Daniels Pushes Redistricting to His Own Benefit

This piece on Governor Mitch Daniels in The Hill gives him too much credit.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) recently offered his own solution for ending the partisan rancor in Washington — redistricting.

The process traditionally has been used to gain an advantage over the opposing party. But Daniels, who was in Washington preaching political civility, says it could be used to push members into the center of the political spectrum.

“If we got rid of gerrymandering and districts were really drawn not to protect incumbents but on a demographic, and geographic and common sense basis, I think we all know, we’d have a lot more competitive districts and you’d have more places where people compete for the center and not the edge,” the potential 2012 presidential contender said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Tuesday. “I’ve already told my own party, which got shafted in the last redistricting Congressionally and in the state House, I will not sign a politically drawn redistricting plan.”

In Indiana, redistricting is overseen by the state Legislature, with the governor holding veto power over their proposal.

Daniels said he is pushing state lawmakers to pass legislation to create redistricting guidelines that would make the process more transparent. “As it happens, it would give us a fairer shake than today,” he said.

Indiana Democrats, meanwhile, are worried that Daniels’ prolific fundraising abilities will help his party reclaim the state’s lower chamber in November. He has a PAC that donates to state politicians. If the GOP takes the state House, it would give the party complete control over redistricting, which will begin after the Census is complete in December.

Still, Daniels brushed aside the suggestion he was concerned about his party’s political future. His desire to reclaim the state House, he said “is not about redistricting.”

“We’ve got several more things I’d like to do on my watch and I’ve about run out the string of things we can get done with our opponents in control of the House,” he said.

He continues to thump for redistricting as the poor put-upon Republican while pressing for hegemony of the state for his final two years in office because the man cannot accept being questioned in any way shape or form. Note his testiness at WTHR after being caught lying about the number of jobs he claims to have brought to the state:

An Eyewitness News investigation shows thousands of Indiana jobs claimed by the state simply don’t exist.

Gov. Mitch Daniels is now talking about that investigation and, based on the governor’s comments, he is not impressed.

“You seem to have a blindingly clear view of what is perfectly obvious,” he said.

The governor addressed Indiana job numbers just hours after 13 Investigates showed up to 40% of jobs already promoted by the governor have not turned to reality. For three weeks, the governor declined WTHR’s requests to discuss the issue. That changed Tuesday afternoon at the statehouse, when investigative reporter Bob Segall asked the governor to respond to 13 Investigates’ findings during a question-and-answer session for the media.

“You seem to have discovered the obvious, namely that none of these jobs were ever scheduled to happen in the first year. Secondly, that some of them in a recession don’t happen,” Gov. Daniels replied.

The 6-month Eyewitness News investigation did not focus on any new jobs announced during the past year. Instead, WTHR’s statewide job analysis included only jobs announced by the state in 2006, 2007 and 2008. 13 Investigates examined what the Indiana Economic Development Corporation calls “Indiana Economic Successes” to determine if the projects were on track and if the companies listed as successes actually hired new workers.

That’s when WTHR discovered empty fields and deserted factories across the state where state leaders claim there are supposed to be new jobs. 13 Investigates found job commitments that fell through years ago are still being counted in the state’s job numbers. Those broken job commitments show up in state performance reports as if they were real jobs when, in fact, they are not.

“A commitment is not a reality. A commitment is a statement of hope and aspiration,” explained Morton Marcus, a business professor and former director of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University. “We need to be founded in reality and that’s the issue. “How many jobs are actually being created? Where are the jobs? Where is the reality as opposed to the hopes?”

Read the rest of the piece and see the video here. Note Mitch Roob’s lack of forthrightness as well.

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