updated: 6/18/2012 7:32:46 AM
Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg says putting people to work and boosting the economy will be key aspects of his election campaign. During his speech to the party convention in Fort Wayne, Gregg stressed "first second and third, we will focus on jobs and strengthening the economy." Democrats set their statewide ticket for November's general election during the weekend event.
Gregg's running mate is State Senator Vi Simpson.
They are running against Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and his running mate, State Representative Sue Ellspermann.
The Libertarian Party choice for Governor is Rupert Boneham and his running mate is Brad Klopfenstein.
June 16, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Ė Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg addressed the delegates to the 2012 Indiana Democratic Convention today in Fort Wayne. His remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below.
JOHN GREGG: Thank you. I was thinking how great it was that we are holding our convention in Fort Wayne this year. It is great to get away from the capitol and talk with people throughout the state about their lives: how we can help them and how we can do better. I was thinking that its good to get out of the capitol every once in a while. Someone needs to tell that to Mike Pence.
I am honored to be before you today. As I stand here, I canít help but reflect on the incredible opportunities Indiana has given me.
I was born and raised in tiny Sandborn in Knox County. At 15, I created my first job as a small business owner running a local soda shop. From there I put myself through law school at night and was later elected to the Indiana House of Representatives where I eventually became Speaker of the House.
In 2002, I retired from the House to spend more time with my two sons. I saw baseball, football and basketball games Ė both boys in a varsity game at the same time. I fried hamburgers, popped popcorn and cooked dinners for prom while I watched my sons turn into the young men that I am so proud of today.
Later, I served as President of Vincennes University. While I was there, I oversaw over 6,000 students, 900 employees and a 90 million dollar budget. I helped turn a struggling institution around for a new generation of Hoosiers. Working together, we developed 4-year degree programs in nursing, elementary and special education, and homeland security, creating job opportunities for our fellow Hoosiers while strengthening our communities.
I have been truly blessed by the opportunities Indiana has given me. I am running for Governor to secure those same opportunities for all of us, and more importantly, for our children.
The choice in this election is clear. Voters will choose between a candidate whose life is grounded in Indiana and one whose life is out of touch with Indiana and its Hoosier values.
On one hand, you have a 12 year Congressman who cares more about playing politics and scoring political points than doing what is right for Hoosiers; a Congressman who puts partisan ideology above all else and a Congressman who in 12 years in Washington DC has passed exactly zero pieces of legislation.
Mike Pence may be running for Governor, but the one thing he canít run from is his record. We wonít let him.
Let me be clear. If you want to know what Congressman Pence will try to do as Governor, all you have to do is look at his record. Heís trying another Washington D.C. trick because his rhetoric and his record simply do not match. Now, he tries to talk about jobs, but he has never introduced a jobs bill during his 12 years in Congress. Now, he tries to talk about education, but he has failed to make college more affordable for Hoosiers. Now, when the economy should be the top priority for every Democrat, Republican and independent, he threatens to shut our government down just so he can keep our neighbors from getting a cancer screening at Planned Parenthood.
Congressman Pence is allowed to have his extreme positions, but I wonder why he has gotten so quiet about them all of a sudden. I have known him for a long time and he has never been one to hold back how he feels. Now that he is running for Governor, he is trying to re-invent himself on the run. Iíll tell you why. Its because even Congressman Pence knows that his brand of extremism is out of touch with Hoosier families.
Hoosiers have a better choice. They can choose a leader that knows how to create jobs, improve education and work with Hoosiers of all stripes to move us forward. When I was Speaker, the House was divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. That meant that every single bill that we passed required true bi-partisan cooperation. It meant that WE had to work together to make Indiana stronger. And let me tell you my friends, there is no stronger word in the English language than ďwe.Ē
So letís talk about what WE are going to do. First, second and third, we will focus on creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Indiana has a lot working in its favor: world-class universities, a skilled work force, state of the art hospitals, an emerging life science industry and farms that will fuel the 21st century. We will make Indiana a leader in industries that our work force is already trained for while preparing the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow.
That means further investing in energy, life sciences, transportation, advanced manufacturing and agriculture for both today and tomorrow.
On energy, we need to promote safe, clean coal in Southwest Indiana. We need to promote gas production and it needs to be piped in steel pipes made in Gary, Indiana. We need to promote bio-fuels and alternative energy. And, when those giant wind turbines need built, we need to build it with aluminum composite made in Lafayette or Boonville, or wire it with material made right here in Fort Wayne.
For over a hundred years, our universities have created and trained a workforce that fueled the growth of the middle class. Now, we need to partner with them to promote the life science industry and research and development. And, we need to promote stem cell research that may cure the incurable while bringing relief to those suffering from chronic diseases, like my son from Juvenile Diabetes. Finally, we need to keep our legislators out of the research labs and let scientists work.
On transportation, we need to invest in our ports in Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon, bringing more trade and jobs through our waters. And another thing, why is it that we make locomotives in Muncie, and those huge diesel engines in Columbus, but we donít have a mass transit policy?
Take it from an old farmboy, on agriculture, we need to partner with Purdue to strengthen the ag industry that feeds the world. We need to fund their R&D to see how we can expand/nurture our aquaculture, greenhouse and sustainable ag industry.
We need to invest in public education. We need to ensure that our children are ready to compete in an ever-changing economy. As a product of public education, as the father of two sons who have graduated from public schools, I understand just how vital public education is to the strong communities we need.
It means investing in early childhood education. It means keeping the dream of a college education affordable for all Hoosiers. It means that we always make certain that education isnít about bureaucracy or school administrations and it isnít about imposing Washington style, top down regulations. It is about the kids.
It means treating teachers like the professionals that they are, and giving them the tools they need to help prepare our children for the challenges ahead. Its about giving them a seat at the table and it means showing them the respect they deserve. And finally, it means creating jobs that will keep our best and our brightest here, in Indiana.
Folks, we all know the infrastructure is here in our great state. We just need a leader that will focus on our limitless potential instead of obsessing on one issue: taking away womenís access to medical care.
My friends, Indiana deserves leadership that that will bring us together; not tear us apart. Indiana deserves leadership that will focus on issues that matter to all of us instead of pandering to interest groups. Indiana deserves leadership that is more concerned with Hoosiers than their next appearance on Fox News. Indiana deserves leadership that thinks more like Washington, Indiana than Washington, D.C. Hoosiers deserve leadership that will focus on them, not using the governorís mansion to get their next job.
Indiana needs a leader that understands that while the election is important, our real focus needs to be the next generation.
Voters want a government that works for them. I am an optimist, and for as much as there is wrong with our government, I donít say shut it down. I say make it work.
Eight years ago, promises were made that quite simply, were not kept. We were promised that what Republicans call ďRight to workĒ would not be pursued. What happened was an attack on working men and women that does nothing to bring good paying jobs to the state. This war on Unions and working men and women needs to stop. Period. Simply put, ďRight to work,Ē doesnít work and it hurts all workers, Union and non-union.
We were told that if we mortgaged our infrastructure, it would be the best deal in the history of government. What we got was a toll road that we will not control for another 65 years and no more money.
Finally, we were told that we would get better governance. What we got was a half a billion dollars that they recently found hidden in a couch somewhere in the capitol. What we got was a 300 million dollar cut to our public schools. What we got was government agency after government agency not paying its bills on time, costing the taxpayers millions. What we got was a bill of goods. We can do better and under OUR administration, Indiana WILL do better.
We were told one thing. What we got was another. Now Congressman Pence is saying one thing, while his record says another. Where I come from, your actions speak louder than words and Indiana simply canít afford Mike Penceís actions.
Last week, Republicans held their convention, and it was a little different than ours. When I was introduced, I got up so we could talk about what needs to be done. Congressman Pence, put on a show. You see, he knows that heís been in Washington D.C. too long, so he had to put on a big show for everyone so he could ďplayĒ Indiana, even having the audacity to drive a red Chevy pickup right up to the stage after voting against saving the American auto industry.
The contrast could not be more clear. Congressman Pence wants to put on a show so that people forget where he has been for the last 12 years. He wants to put on a show so people will forget what he has done in Congress and for what he has failed to do for Indiana for the last 12 years. He wants to put on a show because thatís what he is, a show horse.
My friends, Iím a workhorse. I know that this isnít about putting on a good show. Itís about delivering results. Itís about hard work. Itís about bringing people together from all walks of life and working towards a common goal. Thatís what Iíve always done and thatís what my administration will always do: Bring Hoosiers together so that we can move forward.
In me Hoosiers will have a Governor who, when he says ďVirginiaĒ he is talking about his aunt, not where he lives.
I know, there isnít a single person in this room that wouldnít do a thing for this state when asked. Too much is at stake, so Iím asking.
So, hereís what we are going to do. Iím making you all ambassadors of this campaign and this party. Weíre going on a Journey. You can all go, go your own separate ways, you can wander, you can be lost in the desertÖor you can follow me and we can cross over the river Jordan into the Promised Land. A Land of a strong middle class, great paying jobs and top schools. A land where we work out our differences and a land where cooperation and collaboration is respected.
Youíve got to talk to your friends. Youíve got to talk to your families and youíve got to talk to your neighbors. Talk to someone who is unemployed or underemployed and share vision of better jobs and a stronger economy. Talk to teachers and tell them that with us, the days of scapegoating them and other unions are over. Talk to students and tell them our vision for this great state that we all love.
Talk to Democrats. Talk to Independents and talk to Republicans. Talk to Dick Lugar Republicans. Tell them that we have room for them because we are the party of inclusion; the party of the big tent. Tell them that if they believe in solutions; if they believe in working together and if they believe in true bi-partisanship, then they NEED to stand with us, because the other side just told them they arenít welcome.
I have known for a long time that that you learn more when you talk to someone who has a different perspective; someone you respect, even if you disagree with them. That is why I am honored to be running with the next Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, Vi Simpson. We may not always agree on everything, but we know that by working together, we will make this state stronger.
By and large, we are a party of faith. However, we are not a party that uses the government to impose our faith on others. Unlike many others, we do not claim that God is on our side. Instead we choose to follow the advice of another Republican, President Lincoln, who said that that we do not claim that God is on our side, but we pray humbly that we are on his.
Am I my brotherís keeper? You bet I am. And Iím my sisterís keeper too. And if we do our jobs, we can make sure more of our neighbors keep theirs.
Now letís get to work.
Source: Gregg for Governor