Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mitchell Elias Daniels, Jr. (born April 7, 1949 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania) is an American politician (of the Republican Party) from the state of Indiana. As of January 10, 2005, Daniels is serving his first four year term as Governor of Indiana.
Daniels moved to Indiana from Pennsylvania when he was in grade school. Upon graduating from high school in Indianapolis in 1967, Daniels was named Indiana's Presidential Scholar – the state’s top male high school graduate that year – by President Lyndon Johnson. Daniels earned a bachelor's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1971 and a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979.
Early political career
Daniels began his public service career working in various capacities for Dick Lugar during his days as Mayor of Indianapolis. Daniels then followed Lugar to the United States Senate, serving as chief of staff during Lugar's first eight years as Senator.
Daniels then served on President Ronald Reagan's staff as a senior advisor and the administration's liaison to the nation's state and local officials. By appointment of President Reagan, Mitch served as a member of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and, later, as a director of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Private sector work
In 1987, Mitch returned to Indiana as chief executive of the Hudson Institute, restoring the organization back to financial health. He then left Hudson in 1990 for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company. From 1993 until 2001, Daniels was employed as Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Policy at Eli Lilly.
In January 2001 Daniels sold $1.45 million in Indiana Power & Light Co. stock, just before the value of the shares plumeted. The Indiana Securities Division investigated the sale and found no wrong doing, but political opponents in his 2004 gubenatorial campaign charged that Daniels got rich while other employees suffered financial hardship. Mr. Daniels claimed that he sold his shares because of his appointment by President Bush.
Office of Management and Budget
In January 2001, Daniels accepted President George W. Bush's invitation to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He served as Director from January 2001 through June 2003. In this role he was also a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council .
President Bush nicknamed Daniels "The Blade" for his determination to protect taxpayers against excessive government spending. Daniels instituted a first-of-its-kind accountability system for all governmental entities. Nevertheless, Daniels came under fire for overseeing a $236 billion annual surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit during his 29-month tenure. Supporters argued that Daniels was one of the few in the administration working toward restraint, and that ultimately he had to take marching orders from the administration.
While campaigning for governor Daniels traveled the state in a white RV covered with signatures of supporters and his trademark "My Man Mitch" campaign slogan. He visited all 92 counties at least three times. On 2 November 2004, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana garnering about 55% of the vote compared to 45% to then-popular Democratic incumbent Governor Joe Kernan. In his first State of the State address on January 18, 2005, Daniels sought to improve the state's fiscal situation by calling for strict controls on all state spending increases and proposed a one year 1% tax increase on all individuals and entities earning over $100,000. The move was controversial for a conservative governor and it is unclear whether the Republican state legislature will approve the proposal.
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