Indiana Governor's Race 

  • Rebecca Townsend / SarahKate Chamness

Editor's Note: The following story appears in the Sept. 26 edition of NUVO, edited to fit the page space available. We plan to update this package soon with the option to peruse the candidate's unabridged responses to these questions - and in some cases, bonus questions such as,"If you could ask you fellow candidates a question, what would it be?" and "What examples, if any, of waste or mismanagement do you see in state government?" This update will also include links to the candidate's various proposed policy papers. We'll announce the update's posting via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thank you for your patience.

The 2012 election inches nearer — 41 days away.

Mitch Daniels prepares to pass the baton.

Suspense grips the state: Who will take his place? How many people will register? How many will make their way to the polls? How will the presidential and statehouse elections factor in?

Millions of dollars in campaign ads are flooding into Hoosier homes trying to reach you — the precious voter. Rather than attempt to referee the daily avalanche of news releases crowing about grand plans or howling over policies and positions forecast to be the ruin of modern civilization, NUVO opted to feature the men running to be governor through a series of candidate profile questions.

The following questions cover a lot of territory. They in no way reflect the unthinkable number of issues and circumstances a governor must negotiate, but they begin to hint at the vast diversity of fare on the chief executive's menu. The job is of utmost importance to this state. To people who love Indiana, understanding the person who is governor and holding that office accountable are among the most important jobs true Hoosiers can do. We hope these candidate profiles provide voters with a more nuanced understanding of the candidates and help motivate greater participation at the polls.

Thank you to Rupert Boneham, John Gregg and Mike Pence for taking the time to participate and to their staff members who helped make those meetings happen. Thanks also to NUVO interns Sarah Shaefer and Olivia McPherson for their invaluable assistance.

NUVO: What do you feel defines a good governor?

Boneham: The ability to model what we would expect out of our leaders — out of a role model: to give back to the state, to put the state before themselves, not to just care about special interest but to care about all — from those of us that cannot fight for ourselves to those of us that have enough money to do whatever we want.

Gregg: I think a governor that's inclusive, in touch with Hoosiers' needs — and that doesn't mean just the person on Meridian Street. That means the person on all the little main streets and county roads all across Indiana. I think the governor tries to bring people together. The governor, a good governor would want to get more stuff done rather than worrying about who gets credit, and would worry about the next generation rather than the next election.

Pence: A good governor is someone who understands the moment in the life of the state and is able to provide the kind of leadership that takes full advantage of the opportunities for citizens in that moment. ... We've gone through a great season of reform in the life of our state; I supported those reforms very strongly. Now with jobs and schools, in particular, Hoosiers are looking for outcomes, the results. I think that for the next governor of Indiana to meet this moment, it begins with understanding the opportunity Indiana faces and how we can really take Indiana from good to great.

NUVO: What do you think Governor Daniels did best during his term? In what areas, if any, do you feel he fell short?

Boneham: One of the best deals that I think I have seen so far, now time will tell, but selling the Indiana toll road for a billion dollars more than it was valued at was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, that's the exception to the rule. You know, as we go then into some of the things that I don't see as positive for the state ... how do we put this? When we look at cutting budgets, too many times we still look at cutting from the bottom up; we don't cut from the top down. When we try to centralize our government throughout Indiana and locate a lot of offices in Central Indiana that have power over outlying areas, it takes power away from our communities. So I would see a better use of our money as decentralization, again, of government and giving the communities back their power.

Gregg: You know, I tell people I'm not running against Governor Daniels. Indiana has had a tendency to like all of their governors and hold them high, and I'm not running against him. I'm running against a career politician, a congressman out in Washington, D.C., so I kind of keep trying to keep my comments going that direction.

Pence: In the midst of many reforms and accomplishments, I think the legacy of the Daniels administration will be changing the culture of state government. I think state government now moves more at the pace of taxpayers than at the pace of bureaucrats. ... I think there is unfinished business, but I'm hard-pressed to find areas where I disagree with the policies that have been advanced. ... The nature of this moment in the life of our state is that we can take Indiana from reform to results because of the progress we've made.

  • Rebecca Townsend/ Nathan Brown / SarahKate Chamness

NUVO:Why do you want to be governor?

Boneham: Enough of ... different regulations that I have to deal with that cost dollars and jobs.

I've always said I want to change the world; the way that I will do that is by being one of those people that create policy. Showing what we have done for our job creations and our re-entry program. I would like to do that for the entire state.

Gregg: You know, I have quite a bit of experience in state government. I served as speaker of the house, I've served as president of Vincennes University, worked for a couple Fortune 500 companies and in all of those places always managed to bring people together. Two of the years I was speaker, we were tied 50-50 [split between the parties] and the whole time I was speaker, the opposite party controlled the Senate, so you had to work out differences, you had to collaborate and cooperate. ... I decided to run for office because I thought, we've got a lot of opportunities in Indiana ... [specifically in] ag. ... that's right there at the top, what I now call advanced manufacturing, but manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, energy, logistics, and life sciences.

Pence: For two reasons: I love this state. I love everything about it. I was born and raised in this state, got all my education in Indiana and have worked every day of my life living with or serving the people of Indiana. ... The second reason is because I think this is no ordinary time in the life of our state. I truly believe Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth — and if we bring the right leaders in on every level with the right ideas and the right energy, I think Indiana can take her rightful place as the leading state in the Midwest — and one of the fastest-growing state economies in the U.S. ... We really believe that we can be a part of Indiana meeting that moment with the right leadership and the right ideas.

click to enlarge SARAHKATE CHAMNESS

NUVO: How do you rate the General Assembly's mass transit bill? What, if anything, will you do about the issue moving forward?

Boneham: I support mass transit wholeheartedly. A city the size of Indianapolis needs an efficient and desirable mass transit system. Mass transit gets people to work and consumers to the shops. But any system built needs to be efficient and reasonably self-sustaining.

Gregg: That was two local governments, Marion County and Hamilton County, coming together, wanting to ask the legislature for permission to have a discussion on something that they "might" like to do. And I want you to put "might" in quotes. The legislature wouldn't even allow them to have a discussion. It's just wrong. We accomplish nothing if we don't allow people to talk. We accomplish nothing if we don't allow for a free exchange of ideas and that's one reason why I'm running, I mean, as partisanship has gripped our country, and has gripped our state.

I'll tell you why it's utterly silly in this case. Indiana actually makes rail in Fort Wayne. The rail on the railroad, Indiana makes that in Fort Wayne. We make railcar and components, railcar and railcar components in Muncie. We make the diesel engines for the locomotives in Columbus and soon to be, I think, even Seymour. We don't have a rail policy. These opportunities, if we would quit griping and fighting with one another and worry about what we're going to do next and where we're going to do it— there's just huge opportunities.

Pence: I have an open mind on the issue. But as I've said in many conversations with people, particularly in Central Indiana, my view of the matter is any investment in mass transit has to be based upon the population density and reasonable expectations of utilization and sustainability. But what we can't have is one part of the state expanding infrastructure in a way that people all across the state will be required ultimately to pay for in higher taxes. ... In areas of mass transit — which again I am open-minded, I don't have an opinion — if I'm elected governor, we'll sit down with all the interested parties and listen. But from my perspective, when you're talking about mass transit infrastructure there are metrics that can be used to determine whether an investment is economically sustainable. That's how we'd approach it.

NUVO: How do you think the state's gay people feel our state's politicians have treated them recently?

Boneham: For years, LGBT Hoosiers have been treated like second-class citizens. We've seen too many young people taking their lives because of bullying in their schools and homes. As governor, I will stand up for all of us. I will protect the constitutional right to equality under the law for every single Hoosier.

Gregg: I have been on record as saying I support traditional marriage. But with that said, when I was speaker of the house, that was the only time we ever passed a hate-crimes bill with a gay category in it. I've told people; I'm all about jobs. This whole amount of time we spend on social issues... it's not putting anybody to work and that's what we need to be focused on. And I remind them I'm running against the guy whose whole 12-year career has been nothing but dealing with social issues. And I've been criticized by some reporters saying, "Why do you bring it up?" Well, because I feel like I'm the game warden and a leopard is trying to change its spots. You can't be one way for 12 years and then all of a sudden say "Now I'm for jobs." You need to look at the record. I stand by my record. I've done other things, I'm not a career politician. I have not spent every day of the last 12 years trying to deny women access to healthcare.

Pence: My hope is that every Hoosier, regardless of their political or personal philosophy, has been treated with the respect that every person in this state should be afforded. I believe that's been the case in the state of Indiana and if I serve as governor, it will continue to be. Regardless of where any Hoosier stands on any particular issue, I think here in this state we know you can disagree without being disagreeable. Hoosiers put a high premium on civility and mutual respect — if I have the privilege of serving as governor — whether I agree with any particular community in the state on every single issue, I will always show every Hoosier the respect that I believe everyone
should be accorded.

click to enlarge SARAHKATE CHAMNESS

NUVO: What about the state's economy? Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth?

Boneham: I like seeing our economy better than our neighbors. I like seeing our businesses not fleeing the state, but actually businesses looking to relocate in Indiana. I want to encourage that, not with tax abatements and government subsidies, but ... backing the government down from putting so much regulation in front of business, encouraging businesses to come to Indiana because of our location, because of our ease of compliance regulations, because our personal and corporate taxes...

We want to bring our corporate tax rates and our personal tax rates down to a 3 percent level. If we stop giving the tax abatements, if we stop giving the prebates. ... Honestly, I mean, I'm looking at GE that's threatening to move out of the state again if we don't give them another 10 years of abatements. At the same time we charge all of our small businesses 100 percent. If we eliminate that and stop taking away from our ability to collect taxes and we make everybody pay across the board, we can bring it down for everyone. That along with our location, along with the easing of regulations — and I'm not talking about making it a free-for-all, that you can do anything in Indiana — but you can promote your business, you can promote your world, you can advertise your company. You can put your sign up and take care of your world. We are the crossroads of America. We need to show that.

Gregg: There's a new awareness, sustainability, green farming ... [between growth in aquaculture and new generation greenhouses] Indiana could actually be to the point where we help change the way we feed the world and it would be affordable, it would be cost effective, and it would be healthier. ... I actually come from a mining background. I've worked for two Fortune 500 [mining] companies. Southwestern Indiana is part of the Illinois coal basin. ... The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. I think clean coal is part of the answer and I'm an advocate of coal-fire generation. I disagree with our president on coal even though we're in the same party. ... We've also got opportunities all over southwest, south-central Indiana in natural gas. We've got methane that we haven't even begun to tap. Then all you've got to do is go north and you see the wind possibilities and all over the state, the biofuels.

When I drive northwest up to Lake County, or if I drive over to Anderson and Muncie, and I see those wind turbines, I see new technology. I see alternative, renewable power, but I also see opportunity. I want to know why that steel post that holds that thing up isn't made in Gary. I want to know why the hub that's cast for that isn't cast in a La Porte, Ind., casting foundry. I want to know why the wire in that doesn't come out of, it's no longer Essex Wire, but it used to be Essex Wire in Fort Wayne. I want to know why that blade that's got some aluminum materials is not made in Lafayette or Booneville down on the river at Alcoa. ...

When we talk about logistics, everybody always wants to talk about roads. The challenges, everybody already knows this, the toll road (money) is going to be gone July 1 of 2013, so you've got I-69 that's somewhere between Crane and Bloomington. That has to be finished. You've got 31 north up to South Bend ... it's got to be finished. Approximately 60 percent of our bridges need to be totally refurbished in the next 20 years. So we've got some challenges there. ... But we've got some opportunities still there, in that we've got an unbelievable interstate system that crosses the state. We're located in the central part of the country. If we complete 30 or so miles of rail up the western side of the state we could ship southwestern Indiana coal up to Burns Harbor, one of our three ports in Indiana. It could also be used in northern Indiana, but it could also (move through) the St. Lawrence Seaway and be exported ... also some of this produce and all of the ag products. ...

Pence: If we make job creation job one, I think we have an opportunity to increase private sector employment and increase investment in our traditional areas of strength, which are manufacturing, agriculture, logistics and the life sciences.

There's been a lot of talk in the last 20 years about the new economy and new jobs. I think Indiana should continue to lean into attracting new jobs to our state, but I think the real opportunity for growth is to build on our strength. And in Indiana we are many things. But we grow things, we make things, we're innovators, we're inventors and we export what we grow and make from factory to farm and lab to every part of the world. So I think our greatest areas of potential are in our traditional areas of strength and that's where we're going to focus.

The policies that we're articulating are intended to harness that energy, which I'm happy to elaborate on relative to vocational education or the proposal to promote greater collaboration between our universities and life sciences.

NUVO: What do you see as Indiana's No. 1 environmental issue and how would youradministration respond to it?

Boneham: I am the outdoorsy guy. I grew up in Kokomo, Ind., catching snakes and fish and turtles and crawdads in the Wildcat Creek. I want to protect our waterways, I want to protect our air, I want to protect our soil. The best way to do that is to aggressively go after the people that are breaking the law and not just fine them a slap on the wrist, but actually pursue them criminally and financially. ... We protect Indiana's environment and when we catch people dumping or polluting we prosecute and we recover the money from them to make it right. It's that simple. We don't need to create more regulations. We need to enforce what we have. And not make it a slap on the wrist, because some people still, some of the bigger companies, can dump and it's cheaper to dump.

Gregg: We've got a number of issues out there when I talk with people. ... We need to be concerned about our water supply. Not so much from just contamination ... there's a finite amount of water and I think we're going to see over the next 10-20 years that he or she who has the water is going to be the one that attracts the business and industry, the population growth. ... Indiana's got some great aquifers in certain areas of the state. And I think we need to ... see what we've got, know where it is, keep it clean. But I think water is probably, it would be my biggest environmental concern because if we have water shortages ... that's going to absolutely impact not just where cities are built, but where these factories locate. It would have
to be water.

Pence: I think Indiana's made great progress over the last eight years in compliance with federal standards and more importantly the public's expectation for clean water, clean air, clean soil. But I think maybe the greatest challenge that we have is to make sure that the State of Indiana is implementing our environmental standards and working with the federal government on environmental standards in ways that meet our environment goals but also are not a hindrance to job creation and growth. I'm someone who believes that a strong economy and a clean environment are not in competition with each other, necessarily. And that there are ways to grow our economy and we can continue to make progress on a clean environment ...

NUVO: Are you at all concerned about man-made climate change?

Boneham: In Indiana, you know we deal a lot with, there is talk with the methane gases released from the feedlots and the cattle farms, the pig farms, there's the methane gases that they're starting. And I'd like to see some of these landfills try to collect methane gases. Now they still might just be burning them off, unfortunately. I would like to see some collection and actual use, but Indiana, just like the rest of the country, has to get some control over the fluorocarbons, the methane gas, the air pollutants. For us in Indiana, we have focused a lot with the farms and all the pesticides we have put on the ground. We haven't focused as much on the air.

I'm trying to focus on the things that Indiana can deal with, what the governor's office can deal with, and I don't think on those issues that that's anything the governor can deal with. But I will tell you I do think, I'm not one of these people who discounts global warming. We're obviously going through some type of change and extremes, and whether one wants to call it global warming or something else, it's legit, it's real.

Pence: I'm concerned about policies like a national energy tax that would work such a hardship on Hoosier utility ratepayers. I think the issue of climate change — and the cause of any climate change that's occurring — is a subject of scientific debate. And I think the science should always drive that debate, but I strongly oppose efforts to enact cap and trade legislation at the national level. And if elected governor, I'll strongly oppose efforts to impose cap and trade through regulatory policy by tying Indiana's utilities to standards of other states in the country.

In Indiana, we get the overwhelming majority of our electricity from coal-burning power plants. I support clean-coal technology. Indiana continues to be a leader in that area. To embrace a cap and trade regime would be to work a great hardship on Hoosier families and Hoosier businesses because of our reliance on coal-burning power plants. I'll strongly oppose those efforts as governor.

What's your take on Duke Energy's development of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport? Do you believe the current proposed settlement of cost overruns is in Hoosiers' best interest?

Boneham: When we don't really know the total impact to the environment yet and we're creating a settlement ... I would have to honestly have to dig more into that, because we're dealing with some of the fracking things too, that I want to, I don't know the long-term effects. There are long-term effects in some of the things going on we don't know yet. Potentially there could be a greater cost, and we don't see it. Unfortunately, there's not enough transparency, even though it is a billion dollars over. Would it be more cost-effective to stop right now or should we continue on? That, and I have to say, I'll sit here right now and say that would take putting my team together and really doing analysis of how far we want to continue.

Gregg: I'd be willing to comment on that after they get it settled, because I'd need to see that, but I can tell you that I'm an advocate of things burning Indiana coal. I'm an advocate of trying new technology and I think that Indiana has about the sixth lowest utility cost. But with that said, cost overruns, I am not a fan of them being handled by the consumer.

... That's going to be an issue, and some of our power plants around the state are older and are mothballed. That's going to be something we're going to have to look at. Fortunately, right now we've got cheap natural gas, coal prices are low. But the costs of building those power plants are enormous. ... I know you have a lot of readers that are basically anti-utility. I always kind of, coming from the coal industry, I was always sensitive to that. I tell people that we long ago in this country decided we wanted to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. That battle's been fought.

Pence: We've not expressed an opinion on that. If I'm elected governor, we'll take a very careful look at all the issues affecting Indiana's utilities with an eye toward ensuring that we promote policies that keep energy at a relatively low cost. One of the benefits for us, in terms of attracting jobs to Indiana, is we're a relatively low-cost state from an energy perspective. I want Indiana to continue to pursue and maintain policies that will maintain that competitive low-cost energy advantage that Indiana has. But any specific issues from my perspective would await us actually being given responsibility in the area. Then, we'll listen, learn and lead. That's how I like to approach things.

click to enlarge SARAHKATE CHAMNESS

NUVO:What is your sense of our state's current educational landscape? How would it change — if at all — under your leadership?

Boneham: Our current educational landscape costs us half our dollars in our budget. I'd like seeing the ISTEP school scores rising, but we're talking about bringing in coaches to coach our teachers on how to teach better to the multiple-choice tests. Well, life is not a multiple-choice test. Life is an essay. And when we teach our children to pick the best of four answers and they get out in the world, how do we expect them to come up with their own answers? I want to give the power back to the teachers and the principals. I want to eliminate the standardized testing. I want to eliminate the No Child Left Behind. I want to empower our schools. I want to take dollars out of the administration and put them back into programs. ...

Gregg: I've talked to school teachers all over the state and they all tell me it can get better. They all tell me they don't mind being held accountable, but they'd like a voice in the changes and the reform and I think we need to give teachers a voice, our public teachers. The day I'm elected governor, war on the public teachers will stop —and(on) public education. I don't think it does any good to demean. ... We need to have people work together and share ideas. ... I'm an inclusive person, you just have to be.

Now, with that said, I think one of the biggest things we can do in education is fully fund kindergarten. I know they say it is, but fully and truly fund it, and also do some prekindergarten and early childhood development. That's just essential and we're one of a handful of states that do nothing on that. That's why we propose the childcare credit for parents that work. The other thing we have to do on the other end, as kids get ready when they graduate from high school, they need to be career ready or they need to be college ready. ... College is accessible in Indiana. Our challenge is to keep it affordable. And that would be one of the things that I would do would be to challenge the public trustees, the public university management, to say "How can you keep these fees, how can you keep a lid on them, so to speak?"

Pence: For more than 20 years I've been a champion, along with leaders like Bill Crawford, of educational vouchers. I think giving underprivileged kids and their families the same choices that more affluent Hoosiers have to go to a different public school, a public charter school or even a private school, it is better for the kids and better for the communities and education as a whole. Competition makes everyone stronger on the basketball court or in any arena.

That being said, I want to make sure schools are working for all kids, regardless of where they start in life and regardless of where they want to start in life. To me a voucher program is about saying to kids "We're going to level the playing field." Even if you were born into a tough environment and an underprivileged family, we're going to give you scholarships and choices to go to the best school you think your kids can attend. Similarly, we've advocated very strongly that at the other end of the educational process — more choices and more pathways for career and vocational education. ... I come from a perspective that all honest work is honorable work and that our schools ought to stand for the principle that any child that wants to go to college should be given access to a world-class college preparatory education. And, similarly, I think we can do a better job saying that for boys and girls that want to go into the workforce after high school and continue their education another time, we want to give them access to the kind of career and vocational education that will permit them to take off their cap and gown and go to work making a good living.

As I've traveled around the state, as often as I've heard business say they're not hiring, I've heard businesses tell me "We can't find people that are qualified to hire." I think if we close the skills gap at the high school level, it's going to be good for our kids, but it's also going to be good for our economy and for jobs.

NUVO: Do you plan any changes in how the state serves its veterans?

Boneham: We know that there are many areas our veteran's services can and must be better. But without knowing all the facts and how the current agencies work, it's not appropriate for me, or any candidate, to make sweeping statements on how we would fix it. I would rather know what's broken and how it happened before I try to fix it.

One thing that I do know is that we need to examine the portion of funding from the POW/MIA specialty licenses plate that goes directly to supporting Indiana veterans. Right now the majority of those funds go to programs to support active duty personnel and their families. While that is just as important, it wasn't the original intent of the plate.

Gregg: I mean it has happened in every corner of the state, ... normally it's their parent, but sometimes it's a spouse, saying, "We're trying to get ... our claims paid." And they can't. So the first thing that we said is, hey, we're going to put more people in there. There is a huge backlog of claims. That's No. 1. No. 2: When Indiana spends all this time talking about social issues, I tell people they want to talk about a social issue, talk about our slide in per capita income from 36th to 41st, but also talk about unemployment among veterans at 20 percent.

Pence: It breaks my heart to say the unemployment among Hoosier veterans returning from service since 2001 is two times the unemployment of the average Hoosier. Indiana has got to do better. Hoosiers want us to do better. That's why we've articulated a very specific set of policies and goals — from Indiana being accredited with veterans affairs in Washington, D.C., to emulating Indianapolis' recently stated goal of awarding state contracts, in part, on the basis of vet-owned business status. ... I think we can do better by our veterans. I think Hoosiers know they owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who put on the uniform that we'll never be able to repay.

  • Rebecca Townsend / Nathan Brown / SarahKate Chamness

NUVO: What's your sense of the influence of the Citizens United decision (which prohibits limitations on independent political spending by corporations and unions) on politics in America?

Boneham: My biggest problem with Citizens United and the new Super PACs is the anonymity of donors and the way they get around contribution limits.

Gregg: (It's) had an enormous influence and I don't think it's a positive influence because you can have people given unlimited amounts of money and then not know where they come from, where the dollar comes from. I mean, we've seen $1 million come from some super PAC that's supposedly hooked to the Republican governors that came in to the Congressman and nobody has to tell where it's from. I think it's probably one of the most disastrous court cases we've had as far as affecting our electoral process, because it, in some cases, it is going to allow a person with little or no qualifications just to come in and buy a race if they can attract that type of money.

Pence: I'm someone who has long believed that the more debate that we can encourage and more transparency we can encourage in the American political process, the better off our citizens and our elections will be. I strongly oppose the McCain-Feingold law (which regulates campaign financing and was enacted in 2002). I actually was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that challenged McCain-Feingold, the McConnell case, to the Supreme Court. I was pleased to see the Supreme Court, while they upheld McCain-Feingold in the McConnell case, they slowly changed the law in the Citizens United case as one of the recent iterations of that. But they changed it in a manner of freedom. But I want to say that I believe that the more debate and the more transparency that we have in campaign elections is better for the country.

... My view has always been that Hoosiers ought to be able to expend their dollars in public life under the First Amendment as they see fit in support of the candidates or causes of their choosing. But I've also always supported transparency in our campaign finance laws and I'll continue to ... promote both those things. I've supported efforts at created transparency and accountability. ... I think throughout my career in Congress, I've long supported the public's right to know. I authored the Free Flow of Information Act in the Congress — that passed the House of Representatives and may yet become law — that will ensure the free flow of information by protecting confidential sources at the federal level.

NUVO: Any special plans for farmers?

Boneham: Standing up for our farmers and not letting the federal government tell them who can or cannot drive a tractor on their land. The federal government is trying to create a situation where only CDL drivers can operate equipment, even on private land, even out in the fields. That will never happen if I am governor.

I also see a great value in bringing fibered crops to Indiana and creating an industry that we are growing fibers, turning them into textiles, creating clothing for every prisoner locked up in Indiana, thousands of prisoners, tens of thousands of prisoners. Every state hospital employee, thousands, hundreds of thousands of scrubs — first responders, fire, and police, law enforcement officers

... Now we have different colleges in Indiana that have for years been working on fuels, grass fuels. Well, there are some crops out there that could make 10 times, 50 times the fuel production that corn creates and they grow in our environment. [Any particular crops?] I would love to see bamboo and hemp come into Indiana. Hemp is a $200 billion dollar industry in the United States, and it is not represented because the federal government has said hemp
is illegal. [Is there a place for marijuana as well, or should we focus on
the hemp?] They're being able to create a spot for medical marijuana, of course. When we have alcohol that is legal and marijuana that is not, if we want to look at, in our future, the decriminalization, the taxing and regulating of marijuana like we do alcohol, it cuts off a lot of budget problems. But that is not one of my agendas. I don't want to scare everybody away... I'm already scary enough.

Gregg: I've been real critical of my opponent in that there is a farm bill laying in the House right now. ... he voted for a recess while Indiana farmers are experiencing, in some cases, the worst drought ever, in other cases, still the worst drought in over 20 years... Indiana farmers are hurting, and if I were governor I would be doing everything I could to work with our congressional delegation and the ag secretary and the president, to say we need relief.

Another thing that goes hand in glove with an ag policy is ... rural development policy ... I live on a farm, I don't farm, but my parents still live in our hometown of 300 people. You know there are some real challenges to a lot of these small towns... that also affects the farmer. We need to do everything we can because that's an important part of our heritage... we have to eat.

Pence: My running mate, Sue Ellspermann, recently unveiled our agricultural agenda and I would commend it to your readers' attention. I think Indiana is many things, but Indiana is agriculture at our core. One of the reasons I love the state fair is because you see tens of thousands of people who make their way out to the state fairgrounds and on an annual basis are reminded where we come from in Indiana and we celebrate that no matter what our backgrounds. But I think the economic opportunities in agriculture are very real. Agriculture is a major part of our past and our present. The reason we embraced an innovation corridor for agriculture being promoted in this state, the reason that we're determined to look at and evaluate the tax burden that faces family farmers is because we really do believe that a growing diverse agricultural economy in Indiana is a core part of our state's economic strength and by promoting greater innovation and greater investment in Indiana, it will just make Indiana stronger.

NUVO:How do you define Hoosier?

Boneham: I like describing myself as that good Hoosier boy that has values, a sense of self worth and work ethic. ... We're able to look each other in the eye and care if people are OK — not to get too involved, but to care. ... Indiana is a great place.

The Hoosiers that inspire me ... some of these men and women coming out of the detention center that
were born with three strikes against them. That were raised without the knowledge of making a legal living
or even having a sense of self worth that are able to turn themselves around. ... Seeing someone that has been beaten down all their life, stand up and say "No matter what,
I will make it!" ... I have many fellow Hoosiers that I think back on knowing that we can make it.

Gregg: The obvious way is someone born, raised, and lived in Indiana. Me. But there are 7 million of us. You know, it's interesting, as I've traveled around the state, the definition of Hoosier is different in different areas. It can be a small-town person. It can be a farmer. It can mean a fan of Indiana University. But it can also mean somebody that works in a steel mill in Gary or somebody that's up in Fort Wayne working at the GM plant, or it can be a guy working down at the Clark Marathon somewhere down in the southeast part of the state that's right on a barge. There are so many things it can mean, but I think it really means a hardworking, decent human being that has a love of state, a love of country, and a great hope for the future.

Pence: For me, Hoosiers are special. All you need to do to be a Hoosier is to be a person of compassion, decency, who believes in hard work and calls Indiana home.

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend served as NUVO news editor from May 2011 to August 2014. During a 20-plus year career, her bylines have appeared in publications ranging from Indiana AgriNews to the Wall Street Journal. Her undergraduate degree is in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College, and her master's is in journalism... more
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