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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Indiana tops US list for terrorist targets?

Say what?

Evidently Indiana leads the nation with over 8,000 sites listed as potential terrorist targets in a national data base kept by the Department for Homeland Insecurity.

Our favorite target listed is Amish Country Popcorn. Total employees - five.

Article here.

I know what really happened. The feds called Mitch up and asked him to make a list of Targets. Mitch said, "We don't have that many Target stores in Indiana but I can make a list of smaller outlets that will go out of business after Wally Mart is done taking over the world. "

To which the secretary to the undersecretary who was filling in for the Gal Friday (who was out ill) replied to Mitch, "Sure, like whatever, just have your list here by Friday."

Presto, Indiana now leads the nation in terrorists targets in the top secret world of The Department of Homeland Insecurity.

Everyone feel safer now? :-)


Ditch Mitch? said...

I have met the Governor many times, and he's not the dumba** bumpkin portrayed in this story tale. You're entitled to your own opinion.

I do think that the request from the feds was certainly less than clear in what data DHS needed, and having worked with DHS a pretty big project, they are bureaucratic knuckleheads.

So complying with a federal data request probably did get passed downstream, and it probably ended up in the commerce department, which seems to be where the state focuses its data gathering and analysis.

While I don't feel very comforted that DHS has Amish County Popcorn on the list, I do think that someone in the commerce department did a pretty good job of inventorying businesses and other community events and centers.

Whoever it was did a hell of a lot better job at what they thought was their job than any other state.

So you can poke all the fun you want at Mitch, but somebody he put to work did something.

And to close this up, I would propose that this kind of focus on economic development is probably related to how Indiana got a new Honda plant and Ohio did not.

Anonymous said...

According the the Indianapolis Star, the list was compiled by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, not the "commerce department", which doesn't even exist anymore. It was replaced by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in Feb. of 2005.

I'll give "ditch mitch" cheerleading credits for trying to use the "attention to detail" theme to tie the creation of the National Asset Database to Indiana's achievement of landing the Honda plant.

But in reality, I don't see any connection between the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. If I am missing something, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

to "ditch mitch" comments:
Indiana may have gotten the Honda plant, however, I wonder how much of Indiana money, such as tax abatements, etc, Mitch gave away to get the plant.

ditch mitch redux said...

anonymous 1 - You are correct, and I am wrong.

Point 1: IEDC has replaced 'the commerce department'. I should have checked the agency name before opening my big mouth. I don't know that the fancy new title makes them anything different, but it is. Duly noted, and I'll check my facts more closley in the future.

Point 2: I don't think I'm much of a cheerleader for Mitch, but I'm also not in the "ditch the &%#!@^" camp either. I will say that compared to FOB, it is an improvement.

At the same time, I'm in indy enough to know that his approval rating is in single digits. Frankly, I don't care either way.

Point 3: I can't say there is a link between IEDC and IDHS, but I was told that company names I'm associated with were on the list, and I've never provided information about them to IDHS, and I have to IEDC.

So from my perspective if these two state agencies didn't share info, then IDHS did a great job of pulling together a report out of thin air and turning it in to the feds.

Anonymous 2: The 'cost' to get the Honda plant was well reported in the Star.

I don't offer a comment on whether those costs met your criteria for the gains they represent.

I'll add that I'm not a fan of tax abatement myself, but the economic impact Honda had in NW Ohio seems pretty visible if you've ever taken US33 to Columbus or Dayton.