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Where The Rubber Meets The Road Meets The Ethics Rules

TDW loves Lexis.  Mitch Daniels should use it more often.  In light of the story about misuse of the Governor's RV at a campaign fundraiser for Rep. Troy "Gee, I Wish I Could Nominate A Supreme Court Justice" Woodruff, TDW searched large Indiana news publications for "Mitch Daniels" and "ethics" to see what could be seen. 

Now that the Governor has proclaimed this a non-issue because his legal counsel said it was fine (of course, Bernie Ebbers' lawyer said he'd be in the free and clear, too, but he's now sharing a cell with a fellow named Tiny), TDW thought it would be appropriate to share some choice Mitch Daniels' quotes with you, loyal readers:

From a March 5, 2004, story about Daniels' gift ban proposal in the Lafayette Journal & Courier:
"I just don't see a reason not to make this a very bright line. That way the employee is not tempted to think, 'This one's under the limit,' or 'This one will go unnoticed,'" Daniels said.  [And then turned to his legal counsel for an advisory opinion on the meaning of the word "employee."]

From an April 28, 2004 story in the Star about stricter ethics rules issued by former Gov. Kernan:
"Mitch Daniels, the former White House budget director seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday's primary election, called for tighter executive branch ethics rules in early March.

"Tuesday, he praised Kernan's changes.

"'How could I not like it? They're my ideas,' Daniels said.

"The only problem he saw was that they didn't go far enough. The governor, he said, should also bar state employees from hosting fund-raising events for political campaigns." [His legal counsel, at this point, turned a slightly greener shade of white and puked in a trash can.]

From a December 23, 2004, Star story on the appointment of Inspector General David Thomas:
"We will be very intent on rooting out either misspending or actual misconduct," Daniels said. "We've seen plenty of both, and nobody's been in there looking." [Just don't look behind that door.  Look everywhere else.  Just not there.]

From Gov. Daniels' 2005 State of the State address:
"Then I submitted to you bills to transform the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, abolish the scandal-ridden Intelenet Commission, and lift the ethics rules governing the conduct of state employees to the highest levels in America."  [For me to poop on.]

From an April 23, 2005, Star story defending his decision to accept the donated RV as State property:
"I think people who step forward and out of good citizenship do something to save their fellow taxpayers money and help pursue a public purpose probably ought to be encouraged," Daniels said. [Especially if they give $25 to Troy Woodruff.  That's W-O-O-D-R-U-F-F, ladies and gentlemen.]

From a July 22, 2005, Star story about the RV's role at a political fundraiser:
Daniels was unavailable for comment.  However, his flack said the Democrats' complaint was "insulting, hypocritical, politically motivated, meritless." Insulting, hypocritical, politically motivated and meritless?  Reminds TDW of a certain little tyrant we all know and love to watch.

From a July 23, 2005, AP story on Daniels' day-after response to the complaint (once he crawled out from under his desk and was able to cobble together some non-inflammatory talking points):
"I sort of learn to shrug these things off a little bit..."  Ethics, schmethics.  In other words, voters of Indiana to whom I promised ethics reform, here is what I say to you if you criticize my use of state property for political gain: Meh.

In the image of his maker, though, Daniels may pull this one off.  Blame the media.  Blame the liberals.  Blame everyone but yourself.  And they call themselves members of the party that professes personal responsibility.  Shame.

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