Over 209 days and Mike Pence refuses to release records on taxpayer-funded contract to fix state’s post-RFRA image
INDIANAPOLIS – Following a long delay on the Pence Administration failing to provide any records on the cancelled Porter Novelli contract, the Indiana Democratic Party today filed a formal complaint with the Public Access Counselor asking once more for the governor to explain how he used Hoosier tax dollars meant to repair the state’s post-RFRA image.
The IDP last July formally asked Mike Pence to release all communication surrounding a contract with Porter Novelli. But now 209 days have passed, and the IDP’s request remains idle in the Statehouse. And in the words of the current Public Access Counselor, Pence’s neglect seems to be a clear “violation” of the request – given the public’s interest on the issue.
“Hoosiers are well aware that Mike Pence’s out-of-touch ideology threw our state into a $250 million economic panic. However, the governor’s refusal to produce documents surrounding a taxpayer-funded contract should be another red flag to Hoosiers,” said John Zody, Chairman. “Gov. Pence should explain to Hoosiers how he wasted their taxpayer dollars in favor of his own political agenda; one that has caused Indiana to fall further behind the rest of the nation.”
The IDP’s formal complaint highlights a call for better transparency for the Hoosier taxpayer. Last week, John Gregg announced his new “Open Government Initiative,” a proposal that would open up government and improve upon the state’s dismal “F” rating in public access.
In the plan, Gregg will mandate a ten-business day turnaround for all records requests while also strengthening the powers of the Public Access Counselor. Further, Gregg will create a Public Transparency Commission that would provide a thorough review of the state’s existing public access laws and ways to improve on the system.