The spokeswoman for the Indiana Democratic Party is questioning whether Jones needed the $4 million in grants that two of his businesses received this fall from the state 21st Century Research & Technology Fund.
As IBJ reporter Peter Schnitzler wrote in this weekendâ??s paper, the spokeswoman, Jennifer Wagner, also is asking if Jones received the grants in exchange for his support of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. Jones, youâ??ll remember, hosted a fund-raiser at his mansion in October that generated more than $1 million for Danielsâ?? re-election war chest.
Jones calls the insinuation of quid pro quo â??ridiculous,â?? saying Wagner might just as well have asked if he has beaten his wife lately. And the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which oversees the 21st Century Fund, insists plenty of reviews and firewalls are in place to ensure the grants go only to deserving companies.
All of this raises plenty of points. Hereâ??s one: Given his ties to Daniels, should Jones have been treated differently than other entrepreneurs who apply for the grants?