Mitch Daniels

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Mitch Daniels
Mitch Daniels.jpg
Governor of Indiana
Former officeholder
In office
January 10, 2005 - January 14, 2013
Base salary$107,881
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Director, Office of Management and Budget
January 2001-June 2003
High schoolNorth Central High School (1967)
Bachelor'sPrinceton University (1971)
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center (1979)
Date of birthApril 7, 1949
Place of birthMonongahela, Pennsylvania
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Mitchell Elias "Mitch" Daniels, Jr. (b. April 7, 1949 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania) was the Governor of Indiana. A Republican, he began his first term on January 10, 2005, and was re-elected in November of 2008.

Daniels was prevented by term limits from seeking a third consecutive term in office in 2012, and became President of Purdue University when his term expired in January 2013.[1] He was succeeded by Mike Pence (R), who won election on November 6, 2012.


Daniels moved to Indiana from Pennsylvania when he was in grade school. Upon graduating from North Central High School in Indianapolis in 1967, Daniels was named Indiana's Presidential Scholar – the state’s top male high school graduate that year – by President Lyndon Johnson. Daniels earned a bachelor's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1971 and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979.

While a student at Princeton in 1970, he was arrested for possession of marijuana and spent two nights in jail. Throughout his professional career, he has always been forthcoming about his arrest; disclosing it on job applications and in a 1989 Indianapolis Star column.[1]


  • J.D., Georgetown University, 1979
  • B.A., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1971

Political career

Governor (2004-2013)

While campaigning for governor Daniels traveled the state in a white RV covered with signatures of supporters and his trademark "My Man Mitch" campaign slogan. "My Man Mitch" was a reference to a nickname the President Bush called him while he was OMB Director. He visited all 92 counties at least three times and had a fried pork tenderloin sandwich in each. On 2 November 2004, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana garnering about 55% of the vote compared to 45% to Democratic incumbent Governor Joe Kernan, who had assumed power after Frank O'Bannon's death. In his first State of the State address on January 18, 2005, Daniels laid out a plan to improve the state's fiscal situation by calling for strict controls on all state spending increases and proposed a one year 1% tax increase on all individuals and entities earning over $100,000. The move was controversial for a conservative governor and the Republican state legislature did not act on it. In 2007 Gov. Daniels proposed a cigarette tax raising Indiana's 55.5-cents-per-pack tax by at least 25 cents. The proposed increase failed to win approval in the Indiana House, after a bipartisian effort in the 100-member chamber voted against it.[2]

Budget surplus

At the end of the 2010 fiscal year in July 2011, the Daniels administration revealed a $1.2 billion surplus.

The state's unexpected extra income came from the administration's ability to make deep budget cuts, along with higher than anticipated tax revenues. The budget cuts raked in nearly $460 million more than the $597 million the state had originally aimed for last July. Tax collections also contributed to the surplus, bringing in $204 million more than it had projected, with $195 million coming from income taxes.[2]

Despite the optimism, not everyone in Indiana viewed the surplus positively. House Minority Leader Pat Bauer claimed that the administration's report was "gimmicky," referring to cuts that were made to health care and education. The state school system reportedly bore much of the budget cutting burden since July 2010, returning $325 million from the $6.9 billion that it was allotted in the previous budget.[2]

David Patterson, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, said that "demonized" state employees should receive some of the surplus, in part because they had to work harder to account for the many eliminated positions.[2]

After the surplus was revealed, Daniels stated that the extra money would be put into savings, rather than trying to fix the past and reverse previous cuts.[2]

Hoosiers nearly made off with their own piece of the surplus, but the numbers fell just shy. The amount necessary to trigger automatic tax refunds is 10 percent or more of general spending. The $1.2 billion landed just short of that, at 9.1 percent.[2]

"Governmental streamlining"

Daniels was forced to issue an executive order on July 7, 2011 to allow Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to continue work after the agency was accidentally shuttered by a mistake in a law meant to save it.

The Administration, which "manages Medicaid and other major programs for Indiana's poor, elderly and disabled," was scheduled to "sunset," or cease operations, on June 30.[3] Lawmakers passed a bill to extend the agency's operations; the law, however, went into effect on July 1, meaning the FSSA was allowed to disappear a day before it was scheduled to be saved.

Daniels's executive order will hold until legislators can correct their mistake or until he issues an annual order. According to gubernatorial spokeswoman Jane Jankowski, the agency was previously run by executive order before it was codified into law.

Indiana abortion bill

On May 10, 2011, Daniels signed into law House Bill 1210, a controversial bill that made Indiana the first state to remove funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporting organizations.

The law prohibits state agencies from forming contracts with or making grants to any organizations that perform abortions or maintain abortion facilities, also canceling funding for current contracts and grants to entities performing abortions or maintaining abortion facilites.[4] Medicaid Administrator Donald Berwick declared the law illegal, and stated in a letter to Indiana that "Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider's scope of practice."[5] President Obama has also stepped in, joining with Berwick in declaring the law illegal. The President warned Indiana, and other similarly minded states that doing so may put all state Medicaid funds in jeopardy,[6] a loss of nearly $4 billion.[5] Indiana had 60 days from June 1 to appeal the decision.[7]

Indiana has opposed the injunctions by Berwick and the President, due to the possibility that the program may provide indirect funding by subsidizing some of Planned Parenthood's overhead costs.[7]

Tanya Walton Pratt, who was recently appointed by the Obama Administration in January, is presiding over the case and is expected to have a ruling by July 1. Briefs have been submitted by both sides, and were debated during oral arguments on June 6. Attorney Ken Falk, legal director for the Indiana ACLU was chosen to represent Planned Parenthood, and Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher represents the defense.[7]

Visit to South Korea

Daniels, as part of a 12-day trade mission in Asia, visited Indiana soldiers serving in the Korean Demilitarized Zone on the 56th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and laid a bouquet of white flowers at the base of a plaque listing 900 Hoosiers who died in the war. Daniels also stopped in Japan.

Possible VP candidate

Daniels' name was in the media in 2012 as a possible vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. Daniels discounted the talk, saying he was not interested. "You will remember what William F. Buckley said when he ran for mayor of New York and was asked what he would do if he won. He said he would 'demand a recount.' I think I would demand reconsideration and send Mr. Romney a list of people I think could suit better," Daniels stated.[8]

Office of Management and Budget (2001-2003)

In January 2001, Daniels accepted President George W. Bush's invitation to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He served as Director from January 2001 through June 2003. In this role he was also a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.

While it is thought that President Bush nicknamed Daniels "The Blade" for his determination to cut social services spending, in actuality this nickname originated in Daniels' days at Princeton University, where his skill at the poker table led his fellow Charter Club members to label him with this moniker. It would seem to apply equally to his noted acumen at budget cutting.

Daniels instituted a first-of-its-kind accountability system for all governmental entities. Ironically, Daniels came under fire for overseeing a $236 billion annual surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit during his 29-month tenure. Supporters argued that Daniels was one of the few in the administration working toward restraint, and that ultimately he had to take marching orders from the administration. Opponents argued that Daniels was yet another conservative bent on protecting corporate interests under the guise of "fiscal responsibility."

Daniels was mentioned as being involved in the insertion of the "Midnight Rider" of the Homeland Security Act which was signed into law on November 25 2002. The bill contained a provision that was added at the last minute that would block lawsuits against Indiana-based Eli Lilly and Company over the production of a controversial vaccine preservative called "thimerosal" which is 49.6% mercury. Parents of autistic children claim this preservative has caused autism in thousands of children.


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Mitch Daniels endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [9]



See also: Indiana gubernatorial election, 2012

Due to term limits, Daniels was not able to seek re-election in 2012. Mike Pence (R) won election on November 6, 2012.


On November 4, 2008, Daniels was re-elected as Governor, with Becky Skillman as Lieutenant Governor.[10]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Indiana, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMitch Daniels/Becky Skillman Incumbent 57.8% 1,563,885
     Democratic Jill Thompson/Dennie Oxley 40% 1,082,463
     Libertarian Andy Horning/Lisa Kelly 2.1% 57,376
     Independent Christopher Stried 0% 19
     Independent Timothy Lee Fry 0% 9
Total Votes 2,703,752


On November 2, 2004, Daniels was first elected as Governor, with Becky Skillman as Lieutenant Governor.[11]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Indiana, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMitch Daniels/Becky Skillman 53.2% 1,302,912
     Democratic Joseph Kernan/Kathy Davis Incumbent 45.5% 1,113,900
     Libertarian Kenn Gividen/Elaine Badnarik 1.3% 31,664
     Independent Velko Kapetanov 0% 22
Total Votes 2,448,498

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Mitch Daniels's donors each year.[12] Click [show] for more information.


In 2008, Governing magazine named Daniels as one of eight "Public Officials of the Year" for his role in improving the efficiency and service delivery of Indiana's government.[13] Other honorees included Speaker Andrew Romanoff of the Colorado House of Representatives. Each year since 1994, Governing has selected a handful of state and local officials to honor for standout job performance. The Public Officials of the Year program "recognizes leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service."[14]

See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Kernan
Indiana Governor
January 10, 2005-2013
Succeeded by
Mike Pence (R)