News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

January 2, 2014

RONN MOTT: Indiana politics 2014

I was going to leave a present under my Christmas tree for Gov. Mike Pence, but then I realized I only had cellophane paper for wrapping. You know, the kind you can see through. I know the Republican governor of our state does not like things out in the open. It’s better to put phony tags on things and try to fool the public.

Let’s take education. It’s not that the governor or the state Senate or House of Representatives should not have any influence in any decision-making, but to totally ignore and work around the elected (elected by a vast majority) superintendent of public instruction is pure folly. Of course, the governor may be a little envious … his majority vote to get him into the governor’s mansion was a great deal less than the superintendent’s. She had a huge majority. And that was a vote against Tony Bennett, the Republican poster boy for education.

This so-called reform by the governor and speaker of the House is pure baloney. Come on, Mike, you’re giving us broadcasters a bad name.

I don’t know anybody except a few wild-eyed right-wingers who want to tear down the education system in the state. You have already rolled over the constitution of Indiana that has stood for many a year by giving tax money to religious and private schools. I guess all of this Republican talk about living up to our founding fathers is just so much garbage.

Let another old broadcaster, me, give you some friendly advice. When you mix politics and education and throw in a spoonful of religiosity, you’re making a brew that you and your camp will choke on. Maybe not in 2014, but down the road and around the corner, this phony reform will catch up with you and the results will be enough to turn your hair white. (Oh, it’s already white; maybe it will simply fall out.)

There are many good men who are the product of the Indiana education system and our land grant colleges. It has worked pretty well. It isn’t perfect but, my goodness, Mike, neither are you and this Republican-controlled legislature. Less than perfect is too kind of a description.

Happy New Year, Governor. You might be OK as a bald man, but give it some thought.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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