Candidate Gregg tempers Indiana Democrat expectations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg sought to downplay expectations from fellow Democrats Tuesday about what he might do if he beats the odds and gets elected next month.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gregg said he wouldn't try to repeal new right-to-work or school voucher laws because of the nearly impossible chance of getting the Republican-dominated General Assembly to reverse course on two of its top priorities.

"I'm not a fan of vouchers, I don't support vouchers. It's in place and the legislature is going to be predominantly and overwhelmingly controlled by the Republicans," said Gregg, who is trailing Republican Mike Pence by a wide margin in the polls. "I don't support them, but it's obvious that's the law and as governor you support the law."

Gregg later said in a statement to The Associated Press that he would sign a repeal of either law if it reached his desk but refused to say whether he would fight to move the repeal through the Legislature.

"I have consistently opposed the so-called right-to-work law as well as the use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize private schools. As governor, I will proudly sign a bill that repeals these misguided laws if such a bill comes to my desk," he wrote.

The two issues have been highly divisive in a state that has tacked further to the right in the eight years since a Democrat controlled the governor's office. Former House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, led a five-week walkout against the issues last year and on-and-off boycotts this year in a last-ditch attempt to block right-to-work.

Bauer called Gregg's comments Tuesday an example of Democrats presenting voters with a watered-down alternative to the Republican party: "Republican Light."

"I think we have to maintain our courage to show where we would make a difference, not how we would be the same. Because the same's not good for people, regular people, working people," Bauer said. "We have to show we would treat people better and treat people differently."

Gregg has danced on the right-to-work issue throughout the campaign. He sparked a fury among union members in the hours after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the law when he issued a statement saying it was time to move past the issue.

Since then Gregg repaired that relationship, winning financial support from unions more afraid of what could come from Pence if he wins office. But Gregg has avoided saying whether he would fight for a repeal of right-to-work himself, saying only he would sign a repeal if someone else performed the unlikely task of getting a repeal through the Legislature.


  • And that is why the Democrats have abdicated their right to govern. There is no solid plank in the party. You have Bauer on the extreme far left trying to steer the party harder to the left. Then you have Gregg who has always been fairly moderate in his thinking with support of Right to Life and other conservative thinking trying to be honest with his own beliefs while trying to pander to lefists in his party. I cannot figure out why the Democrats ran Gregg except as a sacraficial lamb. He has never been in step with the National or State Democrat Party. I listened to him for years on his radio show on WIBC and was impressed with his conservative views for a Democrat. Now he has destroyed his legacy by trying to pander to all sides while attempting to destroy a respected statesman who holds many of the same beliefs.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ