Mitch Daniels & Tony Bennett: Entitlement & Arrogance

Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett Haven’t Role Modeled Good Leadership Skills

Muncie Voice has written in the past about the “sense of entitlement” and how it’s most prevalent in the rich. Research from a California school has proven it, so while the Teapublicans like to point at the poor and call them entitled, it’s actually their campaign donors who suffer from this self-centered disease.

A complimentary character defect of entitlement seems to also be arrogance, and we’ve seen two fine examples of this in the events surrounding Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett.

Former Governor Daniels never erased emails revealing he’s not a big fan of Howard Zinn’s history book. In fact, he called the deceased author’s book “leftist propaganda” and “liberal excrement”. There are protests at demanding that the Department of Justice investigate Mitch Daniel’s censorship, and others are investigating State Board of Education in Indiana to  determine if Mitch’s administration actually followed through to ban Zinn’s book.

Mr. Bennett also went down in flames resulting from his own emails which documented a trail of  “grade changing scandals” when he “fudged” a C grade on a “role model charter school” up to a passing A grade. An exchange of emails from AP writer Tom LoBianco’s public information request revealed that Tony’s campaign donor, Christel DeHaan, had to receive an A or Tony’s “six months of lying was for nothing”.

As we said, arrogance and entitlement.

But, they’re not alone. What about the Board of Trustee’s at Purdue University?

Sonny Beck Atlanta, IN 2013-2016
Michael Berghoff Indianapolis, IN 2009-2015
JoAnn Brouillette West Lafayette, IN 2006-2015
Vanessa Castagna Dallas, TX 2013-2015
John Hardin Jr. Danville, IN 1992-2016
Gary Lehman Lafayette, IN 2010-2014
Kelsey Quin Peru, IN 2013-2015
Thomas Spurgeon Peoria, IL 2005-2014
Don Thompson Chicago, IL 2009-2016
Bruce White Chicago, IL 2011-2014

While Mitch’s censorship attempt surfaced, so did the failed attempts of gaining access to hiring records from Purdue’s Board of Trustees. This fine crew of business leaders and upstanding citizens felt that Mitch Daniels deserved a $58,000 bonus after his first six months of employment as President of Purdue (Mitch appointed 8 out of 10 trustees).

Before Mitch Daniels left his governor mansion, he flip flopped on an earlier promise not to endorse the controversial “Right to Work” laws being pursued by pro-business, ALEC endorsed, republican legislators. Daniel’s also made no attempt during his eight year term to increase Indiana’s minimum wage from its poverty level of $7.25 an hour.

Yet Mitch, and his appointed board, felt Mitch was entitled to the bonus after only six months. It would take a worker in West Lafayette slaving for nearly four years at minimum wage to earn Mitch’s bonus in 180 days.

Come to find out, not only was Mitch’s hiring at Purdue unethical, it was quite possibly illegal. According to Mr. LoBianco:

“The Lafayette Journal and Courier filed a complaint last year that the Purdue board violated the state’s open meetings law by holding an executive session at an undisclosed location in Chicago O’Hare International Airport. But the state’s public access counselor, also appointed by Daniels, determined that simply knowing the meeting would happen at the out-of-state location was open enough.”

Notice how we have two sets of rules in this country, one for them, and one for the rest of us. Apparently, this compliments the egocentric attitudes of entitlement and arrogance.

In addition, Tom goes on to say, “When the Indianapolis Star went looking for records of the deliberations over Daniels’ hiring, Purdue wrote back it had none, and even it did, the public couldn’t see them.”

So much for a “public university” supported by “taxpayer dollars” having to answer to those “taxpayers” for decisions they make or how they spend the dollars they receive.

We’re not only entitled, but not accountable to those who fund us.

With leaders suffering from these blatant character flaws, is it any wonder our society is in such disarray. While Tony has resigned his post in Florida, we don’t think this whole saga is done yet. Sources tell us several figure heads in Indiana and Florida may have ownership interest in the corporate owned charter schools receiving taxpayer funds.

Tony has friends in high places:


In Indiana, our tax dollars were used to setup a “building fund” to provide low interest loans for charter school buildings so the privately owned facilities could compete against their public counterparts. Yet, we were led to believe this was about providing choices for parents who don’t want their kids in “low performing” public schools.

Can you imagine using your elected position within government to divert taxpayer dollars to your own companies? We were told it was about doing what’s best for the children.

Don’t be fooled, these Teapublicans might say they hate government, but they love having access to our tax dollars. Why else would they want to be employed by the very government they despise so much.

Thanks to AP Journalist Tom LoBianco for uncovering the emails and confirming the story. As you know, Indiana isn’t always forthcoming with information requests. If you’d like to follow Tom’s Tweets.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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