Everytime you think investigative reporting has withered and died on the vine, you get the Indianapolis Business Journal with the Brizzi series, or this fine work from Bob Segall and WTHR-13 Investigates.
As many of you know, the Governor has claimed Indiana has created 100,000 jobs in the past five years, and much of this job growth was touted during his re-election campaign. But when Channel 13 went to find the jobs, they found some empty cornfields.
In short, there was a chasm between jobs promised and jobs actually created. When asked about the discrepancy, the Governor replied, "You seem to have a blindingly clear view of what is perfectly obvious. In a recession, a lot of businesses have to change their plans."
We get companies may have to cut back, so what's the real number?
The Governor wouldn't say. Instead, he suggested Channel 13 attend an Indiana Economic Development Committee meeting. They did. When the IEDC had nothing to offer, Channel 13 asked the Governor again. He walked out.
Mitch Roob, the director of the IEDC, said the numbers are confidential, so absent a change in the law, Hoosier taxpayers may never be able to quantify the Governor's degree of hyperbole in job creation. WTHR's story points out that many states have laws requiring disclosure of these very numbers.
This makes sense, of course, because all levels of executive government officialdom cut deals with companies that work like this - you bring jobs, we'll build stuff for you to prepare the site, and we'll ignore the taxes you'd otherwise pay. But how can a public ever ensure that "clawback provisions," by which a company would reimburse the government for foregone tax revenues if they fail to meet targets, are properly enforced without knowing the numbers?
It's almost as if the Daniels administration operates with the "HID Information Principle" - Hide It (job creation), Ignore It (IBM fiasco), Delay It (child fatality numbers).
Here's hoping somebody at the Indiana General Assembly will help us bring the truth to light.