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Indiana governor hopefuls detail ideas for job growth

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The message from Indiana's gubernatorial candidates is almost universally about putting Hoosiers back to work, but their ideas for finding those "jobs, jobs, jobs" vary widely.

Libertarian Rupert Boneham, former Democratic Indiana House Speaker John Gregg and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence laid out their ideas Saturday for journalists gathered at the Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors meeting in Indianapolis.

"Job creation has to be job one," Pence said, but the means for reaching employment goals varies greatly between the three men.

Pence detailed a possible "jobs Cabinet" that would be filled with business leaders and dispatch investment gurus across the state to back startup businesses. Boneham suggested Indiana farmers begin growing fiber crops, such as hemp and bamboo, to begin making clothes and other goods in-state. And Gregg said the state needs to look at its energy resources, saying that wind turbine parts should be manufactured in Indiana, not overseas.

"We want an Indiana where Hoosiers feel like they're getting their fair shake from government," Gregg said.

The winner of November's general election will take over for Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is barred from seeking a third term in office. The new governor will inherit a government with roughly $1.8 billion cash in reserves and the strongest credit rating from national bond rating agencies. But Indiana also weathered deep budget cuts during the recession and has shared in Rust Belt states' struggles with high unemployment.

While Saturday's separate forums gave the three equal footing to pitch their ideas, the campaign trail promises to be much less forgiving. Pence looks poised to easily dominate Indiana's airwaves with $4.9 million in the bank at the start of April compared to Gregg's $1.5 million in the bank. When asked if he would be buying airtime, Boneham lamented that he only had $35,000 on hand and has been splitting his time between the campaign and running his mentoring program for troubled youth.

In the last year, Pence and Gregg have both trickled out their plans for tax cuts in various forms. Gregg said he plans to roll out a new tax proposal in the coming weeks, and Pence said he'll detail his agenda closer to the state Republican convention in June.

While Pence and Gregg tried to grab Daniels' mantle for themselves on Saturday, Boneham was the only one to directly criticize the two-term governor, accusing him of centralizing government operations. He also turned the questions back on the members of the press, asking them to include him in articles about Pence and Gregg and stop using old photos of him from his time on "Survivor."

Meanwhile, Gregg argued that partisan bickering—which has deadlocked work in Washington—threatens to spread to Indiana if Pence is elected. The criticism appeared directed at drawing out Pence to talk more about social issues, something he has not done much of in the campaign.

But when asked about a social issue himself—creationism—Gregg struggled, saying he believes that biblical timelines may not be literal, but that God created humans. Pence answered the same question saying he is "open" and does not have a definite opinion.

Boneham distanced himself the most from the other two on social issues, saying he is an abortion-rights candidate who also supports same-sex marriage. Pence and Gregg have previously said they are anti-abortion candidates who oppose same-sex marriage.

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    We need to keep a Republican in office. We need physcal responsibility. The democraps will just blow all of the money and good credit rating Mitch has worked so hard to build.

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    1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

    2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

    3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

    4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

    5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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