Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Tale of Two Politicians: Ray Nagin and Mitch Daniels (Video)

Each left office to begin life after politics but could not have met different fates! One the noble public servant still and the other? Well....

First there's former Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who served when Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, served himself before and after he left office and is now facing the prospect of trial and serving significant jail time.

Then we have former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who served his constituents well while in office and who plans to continue doing so in his new career as President of Purdue University.

A Tale of Two Politicians (courtesy of a TPC reader)!

Ray Nagin (D-NOLA) 

Remember Ray Nagin? He was the Mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. He was a media favorite and his constituents just adored him. 

So bright! So articulate! So caring! He was everywhere, doing it all. Nothing was ever his fault since the blame was always directed at President Bush, FEMA, and of course, when all else fails, there was always "the race card". 

When help to his embattled city arrived several days or even a week late, he really "let the administration have it". Isn't it amazing that there is no real national outcry now, when Obama's response to "Sandy" is into its 4th month? Think there is a double standard? But term-limits prevented Mayor Nagin from running for a third term, so he had to find another source of income. And did he ever!

Last week, the New Orleans Mayor was indicted on 21 corruption-related charges including bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns! He developed his own "bailout" by receiving cash and gifts in exchange for city contracts. Unfortunately for this ex-mayor, his national political aspirations and his "life after politics" will be taking a different turn. He is facing the next 15-25 years in a federal prison.

Mitch Daniels (R-Indiana)

Remember Indiana's Governor, Mitch Daniels? He didn't have that same dynamic personality or southern charm. But he too was a "two termer" and had national aspirations. 

But that's where the similarities ended. Governor Daniels turned Indiana's $800 million dollar state deficit into a $300 million dollar surplus. 

After decertifying the municipal unions, Indiana was transformed into a much more business friendly state. Companies and their accompanying jobs were heading into Indiana. 

Governor Daniels was the first to introduce a voter photo-ID which was subsequently validated by the U.S. Supreme Court. And to just do the right thing, he provided the photo-ID's free of charge to anyone who could not afford one. I bet you never heard that from The New York Times! 

Privatizing some state-run agencies, cutting expenditures and lowering taxes, basically "turned his State around".

What did Governor Daniels do with his own "life after politics"? He accepted the job of President of Purdue University. So, what's so unusual about that? Wait till you hear about the actual contract that Governor Daniels insisted on signing.

Purdue University had run up a $67.4 million dollar deficit and over the last 11 years, the number of Purdue "administrators" jumped 62% while the number of "professors" increased by a mere 8%. Unbelievable! So what did this new college president insist on?

1- his base pay would be almost $100,000 less than his predecessor (did you ever hear of anything like that before?) ) and ( get this one!) his base compensation was equal to the average of all the other Big Ten Presidents. WOW ! And, even more spectacular,

2- he could only earn additional compensation if his new administration would improve the following:

a- student graduation rates

b-faculty hiring and achievement

c- student affordability, and

d- philanthropic support.

What a "strange" concept? Actually linking your pay to your own performance. Unheard of!

The moral is that the media darling had evil in his heart, while the effective and dedicated legislator who had, and still has, the peoples best interests at the core of his actions receives media silence.

If I were a cynical man I might compare that to the current situation in Washington!

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