Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

September 16, 2013

HOWEY: Atop the dome with Frank O’Bannon

(Continued)

That 1997 legislative session and the community college system are the two greatest aspects of Gov. O’Bannon’s legacy.

There were disappointments along the way. O’Bannon didn’t pull the trigger on property tax reform until a full-blown crisis in 2001 threatened to dislocate many Hoosiers who could no longer afford their homes. There were dislocations and loss of life as the state struggled to decentralize homes for our mentally challenged brothers and sisters.

But in retrospect, we find policy architects building foundations.

Gov. O’Bannon’s top priority in 1999 was full-day kindergarten. The seething rivalries between the governor and Senate Republicans, and the fratricide between House and Senate Republicans got in the way of what was best for our children. It was Gov. Mitch Daniels that was able to take the foundation O’Bannon had identified and bring it to reality. And Daniels would give glowing commencement addresses to Ivy Tech, rightfully pointing out how vital it has become for our state.

Daniels was clearly an activist governor. Frank O’Bannon was a facilitator and an arbitrator, allowing the legislature to thrash out the details. I asked him about that after the 2002 special session that brought about temporary property tax relief and he said, “I’d say that’s a good observation. We’ve got split houses here, one Democrat, one Republican.” He noted that Govs. Doc Bowen and Bob Orr had GOP legislatures, and yet barely got their historic tax and education initiatives passed. “It’s a tremendous difference,” O’Bannon said.

He governed the way Gov. Roger Branigin did back in the 1960s. A reporter once asked Branigin about his policies. “Son, I don’t do policies, I do personalities,” Branigin responded.

So that fateful May in 1997, as Mayor Goldsmith was appealing to Democrats, Gov. O’Bannon went to speak to House Republicans. “It was a great experience,” O’Bannon said. When he finished speaking, O’Bannon heard a Republican ask, “Well, how can we trust people on the other side?”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

  • LYONS: When academic committees play 'police' If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.E

    July 21, 2014

  • CEPEDA: Hispanic women flock to the movies My family attended the first morning screening of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which won last weekend’s box office with a $73 million debut.According to Lucas Shaw’s recent article “Hispanic Women Are This Summer’s Most Avid Moviegoers” on the e

    July 20, 2014

  • thelma CONRAD: A true Lincoln original The Cass County Historical Society has had in its possession for many decades several documents containing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln. The society never doubted the authenticity of the signature, given the fact that most of the first

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.