Hoosier Finances – ‘The State Board of Pence’

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Muncie, Indiana – The state of Hoosier finances is the topic of this article. I’ve talked before about how we have had five State Auditors in less than one year – I’m not making that up, we have had three official State Auditors and two interim ones.

So I have submitted public records requests to the Auditor’s office trying to determine what the cost was to the taxpayers every time they had to change someone’s name on the door. The cost to taxpayers every time they had to stop doing the state’s work so that they could do a press conference and state tour to introduce a new official. The cost to taxpayers every time they had to set up a new payroll.

But that’s just the Auditor’s office – just last week Richard Mourdock, our State Treasurer, resigned. Some folks think it was because he wanted to save his own pension before the new rates go into effect October 1st.

Not only does this high turnover rate of uncommitted officials cost the taxpayers time and money, but now we have a new concern.

I’ve been traveling around this state for over a year now talking about the State Board of Finance. It’s a board that has complete control over the budget when the Legislature is not in session, and all it takes is two out of three votes to take money from one agency and give it to another. Those three people are The Governor, The Treasurer, and The Auditor. My initial complaint was that for some time now, those three members have all been from the same party, and there is little accountability on the board.

Well guess what – somehow that board just became even less accountable, because now the board is no longer composed of three elected Republican officials. It is one elected official – Mike Pence – his handpicked Auditor, and his newly handpicked Treasurer.

It’s no longer the State Board of Finance – it’s the ‘State Board of Pence’. He has absolute control over a board that was intended to be composed of three separately elected officials.

When one governor has that kind of absolute power, where he controls all three votes on such an important board, it is time for a change.

When one state elected official after another can just keep resigning, without any concern for the taxpayers – it is time for a change.

When a top state transportation official can negotiate land deals for his family that allowed them to receive over a million dollars from the sale – it is time for a change.

When a state legislator can use his privilege of speaking in the Republican caucus to kill a bill that made his family rich – it is time for a change.

Every single statewide official that was elected in 2010 – the Secretary of State, The Auditor of State, the Treasurer of State – have all resigned. I vow that if I am elected, I will fulfill my entire term, a full four years in office.

Until then, I will continue to go around the state every week, from now until the general election, to talk about what the culture of corruption in the Statehouse is costing you. And by-election day, we will have enough people paying attention to what this administration has done that they will stop.

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