for workers, and the importance of economic development to their community.

By working together with the IMA (and several other like-minded business allies), we can and will win tough campaigns and move the economy of Indiana forward. With the example of the complete lack of cooperation occurring in Washington, D.C. as a backdrop, it is good to know that the Indiana business community is working together closely and focused on what is important this election year – WINNING with small business owners like Bob Heaton, Mark Messmer and Randy Truitt.