Politicians miss city’s special Coney fix

Coney Island was feeling no love last week.

Both major party gubernatorial candidates canceled visits to the iconic hot dog haven.

Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb was set to visit Monday but an accident on Interstate 69 delayed the GOP candidate by about an hour, causing the cancellation. He did make it to the Allen County Right to Life dinner that night.

Democrat John Gregg also canceled his planned Friday visit to Coney Island.

Spokesman Jeff Harris said the campaign had a half-day of meetings and events scheduled and a few got canceled so it was decided to reschedule the Fort Wayne trip altogether.

Gregg visited Coney Island in April – tweeting that a trip to Fort Wayne isn’t complete without a stop there.

Applications open for Pence portrait

The state of Indiana is now accepting applications from Hoosier artists to paint the official portrait of Gov. Mike Pence.

The Indiana State Museum will coordinate the selection process to determine the artist who will paint the approximately 42-inch-by-32-inch oil or acrylic portrait.

A gubernatorial portrait is completed for each Indiana governor and will become part of the historic governors portrait collection, managed by the Indiana State Museum.

Only one man – acting Gov. John Gibson in the 1800s – escaped the ritual.

Whoever is selected has their work cut out for them. Gov. Mitch Daniels’ portrait was unveiled in October 2012 while he was still in office. The artist was chosen in January of that year.

But Pence has just four months left in office after unexpectedly dropping his re-election campaign to run for vice president instead.

A news release said an artist will be selected by the end of October and the portrait will be unveiled by summer 2017.

Interested applicants have until Sept. 23 to submit their applications, which must include the following:

* Applicants must be resident or native of Indiana or a graduate of an Indiana institution of higher learning. Preference will be given to Indiana residents.

* Applicants must complete the online application form, and must include a resume including past portrait experience and commissions, a list of their work in public collections, past exhibitions, and art training.

* Applicants must include an artist’s statement about their approach to portrait painting. Specific ideas about this commission also may be included but are not required.

* Applicants must submit at least six to 10 digital color samples of their portrait work, including some detail, to be uploaded to the application website.

* Applicants must propose their required dollar amount for the commission. The cost of framing should not be included in the artist’s fee.

* Applicant’s schedule must be flexible and may include travel. All travel costs will be reimbursed.

Private funding is used to pay for the artist’s commission and framing.

Political fads

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Young and his surrogates like to tag his Democratic rival a “career politician.”

Evan Bayh, 60, was elected Indiana secretary of state in 1986, governor in 1988 and 1992 and senator in 1998 and 2004.

Rob Engstrom, national political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, called Bayh a “career politician” when the Chamber endorsed Young last Monday. He then tried to drive home the point.

“Evan Bayh has been running for office since 1986, when parachute pants were popular, when eight-track cassettes were popular,” Engstrom said at a Fort Wayne news conference.

It should be noted that eight-track recorded music tapes and cassette tapes were different formats. The cassette had replaced the eight-track by the end of the 1970s and remained popular until compact discs came along in the late 1980s. Also, nylon parachute pants might have been a fashion trend elsewhere, but most Hoosiers tended to prefer jeans, cords and khakis in the mid-1980s, just as they do today.

Regardless, Engstrom’s quip got us thinking about how to link the beginnings of political careers to fads and outdated products, and here is what we came up with:

Young has been running for office since 2010, when “Jersey Shore” and Snuggies were popular.

Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence has been running for office since 2000, when AOL chatrooms and Razor scooters were popular. If you go back to Pence’s first two congressional campaigns, he has been running for office since 1988, when Milli Vanilli and the FlowBee haircutting system were popular.

Young and Bayh seek to replace retiring Sen. Dan Coats, who had been running for office since 1980, when Rubik’s Cube and “The Dukes of Hazzard” were popular.

Daniels off to D.C. for debt hearing

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is scheduled to testify again before a congressional committee chaired by Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.

Daniels will appear before the Joint Economic Committee at 9:30 a.m. Thursday for a hearing on the federal debt.

Daniels, a former two-term governor of Indiana and an ex-budget adviser to President George W. Bush, testified last September at a JEC hearing on financing education.

Others who will testify at Thursday’s debt hearing are Judd Gregg, a former senator and ex-governor from New Hampshire who is co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, and Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former budget adviser to President Bill Clinton.

Long before he became JEC chairman in 2015, Coats had let panel members know he is a fan of Daniels. During a 2013 hearing on America’s infrastructure needs, Coats praised Daniels and his Major Moves highway construction program in Indiana, calling it “a blueprint for success.”

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.