Click here to watch a brief interview with U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, a strong supporter of the RV industry who represents Northern Indiana, talk about the Manufacturing Summit he sponsored Monday in Indianapolis. The video is courtesy of Inside INdiana Business. The following news release is from Donnelly’s office.
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., hosted on Monday (March 7) “Playing to Win: Indiana’s Future as America’s Manufacturing Leader”, a summit in Indianapolis that brought together leaders in the manufacturing sector from across the state of Indiana to share ideas and best practices for out-working and out-innovating the competition.
“I am confident that Indiana will maintain its status as a robust manufacturing hub of the United States, but to succeed, we need to ensure our manufacturers have the tools they need to compete,” said Donnelly. “We must provide our students with the skills manufacturers are seeking and enable innovation through incentives. And we must level the playing field for American companies, because we know that we can win a fair fight. The question is how to go about this, and that is why I called this summit of many of our state’s manufacturing leaders, from automakers to medical device manufacturers, educators to entrepreneurs, to discuss how to best position Indiana for the manufacturing economy of the future.”
To direct the conversation, Donnelly hosted two panels. First, representatives from the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Chrysler, United Auto Workers, Ener1, and Cummins spoke on the panel titled “Racing toward Tomorrow: A Sector-Specific Profile of the Automotive Industry.”
“This state is at the crossroads of America, and the ecosystem of support designed to help it become the Silicon Valley for electric vehicles drove us here,” said Michael Alma, regional vice president of Ener1. “What we found when we arrived was a wealth of qualified people with skills in automotive engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing, and assembly, who are well qualified to help us build our business. We also quickly linked into the strong educational system, including schools like Purdue, Indiana University, Ivy Tech, and many others, which will help deliver new talent as the years progress.”
Second, representatives from the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Indiana University’s Indiana Business Research Center, Ivy Tech Community College, Brevini Wind USA, and OrthoWorx Indiana spoke on the panel titled “Developing a Winning Game Plan: Policy Prescriptions for Continued Growth.”
“America has the best and most innovative workers, but the challenges of a global marketplace require that skills and training be constantly upgraded,” said Mike Mitchell, field coordinator for the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “We must make investments in our workforce to ensure that they are equipped to meet the ever increasing demand for talented workers. We need to supply our producers with the engineers, technicians, management, skilled trades, and other specialties so they can invent, commercialize, and run the hi-tech factories at the leading edge. This investment in people is every bit as critical as the investments we need in infrastructure and productive facilities.”
U.S. Rep Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who represents Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes portions of Elkhart County, hosted a Manufacturing Summit today (March 7) in Indianapolis. Click here to watch excerpts from the summit.
The race between incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Republican challenger Jackie Walorski is more or less even, according to a leading source of political analysis, The South Bend Tribune reported.
The Cook Political Report upgraded Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District race to “tossup” in its latest evaluation Wednesday (Oct. 20).
Donnelly has been a supporter of the RV industry, which is a major employer in Elkhart County, part of which lies in Donnelly’s district.
Cook, a nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes campaigns for federal offices, had rated the 2nd District race as “leans Democratic” since July. Before that, the race was rated “likely Democratic.”
A poll released two weeks ago by WSBT-TV, South Bend, and WISH-TV, Indianapolis showed 48% of voters surveyed planned to vote for Donnelly or were leaning toward voting for him, while 39% of voters were planning to vote for Walorski or were leaning toward voting for her.
“Donnelly is still in better shape than many other Democrats in comparably GOP-leaning districts in the industrial Midwest,” Cook’s analysis reads, “but even internal Democratic polling shows him with a mid-single digit lead under 50%, suggesting GOP state Rep. Jackie Walorski has largely weathered Democrats’ attacks and remains in close contention.”
“Look to this race as an early bellwether on Election Night.”
Last week, The Chicago Tribune reported that campaign finance reports show Walorski brought in more than $538,000, while Donnelly raised $323,000 during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30.
The Republican state representative also had more cash on hand at the end of the quarter. She had nearly $516,000, while Donnelly had more than $456,000.
Donnelly spent more than Walorski during the quarter. The two-term congressman spent $856,000, while Walorski spent $332,665.
Republicans have targeted the race as they seek to regain control of the House.
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., has drawn national attention in recent weeks for his efforts to distance himself from Democratic Party leaders, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported.
Reporters, bloggers and commentators have picked up on Donnelly’s two televised campaign advertisements in which he says he doesn’t work for “the Washington crowd,” referring to fellow party members President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and calls cap-and-trade legislation “Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax on Hoosier families.”
The first ad prompted Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine to tell Fox News: “Democrats who kind of are afraid to be who they are, or are pushing back on their leaders, I think they’re crazy.”
But Donnelly’s campaign isn’t backing down from asserting the congressman is an independent who has opposed Democrats on issues of abortion, gun rights and immigration as well as cap-and-trade.
Donnelly played a key role in representing the recreational vehicle industry’s interests in Congress in recent years.
Republicans, meanwhile, focus on his votes in favor of a Democratic-led health care overhaul and a $787 billion economic stimulus plan Republicans say hasn’t helped the economy.
State Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Jimtown, has highlighted those votes — and the federal government’s $13 trillion debt — as she campaigns against Donnelly for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District seat. Last week, she called them “big-ticket items that affect the entire nation.”
Walorski has also stressed that, no matter how Donnelly votes on individual bills, his votes for Pelosi to be speaker of the House show support for her agenda.
Donnelly’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, said the congressman is concerned with his constituents, not Obama and Pelosi.
“Joe Donnelly doesn’t care who the speaker of the House is,” Schmuhl said. “Joe Donnelly cares about being an independent advocate for the people of Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District.”
Walorski’s campaign manager, Matt Kirby, responded in an e-mail, “It’s easy to say you don’t care who the speaker is when your political life is on the line, but where was Joe Donnelly’s opposition to Nancy Pelosi when it actually mattered? Where was his ‘independence’ when he voted for her government takeover of health care or her failed stimulus bill or her deficit spending we can’t afford? Where was it when he voted for her twice for speaker? At this point, Joe Donnelly looks desperate enough to say anything.”
According to at least one Indiana political analyst, voters also might not care much about the speaker of the House.
“Much of the leadership of the Republican Party has already realized that most people in Indiana don’t even know who Nancy Pelosi is, which is why they pulled so many of their ads like that,” Brian Vargus, a political science professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, told The Associated Press last week.
“Nancy Pelosi,” Vargus said, “is not a household name in this state.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., is sponsoring a dealer floorplan-financing seminar today in Elkhart, Ind., featuring officials from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The invitation-only event is being staged at the Indiana University campus in downtown Elkhart and is aimed at RV and marine dealers and lenders.
SBA officials from Washington, D.C., Chicago and Indianapolis are scheduled to attend.
Other current and past national bank lenders, regional bank lenders and local bank lenders have been invited to join in on the discussion.
Several dozen people were expected to attend, according to a spokesman for the Donnelly staff.