The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

September 7, 2013

Editorial: Private policy meetings make mockery of democracy

(Continued)

In other words, it was the ideology behind the policies, not the merit, that the Republicans got behind.

This is a deviation of the democratic process where bills are introduced in the legislature, debated and voted on, and it's all in the public eye. That's how an open democracy works. As Edwin Bender, executive director of the National Institute for Money in State Politics, told the AP, "The public doesn't stand a chance in that kind of scenario, and the accountability is nonexistent."

Hoosiers should be outraged that Indiana Republicans are relying on model legislation — which the American Legislative Exchange Council specializes in — instead of coming up with their own bills based on their constituents' needs.

Indiana voters firmly rejected Bennett in 2012 because he was associated with school reform laws perceived as too sweeping. As it turns out, Bennett was only the tip of the iceberg. Republicans in the General Assembly were equally culpable by buying into ideological reforms and expediting them to Daniels' desk so they could become law with very little public input.

This is not democracy and should be remembered next year.

In summary Hoosiers should be outraged that Indiana Republicans are relying on model legislation instead of coming up with their own bills based on their constituents' needs.

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