Hoosiers hope Vice President Mike Pence keeps their interests in mind

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(Ryan Dorgan/The Elkhart Truth)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — When the city of Fort Wayne needed expensive airport improvements, its mayor contacted an influential Indiana native — then-Vice President Dan Quayle.

Former Mayor Paul Helmke says the federal government helped with the funding, in no small part because Quayle “put in a word” on such requests.

Now that former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is the new vice president, residents are eager to see if his home state reaps any benefits. Observers caution, however, that much has changed in the nearly 25 years since Quayle served under President George H.W. Bush.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, swore off earmarks under former President Barack Obama. And federal laws and regulations forbid many officials who oversee the awarding of contracts and grants from considering undue White House influence.

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