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What is Daniels trying to hide about IDEM?

Dec 10, 2008

Link to this editorial in the Post-Tribune (Lake County, Indiana)

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is keeping a list -- and checking it twice.

The agency in charge of enforcing water and air regulations has been sending lists of newspaper stories to Gov. Mitch Daniels' office, marking them as "positive," "negative" or "neutral."

But unlike Santa, who makes his list known through song and verse, the governor has offered only a "no comment."

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is keeping a list -- and checking it twice.

The agency in charge of enforcing water and air regulations has been sending lists of newspaper stories to Gov. Mitch Daniels' office, marking them as "positive," "negative" or "neutral."

But unlike Santa, who makes his list known through song and verse, the governor has offered only a "no comment."

While the paranoia of such a list is almost Nixonian, the hubris of not commenting is more like Daniels' former boss, George W. Bush.

Forget about the silliness of such lists. If you go through them, you find that "positive" stories are mostly just rewrites of IDEM?press releases.

Any story that remotely investigates or dares to question the agency is labelled "negative."

Attempts to label stories with subjective terms says reams more about the agency and the governor than it does any newspaper.

What's worse than the list is Daniels flatly refusing to answer any questions about the need for such reports.

Who initiated them? Do other agencies create such lists? And a simple, overarching question: Why?

But Daniels has been re-elected and may no longer feel the need to answer questions. His office was unwilling to offer up even a lame explanation, such as, "It's important to know how taxpaying citizens might view coverage."

The governor's office can't even do that.

Hoosiers should wonder, though, why the governor can't even answer questions about it.

By failing to do that, it raises another, bigger question:

What is Daniels trying to hide?

     
     

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