I guess one thing that confuses me about Governor Daniels is why on earth he returned to Indiana to wreak corporate privatization havoc on our state? Why did he return to exploit our land and our citizens?

A number of months ago, I wrote a post providing a summary of Daniels’ background. For those of you who missed that post, let me restate some of his biography:

  1. Born in Pennsylvania in 1949
  2. Spent his early childhood in Georgia
  3. Moved to Indiana in 1959 at the age of 10 with his parents
  4. Attended North Central High School in Indianapolis
  5. Skiddadled out of Indiana at the age of 18 to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1971
  6. Avoided the draft due to status as a college student
  7. Came back to Indiana and worked as part of Richard Lugar’s staff from 1971-1977
  8. Followed Lugar to Washington, DC and worked in various positions in DC from 1977-1987
  9. Earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979
  10. Returned to Indiana in 1987 and worked in corporate positions and corporate boardrooms from 1987-2001
  11. Returned to Washington, DC to “manage” the Office of Management and Budget and oversaw a $236 billion surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit in his 29-month tenure
  12. Decided to split from his unsuccessful stint as OMB Director and returned to Indiana to run for governor in 2003
  13. Put on a flannel shirt, hopped into an RV, and traveled the State with his “aw shucks” routine – playing the Hoosier he never was and never will be

Now, here is my point. Of course Indiana wants its students to stick around for college and afterward. In his State of the State speech this past January, Daniels stated, “Let’s make the dreary term ‘brain drain’ a forgotten phrase”. He followed that in February of this year with his proposal to offer $20,000 scholarships over four years. The proposal has a catch — recipients who leave the state less than three years after graduation will be required to repay the money. I don’t have a problem with that.

Look at items 5 and 9 in my chronological listing of Daniels’ career. Where did he go for his undergraduate degree? Was it an Indiana institution? Heck no – he jumped ship and went to Princeton – and that is not Princeton, Indiana. Where did he get his doctorate? Was it an Indiana institution? Heck no – again he chose an out-of-state school, Georgetown.

When Governor Daniels made the statement of “Let’s make the dreary term ‘brain drain’ a forgotten phrase” this past January, I bet he was surely hoping that no one remembered that he was part of the problem in 1967 when he became one of those very individuals who fled the State to obtain their education.

Now, 40 years later, he wants us to forget that he was part of the brain drain – just like he wants Hoosiers to again buy his down-home Hoosier act complete with his flannel shirt, his RV, and his pseudo-Hoosierese.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Government, Indiana, Mitch Daniels, Politics, Privatization, Republican Party. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. roach says:

    and look at his resume, and career. and look at yours.
    He’s the Governor. and your not!
    just another naysayer. The Economy isnt his fault. Its the GOP Senate, which has “Veto Power” in another sense- persons such as Senator Wyss, and others of his ILK.
    Lots of persons go to college out-of state, for lots of reasons. I went to ivy tech, then to Ohio state, because of educational politics between Ivy Tech, and IPFW, and my credits transferred from ivy tech to OSU.
    for example.
    At least MMM is stirring the pot. He inherited the economy- due to Globalization. unless someone starts talking about diversifying the economy, with Vegas style growth;
    then we will be destined to be a bunch of whining former IH, etc autoworkers, in an obsolets rust belt economy.
    I could think of lots of reasons to leave the state to go to college elsewhere; or now- via distance education, to enroll at any institution.
    FTW is circling the rim, and maybe MMM will fix things by the second term. meanwhile, we have patrick bauer, and the GOP SEnate to check, and balance things. rebut?

  2. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    I remember reading this past spring of about what colleges our top high school scholars where planning to attend. I am not going to second guess any one of the students, in their selection of schools or what course of study they wish to pursue. See, they have that right.

    Our elected officials and top administrators of the universities should be working on why, so many of them wish to attend schools outside of Indiana. There is no doubt, some are following a course of study that our universities do not provide. Then there is a group that decided to attend the same school one of their parents may have attended. What are the reasons for the remainder?

    We provide new and already existing Indiana businesses large tax breaks to build or add to their existing businesses. Why not allow a ten year period for graduates to recover the cost of their tuition? They would receive a state income tax credit a year of 50% of what they paid in income tax in a given year. They could use this deduction up to the time their tuition is paid for, or the ten year period ran out.

    Fort Wayne, Allen County, and Indiana is suffering from a lack of jobs that employ these graduates. When Allen County was the home of one of the top ten military defense contractor sites in the country the brain drain did not exist. Electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, PHDs, and technicians flocked to the area.

    The brain drain is a result of elected officials failing to do their job and now seek to deflect the responsibility. Today, we would still be talking about the “brain drain” even with the greatest baseball park in the Midwest, most top named hotels, and the most scenic rivers in the country. Our elected officials would just figure out someone else to blame.

    Without jobs, there is no chance to attract people to these facilities. Building these “feel good” attractions only allows the terminally ill patient to feel better for a short period of time.

  3. Roach:

    I think you missed the point. I never said I wanted to be governor. Your comment really makes no sense in that respect.

    I am a citizen who has a right to take notice of issues and write about them. Mitch Daniels ran from Indiana when it came to education, but now that he has magically transformed himself into a Hoosier, he “cares” about the brain drain.


    Of course students have always been “free” within constraints – money being the big one – to choose schools outside Indiana. My point was what I noted in my response to Roach. Daniels didn’t care to attend Indiana colleges when he was selecting, but now he magically cares.

    What was his reason for going outside Indiana? I attended two perfectly good schools here in Indiana, and I saw no reason to skip out of state to go. That was my decision. I would find it hard to “reach” about the brain drain if I had been part of the fleeing crowd myself.

  4. J. Q. Taxpayer says:


    I do not disagree with I think anything you said. My belief is, without available jobs no one is coming back or staying in Indiana.

    I think Indiana has many great schools and that is why many out of state people travel to Indiana to attend college.

    I think we are on the same page with each other. Now as for Mr. Roach, I just am not sure.

  5. roach says:

    sorry- I’m not the frostiest cake in the bakery-
    We can agree to disagree about MMM.
    I just think that MMM has done a lot more than the past 2 “caretakers”. Indiana Government is too complacent in its business as usual, to the apparent detriment of hoosiers. We have lost 1 congressional district of citizens, with the resultant passing on of the tax burden to those of us remaining.
    Nobody is perfect. The real deal is that the jobs that are here either dont pay enough- the upper level jobs- compared to other locations. The lower level jobs- which HS kids, college kids, and night life jobs are either non-existant, due to the police arresting everyone in sight on the weekends, or are filled permanently by illegal aliens, refugees, and those who will not be “passing through”- I guess the local market has no use for a mobile workforce anymore- work at minimum wage until you retire to… nothing?
    I appreciate you intellect. JQ’s too. its the people who are willing to examine FTW, warts and all- to grow the grassroots. We surely arent getting it from our local media, or our authoritarian top-down local leaders.
    for instance- has anybody questioned the Steel dynamics/Omnisource Stock swap/ bail-out?
    from a historical perspective- FTW had the bass iron works, and related iron working shops- just as we have omnisource supplying steel to SDI, and superior aluminum. BTW- Omnisource employees released child molesters- fact.
    And that Kitty Hawk is in a slow death spiral( picturs a flaming b-17 on its “final approach”). I read in another blog- i dont recall exactly- that Kitty Hawk cant pay its rent, and the landlord is letting them stay. Ruffolo, Tower Bank, FTW airport authority are trying to figure out how to spin this, so the news doesnt seem so bad.
    We have gotten no jobs from toyota, honda, etc- all else where. Casinos/riverboats- zip. nightclubs/bars? nada- dying a slow death due to overzealous police, and related…
    It’s going to take everybody to keep this sinking barge afloat. I’m a fiscal conservative, social liberal-republican/democrat doesnt apply here- I hate all the parties- and wish we could all be indpendents- I only care about OUR city, and US. the rich of FTW all have their golden parachutes, and their taxpayer subsidized salaries, and benefits. until THEY FEEL OUR PAIN, AND ECONOMIC HARDSHIP , then maybe we will see some progress.
    Harrison Square is a last ditch effort- which I predict will need to be bailed out. the smoking ban is a smoke screen to get everybody distracted from brain drain.
    I dont agree with everything MMM is doing, and I thought that kernan, o’bannon, and bayh did an adequate job.
    but desperate times call for desperate measures. We need to get rid of the nutjobs in the state house- the GOP’ers who want us to all live like Islamics, in a christianista theocracy- that will kil off the rest of the economy faster than anything.
    We need “liberals” in the house and senate- regardless of party- if there is such a thing.
    thanks! I like your blog.

  6. Doug says:

    The term “brain drain” is misunderstood on this blog. “Brain drain” is referring to the individuals who complete a post-secondary education and then leave the state to find better, high paying jobs/careers that Indiana provides.

    “Brain drain” is directly tied to the types and quantity of jobs in the state.

    I have a neighbor who moved here from Utah. Why? Because their daughter decided to attend Indiana University for Business and their son decided to attend Purdue University for Aeronautical Engineering. They have both graduated. The daughter was hired by a bank in Chicago and the son now works for Boeing in Seattle. Their house in now up for sale and they are moving out-of-state. This is an example of the “Brain Drain”. For 4 years the state had a school teacher, consultant and 2 children bettering their lives by going to college. Now, we have lost them.

    We have wonderful educational opportunities for people in the state but, too few employment opportunities.

    You also have a couple of innacurate characterizations of our governor. First, “Skiddadled” is a very unfair/negative term to anyone who goes to college out-of-state. Second, #6 implies the only reason he was in college was to avoid the draft. I guess no one should have been allowed to attend post-secondary school during the war. Finally, the fact he came back to Indiana in 1971 as you point out in #7 and then again from 1987 to 2001 as you point out in #10, shows he was not part of the problem.

    As a state, we need to have more high paying jobs for higher educated individuals. No matter where that education was.

  7. Doug:

    Actually, Governor Daniels used the term “brain drain” himself in a speech in January of this year referring to students who graduate high school and then leave the state. See the post at Daniels made this statement when referring to scholarships he urged be created to retain Indiana students for college and beyond:

    “Let’s make the dreary term ‘brain drain’ a forgotten phrase,” the Republican governor urged lawmakers in his Jan. 16 State of the State speech. Obviously, the governor made the statement in reference to high school graduates as well as others who leave.

    That’s why I found the fact that he was touting scholarships to keep high school graduates in state interesting since he chose to leave the state himself to attend college.

    As to the term “skedaddled” – the definition is “to go away quickly.” Daniels left the state quickly after he graduated from high school. Sorry if the reference disturbs you, but he certainly didn’t stick around to obtain an education in Indiana, did he? And like you pointed out, we have many “wonderful educational opportunities for people in the state.”

    The fact that Daniels went to college and thereby avoided the draft is something that can’t be escaped. I don’t believe I said he went to college to avoid the draft. My exact wording was “Avoided the draft due to status as a college student.” Is that or is that not true?

    I graduated from high school in 1966, and Daniels graduated in 1967. Many males avoided the draft in those years by choosing college. Plain and simple. Sure, he had the right to go to college, but that doesn’t change the fact that his college status allowed him to escape the draft. Or was Daniels classified with a physical impediment that was not brought forth which would have made him ineligible despite his college status?

    Your view of the governor is not my view of the governor. I believe Daniels came back to Indiana because he had no established ties to any other state and it was expedient for him to do so. Indiana was the only location where he had spent time as an adult other than Washington DC.

  8. Doug says:

    Yes, he wishes to offer scholarships to high school students. But, if you read the link you provided closely, the goal is to keep students in Indiana after they graduate from college. To see more regarding brain drain you should google “Lily Endowment Brain Drain”. You will see that studies begain in 1999 and funding to colleges from the Lilly Endowment began around 2003. The goal is to keep college graduates in-state. Particularly, those involved with IT and Life Sciences.

    Yes, I am aware that in the 60’s and 70’s going to college made you exempt from the draft. I only questioned your choice of words in that they imply that the ONLY reason he went to college was to avoid the draft.

    Governor Daniels worked in Washington D.C. for about 14 years of this adult life according to your timeline. For 8 of those years he worked for Sen. Lugar. I’m sure during that time he felt ties to Indiana just as today’s staff for Lugar and Bayh probably do. As you point out, he returned to Indiana in 1987. He returned to Indiana with his wife and 4 daughters. He has always had a full-time, year-round residence since then. Even when he worked in D.C. for Bush, his family stayed in Indiana. All 4 of his daughters graduated from public schools in Indianapolis. He came back to Indiana in 1987 to raise his family — just as many others do.

  9. I did read the article closely – the bottom line is that the scholarships are for high school students, not college graduates. Thus his plan is to focus on keeping high school students in the state to attend college and then anticipate that they will stay afterwards. The penalty for leaving within a specified period of time is that the students must repay the scholarship funds.

    Just as an interesting note, Governor Daniels’ lottery numbers from 1969 to 1971 (covering part of his college years) were: 1969 – #147; 1970 – #142; 1971 – #55. He most assuredly would have been drafted had he not been in college, especially with the number #55.

  10. HRJ says:

    I love it that boomers are so screwy that the same who protested against the draft (oops sorry – against the war)are the ones that now throw innuendo about “avoiding” and “escaping” the draft by those who went to college. These same people, who “loathed the military” during this time are now jock-sniffers for military vets – exhibit A: the shameless promotion of J Kerry as some sort of hero for his 3 months of service running around submitting applications for purple hearts for scratches incurred while shooting fleeing juveniles.

    And the overall hypocrisy of this position given the demonstrable avoidance of any sign of vet-love when it was a true war hero (G Bush I) running against a true dodger and military loather. Guess if GB I had ridiculously promoted his service (“John Kerry reporting for duty” anyone?) it may have been different. Somehow I think not.

    Bottom line: supply quality jobs and people will stay. No one under 40 cares about your Vietnam infighting. It just makes clear the increasing irrelevance of the boomer generation.

  11. HRJ:

    Since you have the same initials as my one son, and he and I disagree on almost all political issues, I am not responding.

    However, I disagree with your comments, in particular the one about loathing the military. I am the director of a small grass roots veterans group which has worked very hard to save our inpatient beds at our local VA hospital. Loathing war has nothing to do with caring about our troops and our veterans. They are two entirely separate issues.

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