Dem treasurer candidate stumps across the region
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent July 10, 2014 6:52PM
Mike Boland, democratic candidate for Indiana treasurer, has been making stops throughout the state to talk about his campaign in the "Boland-mobile," his Chevy Malibu hybrid. | Carrie Napoleon~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 11, 2014 2:02AM
MERRILLVILLE — Mike Boland, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, said his campaign may lack financial resources but he will not be outworked in his effort to take the office away from Republicans.
Boland has been making his way around the state in his “Boland-mobile,” a Chevrolet Malibu hybrid driven by his wife, Pat — spreading the word that he represents change.
In a swing through Northwest Indiana on Thursday, he rattled off a list of stops on his most recent tour, including South Bend, Warsaw, Wabash, New Albany, Seymour, Shelbyville and North Vernon. On Thursday, he visited Valparaiso, Merrillville and LaPorte.
“It’s been a really good reaction. I think people are hungry for somebody who is not Richard Murdock or his hand-picked candidate,” Boland said.
Murdock is the current treasurer. Boland, 71, will face Kelly Mitchell in the Nov. 4 election.
Prior to moving from East Moline, Illinois, to Fishers, Indiana, to be closer to his two grandchildren a couple of years ago, Boland served 16 years as an Illinois state representative. The retired educator said what he learned about the state’s leaders upon moving to Indiana prompted him to run for treasurer.
“The appalling lack of leadership is not moving Indiana in a forward direction,” Boland said, describing the state’s economic environment as stagnant and being harmed by GOP policies.
State officials need to pay more attention to the true needs of Indiana, such as better funding for education and infrastructure improvements, and stop spending money foolishly in fighting same-sex marriagehe said.
“Whether you are for or against (same-sex marriage), it is really a waste of taxpayer dollars (to fight it in the courts),” Boland said, adding the legal battle will cost the state millions of dollars in what will end up being a losing effort.
Boland sees the treasurer’s office as a taxpayer advocate and as such he would keep a watchful eye on state finances and expose any misuse of funds by state or local officials.
He said Indiana needs to invest some of its $2 billion budget surplus into education and infrastructure if it’s going to attract sufficient economic development. It’s an affront to taxpayers for the state to cut taxes to the point where local communities strain to provide basic services while the state amasses a huge surplus.
“We need to use the reserve in the local communities to do services we know are vital,” he said.
Boland said that, if elected, he plans to advocate for the consolidation of the treasurer and auditor offices because they perform similar functions and merging them would save millions of dollars each year.