It looks as if Republicans in the Indiana House are actually trying to do some good. A group of them went to daycares in the state to see what they could.
The need to change Indiana's day care system became clear to Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, two years ago. He and other lawmakers toured several Indiana day cares and found some appalling conditions.
At one ministry called "Little Miracles," the kitchen floor was sticky and speckled with mouse feces. Food was left to warm unattended on a stove. Two workers looked after 56 children.
Like Miller, Holdman is a Republican, a staunch conservative and a member of an evangelical Christian church. In fact, Holdman oversees his church's finances. The last thing he wanted was to bury churches under burdensome regulation. But, as he had seen for himself, the differences between centers run well and those run poorly were astounding.
Ministry day cares were exempt from most basic rules — such as having staff trained in first aid; keeping dangerous items such as poisonous chemicals, medicines and guns out of a child's reach; and keeping children under adult supervision at all times. Most important to child advocates, they weren't required to meet basic guidelines on how many children can be packed into a room.
Snacktime!! I'm sure you're wondering who's behind "Mouse Caca For Kiddies", and since you read this blog I'm guessing that a couple things will come to mind. Republican. Churchy. Something to lose. And that would be Eric Miller, founder of the aptly named "Advance America" (co-incidentally also the name of a sleezy exploitative payday loan shark company) Here's Eric during the 2010 campaign. (He looks more like my old dentist than a high powered crazy lobbyist.)
Miller made it clear he saw the amendment as a step down a slippery slope that could eventually leave Indiana churches under the thumb of the state. Soon, Advance America turned up the political heat, sending emails across the state telling supporters Senate Bill 305 was an attack on religious freedom.
The alerts warned that the legislation would "give new massive and unprecedented power over churches to a state agency." One said, "a pastor could be charged with a crime, go to jail and pay a fine if he doesn't operate his church ministry the way the government tells him to." This, despite the fact Kubacki and others have said repeatedly: The only pastors in danger of jail would be those breaking laws already on the books.
Some legislators, including Holdman, say the tactic was akin to "pulling a fire alarm."
Yep, no background checks for daycare workers (if the pervs have found Jesus, who are we to judge?), no sanitary restrictions, and if there's not enough workers to keep an eye on the rugrats, there's always Jesus looking over their shoulder, yes?
Read the whole story here, but suffice it to say they tried. And-
As the reforms narrowed, Kubacki and Smith said they made a point of keeping Miller informed, reassuring him they weren't trying to put churches out of business. But at one point, Kubacki said, Miller asked her why the bill was needed.
"Where is the outcry?" he asked.
"I'll tell you where the outcry is," Kubacki replied. "The outcry is the mothers who have lost children in day cares. That's the outcry."
In fact, at least 22 children have died in Indiana day cares since 2009, according to a Star investigation, with 16 of them in unlicensed day cares.