News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

November 12, 2012

State of the Statehouse: Just how did Ritz manage to defeat Bennett?

Columnist asks readers for educated guesses why she won

INDIANAPOLIS —

What does it mean that Indiana voters gave Republicans a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature, but handed the top education post over to a Democrat who railed against what GOP lawmakers have done to Indiana schools?

The answer, of course, depends on whom you ask.

Mike Pence, the Republican who voters elected to take the place of education reformer Gov. Mitch Daniels, told reporters last week that the election of political newcomer Glenda Ritz as superintendent of public instruction means a whole lot of nothing.

“I believe in our candidacy, in the election of a super majority in the (state) House of Representatives, we have a strong affirmation of the progress on education reform,” said Gov.-elect Pence.

No matter that Pence earned just 50 percent of the vote, and that Ritz actually won more votes than he did.

A few hours later that day, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma — in the flush of a GOP victory that negates the need for a single Democratic lawmaker to show up next session — echoed the sentiment:

“This is not an indictment in any way of reforms,” Bosma said. Instead, he cited personality, saying Ritz’s toppling of Republican incumbent Tony Bennett was about “tone and presentation” — a not-so-veiled reference to Bennett’s hard-charging and unapologetic manner.

Bennett has a big personality, but it pales in comparison to the big education measures that were put into place by Daniels and GOP lawmakers over the last two years: The nation’s largest voucher program, a big expansion of charter schools, the virtual end to teachers' collective bargaining rights, and much more high-stakes testing for students.

In a post-election interview with Education Week, Bennett blamed the teachers’ unions, who despise both him and the reforms he championed; and he blamed tea partiers, who don’t like how Bennett and fellow reformers embraced education standards set down by the federal government.

An Indiana teachers’ union official called those responses “asinine” and said Ritz’s win was a clear signal that Hoosier voters saw the Republican-driven overhaul of kindergarten-12 education as too radical.

Ritz, who ran an amazing grassroots campaign at a fraction of the cost of Bennett’s and with big help from social-media genius David Galvin, was clear all along: The race between her and Bennett was a “referendum on the future of education in Indiana.”

My guess is that the answers lie somewhere in between all that hot rhetoric.

From the independent Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll taken a week before the election, we do know that women, especially those of the age with children in school, liked Ritz a lot more than they liked Bennett.  And from the Howey poll, we also know Bennett was getting support from only 68 percent of Republicans.

Ritz beat Bennett 52 percent to 48 percent, so we know from that result that in this “red” state, there were Republicans who were splitting their ticket. (A split that helped put Democrat Joe Donnelly into the U.S. Senate.)

Here’s my question to voters who picked Ritz (especially you Republicans out there): What made you vote the way you did? What piece or pieces of the education overhaul (most of which are now locked into law) do you not like?

Please let me know, by emailing me at maureen.hayden@

indianamediagroup.com.

Maureen Hayden is the Indiana Statehouse bureau chief for CNHI, the parent company of the Tribune-Star.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Earl Elliott report1 copy.jpg Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red

    The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • MET 072314 INTERN 01MILLER.jpg Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace

    Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET072514dance porter.jpg Everybody get up and dance now

    National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl

    A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business. in the late 1980s.

    July 26, 2014

  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News