Indiana's Gov Won't Run for President? Too Bad. He Could've Saved Dallas From Dallas.

Categories: Schutze
mitchelldaniels.jpeg
Mitchell Daniels
New York Times columnist David Brooks, who usually writes from a perspective anyone outside of Texas would consider conservative, has a fascinating column today about Indiana Gov. Mitchell Daniels and why Brooks thinks he should run for president. It's a catalog of small miracles -- some not too teensy -- that Daniels has been able to bring about in Indiana since he was elected in 2004.

Daniels has always been an object of fascination for me, because of his role in our Trinity River Project here in Dallas, officially known in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parlance as the Dallas Floodway Extension project.

Way back at the beginning of this mess, before the squandering of untold treasure on a project that will never be built as planned, Daniels was head of the Office of Management and Budget in the first George W. Bush White House. On October 3, 2001, he sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army raising questions about the basic underlying justification for the Dallas project.

In that letter, Daniels told Army Secretary Thomas E. White that a rigorous new look at the flood protection needs of Dallas "may well lead to a fundamentally different project." He urged that no physical construction begin without a top-to-bottom reexamination of the project. His letter is the reason the project never has been included in any presidential budget -- neither Bush's nor Obama's.

As we know, the project has cruised along anyway, funded entirely by earmarks. And aren't we proud of that?

One of the points the city would like to forget, now that we are faced with a serious failure of our levee system, is that the Trinity River Project actually increases flood risk to the city by adding new levees downriver. The city's best argument on this point has been that it only makes the danger a little bit worse. I actually had a city staff member hold up her forefinger and thumb in the gesture for itty-bitty to make this point to me once.

Kind of like getting the itty-bitty gesture from your doctor when you ask what the chances are you're going to die. Very un-reassuring.

Maybe Brooks is right. Maybe Daniels should run for president. And then maybe he will come down here to Dallas and save us from ourselves.


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6 comments
LaceyB
LaceyB

He isn't the toe tapper, though, right? Tap once if you want...to save Dallas, tap twice if you'll run for President. And that little hole...glory, glory hallelujuah!

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

JS -- Do you have some sexy little man-panties like JWP? If so, perhaps the month of February is yours on the next DO calendar? IJS

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

Jim Schutze...closet Republican. Are you sure you and JWP don't hang out in the same suite?

Jpalmerd
Jpalmerd

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JimS
JimS

It gets so darned ambiguous, doesn't it? Mitch Daniels, a conservative hard-nosed Republican performance and benchmarks guy, argued against the Trinity River project because the project violates the regs. In fact regulation is the public sector's version of a profit motive. The regs are there to ensure that the tax-payer's money is spent wisely and gets bang for the buck for the tax-payer. The anti-regulation people dislike the regs because the regs protect the money from people who just want to grab some of it (a lot of it) for their own personal gain. In the end, the Dallas leadership (Citizens Council) position on something like the Trinity -- just give us what we want and screw the taxpayer -- isn't really conservative or even all that Republican. It's just graft. The Dallas version of running government like a business is giving all the money away to some business guys who want it. So here I am admiring Mitch Daniels, which, I admit, is the political equivalent of cross-dressing.

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