The Journal Gazette
Sunday, February 16, 2020 1:00 am

Banks constituent mailer touts connection to Trump

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has mailed his northeast Indiana constituents a postcard that includes an image of him with President Donald Trump.

“Rep. Banks discusses national security with President Trump” is the caption for the photo on one side of Banks' taxpayer-funded constituent mailer.

The photo depicts Banks and Trump sitting side by side at a table, with Banks listening to Trump speak. The flip side of the mailing states that “Rep. Banks is working with President Trump to address China's threat to our economic and national security.”

The card includes general information on bills that Banks, R-3rd, has introduced to protect U.S. intelligence and American academic research from foreign adversaries and prevent federal pension funds from investing in “state-controlled companies with a history of malicious activity against the United States.”

Banks urges constituents to email their concerns about national security to him at

His mailing was sent days before the U.S. Justice Department charged four members of the Chinese military with hacking the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing information on 145 million Americans.

Banks, a second-term congressman from Columbia City, is being challenged in the May 5 Republican primary election by physician Christopher Magiera of Warsaw.

Four men are seeking the Democratic nomination to face the GOP candidate in the Nov. 3 general election.

Indiana ranks low

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence recently graded and ranked each state on the strength of its gun laws, and Indiana was just above failing.

The center believes states with stronger gun laws have lower gun death rates and save more lives. In the 2019 Gun Law Scorecard, Indiana earned a D- for the strength of its gun laws.

Indiana has fairly weak gun laws, although it was one of the earliest states to enact a type of extreme risk protection order law. The state has the 20th-highest gun death rate and exports crime guns, particularly to neighboring Illinois, at the 11th-highest rate.

Republicans control both sides of the Indiana General Assembly and in recent years have blocked all bills trying to tighten gun laws – especially those requiring safe storage and training.

Braun to speak

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun is among state Republican leaders who will be appearing at Allen County GOP programs in coming weeks.

Braun, R-Ind., will be guest speaker at the Wednesday luncheon meeting of the Downtown Republican Club. The luncheon will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Allen County Republican Headquarters, 135 W. Main St., Fort Wayne. People wishing to attend should RSVP to

Indiana House Speaker-elect Todd Huston, R-Fishers, will be guest speaker at the Chairman's Breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the party's headquarters.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, will be guest speaker at the March 14 Chairman's Breakfast at the party's headquarters. The program will be from 9 to 10 a.m.

For information about the programs, call 422-1554.

Henry gets a laugh

In his annual State of the City address Wednesday, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry got a hearty laugh from the assembled crowd as he discussed plans for more sustainable energy at government-owned businesses.

“Additionally, we have a resource recovery program at our water pollution control plant. We're converting organic waste to methane and we've seen substantial savings of nearly $2 million over the past several years,” Henry said. “And I want to thank all of you for your contribution.”

As the crowd guffawed and applauded, Henry smiled.

“You know what I'm talking about,” he said.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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