Stephen Goldsmith

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On January 30, 2001, it was announced that President George W. Bush had created the new White House office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives "to give religious groups a role in the delivery of government social services, and ordered agencies to figure out ways to work with such groups." Bush named former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith as his advisor on faith-based issues. Bush also appointed Goldsmith to the board that controls the Corporation for National and Community Service / [www.nationalservice.org], the agency that oversees the AmeriCorps program." [1] On the Board of Governors for the Partnership for Public Service. Director of America's Promise. Trustee of the Council for Excellence in Government.

"In his new position with the Corporation for National Service, Goldsmith will help integrate corporation programs with the faith-based initiative. Goldsmith's position is not paid, and he will receive no other administration duties in the near future, according to White House spokesperson Anne Womack. Goldsmith had reached out to members of Congress to lobby the White House to give him a broader role that included governmentwide management reform responsibilities, according to sources familiar with the situation.
"Experts were unsure what Goldsmith's new position could mean for government reform initiatives in the Bush administration." [2]

From WhiteHouseForSale's "Bush's Pioneers" files comes the following on Stephen Goldsmith:

"Critics of Goldsmith's tenure as Indianapolis mayor dubbed him "ambition in a suit." This ambition was checked when Goldsmith lost his '96 gubernatorial bid. Recently Goldsmith joined the corporate law firm of Baker & Daniels, where he specializes in government affairs. Although Goldsmith's wife, Margaret, is Dan Quayle's cousin, Goldsmith backed Bush well before Quayle withered on the primary vine. In early '99, Goldsmith signed on as a top domestic policy advisor to Bush and Goldsmith and Pioneer Al Hubbard hosted an early Bush fundraiser in Indianapolis. After Goldsmith was first elected mayor in '91, he drew national attention for preaching the gospel of privatizing a raft of city services. Critics said it opened the flood gates of political contributions from private vendors seeking city contracts. Goldsmith's privatization zeal mellowed some after the department that maintained city vehicles convinced him to let it bid against the private sector for its job. The bureaucrats submitted the winning bid and then proceeded to deliver the service even cheaper than what they had bid. Still, Goldsmith's failed rally cry on the gubernatorial campaign trail was, "I've been CEO of Indianapolis. I want to privatize all of Indiana.""

Goldsmith is ranked as a "Ranger" for Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. in U.S. presidential election, 2004


"Privatization is one of Goldsmith's mantras." [3]


According to his Manhattan Institute biography, Stephen Goldsmith is "Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is Professor of the Practice of Public Management and Faculty Chair for the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Stephen also serves as Special Advisor to President Bush on faith-based and not-for-profit initiatives and served as chief domestic policy advisor to the Bush campaign. Currently, he also serves as Chairman of the Center for Civic Innovation at the Manhattan Institute and Senior Vice-President of ACS (see below). Stephen previously served two terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, America's 12th largest city. Prior to his two terms as Mayor he was Marion County Prosecutor for 12 years." [4]


General Accounting Office Stephen Goldsmith biography -- Commercial Activity Panel:

"Stephen Goldsmith currently serves as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and e-Government with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). He is also a Faculty Director for the Innovations in American Government program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Chairman of the Corporation for National Service and Special Advisor to President Bush on faith-based and not-for-profit initiatives. Prior to these positions, Steve served as chief domestic policy advisor to the Bush campaign. ... Steve is also a partner with Baker & Daniels, an Indiana-based law firm."


"'Baker & Daniels has, at least in my opinion, the largest and most effective Washington office'," Goldsmith told idsnews.com, November 12, 1999.


Stephen Goldsmith (1946- ), then completing a term as the Mayor of Indianapolis begun in 1992, according to Terry M. Neal's June 5, 1999, article "Midwestern Mayor Shapes Bush's Message" in the Washington Post, had then "emerged as the prime architect of [then Texas Governor] George W. Bush's domestic policy agenda, helping to shape and mold the governor's sometimes abstract-sounding notion of 'compassionate conservatism' into palatable policies for [the 2000] presidential campaign." [5]

Neal says that Goldsmith had "long been considered a hot commodity nationally - albeit a more polarizing one in his own state - for doing what many Republicans have talked about doing: applying conservative principles of smaller government to save money and deliver services more efficiently, supporters say." [6]

"Goldsmith's philosophy [meshed] with Bush's vision of 'compassionate conservatism,' which seeks to take the harsh edge off conservative ideology without straying from basic tenets of smaller government and personal responsibility. ... In Goldsmith," Neal writes, Bush found "an intellectual soulmate who admirers say has demonstrated that downsizing government, cutting taxes and encouraging community solutions can not only work, but can do so with minimal backlash from traditional Democratic constituencies." [7]

"Goldsmith's influence," Neal points out, "cannot be underestimated, and his appointment underscores Bush's desire to look beyond the usual inside-the-Beltway sources for advice, campaign aides said." [8]

After departing his office in November 2000, Goldsmith travelled to Austin twice a month "to coordinate discussions among the governor and some of the country's top thinkers, such as UCLA public policy professor James Q. Wilson and Princeton criminologist John J. DiIulio Jr.." Goldsmith also "brought in more than 100 other, lesser-known experts from the worlds of academia, think tanks and consulting [with the goal] to help Bush think through and define positions on a range of subjects, including Social Security, health care, housing, the environment and government downsizing, before" hitting the campaign trail. [9]

"Goldsmith," Neal says, "built upon his reputation among GOP insiders as a lecturer at Harvard and Columbia, a contributor to the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times and an author for publications such as the Harvard Business Review. ... He is best known nationally for his efforts to privatize dozens of government agencies and functions, including street sweeping, airport operation, trash collection and wastewater treatment. According to his office, the [Indianapolis] saved nearly $400 million, cut taxes three times and decreased the overall city budget from $450 million to $441 million between 1992 and this year.

"Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) called Goldsmith 'the most innovative and creative leader in the country,' Governing magazine named him public official of the year, and Time featured him in an article titled 'Rising Republicans.'

"But critics point out that while he was building his national reputation he was losing Indiana's 1996 gubernatorial election to Democrat Frank O'Bannon. Goldsmith's critics see him as a craven politician with a relentless drive for self-promotion and a reputation that exceeds his accomplishments. 'The best news for national Democrats is that Steve Goldsmith is George W.'s top domestic policy adviser,' said Joe Andrew, chairman of the Democratic National Committee." [10]

Neal says that, in 1997, when Bush invited Goldsmith "to spend the night at the governor's mansion in Austin, ... the two became friends. ... Bush particularly praised Goldsmith's efforts to 'invigorate faith-based institutions, invigorate little armies to help neighborhoods in need' by encouraging churches and synagogues to work directly with schools, police and social service agencies to solve community problems. ... The idea, shared by Republicans such as Bush and Goldsmith, is that government should not solve problems alone but should help people and communities solve their own. Among Goldsmith's most well-known social programs is the Front-Porch Alliance, which connects city agencies, religious and community leaders, and businesses." [11]

However, Neal writes, "Goldsmith's critics note that Indianapolis has been one of the few big cities where the murder rate has risen during the 1990s. And in the 1996 race, Democrats charged that privatization was Goldsmith's way of rewarding big corporate political donors. Critics also say that although taxes have been kept down, many of the private companies that administer city services have increased user fees." [12]

Goldsmith earned a bachelor's degree in 1968 from Wabash College and a law degree in 1971 from the University of Michigan. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve, 1968-1974. [13]

Goldsmith's professional experience has been as a Lawyer, 1972-78; deputy corporation counsel, city of Indianapolis, 1974-75; chief trial deputy, city of Indianapolis, 1976-78; prosecuting attorney, Marion County, 1979-90; Indianapolis mayor, 1992-present. [14]


According to The Indianapolis Star "Fact File": "Stephen Goldsmith. Former mayor of Indianapolis". [15]

"Goldsmith began his career in politics in 1978 when he pulled off an upset victory in the Marion County prosecutor's race over Democratic Judge Andrew Jacobs Sr.

"Goldsmith served as prosecutor for a dozen years and during much of that time it was no secret he aspired to be mayor. He had to wait until 1991 for the opportunity because his predecessor, fellow Republican William H. Hudnut, kept running for re-election. Hudnut was elected four times and held the office for 16 years.

"While he waited Goldsmith took a shot at another office -- lieutenant governor. John Mutz chose Goldsmith as his running mate in the 1988 governor's race. But the Mutz-Goldsmith ticket lost to Democrat Evan Bayh, with Frank O'Bannon as his running mate.

"In 1991, Hudnut decided not to seek a fifth term and Goldsmith finally had a chance at the job he really wanted. He easily defeated Democrat Louis Mahern and became mayor of Indianapolis on Jan. 1, 1992.

"Goldsmith came to office with a pledge to rebuild long-neglected neighborhoods and provide better city services at lower costs. He put city services out for bid to save money and attacked the bricks-and-mortar problems with the highly touted Building Better Neighborhoods program. By the end of his second term Mayor Goldsmith had presided over $1.5 billion in new or rehabilitated parks, streets, sidewalks and sewers, while reducing the tax rate four times. However, the city's debt load also increased during his administration from $1.13 billion in 1991 to $1.81 billion in 1999. Goldsmith's critics, including his eventual successor, Democrat Bart Peterson, argued that Goldsmith's successes were built on debt rather than innovation.

"During his two terms Goldsmith was a leading force in the rebirth of Downtown Indianapolis. While Circle Centre mall began under Hudnut, it was Goldsmith who made it a reality in 1995. With the mall came myriad restaurant, bar and retail openings nearby as the number of Downtown visitors exploded. Then came the $183 million Conseco Fieldhouse, a $50 million remodeling of the Indiana Convention Center, the NCAA headquarters, Anthem's 2,500-worker offices, Emmis Broadcasting's offices on Monument Circle and Union Station's renovation.

"Crowning development efforts was Eli Lilly and Co.'s 1999 announcement of a planned $1 billion, 7,500-worker expansion -- which had been sweetened by more than $100 million in city-offered tax breaks. In a study on the remaking of Downtown, Indiana University Professor Mark Rosentraub concluded that Goldsmith and his predecessors, Mayors Hudnut and Richard Lugar, were able to attract more than $3 billion in new investment to the city's core over a 25 year period.

"Although Goldsmith easily won re-election in 1995, defeating Z. Mae Jimison, he didn't win by as large a margin as had been expected. He was less fortunate the following year when he ran for governor against O'Bannon. Bayh's chosen successor won easily, even in Marion County.

"Goldsmith went back to work as mayor, focusing on planning a new basketball stadium for the Indiana Pacers and other city projects.

"In 1997 he formed the 'Front Porch Alliance,' to help match churches and neighborhood groups with government resources and expertise.

"After leaving the mayor's office on Jan. 1, 2000, Goldsmith founded eGov Solutions, an Internet company, to develop software enabling local governments to conduct online transactions with residents. Within a few months eGov merged with a similar company based in Chicago and was renamed Netgov.com. That business faltered and in July 2001, Goldsmith was hired by Lockheed Martin IMS as a senior vice president."

"Goldsmith is a graduate of Broad Ripple High School (1964). He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Wabash College (1968) and a law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law in 1971."


External links

  • 11 March 2001: "Milwaukee Genesis. Where George W. Bush's 'Faith-Based' initiative really comes from" by Phil Wilayto, Media Transparency.
  • Directors, National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, accessed December 13, 2007.