Saturday, March 28, 2015


Indiana Governor Pence

Governor Rauner’s “role model.”, according to Crain’s editorial board, is Mitch Daniels.   He told them so in March of 2014. In addition the private equity manager/governor of Illinois has hired the chief legal counsel from Indiana (Jason Barclay) in order to have the same man who whispered in Mitch Daniels’ ear, murmuring in his.  

Wisely, Rauner is careful in emulating his idol Daniels, now the president of Purdue University, where the past governor has been battled for his attempts to remove Howard Zinn’s works from the curriculum…and now, for too swiftly moving the university’s professorial staff into a standardized corporate style testing of students’ growth per year – one linked to performance measurements for them and teachers.

In the last week, Indiana passed into law a religious objections bill, one that has come with some rather unexpected opposition from corporations and businesses that realize isolating and then condemning a particular segment of a population is not wise fiscally (and, perhaps, morally?). 

You might also remember that candidate Rauner was careful to avoid any response to the equal marriage law that passed in Illinois, although he later quietly admitted that he would have vetoed it.   

His idol Daniels responds to the passage of last week’s Indiana’s religious objections bill just as ambiguously.

“Well, I’m not going to take any position on it, consistent with Purdue’s policy of not doing so in issues like this,” Daniels said. “You’re within your rights to ask the question, but not for me to answer.”

"I'd have vetoed it."
I haven’t seen any questions to our new governor on the subject of Indian’s religious objections bill.  The answers would be enlightening, but probably not unexpected. 

The Indiana bill, signed into law by Republican governor Mike Pence, will allow companies and services to refuse or decline doing business with individuals who “ask for materials or assistance” which the business might find objectionable on religious grounds.

Hmmm…  Most basic religions contain so many taboos  - from food, alcohol, associations, menstruation - that I can’t imagine myself able to shop or purchase services easily in my own little town in Illinois.  But let’s be honest.  This bill is not written for those exotic and esoteric religions in, of all places, Midwestern Indiana.

“Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter praised the new law, saying it would give abortion opponents legal recourse if they are pressured to support the procedure.  The organization circulated an online petition to thank Pence for signing the bill.”

It isn’t often that you find a government legislative body willing to provide the legal elements for one group of its citizenry to hate another, but welcome to the state that is “kickin’ our tail” – Indiana.  The state Rauner emulates. 

While supporters of the religious objections bill are quick to cast the bill as an attempt to prevent any government from compelling an individual or business owner from having to do something religiously unacceptable, the inherent and likely application of the law will likely be detrimental to an already marginalized minority of gay or same-sex couples.  In essence, then, the state of Indiana does not boldly claim to discriminate – more sinister – Indiana creates a tacit permission for its citizens to discriminate based upon self-described “religious” principles.  If anything, this entire ethos is antithetical to the teachings of most if not all religions, especially Christianity.  

While Rauner has not yet built the kind of support and majority in the GA that would assure this specious singling out a particular group for punishment under the guise of “religious freedom,” he has already clearly outlined his unrelenting abhorrence of all things collective bargaining.

In Rauner’s on-line diatribe The Illinois Turnaround Agenda, he outlines in a bullet-point simplicity just what he plans to do:

It’s not pretty – and its not discreet.

Promise:  “With voter empowerment, Illinois can become a great state, a competitive, compassionate state again.”

We’ve seen the extent of our new Governor’s compassion, especially for the vulnerable and the marginalized in our state.  If you’d like an unsettling and open list of just how he would marginalize you (compassionately?) for being part of a union or collective bargaining unit, read his agenda here:

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