Daniels Protects Secret Donors Behind RTW Ads

by Mike Hall

Indiana’s airwaves are being saturated with ads featuring Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) promoting his “right to work” for less legislation that Republican lawmakers are trying to ram through the legislature. But Daniels continues to refuse to reveal who is bankrolling the media barrage.

The ads are funded by a shadowy group that calls itself the Indiana Opportunity Fund. Public records show the group has spent $600,000 on the “right to work” for less propaganda. But, the group—founded by Republican party activist Jim Bopp—is not required to divulge the source of the cash and Daniels has ignored requests from Hoosier working families, the media and others to disclose whose deep pockets he is dipping into for the advertisements.

He also claims in those commercials that a third of all companies that consider locating in the state decide not to because of the lack of a so-called “right to work” law. But Daniels refuses to back up that claim with any names and administration officials have not been able to substantiate lost-jobs claim.

Daniels has long made “transparency” an issue, supposedly backing openness in business, union and government affairs, and likely will make that pitch again in tomorrow’s “State of the State” address.

Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott says Hoosiers deserve “full disclosure” of who the secret donors are behind the ads and what the facts are—if any—behind the claims:

It’s outrageous that Gov. Daniels, who likes to brag about being “transparent,” refuses to tell taxpaying Hoosiers who is secretly funding his attacks on their collective bargaining rights, nor is he willing to provide evidence to back up the claims he is making in these spots. It is hypocritical and is a stain on his legacy….Every Hoosier should be asking themselves “what is Gov. Daniels hiding?”

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 Indiana working people attended four weekend public hearings on the RTW law organized by House Democrats. Democratic lawmakers, Indiana unions and other groups are urging Daniels and the Republicans who control the state House and Senate to undertake statewide hearings on the legislation.

The House Employment, Labor and Pensions committee plans to vote on the bill tomorrow and a full House vote is expected by the end of the week. A Senate committee approved the bill Friday and the full Senate is expected to vote soon.

Last week more than 17,000 Indiana workers were on hand at the statehouse to make their voices heard and thousands will be back this week. You can follow the action from Indiana on Twitter with the hashtag #InUnion and at the Stand Up for Hoosiers Facebook page here.

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Time January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

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