Monday, April 23, 2012

Mitch Still Covering For Dick After All These Years

Gov. Mitch Daniels makes a last-ditch appeal to save his long-time political mentor, Sen. Richard Lugar. Daniels cut his teeth in politics working as a young campaign operative under former Marion Co. GOP Chairman Keith Bulen, who according to some insider reports, helped deliver the Republican mayoral nomination in Indianapolis to Lugar after Lugar's mother delivered a check to Bulen for $60,000, which launched Lugar's political career in Indiana politics 45 years ago. Daniels' first campaign working as a paid campaign staffer for his mentor after graduating from Princeton was Lugar's unsuccessful race to unseat former Sen. Birch Bayh in 1974. The Hoosier Hysteria blog reminds us of the role Daniels played in his first government-paid job as Lugar's press aide in the mayor's office. Here's Mitch explaining how he was using his government-paid job to raise campaign funds from city workers for his boss as reported by the Indianapolis Star on January 16, 1975 a little more than two months after Lugar's sobering loss to Bayh:
"Mayor Richard G. Lugar's administration yesterday officially began the GOP Public Employees Fund Drive, a device designed to replace the old 2 per cent patronage deduction from the paychecks of city employees. Fifteen persons, including department heads and most of the mayor's staff, were given the initial opportunity to pledge, a ceremony which resulted in a total annual pledge of $7,420, or almost 3 per cent of the combined annual salaries of those involved. The individual monthly amounts ranged from $30 to $50 . . . Mitchell Daniels, the mayor's press aide, remarked 'We are extremely enthusiastic about this program and expect it to be attractive because of its voluntary nature.' Pledge cards, a misnomer since employes [sic] actually will sign mimeographed sheets of paper, will be distributed to employees through their department or division supervisors next week. UniGov Department heads have been asked to draft a list of employees who should be asked to pledge, and therefore will decide who should be exempted from the program. Daniels speculated that such persons who might be exempted include those whose salaries are derived wholly from Federal funds or who are working in decidedly professional categories. "But that decision rests with the supervisor,' he emphasized. . .It is unknown how many employes [sic] will be asked to participated, but Daniels said the city hopes to raise at least $65,000 , the amount received last year from the payroll deductions. He commented that in some departments, employees traditionally have not contributed and the city hopes to get at least one-half or 1 per cent pledges by virtue of the voluntary nature of the program. He added the payroll deduction program enjoyed marginal success. . .The voluntary program will feature a 'peer-to-peer follow-up effort' in which nonsupervisory coworkers will visit the homes of employees who fail to pledge and encourage the 'maverick' to do so . . . Daniels promised that none of the follow-up consolers will threaten an employe [sic] with dismissal, nor would they be in a position to do so . . . Many city employes [sic], however, are concerned that the program, for all its pretense will be little removed from the payroll deduction system under which some workers were threatened with dismissal for failure to pay."
This is why today's Indianapolis Star reporters refuse to read their own newspaper's archives. It's just shocking what was matter-of-factly reported back in those days in the state's newspaper of record. As Paul Harvey used to say, "And now you know the rest of the story."


rohshack147 said...

God! Will the state party finally grow a pair and cut the umbilical cord! I mean Lugar is so out of touch it is not funny! I only wish the Star was half as good today as it was 30 years ago! It sounds alot like Daniels got his start in trying to intimidate people working for Lugar. I am sure that cutting this ad will hurt him with other republicans at least it should! Gary what do you think this ad will do for Lugar if anything?


Indy Rob said...

Geez, who have thought little Mitch would grow up to push right-to-work legislation that eliminated closed union shops because it is unfair to force employees to pay a patron for their job?

Gary R. Welsh said...

A six-term incumbent senator needs a surrogate to make the case for his re-election. Does that answer your question, Rohshack?

John Michael Vore said...

Thanks for reposting the Hoosier Hysterias entry, Gary. Regarding Star reporters use of their own archives: I'm not even sure current reporters have access to their archives, electronically. When Gannett took over, one imagines the Star would have moved to the Gannet system? Does anyone know? The Star Fact File on Mr. Daniels, of course, does need to be corrected. He didn't go to work first for Mr. Lugar after Princeton; he went to work for L. Keith Bulen and was vice president at Bulen's Campaign Communicators, Inc. when Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Michael DeFabis Jr. hired Mr. Daniels on as press aide in the mayor's office in December, 1974--as Mr. Bulen was shutting down Campaign Communicators due to the FBI probe of political influence trading for liquor licenses . . . See this link on for 07 Dec 1974 Star article: