|Sen. Jim Smith (R-Charlestown)|
Interestingly Sen. Smith writes on Facebook that he was never been informed of the action in caucus to expel him, information that was linked to news commentator and reporter wannabe Abdul Hakim-Shabbaz. If that is true then the leaker would have committed the same violation Sen. Smith is accused of and that legislator should also be expelled. I won't hold my breath on that happening.
Rumors earlier this year were of Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle challenging Gov. Pence from the left in the 2016 Republican Primary. Pretty much the only persons who thought such a candidacy was viable were liberal media types. Oesterle, who has trumpeted LGBT rights and expressed contempt for religious freedom, had positively no chance of running to Pence's left and winning the Republican nomination for Governor.
While the Oesterle candidacy was always an empty threat, a Sen. Smith candidacy would be an extraordinary dangerous threat to Pence's renomination. Smith would run to the right of Pence, where the Governor's continued veering to the left while in office has left plenty of running room. Pence has deeply alienated the evangelical community who make up a critical part of the GOP primary electorate. But other conservatives are just as angry at Gov. Pence, including Tea Party types. The Governor might want to take at look at what happened to Sen. Richard Lugar if he thinks he can win a Republican statewide primary in Indiana while only courting moderate Republicans.