Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Daniels Rewarded With Another High-Paid Corporate Board Position
To read the Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star's announcement that Mitch Daniels is joining the board of another corporation that has received large payouts courtesy of Indiana taxpayers it's just another form of public service. The former governor and Purdue president is joining the board of Interactive Intelligence, which pays its board members an average annual compensation of $187,200 to attend a handful of board meetings during the year, many times what the average Hoosier worker earns in a year from their full-time jobs. The $600,000 in base salary Daniels earns as Purdue's president just isn't enough to pay the bills.
According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's website, Interactive Intelligence was the beneficiary of more than $16.6 million in EDGE tax credits and $500,000 in training grant money awarded when Daniels was the state's governor. That's not all. Last year, Gov. Pence and the IEDC announced it was awarding up to $8.3 million in additional tax credits and another $300,000 in training grant money for an expansion of its Indiana operations with the promise of adding 430 new jobs by 2016.
In January 2013, Daniels awarded Interactive Intelligence's CEO Donald Brown with the Sagamore Award, the highest honor a state's governor can award to one of its citizens. "Indiana needs more Don Browns," Gov. Daniels said in awarding Brown the Sagamore. "He develops companies that become wildly successful and then comes up with more ideas using Indiana as his base of operations. We couldn't be more proud of Dr. Brown's accomplishments."
This is nothing new. Mitch Daniels has always used public service as a means of attaining enormous wealth for himself. He successfully leveraged his job in the Reagan administration to land a top corporate job at Eli Lilly where he earned tens of millions of dollars as an reward for special interest benefits he helped get Congress write into law that positively impacted Lilly's bottom line at the expense of federal taxpayers.
The Star mentions that Daniels also joined the board of Cerner, a Kansas City-based health care information technology company. Who can't figure out how the president of a major university like Purdue is not in a position to do favors for companies that give him high-paid positions on their corporate boards?
The Star makes no mention of Daniels being named to Hulman & Company's board of directors around the same time a deal by Gov. Mike Pence and key state lawmakers was cut behind closed doors to give the Hulman & Company's Indianapolis Motor Speedway $100 million in state taxpayer dollars to improve their privately-owned race track. Purdue played a role in writing a bogus study to tout the benefits of the IMS to Indiana's economy. The salary paid to Hulman & Company's board members is not public information but it is reportedly very generous since it is primarily occupied by family members who rely on that salary for their spending money. It should also be mentioned that Gov. Pence's son attended Purdue University on very generous scholarships Daniels made sure he got so the Pence household didn't have to incur debt to send their son to college like other ordinary Hoosiers.
So yet another company walks away with tens of millions of our tax dollars while stuffing money in the politicians' pockets who are supposed to be representing our interests but actually earn far more in quid pro quo deals using your taxpayer dollars as the quo. It's disgusting and illegal, but there is nobody on the side of taxpayers to fight for our interest to put these dirty bums in prison where they belong for using our taxpayer dollars as their own personal ATM machine. Instead of reporting real public corruption that exposes the ways of those they seek to protect, our media creates flash mob stories about RFRA, JustIn and other manufactured stories used to advance their own social and political agenda.