It wasn't illegal for the governor's office to make an unsolicited offer to hire two legislators for state jobs during a legislative session. But it sure has the appearance of impropriety, especially for a governor who campaigned for office vowing to implement "ethical standards befitting of a great state."
Harry Gonso, the governor's chief of staff, says he never considered that offering jobs to lawmakers during the middle of the session might raise questions of ethics. He should have . . .
Yet House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, who says the job offers "certainly raise a lot of questions," doesn't have room to complain. He is one of four lawmakers employed by Ivy Tech, whose budget the General Assembly controls.
Daniels, who has rightly complained about that practice, should refrain from approaching lawmakers for jobs until well after they have left office, and continue pushing for "simple and complete" ethical reform to bar similar practices.
The Star's reaction is little more than a small hand slap for what we consider a serious breach of public trust, if not criminal bribery. But the Star has already concluded it "wasn't illegal" so that should end the matter we guess. And the slap at Bauer seems to be subtle suggestion to Democrats that they shouldn't try making hay out of the issue if they know what's best for themselves.