Mike Pence, the Republican running for governor, brought his campaign to a small manufacturer in Ossian on Tuesday morning and promised that he would call a moratorium on new state regulations if elected.
In response, Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, mocked Pence's message on regulation. Gregg's campaign said this focus on regulation is part of a broader effort to shift attention from Pence's record, which did little to advance job creation, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pence told reporters at Perma-Column in Ossian that he believes “it's time for a time-out on regulation.” Besides not promulgating new regulations, Pence said his administration would:
*Shift staffing in the state's Office of Management and Budget and direct that office to begin a review of existing regulations.
*Investigate whether every occupation now licensed by the state. Pence mentioned interior designers, auctioneers and massage therapists as peculiar examples of occupations licensed by the state.
*Through the OMB, reduce red tape by reviewing existing regulations, business fees, and regulatory performance metrics to ensure they are the least-costly approach and impose the least burden on job creation.
Pence pointed out that in 2011 alone, 129 final regulations and 163 emergency regulations were adopted by state agencies.
He also said his administrations would make exceptions to a moratorium. "Let's be clear – some regulations are necessary," Pence said.
That prompted Gregg to say in a news release, "This is what happens when you are out of state and out of touch. You call (Gov.) Mitch Daniels an over-regulating job killer."
Although Pence highlighted the number of regulations added to the books since 2008, he did not specifically criticize Daniels, also a Republican. “Today is about doing more,” Pence said.
A novel element of Pence's plan to prune regulation was “crowdsourcing,” using social-media techniques to solicit ideas and opinions on regulations. Pence declined to say whether there would be some institutionalized way to advocate on behalf of people protected by regulations, perhaps similar to the work of the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, which takes hard looks at utilities' requests for rate increases and other changes.
Gregg's campaign painted Pence's initiative on regulatory relief as a means of steering attention away from his own record in Congress.
A statement from the campaign noted that Pence never introduced a single bill to create jobs. “To top it all off, he voted against helping the Hoosier auto industry, effectively voting to send pink slips to 4,500 Hoosiers,” the news release said.