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Pence Power Grab Aims to Remove Elected Official

safe_imageLiving in Indiana, I get to hear a lot about the Republican party and their potential candidates.  It reads like a list of the worst case scenarios for the people of the United States.  One name that has been on the list for a little while now is Mike Pence, governor of Indiana.

I’ve dismissed his potential run for office simply because I’ve read the responses to the moves he’s made.  He has not made friends in the state of Indiana.  In fact, if he did somehow get the nomination, I think he might actually lose his home state in the election.


For reasons like this:

Cartoonist Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star on Pence's News Network

Cartoonist Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star

Over the last few days, Pence came under fire for his plans to open a state-run “news” organization.  He first touted it as both a way to get information to reporters, and a way to get news directly to the people..in other words, a news agency.  He later backtracked that it would not be a news agency after getting called out in the media.  He has now scrapped his plans.

What isn’t getting as much press outside of Indiana is his horrible attack on Indiana voters.  In 2012, the people of Indiana voted to replace Tony Bennett, a man who was basically a yes-man for the Republican educational agenda and who has somehow avoided charges of wire fraud even though it was recommended by a probe, with Ms. Glenda Ritz as the State School Superintendent.

With an overwhelming Republican majority in the state and a Republican governor who pushed hard to keep Bennett in office, the last few years have of course been tense between Ms. Ritz and the state government.  Instead of acting like grown-ups and responsible leaders and working with Ms. Ritz towards compromise, Mike Pence and Republicans in the Indiana House have acted like little children who aren’t getting their playmate to do what they want in a game.  They are changing the rules.

pence1First, Pence created a new department of education called, the Center for Education and Career Innovation.  The funds for this new department came from the Department of Education that is run by Ms. Ritz.  Unfortunately, that entity had no statutory power.  Their influence comes from their positions as advisers and the funds they control.

The Indiana House has recently passed a bill through committee that will remove her as chairman of the State Board of Education.  Indiana law states that the Superintendent automatically serves as chairman.  The bill would allow the remaining board members, who are all appointed by the governor, to select their own chairman.  In effect, the governor would completely control education in the state, regardless of what the people want.

The response to this has been as expected.  Every teacher I know (who pretty much unanimously supported Ms. Ritz), is outraged by the move.  Even hardcore conservatives have expressed outrage at this power move that is completely contrary to the ideals of the freedom that we enjoy.  I’ve even heard these conservatives, who are normally using terms like “King Obama,” say that Pence is more of a dictator than Obama could ever be (my jaw dropped at that one).

Not only should the people of Indiana make sure that Pence never holds office in this state again, they should remove the men who vote for the bill from office as well.  I simply don’t understand why the people of this state keep putting these men in office and then act surprised and outraged when they act exactly like we say they will.  Indiana elected a Secretary of State that was later removed because he was convicted of six felonies including voter fraud and perjury.  He was removed from office.  Surprise, surprise, surprise!  He was being investigated for those charges during the election!

Cartoonist Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star on Pence Presidential Bid

Cartoonist Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star

Unfortunately, the people of Indiana seem to have been conditioned to forget all of their anger at the abuses they suffer from these politicians when it comes time to vote.  For some reason, they seem to associate a little elephant with a “yes” vote, regardless of the name next to the icon.  I don’t feel sorry for the people who voted for this legislature and governor and are now upset.  We know who these people are.  We know what they will do.  Unfortunately, the voters will probably vote for the same legislature in 2016.  I feel sorry for those few who have the sense to vote against these people and make a change in Indiana, but are in the minority.  What exactly will it take for the people of Indiana to make a serious change?  We have suffered lies, abuse of power, fraud, illegal conduct, unethical decisions, and the continued push against the interests of the average Hoosier.  What more do we need to suffer?

If you are from Indiana…please, for the love of being a Hoosier…or basketball….or Colts football…or whatever you hold dear…stop voting for these people.  If we want to see a change, we have to change the makeup of our leadership.

Also, take a minute to fill out this form and send your legislator a message that this behavior is unacceptable.

For the rest of you…enjoy the show.  I would actually love to see Pence get the Republican nomination.  That would all but assure a Clinton victory in 2016.  Hey…how about a Republican Pence/Palin ticket?  That’s a side-show I would pay to see! (Don’t laugh too hard…it was actually a discussion in 2010.)



  1. Pingback: When Policies Fail…Blame the Media! | The Evolution of Reason - March 26, 2015

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