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The Tip Of The Iceberg? Toll Road Deal May Always Have Been About Cold, Hard Cash

GreedThe Guv and the Indiana Toll Road get caught in the middle of a campaign finance story:

"As companies across the globe line up to profit from the privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, the law firm of one of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ top political donors already is making money from the state’s plans.

"The Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw LLP has presented the state with $196,136 in legal bills for consulting on the state’s bid for a long-term lease.

"The firm, the largest in Chicago with 500 lawyers, clearly has experience. It put together the 2004 bid to sell a 99-year concession of the Chicago Skyway for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley — the first deal of its kind in U.S. history.

"The firm also has connections. Mayer Brown is the law office of Dan Dumezich, the former state representative from Schererville, who has become a partner at the major Chicago firm. Since leaving the General Assembly in 2002, Dumezich also has become a top fund-raiser for Indiana Republicans, including Daniels.

"Mayer Brown donated $10,000 to the governor’s campaign on Dec. 22, 2004.

"Dumezich has organized campaign dinners for Secretary of State Todd Rokita, House Republicans and the state party, as well as for Daniels."

Daniels, for his part, said none of the fundraising events or Dumezich connections had anything to do with Mayer Brown getting the contract.

But this doesn't really seem in keeping with his campaign promises to be the Governor Of All Things Good And Pure. The Post-Tribune notices that, too.

"Riding in on a campaign that included a pledge to fight corruption, the governor asked for an inspector general and a new law that, for the first time, requires people who lobby the administration to register, beginning Jan. 1, and then file reports.

"'We have depoliticized this more than any other time in Indiana history. I’ll continue to do things to add to people’s confidence,' Daniels said."

Errrrrrr, okay, Guv.

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Comments

The Gov. and The Donald have a couple things in common...making grandiose yet factually untrue statements asserting the greatness of whatever they are hawking in any given week.

Oh, the other thing. The other thing in common...the bad hair.

An out-of-state lawfirm? I guess no Indiana firms could handle this kind of business? Had Gov. Kernan hired an out-of-state lawfirm to handle something like this, MMM would have publicly flipped his combover. Yet another "say one thing, do another" example.

i hope this story gets picked up by other papers or the associated press...

Haven't you heard? MMM's way IS the highway!
Indiana companies? What a lot of rot. Have you SEEN the new definition? Anything to enrich the rich.
And do tell, after the $3.8 billion is spent--and it'll go about as fast as the duration of an administration--THEN what do we do for the next 65-70 years? MMM won't care. He's got enough of his own dough to go do whatever and wherever. If he waits a year after he's out of office, he could work for the Aussie-Spanish consortium. Oh, wait, all those new rules for slacker state employees doesn't apply in his case.
How does one of such short stature intimidate and control? Is it a characteristic of dictators? Two from past history come to mind. One even has a complex named after him! How long will people cower or remain silent?

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