[StBernard] A Successful Conservative
Westley at da-parish.com
Mon Oct 26 17:01:50 EDT 2009
I am writing to share with you my current opinion column that appears in The
Washington Times. The column highlights the achievements of Indiana Governor
Mitch Daniel. The reform-minded, conservative policies that Governor Daniels
is implementing could be model for state governments across the country.
Hope you enjoy this column.
Frank Donatelli, Chairman
The reform-minded conservative
By Frank Donatelli
October 26, 2009
Imagine a two-term Republican governor from a state carried by Barack Obama
who turned an $800 million deficit into a $1.2 billion surplus by cutting
overhead and bringing sound business principles to his state's government
even as he provided new health benefits for poor citizens. Imagine no
longer. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels accomplished this and more, and he did it
all while enacting the biggest tax cut in state history.
Despite a long career in public service, Mr. Daniels is not nearly as
well-known as some of his colleagues. He worked for several years on Capitol
Hill as chief aide to Sen. Richard G. Lugar and served former President
Ronald Reagan as political director. After a 15-year stint in private
business, Mr. Daniels became former President George W. Bush's director of
the Office of Management and Budget and then won back-to-back gubernatorial
races in 2004 and 2008 in Indiana. His second victory was won with the
biggest vote total of any candidate for any office in state history.
Despite his relatively low public profile, Mr. Daniels has been a
successful, reform-minded, conservative governor. He took office in 2005
with a huge deficit and state spending growing at an unsustainable 6 percent
But Mr. Daniels is not one to kick the can down the road. He immediately
went to work finding savings wherever he could. Cost-cutting and
businesslike practices cured the state's operational deficit, but Indiana,
like virtually every other state, also faced a huge shortfall in capital
infrastructure funds. Mr. Daniels tackled that with the largest
public-private partnership in U.S. history, a lease of the Indiana Toll
Road, which brought the state nearly $4 billion for investment in
transportation plus billions more to modernize the Toll Road itself.
In an interview, Mr. Daniels explained the impediments to conservative
reform. "One is the public-sector employee unions who benefit from higher
government spending and oppose pro-taxpayer reforms such as contracting for
There is also the need to convince employees and state legislators who are
often "far more comfortable with preserving the way things have always been
rather than seeing what we could do to make things better."
To read the entire column, please visit The Chairman's Corner
<http://link.sc.gopacmail.com?122-955-968-140391-5334> on the GOPAC website
by clicking here. <http://link.sc.gopacmail.com?122-955-968-140391-5334>
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