Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Evansville Courier & Press, August 06, 2003

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Mitch Daniels needs time to study I-69

To the editor:

Joshua Claybourn criticized Mitch Daniels for his statements about Interstate 69 in a letter published July 25 in the Courier & Press. Claybourn seems to support Petersburg Mayor Randy Harris.

While it is understandable that Claybourn, a strong supporter of I-69, would be wary of Daniels' noncommittal statements on the interstate, I think he is being a bit too impatient. Daniels has been busy as the budget director for President Bush, and before that in business. He has not studied the I-69 issue as much as he would like in order to make an informed decision. He only recently dropped out of the Bush administration to run for governor.

Daniels' statement is the right one for someone in his situation. Making the right decision requires time, research and thought. He may well come to the conclusion that Route 3-C (the route selected) is the right one for Indiana, or he may not. I think Hoosier voters should show patience as Daniels makes his decision.

In any case, it is early in the campaign. The primary election season will not really heat up until January, and Republicans won't select our candidate until May 4. That gives Daniels plenty of time to research the issue.

Furthermore, I do not think it is fair to blame Daniels for the increase in spending under the Bush administration. Budgets need to be approved by Congress, which, while under Republican control, still needs to placate a hostile Democratic minority. For the first two years of the Bush administration, the Senate was in Democratic hands. In addition, Daniels can hardly be faulted for following the orders of the president he worked for.

Give Daniels some time, and I'm sure he will not disappoint.