The Herald Bulletin

December 4, 2013

Viewpoint: Bullying from Gov. Pence not acceptable

By James Hensley Anderson resident
The Herald Bulletin

---- — Those of us who were horrified at the bullish tactics of Tony Bennett, a man who appeared to care more about stats than students, voted him out. Yet Gov. Pence seems hell-bent on carrying on the same bullish tactics.

The fact that more Hoosiers preferred Ritz than Pence (Glenda Ritz even got more votes than Pence), didn’t matter to Pence. He formed the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI), a “bully gang” designed to intimidate Ms. Ritz into submission. It was unprofessional, underhanded sleaze. When Ritz refused to be bullied and adjourned the meeting, some called it “unprofessional.” We call standing up to bullies brave. She was elected by Hoosiers to do a job and refused to let tea party Pence’s appointed bullies take over the responsibilities of her job. Thank you, Glenda Ritz — we are very proud of you.

Perhaps Mike Pence’s bully tactics (“Shut ‘r down!”) gained him name recognition among uninformed voters, resulting in his winning election (by a small margin). Hoosiers are now seeing the bully at work in Indiana. Pence decided it didn’t matter what Hoosiers wanted, he would bully his way into getting his ideology rammed through by forming the CECI. I hope all Hoosiers remember all of this when Pence is up for re-election and I think they will — we don’t like bullies. And we dislike hypocrites even more. Pence’s statement of “We’re going to work in a way that’s respectful and civil, but determined to advance the progress we’ve been making” is the epitome of hypocrisy. Is forming the CECI (of course they were appointed by Pence) to undermine Ritz respectful? No, it is unethical and clearly bullying. And who gets to pay for Pence’s maliciousness? We do, with our Hoosier taxpayer dollars.

The current State Board of Education consists of Daniels and Pence appointees — Republicans and DINOs. They are following Bully Pence’s lead, with “Head Bully” being board member Daniel Elsener. Most newspaper articles about this matter always mention that Elsener is president of Marian University. This always astounds me because of a quote I read recently, “Have you ever noticed that the folks who are so quick to condemn bullying think it is quite OK when the bullying is done by politicians?” What message is Elsener sending to Marian University students? Maybe “do as I say, not as I do”? Unprofessional, you bet!

Hoosiers should rail against this bullying by calling Pence’s office, writing letters and holding protests. Step up, Hoosiers!