Daniels, Privatizaiton, and Reelection

If you’re familiar with Reason you’re most likely familiar with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and his quest for efficient government. In the first three years of his first term Daniels has leased the Indiana Toll Road, entered into a massive welfare modernization that will save the state $100 million a year, pushed performance based management programs, and initiated enterprise wide competitive sourcing. For all of that he’s usually beat up in the press and given little or no chance at winning reelection, usually because of these positions. that is, until now.

After all, how can a guy win a second term when he has: — Leased the Indiana Toll Road to a bunch of foreigners. Never mind that the state got $3.8 billion — as a cash advance — it otherwise never would have seen. — Privatized some parts of state government. Never mind that it resulted in a savings to the state. — Tried unsuccessfully to privatize the Hoosier Lottery. — Angered a bunch of folks by closing several state vehicle license bureau branches. Never mind that it resulted in a savings that brought greater efficiency to the other branches. — Pushed local government to become more efficient and reduce reliance on property taxes.

Here’s hoping that Daniels can show that being bold, innovative, and willing to privatize won’t cost him an election.