Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Inquisition Has Begun

Star business columnist John Ketzenberger has the low-down on an inquisition of sorts launched by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield) and Rep. Eric Turner (R-Gas City) to get to the bottom of the cabal among Indiana's leading businesses to defeat their treasured constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and more in Indiana. Speaking of a letter they recently sent to the businesses, Ketzenberger asks, "Are Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield, and Rep. Eric Turner, R-Marion, trying to bully some of the state's leading companies?" "Knowing that you would not wish to sully (your company's) good name on the basis of incomplete or conjectural information," they write, "we appreciate your prompt attention to this matter."

Ketzenberger thinks the two are implying a conspiracy among Cummins, Eli Lilly, Wellpoint, Dow Agro Sciences and Emmis Communications, the businesses which recently announced their opposition to SJR-7 because of their concern of its impact on their domestic partner benefits, and because of the message of intolerance it would send, hampering their efforts to recruit the best and the brightest to their companies. Quoting from their letter, Ketzenberger writes,"As it seems the same language has appeared in letters from more than one company, please advise us of what groups may have requested you to make a public statement and what draft language may have been provided to you." Gee, do you think opponents might be found guilty of coordinating their message? Every witness for the proponents consistently apes the same message uttered by Advance America's Eric Miller, Micah Clark's American Family Association and Curt Smith's Indiana Family Institute. Get serious, guys.

Ketzenberger also thinks Hershman and Turner are implying that the businesses weren't acting in good faith in opposing the amendment. "Please forward to us the resolution adopted by the board of directors of your publicly traded company approving this as the official policy," one letter read, "or indicate which sector of corporate management authorized this position." Opponents of the SJR have spread misleading and inaccurate information about the impacts of the legislation," the Hershman/Turner letter read. "These efforts appear to be intended to spread fear and confusion, but are absent of any factual basis."

Spreading fear and confusion? Isn't that exactly what the proponents have been doing for the past four years by implying same-sex marriages would become legal in Indiana if the state's voters weren't allowed to vote on a constitutional amendment?

Ketzenberger thinks any suggestions the state's leading businesses were "patsies of the organized opposition" or "unable to think for themselves" are "silly notions." "These companies employ thousands of people in Indiana and across the globe," Ketzenberger writes. "They know tolerance is good business, and they don't want their home state to do anything that appears intolerant." They'll get answers to their letters, Ketzenberger assures us. "But they'll hear what they heard when the companies testified last month: that intolerance is bad for business."


Anonymous said...

At what point are we beating a dead horse on SJR-7? I think all of us who read this blog regularly know exactly how you feel about it and we know who is on your side at the Statehouse and who isn't. Any other topics you care to discuss? Just a thought, not meant to offend anyone or stir up any political mud-slinging(Hint, hint....WILSON).

Jay C. Howard said...

Hey Spencer: Go read the archives of this blog. Since SJR7 is not really dead, AI should continue to write about it until it is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Spencer,

For the record SJR-7 is not a dead horse. The "Hershman/Turner Inquistition" should be evidence enough to you that proponents have no intention of letting the "SJR-7 horse" die. I visit this website regularly to find information on SJR-7 as well as MANY other topics. I'm sure the Hershman/Turner folks are "praying" we let our guard down so they can "go in for the kill". Sorry, aint gonna happen.

Advance Indiana,
Hershman/Turner have definately gone off the deep end on this one. Thank you for continuing to cover SJR-7.
I love your blog! You do an excellent job covering a broad spectrum of topics.

Anonymous said...

My question is, what exactly needs to happen to break the silence of one Mitch Daniels?

I understand that he has not wanted to expend political capital on this issue, but goddamit enough is enough.

Our super-pro-business governor is sitting silent while members of his own party are attacking some of the state's largest employers.

Is he that cowardly to just allow this to happen? Is Governor Daniels so fearful of the right wing of his party that he will do nothing while his fellow Republicans are going for the jugular of some of our most vital businesses?

Wilson46201 said...

"Spencer46205" is a classic "concern troll" who pops up out of nowhere with "friendly advice" to drop informed anti-SJR7 postings. Gary has done superb work in this blog against SJR7 but this newbie out of nowhere wants him to cease. Peculiar, indeed.

As a topper, "spencer46205" indulges in a gratuitous personal sideswipe against me. I suspect "Spencer465205" is a regular anonymous nobody who holds a grudge ("Sorest Losers of 2006") AND who really doesn't have the interests of unprejudiced and unbigoted Hoosiers at heart!


Anonymous said...

I said I didn't intend to stir up any name calling or mud slinging. But, like an addict needing a fix, Wilson just couldn't resist. It surprises me not. It was a post intended to elicit an EDUCATED discussion and, until Wilson's post, it did just that. The true colors of some will always show, regardless of how hard they try to bite their respective tongues.

Anonymous said...

By all means, Gary, continue to blog about SJR-7. Getting you to stop that effort is exactly what its proponents want you to do. In my own post on this morning I reflect the significant contribution you and other bloggers have made in this area. May it continue.

Anonymous said...

At some point, when legislators bully their way around, and send threatening letters to Indiana companies' CEOs, will someone call them out?

Ketz did, today in his column. I didn't think he had it in him. Great Day in the Mornin'.

Eric Turner is a classic bully. Herschman is a hypocrite. They have not given up, and their willing accomplice, Eric Miller, aided by dunces like Micah Clark, will beat this drum for a long time.

For most of them, it's their means of making a living.

For Turner and Herschman, it's just stupidity. And you can't cure stupid.

I take that back--Miller and Clark are not stupid. They're in fact very smart. Mortgages to pay, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, their letters to those companies are not really going to inspire Lilly et. al. to step back. But they MIGHT make other companies and the universities say, "see what happened to them? We don't want to be interrogated."

Classic bullying technique to keep the herd under your control.

Edward Fox said...

I see another way to gain support. For years the dark side has gotten away with persuading many people that they were godly Christians who merely wanted to do God's work. Since no body was paying attention, it worked.

I doubt that Terri Austin now thinks that Eric Miller et. al are benign. "Malignant"is probably a better word. I do not know what the large employers thought about the sincerity or good intentions of that crew, but I am sure their eyes are open now.

Wilson46201 said...

Speaking of blogs carrying info against SJR-7, a local blog run by GOP attorney and losing candidate Darla Y. Williams is strangely silent about the Anti-Marriage Amendment pro or con. The so-called "Indiana Minority Report" seemingly considers SJR7 to be a non-issue. I noticed no articles about it anywhere on IMM. Considering well-known homohater Jocelyn Tandy is a major contributor there, I suspect IMM is also opposed to hate crime legislation and to LGBT equal rights. Shameful!

Anonymous said...


Gary, can you set up some program that combines any mention of these words, and automatically block them: ?

Darla Williams, Wilson, Jocelyn Tandy.

This thread had nothing to do with those women, and it gets dragged up again. Their lone connecting thread seems to be crimes against the Congresswoman, or her strong supporters. There's no interest in that at all...anywhere.

The post is about large Indiana companies who had courage, and are now getting the hard/heavy bully treatment from Eric Turner and Sen. Herschman.

Continual re-dredging of someone's old vendettas, furthers no cause. It's boring, and needs to find a home somewhere else.

Back to the original post topic: bravo to the five companies, and, yes, the current bullying tactics may discourage others from coming forth in the future.

Such is the territory and tactic of bullies.

Anonymous said...

1:15, I've been a defender of Wilson (and I do know him personally)--sure he's a die-hard partisan, but what the hell. A whole lot of his detractors are not much different, they're just on the other side.

But I thought the same thing about that stretch to dredge up the Darla/Jocelyn thing, in particular on this thread. This letter-writing campaign from the Bigot Twins was an outrageous ANTI-BUSINESS move on the part of two REPUBLICANS (let the partisanship fly Wilson!). The other stuff should be saved for another day--it only detracts from this important topic.

Anonymous said...

The Bigot Twins in my comment above being Hershman/Turner, not the aforementioned women.

Anonymous said...

>Spreading fear and confusion? Isn't that exactly what the proponents have been doing for the past four years by implying same-sex marriages would become legal in Indiana if the state's voters weren't allowed to vote on a constitutional amendment?

OF COURSE, the SJR7 proponents have been talking about this. And that's exactly why you are opposed to the amendment, so that that outcome remains a possibility. In other words, what the proponents are saying is true! And YOU actually hope it IS true.

So it leaves me with a huge curiosity, which I really cannot figure out. When you say things like this, do you really think people are too stupid to see through your hipocrisy? Or are you too blinded by your own hate and your fanaticism on this issue to see it for yourself? Or do you simply know that lying about your own beliefs and expectations is the only way that you can win?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the end of the day....

Or the end (almost) of a long week...

But I have no idea what 3:23 is saying.

Gibberish. Is it directed at Eric/Herschman, et al, or at the anti-SJR7 forces?

Clear out the cobwebs and try again, honey.

And, FYI, it's hypocrite, with a "y."

Anonymous said...

Not surprising, 3:33. Very little on this blog ever seems logical. Emotions carry the day.

Wilson46201 said...

Unlike the laser-like penetrating and profound legal analysis propounded by Eric Miller and his associates?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ask PrincetonOne what their company's opinion of SJR-7 would be??? Let's see what kind of answer $2 million in state funds buys.

-- Lynn David

Anonymous said...

What the Hershman-Turner group aim to do is to put their own people into positions of power in these corporations, or in their own words, into the proper sector of corporate management. The Scientologists once tried to do this with the IRS. Curious they would telegraph their intent by overtly sending a letter to those they intend to oust. These companies are big enough that Hershman-Turner likely have some supporters within these companies already, albeit at a low level, who have enough knowledge of the inner workings of their company to provide the answers to the questions in the letter.