If you’re going to borrow an idea or a title from someone, six-term Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar is not a bad person to emulate. Lugar’s 1988 "Letters to the Next President" was a book on U.S. foreign policy and his well-honed suggestions for future actions in various parts of the world. (A more recent entry from former Okahoma governor and U.S. senator David Boren, now the president of the University of Oklahoma, was titled "A Letter to America.")
The Indiana Chamber’s focus is our state. While the letters on key public policy issues are being delivered directly to the candidates for governor, they’re also intended for all those involved in the lawmaking and regulatory process. Thus, Letters to Our Leaders is the title.
Several of our state’s leading newspapers, including the Indianapolis Star and the South Bend Tribune, have this morning published overviews of the campaign. Additionally, you can watch the video of Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar discussing the reasons for releasing the letters. The effort officially kicks off this afternoon with five press conferences around the state. The letters, press releases and short videos on each policy area will be available online at 1:30 p.m. today, and this site seeks your input on the issues important to our state’s economic future.
Who came up with the topics and the suggestions for these letters? You did, at least indirectly. The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee led the project, with input from the executive committee and board of directors. It was leaders of companies big and small, located throughout the state. The more than 4,800 Chamber member companies employ 800,000 Hoosiers.
Governor Mitch Daniels and Democratic challenger Jill Long Thompson, the people of Indiana have something to say. We look forward to your responses.