Jill Long Thompson, Mitch Daniels, and Andrew Horning debated last night. From what I saw, they all put in solid performances. My favorite line was Horning talking about his goat, but it’ll take more than a goat for the Libertarian candidate to get more than 4 or 5%.
On the economy, Daniels went with the “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” defense. Despite what misguided citizens might perceive in their own lives, Indiana’s economy is going gangbusters according to Daniels. When Jill Long Thompson called him on this, Daniels went with the “liar, liar pants on fire” gambit.
I’m paraphrasing of course. Daniels and Long Thompson both turned in solid debate performances, and I wouldn’t think this one will move the needle very much.
Since Daniels took office in January 2005, Indiana has seen a net gain of 27,800 jobs, though in the past year, the state has lost 24,800 jobs. Although Indiana’s unemployment rate is lower than those of surrounding states, it has jumped to 6.3 percent from 5.4 percent since he took office.
On other issues, Long Thompson criticized Daniels’ privatization deals, particularly his decision to lease the Indiana Toll Road for $3.8 billion to fund a 10-year plan to improve state roadways.
“I believe the privatization of the Toll Road was a major mistake,” she said. “I would certainly stop the rampant privatization that has been a major characteristic of his time as governor.”
Long Thompson also criticized Daniels’ decision to privatize a New Castle prison that experienced a riot in 2007, as well as contracts to privatize functions of the Family and Social Services Administration, which she called “disastrous.”
Daniels continues to defend his inclination toward privatization. Which is a bold move considering the amount of money private business is seeking from the federal government lately.