Monday, July 22, 2013

Daniels Appointed Amos Brown To Education Roundtable To Silience Loud Mouth Critic

An interesting e-mail emerges from a batch of e-mails the office of State Education Superintendent Glenda Ritz leaked to AP reporter Tom Lobianco in order to discredit former Gov. Mitch Daniels. State Rep. Todd Huston, then an aide to former Supt. Tony Bennett, suggested in an e-mail to Daniels that he appoint black radio talk show host Amos Brown to the state's Education Roundtable in order to silence a "loud mouth" critic as Daniels pushed forward with his school voucher plan. From the AP:
Shortly before he pushed the nation’s broadest use of school vouchers, changes in teacher preparation, new teacher evaluations and raft of other ambitious education changes in 2011, Daniels and his team quietly lined up the votes in the General Assembly. Then-schools Superintendent Tony Bennett’s then-chief of staff, Todd Huston, delivered a spreadsheet identifying where Republican legislators stood on his plan in an Oct. 14, 2010, email to Daniels, Bennett and Republican mega-donor Al Hubbard. Daniels advised Huston should be careful
“Tks. Will treat in total confidence. If it has headings, I’d delete them if I were you. We shd have for other key reform issues, too???” Daniels wrote.
The emails are a constant reminder that the man who presented himself as a master technocrat, more concerned with fiscal issues than social grenades, came up in Washington as an ace political operative.
Most notes are not as visceral as the Zinn exchange, and many reflect an incredible eye for political strategy that would be expected of Ronald Reagan’s former political director. In an August 12, 2009, Huston suggested that Indianapolis radio host and African-American leader Amos Brown should be placed on the roundtable discussing the governor’s education agenda because, among other things, it could keep a “loud mouth” opponent in check.
“First blush: I love it. Lemme mull and bounce it off a couple people,” Daniels wrote.
Shortly afterward, Brown received a phone call from Bennett, asking him to join the board, and he accepted.
Brown said the move didn’t tempter his critiques and laughed as he read the email exchange, saying he took “no umbrage” at the play.
“Governor Daniels and I always had a healthy respect for each other. We’ve always been frank with each other,” he said.
Someone must have sent the same e-mail to Mayor Greg Ballard when he appointed Brown and another black radio talk show host to a public safety advisory board three years ago, which we know didn't turn out so well either.

6 comments:

Flogger said...

The Zinn comments by Daniels were interesting and seems to be in keeping with an attitude of America makes no mistakes. If there are incidents in our history that do not line up with the Rah-Rah History, then do not allow it to be taught.

The history I learned back in the 60's had a friendly encounter at Plymouth Rock, and then silence until Custer, on the fate of the Native Americans. Zinn provides a fill in the blanks of the all out assault on Native Americans - Shock and Awe in the 18th and 19th centuries.

David Drasin said...

Interesting essay, as so many of your are. I wonder what is the basis for your charge that it was Glenda Ritz's office that `leaked' these emails. I had read that they were released on the basis of a FOI request (although I am curious how the AP reporter thought of making this specific request).

Anonymous said...

Amos Brown is, in my humble opinion, one of the most ignorant people in Indianapolis...and he's had a microphone since I was in high school laughing at his ignorance!

Appointing an ignorant person to an education roundtable???? That is a wild thought!

BTW can anyone tell me if Amos Brown has a diploma from any accredited school?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Black Expo reimburse The City of Indianapolis for all of the extra POLICE and Emergency Management resources that are required to keep the mayhem to a minimum????

-The Indy 500, the Largest Spectator Event In The World doesn't require this kind of POLICE and emergency management services.....and it brings money to the city and people are NOT afraid to go to work downtown during the 500, like they are during Black Expo! Can anyone explain?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Reimburse the City for the costs of Black Expo? Are you kidding? The City underwrites a substantial part of its annual budget. The CIB waives the normal fees charged to any other organization that rents space at the convention center to put on public exhibitions. For years, it handed large annual grants to the organization. The pandering by the state and city to this organization, which serves no other purpose than to promote racial disharmony in the city, is reprehensible. Yet it goes on and one year after year. If any other organization sponsored an event that brought so much trouble and expense to the city, it would have been run out of town long ago.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Amos Brown's power of the mike and of the pen has gained him much prestige and influence in Indianapolis. And so it goes!