Dana Milbank muses over the way Congressional Republicans (mis)behave compared with the way that Republican governors perform:
For a dozen years, Paul Ryan and Mike Pence were Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives and fellow soldiers in the conservative movement. This week, they parted ways: one toward temperance, the other toward extremism.
Pence chose the sensible path. Elected governor of Indiana in November, he delivered his first State of the State speech Tuesday, describing his proposed budget that, though a fiscally conservative plan, increases funds for education, job training, transportation, veterans, child-protective services, and health care for the poor.
Perhaps the answer lies where where Milbank places it: a party in power behaves differently from the same party out of power.
I’m actually more interested in something that’s only peripherally related to Mr. Milbank’s ponderings. Why is Illinois so different from Indiana? Of Illinois’s last six governors, four, three Democrats and a Republican, have been convicted of crimes after serving their terms of office or, in Rod Blagojevich’s case, having been removed from office. You have to go back to 1924 (Warren T. McCray) to find an Indiana governor convicted of a crime. Illinois governors tend to serve longer than do Indiana governors. Indiana has had ten governors over the same period during which Illinois has had seven.
Illinois has the largest number of independently taxing government entities of any state. Nearly all taxes in Indiana are state taxes or, at least, specifically authorized by the state.
Geographically, economically, and demographically the two states are quite similar. Their histories are quite different.
Why is government in Indiana so sound and government in Illinois so awful? I don’t think party politics can be totally to blame. Chicago?
I’m hoping that someone who lives in Indiana or who formerly lived in Indiana can chime in and comment on the remarkable difference between the two states.