Mike Delph On Marriage, Senate Republicans, and Twitter


UPDATE: The Senate passed HJR-3, but with no ban on civil unions – Delph did not offer his amendment after a meeting of the Republican caucus. The resolution passed 32-to-17, with Delph keeping his promise to vote no.  Four other Republicans voted no.  Senator Richard Young was the only Democrat in either the House or Senate to vote yes.  Since this version differs from the one passed in 2011, it will not be on the ballot this November.

wibc.com isn’t feeling well right now, probably tired of all the bleepin’ snow.  Or our website is taking President’s Day off.  So, I will post this here.  This is my story of Mike Delph’s press conference from this morning, plus the audio of it unedited, at least until another reporter’s microphone fell from the podium and accidentally shut my recorder off.

Listen to the first few seconds of Delph, and you will understand why the mic fell off the podium – hint, see many of us holding our mics instead of them being placed on the podium.  Me holding my mic also explains the picture I took with my iPhone above, in which it appears Senator Delph is about to regenerate – I have it on good authority that some of the female members of the press corps were hoping for Matt Smith.

Listen to Mike Delph’s press conference from the Statehouse:

Later in the press conference, you will hear Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute.

A final note; I did not record the end of the press conference where some reporters decided it would be a grand idea to ask Senator Delph about his relationship with his gay brother.  This isn’t the Oprah Winfrey Show, and that is not relevant to the story.  However, I do take issue with the Senator’s response to a question from Dan Carden of the Times of Northwest Indiana.  Dan asked Senator Delph whether he had been drinking alcohol or using drugs at the time of his Tweets.  Delph first said that the question was “asinine” and that he would not dignify it with a response, with audible gasps and groans from some of Delph’s supporters who were standing behind me and Dan.  After the press conference, Delph told Dan face-to-face that he had not been drinking or using drugs, with others continuing to criticize Dan for asking the question.   Given the extraordinary length of time the Senator devoted to Tweets last week, Dan’s question was fair and would have been asked of any politician in a similar situation.

My story:

Republican Senator Mike Delph hasn’t given up on reinserting a ban on civil unions to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, nor will he apologize for anything he said on Twitter last week.

Delph, with Indiana Family Institute president Curt Smith by his side, said he would ask to amend the bill known as HJR-3 with a sentence that would outlaw institutions that are similar to marriage for same sex couples before the Senate takes a final vote.  If a majority of senators oppose it, Delph said he would not vote for HJR-3. “Passing this amendment in its watered down form with minimal legal protection is a political vote, and I think we are better than that and we should be honest and candid with the public,” Delph said.

The senator spent roughly the first ten minutes of a Statehouse press conference providing an brief history of bringing issues favorable to Christians back to state government, such as Christian prayer to open sessions of the state Senate.  Delph says passing the marriage amendment with the civil unions ban, as it passed in 2011, should have been easy with Republican super majorities in both the House and Senate and with “the most marriage-amendment friendly governor we could have.”  But the House removed the 2nd sentence of HJR-3, and Delph accused other Republicans of intentional moves to see that the civil unions ban was taken out.  “I believe the outcome for the marriage amendment was determined long ago by leadership, especially in the Senate.  By in so doing, these leaders have turned their backs in the name of political correctness and inclusion on the core conservative base of the Republican Party.”

Delph also had no qualms about sending out roughly 200 Tweets in less than a day after his efforts to reinsert the civil union ban failed last week.  “There were no secrets.  It’s all out there for the public to consume, digest and, yes, in some cases regurgitate. For some reason, we fear rigorous and in depth public debate.  I embrace it.  I relish it.”


Louis Erwin, USS Indianapolis survivor, plans on being around for the new movie about the attack

LISTEN: Louis Erwin, a survivor of the attack on the USS Indianapolis:

When I first met Louis Erwin, it was almost like old home day.  Erwin, 88, is a native of East Ridge, Tennessee, right next door to the place of my birth, Chattanooga.  Erwin is also one of 38 remaining survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese torpedo in the closing months of World War II; he was one of only 15 or so attending the latest reunion of the survivors at the Indiana War Memorial earlier this year.

I called Mr. Erwin when I heard that a new movie is being made about the Indianapolis and the ordeal of the 317 men who survived the sinking – and the almost 1,200 who didn’t (300 who went down with the ship, 880 who died while stranded in the water).  I cherish every conversation with one of our World War II veterans.  Our accomplishments seem so small compared to what they did seven decades ago.


Rev. Charles Harrison wonders if anyone cares about black-on-black crime in Indy

LISTEN: Rev. Charles Harrison w/Ten Point Coalition of Indy:

This week, we found out that the murder rate in Indianapolis is now higher than that of Chicago.  Many of those murders are committed by young black men against other young black men.   Rev. Charles Harrison (pictured at the podium) with the Ten Point Coalition of Indy thinks that a lot of people in power don’t care, be they politicians from either party or other African-American leaders.

Rev. Harrison was, as always, candid when I spoke to him at length for the first time at Barnes United Methodist Church, where he is pastor.

From the Archives: Ryback, back in Indy with the WWE tonight!

LISTEN: Ray Steele with the Big Guy, Ryback, from March 11, 2013:

Looky what I found in the archive!  My short but kick booty visit from The Big Guy, Ryback, who is back in town tonight for the WWE live event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy.  He was a good Big Guy back then; he’s not as nice on screen now.  But he was super to talk to the morning of March 11, 2013, when I was filling in as host of Indy’s Morning News on WIBC, and he was getting ready for Raw that evening.

It’s great to have Ryback back in town.  I’m really pulling for this guy to have a great career.

Progress in the fight against MS, but no cure yet

LISTEN: Amanda Shelley with the Indiana State Chapter of the National MS Society:

This one is personal.  My wife’s uncle has MS, and we’d like to see him get better or at least live a somewhat normal life.

As Amanda told me in the interview above, there are things being done, progress being made.  But I wonder about us having so many causes thrown at us every day, most of them worthy of our time and money, and whether someone gets crowded out of the fundraising game.  I hope it isn’t MS research – shoot, I hope it isn’t anyone.

Joey Stevenson: Master mower, baseline bada$$, one of the best groundskeepers in the country

LISTEN: Joey Stevenson, head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians, mowing master:

We’re in the midst of Colts and Pacers season in Indiana, not to mention Hoosiers, Bulldogs and Boilers season.  But it might as well be wabbit, duck, silly mongoose or fiddler crab season because in my world, pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training in 52 days (as I write this).  So we talk baseball, or specifically, the science of the baseball field, with one of the best in the business.

Joey Stevenson is head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians.  He just won the first ever “Best Mowing Pattern” award from the Sports Turf Managers Association, mainly because he doesn’t mow a ridiculous bloody sock into the outfield like some teams do.  I can’t wait to see Joey’s handiwork again at Victory Field in a few months.

Mike Hicks, Ball State economist – Why is Indiana creating so many jobs?

LISTEN: Dr. Mike Hicks from the Center For Business & Economic Research at Ball St., on the falling unemployment rate:

My time is not spent exclusively with people for whom I mark out, i.e. pro wrestlers, entertainers, composers of “Convoy”, etc.  My regular job is as a news reporter and host of the Saturday morning interview show “Weekend Indiana” on Indy radio station WIBC-FM.  That means I have the privilege of talking to a lot of people about a plethora of subjects, a few of which will be sampled today.

Dr. Hicks, for the longest time, was considered a virtual Dr. No among some in our business.  Example: “The unemployment rate is down, but Ball State economist Mike Hicks says the economy is still stankier than a chicken house”, would be a typical lead sentence for a news story.  That’s an exaggeration, as Hicks simply does a fantastic job of delving into the minutiae of a jobs or any other economic report.  Yes, in case you didn’t know, an unemployment rate means almost nothing in the grand scheme of things, regardless of what politicians tell you.

In two years of talking to him, I don’t recall Hicks ever being so upbeat about a jobs report, though according to the initial numbers, he had good reason to be so.  If the numbers hold up, Indiana will have created 12.5% of all new jobs created in the entire country for the month of November.