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Interview with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

By Fox News Sunday, Fox News Sunday - June 10, 2012

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Special Guests: Gov. Mitch Daniels, Dennis Van Roekel,Thea Lee

Watch the latest video at FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 10, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.adsonar_placementId=1502157;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=198;adsonar_zh=170;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

Public employee unions are under fire across the country.

Wisconsin's governor survives a recall effort over labor reforms. California voters trim government worker pensions. Is Big Labor losing its clout?

We'll talk with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who has pushed back against labor, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, and Thea Lee of AFL-CIO.

Plus, is someone leaking top U.S. secrets to boost President Obama's reelection? We'll ask our Sunday panel what is behind the security breach.

And our power players of the week offer the class of 2012 words of wisdom.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(MUSIC)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

We may remember this past week as a moment when voters across the country decided public worker unions have too much power and benefits that are too generous. But was it a turning point or just a bump in the road for government workers. Today, we'll hear from both sides.

We'll talk with top officials of big labor in a few minutes. But first, from his home state in Indiana, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels who fought and won against the unions.

And, Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

GOV. MITCH DANIELS, R-IND.: Good morning, Chris.

WALLACE: There have been several big developments this week, of course, in Wisconsin, Governor Walker beat back the recall effort. But also in California, two cities -- San Diego and San Jose, those voters passed an initiative to cut back on government worker pensions.

Governor, what's the message?

DANIELS: I think the message is that, first of all, voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table. And they are also noticing with sadness that when fundamental services -- education and health care and others are diminished because so much money is devoured by very high salaries and higher than those than the taxpayers are earning and more generous benefits, almost bullet-proof job protection and huge pension.

WALLACE: Is this some sort of a watershed what we are seeing right now. Are voters across the country giving state and local officials a green light to go after or at least curtail public unions?

DANIELS: I hope no one thinks of it that way. I hope it means a turning point in trying to re-address the balance. You know, there is a reason that defenders of labor from Franklin Roosevelt to George Meany to many others, always said that unionism had no place in the public sector and it is a necessary freedom in the private sector, but that it was a bad idea in government.

And I think we have seen through its excesses, the one I just mentioned, now visible to voters almost everywhere that it really needs to be brought under control and the interest of people who pay taxes and who would rather see those taxes, more of them, dollars go to vital services.

WALLACE: Are you saying that you would like to see no public worker unions?

DANIELS: I think really government works better without them. I really do. You know, in our state, we had a 16 year run with so- called collective bargaining. And we did end it.

And I want to say that although it led to the savings of large amount of tax dollars, it was not principally about that. We had 160 pages of shackles really on government's ability to deliver better. And seven years later we are delivering services. We could never made the reforms tied down to 160 pages of thou shalt not.

WALLACE: Well, give me an example how have services improve since you cut back on the unions.

DANIELS: If you deserve a tax refund, it comes twice as fast it used to. Our state parks are in a dramatically better shape than they were. And if you go to our Bureau of Motor Vehicles last month, you are out in less than 10 minutes and 97 percent of the time when we surveyed them, customers say they are satisfied.

WALLACE: Well, let's look at what you have done as governor of Indiana. It is a long list. Let's take a look.

In 2005, you ended collective bargaining rights for state workers on first day in office. In 2011, you restricted teachers bargaining rights. In 2012, this year, you signed a right to work law that said people don't have to join a union to get a job.

It sounds, Governor, like a pretty concerted effort to break public and private unions.

DANIELS: I don't see it that way at all. Now, I will say that on the government side, we felt if we were going to do right by taxpayers and if we were going to make government work effectively as it does in Indiana, there was a survey last year in which 77 percent of Hoosiers said they thought the state government was effective. It's the second highest number in the country. If we do those things we have to have freedom to move resources where they were need, move people where they were needed, pay people on the basis of their performance and not simply their seniority, and we are doing that in the state now, I think to a very positive affect.

Right to work in the private side is a different disagreement, Chris, and there, it is simply a matter of bringing more jobs to the state. Indiana has been winning two-thirds of the time to get a shot at new jobs. We have been rated as one of the best jobs climates in the country by everyone now.

But, there was a very large percentage of the time and a third of all of the opportunities, we didn't get a shot at because the businesses were their own reasons insisted on this freedom.

So, two separate questions as we saw them -- we're not going after anybody. We're just going after better government and more jobs for people in our state.

WALLACE: But to take a look at this and all the reforms as you would call it. Government workers in your state have taken a hit. Indiana ranks 46th in state worker gross salary. And public employees in Indiana must pay more for health care coverage than they used to. I mean, they have paid a price because of all of your actions.

DANIELS: I disagree completely. Particularly those who have been rated the best performers and the highest raises by far in state history, in fact, ever in state history. I think we have a fair system now. State workers praise them all of the time. I think the ones that I encounter are rightly proud of the job we are doing.

And as I just mentioned, their fellow citizens appreciate them here in a way that maybe is not the case elsewhere.

WALLACE: But how -- what about this figure I just gave you. Indiana ranking 46 in the 50 states in state worker gross salary.

DANIELS: I don't know where they come from and I've never seen them before. I can't comment on them.

WALLACE: I mean, have in fact -- you know, we have a lot of information in terms of gross salary and in terms of the cost to the state worker and health care benefits that those have gone up a lot?

DANIELS: Well, Chris, all I can tell you that we believe that the most effective state government in America. We have very low turnover, lower than before, among our state employees. Maybe that says something.  Print  Email  Share    Recommend Tweet

continued...

< 1 2 3 4 5> adsonar_placementId=1493988; adsonar_pid=1373767; adsonar_ps=-1; adsonar_zw=612; adsonar_zh=240; adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; 'Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken'

MR. SUNDAY’S SATURDAY NIGHT CHICKEN:

 

More Than 100 Delicious, Homemade Recipes to Bring Your Family Together

 

 By Lorraine Wallace

 

 

 

For more information, visit mrssunday.com and check out 'Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken' on Amazon.com

 

Featured recipe: Skewers of Sage Chicken with Sweet Italian Sausage

FNS Transcripts

June 10, 2012

Gov. Mitch Daniels talks public employee unions; is Big Labor losing its clout?

June 03, 2012

2012 campaigns talk unemployment numbers, job creation

May 27, 2012

Sen. McCain talks Syria, Iran and tensions with Pakistan; Cardinal Wuerl on Catholic institutions vs. Obama administration

May 20, 2012

Ryan, Goolsbee debate Obama, Romney economic records ADVERTISEMENT Follow Fox News Sunday

Follow us on Twitter to get exclusive updates and announcements from the show!

 @FoxNewsSunday

Fox News Sunday is on Facebook! Coming Up on FNS: June 10, 2012

Governor Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin’s recall election, and organized labor’s defeat, have many political watchers wondering if the outcome could alter the 2012 electoral map.  We’ll hear from both sides when we’re joined by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R), the President of the National Education Association Dennis Van Roekel, the AFL-CIO's Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee.

ADVERTISEMENT Wallace Watch

April 29, 2012

WH Counterterrorism Adviser on Possible Terrorist Strike

President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan joined "Fox News Sunday" to discuss a recent alert ...

FNS Panel Plus: April 29, 2012This week on Fox News Sunday: (4/29/12)Morning Booking Call Connect With FNS FacebookTwitterEmailFree PodcastBlogHulu On This Day

April 22, 2012

On This Day: April 22, 1993

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, DC.

FNS Poll Take Our Poll(survey software) Shows America Live Fox & Friends Weekend Happening Now Studio B America News HQ Fox News Watch Huckabee The Cost of Freedom

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 10, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

Public employee unions are under fire across the country.

Wisconsin's governor survives a recall effort over labor reforms. California voters trim government worker pensions. Is Big Labor losing its clout?

We'll talk with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who has pushed back against labor, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, and Thea Lee of AFL-CIO.

Plus, is someone leaking top U.S. secrets to boost President Obama's reelection? We'll ask our Sunday panel what is behind the security breach.

And our power players of the week offer the class of 2012 words of wisdom.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(MUSIC)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

We may remember this past week as a moment when voters across the country decided public worker unions have too much power and benefits that are too generous. But was it a turning point or just a bump in the road for government workers. Today, we'll hear from both sides.

We'll talk with top officials of big labor in a few minutes. But first, from his home state in Indiana, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels who fought and won against the unions.

And, Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

GOV. MITCH DANIELS, R-IND.: Good morning, Chris.

WALLACE: There have been several big developments this week, of course, in Wisconsin, Governor Walker beat back the recall effort. But also in California, two cities -- San Diego and San Jose, those voters passed an initiative to cut back on government worker pensions.

Governor, what's the message?

DANIELS: I think the message is that, first of all, voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table. And they are also noticing with sadness that when fundamental services -- education and health care and others are diminished because so much money is devoured by very high salaries and higher than those than the taxpayers are earning and more generous benefits, almost bullet-proof job protection and huge pension.

WALLACE: Is this some sort of a watershed what we are seeing right now. Are voters across the country giving state and local officials a green light to go after or at least curtail public unions?

DANIELS: I hope no one thinks of it that way. I hope it means a turning point in trying to re-address the balance. You know, there is a reason that defenders of labor from Franklin Roosevelt to George Meany to many others, always said that unionism had no place in the public sector and it is a necessary freedom in the private sector, but that it was a bad idea in government.

And I think we have seen through its excesses, the one I just mentioned, now visible to voters almost everywhere that it really needs to be brought under control and the interest of people who pay taxes and who would rather see those taxes, more of them, dollars go to vital services.

WALLACE: Are you saying that you would like to see no public worker unions?

DANIELS: I think really government works better without them. I really do. You know, in our state, we had a 16 year run with so- called collective bargaining. And we did end it.

And I want to say that although it led to the savings of large amount of tax dollars, it was not principally about that. We had 160 pages of shackles really on government's ability to deliver better. And seven years later we are delivering services. We could never made the reforms tied down to 160 pages of thou shalt not.

WALLACE: Well, give me an example how have services improve since you cut back on the unions.

DANIELS: If you deserve a tax refund, it comes twice as fast it used to. Our state parks are in a dramatically better shape than they were. And if you go to our Bureau of Motor Vehicles last month, you are out in less than 10 minutes and 97 percent of the time when we surveyed them, customers say they are satisfied.

WALLACE: Well, let's look at what you have done as governor of Indiana. It is a long list. Let's take a look.

In 2005, you ended collective bargaining rights for state workers on first day in office. In 2011, you restricted teachers bargaining rights. In 2012, this year, you signed a right to work law that said people don't have to join a union to get a job.

It sounds, Governor, like a pretty concerted effort to break public and private unions.

DANIELS: I don't see it that way at all. Now, I will say that on the government side, we felt if we were going to do right by taxpayers and if we were going to make government work effectively as it does in Indiana, there was a survey last year in which 77 percent of Hoosiers said they thought the state government was effective. It's the second highest number in the country. If we do those things we have to have freedom to move resources where they were need, move people where they were needed, pay people on the basis of their performance and not simply their seniority, and we are doing that in the state now, I think to a very positive affect.

Right to work in the private side is a different disagreement, Chris, and there, it is simply a matter of bringing more jobs to the state. Indiana has been winning two-thirds of the time to get a shot at new jobs. We have been rated as one of the best jobs climates in the country by everyone now.

But, there was a very large percentage of the time and a third of all of the opportunities, we didn't get a shot at because the businesses were their own reasons insisted on this freedom.

So, two separate questions as we saw them -- we're not going after anybody. We're just going after better government and more jobs for people in our state.

WALLACE: But to take a look at this and all the reforms as you would call it. Government workers in your state have taken a hit. Indiana ranks 46th in state worker gross salary. And public employees in Indiana must pay more for health care coverage than they used to. I mean, they have paid a price because of all of your actions.

DANIELS: I disagree completely. Particularly those who have been rated the best performers and the highest raises by far in state history, in fact, ever in state history. I think we have a fair system now. State workers praise them all of the time. I think the ones that I encounter are rightly proud of the job we are doing.

And as I just mentioned, their fellow citizens appreciate them here in a way that maybe is not the case elsewhere.

WALLACE: But how -- what about this figure I just gave you. Indiana ranking 46 in the 50 states in state worker gross salary.

DANIELS: I don't know where they come from and I've never seen them before. I can't comment on them.

WALLACE: I mean, have in fact -- you know, we have a lot of information in terms of gross salary and in terms of the cost to the state worker and health care benefits that those have gone up a lot?

DANIELS: Well, Chris, all I can tell you that we believe that the most effective state government in America. We have very low turnover, lower than before, among our state employees. Maybe that says something.  Print  Email  Share    Recommend Tweet

continued...

< 1 2 3 4 5> adsonar_placementId=1493988; adsonar_pid=1373767; adsonar_ps=-1; adsonar_zw=612; adsonar_zh=240; adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; 'Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken'

MR. SUNDAY’S SATURDAY NIGHT CHICKEN:

 

More Than 100 Delicious, Homemade Recipes to Bring Your Family Together

 

 By Lorraine Wallace

 

 

 

For more information, visit mrssunday.com and check out 'Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken' on Amazon.com

 

Featured recipe: Skewers of Sage Chicken with Sweet Italian Sausage

FNS Transcripts

June 10, 2012

Gov. Mitch Daniels talks public employee unions; is Big Labor losing its clout?

June 03, 2012

2012 campaigns talk unemployment numbers, job creation

May 27, 2012

Sen. McCain talks Syria, Iran and tensions with Pakistan; Cardinal Wuerl on Catholic institutions vs. Obama administration

May 20, 2012

Ryan, Goolsbee debate Obama, Romney economic records ADVERTISEMENT Follow Fox News Sunday

Follow us on Twitter to get exclusive updates and announcements from the show!

 @FoxNewsSunday

Fox News Sunday is on Facebook! Coming Up on FNS: June 10, 2012

Governor Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin’s recall election, and organized labor’s defeat, have many political watchers wondering if the outcome could alter the 2012 electoral map.  We’ll hear from both sides when we’re joined by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R), the President of the National Education Association Dennis Van Roekel, the AFL-CIO's Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee.

ADVERTISEMENT Wallace Watch

April 29, 2012

WH Counterterrorism Adviser on Possible Terrorist Strike

President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan joined "Fox News Sunday" to discuss a recent alert ...

FNS Panel Plus: April 29, 2012This week on Fox News Sunday: (4/29/12)Morning Booking Call Connect With FNS FacebookTwitterEmailFree PodcastBlogHulu On This Day

April 22, 2012

On This Day: April 22, 1993

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, DC.

FNS Poll Take Our Poll(survey software) Shows America Live Fox & Friends Weekend Happening Now Studio B America News HQ Fox News Watch Huckabee The Cost of Freedom America's Newsroom Fox Report Justice with Judge Jeanine The Five Cavuto Geraldo at Large Red Eye w/ Gutfeld The Journal Editorial Report Fox News Sunday Greta Special Report The O' Reilly Factor Fox & Friends First Hannity Specials

Public employee unions are under fire across the country.

Wisconsin's governor survives a recall effort over labor reforms. California voters trim government worker pensions. Is Big Labor losing its clout?

We'll talk with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who has pushed back against labor, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, and Thea Lee of AFL-CIO.

Plus, is someone leaking top U.S. secrets to boost President Obama's reelection? We'll ask our Sunday panel what is behind the security breach.

And our power players of the week offer the class of 2012 words of wisdom.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(MUSIC)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

We may remember this past week as a moment when voters across the country decided public worker unions have too much power and benefits that are too generous. But was it a turning point or just a bump in the road for government workers. Today, we'll hear from both sides.

We'll talk with top officials of big labor in a few minutes. But first, from his home state in Indiana, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels who fought and won against the unions.

And, Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

GOV. MITCH DANIELS, R-IND.: Good morning, Chris.

WALLACE: There have been several big developments this week, of course, in Wisconsin, Governor Walker beat back the recall effort. But also in California, two cities -- San Diego and San Jose, those voters passed an initiative to cut back on government worker pensions.

Governor, what's the message?

DANIELS: I think the message is that, first of all, voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table. And they are also noticing with sadness that when fundamental services -- education and health care and others are diminished because so much money is devoured by very high salaries and higher than those than the taxpayers are earning and more generous benefits, almost bullet-proof job protection and huge pension.

WALLACE: Is this some sort of a watershed what we are seeing right now. Are voters across the country giving state and local officials a green light to go after or at least curtail public unions?

DANIELS: I hope no one thinks of it that way. I hope it means a turning point in trying to re-address the balance. You know, there is a reason that defenders of labor from Franklin Roosevelt to George Meany to many others, always said that unionism had no place in the public sector and it is a necessary freedom in the private sector, but that it was a bad idea in government.

And I think we have seen through its excesses, the one I just mentioned, now visible to voters almost everywhere that it really needs to be brought under control and the interest of people who pay taxes and who would rather see those taxes, more of them, dollars go to vital services.

WALLACE: Are you saying that you would like to see no public worker unions?

DANIELS: I think really government works better without them. I really do. You know, in our state, we had a 16 year run with so- called collective bargaining. And we did end it.

And I want to say that although it led to the savings of large amount of tax dollars, it was not principally about that. We had 160 pages of shackles really on government's ability to deliver better. And seven years later we are delivering services. We could never made the reforms tied down to 160 pages of thou shalt not.

WALLACE: Well, give me an example how have services improve since you cut back on the unions.

DANIELS: If you deserve a tax refund, it comes twice as fast it used to. Our state parks are in a dramatically better shape than they were. And if you go to our Bureau of Motor Vehicles last month, you are out in less than 10 minutes and 97 percent of the time when we surveyed them, customers say they are satisfied.

WALLACE: Well, let's look at what you have done as governor of Indiana. It is a long list. Let's take a look.

In 2005, you ended collective bargaining rights for state workers on first day in office. In 2011, you restricted teachers bargaining rights. In 2012, this year, you signed a right to work law that said people don't have to join a union to get a job.

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