There is no doubt that this year’s political season has left many of us jaded and jittery, yours truly included. And it has all been shared over and over again on social media. So here is a list of super-specific categories and picks that lit up the interwebs over the last few months.
Find Best of Indy Readers' Picks here.
Best “Don’t piss me off because I will market you out of office” marketeer
In 2015 the Pence Must Go campaign tied for the win in the “Best New Trend” category. But as we’ve seen in 2016, Kevin Warren, founder of Pence Must Go, doubled down on his commitment to see Mike Pence out of the governor’s office by increasing his messaging to include billboards and a large wearable “Mikey” puppet for parades and events. And when Pence jumped his sinking Hoosier ship to join the Trump campaign as the vice-presidential nominee, Warren didn’t miss a step and broadened his message to all of America, saying that Pence and Trump are bad for the country. And if his appearance on the Daily Show following the vice-presidential debate is any indication, Warren may be well on the way to pushing Pence not only out of Indiana, but out of Washington too.
Best “political rally on the fly” organizer
Usually it takes weeks or even months to organize a rally that is attended by thousands. But for Annette Gross, it only takes a few days, ridiculous legislation and a lot of angry people with access to social media. The former president of Indy’s PFLAG chapter (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) first put her organizational skills to work in 2015 after the state legislature passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Thousands of angry Hoosiers descended on the statehouse lawn to voice their frustration. This year, Gross channeled the same passion for justice when the legislature passed HEA 1337, a restrictive abortion bill, which again drew out thousands to protest the legislature’s actions. Well done, Annette. And let’s hope you don’t have to do another one anytime soon. ;)
Best campaign to embarrass politicians with reproductive processes and color-by-number genitalia pictures
After Mike Pence signed HEA 1337, women across Indiana became angry at the prospect of the government getting all up into their vajayjay business. An anonymous group of women took it to heart and started a social media campaign called Periods for Pence, where women were encouraged to contact the governor’s office with detailed information about their menstrual cycles. Women across the country got in on the action and other legislators who authored and/or voted for HEA 1337 were included on the contact list. Periods for Pence then hosted “coloring parties” where pictures of hoo-hahs and male members were colored for delivery to Pence. The campaign was covered by national media outlets, bringing attention to the archaic and unconstitutional legislation being passed in Indiana and championed by our governor. Kudos to Periods for Pence for taking the adage, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” and kicking it up a notch.
Best legislator to author a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad” civil rights bill
Credit where credit is due must be given to Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) for his attempt at a LGBTQ civil rights bill. After all, he was the only Republican in the statehouse brave enough to attempt legislation that would satisfy all sides of the issue. (Sen. Tim Lanane wrote a bill as well that followed the “four-words-and-a-comma” mantra, but it never saw the light of day in committee.) However, while noble, the attempt was more than insulting for a lot of people, especially when the abridged version — taking the T out of LGBT — became the version to move out of committee. Public outcry forced the bill to be pulled entirely from consideration. But Sen. Holdman should at the very least get an “E” for effort.
Best time we got rid of our governor
Donald Trump did a lot of people a lot of favors when he selected Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. The people of Indiana who wanted Pence out of office are grateful to have it done sooner rather than later. Pence is grateful because Trump may have single-handedly saved his political career.
Best use of concrete barriers and old telephone booths
Mike Pence received a lot of extras when he joined Trump’s ticket, including extra security from the U.S. Secret Service. Apparently, an assessment of the governor’s mansion determined other extras were needed. The concrete construction barriers were added to the lawn along with armed guards who get to spend their time in tiny air-conditioned booths that even the 1960s Superman would think twice about changing in. The new look could be described as trailer park-chic. A graffiti art contest for the concrete would have at least given it an urban flair.
Best case in which the Indiana attorney general’s office was embarrassed by the ACLU
It’s a tie! Both cases involving Exodus Refugee Immigration and Planned Parenthood were cut-and-dry cases of constitutional violations brought to you by the Pence administration and Republican leaders. Ken Falk didn’t have to work too hard to prove that denying Syrian refugees the right to resettle in Indiana is a violation of federal law. The same can be said of many parts of HEA 1337. Working in the solicitor general’s office may be a great experience for attorneys, but it must be hell on the ego to lose over and over and over again.
Best “Holy shit those food pictures made my mouth water” social media account
The Indianapolis food scene has quickly become one that rivals the best cities around the country. With that being said, it’s hard to keep up with all the new restaurants and bars popping up throughout the city. Eat Here Indy is doing a fantastic job of highlighting Indy’s new — and old — eateries with high-quality pictures and videos that will make you want to drop what you’re doing and join them. Fair warning, following their account might put a dent into your bank account.