Pence should stay away from social issues
Monday, January 14, 2013 10:00 AM
Mike Pence takes the oath of office today to become Indiana's governor.
His administration inherits a state budget surplus that would enable it to cut personal income taxes by 10 percent, a move that would be popular among the general population.
And Pence's Republican party has a super majority in both houses of the General Assembly. That's sure to make life a lot easier for the new governor.
It's a dream scenario for the man who formerly represented Indiana's Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Madison now is in the Sixth District after last year's redistricting.
With a partisan advantage everywhere he looks, Pence has the opportunity to promote his social agenda.
The new governor is a conservative, a family man and a Christian. He is opposed to gay marriage and has spoken in favor of the teaching of creationism as science in Indiana classrooms, if local citizens favor the approach.
With all of the political advantages in his corner, Pence could work with other conservatives to pass laws that would promote his social agenda.
But that would be a mistake.
Pence's victory was not a landslide. He attracted 49.5 percent of the vote, while Democratic challenger John Gregg netted 46.6 percent. Libertarian Rupert Boneham garnered 3.9 percent.
Most Hoosiers don't want our government officials telling us how to live our lives or arrange our set of values.
We want them to deal with the real issues that government was designed to address - funding education, refining the criminal code, limiting taxation, and promoting economic development.
Today's inauguration will feature an invocation by a Christian pastor and a benediction by a rabbi.
Let's hope that means that he wants his governorship to be inclusive of people of different faiths and values.