Indiana GOP undoing bits of Pence legacy

Building a legacy isn’t as easy as some people seem to think it is. While Mike Pence is in Washington, helping President Donald Trump dismantle as much of Barack Obama’s work as he can, his fellow Republicans back in Indiana are working to undo some of Pence’s work as governor.

Pence’s handpicked successor, Gov. Eric Holcomb, is taking several actions at odds with Pence’s efforts. And Republicans in the General Assembly are in the process of overriding two of Pence’s vetoes from the last legislative session. At a time when Republicans own all of state government, it is good to be reminded of the fact that people have their own minds and are capable of independent action. Party isn’t everything.

One of the doomed vetoes would thwart the legislative effort to allow private university police departments to keep many of their records secret. The other struck down a measure that would have prevented state environmental regulators from establishing rules stricter than federal rules until the General Assembly had an opportunity to review them.

The House already has voted to override, and the Senate is expected to.

As for Holcomb, per a compilation by The Indianapolis Star, he has:

Pardoned Keith Cooper, who was wrongfully convicted of robbery nearly 20 years ago. Pence had said he should go through all criminal justice procedures first.

Canceled contract negotiations to lease state-owned cellphone towers to an Ohio company. The Pence administration had reached a tentative agreement with the company and promised it would cover the cost of more than $50 million in bicentennial construction projects.

Granted a request for a disaster emergency declaration from East Chicago. Pence had rejected it, saying state and federal agencies were already working on the city’s lead contamination problem.

Supported local needle exchange programs to combat disease among drug abusers. Pence opposed giving local officials that ability.

Said he supports tax increases as an option to pay for road work, which Pence opposed and most Republicans tremble in fear over.

In Gov. Holcomb, we may have someone who is guided more by pragmatism than ideology. Considering the bitter partisan divide these days, that is no small thing.