Verbatim emails between Tony Bennett to two supporters (the names and email addresses of non-public officials have been removed):
From: Tony Bennett
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2012 1:38 PM
To: Xxxxx; Xxxxx
Subject: Re: A Path for Bennett
Xxxx and Xxxx,
I really appreciate all you guys have done, and all you are doing. You two guys mean the world to Tina and me, and there is nothing we could ever do to repay you for your kindness, friendship, and support. In short, besides the relationship I have with Xxxx , who I literally love like a brother, and our staff, the our friendships with you two make any consideration to leave Indiana very difficult.
Let me start this way. I LOVED MY JOB! I loved developing cutting edge education policies that really helped kids. I loved strategizing how we would pass those policies. I loved selling those policies to the public and advocating for them to the legislature. I loved implementing them, and seeing how we could maximize their benefits to children. I can truly say that I loved every single minute that ticked off that scoreboard outside my office the last fours years. I have often lamented that a fateful breakfast at the Scottsburg Cracker Barrel with a man I have grown to love like a brother and respect like few others led me to a job that I loved even more than I loved coaching.
I can't see myself right now doing another job. Truthfully, I don't want to right now. For the first time in my professional life I see myself doing exactly what I really got into education for; making a big difference in the lives of kids. The last four years solidified in my mind that we must fix state policies to make a difference for kids at the local, district, school and classroom levels. Maybe that is why our forefathers made education the constitutional responsibility of the states, and why I loved this job so much.
I don't want to cloud my reasons for pursuing the Florida position with things like the belief that Brian and David will sell this agenda out for the sake of political expediency (which I do believe). Nor do I want my fear that in light of the fact that Mike has so many other issues on his plate during his first term that he can't give this the attention and passion Mitch gave it over the past four years (which is my fear). I provide those to you only for the purpose that as I move on, you guys and Xxxx must keep "children as job 1" in this state. I truly believe are our greatest natural resource, and through education we must make sure we develop that resource keep our state strong long past the time we are on this earth.
To conclude, I again appreciate all your efforts. It warms my heart to see you make every effort to keep us in Indiana. The fact is that Tina and I believe so strongly in the work we've done that I cannot imagine not doing for at least a few more years before we move on to pursuing the same ends through another means. I hope you understand and support that, and I hope you know how much I love appreciate and respect you for the opportunities you have made possible for us.
Regardless of where we go as we pursue this challenge in another place, please know Indiana is always in our hearts, we will always help whenever asked, and we will come home before the game ends for us.
Sent from my iPad
On Dec 1, 2012, at 11:02 AM, "Xxxx" wrote:
Tony I clearly agree with Xxxx and as we discussed I have a couple other thoughts of consequence that I would like to check on next week and will respond before the end of the week….Tony do you expect to make a firm commitment in the next couple week…do I have time to run the traps on these other thoughts??
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Tony Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org); email@example.com
Subject: A Path for Bennett
Tina and Tony – Good morning. I hope you were able to read Russ Pulliam's opinion, "A Path for Bennett" in the Indy Star on Friday, Nov 30. He talks about Michelle and Tony and it's an excellent article, and very complimentary to you, Tony.
Let me share two points. "Sometimes the loser of one election can go on to win a bigger war" and "Bennett's influence on reform may (WILL….my word) continue to grow if he can find a way to follow in Rhee's path" (since she was ousted as D.C. schools boss). I suggest it's not just in her path, but also your own path.
Tony and Tina, I hope you'll take a little time before deciding on your next step. We are NOT going to let the reforms you/we have implemented be stalled or reversed, AND, we are going to make the changes needed to improve the education of our Hoosier children. But, we need you, especially, (and Xxxx and maybe others) to help us. Our children in Indiana need you……and children all over the US need you.
My end in mind is how do we insure that your knowledge, experience, passion and commitment to help our children has the greatest impact here in Indiana and throughout our country. We have 30 Republican governors and a number of Democrat governors who are interested in helping our kids. I believe you have an opportunity while helping others to really help yourself and your family. Although I am excited about what can be, what is most important is what is best for you two and your family.
I know Xxxx joins me in saying we look forward to talking further if and when you are interested.
P.S. And, you will be within driving distance of your GRANDCHILDREN! From personal experience, facetiming and skyping is good, but there is nothing like touching, holding, hugging and smelling them!!!!!
All the best!