As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was significantly to the right of the mainstream, even for his own party -- so it's no surprise that in the days after his resignation (to become vice president of the USA), his successor and state Republican lawmakers: pardoned an innocent man who'd been locked up for 20 years (whom Mike Pence refused to help); allowed a town to declare a state of emergency; greenlit a needle-exchange; and overrode his vetoes, which would have allowed university cops to keep their records secret and which prevented strict environmental rules.
It's a sobering reminder that Pence only looks cool and reasonable because he is flanked by walking dumpster fires, and that President Pence might just continue the cruelty of Trump, but with the measured competence needed to turn grandstanding stunts into actual policy.
His handpicked successor and former lieutenant governor, Gov. Eric Holcomb, began the day with a news conference where he announced that he was canceling contract negotiations to lease state-owned cellphone towers to an Ohio company. The Pence administration had struck a tentative deal with the company and promised it would cover the cost of more than $50 million in bicentennial construction projects he initiated.
Holcomb also pardoned Keith Cooper, who was wrongfully convicted of robbery nearly 20 years ago, and declared a disaster emergency for an East Chicago neighborhood where residents have been forced to relocate because of lead contamination.
Pence had declined to pardon Cooper before leaving office, insisting that he exhaust his legal options despite resounding evidence of his innocence. Pence's refusal to exonerate the 49-year-old Chicago man came despite a pardon recommendation from the Indiana Parole Board and an online petition urging Pence to clear Cooper's name that had collected more than 100,000 signatures.
With Pence gone, fellow Republicans undo his work in Indiana
[Tony Cook, Chelsea Schneider and Kaitlin L Lange/IndyStar]
(via Mitch Wagner)