Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

July 29, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: Government emails in Indiana, John Gregg and me

Former speaker saved journalism in 2001.

There’s been an interesting sideshow these past couple of weeks consisting of emails from former Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Education Superintendent Tony Bennett and his then-chief of staff, Todd Huston, about whether the writings of Professor Howard Zinn should be exposed and taught to Indiana students.

If nothing else, it’s given us an inner view of one of the more successful governorships in modern times, and the first digital one at that, and how power and influence was wielded.

And this Daniels email story forged by Associated Press reporter Tom LoBianco and his Freedom of Information Act requests to the Indiana Department of Education might not have existed had not this writer ended up at a Vincennes University luncheon with then-House Speaker John Gregg in November 2001.

Gregg had pulled some strings and gotten me an honor from the university where I studied journalism under Professor Fred Walker Jr., between 1974 and 1976, before heading off to Indiana University Bloomington. It wasn’t something I had sought and it certainly worked against the grain of my modus operandi, which is to “blend” as opposed to being a conspicuous character.

I didn’t know it at the time, but those circumstances allowed me to make perhaps my biggest impact on Indiana journalism.

The Internet age had dawned and was now becoming a pervading aspect in the way we communicate. In the long Indiana General Assembly session of 2001, House Bill 1083 would have prevented press access to the electronic mails of government officials. Beyond personal meetings, phone calls, letters and facsimiles, the email was becoming a key way to communicate and the rules developed around it not unlike what we’re currently witnessing with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

HB 1083 passed both chambers and ended up on the desk of Gov. Frank O’Bannon, who by vocation was publisher of the Corydon Democrat. O’Bannon vetoed the bill.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Scholarship a fine award Congratulations to Howard County high school seniors Joowon Lee and Graham Ortmann on winning a 2014 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Lee, of Western High School, plans to attend Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis to study biolog

    April 24, 2014

  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • LETTER: Tipton commissioner keeps agency matters secret Commissioner keeps panel matters secret An April 14 letter exposed the truth about a politician's actions vs. what he writes or says. The minutes from an Alliance Board governmental meeting indicated Phil Heron voted no for a request to allow public

    April 24, 2014

  • The progress we're making Every Howard County school district published an annual report in Tuesday's edition of the Kokomo Tribune. They're required by the Indiana Department of Education, and they're worth a read. The reports assembled the most recent data available on stud

    April 23, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Correct mistakes May 6; RNC & pals Voting mistakes can be corrected May 6 For the last several months, it seems that I keep hearing one recurring conversation. People cannot believe the arrogance being shown by some of our elected officials towards the people of Tipton County. The sam

    April 23, 2014

  • Take a stand this election Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson's office always is busy this time of year -- but more so before an election. Absentee voting for the May 6 primary election began April 8. We, too, expect more activity. We soon will receive an avalanche of candidate en

    April 22, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
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.
Obituaries
Poll