Monday, April 25, 2011
Two Reasons Why John Gregg Will Never Be Governor
Democrats are all giddy about the prospect of former House Speaker John Gregg being their candidate for governor in 2012. Gregg should have no problem winning the nomination but he won't stand a chance against Mike Pence, the likely Republican nominee. Why? Before Gregg entered politics, he worked as a State House lobbyist for a coal company. Before he retired from the legislature, he and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton snuck through the legislature the biggest legislative perk of all time for retired lawmakers--lifetime subsidized health insurance benefits for themselves and their dependents. After the public firestorm and the defeat of several incumbent legislators, including Garton and long-time Senate Finance Chairman Larry Borst, the plan was eventually scrapped. After leaving the legislature, Gregg returned to his former career as a lobbyist--this time working for a big law firm representing an East Chicago casino, an alcohol trade group and big government contractors, among others. Can Mike Pence boil that down to a 30-second campaign spot that will come to define Gregg on terms contrary to the homespun image that he has spent years building for himself? Do voters hold lobbyists and grafting politicians in contempt? You bet.