HEY, just thought I'd pop in to congratulate Indiana Governor Mike "Deacon" Pence for signing SEA 162 into law this week, a bill which will increase public knowledge of the workings of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, except for the stuff it's been lying about all along. The signing completes this year's efforts to get the Indiana General Assembly out from under all the Mitch Daniels Boondoggles it enthusiastically supported until the Bantam Menace left office. Well, there is still I-69, but you can't exactly expect them to rip a highway out of the ground when it's almost half-completed.
Besides, it's bad form to correct a project while it's being investigated by the Feds for land fraud.
The IEDC was the public/private partnership (on the standard model: public money and private deals) Daniels got the Legislature to replace the fusty old Commerce Department with, either because existing regulations would have slowed down his henchmen plucking the thing like a chicken, or because none of 'em thought of sticking "Freedom" in the title somewhere. The IEDC had a three-pronged mission: 1) make it sound like Mitch Daniels was ushering in an era of New Economic Leadership instead of Old Shady Dealings; 2) to hold the funnel while tax abatements and development funds found their proper mark, and to hold the microphone while the beneficiaries thanked Mitch Daniels for Indiana's great business climate; and 3) to exaggerate the Jobs created by such Creative Jobs Creation Events by at least a thousandfold. And as a result of the new law, Hoosiers will now be able to get a look at (2).
Pence had already brought back the Commerce Department without eliminating its doppelgänger, apparently on the grounds that you don't fire the cook until you've counted the knives. The original bill also would have required the IEDC to report specific job numbers for each company being suckled, but that requirement was dropped from the final bill after objections. From the IEDC.
Earlier this year the General Assembly effectively killed Daniels' Coal Gasification Plant deal (which, irony of ironies, had been eagerly supported by the General Assembly at the time) by reneging on its promise to make the project profitable in perpetuity. This caused our "partner" in the deal, Leucadia National, to announce that, under the circumstances, the project just didn't look profitable to them any more.
For some reason, no one mentioned the 600,000 jobs that will be lost.