IBJNews

Indiana governor hopefuls detail ideas for job growth

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Issues
    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.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    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
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

    2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

    3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

    4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

    5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

    ADVERTISEMENT