In his acceptance speech, president-elect Barack Obama emphasized that he will not preside over an alliance of "red"
states, and that his victory represents what unites every American, regardless of race, creed or color.
Ice Miller LLP partner Lacy Johnson, who helped organize the Democratic senator’s campaign here, said it similarly represents
for businesses to move beyond labels. Obama—who Johnson noted is just as "white" by heritage as he is "black"—embodies
idea that the
United States is today much closer to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that businesses and individuals be judged solely on merit.
"This has opened some new doors. Hopefully, we’ll get past that whole thing that ‘these are majority’ and ‘these are
businesses," Johnson said. "I think we need to take the labels off."
Johnson expects Obama’s agenda to mesh well with Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ business-friendly priorities, because the
president-elect wants to reward companies that expand their work force here rather than abroad.
Johnson also noted Obama’s close relationship with both of Indiana’s U.S. senators. Democrat Evan Bayh was on his short list
of potential vice presidential candidates and Republican Richard Lugar is Obama’s foreign relations mentor. Working together
with Indiana’s U.S. House delegation, Johnson said, they should have good luck convincing the Obama administration to make
Indiana a top priority in plans to redevelop U.S. infrastructure and expand educational institutions.
___SEPARATE GOVERNMENT NEWS BRIEF FOLLOWS___
Despite optimism about Indiana’s prospects for the next four years under Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Chamber
of Commerce is worried. Chamber President Kevin Brinegar is concerned that president-elect Barack Obama will usher in an era
of onerous regulation.
Brinegar said the chamber is likely to reposition its lobbying efforts to focus on federal issues. He’s particularly worried
that new leadership in the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration will tighten the leash on business.
The Indiana Chamber was alarmed when Obama, on the campaign trail, signaled he could make major adjustments to U.S. foreign
trade agreements, hike capital gains taxes, and rescind President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Brinegar said changes in those
areas could end up curtailing both business and consumer spending.