Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

July 23, 2013

TOM LoBIANCO: Emails give better view of master politician Mitch Daniels

He was Reagan's political director for a reason.

It’s ironic that a debate over the complete and accurate telling of history, and whether Howard Zinn fits in that picture, is what is ultimately bringing out a more complete picture of Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, who sought to keep the liberal historian’s work out of Indiana K-12 classrooms while governor.

In a series of emails sent on Feb. 9, 2010, the former governor advised his education team to “disqualify the propaganda,” like Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” from credit for teacher training on the premise it is “execrable and anti-factual.”

In the days since the emails were first printed by The Associated Press, academics nationwide, including the standards-setting American Historical Association, have condemned Daniels’ move. He contests he never tried to stifle academic freedom and simply wanted to keep the textbook out of the hands of K-12 students.

But much like Zinn’s book was used to present another side of history, internal notes Daniels sent to his education team between 2009 and 2012 show another side of the man presented on the national stage as one of the Republican Party’s most reasonable offerings.

Publicly, Daniels had backed away from much of the rhetoric that had marked his early days as governor, when he charged that Democratic lawmakers “car-bombed” his first legislative agenda. But from the start of his second term, he played a sharp-elbowed role behind the scenes, ensuring his agenda was enacted. In an April 10, 2009, email, he requested an audit of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Charles Little, a sharp critic of his education plans. And when his staunchest opponent, the Indiana State Teachers Association, upped the amount it collected from members, Daniels saw an opening.

“Time to challenge them publicly on this?” Daniels wrote in a July 14, 2009, email.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • It's time to deal with crisis For five and a half years, the president has gone around Congress to ignore, defy and alter laws in a variety of areas, from Obamacare implementation to issuing excessive new labor and environmental rules to infringing on religious freedom. It is no

    August 21, 2014

  • Nation must be united On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by a police officer. Since that time, protestors and unrest have filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a town near St. Louis.A similar scenario

    August 21, 2014

  • John understands fight against mental illness Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitch

    August 21, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor Former Kokomoan on FergusonI was a resident of Kokomo from 1992 to 2008. Because of the housing crisis, my wife and I relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area, which is close to where I grew up. With the eyes of the world focused upon the St. Louis

    August 21, 2014

  • OPN - KT082014 - king What Fergusonsays about us Aug. 9 is a day that Americans lost sight of themselves. It is the day Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager of Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. That evening, and for all but o

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the editor Congrats on wind farm defeat Congratulations to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County! Your officials have done you a great favor by stopping any further considerations for construction of industrial wind turbines in your area. Now, if the fede

    August 20, 2014

  • Cleaning up voter rolls Citizens should expect the voting process for electing government representatives at all levels to be efficient and of the highest integrity. Indiana's system in recent years has at times been manipulated for political purposes -- the voter ID system

    August 20, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: First Amendment assault in Ferguson

    Of all the outrageous and disturbing story lines emanating from Ferguson, Missouri, since unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, the targeting of journalists during the ensuing protests ranks among the most troubling.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mopeds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana. A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 19, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Craft brewers and vintners returned sprits to Indiana State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putti

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
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