Gov swaps positions twice in 24 hours, three times in a year
INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric Holcomb has a problem. Yesterday, Holcomb endorsed a watered-down hate crimes bill that put him at odds with the business community — and himself. It’s a peculiar move, considering in February 2018, he stepped in to derail a hate crimes proposal without protections for gender identity because he felt it didn’t go far enough and feared a RFRA-style backlash.
“But behind the scenes, Holcomb’s office urged Senate Republican leaders to leave “gender identity” in the bill — or don’t pass anything at all.
“Don’t pass anything if that’s the option,” Senate leader David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said of the message from the governor’s office.
“The governor has done a good job avoiding controversial issues and pushing ahead in areas where we have consensus,” said Megan Robertson, a Republican consultant and LGBT advocate. “But leadership is also about bringing people along with you to the right position.”
“She called the hate crimes bill “a missed opportunity to lead, rather than just play damage control and defense.”
Now, Holcomb appears to be flip-flopping again this morning, saying he’ll continue to advocate for a complete hate crimes bill. To Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody, it appeared Holcomb lacked a principled position and was simply looking to save face.
“Leaders take a stance, Governor Holcomb took a seat,” said Zody. “Clearly, Holcomb has always lacked the influence to move the needle with his GOP peers. Now it appears he lacks the backbone to stick to his principles. Holcomb looked overmatched and now, to the business community and Hoosiers, he looks desperate.”