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Mitch Daniels

Hoosiers Show How It’s Done: Indiana Posts a Surplus And Dems Are Unhappy

From The Blaze:

Indiana State Auditor Tim Berry announced the news on Thursday: the state posted a $1.2 billion surplus in the state budget. Considering that that the nation is in the middle of a nationwide recession, this may come as a surprise to many

Indiana’s fiscal year ended June 30 with the state having $400 million, or 40 percent more money in its coffers than it had at the same time last year.

“We’re showing . . . that you can manage a budget by reducing expenditures and not raising taxes,” said Berry.

According to the report, “Barry credited state agencies who slimmed their spending and Governor Mitch Daniels’ fiscal accountability.”

“More money in Hoosiers’ incomes and a terrific job of cost control by state employees working together combined to produce an even stronger result than we expected at budget time,” Daniels said in a statement Thursday.

“With the national economy still limping badly, and downside risks still abounding, it is reassuring to have a safety margin that other states would love to have.”

Last year, Daniels and Indiana lawmakers were concerned the state was going to bankrupt by the end of the fiscal year. Now, the state has an amount in reserves that was not predicted to be reached until 2013. A happy situation for any state.

“Indiana arrived at its surplus despite receiving 5.5 percent less revenue, or $1.34 billion, that was anticipated in the 2010-2011 fiscal year from the budget passed in 2009. At the same time, the state found ways to spend 5.5 percent less, or $1.52 billion than expected,” the report continued.

However, as per their usual, Democrats decided that this was no cause for celebration.

“From even the most cursory examination, it is apparent that this budget surplus has not been built on a strong economy keyed on job creation,” said House Minority Leader Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) in response. “That’s because this administration has no such program.”

Pat Bauer, as some may remember, made headlines recently when he coaxed his fellow democrats into fleeing the state in an attempt to halt a vote on anti-union legislation.

Bauer continued: “Instead, it is obvious that this surplus owes a great deal to budget reversions and other accounting tricks that this administration frowned upon when it took office. Without the past use of federal stimulus dollars, the continual demand for trimming agency budgets, and the occasional raid on dedicated funds, our financial picture would not be as rosy as the governor and the auditor would like. At that point, it is prudent to wonder at the cost extracted by these gimmicks. What services are suffering as a result of the obsessive need to maintain a $1 billion surplus?”

Despite his overtures, Gov. Mitch Daniels plans to keep the money in savings rather than restore state programs that were cut.

At this moment, the $1.18 billion surplus does not meet the 10 percent budget surplus amount required for an automatic taxpayer refund which state lawmakers passed earlier this year. However, Indiana lawmakers are optimistic that the saving will come close to that at the end of the current two-year budget cycle.

With a fiscal hawk like Mitch Daniels at the helm, Indiana could teach Washington, D.C. a thing or too. With effective cuts and real fiscal austerity, budgets can be controlled.

Governor Daniels Chooses Not to Force His Family to Relive the Past, Opts Out of Presidential Race

From Ogden On Politics:

By now virtually everyone has seen the news that Governor Mitch Daniels has decided not to run for President.  While I wouldn’t have been surprised by this decision in January when I thought there was about a 15% chance he’d run, the last several months have all pointed to a Daniels’ candidacy.  This past week, I was about 70% sure he’d run.

Often when politicians claim to opt out of a race because of family reasons, “family” is merely an excuse. With Daniels though I believe him.  Everyone downplayed the issue here in Indiana, but the fact is Cheri Daniels’ decision to leave the marriage and four daughters behind to marry someone else and move to California in the 1990s. was an issue that would have become front and center should the Governor decided to run for President.

Contrary to the claims by some that the “far right” would not like the divorce and remarriage part of the story, religious conservatives would love the reconciliation and celebrate it as emblematic of family values.  The story unfortunately is more involved than that.  Cheri Daniels’ decision to leave behind her young daughters in Indiana to move to California and marry another man, created a political problem.  It wouldn’t have been a problem just with conservative voters, but with voters of all political stripes, and especially with mothers who would never forgive her leaving her young daughters behind.  On the presidential campaign trail, Cheri Daniels and the four (now) adult daughters would be asked repeatedly about what happened.  The questions were not going to go away.

Governor Daniels could have put his political ambition first and expose Cheri and their children to constantly reliving a painful episode from the past.  Instead Daniels chose to protect his family, putting their interests ahead of his own.  In a day and age of selfish male politicians having affairs at the drop of the hat, Daniels’ dedication to his family is a breath of fresh air.

Mitch Not Running

From HoosierAccess:

That about sums it up.

The task of saving America from the fiscal nightmare in which we find ourselves will be left to a field that is currently populated (in my opinion) with lesser candidates.

Mitch’s statement was short and sour:

Over the last year and a half, a large and diverse group of people have suggested to me an idea that I never otherwise would have considered, that I run for President. I’ve asked for time to think it over carefully, but these good people have been very patient and I owe them an answer.

The answer is that I will not be a candidate. What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.

I am deeply concerned, for the first time in my life, about the future of our Republic. In the next few years Americans will decide two basic sets of questions: Who’s in charge here? Should the public sector protect and promote the private sector or dominate and direct it? Does the government work for the people or vice versa?

And, are we Americans still the kind of people who can successfully govern ourselves, discipline ourselves financially, put the future and our children’s interests ahead of the present and our own?

I am confident that the answers will reaffirm the liberty and vitality of our nation, and hope to play some small part in proving that view true.

He also felt compelled to provide the Star with a second statement about his relationship with his wife, which is both odd and gratuitous (speculation on all of this would only have become material had he decided to run; it’s gone with him not running, which is probably a big reason why he didn’t run in the first place):

It is important to correct some factually incorrect accounts about the time when our family was divided. When Cheri and I parted, the court agreed with my view that our daughters’ best interests would be served by their staying in Indiana. Cheri and I were granted joint custody. Within a short time, she purchased a residence just a few minutes from our house. Until we remarried, we shared custody fully, the girls dividing their time between the two homes.

The notion that Cheri ever did or would “abandon” her girls or parental duty is the reverse of the truth and absurd to anyone who knows her, as I do, to be the best mother any daughter ever had.

All it takes for bad men to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And good women to not let good men do anything.

I do not think that the Republican nominee exists in the current field, but I do think that the odds of defeating Obama are lessened for want of a capable one.

Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Someone will fill the void being left by extremely capable men like Mitch Daniels (and Haley Barbour and Chris Christie, among others) saying no.

We just don’t know who that is yet, but we’d better know soon.

‘Obama, Pawlenty and Daniels’

From National Review:

In all likelihood, one of those three individuals will be (or still be) president in 2013, George Will said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the West front of the Capitol on January 20th, 2013, will be one of three people: Obama, Pawlenty and Daniels,” he said. “I think that’s it.”

What about Newt Gingrich?

“[His] problems are so far beyond just his multiple marriages and all that,” Will said. “This is just not a serious candidate.”

Watch here.

My Man Mitch – Just 7 Years: A World of Change

From HoosierAccess:

Mitch Daniels thrives on the challenge of fixing problems…. oh baby just think what he could do nationally!


Reading between the lines – Mitch Daniels is running for President

From Wrap Your Head Around:

Mitch Daniels is running for president . . . he just hasn’t announced it yet. Last night, the Indiana Republican Spring Dinner was one of the most frustrating nights I’ve had in a while, but it was also one of the most interesting. With a record crowd of over 1100 people in attendance and a plethora of news cameras and journalists on hand for the event, everyone was abuzz with the possibility of Governor Daniels making his announcement that he was entering the race.

He never did, and throughout both his, and his wife’s speech, the crowd was teased with perfect setups for the announcement, only to have them move on to the next topic. Several times throughout the night, people began nudging and whispering to each other with, “here it comes,” and “this is it.” But it never came, thus the frustration of the night.

But despite the frustration, what those in attendance received was a very subtle display of the true leadership of Mitch Daniels. The entire night was preparation for the national stage. He made the statement that he’s “open” to the possibility of a run, an amazing ”commercial” was played highlighting his accomplishments over the past seven years, and Cheri Daniels, a woman who typically shy’s from the spotlight, began practicing for her role as first lady.

Brandi, watching the streaming video from home, was frustrated by the amount of time given to her role at the State Fair, but that’s been her bread and butter for her time as Indiana’s first lady. While I agree, there was a bit too much time spent on that topic, she was basically sticking with what she knows, and using it to get comfortable on the stage. But, she also spoke on a few other topics – children’s literacy and heart health. As Josh Gillespie from Hoosier Access questioned on Facebook, are we hearing the beginning of some policy?

Daniels is ready to run. But he is exercising patience in a well crafted rollout to his campaign. He is steadily gaining national attention and more and more people across the nation are starting to learn his name. His wife is prepping for her role in the campaign. They are allowing the attack groups to start digging for skeletons early so there will be no surprises later on. They are establishing their platform, raising money, and generating a lot of excitement.

When his announcement comes, it will be well timed, well planned, and his campaign will be well established. This is precisely the kind of thoughtful leadership and diplomacy that is needed in the White House and that American’s are clamoring for. While Daniels did not officially announce his run, for those who were reading between the lines and looking critically at last nights event, he’s in.

National leaders call for “Mitch Daniels 2012″

From HoosierAccess:

Many national conservative leaders are hinting that Gov. Mitch Daniels ought to be one of our choices in 2012. Some leaders are whispering about it, quietly rallying troops and donors prepping the field for a Mitch Daniels run. Some are vociferous in online conversation and sharing of Indiana’s successes. And others? Others are using their limelight to down-right demand that Gov. Daniels run, offering his sound record of small government accomplishments against President Obama’s populist government bloat.

As individuals calling for “@MyManMitch” to run, these GOP leaders are certainly cultivating interest from undecideds. They also keep morale high from those of us who strongly believe Mitch to be the most accomplished candidate. But to look at the complete list is rather amazing, so here it is as I rank by influence and likelihood a list of 15 movers and shakers who I view as likely to endorse “Daniels for President”:

15. Gov. Rick Scott – Florida

Gov. Scott is looking to make big fiscal changes with Florida, lessening tax burdens and making it even more attractive to businesses, and he’ll be looking for a president that allows him to do this. A light connection is between he and Daniels, but with no strong ties to other candidates and perhaps some strong influence from former Gov. Jeb Bush as well as Edwin G. Buss, a cabinet member Scott enticed to leave from Indiana’s Department of Corrections, one may conclude that he’ll be influenced toward Daniels.

14. Gov. Bob McDonnell – Virginia

Though there was wide publicity that McDonnell takes issue with Daniels because of the truce comment, the fact is that McDonnell has admitted to focusing on fiscal issues first, though admitting protection of life is close to his heart. Reporting on McDonnell’s take of the presidential prospects, CBS wrote:

[McDonnell said] “four or five great [Republican presidential] candidates right now, most of whom are former governors or current governors.”

McDonnell refused to offer specific names but did say that “governors make great chief executives.”

Particularly since Daniels recently became the only presidential contender to sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, a Daniels presidency would allow McDonnell to have the best of both worlds.

Read the rest at HoosierAccess.

Indiana Sets Pace for Sweeping Education Reform

From Big Government:

Of all the states currently working on serious education reform, Indiana may deserve the gold medal.

Gov. Mitch Daniels and state Superintendent Tony Bennett fearlessly led the charge to dramatically reform the state’s education system.

“Are we about funding the education of children or funding the education system,” Bennett often said.

To that end, perhaps the most incredible of the reforms was the establishment of the broadest school voucher program in the country.  Within the next few years, the vast majority of Indiana students will be able to go to the school of their choice and the state-allotted funding will follow them.  Among other reforms includes increasing the number of charter schools, creating a performance pay system for teachers and restricting collective bargaining to pay and benefits.

Restricting collective bargaining was a major component of the reform effort. As Education Action Group has chronicled many times, union collective bargaining agreements have become ridiculous, with numerous provisions that cost schools millions of dollars and cumbersome rules that prevent schools from innovating and improving.

Daniels’ reforms do away with all of that nonsense and allow school officials to make decisions that prioritize students and their needs.

Daniels and Bennett, along with many state legislators, withstood the attacks from unions, school administrators and others in the educational establishment.  They fought back against “misinformation” campaigns.


See Tony Bennett in Episode 10 of “Kids Aren’t Cars” discussing reform in Indiana.

The reformers delivered a major victory for the children of Indiana and have set an example for other states to mimic.  Thankfully all of the obnoxious protests, particularly the Democratic lawmakers fleeing to Illinois to stall the legislative process, clearly failed.  The landmark changes provide renewed hope for all students of Indiana, particularly those trapped in public schools.

That’s real change the people of Indiana can believe in, courtesy of Gov. Daniels.

Washington D.C. Should Learn from Indiana

From HoosierAccess:

Congressman Marlin Stutzman recently touted the Hoosier State’s solvency, and Governor Daniels’ ingenuity in a floor speech to congress.

Along with the fourth balanced budget in a row with no tax increases, Stutzman cited Daniels’ education reform accomplishments.

Washington D.C. certainly needs a dose of Our Man Mitch.

Indiana Voucher Law: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

From Big Government:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an expansive new voucher law today. It’s a disaster for educational freedom. Read the full explanation here.

The voucher program has been widely praised as a momentous victory for school choice and Gov. Mitch Daniels on the brink of his long-awaited presidential campaign announcement. In reality, the voucher program is a tactical victory for highly constrained choice won at the price of a broad strategic defeat for educational freedom. This program will greatly expand state regulation of and authority over participating private schools.

In our efforts to expand educational choice across the country, we can’t lose sight of what makes that choice valuable; educational freedom and the diversity of choices it allows to develop. School choice is meaningless if all the choices are the same.

Just a teaser . . . ever heard of Chief Seattle? Private schools in Indiana will know him well if they take a voucher.

Read the piece for these and other shocking details!


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