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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ind. Gov't. - Kudos to Governor and to IDEM Commissioner

The Governor. The Indianapolis Star today, in the next to the last item in "Behind Closed Doors", has this:

When it comes to the governor's residence, it seems like Gov. Mitch Daniels just can't make everyone happy.

First, some Hoosiers criticized him when he decided not to make the Meridian Street mansion his primary home. Now, he's being criticized for letting others in it. Specifically, Planned Parenthood.

Thursday evening, the group that advocates for family planning, contraception and abortion rights held a thank-you party for volunteers at the residence. Per the governor's residence policies, nonprofits and charitable groups can use the residence -- deemed the "people's living room" -- for a nominal fee.

That didn't sit well with social conservatives, including Sen. Jeff Drozda, R-Westfield, who used to work for Indiana Right to Life. He held a news conference outside the residence, where protesters gathered, to declare that a group under investigation by the attorney general for not reporting underage child sex shouldn't be allowed in the residence.

Friday, Daniels defended Planned Parenthood's right to party in his house. In this country, he said, you're innocent until proven guilty, even if you might be under investigation. And, he said, "The residence belongs to the people on a neutral basis. We're not going to be involved in picking and choosing."

The IDEM Commissioner. I'd like to add a kudo for IDEM's Commissioner, Tom Easterly. For the first two years of IDEM's life, from 1986 to 1988, its then-Commissioner, Nancy Maloley, attended all the meetings of the various environmental boards - the Air Pollution Control Board, the Water Pollution Control Board, the Solid Waste Management Board. The Boards are where environmental rulemaking takes place, in a public process involving the environmental boards, IDEM staff, the public and the regulated community. During the 16 years after Nancy Maloley, IDEM commissioners have attended board meetings only rarely and, on the few occasions when they did attend, left before rulemaking began. Tom Easterly, to his credit, has attended every board meeting since his appointment, has participated when appropriate, and has been heard to say, "I don't understand why the earlier commissioners didn't."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 14, 2005 09:34 AM
Posted to Indiana Government