Election Report Now Available

The Indiana Chamber brought you election results throughout the night. While some dedicated staff (and they did a tremendous job collecting and reporting the latest) completed their duties several hours after midnight, the Indiana Business for Responsive Government political action team stayed at it until its comprehensive summary report was on the way to readers at 4:30 a.m.

A few tidbits:

  • Governor Mitch Daniels won 79 of 92 counties, while Barack Obama won only 15 counties in compiling 49.9% of the state vote.
  • The Indiana House stands at 51-47 Democrats, with the two outstanding races likely going to Republicans. Stay tuned for the counting of provisional ballots, which could take up to 10 days.
  • There will be 32 new legislators on Organization Day in a few weeks. That is a result of defeat, retirement, resignation or death since the 2006 election

Again, the full report (with occasional updates in the next few days) is at www.ibrg.biz.

Chamber Takes Historic Stance With Daniels Endorsement

The Indiana Chamber has been filling this business advocacy role for a long time — officially since 1922 and for a couple of decades before that. Dealing with political figures has always been a part of the mix, particularly at election time since 1986 with the creation of the Indiana Business for Responsive Government political action committee and its active status in General Assembly races.

So, a first-ever endorsement for governor is a big deal. Mitch Daniels earned that distinction today because of his "record of accomplishment, particularly in the areas of job creation, innovation and sound financial management."

Andre Lacy, Chamber chairman of the board of directors for 2008, offers that it’s all Hoosiers who will benefit from four more years: "A job allows employees to pay their mortgage, send their children to school and take care of their families. That’s why keeping a positive economic climate for business is so vital."

Read the full release here.

Note: Research shows we made an "unofficial" endorsement in 1972 when the Chamber wrote a letter to its members touting the excellent qualifications of both candidates — Democrat Matt Welsh and eventual winner Otis Bowen.

IBRG Goes 16 for 16 in ’08 Primaries

There is success — and then there is a "100% grand slam, we did everything we intended to do" outcome.

The latter sums up Tuesday for Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) , the political action arm of the Indiana Chamber. IBRG is in the business of electing state legislators focused on a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. It endorsed 16 candidates (nine in the House and seven in the Senate). All 16 were winners.

Among the highlights:
* IBRG was part of a coalition supporting challenger Wes Culver (R-Goshen) against incumbent John Ulmer, also of Goshen, in House District 49. Culver earned a most impressive 70.7% of the vote

* IBRG was active in the re-election effort of Dan Leonard (R-Huntington), who collected more than 58% of the vote in handily defeating two challengers in House District 50

* An open-seat Senate race saw IBRG help Republican Jean Leising (a former state senator from Oldenburg) collect more than 48% of the vote in a four-way battle in District 42

IBRG bases its endorsements on legislator voting records (as documented in the Legislative Vote Analysis) and candidate interviews. There won’t be too much time for pats on the back, however, as the general election awaits — as does the effort to elect legislators ready to work for an economic climate that rewards Indiana companies and their employees.

UPDATE: Indiana political blog Hoosier Access has also taken note of IBRG’s success, heralding the PAC as the big winner on election night.

How Did Your Legislators Vote in the 2008 Session?

Students will be bringing home their final report cards over the next few weeks as the school year comes to a close. Members of the Indiana General Assembly received their 2008 grades yesterday with the release of the Indiana Chamber’s 24th annual Legislative Vote Analysis.

The 2008 edition rates all 150 legislators on how supportive or unsupportive they were of issues important to businesses and their employees.
Each legislator receives a score based on how often his or her votes align with the pro-jobs, pro-economic growth agenda. In addition to being published and distributed statewide, the scores are used to help determine which incumbent legislators are eligible for endorsement in their next campaign by Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) – the Chamber’s political action committee.
Find the full report here or read the press release.