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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "State government’s dark side: Media spotlights hidden dealings in several places"

Tom LoBianco, the AP reporter who broke the Daniels' academic freedom story and the Bennett grade-charge story, has this analysis article today. Some quotes:

INDIANAPOLIS – More and more, the internal workings of Indiana government are being shown and the political pageantry stripped away in a reminder that the trappings of power are rarely trumpeted in news conferences, aired in campaign ads or otherwise pushed out to the public.

The shock over former school Superintendent Tony Bennett’s grade-changing scandal might have had the biggest impact, costing a national education rock star his job as Florida education commissioner. But many other stories have been unearthed by Indiana media recently, showing a government that often operates more in private than public. * * *

Bennett, in particular, has maintained that nothing wrong happened behind the scenes in his office. Instead, he has said the news coverage of his grade-changing scandal “cheapened” all his other efforts at education overhaul.

A few changes have made it easier to discover how elected officials are earning their public salaries. Gov. Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, teamed up during the legislative session to make it easier to see how the IEDC is spending tax dollars.

But an effort by House Democrats to require the state say how much it spends to buy private land for transportation projects went nowhere, despite media reports that the Indiana Department of Transportation’s chief of staff’s family made three times their land’s assessed value in sales to the state.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 11, 2013 12:28 PM
Posted to Indiana Government