Mike Pence inserts himself into another controversy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On the day after Mike Pence signed the religious freedom bill into law, the governor is wading into the middle of another controversy.

He is spending campaign funds to push another item on the conservative agenda.

The governor supports elimination of the common wage law that is used to set wage rates on public projects and he appears in new TV ads in support of a repeal.

“Let’s repeal the common construction law,” he says in the ad, “and let’s keep Indiana building.”

The ads are part of a $250,000 campaign to sway members of the state Senate.

“What he’s doing is immoral and I don’t see how the governor can even sleep at night,” said AFL-CIO President Brett Voorheis.

He also called the governor’s actions shameful.

“What he’s been doing to education, what he’s been doing on discrimination,” he said, “now he’s trying to lower workers wages, you know, when’s the bleeding gonna stop? What is this governor’s priorities?”

The wage bill was not part of the governor’s legislative agenda but when GOP lawmakers passed it through the House, he promised to sign it if it gets to his desk.

“Don’t let our legislators create a poorer Indiana,” says a union backed ad that has been on the air for days. “Stop the race to the bottom. Protect common construction wage.”

Union-backed ads have been on the air for days. They portray the wage bill as an attack on workers.

“It’s not an attack on anybody,” said Pence campaign spokesman Robert Vane. “What it is is Governor Pence showing leadership, telling taxpayers we know your budgets are tight, we owe it to you to give you the most value for your money.”

And it’s the first issue this year that has prompted Pence to spend campaign funds on TV ads.

The bill to repeal the common wage law will be heard in a state Senate Committee on Tuesday.

The governor’s ads are scheduled to end on Tuesday.