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Goodnight: Dems’ Return Date May Not Affect Elections

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says union leaders still appear to want a variety of outcomes from the continuing House Democratic boycott.

GoodnightMayor

Photo: City of Kokomo

Mayor of Kokomo, Greg Goodnight

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says union leaders still appear to want a variety of outcomes from the continuing House Democratic boycott, but he says Minority Leader Pat Bauer may be able to lead his charges back without much of an electoral blow back.

Speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor” Wednesday, former labor leader and current Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said he believes each union supporting the House Democrats’ month-long absence from the Statehouse may want different concessions won on their behalf.  Still, Goodnight said the bottom line for the party may be how many seats it wins in the 2012 election, the first one after the Republican-controlled General Assembly redraws the state’s political maps.  But the mayor said the state’s political geography may mean the current 40-member Democratic caucus is in little danger of shrinking.

“If you’re sitting in the Minority Leader’s chair, you’re probably looking that well, unless they really, really gerrymander this significantly, they can’t draw less than 40 seats, so what do we have to lose,” Goodnight said.

Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) said the decisions to leave and, eventually, to return will not be based on how many seats her party can retain, but she added there’s a certain logic to Goodnight’s math.

“I know it will be difficult for the Republicans who, they get to draw the maps, it will be difficult for them to draw the maps to protect 60 seats,” Welch said.

Welch also said it’s not just unions whom her party is trying to protect, pointing out that the proposed Right to Work bill would also have affected the salaries of non-union workers.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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