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Daniels still waiting on lobbying decision

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels still is waiting to find out whether he'll be able to lobby the state Legislature next year when he takes over as president of Purdue University.

The Journal & Courier reports that the state inspector general had not ruled as of Friday whether Daniels will be covered by Indiana's "revolving door" law. Jane Jankowski, the governor's spokeswoman, said earlier this week that she was unaware of any report on the issue from Inspector General David Thomas, who was appointed by Daniels in 2005.

Thomas' office does not comment or confirm ongoing investigations.

State ethics rules require a one-year "cool down" for public officials after leaving office. The rule is intended to keep former public employees from working as lobbyists for a year after leaving a job in state government.

But Daniels signed an executive order that differs with the state ethics code on whether the rule relates to lobbying of the Legislature or the executive branch. The governor's general counsel has said the law won't affect Daniels as president.

Daniels said if the law is unclear, he would "lean" against lobbying in his first year at Purdue. If the law does apply to him, he said he would appoint another Purdue official to lobby in his place next year.

The upcoming legislative session will be critical for university leaders as lawmakers craft the state's next two-year budget. Indiana's public universities have struggled with state funding cuts and rising tuition costs. Since 2009, Daniels has ordered more than $150 million in cuts to public education--about $30 million to Purdue.

But there likely will be more money to dole out to cash-starved programs next year. The state's collection of taxes has improved, Daniels amassed a cash savings of roughly $1.8 billion, and a massive error in collecting corporate income taxes resulted in roughly $100 million more annually becoming available to the state.

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  • Trust in Gov't
    It's not hard to see why so few trust government. Daniels makes a rule, but in the name of self-interest, he seeks an exception, for himself.
  • Cronyism at its worstt
    Daniels appointed 8 of the 10 Purdue trustees. It's cronyism at its worst. As Daniel Garza said: "The practice of favoritism based on relationships and connections - rather than someone who demonstrates top credentials and well-suited experience – ultimately results in vastly inferior government service to the public." It's Purdue's shame that Indiana's little Putin will be their next president.
  • Ridiculous
    I like Daniels as a governor. But the fact that he appointed 8 of the 10 Purdue Trustees, who then turned around and gave him a contract worth millions should have people up in arms. Ethics 101, anyone? But I suppose if that's not an ethical issue, then giving him an exception to let him lobby will be a no-brainer.
  • Why Not?
    Why should Daniels have to start complying with any ethics rules that obviously would only apply to others. Why should he change? Also if Purdue has $ issues, it will not be long before the buildings and parking lots will be leased or sold to others. No more budget issues until Purdue wants them back.

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