Thursday, May 26, 2005

Lobbying Starts Early

Nikki Kelly has a story in the JG about a class of third-graders in Warsaw who visited with Gov. Mitch Daniels yesterday in Indianapolis. Their purpose? "To share a presentation they created to lure a new company to their community."
Then the group showed off their corporate-recruiting campaign to persuade Guidant – an Indianapolis company that makes medical devices for heart patients – to move its headquarters to Warsaw.

Guidant was recently bought by Johnson & Johnson and is considering moving the company, so the kids created books and a video to show why Warsaw is a great place to live and have a business.

“We think Guidant would be a perfect match for Warsaw,” said one member of Ethel Ringle’s class.
Call us jaded and cynical, but isn't this taking Indiana's proclivity for trying to attract businesses to relocate to the state a bit too far? After all, these are third graders we're talking about here, not community leaders. (Though think of the time and money that could be saved by turning every lobbying effort over to local school children for a class project.)

And remember, these nine year-old kids don't really have any idea why (or if) their town is a "great place to live and have a business." They're only regurgitating what they've been told by someone else.

We'll give Ms. Ringle credit -- this is an "outside the box" teaching tool, and it got her students to learn the selling points of their city as well as an audience with the governor. And it might even have an impact with Guidant, if only in an "aw, aren't they cute?" kind of way.

But we still think this probably isn't a good idea.



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