More Daniels

by Rich Lowry

Governor Daniels is getting heat on the right for the remarks Kate Trinko noted saying the legislature should drop a right-to-work bill that has prompted Democrats — in what is becoming standard operating procedure — to flee the state. The Daniels people object to the characterization in the press that the governor wants to kill the bill: “It’s a discussion that needs to happen, but in Indiana, the time isn’t right for it right now. He never said he wants to kill it.” Although it’s a pretty fine distinction between putting off consideration of a bill to some future undetermined date and killing it. Why is the timing so important? It could cause “the loss of about 20 other bills, including education reform.” The aide continues, “He would prefer that we focused on the agenda that everyone ran on,” and says, “he’s been pretty open about that for a while.”

About the last point, there’s no doubt. The Daniels press office forwards this rough transcript of an end-of-the-year interview with the Indianapolis Star:

Q: Some of the issues that might come up that we haven’t talked about could include Right to Work. How do you feel about Right to Work and is that a debate the legislature should have this year?

A: Well, debates are one thing, but it is not on my agenda. And…

Q: It is on the Chamber’s agenda, and that’s why…

A: Well, let me just say this. It may be worth a look but I don’t think it should a subject of debate and vote in this particular General Assembly. It may be something to study, but it is a big enough issue that it ought to be more openly discussed with the people of Indiana. You know, Mary Beth, all the big things we’ve tried to do have either been the subject of a campaign – where we said ‘here’s the idea’ and we’re able to use that as a chance for people to hear it, think about it and even vote for it. And that hadn’t occurred in this case. So, is it a legitimate issue? Yes it is.  We lose a fair number-we know we lose – we don’t even get a shot at a fair number of investments because we don’t have this protection. And there are fairness worker protection issues in there. But, I see it –number one– not having been openly enough vetted with the people of Indiana and two – having the potential to stop, or block, our opportunities to make real headway for kids, local government and criminal justice. So, that’s the straightest answer I can give you. 

Q: It could be something that shuts down that process?

 A: Yes, and if it had been openly campaigned on that’d be one thing. But I don’t of know anybody who ran on it. And then to just suddenly spring it into this already crowded session I don’t think would be good practice.

Jim has more.