Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Two Views of Privatization Democrat Gregg Opposes It, GOP's Pence More Open to It

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Two Views of Privatization Democrat Gregg Opposes It, GOP's Pence More Open to It

Article excerpt

Indiana Democratic gubernatorial hopeful John Gregg said he opposes privatizing state government tasks, while the Republican candidate, Mike Pence, is more open to it, their campaigns said Thursday. "Mike Pence believes partnering with service providers can produce great results for taxpayers. All potential partnerships should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but we should keep an open mind," said Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault.

Meanwhile, Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker who works for a law firm that benefits from state agencies farming out some of their legal and lobbying work, "generally, he does not support privatization," said his spokeswoman, Megan Jacobs.

The Libertarian candidate for governor, former "Survivor" star Rupert Boneham, favors privatization in some instances but wants increased transparency, said his campaign manager, Evan McMahon.

"Rupert's big concern is how these deals are brokered. Often they're done in private, and the taxpayers only find out about it after the fact," McMahon said.

"What he would like to see is a public vetting process where all of these bids are put up online with plenty of time for the average Hoosier to research them, understand it and give their public input on it. After that, any contracted bid that is accepted should list why it was accepted and why other bids were rejected."

Their stances come the day after the Hoosier Lottery announced it wants to hear ideas from private companies on how to maximize its profits - a move officials with the lottery said is not a step toward full privatization, as Gov. Mitch Daniels had once proposed.

During Daniels' seven-plus years in office, the state has entered several high-profile deals to hand state functions over to private businesses, with mixed results.

In 2006, Daniels signed a $3.85 billion, 75-year lease of a northern Indiana toll road in the "Major Moves" deal. …

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