While Republicans running for the legislature are likely to be campaigning heavily on the need for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and on immigration reform, Daniels said neither issue will get emphasis from him.
"I do believe there are other things more important to our future, at least other things that a governor and the people around him can try to work on," he said. "And, secondly, I'm always trying to bring this state together, and we don't have, I don't believe, the luxury of division."
Saturday, June 16, 2007
It's Daniels Day
All eyes are on Gov. Mitch Daniels as he announces his re-election bid today at Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse. In a wide-ranging interview with reporters, Daniels clues us in on what his campaign will hold for voters. Let's begin with the controversial constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in Indiana. It will not be a part of Daniels' campaign reports the Star's Mary Beth Schneider. She writes:
That statement is not likely to endear him to social conservatives like Eric Miller and Micah Clark, but I suspect Daniels has caved to their demands sufficiently since he, in their judgment, mistakenly extended the state's non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and gender identity in the first few months he took office. The "In God We Trust" license plates are a good example of this. Daniels' BMV have been handing out the license plate to Indiana motorists as if it were the standard Indiana license plate--a move which is costing Indiana taxpayers millions. While Miller, himself a primary opponent of Daniels in 2004, has kept alive his campaign committee, neither he nor any other social conservative has been making waves about challenging Daniels in the GOP primary next year.
The focus of Daniels' campaign will be "the economy, job growth and education, along with government reform." He will also renew his plan to privatize the Hoosier Lottery to fund higher education initiatives. "I very much hope to see us capture the value that is there (in the lottery), but not for its own sake. Never. Always the question is: In what could we reinvest those funds for the long-term good of this state? Education comes to the top of my list, but there are other possibilities."
And Daniels doesn't see daylight savings time as being a factor in next year's election. "I don't hear much about it anymore. Some folks don't like it, of course. But honestly, I hear less and less," he said.
Asked if he's a good listener, he insists he is. "It would probably be hard to find somebody who's done more listening than I have," he said. The Democratic Party's Dan Parker takes issue on this point. He cites the Governor's failure to listen to opponent of the privatization of the Indiana Toll Road and to lead on the issue of property tax reform. "The governor put nothing on the table," Parker said. "He has not done a thing about property taxes. It was legislative leaders who took on that issue."
Right now, history is on Daniels' side with respect to his re-election chances. No elected Indiana governor has ever lost his bid for re-election since the Indiana Constitution was amended to allow a governor to seek more than one term. There's always a first for everything though. I don't see any signs the Governor is taking anything for granted when it comes to his re-election campaign.