Editorial: Now state officials care about mixing politics and investments

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The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette

Adlai Stevenson once said that a political hypocrite would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

We considered this when listening to Indiana State Treasurer Daniel Elliot proudly announce a further $5 million investment in Israel Bonds, bringing the state’s total investment in the U.S. ally to $110 million.

As treasurer and chief investment officer, Elliott oversees Indiana’s portfolio, valued at nearly $17 billion in state assets.

Though S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Israel’s credit score as a result of geopolitical risks in the Mideast, investing in Israel Bonds, free of political considerations, is considered reliable enough.

But let’s back up to the dependent clause “free of political considerations,” as this bond buy by Indiana is a conscious political act to support Israel.

The support of a foreign government seen as an ally is not problematic for this board, though we’re confident it may be for a portion of our readers.

Indeed, if Elliot wanted to use a portion of the state’s money to support environmental, social and corporate governance issues that also provide a good rate of return for Hoosiers, then go right ahead.

Oh, wait, Elliot and the supermajority told us there was no place for that kind of politically motivated outlay with the people’s assets. For someone who helped ax “woke” investments as part of the state’s strategy, Elliot has inadvertently and farcically made a case for it.

Israel is one of the world leaders in developing innovative water, agriculture and renewable energy technologies to be more resilient to climate change. Ironically, due to the supermajority’s actions in 2023, this state couldn’t invest in an Israeli company doing great work, no matter how good the return on investment.