Why Doesn’t Mitch Want to Testify?

Governor Daniels was the “hands on” manager responsible for Indiana’s failed effort to privatize welfare eligibility determinations in the state. He originally bragged that the move was his idea, and when it proved to be a huge mess, he was admirably forthright about taking the blame. While I’ve not read his book, friends who have read it say that those admissions and regrets made it into print as well.

So why is he doing everything he can to avoid testifying about it?

IBM has sued the state over the termination of their part of the contract (ACS, as usual, escaped the consequences and continues to feed at the public trough). IBM wants to depose the Governor. Seems reasonable–Daniels is clearly “in the know” about a number of issues critical to the litigation. But he’s fighting tooth and nail to avoid being deposed, and it’s hard not to wonder why.

The American system of justice depends upon the compliance of parties and witnesses in order to function. In our system–at least theoretically–no one is “too busy” or “too important” to discharge this civic duty. If I receive a subpoena, I have to respond; so should the Governor.

The Supreme Court insisted that Bill Clinton had to give testimony in the tawdry Paula Jones case, even though he was President and the litigation had absolutely nothing to do with the conduct of the government. Daniels, on the other hand, is being asked to testify about the use of tax dollars and the delivery of critical public services.

The continued stonewalling makes one wonder what the Governor doesn’t want us to know.