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Daniels unsure of lobbying role as Purdue president

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Gov. Mitch Daniels' legal staff is trying to determine whether he can lobby state lawmakers when he takes over as president of Purdue University.

Daniels said Friday he wasn't sure whether he could press members of the General Assembly on the university's behalf because state ethics rules require a one-year "cool down" for public officials after leaving office. If the law is unclear, he said he would "lean" against lobbying in his first year at Purdue.

"If anything, I'm going to lean on the side of extra caution. If that means someone else tells the story down here tells the story for at least a year, that's what it means," Daniels said, motioning to Indianapolis.

Daniels was named Purdue's president Thursday and will start at the university in January.

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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  • Wait a minute...
    I work for a state-funded institution of higher learning (not Purdue). None of us is permitted to lobby the state legislature. It is strictly forbidden. I can't believe this is even being discussed.
  • Stop All Lobbying
    There is a simple solution to the issue of lobbying at state and federal levels. Pass a law that bans all lobbying, period. Billions of dollars are spend annually, dumping money into the pockets of elected officials, in an attempt to push legislation that impacts our taxes. Where will it stop? However, set my opinion aside and answer this question; "How can state tax dollars be used to pay the salary of the president of a state funded school, and allow lobbying by that school's president? Can anyone else see the conflict of interest in this matter?
  • Quid pro Quo
    Mitch Daniels se;ection as the next president is the most blatant example of a quid pro quo deal I have ever seen. It is disgraceful. Neither the Board of Trustees at Purdue or Mitch Daniels have any integrity.
  • Come on My Man
    The rules do not apply to Mitch. He decides what is a conflict of interest and what is not. Any body else would not be allowed to take a position directly from state government to a position like this. How can there be any questiion of Mitch and lobbying. I think he should go to Angie's list where has already funded his position.
  • Nepotism
    I don't know if Daniels is related to anyone on the board at Purdue, but he is definitely their sugar daddy. I think that qualifies as Nepotism and Daniels should take a page from Indiana's new nepotism law he so vehemently defended.
  • Vote of No Confidence Vote Approaching
    Undeniable conflict of interest and clear violation of all ethics rules. The public and University community are smarter that he thinks.

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