With respect to Daylight Saving Time and Indiana’s Time Zones, it appears Governor Daniels needs to learn the first rule of holes: if you find you’re in one, stop digging. He began the screw up of Indiana’s time by pushing Daylight Saving Time while ignoring the inseparable issue of time zones. Then, he did a half-assed job of petitioning the USDOT to resolve the time zone issue. He offered no opinion of where the line should be, and he offered no data on what good locations and bad locations for the line would be. Then, when the USDOT punted and told county officials to make the decision, Governor Daniels chastized those officials for being upset about having the buck passed to them, saying if they didn’t want to deal with the time zone issue, “they shouldn’t have run for their jobs.” Then, he went around saying that counties who requested a change would get one with no real hassle. Then he went around saying that the county-by-county free-for-all made “common sense.” Dig, dig, dig. Today, we have the Governor’s latest shovel full.
Mary Beth Schneider, writing for the Indianapolis Star, has an article entitled Daniels echoes time zone alarm. She reports that Daniels is now injecting himself into the local discussion between Elkhart and St. Joseph County, saying the two areas shouldn’t be separated. He said such a separation is “absolutely ridiculous”.
Asked if he would oppose St. Joseph County’s request to move to Central or oppose Elkhart County’s decision to remain in Eastern time, Daniels said: “Let’s understand — and I think everybody does, although not all the reporting reflects it — nothing is final yet. This is merely a starting point.”
Nice non-answer. I think we ought to know if Governor Daniels is seriously considering advocating that the Elkhart tail wag the St. Joseph dog. Then again, Daniels’ non-answer is probably preferable to a lie, and kudos to Ms. Schneider for busting his chops over it:
Daniels said moving Indiana to daylight-saving time “was the only (position) I advocated in the campaign and in the legislature. Choice of time zones, I think, is the definitively local issue.”
Asked if he hadn’t advocated Central time in his campaign, Daniels said: “Pardon me, but I did not.”
In a meeting with The Indianapolis Star editorial board in February 2004, however, Daniels was asked about moving the state to the Central time zone.
Daniels answered: “My number one goal would be to see us all — or as many of us as possible — on the same time. Why Central time? It’s geographically more sensible.”
And in a Lake County appearance that same month, Daniels said: “For Pete’s sake, let’s get all of our state on the same time, preferably Northwest Indiana time.”
There is an article on Daniels’ Central Time Waffle in the Evansville Courier Press
When a reporter asking a follow-up question said Daniels had indeed expressed a preference for Central time during the campaign, Daniels said: “Pardon me, but I did not.”
“I said that I thought it would be a great thing one day if we could have all of the state on one time zone.”
. . .
A check of statewide newspaper clippings shows several newspapers
paraphrasing Daniels’ stand in early 2004 as being in favor of moving all of Indiana to daylight-saving time. Daniels also is paraphrased repeatedly as saying that having the state in one time zone was important and that daylight-saving tim on Central time was the best fit.
The articles also include direct quotes from Daniels explaining that view.
Rep. David Crooks, D-Washington, is a vocal backer of Central time and has butted heads with Daniels on the time issue. Crooks wants the state to hold a referendum to decide whether the majority of counties should be on Eastern or Central.
Crooks said he saw repeated media reports during the campaign that all said Daniels preferred Central time for most of Indiana.
“I can’t believe every reporter got the story wrong,” Crooks said. But he said he wasn’t surprised because Daniels has “flip-flopped” on other issues.
“What do you expect from a person who also promised Hoosiers his administration would not outsource jobs but once he got elected, he did just that,” Crooks said.
“He’s also the same candidate that told Indiana Farm Bureau he would reduce the reliance on property taxes to fund schools but after he was elected, he passed a budget that will send property taxes soaring next year,” Crooks added.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind Mr. Governor.
If the State had passed DST and come to the USDOT with a coherent time zone proposal, I’m willing to bet the USDOT would have approved it in a heartbeat. Getting all of Indiana on DST and having a more or less straight line somewhere, anywhere, in Indiana — I don’t think anything would have pleased the Dept. of Transportation more. This “local issue” rhetoric is just self-serving nonsense the Governor made up in an effort to cover up the fact that he rammed a bad bill through the General Assembly that has screwed up what had been a workable time compromise for the past 30+ years. Now that the “local issue” approach to time zones is having its natural consequence, screwing up relationships between localities, the Governor suddenly wants to have a say.