The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CNHI News Service Originals

December 5, 2012

NBC’s ‘Parks and Rec’ meets real politics in Indiana shoot

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

That’s why Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, wasn’t the only politician who stopped by the restaurant during the shoot. So, too, did Brian Bosma, the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives and an attorney who specializes in municipal law.

A year ago, Bosma got a call from somebody who said he was with NBC and wanted Bosma to consult with the “Parks and Recreation” writers to give them guidance on how state and local government works in Indiana.

“I thought it was some of my pals at the Statehouse playing a joke,” Bosma said.

It wasn’t. Bosma was indeed hired by NBC to offer advice for a story line involving the show’s star, Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope, a Pawnee parks department staff member who runs for the Pawnee city council.

“I asked for a cameo role, but they turned me down,” said Bosma.

He did, though, get a chance to meet Lowe, who plays a character who was once a state auditor and now is the Pawnee city manager. Lowe’s father grew up in Anderson, Ind., and his grandparents lived in Madison County.

Lowe, who earned his star power playing a White House staff member on the TV series “West Wing,” said he signed on for “Parks and Recreation” in part because of its Indiana connection. The show offers a satirical look at government bureaucracy through the eyes of some earnest Hoosier civil servants.

“My family is all from Indiana,” said Lowe — with the golly-gee enthusiasm of his character Chris Traeger —  adding that he recently discovered that his great-great grandfather served as a Indiana volunteer in the Civil War.

“I have such affection for this state and for the way we portray its people on the show,” Lowe said.

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