« Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today and one Friday | Main | Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided one more Indiana case yesterday, a reversal »

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "The State Board of Education appears to be operating with more Republican members than permitted under Indiana law"

One could sub-title this story "The more things change ...".

Yesterday Dan Carden of the NWI Times had a long story reporting that:

INDIANAPOLIS | The State Board of Education appears to be operating with more Republican members than permitted under Indiana law.

According to Indiana Code, no more than six of the 10 members on the governor-appointed board may be from the same political party. The governor's office claims six Republicans, two Democrats and two independents serve on the panel.

However, a review by The Times has determined Daniel Elsener, one of the claimed independents, is likely a Republican.

Voting records show Elsener cast a ballot in Republican primary elections nine out of 10 times since 1994. He voted in the 2000 Democratic primary.

Elsener also has donated $10,575 to Republican candidates and business groups supporting Republicans since 2001 -- and nothing to Democratic or independent groups, according to state campaign finance records.

On Wednesday, Elsener led what amounted to a board coup against its chairwoman Glenda Ritz, the Democratic state superintendent of public instruction, who defeated Republican Tony Bennett in a 2012 election. * * *

Elsener, who was first appointed to the state education board in 2005 by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and is president of Indianapolis' Marian University, insisted in an email responding to questions about his party ties that he is "an independent thinker" that votes for candidates "I believe would perform the best in the office."

ILB: "The more things change ..." refers to this ILB post from Oct. 18, 2005, where a similar issue came up with respect to then-Governor Daniels' appointment of Randle Pollard to the same State Board of Education, as a Democrat. According to the Star, however, "Pollard refused to say what party he belongs to, calling it 'irrelevant' -- kind of an odd answer from an attorney when asked for something that has to do with compliance with a state law."

But in 2008 Pollard ran for the nomination for the 7th congressional district special election, and did indeed run as a Democrat. (See Wikipedia entry.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 10, 2013 03:37 PM
Posted to Indiana Government