We're revisiting every opinion column we've written about Pence during his three embattled years in the governor's seat. Well — almost. We've written a lot about our man Mike over the years.
More Pence coverage can be found here.
David Hoppe, "Obamacare: finally! At last!":
"You may recall that in June 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ACA was constitutional, then Rep. Mike Pence stormed into a conclave of his Republican cohorts and exclaimed that said ruling was comparable to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It's not clear what Pence was thinking at the time. Perhaps it was that Chief Justice John Roberts and the other justices who voted in favor of the ACA were terrorists. Or maybe the idea of going to the doctor without the fear of going broke struck Pence as being a surprise attack on privilege."
John Krull, "Mike Pence: Evangelical and Social Darwinist":
"This is now, when we have perhaps the most openly evangelical governor in Indiana history offering up an education budget that will allow the state's fittest schools and students to survive, even thrive, while the others are forced to shift as they can. It may not be natural, but there definitely is a selection going on. Perhaps Darwin was more right than he knew. Almost everything evolves, including the views of evangelicals."
Glenda Ritz, "View on the education battle"
"I must not tolerate a power-grab of the Department of Education's authority and ability to conduct business for Indiana students. Last November, Hoosier voters said very clearly that they want me to fight for public education in our state and to serve as a check and balance to the governor. It is now clear that Gov. Pence is not seeking a power-grab, but rather a complete takeover of education. That is the real threat to our children."
John Krull, "Strain the alphabet soup in education war":
"Republicans pride themselves on being the party of small government, the ones who have a passion for efficiency and streamlined systems of accountability. Most of the time, they look for ways to scale back the size of state agencies. But in the case of education in Indiana, they have piled one agency, board, roundtable and commission on top of another. In the process they've created an education system that is so muddled that it's impossible to tell what's going on, much less who is responsible for what. "
On marriage equality
Bill Buffie, "Marriage and gender question for Governor of Indiana":
"What civil right links a male serial rapist, a male pedophile, a male state legislator, a thrice-divorced male perpetrator of domestic violence, a developmentally challenged 18-year-old man, and a male CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Each can marry a lesbian, lovingly raise children together (for as long as their marriage may last), and their marriages will be legally validated by our state. But, that same lesbian cannot marry her gay partner of 30 years with whom she has already raised an Eagle Scout who is now attending Harvard Medical School? Governor Pence, I guess that is because they are gay and, as such, they are unfit to be "natural" parents, right?"
David Hoppe, "The madness of King Mike":
"Pence lives in Indiana and, as far as he is concerned, being a Hoosier trumps being an American. When he heard about the Supreme Court ruling, Pence promised to double down on Republican efforts to pass an amendment to Indiana's state constitution making gay marriage forever out of bounds."
John Krull, "Marriage question puts Pence, GOP in tough spot"
"That's exactly the fissure within the GOP that same-sex marriage threatens to drive open. Here in Indiana, business leaders have expressed reservations about a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying that it will make it harder for them to recruit talent, sell to their markets and thus create jobs. Social conservatives, though, see this as a last stand and want to fight same-sex marriage to the end, however bitter the end may be."
David Hoppe, "Thomas Easterly. Again.":
"With numbers like these, you'd think it might be time to find somebody new to run IDEM. I mean, imagine how you'd feel if this was your track record and you had to sit down with your boss for a performance review. Not a problem, as far as Mike Pence is concerned. He wasted little time in announcing that he was retaining Thomas Easterly to keep up the good work."
John Krull, "At last, a real healthcare debate":
"Republicans such as Pence fought Obamacare with ferocity from the beginning, but their efforts to derail the president's plan faltered in large part because they never advanced their own plan to meet the needs of those 30 million to 40 million citizens. They lost the national debate over health care because they offered only criticism, not an argument or an alternative. "
Dan Grossman, "Mike Pence, Park Tudor and me"
"So if you're a self-medicating marijuana user, don't worry. You have a place - if you get busted - in Pence's Indiana, a state that works. It works out well for GEO, a company like other private prison companies that sees weed offenders like you as valuable commodities - compliant, docile, and a ready source of legalized slave labor. And it works out well for Pence (possibly considering a presidential run) and his allies who get political contributions from the private prison companies to fund their political aspirations."
On fights with Glenda Ritz
John Krull, "Glenda Ritz's good fortune"
Is there one thing Gov. Pence, the education board members or the education reform camp followers have done that is likely to change the minds of Hoosiers who voted for Ritz the first time around? Nope. To the contrary, all of their efforts just have made her more formidable."
Dan Drexler, "Pence will be schooled for end run around Glenda Ritz":
"Pence's overreach deserves whatever political dope-slapping he receives. And he will receive a huge dope-slapping, loud and clear. Count on it."
David Hoppe, "Bringing guns to school makes us safer, right?"
"No one doubted Pence would sign this law. Throughout his political career he has consistently won gold stars from the National Rifle Association, one of his biggest institutional fans. And this law was positioned right smack in the NRA's wheelhouse.
... The NRA's version of reality rhymes neatly with movies aimed at adolescent males. You know the ones: the good guys with guns always win. But there's a problem with this version of reality. It's not based on facts."
John Krull, "Pence should stop playing with the judicial system":
"Just a few days later, a Lake County circuit court judge refused to stay his ruling that Indiana’s right-to-work law was unconstitutional. It was the second time an Indiana judge has tossed right to work on constitutional grounds. Pence responded to Judge George Paras’ refusal to stay the decision blithely. “Indiana is a right-to-work state and we are going to continue to advance that in this state,” Pence said. The problem with that is that it just isn’t so. Until another court rules otherwise, Indiana isn’t a right-to-work state – at least not at the moment."
NUVO Editors, "Pence advocates return of refugee kids"
"The Governor writes, 'Those who have crossed our border illegally should be treated humanely and with decency and respect, but they should be returned expeditiously to their home countries to be reunited with their families rather than being dispersed around the United States in sponsored placement or long-term detention facilities.'"
On the environment
David Hoppe, "Kicking and screaming about the environment":
"Gov. Pence seems to think that by digging in his heels, he can will the smokestack chugging days of the 1950's back into existence. He thinks that cheap energy will trump environmental responsibility when it comes to economic development. What he fails to realize is that this kind of retrograde posturing sets Indiana apart in a way that's likely to hurt rather than help the state's future development."
John Krull, "Pence's EPA battle strands Indiana":
"The next wave of growth in manufacturing and transportation - and the fortunes and jobs that will accompany that growth - will go to those who identify and exploit different, preferably renewable sources of energy. That's why the smart states and smart businesses are looking ahead and trying to catch that next wave. Indiana's governor, though, seems determined to ride the last wave until it crashes to shore - doubtless stranding a lot of Hoosiers on the rocks when the tide goes out."
On presidential inclinations
John Krull, "Mike Pence and the call of the Rose Garden"
Despite having a huge fundraising advantage in a year in which most other Republicans – we’ll get to the exception in a moment – ran strong, Pence failed to capture 50 percent of the vote. He eked a narrow three-point win over Democrat John Gregg, who was closing the gap fast in the campaign’s last days. If the campaign had gone on another two weeks, Pence very well might have lost."
On rejecting preschool funds
John Krull, "A do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do movement":
"Pence tried to spin his decision as an assertion of Hoosier pride and independence – we don’t need those stinkin’ feds telling us what to do – but the argument wasn’t particularly persuasive. Pence is happy – no, eager – to take federal dollars, strings and all. In this case, though, a public early education program likely would have drained away students and funds from church and other religious-based child care programs. The governor had been beseeched by social conservatives, whose votes he likely will need if he runs for president, not to make it possible for Hoosiers to quit paying churches and other faith-based groups to provide child care and educational services."
Morton Marcus, "Pence works against Hoosier futures":
"Governor Mike Pence demonstrates a disregard for the economic well-being of Hoosiers. He is dominated by the ultra-right wing of a once proud and effective Republican party. He allows the short-sighted leadership of that party to dictate foolish policies undermining Indiana’s future."
On cuts to domestic violence shelters:
Elle Roberts, "The wrong side of domestic violence"
"The governor is touting a billion dollar state surplus by essentially hoarding and demanding the return of appropriated tax dollars, while Hoosiers in need are turned away from assistance. It is interesting that Pence can misrepresent the reality of the surplus, which is a product of his state budget, while ICJI can push domestic violence agencies to provide even more budgetary information that was not originally requested."
David Hoppe, "Mike Pence and the Koch brothers":
"As tempting as it’s been to see Pence and his ilk as representing some kind of throwback that’s passed its sell-by date, this battle’s just begun. What’s happening in Indiana could just as easily be a preview of coming attractions. While the RFRA debacle made Indiana appear out of step to most people, a small but powerful contingent still thinks of this place as a model for the way things should be. They loved the way Mitch Daniels corporatized the state, never mind that Hoosier incomes remain among the lowest in the country. As far as this crowd’s concerned, Pence’s mistake was more about style than substance."
John Krull, "Mike Pence, without a parachute":
"When people fall as hard and as fast as Mike Pence has, they generally like to have something – a parachute or a bungee cord – to slow or stop their descent. Indiana's governor doesn't seem to have either at his disposal."
David Hoppe, "RFRA: Not over yet":
"This is why Mike Pence flubbed questions about discrimination. While he himself would hate to see LGBT people turned away, as he said, from a restaurant, he shows no signs of being ready to protect their civil rights throughout the state. As far as he is concerned, the way some Christians interpret the Bible trumps equal rights for all. It could take awhile, and an election or two, to straighten this out. Which is tough, because Indiana needs to get past this episode sooner rather than later."
Stephanie Dolan, "Are there more than bigots in Indiana?":
"Did you know that the KKK is a religious organization? What if a member of Indiana’s inauspicious chapter decides that a lynching was necessary in the practice of his religion? He may not get away with murder (although stranger things have happened), but handing down a life sentence won’t – at that point – raise the dead. According to Indiana’s Center for History, there was a time in the early 20th century when about 30% of the native Caucasian men of Indiana were members of the Ku Klux Klan. By 1922, Indiana’s chapter of the KKK was the largest in the nation. I fear this was portent of things to come."
John Krull, "Indiana, through the eyes of others"
"Every place I have to show my driver’s license, produce my passport or say where I’m from, I get the same quizzical look – and the same question: Indiana? Yes, Indiana. Nowhere are people angry or hostile or confrontational when I tell them I’m a Hoosier. Mostly, they’re just curious about why we chose to tie ourselves into knots for reasons that don’t make a lot of sense to them. They’re puzzled, not embittered."
David Hoppe, "This crisis is too good to waste":
"The passage of this law, and Gov. Pence’s clueless attempts to defend it, have been shameful. There is no need to “clarify” this mess. Anybody with ears to hear and eyes to see has known what this was about — look at the who’s who of homophobes pictured round our governor as he signed the bill in a private gathering: Micah Clark, Eric Miller, Curt Smith."
Amber Stearns, "Did Pence just lead Indiana into economic sanctions?"
"No, the United Nations or any other international body or bank out there did not place economic sanctions on Indiana. However, with the growing number of businesses, organizations, and event organizers that have announced second thoughts about doing business in the state of Indiana, that loss could be considered informal sanctions. And it is all in reaction to the passage and signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)."
On undocumented Hoosiers
Kyle Long, "Discrimination exists beyond RFRA in Indiana":
"If you think think RFRA is the first "hate" bill to be signed into law by Indiana's government in recent years, then you haven't been paying attention. Just ask Indiana's undocumented immigrant population about SB 590 [passed in 2011] - a bill designed to repress, punish, and humiliate Indiana's largely Latino undocumented population."
On troubled candidacy
John Krull, "Mike Pence shuffles to the left, to the right, to the left"
"Pence’s partisans like to say these were momentary missteps, but they’re more than that. When “Pence Must Go” signs pop up in yards in inner-city neighborhoods, it’s not a big deal. The governor wasn’t likely to get those votes anyway. When they started blooming like flowers in typically Republican strongholds such as manicured suburban communities, it is a problem for the governor. Pence now has a lot of people in this state to placate and please, and the path to his re-election is not a straight one."
Amber Stearns, "Pence Must Go":
"Warren may not see the parallels between himself and Rosa Parks, but they are there. Both had reached their limit and took and action on his or her own behalf. In 1955, Parks' action ignited a revolution leading to civil rights across the country. Sixty years later, Warren's action could very well lead to a dramatic shift in Hoosier politics."
On the environment
22 scientists studying climate change, "An Open Letter to Mike Pence":
"Hoosier scientists, and you as our governor, must pay close attention to current changes and future projections, and actively in engage in planning and action required to mitigate and adapt to that change."
On LGBTQ issues
Amber Stearns: "LGBT to the Statehouse":
"The marriage equality debate motivated Potts to get involved and that involvement continue through the RFRA debate. But there was one shining moment that shifted [Keith] Potts from an active citizen to a candidate — when Mike Pence appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
" 'He refused to give a straight answer on whether he would protect the LGBT community and LGBT Hoosiers," recalls Potts. "That's when I decided that it is time for someone in the LGBT community to get in there, to get their hands dirty and to have our voices heard.' "
On Syrian refugee ban
Amber Stearns, "Pence vs. Syrian refugees"
"Yes, he did it again. Governor Mike Pence smeared Hoosier hospitality in a series of tweets, this time marginalizing Indiana's foreign-born residents. Pence joined nearly half of the country's Republican governors in calling for the suspension of Syrian refugee resettlement in Indiana."
On Trump's proposed Muslim ban
John Krull, "Trump and the GOP's dance by the flames":
"What The Donald did not realize was how fine that line is – how nuanced the approach must be in attempting to appeal to and benefit from America’s baser impulses. For example, Trump didn’t realize that while it’s okay to demonize all Syrian refugees as potential terrorists – as more than 30 Republican governors, including Indiana’s own Mike Pence, and most Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have done – it’s not all right to cast similar suspicions on all Muslims."
On HEA 1337
Michael Leppart, "Squeezing the life out of the base":
"This terrible new law [HEA 1337] is a political tool for legislators whose political futures are more delicate in May than in November. It also is socially conservative legislation that Pence would not ever be able to resist. But the governor's fate rests completely in November."
Assistant Democratic Leader Jean D. Breaux (D-Indianapolis), "In Indiana, it's always next year for women's issues":
"Until Governor Pence and the male-dominated legislature view the issues facing our state through the lens of women and working families, women will remain on uneven footing in Indiana. Despite inserting themselves into the private decisions of women by enacting the controversial proposal aimed at banning legal abortions, the Republican-controlled legislature and the governor continue to ignore – or worse – condemn common sense issues that would lift all Hoosiers."
Elle Roberts, "The crossroads of reproductive justice":
"Choosing when, if, and how to start a family in Indiana is inextricably tied to affordable housing, a healthy environment, accessible education, food security, living wages, quality healthcare, and more. The GOP-controlled House and Senate and Gov. Pence continue to ignore or exacerbate the needs of Hoosiers related to these issues."
On Syrian refugee ban
Dan Wakefield, "We welcomed them then":
"Despite official recognition of the grave mistake of the internment policy, it was raised again last November by the Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia in speaking of how to deal with Syrian refugees. Rep. Judy Chu of California was one of many politicians who spoke out against the idea: "Instead of keeping us safe, Japanese internment compromised our principles and demonized an entire population of Americans. It is outrageous to let the same kind of xenophobia influence our policy today. . . [it] is just one example of how extreme the rhetoric around Syrian refugees has become."
"A local example of that rhetoric was Governor Pence preventing a Syrian family from settling in Indiana last fall (the family was welcomed by the governor of Connecticut). In the far more volatile atmosphere of WWII, there were people here who stood up for American ideals in spite of strong opposition, and welcomed Japanese Americans who were our own countryman, not our enemies."
On partnering with Trump
John Krull, "Donald and Mike, strange bedfellows":
"Pence is locked in the electoral fight of his life. If Democrat John Gregg defeats him in this fall’s gubernatorial election, Pence’s political career will be over. Losing the governor’s seat in a reliably red state only four years after Pence’s predecessor as governor, fellow Republican Mitch Daniels, made the Indiana GOP a national model of innovation and efficiency is something other Republicans will find hard to forgive or forget.
"The way he’s campaigning indicates how panicked Pence and his people are that he might take that hard fall. Pence once famously vowed that he was done with negative campaigning, but now he and his team are accusing Gregg of everything but assassinating Abraham Lincoln. It’s a strategy that smacks of desperation."
On civil rights protections for LGBTQ Hoosiers
John Krull, "Pence and Bosma just can't commit":
"In many ways, Mike Pence, Brian Bosma and so many other lawmakers in this state have wandered into a trap they built themselves. The bonds about which they complain are ones they knotted themselves."