Indiana Republican Gov. Daniels declines to support GOP-pushed right-to-work bill

Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels declined Tuesday to support a GOP-pushed right-to-work bill that had led House Democrats to flee the state to avoid a possible vote on the bill.

“I don’t attempt to dictate the agenda. I’m not in position to, really, of a separate and free-standing superior branch of government,” Daniels told reporters in an afternoon press conference. “For reasons I’ve explained more than once, I think there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.”

Daniels also seemed to say that Democrats fleeing the state was a “perfectly legitimate part of the process,” which is how he described the “activities of today.”

“Even the smallest minority, and that’s what we’ve heard from in the last couple days, has every right to express the strength of its views and I salute those who did,” he said.

The right-to-work bill has long taken a back seat to education reform bills in Daniels’ priorities, but his Tuesday statement was read by many conservative activists as an unnecessary capitulation to union forces.

Daniels said he would not send any state police to pick up AWOL Democrats, but would “trust that people’s consciences will bring them back to work and I choose to believe that our friends in the minority will, having made their point, will come back and do their duty and the jobs they are paid to do.”

Daniels told the Indianapolis Star in December that while right-to-work is a “legitimate” issue, it might constitute a barrier to educational reforms because Republicans had not campaigned on the measure as a priority.

“It may be worth a look but I don’t think it should be a subject of debate and vote in this particular General Assembly,” Daniels said, adding it has “the potential to stop or block our opportunities to make real head-way for kids and local government and criminal justice.”

Daniels aides argued that today’s Indianapolis Star story on Daniels’ remarks mischaracterized his position on right-to-work, and that he doesn’t want the bill killed.

Video of the press conference is here, and a transcript of his remarks, here.

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  • jduvall2816

    I can’t believe how many people are calling Daniels weak and “unpresidential” on this move. For those of you who consider themselves a little more intellectual than a rock I suggest you consider the following:

    The Indiana “Right to Work” Bill is not the same fight that Wisconsin is in right now. Daniels took the collective bargaining rights of Public Unions away in 2004/2005 before anyone else really knew how important they were. If you take the time to read Indiana’s proposed Bill (I think it’s HB 1028…) basically the only thing the Bill would guarantee is that Unions could not force anyone to join a Union to work for a specific company or industry. And while that is noble and the right choice (as Daniels has stated) it is not the right time for this fight……..Here’s why. Indiana’s legislative session only runs through April of this year. That gives us roughly 2 months and a week to address all of the issues that the newly elected representatives (which just this past election won the majority) to accomplish the goals they campainged on which are Education Reform, Prison Reform and Local Government Reform.

    The Education Reform Bill strips additional bargaining rights from the Teacher’s Union and will be a revolutionizing Bill nationally as it will allow public tax dollars to allow children use the money to attend private schools (including religeous)…….that would be huge on a national level.

    I’m currently familiarizing myself with the Prison Reform Bill that has been submitted so I don’t have much analysis…..I do know the main goal was to force Felony offenders to serve at least 85% of their sentence before parole elegibility.

    And Local Government Reform is going to save Indiana a load of cash as they are one of the only states in the U.S. that still fund “Townships” with public tax dollars. It’s a blunt waste of tax dollars and is highly inefficient……something Daniels doesn’t like to tollerate.

    Why are these issues affected by the issue of “Right to Work”? Well, since the Indiana session ends in April and the Republicans don’t have a “Super Majority” they cannot force any legislation through the House. By putting all of their cards into the “Right to Work” basket, which, again…….not one republican campainged on or promised to achieve” they WILL NOT GET ANY OF THEIR CAMPAIGN PROMISES ACCOMPLISHED.

    What sense does it make to force an issue that most voters didn’t know you were planning on anywasy if you will not be able to accomplish the goals you were elected on. Those of you who actually do your own research know that Mitch Daniels likes and in a different scenario would sign the “Right to Work” legislation. But, he has proclaimed since this “Right to Work” issue came up in November after the election that he did not want to see it derail the rest of the Bills on the table as they will have as much and potentially more impact than the Right to Work act.

    I know most people don’t follow Indiana politics but always keep this in mind if you hear Daniels say something that sounds a little controversial to the conservative movement………He’s a shrewd man. He’s usually a few steps ahead of the political game and plays to win on the issues he’s promised his voters he’s take on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, I can’t find a single Bill that he’s signed that compromised or diminished the Social Consevative view point of an issue.

    • russ311

      Nice post. Thanks for all of the clarifications. Daniels is definitely worthy of more attention.

    • emem

      Thanks for this info…..a similar thing is being discussed in my state. But I have a few questions if you could clarify from your text below.

      The Education Reform Bill strips additional bargaining rights from the Teacher’s Union and will be a revolutionizing Bill nationally as it will allow public tax dollars to allow children use the money to attend private schools (including religeous)…….that would be huge on a national level.

      How will the public tax dollars be apportioned? Will the approved voucher amounts be subtracted from the existing school budget or will additional taxes be collected for this subsidy?

      And as far as religious schools goes, I have a problem with that, particularly any radical idealogic school assuming there cannot be any religious discrimination…..

  • moira1987

    Welcome to Loserville, population: Mitch Daniels. Hey Mitch! They’ve got a room for ya at the Cowards Hotel and Spa in beautiful downtown Rockford, Illinois. Jump in, the water’s warm…

  • kingfish

    Any prospective presidental candidate who would actually say it’s okay for state congress members to FLEE THE STATE TO AVOID VOTING ON A BILL is a complete LOON. This man is not FIT to even be a governor, much less a president.

    It’s amusing how all these useless politicians come out of the woodwork thinking that Americans will actually put them in office.
    Well…I guess they have a point…

    (1) we mindlessly put Obama, Clinton and the Bushes in office, and millions still think Hillary the Witch is viable rather than reading about ChinaMissileGate, VinceFosterGate, PaulaGate, WhitewaterGate, TravelGate, WhitehouseBedroomGate, ChildrensFundGate, FBIfileGate, TrooperGate, WhitehouseFurnitureGate, GenniferFlowersGate, MonicaGate, AlGorefundraisingGate, & on and on.

    (2) We elected a homosexual foreign-born president with no birth certificate and a CIA-bought Columbia degree. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize for nothing. The whole country was incredulous.

    Wayne Madsen Investigative Reports: SPECIAL REPORT. Obama and Emanuel: members of same gay bath house club in Chicago

    (3) The foreign-born president GAVE George H.W. Bush, the most-documented criminal on the face of the earth, the MEDAL OF FREEDOM yesterday. GOOGLE: “Bush +Clinton +CIA drugs”

    (4) The Bushes and Clintons planned 48 years or more of power – Bush Sr (8 yrs), Bill Clinton (8 yrs), W. Bush (8 yrs), Hillary (8 yrs), Jeb (8 yrs), Chelsea (8 yrs). Jeb keeps popping up for 2012. Chelsea’s marriage has gone kaput over her political senatorial ambitions.

  • JDoe

    Wow, been quite a while since I’ve seen anyone crash and burn so quickly out

    of a run for Pres.

    Too bad, too, I was just starting to look into him as a possible.

    We need a animal like Christie to bust up these blood sucking unions…

    not a RINO !

    Bye bye, Mitch…we hardly knew ye !


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  • tjd0hwo

    All states should be “right to work”. Presently, unions use Collective Coercion instead of Collective Bargaining. (won’t make your cars, won’t teach your children unless these -often ridiculous- demands are accepted). Right to work provides a regulating effect on over the top union demands. Also, deadbeats tend to hide behind the union “skirt” in the instance a union membership is required – this obviously does double harm because of negative effects on productivity. I’ve been in this situation and these are facts not pro or anti union rhetoric.

  • MoSov

    Some on this thread have said the Daniels is trying to push through school vouches, which would help destroy the unions, and doesn’t want the distraction of a second frontal attack of right-to-work.

    Indiana has Repbulican majorities in both chambers.

    Does anyone believe for one second that if the Liberals had majorities that they would care for one second about multiple attack fronts on conservatism and not care about what a small majority of “other” govt. union members think or whether said members would through public temper tantrums.

    That’s why Liberals succeed and weak-kneed Republicans don’t.

    Daniels is way off on his position and unless he clarifies this quickly this will end any chances in 2012. My guess is he’ll be out by the end of the day saying, “What I really meant to say is….”

  • wodiej

    Whatever Daniel’s reason, he was not clear about it until now. Second, saluting Democrats who fled the state to avoid a vote? Pathetic statement. The teachers in Indiana are fighting the school vouchers either way.

    • gringott

      Who knows what he is up to. I do know we need to stop promoting every Republican who says one thing we like to potential Presidental Candidate. Let’s just put in a puppet like Obama, but one who dances to the strings WE THE PEOPLE pull rather than Goldman Sachs.

  • MerryJ1

    Let’s slow down for a few beats and think before we do the RINO tap-dance on Daniels’ skull. There are quite a few sticking points, not least of all is this line from the above article: “Daniels also SEEMED TO SAY that Democrats fleeing the state… (was ‘a legitimate part of the process’).” That is to say, Daniels didn’t say that, Mary Katherine inferred it from whatever he DID say (sorry – I’m not shouting, but there’s no way to italicize for emphasis).

    According to a couple of comments from DC readers who apparently know more about current legislative stuff going on in Indiana than I do, Daniels is trying to get a state-wide school voucher option in place. If so, and if that could be successfully implemented, that would also break the union’s grip on the education system, but just from a different direction.

    In other words, trying right now, at the same time, to push the “right to work” bill (as important as that is, and I’ve signed the petitions), could amount to inviting union & leftist forces to galvanize and ultimately causing BOTH initiatives – Vouchers and Right to Work – to fall.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Devon-Generally/554906832 Devon Generally

      On the money!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Devon-Generally/554906832 Devon Generally

      “Even the smallest minority, and that’s what we’ve heard from in the last couple days, has every right to express the strength of its views and I salute those who did,” he said.

      • reallifemom

        Exactly Devon. I don’t think Ms. Ham had it wrong. If this comment does not support the actions that the dems in Indiana have taken, by failing to show up for the job for which they have been elected and sworn to do, what is it? I think he is showing his true colors and I am not voting for him for president.

    • russ311

      Good points, MerryJ1.

      btw you can italicize by typing words to italicize . Without the spaces I included. Same for bold lettering with a b, or for strike words with an s. I still haven’t figured out though how to do urls or to change font colors. anyone?

      • russ311

        Well, that worked well. NOT! The code marks did not show up. Use the sideways carrots to the left of the question mark (shift,comma and shift,period) on your keyboard as the brackets for an i before the word to italicize and again with an /i (forward slash with an i) bracketed to finish the italicization. Or use a b for bold letters. The s for strike words didn’t work afterall.