Indiana Governor Mike Pence is Donald Trump’s pick for vice-president
— and that’s a sentence we can’t believe we’re actually writing.
And that’s because, in the eyes of many Hoosiers, Pence has not exactly made Indiana great, as Trump famously claims he’ll do for America. In fact, Pence was removed from presidential consideration by the GOP after a series of … let’s say unfortunate events.
Readers beyond the great Hoosier state, here’s a primer on Mike Pence and all the ways he has not
made Indiana great again.
1. Pence signs religious freedom bill, RFRA (March 2015)
This embarrassing bill was an economic and public relations disaster, although it did lead to this very entertaining interview with George Stephanopoulos and our gov.
2. Pence makes Indiana businesses very, very angry (March 2015)
, Anthem, Cummins, Dow AgroSciences, Eli Lilly and Co., Emmis Communications, IU Health, Roche Diagnostics and Salesforce Marketing are just some of the businesses that spoke out vocally against Pence post-RFRA.
3. Pence hires out-of-state PR firm to “fix” Indiana’s image (April 2015)
Post-RFRA, and facing an image crisis — including a travel boycott by multiple cities like San Francisco — the state government made Hoosier PR companies very, very angry by hiring global PR firm Porter Novelli instead of an in-state firm to fix Indiana’s image. The state that works, indeed.
The contract was unexpectedly and quickly cancelled.
4. Pence signs HEA 1337, making Indiana most restrictive state in nation for reproductive health (March 2016)
HEA 1337 outlawed abortion entirely for a variety of reasons, added additional barriers to obtaining an abortion, and required each aborted or miscarried fetus to be buried or cremated.
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood immediately filed suit, and Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a preliminary injunction Friday that stopped the bill from going into effect.
5. Pence tries to create his own news agency, JustIN (January 2015)
Mark A. Lee
Scenes from an HEA1337 protest
In an attempt to “ streamline” the dispersal of news from state agencies,
the Pence administration contemplated the creation of its own news service to be called “JustIN”.
The public outcry compared the plan to state-controlled media associated with communist countries.
6. Pence attempts to “ban” Syrian refugees from Indiana (November 2015)
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, France and the immediate assumption that the attacks were orchestrated by terrorists posing as Syrian immigrants, Pence was one of the first of several governors to try to prohibit the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled it unconstitutional.
7. Pence turns down preschool fundraising (October 2014)
The Indiana Dept. of Education was in the process of applying for a federal grant to fund preschool education when in the final stages of the application process, Pence halted the application and refused the grant,
questioning its administration.
One year later, Pence decided fed money for preschool is a good thing.
8. Pence closes Planned Parenthoods, adding to HIV outbreak in Scott County (March 2015)
Mark A. Lee
Indiana welcomes all — but does Pence wish we didn't?
Because of new restrictions and loss of funding through Medicare, Planned Parenthood was forced to close several locations around the state, including Scott County. Seventy-nine cases of HIV arose
— and Pence waited more than two months to declare a state of emergency for the county.
9. Pence disenfranchises State Superintendent Glenda Ritz (ongoing)
Before Pence got settled into the governor’s chair, he created the Center for Education and Career Innovation, which became a mirror agency to Ritz’s Department of Education. CECI was just the beginning of the rift between Pence and Ritz. Although he dissolved CECI in 2014, Pence supported the state legislature’s push to weaken Ritz’s office, including attempts to make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed position instead of an elected one and removing the superintendent as chair of the Board of Education.
10. Pence rejects EPA’s Clean Power Plan (August 2015)
Known as a “friend of coal,” Pence penned a letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, claiming the plan’s call for a 30 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions nationwide by 2030 would be detrimental to Indiana.
Environmental groups called Pence’s reaction premature and irresponsible.